The SRE Battlefield: where facts become increasingly absent

With the ascendancy and inauguration of President Trump, a new term has been newly minted, ‘alternative facts’. ‘Facts’ which seem to be at odds with the data available, but are still being championed as authoritative. This is done, because by providing such information, it is hoped to confuse, divide, and ultimately to gain their end game – and it works. Many people seem to trust the arguments without doing any sort of fact checking, and thus the tactic of pushing alternative facts can, sadly, pay off. Over recent days, there’s been a volley of articles which have appeared in...

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What FIRIS Just Don’t Understand?

Tomorrow, Fairness in Religions in Schools (FIRIS) will be having an official launch of an anti-SRE billboard in my old neighbourhood of Liverpool. Through this billboard, which you can see above, FIRIS is hoping to illuminate parents to the fact that Christians are teaching about the Christian notion of sin in Christian SRE. Apparently, a shocking concept. The launch will have the usual suspects with FIRIS’s NSW representatives joined by John Kaye, the Greens education spokesman. FIRIS’ intention is to create media publicity so that they can attempt to gain momentum in their agenda for the utter abolishment of...

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Proselytising Fear: reflections in the aftermath of the SRE Reversal

As has been reported on several sites — the NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, has reversed the Department of Education and Communities’ (DEC) ban on the two books which were being used in SRE. In the letter written to Glenn Davies, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, announcing the lifting of the ban, Mr. Piccoli expressed “regret that there was no consultation by the DEC with the Anglican Church prior to the memorandum being issued“.  The official reason provided for occurrence of the ban seems to be that DEC were responding to advice that “there was a potential risk to students in the delivery of this...

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Banning the Book

Yesterday, a lobby group called Fairness in Religions in Schools (FIRIS) released a commissioned analysis on Patricia Weerakoon‘s ‘Teen Sex By the Book‘. It found that the book, which was published under School Ministry* resources within the Christian Education Publications catalogue, was unsuitable for use within SRE classes.  The reason? The book, intended for Christians, teaches the Christian position on topics such as sexual abstinence, monogamy, divorce, hetrosexuality, and abortion. Deanne Carson’s report was then picked up by the Sydney Morning Herald in an article labelled ‘Scripture classes: Calls for crackdown on public schools‘. In it, the Greens education...

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