What Fear Looks Like
I received an email recently that urged Christians to respond to changes to the education system. The government is drafting a national curriculum for Australia. This means that children in the same grade will be learning the same things from Perth to Puckapunyal, from Darwin to Dutton.
We currently have a unique opportunity to comment on the draft format of the Australian National Education Curriculum.
So far, so good. Everyone should be encouraged to take an active interest in education. I am thankful that the government welcomes feedback from the public.
This Curriculum will become mandatory for every Australian school, public or private, to teach in its entirety next year.
I’m not too keen on a national curriculum for all subjects. Maybe for some subjects, eg, English, Maths, and Science, but not for everything.
The concern for us, as Christians, is that if the draft documents become final, our next generation will be educated by a system that completely denies the existence of God, his role in creation, and the Christian heritage upon which our country, and its education system, were founded.
Oh, my. So many things to say, I don’t even know where to start.
“…a system that completely denies the existence of God”. Firstly, there is a difference between ‘not mentioning’ and ‘completely denying’. As far as I know, the system is not in the ‘completely denying’ camp. All schools have Religious Education! So, this ‘completely denying’ phrase is absolute nonsense.
“…his role in creation”. Again, Religious Education exists!
“Christian heritage” Hmmm. Australia may be predominantly Christian, but I think history will show that Christian presence is a relatively new phenomenon when compared to the original inhabitants.
Can I urge you to do two things?
Firstly, we need to pray. Pray that instead of all knowledge of God being obliterated from our education system, that “all the kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O Lord, are God.” (2 Kings: 19b)
No problem here.
Secondly, we need to take action. The proposed Australian National Education Curriculum is out for public comment now. Please make a submission on the proposed Curriculum at http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Home by 23 May 2010. It does not take long to register and comment, and you can come back to add to or review your comments at any time.
The draft Science and History Curriculums are of particular concern, with History being taught in the absence of a Biblical foundation.
This gives the impression that History is being taught with a Biblical foundation now, but that is not the case at all! History has not been taught with a Biblical foundation for quite some time now. And, just what in the world is “history with a Biblical foundation” anyway?
It also makes no mention of Australia’s strong Christian heritage (during the public feedback period last year, only six people in the entire country made request for it to be included in the syllabus).
Hmmm…what makes a Christian heritage a ‘strong’ one? How long has Christianity had a presence in Australia? How is this compared to how long Australia has been inhabited?
The Science curriculum requires children to be taught evolution by natural selection, the origins of the universe, and the evidence supporting the big bang theory.
And so they should be taught such things! If for no other reason than these ideas are accepted by the rest of the world. (And can I just say that I am glad the word evidence was not put in quotation marks – ‘evidence’ – as some people of this ilk are wont to do.)
(Science Draft Curriculum, page 27, 28). The Board of Studies is completely unsupportive of Creationism and Intelligent Design – see the Official Notice 17/09 at this link:
“Completely unsupportive” is completely inaccurate. Firstly, this is an Official Notice for New South Wales, and not the whole of Australia.
Let’s take a look at the pertinent part of the Notice, shall we?
The Board wishes to remind teachers that Creationism and Intelligent Design are not part of the Board’s Science syllabuses. If taught as part of any school-based program, it must be clear to students that Creationism and Intelligent Design:
- are not scientific, nor evidence-based
- will not be included in any task that forms part of the assessment of student achievement for the award of the School Certificate or Higher School Certificate
- will not be tested in any School Certificate or Higher School Certificate examination and will not be relevant to any response to School Certificate or Higher School Certificate questions
The Notice does NOT say that Creationism and/or Intelligent Design cannot be taught. Merely that, IF TAUGHT, the students need to be aware of certain things. This hardly classifies as ‘completely unsupportive’ as the letter suggests.
Also, I would like to know just what the author of this letter means by Creationism? There are over 50 Creation Myths on wikipedia alone. IF Creationism is to be taught, it should NOT be taught in Science, but in Religious Education and/or Social Studies.
If we do not take action at this point, the Christian faith may take an even worse battering in the next round. We have lived in the UK and seen a society and education system that is even more secular than we have here, where scripture classes are not even allowed in schools.
I’m not sure what the intention of the author is here, but it sure looks to me as if she is trying to instill fear in her readers. Take action now, or reap the consequences. And then, she points us to UK, a traditionally ‘Christian’ country, seemingly going down the slippery slope. How frightening, right?
Well, someone who currently lives in the UK told me that this part of the letter was untrue. Also, a look at wikipedia (again!) confirms this.
In case you don’t want to bother going to that link, I will paste and copy the very first sentence for you here: Religious Education (RE) is a compulsory subject in the state education system in the United Kingdom.
Did you get that? “Compulsory”.
A law has just been passed in the lower house which, it appears, will mean that Christian schools could lawfully be forced to teach children such things as how to get an abortion and also that homosexuality is normal. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/feb/10022403.html
This has nothing to do with the Australian National Curriculum.
The religious freedoms we have in this country cannot be taken for granted.
Very true. I, for one, am very glad to live in a country where we have religious freedoms.
Thank you for reading this. Please feel free to pass it on to other believers who you think may take action and respond to the need to stand for the truth.
Oops, I guess I got this letter by mistake then!
[name of sender withheld to protect her]