In New South Wales the Government is trialling a new ethics class which "would let children who did not take scripture class examine ethical issues, but without an overarching theology" - and the Christians are fuming:

THE Bishop of North Sydney has urged Anglican priests to collect information from principals of public schools to stop the spread of the secular ethics classes the Sydney Anglicans believe may threaten religious education.

Dr Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, said ethics should not be offered as an alternative to the Bible. He said the trial had been "rushed through" and complained that it was not easy to be heard in the debate about the trial, because of "countervailing forces that may be less scrupulous in putting their case".


The Christians are trying to stop the spread of ethics because it is a threat to religious education, The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney says "ethics should not be offered as an alternative to the Bible" and implies than anyone who disagrees with him is "unscrupulous". Does this attitude tell us anything about whether or not Christianity promotes ethical behavior?

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don't know too much about this, but sounds like the NSW government are taking an admirable lead here. No wonder the church is running scared - if morality and church can be separated from each other in the public consciousness then it's got to be hammering a good few nails in their coffin.
This speaks volumes about the so-called morality of religion. They are basically immoral and have the nerve to call us atheists immoral!!!
what the hell did that title just say? there's no versus in reality there. It's the parents every time hands-down. Back, back, back usually back towards the dawn of their great x3 grand parent's culture; as crude and predictable; not privy to current modern day modes of life... or am I getting solar static again. cmdsft4:P
I think the problem isn't that ethics are being offered, but they want no form of education being taught at the same time as scriptures class. I heard before that you're actually not allowed to teach during the alternate options. It's ridiculous and I agree that ethical issues should be an alternative to religious doctrine. Although, I wonder what kind of ethics can really be taught to younger generations whose mindsets are still on the idea of right or wrong based on what adults say, not the effects it has on others.
Theists win

Complaints put brakes on ethics class trial

VERITY FIRTH is refusing to guarantee a 10-week trial for secular ethics classes will start next week in state primary schools as expected, after a flurry of complaints from religious leaders.

A spokeswoman for the NSW Minister for Education yesterday said getting the curriculum right was ''more important than the timing of the trial''.
The Theists didn't win.

The first ethics classes went ahead this week. Hurrah.

Read more here

And just to balance it out and see what Archbishop Jensen's thinking on the subject is you can read here

It is amazing the amount of hypocrisy the guy can get into one small article. It appears that it is better for children to sit and watch videos or draw than learn, if they choose not to attend Christian-based Religious Education classes. He even allows for them to learn about other religions but only from christian experts.

Can there really be anything else to this other than a deep fear that if children are taught to think ethically, that they will abandon the church and cut off the churches future funding and power base?

And terrifyingly, Jennifer is correct that there is/was an agreement in place that children who do not attend the RE classes cannot be taught ethics, morals, civics or comparative religious studies. It amazes me that such an agreement could ever have existed.




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