Ron Williams wanted his children to attend a secular school in Australia, so you can imagine his surprise when his children told him they were attending “assemblies where the chaplain presided and a rap song was played extolling the virtues of chaplains over teachers as adults kids could trust.”
As it turned out, it was all part of a program funded by the country’s government. In fact, since 2007, schools could be eligible for up to $20,000 if they began or extended chaplaincy services.
Williams sued over this — and the case went all the way to Australia’s Supreme Court (a.k.a High Court) — saying this violated religious freedom and went beyond the scope of what the government could do.
Today, the High Court ruled on both of these issues. They said the chaplaincy did not violate religious freedom (what?!)… but the government had no business giving schools money for this.
In effect, it puts an end to the chaplaincy program. Success!
In 6:1 decision, High Court declares federally funded chaplaincy program unconstitutional! #NSCP
— Leslie Cannold (@LeslieCannold) June 20, 2012
That’s a huge victory for church/state advocates in the country (and around the world). I obviously know little about the Australian legal system, so if there’s more information we should know about this, please leave your thoughts in the comments.
(via Token Skeptic)