Education Minister vows to act over Christian propaganda

Education Minister vows to act over Christian propaganda June 8, 2016

Australia’s Minister for Education, Kate Jones, above, yesterday confirmed that the Department of Education would review the Connect religious instruction syllabus materials taught in some state schools.
A statement issued by the Queensland Government followed a report that the principal of Windsor State School, Matthew Keong, had banned Connect Religious Instruction classes.
In a letter to parents, Keong explained how the lessons contravene RI policy by attempting to convert children to Christianity. He said:

Connect’s materials go beyond imparting knowledge of Biblical references, and extend to soliciting children to develop a personal faith in God and Jesus and become a Christian or ‘Kingdom Kid’.

The review found the Connect programme in breach of the policy that prohibits proselytising, defined as:
Soliciting a student for a decision to change their religious affiliation.
Keong found that:

In the teacher’s manuals, the Connect authors remind instructors that most of their audience is not yet Christian, and the whole programme appears to be based on that premise of trying to solicit them for a decision to become the kind of Christian prescribed in the materials.

The Facebook page of Queensland Parents for Secular State Schools (QPSSS) has published various Connect lessons, highlighting the apparent aim of converting non-Christian schoolchildren.
Pupils are invited to become a “Kingdom Kid” in Connects C2 lower primary lesson:

Maybe you’re not a Kingdom Kid yet. If you would like to live God’s way and follow Jesus, we can pray a prayer right now. I am going to say the words of the prayer first so you can hear what the prayer is about. If you agree with this prayer, when I pray it the second time in parts, think the words in your head after me. If you don’t want to pray this prayer with me, just sit quietly with your eyes closed so that you are not disrupting those who would like to say it. This is the prayer I will be praying.
Dear God, thank you that Jesus dies on the cross so I could be part of your family. I am sorry for wanting to live my own way, but now I want to live your way. Please forgive me and help me to learn more about you. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer in your head, welcome to God’s family! You’re a Kingdom Kid.

Connects C2 upper primary lesson emphasizes the choice children need to make:

The Bible tells us there are two kinds of people; the people who have faith and will live forever with God, and those who say no to Jesus. We need to decide which type of person we want to be. Will we follow Jesus?

The programme is full of entreaties to join the faith. Connects C1, lesson 1:

I want you to think about Jesus who is the King and think about whether you would like to be in his Kingdom forever.

Instructors are also encouraged to link children:

To church-run children’s and youth activities.

The offer to “experience the Christian community and learn more about the Christian faith” outside of school, could also breach RI’s policy prohibiting proselytising.
Keong also expressed concern over a lack of scrutiny over faith based programmes.

It has recently come to my attention, contrary to my previous understanding, none of the programmes used in Religious Instruction provided by any faith groups are approved or endorsed by the Department of Education and Training.

The Connect material has also been the subject of outrage following its David and Goliath lesson, where students were asked to roleplay a beheading.
Jones said:

The Department of Education has had a long-term policy in place to ensure appropriate materials are taught as part of any religious instruction programme in state schools. I am concerned content outside the guidelines of this long-standing policy may currently be being provided in state schools. Any materials found to be in breach of the policy will be removed from schools.

Last week the The Independent reported that Christian fundamentalist schools in the UK are teaching children creationism as fact, that gay people are “unnatural” and that girls must submit to men. The schools use a programme called Accelerated Christian Education.

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  • AgentCormac

    ‘Dear God, thank you that Jesus dies on the cross so I could be part of your family.’
    What kind of warped mind comes up with this nonsense? It’s completely insane, and the crazies who try to convince children it is somehow right or acceptable need their heads examining every bit as much as they need their sorry asses kicking out of every last school.

  • Broga

    This is sick nonsense being fed into the minds of vulnerable children. What we see here is the usual Christian approach of deceit, lies and religious fiction pushed on children with no balance or challenge. (Like on Thought for the Day which I no longer listen to).
    Parents have a right not to have their children subjected to this with no agreement from parents. This religious nonsense should not be in schools anyway. If parents want to fill their kids’ heads with this they can do it at home. The churches empty so the next step is to trap the kids at school.

  • Paul

    What on earth is this toss being put into education for? It’s quite astonsishing.
    And picking up on the last para – indeed women must submit to men. This from Pakistan :
    “Nearly 1,100 women were killed by relatives in Pakistan last year in so-called honour-killings, the country’s independent Human Rights Commission says. Many more cases go unreported.”
    Our world can be a sad dangerous place with religion.
    But a good one without any.

  • Newspaniard

    It is overdue time that all state sponsored education should be free from all religious education. I am led to believe that the French system is an ideal model.

  • Paul

    Well I suppose we ought to reflect that at least this form of Christianity isn’t Pakistani Islam where religious leaders recently are abhorred at laws in two provinces outlawing any form of violence against women, and where the religious insanity brigade want men to be able to “lightly beat” their wives.

  • I don’t reason in your church. Please don’t pray in my school.
    (I don’t remember where I first read that line, but hats off to whoever wrote it. )

  • Justin

    In Australia we have had repeated problems with these RI classes in public schools. Even though the providers have been clearly warned to not proselytise they keep getting caught over and over again.When they are inevitably warned or the classes are scrapped the cries of persecution come thick and fast. One thing I can say in my country’s defence is that most people are not sympathetic to those cries.
    There is a very simple reason why these groups want to be in schools, it’s for the same reason why they want to operate in prisons: a captive audience. Kids usually don’t have the capacity to challenge the authority or get in trouble when they do and prisoners cannot leave.
    If you want your kid instructed in this stuff there are plenty of programs that exist in churches and the like. Take them there instead of asking the taxpayer to foot the bill.

  • barriejohn

    This sort of coercion shouldn’t be employed even in churches. As I’ve said before, when you make that “decision for Christ” you have NO idea what it is that you are signing up to. On the spur of the moment, under tremendous emotional pressure, you take on board a whole load of beliefs without question, and are then stuck having to rationalize them for the sake of your sanity. Any contract that is signed without the terms being clear is automatically invalid, yet Christians still use this devious means of recruiting gullible and naive youngsters, knowing that they have then got many of them for life!

  • Badger

    Some of you mentioned Pakistan …
    Well this is what muslims do in Shitistan … sorry Crapistan …sorry Pakistan

  • Badger
  • Badger

    Evangelist Christian = Barefaced Liar

  • L.Long

    If the RI in schools sticks to the kids it shows a few points…1-The parents are also brain damaged and think the BS is true, 2-they reinforce the BS to the kids who are becoming brain damaged. 3-repeat as needed.
    When My kids where in English school and getting brain washed I countered it with my open atheism and DID not say it was wrong, but just asked them questions about the BS they were being told. They are firm atheists.

  • Ate Berga

    Thank Thor that I have secular family in Australia.

  • AgentCormac

    You are absolutely, 100% right – a captive audience is just what these predators look for. Having access to those who are impressionable, desperate, or are too young to know better is the only way they have these days of disseminating their lies. As I think Broga mentioned earlier, so few people go and sit on pews to listen to the bullshit anymore they have to find new ways of proselytising. It is cynical, it is deceitful and it is utterly calculated. If they tried to sell this bullshit to the average man in the street they would be ignored, at best. Which could explain why the tiresome JWs who erect a stand in my local town’s market square each and every week are, as far as I can see, totally ignored by everyone as they shuffle around on ther heels, smiling moronically and talking only to the child they have brought with them as the world passes them by. Yet again.

  • RussellW

    Kate Jones is the state minister for education, ‘not Australia’s minister for education’.
    The solution is simple, RI should not be allowed in government schools.

  • Badger

    Religion would fade into extinction if it was not inflicted upon children. This is precisely why the pious go to great lengths to ensnare children. Plastic trusting immature minds are the raw material sought by the pious to propagate their dogmas. Dogmas that cannot be accepted by the unpolluted rational adult intellect.

  • Brian Jordan

    I saw the headline and photograph and thought for a moment that Nicky Morgan had undergone two major changes.
    No such luck.

  • John

    Finally, a government minister and a head teacher who understand the malign effect of religious indoctrination.
    Pity poor old backward UK is not where its happening.
    Thicky Morgan could learn from this – but she is too stupid.
    Why aren’t more teachers in Britain showing similar courage and concern for children as Matthew Keong?
    Here in the old UK, it is all a mystery!

  • gedediah

    Only secular organisations should be allowed to provide religious education in schools. How is that not obvious?