Sean Nichols writing in the SMH on the current legislative changes going on with the NSW Religious Education laws passes on this little gem from Andrew Stoner, who amazingly is former spokesman for education. What is so amazing about it is that he doesn’t seem to recognize that the only reason that public education EXISTS in Australia is that once upon a time there were legislators who were willing to “get ahead of the Church”.
Asked for his position on ethics classes, Andrew Stoner, a former Coalition spokesman for education, said he was ”personally relaxed about them. However, the churches are not. And I think we need to take their concerns into account”.
He went on to say that he thought the quality of some scripture classes ”is not good” and there was a high dropout rate.
”I think in that circumstance some education in the principle of ethics is desirable for these people who are opting out,” he said.
”However, you will need to have the churches on side with you to achieve that. And it’s clear [Labor] haven’t been able to do that. And I, for one, regard churches as being an important part of our society, and I listen to them. If their concerns haven’t been resolved, I don’t think government should get ahead of that part of society.”
This is the tragedy of Australia … its current crop of so called “Liberal” legislators seem to think that what the churches want is good for society and children and that for some reason they should take direction from clerics like George Pell and Peter Jensen, rather than listen to education experts like Phil Cam or Sue Knight.
This is both pathetic and ignorant. It shows that they don’t care enough about Australia to even learn their own history. They are off on a new right wing tangent that simply echoes the fundamentalism that the right has used with such devastating results in America.