EDITORIAL THURSDAY 21.10.10.
It’s hard to understand why some religious groups are opposed to the introduction of ethics classes into New South Wales schools. The plan is to offer the classes as an alternative to children whose parents choose not to send them to scripture classes. Currently, such children are left with nothing to do and usually spend the time watching DVDs. The recent ten week trial of the classes has been deemed to be a great success, popular with parents and teachers, and useful in giving students a grasp of ethical and moral behaviour. While those who oppose the classes claim that they are concerned that students who attend religious education will miss out on any benefit that might be obtained from the ethics instruction, I’m not convinced that there isn’t something else on their minds.
Do they mean to suggest that the existing scripture classes are NOT teaching ethical and moral behaviour? Do they want to deny children from families who do not belong to any organised religion the opportunity to benefit from instruction in ethical and moral concepts? Could it be possible that some of the religious organisations who are opposed to these classes are actually more concerned about being undermined in some way in their own moral authority? Do they fear that if parents are given the choice that more of them will choose to have their children given secular instruction on ethics and morality? Or would they really prefer that children from non-religious families are left without the opportunity for any kind of moral or ethical guidance at all?
Surely, that wouldn’t be very Christian, would it?