Friday 22nd of August 2014

simple...

 

simple...

Australia’s high court has upheld a legal challenge against federal government funding arrangements for the national school chaplaincy program.

Payments by the federal government to chaplain provider Scripture Union Queensland to deliver chaplaincy services in Queensland schools were unlawful, the court decided on Thursday.

It unanimously decided legislation passed by the federal parliament – intended to provide commonwealth with authority to making funding agreements and payments – was “invalid in its operation with respect to a funding agreement between the Commonwealth and Scripture Union Queensland”.

It is not yet clear whether the ruling will have broader implications for other commonwealth schemes.

The judgment is the latest instalment in the long-running battle waged by a Queensland father, Ron Williams, against commonwealth funding arrangements for the national school chaplaincy program. He is opposed to religious chaplains in secular state schools.

In 2012 Williams secured a high court ruling that payments by the federal government to chaplain provider Scripture Union Queensland pursuant to the Darling Heights Funding Agreement were beyond the executive power of the Commonwealth under section 61 of the Constitution.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/19/school-chaplains-struck-down-high-court

 

relentlessly proselytising through "grants"...

School chaplain program funding 'can continue'

The national body for school chaplains says it believes the program will survive despite the court ruling, saying the payments could continue as state and territory grants.

"While the High Court has ruled against the current [funding] model, the court has acknowledged federal funding can continue for chaplaincy through state/territory grants," the National School Chaplaincy Association said in a statement after the ruling.

"In 2012, the High Court ruled unanimously that, funding model aside, there is no constitutional problem with chaplains serving in government schools.

"Therefore we hope the Federal Government will again act swiftly to protect this vital and beneficial program for students."

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the Government will examine ways to ensure the program continues.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-19/high-court-delivers-verdict-on-school-chaplaincy-program/5534546

we don't need chaplaincy in this country...


kenno 

12:04 PM on 19/06/2014



 

I must say another thank you to Mr Williams for persevering with this issue. It is tempting to see this descision as a victory for common sense but it remains to be seen how long it will last before the religious right find a way around it. I can only hope that it will help strengthen the position of a separation between church and state. This current government seems to have an unstated policy of introducing religion by stealth, hopefully this will slow their progress. Having counsellors in schools cannot be a bad thing but they don't need to be chaplains, you don't need much of a brain to work out what a chaplain's raison d'etre is, no matter what they say or what rules are supposedly imposed on them. Teach our kids about religions by all means but do not teach religion in state schools, it should be that simple. All around the world at this time (as ever) religion based conflicts are causing death and misery on an industrial scale, we could do worse in this country than to acknowledge that everyone has a right to their view and to practise whatever they choose in their own space as long as it's not hurting anyone else but schools are for learning facts, for (insert deity of choice) sake. A bit of tolerance brethren, because isn't it funny that it's the religious among us, who profess to tolerance and respect and good ol judeo christian values, whatever that means, are the ones who are always at each other? We don't need that in this country.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-06-19/high-court-delivers-verdict-on-school-chaplaincy-program/5534546

 

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Gus: some people argue that chaplains are doing some "secular" work but the main game of chapaincy is definitively to proselytise:

 

http://www.chaplaincyaustralia.com/

 

fusion politics in australia follows the tea party in the usa...

Michael Tanner recently—but before the shocker primary in suburban Richmond—lamented that the tea party’s influence was waning because it had strayed from its core mission:

Sparked by outrage over the Wall Street bailouts, the original Tea Party was motivated by an opposition to Big Government. The motto of the Tea Party Patriots, one of the largest and most influential groups, was “fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets.” The Tea Party’s core issues were the skyrocketing national debt and opposition to Obamacare.

Social issues were not part of the platform. In fact, Jenny Beth Martin, leader of the Tea Party Patriots told the New York Times, “When people ask about [social issues], we say, ‘Go get involved in other organizations that already deal with social issues very well.’ We have to be diligent and stay on message.”

Tanner is one of an unfortunate many who took the tea party at face value. As I’ve been arguing for years, economic issues, for tea partiers, are inseparable from social ones. It’s the (largely) Protestant version of the seamless garment: capitalism is part of God’s blueprint for human society, just like traditional marriage and heteronormativity. Ironically echoing the atheist Ayn Rand, this worldview values capitalism not merely as an instrumental good, a man’s-estate-reliever, but as a moral imperative.

Research by David E. Campbell and Robert Putnam and long-form reporting by Jill Lepore have lent empirical weight to my intuition that the tea party is a religious movement by proxy. Ed Kilgore put it bluntly: “scratch a ‘fiscal conservative’ and you’ll find a culture-warrior of one sort or another right under the surface.”

Along comes David Brat, professor of economics and slayer of the dragon Rep. Eric Cantor, to bring the argument into sharp relief. The parsing of Brat’s academic writings and theological-economic beliefs has become a cottage industry. The Washington Post called Brat’s primary election an indication of a “rise in the crossroads of religion and economics.”


 

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/david-brats-half-cocked-theological-economic-fusionism/

 

This religious/economic fusion is what the Abbott regime's rabid right-wing-buts are trying to do in Australia, starting with proselytising in schools and climbing on soap boxes to preach religious morality, while lying through their teeth...

They mix religion and bad economic principles, doing a crummy job at it as well. Joe's budget was the worse in this country history, not because it needed to be so, but because these "Christians" are mean, nasty and idiotic.

"Forgive them father, they don't know what they are doing.." (Luke 23:34). Despite being crucified by their budget, I am not Jesus Christ and I do not beg Godot to forgive these idiots. Hit them with a lightning strike (not Bolt, please)...

flexible reverend on the religious bouncy floor...

Our constitution does not allow for an established church but neither does it rigidly separate “church and state”. NSW public school education has allowed both for “general religion” and for voluntary “special religion” from representatives of churches. Secularist public schools are one cause of a growing proportion of students going to private schools. 

The HSC subject Studies in Religion should be encouraged. In a well-educated Australia, as well as awareness of indigenous riches we should all have some knowledge of our primary cultural inheritance. However, in a world endangered by fear, fundamentalism and fanaticism, we also need not only some appreciation of the best in other cultures represented in modern Australia but, very importantly, some elementary knowledge of other religions, especially of Islam. 

Reverend John Bunyan Campbelltown


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-letters/chaplaincy-support-from-frontbench-reflects-influence-of-george-pell-20140620-zsfdq.html#ixzz35ESPfLyy

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Gus: let me be a cynic for a few minutes... " Secularist public schools are one cause of a growing proportion of students going to private schools."??? I believe the reverend is a clown for the Great Godot Cirkus in his spare time.
The critical study of religion is okay by me as an option in PUBLIC schools, as long as the emphasis is on the world CRITICAL.

tony's narrow reactionary views in attacking states...

 

The Abbott government’s decision to rein in health and education funding to the states reflects a “reactionary, hyper-literal interpretation” of the constitution, Bill Shorten has argued.

The opposition leader used a speech to the Committee for Economic Development on Monday to mount a strongly worded attack on the prime minister’s “alarmingly narrow view of the role and responsibility of the commonwealth”.

In an address focused on the state of the federation, Shorten castigated the government for launching a “surprise attack on the state governments of Australia” through the $80bn in long-term budget savings, which represented “a dramatic and reckless destabilising of our federation”.

The government has argued states and territories have primary responsibility for running and funding public hospitals and schools. In its budget overview document the government said its decision to adopt “sensible indexation arrangements for schools from 2018, and hospitals from 2017-18, and removing funding guarantees for public hospitals” would achieve “cumulative savings of over $80bn by 2024-25”.

It also announced plans to “reduce or terminate some commonwealth payments that are ineffective or duplicate state responsibilities” including national partnership agreements on preventive health, improving public hospital services and certain concessions for pensioners and seniors card holders.

The moves provoked a backlash from state and territory leaders, including those from the Coalition side of politics, and the government subsequently downplayed the impact by insisting that the raw amount of funding continued to increase each year.

read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/23/abbott-taking-hyper-literal-view-of-constitution-shorten-says