The antics of Access Ministries alternate between comedic and genuinely disturbing – and the degree to which they appear to have permeated all levels of government and public service, both state and federal, is something that requires some serious scrutiny.
The relentlessness of the disinformation and misguided, railroaded policy not representative of community requirements does not happen by itself. There are serious resources at work amongst professional lobbyists and advisors forcing the hands of our governments, as well as the high likelihood of government ministers that are not disclosing their true levels of interest in promoting the current school chaplaincy and SRI programs.
This is no trivial matter – we are heading towards the half billion dollar mark of public funding being siphoned off into these programs and there is active deception to conceal the content of these programs from the parents of the children entrapped in them, usually with no alternative.
Even so, there is a level of perversity above and beyond anything to date displayed in this article in Sunday’s Age –
School claims bullying over religious education
Michael Bachelard, June 19, 2011
THE Education Department has warned a Hawthorn primary school council not to survey parents about religious instruction because to do so would be “provocative”.
The department’s student well-being division, which enforces the law requiring schools to run “special religious instruction” where it is offered, last week tried to clamp down on debate at Hawthorn West Primary School.
It also sent schools in the eastern region a suggested statement for their newsletters, urging school councils not to seek parents’ views on the subject.
Whether parents liked it or not, the requirement to offer religious instruction would not change ”unless there is a change to the act,” the statement said.
So essentially, fait accompli, and the parents can smell our fingers. This arrogance is a hallmark of everything Access Ministries and Australian Christian Lobby – “we know what’s best for you so shut up”. The fascism inherent to any proselytising religion simply is not capable of masking itself for any sustained period at all – “we have a divine covenenant and you will do what we want and you have no say in the matter”. They have manipulated and weaseled their way into the education system, and now are fortifying their position as sole dictators over your childrens souls and gloating at your powerlessness.
This is hardly the worst of the article, and pretty much what anyone following the story has come to know anyway as the reality we have allowed to be enabled. What follows raises the bar of the despotic absurdity even further –
School council member John Bornas said the department’s eastern region director, Jeremy Beard, phoned the night before the survey was to be published and asked the council to delay it.
Council members were then called to a meeting last week during which Mr Beard and the head of the student well-being division, Denis Torpy, told them that issuing the survey would be ”provocative”, and that it seemed to be part of a political campaign against religious education. They said the survey was beyond the powers of a school council.
“Their main concern was that the school was being used as a vehicle for lobbying for legislative change, which is not true,” Mr Bornas said.
“We have not at any stage said that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to garner opinion of our school community to see what the options are. At the moment, from the department’s point of view, we’re not able to ask that, which is what I find astounding.”
This is surreal. To want to consider the views of the parents of the schoolchildren involved is part of a political campaign, probably part of a conspiracy, and whilst not saying so explicitly, the implication is clear – it is an act of treason against the established order. Where are we again? Tehran?
The absurdity is compounded by the basic fact the both Access and ACL have been playing this political game very much in the gutter and have manipulated and abused the system with no respect for ethics or decency to get where they are now. And they accuse a small school in Hawthorn of playing “politics” by consulting parents and implying it is taboo for a school to do so.
The other nonsensical extreme is that if the magic figure of 98% approval being bandied around, as claimed in “independent and objective studies”, is true, what possible harm could there be in polling parents? Oh wait, that’s right, the general public cannot be trusted to answer these kinds of polls in a manner that conforms to the desired reality. So if you can’t win fairly, you suppress. It’s for the greater good, and of course, such suppression is divinely approved.
The message is clear. This is what theocracy tastes like. Dissent is prohibited. You have no rights, no say and you do not matter. You are incapable of deciding what is best for your children – these decisions need to made for you. Of course, you will be compelled to pay for everything and you will be expected to be grateful. This is the new reality. Get used to it.
The real message though, once you scrape away all of the Machiavellian vileness, is fairly evident. The full extent of the corruption from Access and the ACL that has been allowed to creep into our government and institutions has been vastly underestimated. This is not spontaneous nonsense, this is carefully guided manipulation from SRI / chaplaincy apologists that have insinuated themselves into the system at every level. This is what you call corruption of the political process – where an unrepresentative minority with a selfish, special interest agenda can dictate public policy and debate on this scale and have such absolute contempt for the general population at large.
This has to be stopped now. It is a creeping doom. To allow Access to walk all over people here will only embolden them further in other areas. Next it will be intelligent design in our science classes, already a possibility ACARA explicitly refuses to block. This is all on the same trail that leads to criminalising homosexuals and stripping women of their reproductive rights – as can be seen from their sister organisations in the US and parts of Africa. The grand objective is the unmaking of the liberal democracy that makes us what we are and replacing it with a christianised form of sharia. There is no good that can ever come from any theocratic ambitions. The time to do something is now. This cancer can be stopped. It just needs people to open their eyes and have a look around at the grand deceptions being played at their expense. Demand to know who has been in the ears of your political representatives and why they are standing by idly and allowing such blatant disregard for all of the democratic principles they claim to hold dear.
Seriously folks, it’s time you took a time out from your V8 supercars and celebrity gibberish and started making some real noise.
Postscript: I neglected to include the most telling part of the article –
A department spokeswoman said the council had not been prevented from issuing its survey but added that ”the department does not endorse it”.
”The survey withheld the fact that under the present legislation schools are obligated to offer special religious instruction when it is made available by providers,” she said. ”What we have asked is that the school council remember its obligation to ensure the school complies with the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 … and that it respects the views of the entire school community and maintains a constructive working relationship with the department.”
The spokeswoman did not answer questions about whether the department was acting under instructions from the minister or under pressure from Christian religious education provider Access Ministries.
Access Ministries declined to comment.