Richard Dawkins has made a TV program on the rise of faith-based schools in the UK, which is to air this Wednesday.I’ll post it here once it becomes available.
Australia also has faith-based schools, the 2 major players in the market being Christian Schools Australia and Christian Education National, formerly known as Christian Parent Controlled Schools.
They represent roughly 250 schools Australia-wide, 40 in Victoria.Add to that faith-based schools not representative of the mainstream christian cults, and the number is fairly significant, roughly one in 3 schools throughout Australia.
I see multiple problems with faith-based schools : The teaching of creationism alongside evolution, or not teaching evolution at all, the teaching of intolerance against homosexuals, abstinence-based sex education(that, as we know from the US, does not work and leads to a rise in teen pregnancy, STDs and risky sexual behaviours), and of course, the teaching of one particular religious cult’s holy book as ultimate truth.
Our children have a right to freedom of belief, and freedom from belief.The last thing we want as a society is for a gazillion of faith-based schools, all teaching their own particular brand of crazy to our kids, to threaten social cohesion and turn children into religious bigots before they are old enough to realise what’s happening to them.
No school that teaches one particular brand of faith as absolute truth, and doesn’t teach evolution, should receive government funding in this country.