Opinion

Is Nine giving Scripture in schools a fair go?

A chance to show support

Recent independent research from globally respected education experts has revealed the mental health benefits of special religious education (SRE) in NSW or Religious Instruction (RI) in Queensland on children. Quite simply SRE or RI in Christian and multi-faiths results in happier children who engage in and promote cross-cultural harmony, and that’s something we should all applaud.

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They also launched a national opinion poll asking ‘Should religion be taught in state schools?’

That positive message of inclusion and understanding arising from SRE is often lost in traditional media, where it is near impossible to gain fair coverage. Often the only coverage comes from those who seek to have religion banned from state schools. One such story aired this week on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair after they interviewed a Queensland woman opposed to religious education in state schools. They also launched a national opinion poll asking ‘Should religion be taught in state schools?’

Initially the results of the survey revealed what we expected from a secular media driven poll with viewers of A Current Affair voting against religion in state schools. However, over the past 24 hours those figures have turned around and the poll is now marginally in favour of religion being taught in schools with over 145,000 votes counted.

Surveys like this can be misleading as they don’t follow the methodology of legitimate surveys; however, it is rare that the many hundreds of thousands of SRE supporters get a chance to show their support in a public way and I encourage you to do so before the poll ends.

An independent survey conducted recently found almost 80 per cent of Australians believe that “schools should be a safe place for students to explore deeper questions of faith and belief.”

Christian SRE and multi-faith organisations have joined forces to ensure all Australian parents have the right to choose an appropriate faith and values education for their child in state schools, based on their religious beliefs. To deny parents the right to choose to enrol their children in SRE in state schools is unfair. It’s unfair not just on the children and parents but also on the entire Australian community – one that is based on respect for all faiths, their cultural beliefs and their desire to live in peace in a loving country that embraces all who identify with what is uniquely Australian.

The opinion poll will continue for another day and, if you would like to have your vote counted, please visit the Facebook page for A Current Affair:

We would appreciate your support to ensure your views are captured in this media-driven opinion poll.

I encourage anyone with an interest in SRE to visit www.faithlifevalues.com.au and register for more information, or like Christian SRE NSW on Facebook.

Murray Norman is CEO of Christian SRE.

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