1. Catholic priest Father David O’Hearn has been stood down from his Nelson Bay parish pending investigation of a professional conduct matter. The Herald understands police are involved in the investigation. Another priest, Father Peter Brock, was stood down from his Maitland parish in late last year, it’s suspected police are involved in that investigation also. I wonder what’s going on in the Hunter Valley?
2. Lots of talk about the rejection of the proposal to build a Muslim school in Camden in the news. There has been some bigotry in some of the arguments against the Quranic Society school (and we seem to have a new Pauline Hanson) but you have to wonder why they need a school for 1200 when there are only 211 Muslims in the area? Personally I don’t care what religion a school supports, I just don’t see any need for religious based schools at all. I don’t see how they can be a good thing, I also don’t see how single sex schools can be a good thing.
The opinion piece tries to argue that specialist (read single faith) schools can help integrate or assimilate migrants and states that religious schools remain as important as ever.
They provide a possibly marginalised immigrant group with education which is both sympathetic to minority concerns, and mainstream in orientation.
I can’t see how mainstream a single faith school is going to be. Sure, if government oversees the school and ensures they stick to the state curriculum then they will at least get mainstream education. On the other hand they will be indoctrinated with the particular single faith beliefs, perpetuating false ideas and leading to further ‘us and them’ mentality. Wouldn’t it be better for all children to go to non-denominational government schools where no particular religion is taught?
3. A US soldier has been suspended for distributing coins to Iraqis that quote the Bible. US troops have also been accused of acting like Christian missionaries and that the Iraqi occupation is a Crusader war. Well Duh! When your President says God told him to invade Iraq and atheist soldiers have been victimised by their own countrymen it hardly comes as a surprise that there are elements of a Crusader war.