Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monday Morning Spook-Out!!

Did you know ... ?

creationism is being taught in science classes in increasing numbers?
That these same schools are teaching sex education to their students through a program called "No Apologies" that asks their students to sign pledges that promise that they will remain virgins until marriage?
That this isn't one of those Only In America! bits of whimsy that normally gets trotted out by chortling bloggers from the rest of the world to snigger at a superpower, but are actually facts culled from an in-depth story from The Age about Australian religious schools?
That I'm actually shaking a little as I type this?

I've written about religion before and decided that it was largely a good thing for those who used it to find personal happiness. This report found that under the Howard Government there has been an increase in independent schools because of the educational funding models he brought in that were an attempt to get exactly this kind of thing to happen: lots of little religious schools setting themselves up so that education would either be cheap or espousing of the kind of teachings that would make more Australians fall under Johnny's ideal of what makes an Australian Australian.

And now we've actually got classrooms in this secular nation where this kind of thing happens (taken from The Age's in-depth report on faith-based education in Australia):

IT'S Friday morning and the combined year five-six class at Red Rock Christian College is conducting its Bible study and Christian living class. It's straight to the point: a reading from Peter's second epistle. "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to Hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons ..." a child reads out loud.
"What are the consequences of us making the wrong choices?" asks teacher Victoria Carey.
"Death!" a cheeky boy shouts.
Ms Carey moves on: "And what are some good choices?"
"Watching movies you're allowed to and hanging out with the right people," comes the answer.
"That's right, it's easier to do the right things when you're hanging out with people who are doing the right things," Carey observes.

Anybody care to join me for a good shudder in terror?

And Murphy is, of course, the winner, but only slightly because of two reasons: one) he missed the point of connecting the photo to the post and two) he might have actually spotted himself and his own good old Dimage G500 in the picture ...


  1. Time to use the best weapon we have against them - ridicule. I'm going to start a school based on the teachings of the flying spaghetti monster.

    Our lord, who art in heaven, pasta be thy name.

  2. You bloody hypocrite! Pushing your loathsome teachings on the small children!

    Actually, as long as you don't teach your doctrine of Floaty Fettuccine in science as though it were fact, may the meat-sauce be with you. Parmesan over all, amen.

  3. Bloody hell! It only goes to reinforce my belief that governments should NOT be providingn funding to ANY private school. Ever. (that's why I still liked Mark 'punchy punchy' Latham long after everyone else stopped).

    Look at St Peters - still get $$$ and have over $10M in Coopers shares....

  4. This is so disturbing. Wrong wrong wrong. I don't have the word skills to express what I want to say but the word indoctrination comes to mind. As far as I'm concerned religion should not be taught in schools. Churches and sunday schools are available for children whose parents want them to learn this stuff.
    I'm a firm believer in evolution.
    I'm giggling at the first comment there and your reply.
    GTH: Franzy holding a bible. The one you were given in primary school perhaps?
    I was given one in grade 3, pretty little red thing it was, but I conveniently lost it so that I didn't have to pay attention during our weekly religious instruction half hour.

  5. Next time the census papers come around I think I'll list myself as a Pastafarian. Pass the parmesan please. Love this flying spaghetti monster. I'm going to pass that on to my grandson Sam, he'll love it.

  6. Kath - Yeah, I don't get it either. I think the Howard Government logic goes thus: "Oh! You have money! You obviously know what to do with it! Have some more!" and reversely "Oh! You have NO money! You obviously have no concept of what it is or how it works! No money for you, just leave it up to us to handle all of the grown-up stuff!"

    River - So run the perils of religious freedom I suppose. Setting up schools that deviate from logic and reason can and is starting to have some serious effects. Behold ye this quote from the second more in-depth article:
    "University staff are increasingly seeing "irreconcilably strong creationist viewpoints" among biology students as the products of religious school education make their way into the tertiary system."

    So, in theory, we, the country Australia, are actually starting to produce scientists who don't use science.
    (cue slow, sarcastic clapping)
    Well DONE, Johnny! *clap .... clap* Well DONE, religion! *clap ....... clap ........... clap* You've really helped out the country and THE PLANET by teaching children that there is no real point REALLY searching for definitive answers to anything because they think the end solution is always "God did it".
    ...... *clap* ........ *CLAP*

  7. *shakes head*

    You know where I stand on this issue...

    Logic dictates that if you teach creationism in a science classroom, you must therefore insert the theory of evolution into the bible.

    In the future, rubbish like this will be seen as a form of child abuse, no less.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32