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Archive for the ‘NSCP’ Category

School chaplains and trivia nights

Posted by Christopher Owen on August 7, 2013

6th August 2013

Media Release

Schools should not be holding trivia nights to raise funds for school chaplains, according to Secular Party spokesperson, Greg Plier. “A public and supposedly secular school has decided that the best way to care for their students is to employ religious chaplains,” said Mr Plier. “Frankston High School has just held a trivia night to raise money. Why not do that to better resource their Student Wellbeing Team with properly qualified counsellors or welfare officers?” Mr Plier stated that the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program (NSCSWP), despite the name change, is virtually exclusively for the employment of chaplains by church-based providers.  “Frankston High School and state schools throughout Australia educate many children from families that are of religious minorities and from families that have no religion,” he said, “yet the vast majority of chaplains and religious providers are Christian.  The NSCSWP direction that school chaplains are not to preach, proselytise, evangelise their faith, or promote a particular religious belief is completely at odds  with the requirement that they must be endorsed by a recognised or accepted religious institution.”

He emphasised that chaplains and evangelical organisations such as ACCESS Ministries have no place in Australia’s secular inclusive public school system. “The Federal Government and schools should not be in the business of advancing religion,” said Mr Plier. “Clearly, the employment of chaplains is against the secular principle of separation of church and state.”

Mr Plier concluded with a reference to the Secular Party’s policy that the National Schools Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program be replaced with a single program supporting only qualified counsellors and student welfare officers in schools.

Greg Plier
Victorian Delegate
Secular Party of Australia
0402 355 508
gplier@secular.org.au

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Posted in Chaplains, Education, Media Releases, NSCP, Secular | Leave a Comment »

High Court decision on school chaplains

Posted by Secular on November 17, 2012

20 June 2012

Media Release

Governments should not promote religions in the minds of children at taxpayer expense. The Secular Party thus welcomes the finding of High Court that the Commonwealth’s funding of the National Schools Chaplaincy Program is unconstitutional.

The ruling was based on Section 61 of the constitution which requires that such expenditure be authorised by legislation. Being a Chaplain requires passing a religious test, and Section 116 requires that there be no religious test for public office. Chaplains were not found to be employees of the Commonwealth, so these grounds were dismissed.

However, if the funding NSCP funding was properly legislated, as now required under S61, then there would be increased grounds for regarding Chaplains as employees, hence such funding may well then be unconstitutional under Section 116.

Whether in technical breach of the constitution or not, the NSCP was certainly against the intention of the constitution, and against the secular principle of “separation of church and state”. This principle is being violated, just at the time we need it more than ever.

Religions are not only divisive and conflictual. They lack basis in evidence. Governments should be in the business of promoting harmony through reason and evidence-based beliefs. The NSCP was doing the exact opposite. Chaplains should now be replaced by qualified counsellors and youth workers.


© The Secular Party of Australia Inc., 2011. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and from the Secular Party of Australia is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and to this blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Posted in Media Releases, NSCP | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »