Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Onward Christian Soldiers

Now the Christians want a slice of the National Curriculum action (see my last post):

"In this yuletide Tony Abbott went on record again as regarding the Bible as essential for all Australian schools. 'It is important for people to leave school with some understanding of the Bible'**, he responded to a question from the floor at his Penrith community forum on November 29. 'It is impossible to imagine our society without the influence of Christendom'.... In my role as an English and history teacher, rather than as a person of faith, I am convinced we disadvantage our public school students by not acquainting them with the meta-structures, motifs and moral queries of the Abrahamic scriptures... Indeed, when studying literature, children now in faith-based schools (about 32% of total enrolments, and much higher in senior secondary) enjoy a significant advantage over their state-school peers. Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Dickens, Bronte (both), George Eliot, Hopkins, Hardy, TS Eliot, Steinbeck, Beckett, Yeats, Plath, Golding, Attwood and many, many others, require more than a passing knowledge of the Abrahamic Old and New testaments." (Bible study opens the door to mastering literature, David Hastie*, The Australian, 21/12/10)

[* "DH teaches HSC and International Baccalaureate English at St Paul's Grammar School and is a PhD candidate in education at Macquarie University."]

"The draft national curriculum for history opened an exciting prospect. Here was a chance, I thought, to defend the honour of Christianity amid the cut and thrust of educational theory, pitting myself against the intricate arguments of those who would deny, or at least downplay, the greatness of the influence of Christianity in the unravelling of the great events of the ages. Yet the compilers of the draft curriculum have chosen the simplest strategy of all: deliberate, pointed, tendentious and outrageous silence. In its 20 pages, the draft ancient history curriculum mentions religion twice. There is no reference to Christianity anywhere in the document... For believers... the reality is that the incarnation of Christ was and is the greatest event in human history, and that this greatness is not simply a matter of degree, but it is a kind of an absolute and ultimate truth by which alone the significance of all other events must be judged." (Chistianity has role in learning, David Daintree*, The Australian, 29/12/10)

[*"DD is president of Campion College Australia. This is an edited version of an essay piece appearing in the forthcoming The national curriculum: A critique, published by the Institute of Public Affairs and Mannkal Economic Education Foundation."]

[**For Sam Lipski's suggestion that Exodus, 1-20 be included in the English curriculum, see my 12/4/10 post Sam Lipski's National Curriculum.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am from Melbourne.
I came across your site via a browse on David Hastie.

I would suggest that the righteous christian study and digest these references which could be titled applied christian politics 101

Which is to say that applied anti-semitism is as christian as apple pie, and that the Holocaust was the inevitable outcome of centuries of applied christian anti-semitism, and the catholic prayer (or is that prey) for the conversion of the Jews.