Faith Less

16

The other day I saw a sign advertising something called “Catholic Education Week”. While thinking, snarkily, they had mis-spelled the third word, I saw the slogan – “Faith in every child”. I paused, briefly, as I am sure you have, to admire the cleverness, nay genius, in that play-on words. Then I got a bit cross, and I thought I’d share my crossness with you.

Not, I hasten to add, crossness merely with the Catholic “educators”. For all I know there is also a “Jewish Education Week”, a “Muslim Education Week”, a “Evangelical Education Week”, and a “Scientology Education Week”, all of whom could use exactly the same slogan.

Instilling “faith” in children is indeed what religion is about, but is precisely the opposite of what education is (or should be) about. Here are some alternative education slogans for you:
“Curiosity in every child”
“Inquiry in every child”
“Confidence in every child”
“Ambition in every child”
“Caring in every child”
“Achievement in every child”
“Balance in every child”
“Happiness in every child”

I invite you to add some more.

Tell you what, keep “faith” away from a child until it is seven, and I’ll give you an educated and rational adult.

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16 comments on “Faith Less

  1. Team Oyeniyi says:

    Three cheers, David. I’ve been part of the fight to stop this stupid CRE in Victorian schools. I do not want my kids brainwashed. What really annoyed me was opting out meant class time lost totally. I wrote this last year – different blog in hiatus while I finish the book: http://oyeniyicommentary.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/religion-in-schools-no/

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  2. andy o'brien says:

    Good to see you haven’t lost your Mojo cobber. Agree with every word.
    More power to your typing finger
    Andy.

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  3. f1retree says:

    Hi Team O! And thank you David for raising one of my pet peeves.
    There’s been a big ethics debate in the NSW parliament as many may know, its that old reprobate Fred Nile and his right wing mate David Clarke. They’re trying to ban ethics classes in NSW schools. http://parents4ethics.org/2012/02/27/a-room-with-a-disturbing-view/
    A lamentable attack on the principle of keeping church and state separate.

    Here’s another one for your list David:
    “Compassion in every child”

    Barrie

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    • Team Oyeniyi says:

      Nice to meet you Barrie. Yes, I had heard abotu that battle from a NSW teacher a few months ago. Very sad.

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      • f1retree says:

        Why can’t these people be civilised, or is it just vote fishing.
        Democracy? What democracy?

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        • Team Oyeniyi says:

          I’m stunned about the Victorian situation as we have a LIBERAL givernment and the damn foundation principle is individual freedoms!! Where is myu individual freedom is you try to convert my kids (and there is no doubt that the providers of the classes were intent on conversion, parents too if they could get them).

          Also, it hinged around a court decision that made “may” mean “must”. Excuse me, but WTF???

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  4. Colin Samundsett says:

    It seems essential to me that children should be made aware that they are a component of the natural world, not masters of it. That is socially comforting and civilising for those with time, inclination, and opportunity to view its undisturbed natural beauty. Admittedly not too comforting for some unfortunate while being processed for dinner by a crocodile.
    “Faith – ‘tis better out than in” as Shakespeare was said to comment on one occasion.
    Colin

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  5. Mt first thought was they could propose what they liked, within the law, with their own money., But they don’t just use their own money, they use ours as well. So “objective rationality in every child” would be a great result.

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  6. f1retree says:

    What I’ve noticed about religious and other groups that have an agenda is that they just keep beavering away, they never give up, its a mission, they don’t listen. Well, what can you do re that court decision, appeal to the Vic Govt attorney general perhaps? The Law Society, Law Reform org?
    I’ve learned to be stubborn and get my facts and case together thanks to a free legal centre up here in Katoomba, the women lawyers there were terrific.
    Keep fighting Team O!

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  7. Eric Snyder says:

    Very clever David! “Genius” works for me! But, honestly, don’t you think the Catholics (I’m not one and never have been one) have made some pretty serious contributions to education? What about Boston College, Fordham, Gonzaga, Georgetown, Loyola; not to mention the literally thousands of el-hi parochial schools?

    In my opinion, you really need to instill “faith” in a child, it’s already there. It simply needs to be oriented toward truth rather than fairy tales, myths, legends or fables (or at least make clear the difference between the two). Neither do you need to instill curiosity, inquiry, confidence or happiness in children. Most kids I have occasion to be around are rich in those attributes.

    How about “wisdom” in every child/adult?

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    • Team Oyeniyi says:

      The contributions are only “serious” if they actually teach, rather than indoctrinate. :) Refusing to teach evolution, for example, is hardly a well-rounded education.

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  8. Eric Snyder says:

    Sorry, meant to say you “don’t” need to instill faith in a child. It appears I needed a better education on typing!!

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    • Team Oyeniyi says:

      thought – my typing is off today

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      • f1retree says:

        Good article Team O, thank you.
        Seeing Howard’s face always makes my skin crawl (pic in article on Guardian site).
        That fact that his government was responsible for the National School Chaplaincy Programme (The Pied Piper of Kirribili House) is an outrage, Australian taxpayers paying for the indoctrination of their children.

        The presumption of absolute truth by God botherers is naivity extant, keep these people away from our children.

        Like

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