Sunday Soapbox – Shooters join with Fred Nile on Ethics Classes

The NSW Shooting and Fishing party has said they will support Fred Nile’s push to have ethics classes in NSW either cancelled or moved to another time slot so that they do not compete with Scripture classes. I’m not sure what this is about, but it would seem that the S&F have something in mind that they want Fred’s support on. Fred and the S&F are essential to Barry O’Farrell’s IR changes as he doesn’t have the numbers without them as the remnants of the NSW Labor party are against the changes.

Barry O’Farrell made an election pledge that ethics classes wouldn’t be scrapped and there has been a suggestion that they be run at a different time to scripture, but if they aren’t on at the same time as scripture what will they be on with? Will students be expected to do them at lunchtime or instead of another class? I really hope that Barry stands his ground. I do have a vested interest in his IR changes not going through, but I’m more concerned about ethics classes.

One thing that I do know – if ethics classes are moved or scrapped, even though my son’s school doesn’t currently offer one and he goes to scripture with everyone else because it is easy, he will not be going to scripture anymore. It’s a small protest but it is something that I can do. Over to you Barry.

Categories: education, Life, parenting, parties and factions, religion, social justice, work and family

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10 replies

  1. Hang on – wasn’t the point of ethics classes so that non-scripture kids had something to do while scripture was on?

  2. Magpie, there seem to be several camps of objections to the classes:
    (1) that no alternative to SRE should be offered, thus soft-coercing parents into choosing SRE for their children (especially for younger children less likely to enjoy self-entertaining under loose supervision, and isolation from their peers)
    (2) that there’s no such thing as ethics without a specific religious foundation, so the classes are intellectually bankrupt
    (3) that SRE and ethics classes are both incredibly valuable and religious parents/students should not be made to choose
    Now there are definitely people genuinely in class (3), and I’m sympathetic to this as a genuinely held position, but there has definitely been people whose argumentation has moved from (1) to (2) and when that didn’t work, to (3) and I suspect Fred Nile of being one of them.

  3. I’m not sympathetic to (3) as a genuinely held position, not as an excuse for people who hold it to campaign for other children to have no choice but SRE or isolated colouring-in (or worse, like sitting in the hallway outside the principal’s office, or in the back of the SRE classroom with back turned). If they want the school ethics classes, they can get religious ed for their child elsewhere and elsewhen: it’s not like there’s any shortage of people keen to teach major-religion dogma to children for free.

  4. Yeah, I don’t think we disagree lauredhel, just that I feel able to have a conversation with genuine (3)s whereas people who are holding it as a proxy for (1) or (2) not so much.

  5. Ethics classes are a potential sleeper issue in any future election. O’Farrell would be a fool to agree to kill them, and I haven’t seen any evidence that he is a fool.
    This is some muscle flexing from the shooters. They’ll be reminded of their station pretty quickly I suspect.

  6. Presumably the shooters and fishers prefer the Christian right because they agree with the biblical story about “Man” having dominion over the animals and fish and creeping things etc.

  7. I’m not sure whether it is that Helen, or whether they need the support of both the Liberal party and Fred to get any of their own proposals through. I need Liam (or another political go-to person) to explain how we ended up with a balance of power situation even with a landslide against the old Labor government.

    • O’Farrell needs both Nile and the Shooters to get his own legislation through the Upper House in NSW, so there’s obviously some quid pro quo been negotiated.

  8. Mindy, one aspect is that only half of the NSW Legislative Council faces re-election each election, they’re on staggered eight year terms. So the LC isn’t fully up to date with our preference for our new Coalition overlords. (There seemed to be something of an assumption before the election though that the numbers would come out such that the Coalition would have to get the support of at least one of the ALP or the Greens to pass legislation, whereas it comes out that if they can get CDP and the Shooters they can pass things.)
    In many electorates, the Coalition also actively directed above-the-line second preferences to the CDP, I don’t know how that worked out for the CDP.

  9. This is relevant too, churches no longer oppose ethics:
    This is all show and it’s going nowhere. Nobody panic.

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