School Chaplains: why can’t you lot just stick to the pulpit #auspol

It appears the Abbott government still wants to exclude secular workers from the School Chaplaincy program, despite widespread opposition and two High Court challenges.

Religious people have numerous avenues available if they wish to seek spiritual guidance for themselves or their children; this constant push by some of them to have exclusive access to other peoples’ children while in school is distasteful and extremely presumptuous (and possibly even un-Constitutional – while¬†Section 116 has historically not been applied to state funding of religious schools, implementing exclusively religious programs such as this in state schools might be a different basket of loaves and fishes. While the Abbott regime might be able to use the general term “religious” to escape being accused of favouring of one faith over another, the very term “chaplain” has an exclusively Christian origin and I doubt very strongly that we’ll see a great many imams, rabbis or whatever those used-god salesmen-for-Xenu call themselves counselling state school students). ¬†

Apart from the blatant discrimination involved in barring secular counselors from consideration, kids with serious problems (or even mild ones) don’t need Divinity lessons, they need trained professionals. Religious exceptionalism of this sort is highly likely to expose vulnerable children to inappropriate proselytising and unhelpful advice – when compared to the likelihood of a properly trained secular counselor attempting to proselytise their philosophy, it’s practically a stone-carved certainty.

If a counselor is appropriately qualified and experienced they should be hired; their religious status, just like their age, marital status and orientation, should be irrelevant to their practice. It’s not legal for the Commonwealth to refuse employment in any other area of operation on religious grounds; how such a proscription wouldn’t apply to state school counselors escapes me. This appears to be yet another example of a government operating by ideology and working off a checklist, with pragmatism, fairness and perhaps even legality being secondary concerns.

Evangelising students in school is not only preying on an audience that’s legally compelled to be there, it’s also based on the offensive and arrogant presumption that the evangelists have the right (God-given, of course) to undermine whatever religious traditions those kids’ families may already observe in their own homes or places of worship or whatever non-religious philosophies they may subscribe to.

Not only that, but those churches that evangelise more often than not subscribe to fringe conservative and flat-out fundamentalist interpretations of Scripture which have absolutely no place in our public schools, where there frequently is a plurality of ethnicity and culture.

I’m sure we can all imagine the outcry from decent Christian folk if Islamists or JW’s or Mormons were given privileged access to state school students (even if ostensibly to use their powers for good and explicitly not for the purposes of conversion attempts); it’s much better for all concerned (chiefly the kids who’ll need professional advice and support) if preachers (or preachers-by-other-names) stay in the pulpit.


R I P George Carlin

Everyone’s favourite heathen comedian, George Carlin, has passed away, aged 71. In place of me crapping on I’ll just link you to this obituary, containing a great Youtube collection of George’s rants. It’s both a beginner’s guide to George and a bit of a greatest hits compilation as well. Enjoy!

If George was wrong and he’s facing either a white-robed (presumably enraged) grampa or a cackling, cloven-hoofed miscreant, you can bet your godless arse he’d be giving them a righteous earful and not taking any shit. Hell, he probably would’ve talked himself into Hendrix’s penthouse by now.

Goodnight George.

So, the Rapture’s coming…

…eventually. And because you’re so freakin Holy, you’ll be up in Heaven and most of your family & friends will Left Behind on Earth.

Accordingly, this enterprising bunch of Christians (found via the inimitable blog of PZ Myers)is offering a post-Rapture message service to send “See? Told you so! I was right! Now convert and get your arse up here before you’re dragged into that fiery pit to be raped by robot gorillas for eternity” messages and important documents to your heathen loved ones. How, you ask?

We have set up a system to send documents by the email, to
the addresses you provide, 6 days after the “Rapture” of the Church. This occurs when 3 of our 5 team members scattered around the U.S fail to log in over a 3 day period. Another 3 days are given to fail safe any false triggering of the system.

Sounds very Mish Imposs doesn’t it? And it’s using the email! Utter genius. Spiritual piece of mind for just $40 for the first year. Doesn’t sound like much money, until you consider the sheer number of complete idiots in the US that actually believe the Rapture will happen, lifting dedicated Evangelist Christians physically out of their Walmart clothes, giant SUVs, pipe-bomb factories, home-school garages, bible colleges and gay brothels to join the Creator. These are the people that voted for George. Twice! These are the people who don’t actually want peace in the Middle East – prophecy states that when the Jews return to Zion (i.e. when they punk every last Palestinian into the sea) the End Times can kick off, Armageddon will ensue and “every knee will bow” to the giant mecha Jeebus and his legion of light-saber wielding battle angels. Or something. Neon Genesis Evangelion actually seems more plausible.

Evangelical Christians creep me out most of the time (ever seen a Benny Hinn bible circus?) but this latest scam is really reaching the heights of icky-tasting creep, the kind that doesn’t wash away even after several pints of Listerine…