What Ethics?17 July 2011
Until a couple of years ago, it was illegal in any school in New South Wales to provide lessons for children not attending Religious Education. Those children just read or watched films. Then the NSW Government said that Ethics classes could be introduced for the excluded children.
The churches were up in arms. At first, because they were concerned that parents would take their children out of the religious classes now that an alternative was on offer. They were apparently right in their prediction. Then the church leaders complained that it was discriminating against the children who attended religious classes because they were excluded from Ethics classes (strange argument I thought – don’t religious classes include Ethics?). The new Premier of NSW promised to abolish the Ethics classes but reneged when he became Premier.
However, he counts on the support of the Shooters’ and Fishers’ Party (yes, there really is such a thing) and he has now agreed that restrictions on children owning firearms will be lifted and more schools will be supported to give firearms lessons to the pupils.
I hope all the children learning to shoot are either taking special note of the “Do Not Kill” part of their religious education or are paying particular attention in their Ethics classes.