#1148 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 8 November 2015
On Monday night, U.S. academic Dr Paul Ehrlich fronted the ABC’s Q&A program, shocking and outraging viewers by claiming that school-based religious instruction was a form of child abuse.
Dr Ehrlich, whose chief research interests lie in biology and global population trends, went on to describe the “gods” revered by people of faith as “non-existent supernatural monsters,” and then urged his audience to respect religious differences.
Dr Ehrlich’s comment grossly understates the horror of actual child abuse, and dismisses the diligence and dedication of hundreds of volunteer Special Religious Education teachers in NSW schools.
As my colleague Murray Campbell observed, in school “Scripture classes”:
Students are free to explore and ask questions. No one is compelled or forced to believe the ideas that are communicated, although students are encouraged to use their minds and hearts as they consider the big questions of life … Everything that child abuse is, is opposed by these programs.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.