6 replies
  1. Dave Smyth
    Dave Smyth says:

    Hi Joshua,

    I found this blog really interesting because of my experience of religious instruction in NZ State Primary Schools. I’m an atheist and I find it incredibly frustrating to have to remove my 7 year old daughter from her classroom on a Tuesday morning, simply to avoid people who come from the local church to try and spread their Christian religious faith. It reeks of Christian privilege and is obviously discrimination against non-Christian children and families.

    However, in complaining about RI classes to the school and the Ministry of Education, or talking about it with Christian people, I keep getting a reaction of “what’s the big deal?”. There’s a distinct impression that they would rather not talk about it and feel no need to justify this religious intrusion into a secular state school. The law allows it (although it conflicts with the Human Rights Act), but this does not justify the act morally or ethically.

    Perhaps this issue will appeal to your yearning for fairness?

  2. Sina
    Sina says:

    Can we have absolute control over what comes in and out of our ears? Or what we see with our eyes?

    This is the reality of the world. We all don’t want to see, hear or accept things we can’t control.

    I was bought up in a Christian home but chose to stay open to hearing others, what their views were on being religious or not etc.

    Why? It challenged me to seek further and gain more understanding & conviction as to why I felt or thought the way I did. God revealed truth to me & always helped me find a way…. because I was in a position to receive it.

    I’m glad I didn’t just close myself off to others opinions and views. I’m glad I could have open and honest conversations with them without offending them of their own beliefs.

    For me… it’s truth of God’s word & grace through love. Grace to know that I was only human & stuffed up inside & yet Jesus still loved me through it and pursued me until I decided I genuinely wanted to know Him more.

    So whether or not you want your child in RI or not… you should still give them the opportunity to seek for themselves truth.

    If you believe atheism is the way & have displayed that through the way you live life…. don’t you think your child would pick up on that and follow that?

    Or is the truth of God’s love being taught in RI making you think she may begin to see a different reality to yours?

    Just questions I had asked myself when I was seeking truth for me. Not trying to rip you out or anything. But just something to think about and answer yourself. :)

    Thank you for this blog Josh! I can see where you’re coming from and appreciate the truth in this :) #teamapologetics!

  3. Joshua James King
    Joshua James King says:

    I don’t know much about the laws around schools and freedom of speech. However, in my opinion, it should be up to the schools whether they are fine with a religious group coming in to teach their stuff (rejecting only on the basis of hatred or unpeaceful teachings, teaching against other religions doesn’t count as unpeaceful or hateful), and then giving parents the right to choose whether their kids hear it or not.

    However once at high school, it seems to me like it should be up to the child if they want to go and hear it or not.

    But what would I know about such things… this is just my thoughts on the matter having done very little study on it.

  4. George Seber
    George Seber says:

    I find that that atheism intrudes in a more subtle way Dave through attitudes of teachers. Also a subject can be taught from an atheistic or theistic framework. We owe a lot to science being founded by Christians e.g., Newton, Ray, and a host of others.

  5. France S.
    France S. says:

    There’s absolutely no need to for religious instruction in school.Take some personal responsibility and do it at home. 1) Make a list of reasons why you would object to a the local imam to teach them about submission to god. 2) Now you will comprehensively understand objections to nearly all religious instruction.

  6. Joshua James King
    Joshua James King says:

    I would personally would have had no problem with an Imam teaching submission to God in my primary school when I was there and see it as a great opportunity for the growth of my child to reject the offer of going to Islamic Religious education. I see no problem here. I highly agree France, parents taking responsibility would be a great thing and would eliminate any real complaint against the current allowance for religious education in NZ schools

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