Well I didn't think I'd ever start one of THOSE threads around religion, but a discussion last night reminded me of a major annoyance from a couple of years ago. Last night, my son, who is in Prep this year asked me "Dad, why am I not allowed to learn about God and Jesus at school?" You see - a form comes home from school, seeking parental approval for things like the giving of medical attention, publication of photos of the children in the media, blah blah blah, and one of the questions is is the child permitted to attend religious education classes at the school. My ex wife and I have both said "No" to this. Whilst my ex-wife is a rabid American "my rights are this" "separation of church and state" and "I don't believe in God" child of drug abusing anti establishment hippies, I was sent to Anglican schools and was taught comparative religion as opposed to religious indoctrination. I have absolutely no problem with my children being taught about the various beliefs of different religions and having an understanding of what Christianity is all about. When my daughter started school a couple of years ago, we had the discussion about what to do, and agreed that a comparative religious education would be beneficial. We went to the school and asked what was being taught, and was assured that it wouldn't be indoctrination into a branch of faith but simply an education into what religion was all about. So imagine my displeasure when she came home spouting a whole load of nonsense that she had been told as fact by the teacher. This is a position of authority and children at that age by and large don't question what the teacher has to say. So to hear her say that it is God that makes the daylight come and the night come, that stars are created when babies are born and a whole host of other utter garbage was quite astonishing. I had to then explain that no, God doesn't make the sun come up and that in fact the earth spins on its axis and the planet revolves around the sun and that it is this that defines night and day, and that stars are in fact distant suns and they do NOT come into being when a child is born on this one planet. This coupled with the fact that they had them singing some over the top happy clapper songs, we withdrew her from the classes. There was no discussion of other religions, there was no explanation of what beliefs are and what different people believe and what we know to be true versus what is pure fantasy. The slant of the "education" was what I'd expect at some of those happy clapper schools, where enrolment is dependent on parental regular attendance at one of the local cult houses, sorry, churches, but not from a public school. So I had to explain to my son that he wasn't going because they taught things that weren't true. I've got no problem with religion in and of itself, nor do I have any issue with my children choosing to believe if they decide to do so. But I do take issue with strong religious indoctrination and recruitment to a particular brand of faith when I send my child to a government school. If I wanted that, I'd send them to a faith based school of my choosing - be it an Anglican school, Catholic school, Methodist school or whatever. What place do you think religion should be taking in the public education system? Should there only be an examination of the place religion has in the world, what the different branches believe, or do we want the schools to be in a position to drum into young minds literal bible writings as truth? And even ludicrous nonsense not even present in the bible? Should religion not even be taught and be something left for parents to pursue in their own time with their own church or simply by teaching their own beliefs? I don't want my children to remain ignorant about religion, but recruitment to a brand of faith makes my blood boil. With one sister heavily involved in the happy clapper crowd, I get enough attempts at recruitment from her, let alone my children being targeted at school.