I must be slipping in my old age: it took a casual visit to the Catch The Fire website to learn that
JOHN Howard’s controversial school chaplains program will be expanded to include any suitably qualified counsellor under an overhaul by the Rudd Government.Education Minister Julia Gillard’s office has confirmed the $90 million program will be changed into a secular scheme when current contracts expire.(Herald Sun)
Which is just as it should be, and should always have been, given section 116 of the Australian Constitution.
You can imagine Catch The Fire’s reaction . . .
Dear Friends and Family in Christ, We received this email from Bill Muehlenberg of CultureWatch regarding the chaplaincy program in schools across Australia for your prayerful concern! Where is this all going to end?Dear friends, (Start of Bill’s email)Some of us warned that a Labor government would make many changes which would impact on the Christian faith. Consider one such recent change. Under the former Howard government, schools were given funding to have religious chaplains, to help bring some spiritual dimension to the life of the students. New Education Minister Julia Gillard wants to change all that, and allow secular counselors. She wants the scheme to be secular in nature: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,23047448-662,00.htmlThis change was not announced during the election campaign. You can share your concerns to her by this address: Julia.Gillard.MP@aph.gov.au
The secularists have not wrecked divine things; but the secularists have wrecked secular things, if that is any comfort to them. The Titans did not scale heaven; but they laid waste the world. G.K. Chesterton (end of Bill’s email)
To recap: (i) the “faith” of Australia’s Christians will be impacted if the Federal Government secularises counselling programmes that operate in secular schools in a secular liberal democracy, and (ii) expanding the school counselling programme to allow secular counsellors, as per section 116 (there shall be no religious test for public office . . .), and as per the crazy evil atheist notion that school counsellors should be employed on their merits as counsellors and not on their adherence to a religious belief system, is tantamount to enforcing secularism. (And (iii): either the readership of Catch the Fire is so daft that it needs to be told in boldface where Bill’s email begins and ends, or the writer of that post is so daft that he or she doesn’t know how to blockquote.)
Julia Gillard enforcing secularism
To change topics slightly, reading through the comments to that post gives one the impression that Pastor Danny has well-and-truly lost his mojo, since the events of November 2007 gave the lie to his God-given prophecy of a Howard victory. Here are a few samples:
Dear Catch the Fire,
I am greatly concerned that your ministry has assumed that God has joined the Liberal party. God almightly is above these human divisions. (“Warren“)
You actively try to make the Church and Christianity an enemy of the Labour Party (many of whom seek genuinely to do what’s right), and then you act indignant when they do not support our Christian agendas?!? It is you who started this.
It is my opinion that this campaign has had very little to do with God and the truth and a great deal to do with personal political agendas. You’re integrity appears to be seriously lacking.
God Bless…… and get a clue, (“David“)
I used to enjoy getting your emails etc however I will be unsubscribing due to the constant condemnation of those who voted against the Howard government. Since when did God give you the right to tell me who to vote for. (“Victor“)
I am sorry to hear your Christain faith is impacted by the Rudd government. Strangely I still have my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kindom of which I am a resident. [. . .] Is your god so small you can’t trust him in this country? (lower case chosen deliberately). (“Ian“)