Man takes God to court… does he really have a case?

In 2006 the Federal Australian government under the leadership of Prime Minister John Howard, funded a national school chaplaincy program. This funding base was made available for schools to access a yearly maximum grant of $20,000 for the provision of a school chaplain, for a trial period of four years.

The following year we saw a change of government; labour swept it in and Kevin Rudd became the Prime Minister of Australia. The incumbent government looked at scrapping the schools chaplaincy program; then after much consultation, it decided in 2010 it was a worthy program and continued its funding for another four years.

Recently a Queensland man has been successful in applying to the High Court to take the government to court in regards to there being no constitutional right for the government to fund this program. He say’s he has no problems with chaplains being in the school; he has a problem with the government paying for them to being there.  It’s the subject of this sentence that seems to be missing from much of the public debate that surrounds this case. Many are saying that Chaplains have no right to be involved with public education… while others are saying they have every right.

The crux of the issue is that the challenger to the court is says he thinks that Chaplains have a right to be involved at the school. The issue is who pays for them to be there; that he has problems with.

This then raises a bigger question as to whom the government should provide grants to? The government provides many community grants and funding for secular and community groups to access. And the School Chaplaincy program is but one of many groups that do this. Interestingly the government in its consultation about extending and continuing this program, found that 95% of schools that participated in this, were enthusiastic about its continuation, having found that the school community benefited greatly from this program.

What are your thoughts?

About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
This entry was posted in man take god to court, politics, school chaplains and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Man takes God to court… does he really have a case?

  1. Newspaniard says:

    Children swhould be protected fr4om all forms of religious indoctrination. Qualified councillors should be the only people authorized to provide advice to children not strange people who believe in supernatural people who live in the clouds.

    • Craig Benno says:

      Newspaniard; what you have said is perhaps a great comment for another topic which I will follow up with. The question was about to whom should the government give grants to and why? On a side note; school councillors don’t even council school kids any more…

  2. WHAT? The government is giving $300 million to public schools for priests to visit schools? Don’t we have enough churches…what because the churches are empty, we now pay from public purse for school visit from local rep (tile) snake of life failure from big secret institution still rife with paedophilia? Ron, make the challenge based on child protection & duty of care legal issues, schools have to keep children away from these types of secretive pedophile protectors, not subsidise their child grooming practices. Please u sanctimonious parents, don’t white wash ur programmatic religious guilt by bringing ur childrens number one victimisers into
    the protective precinct of secular education…bring them to church, if u are so churchy, u so called responsible parents. The hypocrits still calling all the shots as per usual…our generations ignorance being [ac]’costed forward’ to the victims of the next generation, just around the shadowy religious corner.

    • Craig Benno says:

      Bravid; no. The government is not providing money for priests to visit the school.

      The chaplain is someone who works part time or in some cases full time at the school as part of the overall care for the students. In NSW the school counsellors do not do any counselling of the students. The chaplain therefore is not there to be a counsellor; rather to be a point of contact for someone who needs a listening ear… this is no different to the way chaplains work within industry, hospitals, police and other emergency services.

      Interestingly it seems the work of chaplains are highly regarded and valued by communities in times of national disaster; such has been seen recently with the wide spread flooding and the destructive bush fires a number of years ago…

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