Storm in a teacup or point of no return?
As an advocate for chaplaincy and stakeholder with my state provider (which, by the way, was formative in crafting the guidelines that made the whole thing workable before and after the complication of government funding), I find sense in the view expressed here: No government funds, please: we’re Christians! – ABC Religion & Ethics – Blog.
I expressed similar views at the time. I work with what we have now. Hang on to your hats, we’re in for an interesting ride!
One thought on “No government funds, please: we’re Christians! – ABC Religion & Ethics – Blog”
I like the description of the Secularist and Exceptionalist extremes, but I would argue in favour of government funding from a position that perhaps sits between the two extremes.
It is precisely on the opposite basis than exceptionalism that I would argue in favour of government funding. As a community-based organisation that is providing a valued service, the denial of funding on the basis that the organisation has a religious background is the grossest form of discrimination.
I accept that government funding for purposes that involve the promulgation of a particular religion is problematic. In the case of the NSCP the Code of Conduct sought to make it very clear to all Providers in the public sector that this funding was not to be used for that purpose.
The recent funding of ACCESS Ministries by the State Government for their CRE Program and the absence of similar funding for the non-Christian SRE providers steps over that line.
In the particular case of the NSCP I share concern about the political sub-text of the proposal to fund school chaplaincy, both as an inducement to Christian voters and as an entry point in the ongoing challenge of the Commonwealth to take over State Educational responsibilities.
If government funding ceased to all faith-based community organisation on the basis that they were religious, enormous gaps would be created in our welfare and community sector that could not be met by others. Neither could churches, out of their own resources, meet the demand from the community if they chose to deliver what services they could fund themselves.