David Hutt, 29 April 2010

As the NSW Government’s trial ethics classes enter their second week, we are starting to receive detailed reports of plummeting SRE (Scripture) enrolments. Two schools in particular stand out.

The latest figures at Baulkham Hills North and Hurstville Public School show Protestant SRE enrolments in those schools have dropped by 57 and 60 per cent respectively. We understand there has been a similar drop in Catholic SRE enrolments.

It is clear now more than ever that these ethics classes represent a serious threat to SRE. As long as ethics is offered at the same time as SRE, it will be a competitor, not a complement.

Bible literacy is essential to understanding and interpreting Australian society. This point was made brilliantly yesterday by the Centre for Public Christianity’s, Greg Clarke. Writing in ‘The Punch’, Mr Clarke said the Bible was “a central text for understanding,” Western culture. You can read the rest of Greg Clarke’s article here.

The Sydney Morning Herald has also reported that the State Government intervened at the last minute to modify the ethics syllabus. Hypothetical scenarios involving designer babies and an imagined terrorist hijacking were removed from the course that is being taught to year 5 and 6 students.

With SRE enrolments falling because of the NSW Government’s trial ethics classes, Christians need to speak up. Please visit our ‘Save our Scripture’ campaign at www.makeastand.org.au today to email your State MP and let them know you support SRE in NSW schools. ACL has also prepared an information pack for pastors and SRE coordinators. You can request a copy of the Action Pack by emailing david.hutt@acl.org.au