Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC). The HRC uses the UPR process to examine the human rights performance of all 193 UN members, including New Zealand. Tanya Jacob of the Secular Education Network has prepared the following submission. I personally find it extremely disappointing that we have to appeal to the United Nations for assistance with religious discrimination within our own secular education system when SEN have been waiting (without even an initial consultation) nearly 2 years for a Human Rights Tribunal hearing within our own country.
What happens when you try and have a discussion with a bible in schools teacher about why religious instruction isn’t a good idea? It’s not unlike beating your head against a wall!
Ever wondered that Bible in Schools classes teach? The Secular Education Network has been able to gain access to a teacher manual for year three. This article is taken from a brochure handed out to parents by the Secular Education Network at Glendowie Primary School in Auckland. It covers some of what is taught.
There is a degree of “religion by stealth” in our education system. Christians embed their preferred god in Maori cultural observances and when challenged, say that “Maori are Christians”. But Maori are hardly any more Christian than the rest of us. So why are Christian prayers acceptable when part of a karakia or a kapa haka lesson? Ngaire McCarthy gives her views.
A complaint I made to the Advertising Standards Authority has been rejected without review on appeal. The ASA ignored their own processes for assessing an appeal application, misrepresented my complaint and ignored the evidence. Is it religious bias or just wilful ignorance in response to a tricky and controversial issue involving religion?
Pastafarians from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster are approaching primary schools offering to teach values to children. Evangelical Christians have been doing this for years… is it their turn?
The Pastor that proudly claimed to have infiltrated a local school has finally been ousted from the school’s Board of Trustees. He failed to be re-elected, as did another church member who stood.
Attempts to remove religious instruction from secular primary schools often result in claims of discrimination against Christians. In this case, an email to SEN goes further and claims that secularism is a religion in itself and is also discriminatory.
There are many claims made about Bible in Schools. Every time there’s a media report, I see the same tired old claims about choice, values and how it’s not hurting anyone. But is ANY of this true? Actually not so much.
Should we put religious instruction to the vote? Is it fair and reasonable to ask parents to vote on whether or not to close a secular school and promote some people’s religious faith? I don’t think so!