Sing me songs of no denying. #stopNSCP

Yes, that one.So, it seems that our esteemed activist-musician-in-chief has cleared Access Ministries of any wrongdoing over proselytisation to children in schools.

So that's all right then.

But wait a minute. Let's just recap.

Evonne Paddinson, CEO of Access Ministries, has clearly stated on more than one occasion that her mission, and that of her organisation, is to pass the good news to school children. As @askegg notes here, this message is rife throughout Access materials and public statements, and has been repeated on numerous occasions, by Paddinson herself, by her chaplains and by other Access employees. There are plenty of reports from students making it clear that Access is in the business of evangelism through a programme that ostensibly bans evangelism. Who'd have thunk? Mike Stuchbery is also all over this issue. It's pretty clear what's going on in the programme.

So how come the dancer-for-kingford-smith cleared Access of wrongdoing? Surely there are enough specifics to can, at a minimum, at least the individual chaplains reported as breaking the rules?

Well, here's what The Age says:

But federal Education Minister Peter Garrett said the investigation found there had been no breach of the guidelines and no further action would be taken. He said he had received an explanation for the comments made by Dr Paddison and was satisfied the group was not trying to convert students

 Oh, well that's all right then. Peter Garrett has received and explanation and there's no possible way there's any conflict of interest that might possibly spur Garrett to turn a blind eye to evangelism, right?

 If your perspectives and values are shaped by a Christian faith, as mine are, then that opens up far more possibilities than can be ever dreamed of by Strangelove and his cohorts. There's an evolution of ocean organism to dinosaur to Christ, which represents the single transcendent act that the word has yet encountered. History was made and is still being made, hope was offered, but faith is not blind. It has partner values: of fidelity, of compassion, of creative empathy, outwards empathy, a forgiveness, of inclusiveness, of humility, of acuity, and of love. And these are the values that we're going to need in our brave new world of tomorrow.

 Hmmm. Who said that then? Some chaplain, perhaps? Perhaps an Archbishop or someone?

Ah. No. That was Peter Garrett, speaking in 1999 at The Late Service at St James' Anglican Church, Sydney.

Yes, you heard right. Peter Garrett is on record seemingly endorsing evangelism as a tool in a fight against technocracy, dropping Godwins in clumsily tying biotechnology to third-reich eugenics and pumping the jesus for the Anglicans of Sydney.

So obviously there's no possible chance even slightly that perhaps he might be, oh, I dunno... being a bit lenient with Access Ministries in service of the greater good?

Nah, definitely not. Forget I said anything.


[UPDATE: Mike Stuchbery has the letter from Garrett to Access. A skeptical cynical reading of it would suggest that Garrett actively stepped in to stop a departmental investigation based solely on a letter from Access. Of course, you can read it slightly differently, but that's part of the problem, isn't it? You can, if you try hard enough, read the NSCP as a recruitment programme, or you can read it as an honest attempt to provide support to students. I know which one it looks most like to me.]

posted @ Thursday, July 21, 2011 9:32 PM

Comments have been closed on this topic.
Vaccination Saves Lives: Stop The Australian Vaccination Network
Say NO to the National School Chaplaincy Program