Friday, 5 August 2011

Wait... What?
The New South Wales Upper House has begun debating the future of school ethics classes, with Christian Democrats MP Fred Nile comparing them to Nazi philosophy.

Reverend Nile introduced a private member's bill in May to repeal the legislation that allows ethics classes to be offered as an alternative to scripture lessons.

The State Government used its numbers to bring the bill forward for a second reading this morning, but Premier Barry O'Farrell insists it will not be supported by Coalition MPs.

Reverend Nile told the chamber the classes do not teach ethical behaviour.

"[It is] a course which I believe does not teach children right from wrong but promotes the secular, humanist relativist philosophy," he said.

"I believe this is the philosophy that we saw during World War Two with the Nazis and the communists."

"Outrageous," interjected one MP in response.

Reverend Nile says the Premier privately supports his bid, but Mr O'Farrell flatly denied the claim when questioned by the ABC today.

Further debate on the bill has now been adjourned until September.

I'm lost for words here. I was at least expecting something to do with the content being from Nietzsche or Heidegger, but that it's the philosophy of Nazis? There's lots of arguments that could be made against this, from him misrepresenting the content of the ethics classes, to not understanding what secular humanism is, or having a completely distorted view of history, but I think the best approach is just to quote Hitler.
Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith ...we need believing people. - Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933

It's interesting that Nile has to demonise teaching secular knowledge in order to advance his position, not to evaluate it on its own merits, but to lie about it and tarnish it with the atrocities of history. All this over giving students an alternative to sitting around doing nothing while other students are at scripture.

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