807 Religious education vs syncretism

An opinion piece in the newspaper (SMH) demands a response …

Oh dear, “’They’ would banish ethnic and cultural sub-groups and turn Australia into one giant, homogenous blob; they would remove all the shades of colour from our country and leave us a murky grey …” aren’t we over-reaching somewhat here?

“They” are those who want religion removed from schools, at least all publicly funded schools. Why? Because we are a secular society. If you want religious education for your children, which is what the author Kerri Sackville is advocating, send them to religious Sunday schools.

To be culturally diverse a society doesn’t need religion; importantly, cultural diversity is not dependent on religious indoctrination of children. In the best of worlds children would learn about cultural diversity at school in a curriculum that includes syncretic education and they would then, at a suitable age, decide if they want to adhere to one religious dogma or another.

This system of inherent religious tolerance at school would not diminish a parent’s role of bringing their children up in their ancestral history. But it would allow their children to think for themselves about how good or otherwise their religion is.