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  1. Professor Desmond Cahill may be right in asserting that humanist studies represent a legitimate world view, but that does not qualify it for consideration by students in a Religious Education time slot.

    The interesting thing is that the humanist worldview already gets considerable air-time in our schools already through the natural sciences and elsewhere. We live in a largely secular humanist world and this world-view pervades society in many ways, so much so that it becomes invisible. The specific provision for Special Relgious Education in public schools in most states of Australia is a recognition that religious education is providing an alternative worldview to that which underpins the public education system.

    While I admit to being impressed by the Victorian Humanist Society’s production of a syllabus for use in schools, it will be interesting to see if they can mobilise a significant team voluntary teachers to take the syllabus into schools.

    Another issue of interest for me is that two thirds of the Australian population self-identified as Christian in the last Census, and that a mere 5.4% self-identified as adhering to a non-Christian – some of whom declare themselves to be Jeddi Knights. Many of the remaining 30% who did not indicate their religion or said they had no religion may well have done so for privacy reasons, while adhering to a particular faith. Those emphatically non-religious represent a very small percentage of the population, yet their worldview seeks to anihilate the existence of signs of the presence of faith and religion anywhere in society. This is just as “fundamentalist” and harmful to society as any fundamentalist followers of Christianity or Islam in their worst forms.

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