AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 184#.
5 JANUARY 2007
"SCOTTISH ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS ROOT CAUSE OF SECTARIAN BIGOTRY"
Sam Galbraith, former Scottish Education Minister,
Sunday Times, December 24, 2006
According to the Sunday Times, December 24, 2006, Sam Galbraith, the former education minister has ignited a row over denominational education by claiming that Catholic schools are the "root cause" of sectarian bigotry in Scotland and should be scrapped!
He was reported as saying that he believed that having separate schools for Catholics and Protestants fostered intolerance.
"Religious schools entrench a divide in society in young minds which carries on in later life and leads to divisions and sectarianism. It is the root cause...but we're only just really playing with the problem ( sectarianism) until we desegregate schools....sectarianism is a terrible blight on our society, but we're kidding ourselves if we think we're going to solve it without solving the school problem.
I want all kids to be brought up in non-denominational education and for religion to be a private matter to be dealt with at home, not in our schools".
Sam Galbraith was not alone. He was supported by Lord Moonie, a former Defence Minister and Kirkcaldy MP, who said;
"Religion has no role in the education of children other than under the auspices of the church. I don't think it should be taught as anything other than an abstract subject."
Alan McDonald, moderator of the Church of Scotland's General assembly was reported as supporting the view that religious schools may reinforce prejudice and stereotyping:
"The system of separate schools was started in a very different context in a different time. It is a different time now. It is a different Scotland."
Not surprisingly, Cardinal Keith O'Brien's appealed to the usual "anti-Catholic" chesnut. A spokesman for the Cardinal also claimed that raising the issue was 'fanning the flames of religious hatred". Peter Kearney, director of the Scottish Catholic media office, said those advocating closure of religious schools were "staggeringly intolerant."
DOGS note that the Scots are prepared to confront the issues of sectarianism and religious school and call for the closure of religious schools This goes further than the DOGS position which advocates merely the de-funding of sectarian church schools.
When are we going to hear from a former Minister for Education in Australia prepared to bite the sectarian bullet like Sam Galbraith. When will an Australian Minister or ex- Minister for Education have the intestinal fortitude to call for the closure of religious schools?
What about it Lynne Kosky; Mary Delahunty, Joan Kirner; Kim Beazley Sen.; David Kemp; Susan Ryan; and that latter day convert to civil liberties, Malcolm Fraser? etc. etc. And what about the current Executive officer of ACSSO, Terry Aulich ( former Tasmanian Minsiter for Education) ?
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|Last modified:Tuesday, 16 January 2007|