AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 200 #.
20 MARCH 2007
GREENS POLICY THREATENS CATHOLIC SCHOOL FREEDOM?
Once again Roman Catholic school activists are peddling the same rubbish argument dished out to Australians for many decades. The latest proponents of this false argument are the NSW Catholic Education Commission and the Council of Catholic School Parents as they up the ante in their State Aid auction for the NSW 2007 State election.
They claim ( The Catholic Weekly, March 18, 2007, p.3) that the Greens policy denies the right to choose a school for their religious convictions or for any other reason. Furthermore, they claim that the parental right to choose the most appropriate school for each child is guaranteed by international conventions and acknowledged by all Australian Governments.
In 1971, in an ACSSO pamphlet entitled " State Aid for Non-State Schools" the then President, Ron Kitchenn considered this argument in relation to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as follows:
"It has been claimed that Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights which states that 'parents have a prior right to choose the type of education that shall be given to their children' is an argument for the provision of public money for private schools'
In 1961 the New Zealand Commission on Education headed by Sir George Currie examined this claim in some detail and reached the following conclusion:
' It seems to the Commission that the Declaration such as the one made in Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights are designed to ensure that no Government will promulgate any law which will place a legal impediment in the way of a parent's discharging his responsibility for the education of his children as he shall, himself, decide.
No law may be enacted, for example, which denies to anybody, other than the State the right to build or maintain schools or that compels parents to have their children education in no school other than a State School, for to do this would be to violate an inalienable human right. So long as no infringement exists in law it appears to the Commission that the full intention of the Declaration is met.
It is purely a matter for political deliberation and local enactment, whether and to what extent the State intervenes to assist individuals or minorities to exercise their rights in the ways which they themselves determine.
THE COMMISSION THEREFORE, CONCLUDES THAT NO CASE FOR STATE AID CAN LEGITIMATELY BE BASED UPON THIS DECLARATION. ( Report of the Commission on Education in New Zealand, Wellington, 1962, p. 766.)
Public School supporters have seen through the nonsense peddled by a powerful theocracy and their lobbyists for many decades. Any parent is free to choose a religion which itself requires the assumption of an economic burden. But it does not follow that he is free to transfer that burden to the public. With his right to choose goes the correlative responsibility of support for the system he has chosen.
Freedom of religion means "hands off!" not "lend a hand!"
Taxpayers can see through the nonsense argument if they consider various freedoms:
We have freedom of speech in Australia, but it does not mean that this freedom is taken away when the Government does not pay for the rent of halls in which to speak or refuses to provide free time on the ABC etc. etc.
DOGS have freedom of speech to put up this News Release, but we are not asking the Government to pay for it.
Nor does freedom of assembly, freedom to read and freedom of the Press depend upon Government money.
If anything, dependence upon government for funding undermines our basic freedom. Those who have fought for religious freedom have learnt the hard way that with shekels comes shackles. If anything freedom depends upon freedom from government support.
Even Bob Santamaria was starting to wake up to this very basic proposition.
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|Last modified:Tuesday, 20 March 2007|