Does religion have a place in public schools?

TOOWOOMBA residents are divided over whether religion should be taught in Queensland's state schools.

The debate was sparked by Toowoomba dad Ron Williams' successful challenge of the Federal Government's funding of the school chaplaincy program.

The Chronicle invited its Facebook likers to have a debate on the issue.

It immediately turned to the role that religion had to play in the modern public education system.

Michael Read said it was a bad idea to take religious studies away from schools, calling it an important subject.

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"I think it's a fundamental part of life to learn about religion and where we came from," he said.

Tamara Anderson said there was a place for religious education, but added it was all about choice.

"At the state primary school that my youngest goes too, you have an option of 'studying' religion or to opt for attending an alternative life skills session instead," she said.

"This gives everyone with differing beliefs a choice.

"Isn't this how things should be?

"Why is it that one person has a bad experience and now our right to have a choice has been taken away?"

Do traditional religious education classes have a place in today’s public education system?

This poll ended on 24 July 2014.

Current Results

Yes

47%

No

52%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Renea McCauley, who labels herself a practising Catholic, said children needed to be taught "genuine religious education that is more than just about Christianity".

"Having kids taught about other faiths from a young age can only help promote tolerance and respect," she said.

"Six weeks (at most a term depending on availability of teachers) on each religion, can only help kids navigate in the melting pot which is today's Australia

Many, including, Annemarie Manners, were opposed to religion playing a role in state education.

"If you want religion taught in schools, then send your kids to private schools," she said.

Scott Ragan agreed by calling for "all religions" to be scraped from state schools.

"I would hate to think my child was forced to learn religion instead of something worthwhile," he said.

Courtney Sutton echoed that view by saying: "If you want your children to learn about religion, send them to a Catholic school, simple as that."


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