Articles

Children are Entitled to a Secular Education

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) identifies the right of every child to an education, and that right to an education be directed toward “the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

What does ‘freedom of religion’ really mean?

“Dishonesty should not be rewarded, yet a religious minority is flooding the Ruddock Review claiming their ‘freedom’ is denied,” says NSL ambassador and science communicator, Professor Paul Willis. Prof. Willis said it was “disingenuous at best” for church organisations to saturate this Religious Freedom Review with submissions based on fear, distortions, and claims not backed by evidence.

Framing New Zealand’s funding of religious schools

In 1975 the New Zealand government, flying in the face of constitutional separation of church and state, legislated to integrate religious schools into the government school system. Substantial funding of these schools soon followed. Max Wallace analyses this history finding the likely reason for the funding was more to do with politics than 'justice' for students in religious schools.

Separation of Church and State Necessary to Counter Religious Extremisim

The United Nations' Special Rapporteur Karima Bennoune has recommended that states provide for the separation of religion and state to help counter religious extremism. Her report on  protecting cultural rights, for the UN Human Rights Council, warned of "rising tides of fundamentalism and extremism" that "represent major threats to human rights worldwide".

Church & State in Former Bristish Colonies of NZ, Australia, Canada & Fiji

Although no longer colonies of the British Government, these countries are still part of the British government, with the British monarch (supreme governor of the Church of England) as head of state, and with constitutional arrangements defined by their colonial status. Thus, the very idea of separation is defined out of existence.

Rich enough? Do church schools really need government money?

Religious organisations are classified as 'charities' in Australia, whether they engage in charitable works or not. This means they are automatically tax-exempt, in both their religious and commercial activities. Is it possible that the revenue of the tax-exempt churches that stand behind religiously based schools, together with the revenue of these tax-exempt schools, is more than enough to fund them?