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FACTS V. FEARS.

i,THE BIBLE AND THE SCHOOLS.

POINTS AT ISSUE

(Publiehe 1 by Arrangement,) Th?ro are two great /aote which require to be faced in eormidering the Bible in Schoo c quesiion : the first is, that the only proposal now before Parliatnent ia to allow «iw peuy to dfci.io the matter for themselves in the simplest manner possible. ~ The otber fact is, that despite their professed belief tbat the people cb not wan we Bible in our State schools, the opponents of the movement are afraid to let it go to a \>ui> lar vote,

MAKE THE NATIONAL SYSTEM SECUIiE. The first objection and the first fear concerning the proposed system that is °omra°nly expressed is that it will upset our splen<)id muiona! system of education, bat tne odji -c« oi the Bible in Schools League is to make the national system seccre in the oniy way_■ which that can be done by establishing a system that commends itse to he or the people more thau the secu.ar system has done. The evidence from the States * here the system advocated by the Bible in Schools League is in existence cannot Uβ sec asiue. In New South Wales eince 1866 there has been no agitation for a change in tne BYBtem oi education. In tbe three States of Australia where the system has been >n vogue tjmany th re has been no att*ol: upon it by the Labour Party, tven wain that, party n*. )md a aifcj.jrhy io Parliament, Th'«t fact in in its-IE- sufficient to show to, then, is na danger to the national aystem oi education. Mr J. S. McGowen, co lot g leadei and n<mier of the Labour Party of New Bouth Wales, has Slid : ; "I am n firm believer in our pre tnt public fchool pysterr. SECTAKIANISivf. ,-. Another objection ie, Ibat the introduction of this system would create sectarian, feeling. Similar statements were tt-fide when it was proposed to introduce the sy o tem into Queensland and Western Australia. , .. ~,„„ Mr Pennant, Piemier of Queensland, was so influenced by Uuse statements tnaj be personally voted ngainet the Bible in Schools system. As the result of experience, if Hie op. Dortnnhy were given to him again he would reverse his vote. IVa-hei-a had the fame ob i-lion belore-ma system was introduced, but contact with it removed thur objection. h " a" !n example, Mr J. Porter, head teacher, Central School for Boys, Warwick, Queens land, writing on February )v, 19H, s<iys : ,;m,-k o "Ai I, at the beginning whs ft mild antagonist of tha movement, you wui o<? pkarEfl to find that my (ears nave not been verified. I look forward to the day of spiritual instruction by tbe ministers of the various denominations with interest, end lam *ure the children enjoy these lessons. There is absolutely no friction, bu. we teachers gladly und cordially welcome the mm steri, and I for ona fully appreciate their work," ' . . r-BOSULYTISM 1 His also objected that the proposed tyrtc-n) leads to proselylism. Those who have raised this? objection have not produced any evidence to sustain it. There are no tasa* on "record. None of the smaller sect* or churches have made any objection in th a direc lion The Methodist Church, Congregational ministers, Baptist ministers, n- d J-ws _ aie uuited in their recommendation of the system. This would not Uβ the case if it bad Oeen tiue that other churches bad been able to take advantage of the system for prosettysing purposes. The Key. A..G. Smith, ex-Preeidont oi the Queensland Methodist Conference, WnleS -It has meant the drawing together of ministers of the various Chorcbe3. The foot that they can stand on one platform, each having the utmost confidence in tne other has attracted not a little attention, and had it not been for tne intimacies engendered by the Bible in State Schools wotk, I doubt if thi3 would have been DOSjiblr," TBE TEACHERS. OK THE PEOPLE. . I*, is objected that no State school teacher should give Bible lessons. W!iy not? The fcbools are the people's Fcboos. Tbe teachers are the leachets of the people's child ren Tlie liible is not the property nf any sect and H ihe State wishes to make iv i e xt book of selections suitab'e to the child's mind, and requests the tei.cher to supervise the readiop of the lemons for the children, why should the teacher object when it has been found to present no difficulty where the system has been in operation ? Thera are many ltoman Catholib teachers. It ha< been stated that the consciences of Koman Catholic teachers arid agnostic teachers wo ld'be straiuid and hurt by this task. No evidence in this direction has been presented from f lie State where the syttem is at work. It bas been stated in explanation of this by prominent members of the Schtols Defence League thai the teachers in those States have been afraid to voice their objections. But in these States there are many teachers who have retired from tho service. Theie are some who have entered Parliament; and the teachers are so independent that a leachers' Association is affiliated with the Trades and Labour Council. TBE TA'BEP. S CONSCIENCE, The aulemeni is also made ihni the chu.cb.C3 me shovelling their work on to the t-acher- but the woik of the teachers and the work of the chu.chss w!ll be altogether eoart from one another. The Church will uhdc.fc.ke to ya.v|(or their own work ; ''will be additioi a' work, and work thi i will not be.done in the limelight. The teacher will do tna same woik that he does with other literature »nd with history, for which latter suoject He has no conscience clause, although one is provided for the children. No difßouliyhas arisen, yet history provides as many opportunities for sectarianism &a it 13 alleged Uible iS3 Another U obiec"tlon on the same lines is that the teacher will require theological training for tbe work of j-iT.ng these lessons. As the*teacher dimply, supervises, and will pot be permitted to giev dogmatic tecc'ling, but only to make the literary meaning clear, and to see that the child remembers the lesson, no bucu training is necessary. TRUST THE PEOPLE ..; The Bible in StateFcbools Leegi-e is prepared to trust tha teachers, to trust the Bible and tru3t the poople . . , To trust the teachers because they believe that the teachers of the Dominion com pare favourable with the teachers in the A ustrrtlian Stat- a, where this system has been introduced, and tne te.vcbers have fonnd no. dillictilty. „ ~ L■ , 1 To trust tho Bible, bpcause thy recognise that it is the most effective baeis for moral teaching.and that the literary and moral education of the ordinary English-speaking child is not complete without a knowledge of this Book, to which, us King George bae said: "The multiplying millioDß of the Bnßlish-speaking.race have turned in tneir need; and drawn npori its inexhaustible springs of wisdom courage and joy.' Trust the people, because this is a matter which ehould not be not bo settled by a section of the people, by political leaders, by eccleeiastieal leaders, or by a notion of educationalists but the whole people, and therefore a referendum is nesessary if the whole people-oppenents as well a? supporters are to express their will.

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Bibliographic details

FACTS V. FEARS., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIII, Issue 4415, 28 July 1914

Word Count
1,215

FACTS V. FEARS. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIII, Issue 4415, 28 July 1914

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