Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Australian School Chaplains on CT
Over at CT is an article about how the Australian Govt. funds Chaplains in State and Private schools (I should say that funding is limited to two days per week and any further financial support comes from local churches and local businesses). The program is being continued and even enhanced under the current Prime Minister Julia Gillard even though she is an atheist. Most of the chaplains come from evangelical churches and participate in the pastoral care of students and provide religious education. My college trains many students who are already working as chaplains. I think that for many Americans this would be just mind blowing to even imagine government funding of religious chaplains in State schools. Despite being a very secular country, programs like this are popular and successful because these chaplains are the like the Salvation Army of the school yard. The school chaplains are supported by both sides of politics and the only party that opposes the scheme are the Greens (who probably would prefer to see the funds spent on teaching children how to grow, sell, and use cannabis without their parents or the police finding out about it).