The commonly-held belief is that Christian schools promote good values. But one Australian university professor claims just the opposite -- that faith-based schools go against societal norms. Professor Marion Maddox, who serves as the director for research on social inclusion at Macquarie University in Australia, isn't shy about her disdain for Christian education.
And with an increase of Australian student attending these schools, the educator recently stated her distress over the phenomenon, as she lamented the increased growth and acceptance of "Christianisation."
"The fact that an increasing proportion of students are being educated in schools that determinedly disavow those values of inclusion and equality that we think of as Australian is a cause for concern," Maddox told the Brisbane Times last week. "There are plenty of cases of teachers who have been sacked, or students who have been expelled because of their sexuality or sexual behaviour in ways that would be prohibited by law if they were state schools, and yet these schools take government money and cite religious freedom, and that's something we haven't really had a public debate about."
Clearly, Maddox takes issue with the notion that religious schools create strict moral codes that students and faculty, alike, are expected to live by. She went on to highlight the case of an unmarried teacher who became pregnant and who was subsequently fired from her position at a Christian college in Australia. The teacher, who had signed a "lifestyle agreement," was let go for violating it.
In America, these same issues are being debated. Recently, Shorter University, a higher education facility in Rome, Georgia, decided to ask its employees to sign a controversial pledge that affirms that they are not engaging in homosexuality, among other forbidden activities. As a result more than 50 employees allegedly resigned.
But beyond individuals' rights, Maddox also attacked Christian values in terms of their alleged propensity to lead to a poor education. Creationism, rather than evolution, she says, diminishes students' ability to learn actual "scientific" terms. Additionally, she said that Christian schools would "teach an unusual approach to citizenship, so that God's law is more important than the law."
"For example these schools will teach creation science instead of evolution and teach a modified English curriculum that shields students from 'dangerous' words and themes, and they'll also teach an unusual approach to citizenship, so that God's law is more important than the law," she continued. "Maybe [these students] don't take any of these messages in, but on the other hand are they emerging from their schooling with a fully rounded scientific education; are they going to be equipped with the scientific vocabulary to understand the debate about the environment for example?"
She did, however, seem to admit that Christian private schools do encourage children to be disciplined through uniforms, talking nicely to one another and other related elements. Read more about her views on The Christian Post.
(H/T: Christian Post)