29 Oct. 2006

Howard puts public money into religious education in schools (smh.com.au).

This story is not being reported like this of course, but according to the political spin. The program is one to fund one chaplain, of any religious persuasion, per school in Australia. This is to be an "opt-in" scheme, meaning that schools will not to be obliged to have a full-time religionist on staff. However, it is difficult to imagine that many schools today will turn down the offer of a new, gratis staff member. Hence, hey presto, a religionist in every school. This does two things. The most obvious is to (further) religionise education. The second is to prop up religion itself through financing professional religionists. Both are Bad Things, militating against the rational comprehension of society and for quietism based on the existence of supervenient forces which determine social reality and promise intangible compensation for its injustices, hence making it neither possible not worthwhile to alter reality. Sure, there are exceptions, but the essential function of religion in capitalism is in this direction.