5 Dec 2014

The Gospel According to Abbott, brother Abbott decrees that religion should be subsidised by us the tax payers.

Tony Abbott's Edict
You pay, we pray.

Our Taxes will subsidise the training of priests and other religious workers at private colleges for the first time, under Brother Abbott's government proposed higher education reforms.  
They are deregulating university fees and cutting university funding by 20 per cent and yet they want to fund religious studies, this has never been done before in Australia.
Religious teaching, training and vocational institutes would be eligible for a share of $820 million in new Commonwealth funding over three years.
This breaches the separation of Church and State. The government will provide $244 million for a new school chaplaincy scheme while at the same time removing the option for schools to hire secular welfare workers. 
There are eleven theological colleges accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) to provide courses designed to prepare students to enter religious ministries.
For example :
Sydney College of Divinity, Brisbane's Christian Heritage College
Perth Bible College
The John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne, course include "Theology and Practice of Natural Family Planning" , "Marriage in the Catholic Tradition". 
Ridley College and the Trinity College Theological School
These changes raise serious questions about relationship between Church and State. The Church has traditionally funded the training of its own personnel, why would we now, at a time when money is tight, be funding them.
Is this the time to be cutting funding to universities and then lavishing money on religious studies instead? Surely research should come first.

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