In Australia's public schools, students are now routinely exposed to evangelism from very conservative Christian groups. Marion Maddox uncovers the surprising impact of these groups on once secular public schooling, and the ways in which governments have been persuaded to support their cause.
Fewer Australians now practise a religion or believe in God than ever. Yet our governments increasingly push conservative Christianity on our children.
Nearly forty per cent of secondary students attend a private school, which are overwhelmingly Christian. Canberra funds them heavily, and sends evangelical Christian chaplains into both public and private schools. Some states subsidise Christian volunteers to deliver religious instruction, and some make Christian ministry a matriculation subject.
Some Christian schools promote Creationism, and some advertise that their first priority is training 'soldiers' to 'do battle for the Lord in a world which rejects His laws and dominion', rather than good citizens of Australia.
Marion Maddox demonstrates that our governments are systematically demolishing the once proud free, compulsory and secular education system, in favour of taxpayer-funded dogma and division. The implications are unsettling for our society and for our democracy.
'If you believe education is about teaching children how to think, not what to think, then this chilling book is a must read.' - Jane Caro, social commentator and co-author of What Makes a Good School?
'This deeply disturbing book tells how Australia's 'noble dream' of public education in the 19th century has been undermined by a combination of selfish political vote- buying, judicial abdication and public indifference.' - The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG
Marion Maddox is a Professor of Politics at Macquarie University. With PhDs in theology and in politics, she is author of the pathbreaking God Under Howard, and is a product of both public and private schools.