School chaplaincy program continued at a cost of $243.5 million over five years
The school chaplaincy program has been controversial, to say the least, since it’s conception. Why do we, in a secular society, fund for exclusively Christian spiritual advisory roles in schools.
This is not at all, a criticism of the work that chaplains do in schools. In fact, I believe they do play an important role in the wellbeing of students in schools — not only spiritually, but also socially and emotionally.
But is it conceptually right to enforce Christianity in a secular state? The Australian Government, unlike our British origins, is secular — meaning, not associated with religion or spiritual matters. As the Abbott Government extends funding to the program that required substantial law change as it was found “constitutionally invalid”, I find myself questioning yet again… why is it funding for school chaplains — why is it not a generic funding for “spiritual” or “emotional” advisors, in which chaplains would fit the role in.