Australian School Permitted to Teach Creationism

on December 13, 2008

Sydney Morning Herald: “School in Clear Over Teaching Creation” A Christian school in Australia will still be allowed to teach creation. Now, why is that newsworthy?

It doesn’t seem like Christian schools—backed by (mostly) Christian parents, staffed by (all, we hope) Christian teachers, and filled with (many) Christian students—should run into any problem teaching Christian doctrine along with school lessons, or teaching academic disciplines from a Christian worldview. Right?

In today’s societies, the answer often seems “wrong,” with even Christian schools levied with requirements for the teaching of evolution.

In today’s societies, the answer often seems “wrong,” with even Christian schools levied with requirements for the teaching of evolution. In Dural, Australia, Pacific Hills Christian School was under fire for failing to teach the state’s evolution curriculum as required. The school was reviewed by the New South Wales Board of Studies, but was found to be “teach[ing] evolution theory appropriately.”

The individual who raised the original complaint, former Secondary Principals Council president Chris Bonnor, remains unsatisfied with the situation. Bonnor said, “I still want to know whether it is appropriate for a science teacher to exhort his or her students to consider what God’s revelation through his scripture shows you, so that you can come to some clear understanding about your view of evolution.” In other words, it wouldn’t be enough for a Christian school to teach evolutionary doctrine as required—teachers also must abstain from offering any commentary, criticism, or perspective on the topic, even if it’s a Christian teacher educating Christian students in a Christian school.

Member of parliament John Kaye claimed the ruling “opened the floodgates to a religious invasion of the curriculum” and that “[e]very fundamentalist private school in [New South Wales] will be emboldened by this decision.”

While New South Wales schools, like most Christian schools elsewhere in the world, are “safe” for now, there is certainly a growing movement to restrict teachers everywhere from making any negative comments toward evolution or encouraging critical thinking on the topic of origins. We can quite easily envision a future in which Christian schoolteachers’ hands are tied (or, perhaps more accurately, their mouths gagged) during evolution lessons. And if it comes to that, shouldn’t any other religious or moral instruction—in Christian schools or elsewhere—carry a state-mandated disclaimer that “science has shown religion to be fairy tales, and our morality is determined by evolution”?


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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.