The Fellowship Baptist Church of Blacktown in New South Wales has been forced to remove inappropriate and homophobic teaching materials from their books and website by the NSW Department of Education.
The church, which is an approved scripture lesson provider for schools, had questionable statements on their website and teaching materials including: “Homosexuality (and every other kind of sexual sin) is flourishing in our day, but many excuse their sin as a ‘chosen lifestyle’. Godless lifestyles have become popular and socially acceptable. But God has not changed. God has not and never will accept immoral behaviour.”
The church’s Firm Foundations books used to teach children from the ages of 11-14 said: “sin must be paid for by human life being given” and talked about sinners, saying “They deserved death”. The concept of death being the payment for sinning reoccurred repeatedly.
The church was contacted by the Department of Education and told to remove the references on its website as well as the incendiary teaching materials, saying it “does not consider the material to be either age appropriate or suitable.”
In an interview, Darren Morgan from Fairness in Religions in School complained about the fact that the Department of Education were more or less giving schools free reign to teach whatever they wanted during scripture lessons. All schools are required to set aside between 30 minutes and an hour for religious teaching with many making it difficult for parents to opt their children out of lessons.
Morgan stated: “How long can we hand over the classroom for an hour a week to religious teaching material that the Education Minister has no control over?”
Upon investigation, it was found that two other approved scripture providers did not make available the materials they use during lessons and did not have working websites, making it difficult for authorities to assess whether there was a similar theme.
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