Posts by Emma Hart

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  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to Mellopuffy,

    Emma was quite clear that this is being taught as part of +Social Studies+

    No, I wasn't, because it isn't. Comparative religion should be, and its influence on society. If you're teaching about Christianity in that context, you also mention the negative side. It's not exactly small. Witch-trials. Crusades. Persecution of women, POC, LGBTI people.

    The bible is just another book, albeit a book of massive cultural influence and importance, but still just a book that among a lot of down right absurd and freaky shit manages to present a bunch of positive ethics in a relatively easily and successfully consumed format.

    Again, only if you cherry-pick it. The Bible also preaches a lot of hate. It supports slavery, murder and rape. If you were educating and not indoctrinatng, you would mention that. It's also central to Christian doctrine that non-Christians go to Hell, so if that's not being taught to kids, again, that's cherry-picking.

    The fact that some of the "teachers" are very poor is intrinsic to the system, because Bible class is not taught by teachers.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to Mellopuffy,

    My son’s school doesn’t have Bible class. But it does teach this set of values, under the auspice of ‘character education’.

    I hate the fact that I am always wary of 'character education' or 'values education' because of the way it's sometimes used to smuggle in Christian teaching. It's not like atheists don't have ethics (and I'd prefer it was called ethics). But... it's like those Ian Grant parenting courses, which never mention in their promotion where they're coming from. You have to be old enough to remember The Herd.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to Kevin McCready,

    I’m not sure Secular Education Network ( is as hardline as you think. I think religious indoctrination is child abuse.

    I never said they were hard-line. I pointed out the one area where I disagree with them, which is on Bible class on school grounds outside of school time. I listened to a guy from SEN debating a guy from MinEdu on NatRad, and he was very clear that this was totally unacceptable.

    "Child abuse", however, is a pretty hard-line position. It reminds me of the people who would consider the LGBTI-friendly upbringing I've given my children to be child abuse. However, there is some evidence that being raised religious interferes with a child's Bullshit Filter.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to oga,

    I can’t remember ever going to a Bible class at school (during the 70s/80s). Is this a new thing?

    Bible class ran in my primary school in the 70s/early 80s, and wasn't new then. I had to attend, because it wasn't up to me, it was up to my mother. And besides, the three or four kids who didn't spent that time cleaning the library and scraping gum off desks. When I was ten I had a huge argument with our Bible class 'teacher' about evolution, during which he became furiously angry and screamed at me. We were both back again the next week.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Never mind the quality ..., in reply to steven crawford,

    I did special votes more than once, because I was out of my electorate. I know it’s a lot to ask but could there please be some clemency for those who are so slack, they don’t enroll but decide on the day that they do in fact want to vote. Drivers license, passport, or another ID that allows 18 year olds to buy alcohol, should be serious enough.

    We want you to vote, okay? We do everything we can to ensure that it's as easy as possible for people to vote, and we count every vote possible. So, just quietly, if you turn up on the day with nothing, but you can give us an address, we will let you CAST a vote, and try to verify your eligibility later. The most important thing is address, so we can try to make sure that you're not, by casting an invalid vote, missing the chance to cast a valid vote in your actual electorate.

    Our whole system, when it comes to the process of casting a vote, is basically the polar opposite of the US, and I'm pretty proud of that.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not doing justice, in reply to Danielle,

    Did it ever occur to you that not everyone needs to rabbit on about their salt-of-the-earth working-class bona fides all the fucking time?

    Can I, just for a minute? My mum worked part-time in a laundry of an old-folks home, and she was in every Shakespeare performed in Timaru for twenty years. I was in The Merchant of Venice when I was sixteen. My boyfriend was in Richard III: he worked in a bookshop. I could go on, but it would be boring and try-hard.

    What you're doing, Tom, is perpetuating a bunch of really harmful stereotypes about working-class people, and erasing a whole bunch of people I grew up loving in the process.

    I'm now a solo mother living off my ex-partner's benificence, but I still have a fucking degree in Shakespeare.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The silence of the public square, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Are such papers, whether they’re spoilt or left blank, actually counted? Do they have any effect on the outcome?

    Yes, and no. So any paper whose voting intent can't be easily distinguished for any reason is put in a pile during first count, on election night, and the number of papers in that pile tallied, because the overall count of papers has to agree. But no distinction is made at any point as to whether that paper has been deliberately spoiled to make a political statement, or stuffed up because someone ticked two boxes, or drawn all over in crayon by a bored child.

    Likewise, the percentage of people who don't vote is also counted, and is being used as a number of significance this time around. But in both cases, there is absolutely no way to determine whether the action is out of apathy, ignorance, bloody-mindedness, or whatever. As a political statement... I absolutely support anyone's right to choose not to vote for any reason. But as a political statement, it's a very quiet and muddy one.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Not doing justice, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Seems to be a difficult area, the Greens aren’t running a candidate there.

    It's the electorate where I grew up, though it was Aorangi then and less rural than it is now, and it's really depressing. It used to have strong branches of both Labour and Values. Now it's unloseably blue, because it's not like Jo Goodhew is holding it by force of personality.

    Gibson did not understand the full implications of what he said.

    I find this very difficult to believe. Why would you choose that word unless you were using it as a racist insult?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A true commitment, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    doesn’t some of this come under bullying as an accepted part of our culture. Abuse of power, the abuse of political power, the abuse of physical power to achieve your goal.

    Domestic abuse is bullying. The motivations and the methods are the same. The pervasive effect on the victim is the same.

    When the major issue in domestic violence cases is reporting, it may even have the opposite effect, making women more unlikely to report the offending for fear of the impact that could have on their partner and family.

    This will absolutely happen. At the level where abuse first starts coming to the attention of the police and social agencies, victims want their partners to get help. Having your partner jailed, losing his income? Which becomes losing your home and struggling to feed your kids? It means women will wait until the violence escalates, until they're afraid for their lives, before they start to report.

    I've already sat in a police station for nearly two hours because a witness said there had been strangulation, I was saying there hadn't, and they were waiting to see if bruises came up on my throat. Even when it came to court, the other witness - who was mistaken - was believed over me. Because I was the victim, and of course I would lie. You're going to get more of what we did then. Where was his hand? Was it on her throat, or on her chest? Was it a grab or a push?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Te Reo Māori in schools:…,

    My cousin started teaching in the mid-seventies. She was assigned to a rural school near Whanganui, and the kids would cheek the teachers in Maori. She rapidly learned a lot of words you don't find in dictionaries.

    In the mid-eighties, she was teaching in a small rural school on the West Coast. Once for assembly, she taught the kids to sing "Five Little Fishes" in Maori. After multiple complaints from the parents, she was taken aside and instructed never to do it again.

    Maori became a language option at my high school in 1989, after Japanese. This despite us being a progressive school and all the buildings being labeled in Maori as well as English.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

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