Posts by BenWilson

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

    It’s pragmatic

    It is, but using it as a way of saying that it's OK for opt-out or compulsory RE to be in state schools doesn't work for me. It's like saying that your sheep will be safe from rustlers so long as you make sure you always guard them. Yes, watching your sheep is a good idea if there are rustlers about, but that doesn't make it OK to rustle, and getting rid of rustlers should be a high priority. They definitely should NOT be people working on your farm.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: UPDATED: Media Take: Election…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It wasn’t solicited as such.

    Is it your solicitation, or the purpose of the writing itself that makes it an advertisement? I read it as James making a perfectly valid pitch to raise his profile as an electoral candidate on a widely read medium. If it had been you or someone else writing about James, would it have required the statement? Graeme?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: UPDATED: Media Take: Election…,

    It does seem rather like an electoral advertisement. What’s crazy is not that you should be required to carry the promoter statement, but that practically every opinion piece in the Herald shouldn’t have to.

    I mean the idea of these statements, so far as I understood, is so that people can know who is paying for the publishing. For print and billboards that cost can be substantial so it’s good to know who is the money behind them. But how much does letting James put a post on PA cost? Is it even one cent?

    “Russell Brown stumped up the billionth of his total bandwidth and server space that this ‘advertisement’ cost. Follow the money!”

    ETA: Sorry, got that all wrong. Authorization != paying for. So that's not the only purpose of the statements. I guess they're also to establish that this is actually something that James Dann does approve of being said in his name (which should be a bit obvious from the fact that he's the author).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

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

    That post by Dylan is well worth reading. The linked video....brrrr.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Err….unless things have radically changed in the past five years, then I am sure that parents would not be refused permission to sit in on classes.

    Have you ever done that? Sat in on one of your children's classes uninvited? I have quite literally never seen that happen, nor have I heard of it happening to anyone.

    But even if it's true that one technically can, the idea of actually doing that is laughable. If you're that distrustful of a teacher, and have the spare time to attend school classes, and actually do attend, then there's really no point having your child in the class.

    I think you were speaking hypothetically, though, right? As in you're not actually suggesting anyone do that, and that they should trust the kids opinions afterwards? Well here's the thing - all the people on this thread saying they thought the whole thing was a fucked up waste of time, or worse, were once kids, and I do trust them in what they say.

    Personally I never had to put up with any of it, so I can offer the perspective that it didn't do me any harm to miss out on that, either, which is at least as strong a reason as all you've managed to give, so far, plus I got upwards of 500 hours of my life back, and didn't weary my parents ears with God bothering. Nor did I get molested or spend hours worrying about my damned soul. I still had values instilled in me, and came to understand more than I ever really cared to about Christianity.

    Even with an entirely secular upbringing it's not like I can avoid hearing about the Western world's favorite invisible friend and his book that loops 4 times before finishing. I read as far into it as I could handle some time around the age of 10, and most of the major stories in it have been cast into film, verse, fiction, short stories, fables, anecdotes etc. Really, that's enough bloody Bible. It's there in a hundred translations and 20-odd English versions and beginners guides and what-have-you, that even the dullest enquiring mind can find out all they'd ever want to know without having to be committed to it from a young age. I've got an app on my phone for it, one of the thousands on offer. There's 5 churches within 2 km of here. You only have to ask a damned Christian and they'll fill you in, if they don't offer to do it for free. They'll come to your doorstep every week in the hope of filling you in. Have I heard of Jesus? Have I ever! I really don't think my kids are going to miss out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

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

    @Rosemary (not Sacha, soz)

    The only way to be sure of what is being taught is to sit in on every session….and protest most vehemently if the teacher strays into disrespect for other faiths.

    You’d know that you can’t actually do this, right? Putting aside utter impracticality of it to the point of ridiculousness, you are aware that parents can’t just rock up to classes uninvited and have a go at teachers? I’m wondering how much of your story I believe now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    What surprises me about this conversation is the depth of anti – religious feeling….like, where is the fear coming from?

    Fear of stupid is my greatest phobia. It burns.

    Teaching them to be respectful of ALL knowledge, ALL beliefs, ALL lifestyles.

    But I'm not respectful of all knowledge or beliefs or lifestyles in the first place. There are bad lifestyles, false knowledge and harmful beliefs.

    Please tell me Ben that your kids watch no TV, no films, cartoons, advertisements.

    You're trying to sell me compulsory religious studies on the grounds that it's not worse than Mickey Mouse? No sale, even if that's true, which it isn't. It's not OK for school to make Mickey Mouse compulsory for an hour a week. I'd have a hissy fit if I found out they were doing that, and so would you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    An hour of week of exposure to religion will not harm your children providing they can discuss what they have absorbed with their parents…as they would discuss all the other subjects they do at school.

    Bullshit. Do what you like at a Catholic School, that's your right, but don't waste my kids time, and also my own time, with mumbo jumbo. We're not talking about social studies here, in which the Bible is studied in a dispassionate and secular way, contrasted with other similar texts, and given the small amount of time that debunked information generally deserves. We're talking about Bible Classes in which the particular teachings of one religion are presented as profoundly important with zero contextualization, for 50 hours every year. That is not something I agree with in state funded compulsory education, at all. Period.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: Oh, God, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    And a grand lesson it is.

    Not convinced. Yes, it's good to know that some kids come through unscathed, and certainly good advice to keep thoroughly engaged with them to the best of your ability. But it's not an excuse to let their time be wasted on something suboptimal at best, harmful at worst. This is the 21st Century, there's so many genuinely good things that could be done instead.

    To put it another way, consider how you'd feel if someone said you had to take bible lessons yourself, now. Sure you'd probably be "unharmed". Would that make it OK? And that's an adult, far, far more able to critically evaluate what is happening to them.

    Nope, no way should this be allowed in state schools. No fucking way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Not even a statistic, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Clarification would be good, on what you mean.

    No problem, Jacks. But which part? I don't want to be writing essays on this thread.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8314 posts Report Reply

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