Little Jonny is throwing money around again and this time he has $90 million to give to state schools to employ chaplains. It was reported on last night’s news that every school could access $20K if it wanted to employ a chaplain.
The Australian reports on it here
Judith Bessant, writing for the Age what we do is secret download free mutant chronicles the download free seems to think this is a futile idea in a pluralistic society, especially if part of the agenda is to promote ‘Australian values’.
How do we as Christians sit with it?
Is it a God given opportunity to influence our nation?
Is it a trap to get in bed with the government in this way and will it cause us to dilute or compromise what we are on about in the name of a few extra $$$?
Is it the right thing to do in a pluralistic society?
It is an issue sure to cause a furore because while the funds are available to all faiths, our Judaeo Christian heritage will inevitably see Christian chaplains dominating.
Of particular interest was this quote from the West Australia: “It costs about $70,000 to employ a full-time chaplain, and Mr Howard said individual schools and the States would be expected to make up the rest of the money.”
I think he may have got his digits mixed up! Last I heard that was double what the average Perth chaplain earns and one reason it is so difficult to get decent long term staff.