Christian-Atheist lay preacher leads charge against Bibles in Schools.

bible in schools

The Secular Education Network (SEN) is launching a fresh challenge against Bible in Schools programmes.

David Hines, spokesperson for SEN, has been described in the media as a”retired Journalist and lay preacher.

An introduction to a 2012 YouTube video says Hines

  • Was a Methodist minister for 10 years, from 1961.
  • He resigned and became a journalist, but continued lay preaching.
  • Around 1986 he became a Christian atheist, led a church youth group
  • And he worked for the Catholic newspaper, Zealandia.
  • About 2006 he started lay preaching again.

In a 2014 interview with Danielle Street posted on VICE Hines described himself as a Christian Atheist

“Well, my own beliefs are quite weird. I’m a Christian-Atheist and I’m a lay preacher.

So I’ve been a Christian all my life, but since I was 21 I’ve come at it from a secular angle.

I don’t believe in the legendary stuff, but I still believe in the rest of it—the values and so on.

In the interview Hines said “When I was gathering comments against the Bible in Schools programme more Christians came and declared themselves against it than Atheists.”

In its appeal to the Human Rights Commission SEN will be claiming that section 78 of the Education Act 1964 – which permitted the programmes – is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act.

The case also states that the Education Act 1989 permitted biased teaching about religions and non-religious beliefs in social studies and other classes, and stopped the Ministry of Education from monitoring it or taking action.

The Churches Education Commission (CEC), which runs Bible in Schools in many state schools, has also been accepted as an interested non-party with a right to present evidence.

CEC claim that their classes are suitable for non-religious students and that they support the New Zealand curriculum.

In 2015 Victoria University religious studies professor Paul Morris Morris  reviewed two of the CEC courses.

Among other things he concluded that the teaching materials were “at odds with the diverse demography of our country where nationally a minority are Christian and an even smaller minority are conservative evangelical Christians”.

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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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