Secular, but not atheist
The churches are not empty (Guy Clifford, Chronicle March 11). Some are empty. Some are full.
State schools were once "non-denominational" Christian. "Secular" does not mean "atheist".
Integrated schools are not fully funded by the state. Integrated school kids cost the state less than state school kids, largely because integrated schools provide their own land and buildings, and staff-pupil ratios are higher.
Private school kids cost the state almost nothing. Private school parents subsidise state schools through their taxes. The tax rebate is available for donations to any school, state, integrated or private.
God defend New Zealand does not offend immigrants, because Muslims and Hindus believe in God. Some Muslims send their children to Catholic schools rather than "atheist" state schools.
Helen Clark's Government tried and failed to abolish charitable status for churches. Hopefully this one will fail too.
Russia has Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and Jewish state schools. I like the Netherlands' education system, where the state pays for every child in every school, state, private, religious or music.
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As many have probably noticed, people of a certain ideological bent use the word "choice" as a euphemism and catch-phrase in their attempts to change society's rules and morals.
Now choice is a fairly simple and innocuous thing generally, choosing what to wear that day, which cafe to buy your latte from, or, on a more serious level, which house to rent or buy, or which school to send your children to, etc.
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Of course there are other sorts of choices that are far more serious.
For example, the choice to drive a car when you cannot even stand properly because of drink or drugs, or the choice to shoot someone you don't like, or beat a child to death.
These are also choices, but they are unacceptable to society, at least for the moment.
It used to be unacceptable to society to kill children in the womb, even before scientific study proved the humanity of the unborn child, or to kill the elderly or infirm.
Now we are being told that these are both "choices" and therefore rights, and the use of that word is supposed to trump common sense and all the evidence against such a position.
When proponents of euthanasia, abortion, and the like, use the word "choice", remember they are not talking about the equivalent of deciding what breakfast cereal to eat.
Their idea of "choice" involves someone dying, whether it is the death by lethal drugs in euthanasia, or death of a child in abortion.
Beware of such word games and euphemisms, and those who use them.
K A BENFELL