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Separation of Church and State?

Tony Abbott says he supports separation of church and state, but is planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on untrained religious enthusiasts in public schools.

  I would like to see over time an understanding by all people, and cultures, and religions, that there should be a separation of church and state, that there is a sense of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s.

Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, ABC radio

15 September 2014.

Despite the evidence-based pleas by his Liberal colleague and NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, Tony Abbott has reaffirmed that secular counsellors will not be funded under the revamped school chaplaincy program. Only those with a belief in a deity and the supernatural are now deemed qualified to give counselling and support to school students, and only such people will receive Commonwealth funding.

Is this the same warrior prime minister who, on ABC radio recently, outlined his grand design for the Middle East? In the interview he said, "I would like to see, over time, an understanding by all people, cultures and religions, that there should be separation of church and state."

The policy, therefore, to withdraw the funding of secular counsellors in our schools is cynical and sectarian, and the antithesis of Abbott's purported ideal of a separation of state and church.

Norman Monshall, Allambie Heights

Letters, Sydney Morning Herald, 13 October 2014.

Previous article: Only 14% Voters Influenced by Belief Next article: Questions for PM Abbott on his comment concerning separation of church and state (20 September 2014).

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