An expert in sociology says atheists or people without a specific religion are creating the most problems for inter-faith tolerance in Australia.
Monash University Professor Gary Bouma says people without a specific faith are fuelling sectarian conflict and cause division in society.
“Conflict comes up when groups vilify, deny the right to build the mosques,” he told the Studies of Religion in Focus conference in Sydney today.
“Or when the ‘nones’ – those who are anti-theist – [say] ‘You’re stupid’, that religious voices should be driven out of the public policy area, that religion shouldn’t be in schools, etc.
“That is conflict, and that is highly divisive in this society.”
Professor Bouma says a growth in religious diversity in recent years has created problems for Australian schools.
He says schools have to work out to how to encourage respectful engagement between students and teachers of various religions.
“Schools have a whole variety of competing loyalties within the teachers and within the students,” he said.
“It can sometimes go to conflict if there’s a viewpoint that some don’t want expressed.
“But how is it that you accommodate the diversity? How is it that you develop respectful engagement between diverse groups?”
Right, it’s just SO bloody obvious. Atheists, by virtue of not buying in to stories of omnipotent sky faeries, are the source of conflict. Clearly, this is identical to the force that non-stamp collectors have on the market prices of rare philatelic items.
Schools serve all religions or lack thereof best by telling students to leave dogma at the schoolhouse door. Diversity is best accommodated by allowing religions to occupy their station at places of worship.
This guy’s a professor? Taking the piss, right?
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