Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The EU challenges faith-based education

Cranmer has received a copy of an EU report (2007/2093[INI]) entitled ‘Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child’, which emanates from the Committee on Civil Liberties and Home Affairs. The ‘draftswoman’ is one Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou of the ‘Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality’, so one may be assured that is drawn up with impeccable impartiality…

It is para.127 which is of particular interest, noting that this body:

Is concerned at the multiple violations of rights affecting girls from a migrant background; urges Member States to ban headscarves and hijab at least at primary school, in order to anchor more firmly the right to be a child and to ensure genuine and unenforced freedom of choice at a later age…

There are a number of observations which may be made on this paragraph, the most immediate of which is the singling out of Islam. While this may be rationalised, it is most unlike the EU to be rational manifest intolerance towards any particular faith, and especially not Islam, for that would render the EU vulnerable to accusation of ‘Islamophobia’. And yet it is only Muslim girls which the ‘drafswoman’ for the ‘Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality’ is concerned to protect, while many Sikh boys are also obliged to wear turbans and karas, and Jewish boys might equally be ‘encouraged’ to wear a kippah.

The exhortation to ‘ban’ religious garments may be consistent with recent French legislation and Enlightenment values, but it runs contrary to the principles of liberty and tolerance which have developed in the UK over the last three centuries. And where a school has no uniform policy, such a move would also conflict with existing EU legislation on religious discrimination.

But the words in para.127 after the comma are of particular interest.

The inference is that it is a child’s right to freely choose their religion, and that such choice should be ‘genuine and unenforced’. Inexplicably, children should be liberated from enforced religion in primary school, but not in secondary school. Quite what authority this ‘draftswoman’ thinks a 12-year-old has over his or her parents which a 10-year old does not have has is unknown, but it is obvious to any reasonable person that children of all ages (and, incidentally, young adults) are vulnerable to religious manipulation and cultural oppression from other family members or ‘community leaders’.

But the most interesting implication of this paragraph is that it potentially undermines all faith-based education, for how could it ever be argued that a child at a Roman Catholic / Muslim / Sikh / Jewish / Church of England primary school is genuinely and without ‘force’ arriving at a particular expression of faith? And is there to be an EU directive to determine the 'genuineness' of religious expression?

Is there just a hint in this document that in order for a child to be a child, they should have no expression of religion, or at least not be subject to parental ‘encouragement’ to do so? And despite the focus of this document on Islam, the restrictions cannot be applicable to that faith alone, so there are certain to be implications for the UK’s faith schools. And where this leaves home-schooling is anyone’s guess, for it manifestly conflicts with the rights of parents to bring up their children in accordance with their own beliefs.

It is the contention of the Roman Catholic Church that:

The family, since it is a society in its own original right, has the right freely to live its own domestic religious life under the guidance of parents. Parents, moreover, have the right to determine, in accordance with their own religious beliefs, the kind of religious education that their children are to receive. Government, in consequence, must acknowledge the right of parents to make a genuinely free choice of schools and of other means of education, and the use of this freedom of choice is not to be made a reason for imposing unjust burdens on parents, whether directly or indirectly. Besides, the right of parents are violated, if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions which are not in agreement with their religious beliefs, or if a single system of education, from which all religious formation is excluded, is imposed upon all... (Dignitatis Humanae, #s 1,2,3,5).

But, once again, we perceive a developing EU initiative, shrouded in talk of ‘rights’ and exhortations of ‘enlightenment’, concerned with expressions of benevolence and the protection of the most vulnerable members of society. But the end result will be the diminution of civil liberty, a harmonised EU education policy, a uniform EU schools’ protocol, and a soviet EU process of secularisation to ensure a ‘neutral’ public space.

It is not, of course, neutral at all.


Cranmer received an unsolicted email from Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou MEP, which sought to correct his 'misinformation'. It may be found here.


Anonymous Bob said...

in order to anchor more firmly the right to be a child and to ensure genuine and unenforced freedom of choice at a later age…

By an extension of the EU's logic one could argue that a 3 year old child should have the right to choose what primary school it attends as the education they will receive there could affect which secondary school and university they attend, hence giving them greater freedom of choice at a later age.

The above is admittedly hyperbole, but I think it illustrates a point.

The religious upbringing of the child should be the responsibility and right of the parents. The child, when it reaches maturity, will still have the right to make that faith part of their adult life or not.

16 January 2008 at 18:48  
Blogger Dean McConnell said...

Your Grace is quite right about the implications of this wording.

These officials will only be happy when all children are raised as secular atheist materialist nominalists.

Neutrality and choice indeed! The EU's choice is for your child to be opposed to all religion as non-neutral.

16 January 2008 at 19:19  
Anonymous Nathan Hale said...

This would all be moot if States were not involved in the education process. It cannot be disputed that the education of young peole is of paramount importance to a nation. It is so important that the state cannot be entrusted to direct or influence it.

16 January 2008 at 20:47  
Anonymous Yokel said...

This is how they are to be prepared for the "One World Religion" that is to follow. They are to be educated to not know right from wrong.

16 January 2008 at 21:10  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

"They are to be educated to not know right from wrong."

Aye. Combine this with the modern art that replaces good sculpture with awkward meaningless shapes and you can also remove silly recidivist notions such as structure and order.

16 January 2008 at 22:07  
Anonymous buddha said...

As an introduction to religious education, children (of all faith backgrounds) should be taught:

"Do not believe something just because it has been passed along and retold for many generations.

Do not believe something merely because it has become a traditional practice.

Do not believe something simply because it is well-known everywhere.

Do not believe something just because it is cited in a text.

Do not believe something solely on the grounds of logical reasoning.

Do not believe something merely because it accords with your philosophy.

Do not believe something because it appeals to "common sense".

Do not believe something just because you like the idea.

Do not believe something because the speaker seems trustworthy.

Do not believe something thinking, "This is what our teacher says".

When you yourselves directly know, "This is [these things are] unwholesome, this is blameworthy, this is condemned or censured by the wise, these things when accepted and practised lead to poverty and harm and suffering," then you should give them up.

When you yourselves directly know, "These things are wholesome, blameless, praised by the wise; when adopted and carried out they lead to well-being, prosperity and happiness," then you should accept and practise them."

In other words, why not do away completelly with Religious Education and teach philosophy:

16 January 2008 at 23:02  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

unfortunately the pre has been done in the uk for this , i know god exists , i also can look back over the last 100 yrs and say will a considerable degree of confidence, that we had a more moral society , when the stories , meanings and intents of the new testament were part of nearly every school , morning assembly and to some extent teaching , gave guide and moderation of behaviour .

i have to ask at what point of disorder and violence does the labour goverment and its marxist EU faithfull admitt that there modernisation is a blind dash for the cliff edge of a civil society.

we have broken families for whom the idea of the christian faith has become a modern herisey , we have thrown things out , without any basis that what was to replace it was better, all for the purposes of marxist ideology , the evidence for it being superior is ebbing by the day.

this experiment has cost the well being of families and communities through out the uk.

when teenagers drunkenly laugh as they kick to near death a man who challenges there malevolence one ownders where this experiment ends !!

17 January 2008 at 00:25  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

It ends in hell o Israel. Hell, the place where Polly Toynbee articles are read aloud for all eternity.

17 January 2008 at 01:05  
Anonymous The recusant said...

You Grace may be interested in the CIVITAS report School curriculum corrupted by politics, which is summarised on their site. We really don't need the EU to add to the damage of the failed British education system; it has already been done by the compliance to a predominantly socialist agends of both the teaching profession, its Unions and politicians of both left and right. All we have to do is pay for it, in more ways than one.

17 January 2008 at 09:31  
Blogger KGS said...

This is the problem with Islam in relation to other religions. The hijab, is both a religious AND a political symbol.

There can be no comparison with a hijab and the religious symbols of the cross and Jewish kippa.

The West's focus should be on the political element embodied in religion of Islam, even if such a ploicy appears to be one sided and contradictory.

17 January 2008 at 11:29  
Blogger Dr.D said...

The UK, Europe, and increasingly America, are all falling for the socialist deception, the idea that if we vote into power certain governments they will take money and resources from those who have more and give it to me. We have lost sight of the old adage, "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." Everything comes at a price. Yes, the government may indeed rob your neighbor to give you something, but you will both be less free at the end of the process. In addition, neither of you will have any motivation at all to work. You will not want to work because there is no reason; the government is going to give you money for doing nothing. Your neighbor will not want to work because the government is going to steal the fruits of his labor to give them to someone else while skimming a major share for themselves along the way. Why should either of you work? It makes no sense. You will have no pride or sense of accomplishment, and your neighbor will be embittered and angry. This is the great accomplishment of socialism.

And then while we are at it, we have all become so enlightened that we no longer need the sovereign God of the universe; we can handle things on our own just fine. This has given us "freedom" to do things that God never allowed us to do: sexual license, the breakup of families, greed, vice, corruption, lying, etc. We are so much more "free" that we are completely enslaved and become easy prey to Izlam. This could never have happened at a time when we really believed in Christianity, but now, when we believe in nothing, it is so easy!

Oh, have we made progress!

17 January 2008 at 16:50  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Muslim girls may be 'oppressed' in dozens of ways, but at least they get their GCSEs and don't get pregnant before they hit 18.

17 January 2008 at 22:53  
Anonymous mary tudor said...

Homophobic Horse said...
It ends in hell o Israel. Hell, the place where Polly Toynbee articles are read aloud for all eternity.

Could it be that old sourpuss Toynbee and - um - old sourpuss Mad Mel are in fact the same person?

My Majesty rather suspects so...

17 January 2008 at 23:02  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Melanie Phillips as far as I know is most certainly not in league with the antichrist. Melanie Phillips still retains recidivist, anachronistic notions such as "consent" or even the sanctity and respect due to corpses. She also finds even the possibility of the MMR vaccine killing children abhorrent.

Polly Toynbee does not. She promulgates the Nu Labs presumed consent in organ donation scheme. Sickeningly. She says:

"a few vociferous people's misguided and primitive instincts about the sanctity and integrity of corpses [should not prevent the presumed consent scheme]."

All this in the light of the Alder Hay atrocity.

From a book I am writing called: "The True Hitler"

Hitler the modernist: "He shared the common faith in 'science,' 'progress,' and 'enlightenment' (though not, of course, democracy), together with a practical materialism that scorned all theology, metaphysics, and any thought or action concerned with any other world other than "here and now," priding himself on the fact that he had "the gift of reducing all problems to their simplest foundations." He had acrude worship of efficiency and utility that freely tolerated "birth control," laughed at the institution of marriage as a mere legalization of a sexual impulse that shoul be "free," welcomed sterilization of the "unfit," despised "unproductive elements" such as monks, saw nothing in the cremation of the dead but a practical question and did not even hesitate to put the ashes, or the skin and fat of the dead to "productive use." He possessed the quasi-anarchist distrust of sacred and venerable institutions, in particular the Church with its "superstitions" and all its "outmoded" and "recidivist" laws and ceremonies. He abhorred the institution of monarchy; a determining factor in his refusal to crown himself Emperor of Germany. He had a naive trust in the "natural" man," the "healthy animal" ho scorns the Christian virtues - virginity in particular - that impeded the "natural functioning" of the body. He took a simple minded delight in modern conveniences and machines, and especially the automobile and the sense of speed and "freedom" it affords.

I have breached Godwins law. The interesting question is this, why do we come back to Hitler so much? Because Hitler was the truest representative of the Godless modern age. His behaviours and nervous tics of thought are seen everywhere. Such as in Polly Toynbee.

18 January 2008 at 01:55  
Blogger AethelBald, King of Wessex said...

Since Godwin's law has already been breached, and in the interests of balance, I include a summary of AH's religious beliefs from Wikipedia:

Hitler was raised by Roman Catholic parents, but as a boy he rejected some aspects of Catholicism. After Hitler left home, he never attended Mass or received the sacraments,[82] although Hitler did state, "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so," to Gen. Gerhard Engel in 1941.

Throughout his life, Hitler often praised Christian heritage, German Christian culture, and a belief in Jesus Christ.[83] In his speeches and publications Hitler even spoke of Christianity as a central motivation for his antisemitism, stating that "As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice".[84][85] His private statements, as reported by his intimates, are more mixed, showing Hitler as a religious man but critical of traditional Christianity.[86] However, in contrast to other Nazi leaders, Hitler did not adhere to esoteric ideas, occultism, or neo-paganism,[86] and ridiculed such beliefs in Mein Kampf.[87] Rather, Hitler advocated a "Positive Christianity",[88] a belief system purged from what he objected to in traditional Christianity, and which reinvented Jesus as a fighter against the Jews.

Hitler believed in Arthur de Gobineau's ideas of struggle for survival between the different races, among which the "Aryan race"—guided by "Providence"—was supposed to be the torchbearers of civilization. In Hitler's conception Jews were enemies of all civilization.

Among Christian denominations, Hitler favoured Protestantism, which was more open to such reinterpretations. At the same time, he adopted some elements of the Catholic Church's hierarchical organization, liturgy and phraseology in his politics.[89][90]

Hitler expressed admiration for the Muslim military tradition. According to one confidant, Hitler stated in private "The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness...".[91]

The above can be found in Wikipedia here.

A more thorough analysis may be found in Wikipedia here.

18 January 2008 at 09:12  

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