Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Religion in European Schools

The Swedish government is now banning all religion in schools, except when part of the curriculum (translation - government approved and sanitized). They are also urging Britain to do the same as a protection against fundamentalism that might turn into terrorism. Of course, this is the usual nonsense and fear of the Divine. But, this quote caught my attention:
Commenting in the far left Guardian newspaper, British columnist Andrew Brown said the British government should follow suit and force Britain’s Jewish, Muslim and Catholic independent schools to treat religion as though it were not true under the guise of addressing the threat of terrorism.

Brown wrote that although the willingness of Anglican schools "by and large, to teach religion as if it were not true” makes them no threat to the state, he implied that Jewish and Catholic schools are an equal threat as those fundamentalist Islamic institutions that have been identified by British police as nuturing violent extremism.

While “no one supposes that society is threatened by a terrorist movement nurtured in [Church of England] primary schools,” he said the British government might be well advised to follow the Swedish example and force Jewish, Muslim and Catholic schools to adopt similar position.

Brown wrote, “Demanding that Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic schools stop teaching their own religions as if they were true, which is essentially the Swedish position, looks an impossible task for a British government. But I think it might also be a necessary one. It is certainly the only way to discover whether the parents of such schools really want the ‘ethos’ or the pseudo-factual beliefs and what exactly it is that the people who fund them think they are buying with their money.”
Now, I don't think that the British are at the point where they would infringe on the freedom of religion in this way. But, just seeing it proposed is quite telling.

It reminds me of what Archbishop Fulton Sheen once wrote. I highly recommend you read the entire thing:

There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church - which is, of course, quite a different thing. These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics "adore statues"; because the "put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God"; because they say "indulgence is a permission to commit sin"; because the Pope "is a Fascist"; because the "Church is the defender of Capitalism." If the Church taught or believed any one of these things it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.

If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the church which the world hates. My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world.

Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and of never having learned. Look for the Church which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth. Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. Look for the Church which, in seasons of bigotry, men say must be destroyed in the name of God as men crucified Christ and thought they had done a service to God. Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because He called Himself The Truth. Look for the Church which is rejected by the world as Our Lord was rejected by men. Look for the Church which amid the confusion of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its Voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other-worldly. Since it is other-worldly it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself. But only that which is Divine can be infinitely hated and infinitely loved. Therefore the Church is Divine.

If then, the hatred of the Church is founded on erroneous beliefs, it follows that basic need of the day is instruction. Love depends on knowledge for we cannot aspire nor desire the unknown. Our great country is filled with what might be called marginal Christians, i.e., those who live on the fringe of religion and who are descendants of Christian living parents, but who now are Christians in only in name. They retain a few of its ideals out of indolence and force of habit….within a short time they must take sides; they must either gather with Christ or they must scatter; they must either by with Him or against Him; they must either be on the cross as other Christs, or under it as other executioners. Which way will these marginal Christians tend? The answer depends upon those who have the faith….Only this much is certain. Being human and having hearts they want more than class struggle and economics; they want Life, they want Truth, and the want Love. In a word, they want Christ. (from the preface to Radio Replies)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A very insightful article...and very true!