If you believe that such authority-based religious education is acceptable, then let me leave you with a question. Suppose authoritarian political schools started opening up around the country. A conservative school opens in Sydney, followed by a communist school in Melbourne. These schools select on the basis of parents’ political beliefs. Portraits of political leaders beam serenely down from classroom walls. Each day begins with the collective singing of a political anthem. Pupils are expected to defer, more or less unquestioningly, to their school’s political authority and its revered political texts. Rarely are children exposed to alternative political points of view, except, perhaps, in a caricatured form, so they can be sweepingly dismissed.
What would be the public’s reaction to such schools? Outrage. These schools would be accused of stunting children - of forcing their minds into politically pre-approved moulds.
My question is: if such authoritarian political schools are utterly beyond the pale, why are so many of us prepared to tolerate their religious equivalents?
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Contra faith schools: oh, snap!
From Stephen Law, via Richard Chapell: