Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Religion and school

Anyone who knows me knows what my stance is on this. School is something, religion is something else. There are a bunch of (traditional) ways to teach religiousness to a child, in the home as well as in church, special camps :), etc. I see no need for a religious education forcefully imposed on children inside the school, especially in a country that is not that religious. Where is the separation between state an church here?!

Yes, I know that the statistics say 85% of the population of Romania is orthodox, but that's only in name. True, active, church going religious people belong to distinct demographics like old people, some women, or people in the country side. This new surge of religion in Romania is nothing but a scam! Yes, nothing more than a marketing move.

And yet, here it is, a law that (again) makes religion one of the compulsory classes in Romanian schools. If you don't want religion, the parent must write a letter to the school requesting for it to be replaced with "moral-religious education", whatever that is.

So, what if I don't want any religion for my kid? I consider religion, especially organised religion, nothing more than a ploy to prey on human stupidity and fear. I want to raise my child away from superstitious crap. Let him watch Jesus on TV, the same as Ghost Busters!

Let me analyze what I should do in order to insure that my hypothetical offspring is not getting in school an education that contradicts that at home. First step: write the letter that places him in a special class of "moral-religious education". What that essentially does is place the child in a different group, a ready prey for ridicule or any kind of discrimination. Then he sees that in his group there are only the people that consider religion ridiculous, while in the other (larger group) there are the religious kids along with the ones that don't care about it one way or the other. So he will immediately feel the pressure of being in an apparent minority. This is a clear case of discrimination any way you put it, yet they intend to make this a law. What kind of crappy legislators do we have?! AND, after all this, I only managed to get my kid into a less religious class, probably with a priest or highly religious man as a teacher.

What would these religious people think if we were to add a compulsory "God does not exist and religion is stupid" class? They would shout much and high about discrimination and the right to choose and the local decision of allowing religious symbols or education in schools. Yet they have no problem with refusing the right to choose of atheists. Religious hypocrites? what a shock!

Here is a link to a discussion from 2004 about the legality and ethics of compulsory religious classes and their content.


danezia said...

I completely agree with what you said in this post. But religion is a truly sensitive subject in Romania. Even if most of the people don't give a flying s*** about it, they all tend to show off their religious fervor... (from the villagers who attack the unwanted priest... to the ex-communist politician who preach today about how much they believe in god).

Religion in school (high school) was really nicceee... it was a good opportunity to ask the poor priest all kind of strange question... and laugh at the dumb answers we were receiving.... but little children don't really have a choice or a mind of their own!