I thoroughly enjoy the UK’s Catholic Herald publication. In comparison, it’s faithful to the Catholic faith and it’s fairer than National Catholic Register in regards to those who are considered to be heterodox by the respective publications. In the last week, I’ve seen articles pop up on the topic of the removal of capping on religious schools in England, which requires 50 percent of the enrolled students to be of the school’s faith.
Naturally, secularists and humanists in England have been leading the charge against the removal of said capping. The surprise of many writers at the Catholic Herald is that the retired Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has joined their ranks citing that these newly formed schools would lack diversity and promote a monocultural. The particular commentary that I’ve read this morning argues that Catholic schools do, in fact, promote diversity within their schools. Read via: Catholic schools are diverse and successful. How did Rowan Williams end up opposing them?
My response, “Who cares?” “Why do you feel the need to argue this point?”
I argue this because at stake here shouldn’t be necessarily a religious issue, it should be a personal issue based on the parents’ rights to choose what they feel is the proper education for their children. If an Anglican, Lutheran, Muslim etc. parents believe that a Catholic school gives their child the best education, they have the full rights, as afforded by their human dignity as parents of children to decide where their child is to best educated and not the state.
And here we find the most pressing matter, why is it up to the law, or for that matter ‘the state’ to decide such matter against the parents’ wishes? During my time within academics, I took a class on the Soviet Union in which I learned that the Soviet Union did all that it could to take parental rights away from parents. In fact, the Soviet propaganda machine would create poetry and songs that told of children snitching on their parents for not being loyal to the state! Naturally, the motive was to instruct children to tell on their parents and create fear among the parents. And this where both 20th century, and it appears the 21st century, fascism and socialism/communism become blurred. More or less, communism has always been about economics (albeit distributed and managed by the state), but fascism is about a growth in state power as opposed to more localized forms of government including self-autonomy. It’s about forming, unnaturally a uniformed sense of allegiance to what the state deems as the appropriate culture, which ironically the UK secularist and humanists are forging when they seek to limit parental rights over the education of their children.
So, who cares if Catholic schools teach Catholic beliefs, so long as this is the parents choice, the state should never have any say on the matter.