Thursday, November 24, 2005

Independent in name only

Just when you think you've heard everything.

The Swedish Social Democratics are proposing a new schooling law. The proposed law would allow the existence of independent religious schools, but only if certain conditions are followed.

What are these conditions? First, the teaching must be "entirely free of any religious angle". Second, any extra-curricular religious activities, such as morning prayers, must be voluntary. Third, the schools must be open to all students.

In other words, you can have a religious school as long as you leave out the religion!

What is happening in Sweden is just one further warning to the churches that they should not be trying to accommodate themselves to a liberal political order. There is no long term future for them in doing so. Liberalism keeps extending itself further and further into all spheres of life, leaving less space for independent institutions or rival forms of belief.

It's a pity that more churchmen don't follow the lead of Cardinal Thomas Williams of New Zealand, who took a forthright stand for his church last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment