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Crushing religious schools with state funding

The UK government has crafted an educational mandate for religious schools’ curriculum that Sohrab Ahmari at Commentary calls “Orwellian.”

Under the proposal, all schools would be required to teach children from age 4 and up “age-appropriate” content that includes information about same-sex marriage and transgenderism. Catholics, evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and others with traditional views on sex and gender would have to comply. No exceptions.

He notes that a senior government adviser stated it is “not OK for Catholic [or other religious] schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage” – although the latter position has been official Catholic dogma since time immemorial.

The European problem is the Canadian problem, as well. Taxpayer-subsidized parochial schools are being coerced to teach a similar curriculum, because Catholic teachings on contraception and gender identity would “attack or hurt others … deny science, deny evidence, and deny human rights,” according to the premier of Alberta.

As transatlantic governments strive to impose national education standards even on religious schools, a different model is on display in the U.S. Betsy DeVos critiqued federal intrusion on local education, a realm properly controlled by local communities – and parents. AEI’s Andy Smarick records:

The Bush and the Obama “approaches had the same Washington ‘experts’ telling educators how to behave.” They operated under the same “false premise: that Washington knows what’s best for educators, parents, and students.” She added that “when it comes to education — and any other issue in public life — those closest to the problem are always better able to solve it.” “The lessons of history,” DeVos concluded, “should force us to admit that federal action has its limits.”

Forcing religious taxpayers to fund the transgression of their consciences should be one such limit. The quality of children’s education, and the authority of parents – which may be said to be “priordial and inalienable” – should not depend on prevailing government ideology.

There are two problems preventing the government from agreeing with such a reasonable statement.

Read more at Acton.

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