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Wednesday, 7 September 2011


I have a great deal to say about rights, but neither the energy nor the time to post a full and thorough post dealing with the nebulous concept, (And it is a nebulous one, let me tell you) but I can easily say this:

If I, for some reason, move to an Islamic Country, or a Buddhist one, and send my children to a School with a very specific religious ethos that I do not agree with, I logically forfeit my right to complain when my child in said country is exposed to Islamic religious culture or Buddhist spirituality, even if that exposure is nothing more then the odd pious image on the wall, or a prayer area.

So pray tell dear readers;

Why is it that a Couple (one of whom, the wife I think, is American) in the Republic of Ireland feel their rights are being trampled on when they send their child to a Catholic school and that child is *shock and horror of horrors* exposed to a Catholic Ethos? And that they believe this so fervently they're willing to fight the case all the way to the supreme court? Are we seriously entertaining this bloody nonsense!?

Their argument of course is that their isnt enough 'state schools' which are secular, in their area so they had to send their child to a religious school. I wont make an uneducated judgement on the family's financial circumstance but I'm pretty sure taking potential schools into consideration is an integral part of the process of where you decide to live. And is also often a reason many people pack their bags and move to another area of the country.

But fine lets say that was non-negotiable for them. For whatever reason, and lets get back to rights. What exactly makes this couple think that their rights are so sacrosanct that it is worth, oh, lets say, trampling the freedom and rights of non-state schools to decide their individual cultures, Identities and ethos? Do they think they are the only persons involved with this school that matter?

Really I don't want to come off as angry, but with current threats from outside education groups ''endorsed by celebrities'' no less attempting to pressure the Northern Irish government to encourage integration schools of mix religion, this sort of carry on really gets under my skin. Religious schools have achieved in Ireland a degree of academic excellence that puts us squarely on par with our neighbours and above in some cases, but thats a post for another time. I am just thoroughly against the rigid control of schools and I myself am in favour of academic competition and excellence and I will rage and rage hard against the egalitarian predilections taken towards education. So when 'rights' and 'fairness' and 'integration' are used in educational circles as buzz words for reform, my blood boils and I fear the continued destruction of education as a treasure which our children may inherit.

Why doesn't someone establish a specifically 'Athiest' school somewhere? I wouldn't mind that, it would at least shut up one part of the larger problem.


  1. I would have no problem with atheist schools either. I think a voucher system a la Sweden would be the fairest way to go. I suspect religious schools will naturally attract more students than secular ones, because they usually have a better reputation for academic excellence.

  2. I know no welcome is necessary, but welcome nonetheless, to the culture wars. This type of niggling, I suspect, is part of a wider Gramscian tactic to take down the religious part of our culture from public expression and to confine it to the sacristy at the very least. At the very least the left has created the expectation that educational institutions are to be neutral with regard to religion. I can see how northern Ireland is more vulnerable to this type of litigation than is Eire.

  3. Lefties don't know the difference between "having a right to X" and "someone else's having the obligation to provide you with the prerequisites to X."

  4. Personally, I think that when they took this BS to court the Judge should have laughed at them and then had them thrown out.

  5. It would have been ideal for the Judge to laugh it out of court, but I think the supreme court will at least dismiss the case. It affects too many people and there simply is not enough cause to restrict religious freedom in our schools.

    I rigorously oppose secularization of the school systems, I've spent my entire academic life in religious schools and have been the better for it, but I cannot speak for everyone obviously, but I profoundly frown upon any sort of integration of schools, even if it is integration of same sex schools into dual sex schools, I oppose it endemically on grounds such schools produce poorer results (and for a large part statistics seem to support me, especially with regards to the dramatic fall in grades of boys in dual sex schools for 'mysterious reasons'), secularizing schools will of course rob many of them of their characters and individual cultures and identities (which leftists want). It is an entirely destructive trend.