A frightening new law was recently proposed in Italy: in addition to the already fatuous “religion hour” in Italian public schools (and you thought “one nation under God” was bad) – which is really an hour in which students are obliged to listen to a handpicked Vatican mouthpiece mouth off (paid for by the State, naturally) – there has been a recent proposal to add Islam to the “choice” (I am quotating here – see sidebar) of religions that are taught. The reason is worth quoting: to avoid abandoning little Muslims “to the ghettos of the madrassas and integralist Islamic schools” (Corriere della Sera). Brilliant! So let’s bring integralist Koranic teachings into the public schools, where they can wage their eternal battle for children’s minds with the Catholic Church itself. Let’s let our children be the little soldiers in State-funded religious warfare. Otherwise – and here, I feel, is the real reason behind the proposal – they might become kamikazes.
For an alternative to the teaching of the Catholic religion (IRC), the UAAR (Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics) has proposed a program to abolish this propagandistic aberration from Italian public education.
Think about it: shouldn’t every single child have the right to personalized religious teaching in the classroom? The son of Wiccans, the daughter of Hidus, the twins born to Red-Letter Christians should all have the same right that is granted to the children of Catholics in this country. It would be chaos, as you can imagine. Muslims may yet get that taste of equality, but only because integration is so poor and Islamic schooling has the unfortunate tendency to churn out suicidal religious fanatics (and they have growing numbers). This really has nothing to do with integration or equality.
Religion should simply be abolished from the public sphere. You have a home. You have a church, mosque, synagogue. Use them to teach religion, and leave the public schools to teach science, math, history and perhaps even the history of religions. That would be a fair and necessary innovation. Anything else is bigotry.