Religion in school (is not cool)

I’m dreading the day when we send our daughter to nursery school, because that’s when the indoctrination begins. Everybody knows Italy has “religion hour” in its public schools, part of the government’s bending-over-backwards to let the Church infiltrate the tender minds of its young. Now Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini wants to teach the Bible in school, too – presumably during the part of the week when kids don’t already have to listen to some Vatican-appointed, State-funded Man o’ God drone on about how each and every one of them were born sinners.

Ms. Gelmini says she is moved by her own faith, as well as her Italian citizenship. Apparently, the two are indistinguishable to her. “The foundations of the West were built upon Christian teachings,” she said. “Without understanding this presence, it’s impossible to study its history, understand its philosophy or appreciate its art and culture.”

Imagine that: Western Culture is completely indebted to Christianity as its sole cultural benefactor. No Greeks. No Romans. No Jews. No Enlightenment. In her personalized, teleological version of history Galileo was a pure product of Catholic scientific education. And this is the woman in charge of the educational standards of Italy’s youngest generation. No wonder around here there’s a saying: Italy exports brainpower and imports saints and witchdoctors. (Curzio Maltese)

I wonder if maybe Ms. Gelmini wouldn’t have been happier if she’d just become a nun, but I guess it doesn’t pay as well.