In Spain a new Secular Civics Class is riling the Roman Catholic Church

Posted by Kendall Harmon

According to Victorino Mayoral, a Socialist lawmaker and president of the CIVES Foundation, which was involved in crafting the course, students will receive a mix of ethics, civics and study of human rights. Based on the values enshrined in Spain's 1978 Constitution, the course will cover issues ranging from domestic violence to dangerous driving, which claims thousands of Spanish lives every year.

But the course will also deal with issues like gender, sexuality and the family, and the church is up in arms.

Catholic bishops say the new course usurps the family's freedom to shape a child's morality and will impart values that in some instances diverge radically from their own. The Episcopal Conference has called on parents to protest the new syllabus by any legitimate means, and several bishops have called for a boycott.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

12 Comments
Posted August 8, 2007 at 11:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Newbie Anglican wrote:

The election of the Socialists after the Madrid bombing has been a disaster for Spanish society.
But the Spanish Socialists are far from alone in insisting on secularist indoctrination of children.  Be warned and ready to fight!

August 8, 11:46 am | [comment link]
2. Klaxon wrote:

As is so often the casel, the conservative viewpoint is that mentioning something is equal to promoting it. In this case, the church conflates mentioning that same-sex marriage is legal with promoting same-sex marriage.

August 8, 12:41 pm | [comment link]
3. Cabbages wrote:

Evicted can’t see how the state telling your kindergartner that gay relationships are equivalent to marriage and that it’s bigotry to believe otherwise could possibly be “promoting” a behaviour…  The school isn’t “promoting” homosexuality or promiscuity, they’re just drawing diagrams for grade school kids and handing out flavored condoms.  Nope, no promotion, just neutral “mentioning” of stuff…

August 8, 1:31 pm | [comment link]
4. Klaxon wrote:

Cabbages,
What I call “mentioning something” (same-sex marriage), you inflate to “telling your kindergartner that gay relationships are equivalent to marriage.”
Thank you for proving my point: the conservative viewpoint often is that mentioning something is equal to promoting it.

August 8, 3:28 pm | [comment link]
5. Newbie Anglican wrote:

Evicted, you know d**n well that same-sex marriage and the like isn’t just being “mentioned” in that program.

If you and your kind are going to cram your agenda down the throats of families, at least be honest about it.

August 8, 3:42 pm | [comment link]
6. Klaxon wrote:

Newbie Anglican,

I’ve merely made a single observation about the behavior of many conservatives. To you, “my kind” and I are “cramming our agenda down the throats of families.”

You overestimate my knowledge of current affairs on the Iberian Peninsula. All I personally know about the Spanish program in question is what I read in the article. I decidedly do _not_ “know d**n well that same-sex marriage and the like”—whatever that may be—“isn’t just being mentioned in that program.”


My thanks to you, too, for helping me demonstrate the frequency with which conservatives expand the mere mention of something into endorsement.

August 8, 4:28 pm | [comment link]
7. Jon wrote:

I think Evicted has a point here.  The original piece specifically mentioned that the curriculum in question did not start until age 11.  Cabbages quickly claimed that it began in kindergarten, that they were “drawing diagrams” (does he mean pictures of men copulating?), and handing out “flavored condoms.”  When Evicted objected mildly he was told by Newbie he was a liar.

I’m on record on T19 as a hard line traditionalist.  But this kind of misrepresentation of news pieces (something that folks on the left do too) only damages our own credibility—as does the lack of charity in the responses.

My own view is that there probably is an element of subtle propagandizing in the curriculum, but that there’s no way to tell for sure from the piece.  Regardless, I think Rome is way too worked up over it: I don’t ever remember getting my values from anything teachers said, or a textbook said, ESPECIALLY about sex.  What their peers think is for teenagers much more important, and also how they were raised by their folks.  I remember actually the sex education classes of my youth as being times of acute hilarity, especially given the deep seriousness with which the teachers took everything.

Of course maybe I’m wrong here and teenagers care deeply what their textbooks say about what’s cool and hip and good.  I’m skeptical but maybe they do.  Regardless, I’d agree that public schools shouldn’t be in the business of promoting values.  Or “teaching” about different kinds of family structures (save in a high school psych or sociology or politics class).  One reason is that it is a bad use of time and energy.  That’s not where people do or should get their values from.  Another is that the schools have other stuff they should be doing: like teaching math and science and how to read and write.

August 8, 5:22 pm | [comment link]
8. Mike Bertaut wrote:

Let’s not forget the context against which this course is being debated.  Rome enjoys dramatic subsidies in Spain, receiving government money to pay for Catholic Schools.  If there is a more Roman Catholic Country in the world, I’m not sure which one it is, in terms of the marriage of church and state. 

And we all know such marriages inevitably prove disastrous for Church, as Benedict XVI said himself in “Jesus of Nazareth” earlier this year.

I’m with C.S. Lewis on this one.  He said pointedly that government has a particular affinity for doing its job, i.e. promoting the public good, and that Church has an affinity for doing its job, i.e. moving souls down the road to salvation.  Expecting either to do the other’s work is an exercise in frustration. 

Once the Church takes government money, it has set itself up to be ruled by government, hence the “no organization is above the law” threat from the Socialists.

Better Rome stop taking Spanish Tax Dollars and take up its rightful place, independant of and if necessary defiant to the Civil Government.

KTF!...mrb

August 8, 5:46 pm | [comment link]
9. Cabbages wrote:

John, are you going to make me go find you links to the mainstreaming of “Heather has two momies” in Massachusetts kindergartens? Are you going to make me find links about public elementary/middle schools that DO hand out flavored condoms to prepubescent children?  I can understand why those sympathetic to a complete upending of traditional sexual morality / the traditional family and judeo-christian values generally would prevaricate and insist that every step along the line to those end goals be judged in isolation (each drip can be discounted, but eventually the bathtub overflows), but I don’t understand why a self-described “hard line traditionalist” would do so.  Note, I don’t know whether Evicted is an anti-traditional morality activist, a fellow traveler or simply naive, but those behind this move in Spain and our own home-grown whackos clearly know the kind of godless anti-Christian society they are actively working towards.

August 8, 5:50 pm | [comment link]
10. Words Matter wrote:

I’ll admit that being called homophobe, bigot and hate-monger by homosexualist advocates for 30 years has left me a bit sensitive to the possibility that any mention of same-sex relationships by secular agencies is, in fact, another propaganda campaign aimed at the acceptance of sexual perversion as a normal part of human life. Yes, Evicted, I probably do jump to the conclusion that any such mention is indoctrination routine which will end in the suppression of free speech and the Christian message. Sadly, I’m often right.

August 8, 6:39 pm | [comment link]
11. deaconjohn25 wrote:

I taught in Mass. public high schools for almost 40 years until I retired a few years ago.  By the time I retired many Mass. schools—under the guise of imparting unbiased information—were turning class and assembly presentations into indoctrination and re-education (almost Communist style) camps. I got so sick and tired of listening to liberal fellow faculty members and administrators—on the sly—insulting, deriding, mocking, berating, and belittling parents of traditional moral values, I was glad I had reached retirement age and most of my grandchildren are being raised down South, not here.

August 8, 6:57 pm | [comment link]
12. Larry Morse wrote:

#11’s point is well aken and is in fact a practice across Mass. Does this apply to Spain> We cannot know with certaiinty from the evidence given, so VA. may be correct, but it is much more likely that the general proposition, that those who are agenda driven will use any circumstance to advance the agenda is probably true is Spain as it is here, so we may tentatively suppose that there is a persistent, if subtle, sales pitch taking place in favor of homosexuality. In Mass., however, the subtility is the carefully nuanced stroke of the splitting maul.
#11’ss point however is more important that official sales pitches. The social context is the most poiwerful sales tool, and the left wing society of Mass schools creates a climate that hold all “traditional” values up to ridicule and thereby peddles the far left agenda. The rule is always the same: Silence the opposition by whatever means, then demand compliance. LM

August 9, 8:56 am | [comment link]
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