Swedish schools, religious as well as secular, distinguish between “education” and “learning,” as odd as that may sound. The former is the curriculum; the latter, the time spent, for example, at recess, lunch, or social gatherings — outside the context of teaching. Religious education and practice are allowed only outside the highly regulated curriculum. Even then, any religious activity, such as school prayer or the lighting of Shabbat candles, must be voluntarily undertaken. In each case, it is up to the parents either to include their children in the activity or to opt out.
This means that there is in fact no religious education in Swedish schools — it is legal only outside the state-mandated curriculum — and so there is no religious education to outlaw. What the state would now outlaw, however, should the proposed legislation pass, is the opportunity for Christian, Muslim, and Jewish children to feel part of a group they can identify with, to learn about their religious and cultural heritage, and to partake of a value system that isn’t built on a belief in the almighty state, blessed be its name.
… As we all know, it is much easier to outlaw liberty — that has always been Sweden’s default choice — than to struggle with the questions it raises and the perils it poses.
(Annika Henroth-Rostein, Sweden Aims to Outlaw Religious Education, Which Is — Already Illegal)
“The question” here is Muslim immigrants now 10% of the Swedish population, with 11 Islamic schools segregating boys and girls. My blog title is based on this book, which is on my bought-but-not-yet-read list.
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It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.
Bigotry is an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition.
A man … is only a bigot if he cannot understand that his dogma is a dogma, even if it is true.
(G.K. Chesterton) Be of good courage, you who are called “bigots” by those who are unable to conceive seriously the alternatives to their dogmas.