My Daily Maverick column this week might be of interest to some of you, and addresses the Gauteng MEC for Education’s comments on an “anti-harmful religious policy at schools”
I sometimes think that the one really big mistake that the writers of our constitution made was not to explicitly separate state and church as is done in America. Perhaps the rule should be simple: no religion of any kind whatever in government schools.
But I suspect the situation here in South Africa is perhaps a bit too complex. For one thing, in some communities the church is just about the only point of stability and, however backward some of its beliefs, it may well actually play a positive role. In communities like the Cape Flats, it is very often only through finding Jesus or Allah that people turn away from drugs and gangsterism. Perhaps we are not quite ready for a secular society.
But the recent anti-satanist blathering did indeed raise my eyebrows as well - I have many pagan friends. Besides, I think Anton LaVey was about as cool a guy as it is possible for a religious leader to be.
I would think the MEC would have better things to with there time.
I would hazard that a properly conducted sociological study will find that Creecy & Co. are on a fool’s errand. It seems to me a mark of great naïveté, or possibly deliberate scapegoating, to attempt pinning the blame on fringe cults for widespread and increasing disaffection among our youth, which is what this initiative implicitly assumes: “With the ‘right’ religion, our youth will be ‘right’ too.” Such an oversimplification is bound to have ultimately negative consequences, ignoring as it does a whole brace of societal and environmental factors of at least equal significance that conspire to alienate our youth.
A more sinister possibility is that this will become the foot-in-the-door precursor to sneak religion into schools in a more formal way, this time with the Education Department’s sanction.
All in all, it’s an ill-considered and worse-executed bit of humbug.
Jacques, it seems the Silicon Fates favour Creecy after all…
(BTW, the “IOL” link appearing at the top of the above image points to the same Maverick article under which it appears, not any IOL article.)
Oh right. Thanks. (Though, you seem to be the only one that’s noticed, so I don’t think I’ll bother mailing the editor to get it changed.)