Nov 19, 2008

Losing religion. The right to be exempted from the school course in Greece.

The Greek Ombudsman has recently received reports of citizens who
indicated that in several schools in the country parents have been requested to sign a statement declaring their religion as an excuse to exempt their children from
Religion lesson.

The Greek Ombudsman clarifies with this press release that ANY student regardless of religious beliefs may be exempted from attending 'Religion/Thriskeftika*' as long as their parents or the students (if they are of age) invoke reasons of conscience in an accountability statement. Neither parents or student need disclose their religious beliefs in order to be exempted from the lesson.

Tonight on the news a well-known Greek orthodox priest/psychologist asked to comment on the Greek Ombudsman's letter of clarification to the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.

One of his washy arguments was "if students didn't attend the course 'Religion' in school they would turn to drugs"(!) and Greek society's values would decay faster. Priest also said that 'our religion' (Greek Orthodoxy) is the only religion that teaches love and compassion, making a smug remark about Islam.

A reporter accurately pointed out that the Church's recent involvement in the Vatopedi land deal controversy, which is currently being investigated by a Parliamentary commission, has in no way set a good Christian example for society or shown any ethical values.

The bottom line is that Greek priests aren't going to release their claws from the Greek school system that easily.


E said...

Dear Flub,
The black robes will keep their claws as long as it takes. Unfortunately Greece is by a great extent a Theocracy. These black robes enslaved the Hellenic mind for centuries, and will continue to do so unless they are forced out by ratification of the constitution..They have committed what I call Genocide of the Hellenic mind.

Adamantios Koraes attempted to minimize their influence, but he had too had many head-winds.
Consider the following excerpts:

From Thomas Jefferson to Koraes.

By opting for the ancients over the Byzantines,
Koraes made a wise choice in more ways than one.
After the start of the Greek Revolution, when anxious to use all his powers to the
advantage of Greece, he wrote to Thomas Jefferson for advice on statecraft, the latter
responded with a kind letter encapsulating his wisdom from decades of experience in
the other great experiment of the age. Clearly moved by his classical education and
humanist roots, Jefferson concludes his letter as follows:
I have thus, dear sir, according to your request, given you some
thoughts, on the subject of national government. they are the result of the
observations and reflections of an Octogenary who has past fifty years of
trial and trouble in the various grades of his country’s service. they are but
the outlines which you will better fill up, and accomodate to the habits and
circumstances of your countrymen. should they furnish a single idea
which may be useful to them, I shall fancy it a tribute rendered to the
Manes of your Homer, your Demosthenes, and the splendid constellation
of Sages and Heroes, whose blood is still flowing in your veins, and whose
merits are still resting, as a heavy debt, on the shoulders of the living and
the future races of men. While we offer to heaven the warmest
supplications for the restoration of your countrymen to the freedom and
science of their ancestors, permit me to assure yourself of the cordial
esteem and high respect which I bear and cherish towards yourself
Th. Jefferson

Anonymous said...

Let me say something, living in America where there is separation of church from state/government. Just take a look around, listen to what you hear on the news about the lack of morality, values, etc. These are all largely due to this separation. Children need to have values morals and a CONSCIENCE instilled in them. Even though the Orthodox church may not be "perfect" so to speak, please tell me is it "perfect" to take away completely the church from the schools? In America we have seen the results of such action. One does not have to imagine with much difficulty what path that would lead the youth of Greece to.