Christian fundamentalists have welcomed the decision by a US court to award a German family political asylum in the United States because the parents were unwilling to subject their children to mandatory school attendance rules in Germany.Isn't all history "past history"? But whatever. Maybe Donnelly was homeschooled. (Ooops... that was cheap!)
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike from the town of Bissingen in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg wanted to teach their five children at home because they feared that they were being taught an "anti-Christian worldview" in public schools. They pulled their children out of school and in 2008, after fighting the authorities for years, emigrated to the United States, where they applied for political asylum in 2009. On Tuesday night, the evangelical Christian lobbying group Home School Legal Defense Assoication (HSLDA) announced that the Romeikes' asylum application had been approved.
Announcing his verdict in a court in Memphis, Tennessee, Judge Lawrence Burman ruled that the Romeikes' were entitled to political asylum. According to HSLDA -- the ruling is not yet officially available --, Burman argued that he believed the Romeike family's basic human rights were being violated in Germany. "We can't expect every country to follow our constitution," he said, as quoted by the organization. Burman also defined so-called homeschoolers, who teach their children at home, as "a particular social group that the German government is trying to suppress." The family, Burman argued, has "a well-founded fear of persecution" and, as a result, the right to political asylum in the United States.
HSLDA attorney Mike Donnelly called the decision "embarrassing for Germany." According to Donnelly, the Memphis court issued a final ruling "that homeschoolers are a social group that is being persecuted in Germany." A "Western nation should uphold basic human rights, which include allowing parents to raise and educate their own children," Donnelly said. "This is simply about the German state trying to coerce ideological uniformity in a way that is frighteningly reminiscent of past history."
The anti-American Pavlovian drooling effect triggered off by this is only too telling and allows a glimpse into the deepest bilges of the German collective soul I wish I hadn't had, but nevertheless, in the best interest of truth, let me stress a couple of points:
Yes, we are trying to suppress homeschoolers. Maybe it is not apropos to make this comparison, but at least we have a rate for functional illiteracy of about 4% and the US of A of about 14%. I am sure that such a high percentage is not due to homeschooling, but I AM sure that our comparatively low rate is due to strictly enforced compulsory education. What I am NOT saying is that our school system does NOT have a lot of room for improvement. It has.
What a pathetic faith that is, which doesn't prepare children for a morning (in case somebody doesn't know: we don't have dayschools) of secular teaching, and what pathetic parents who are not willing or able (or not willing and able) to discuss with their children their curriculum later at home.
What a pathetic faith that resorts to lying to promote its own agenda. All this is "embarrassing" for YOU, not for us.
Dear Americans, in our little country prevails, maybe yet and just, the rule of law, but it prevails. If we allow Evangelical Christians to homeschool their children, we will have to make the same allowance for Muslims, and those, believe me, are only waiting for something like that to happen.
Here are some of the points I made in earlier entries:
Germany was the first country ever to have free elementary education available to all people. This was brought about by the Lutheran Reformation. Luther translated the Bible so that it could be read by everybody who could read.
Another reason for compulsory education was that children would get away for a couple of hours from a home where they would be forced to work. (Not a strong argument, admittedly, for Americans and specifically American libertarians.) Thus, compulsory state schooling was set up first in Saxony, where Martin Luther lived and worked. Ernst der Fromme (notabene Ernest the Pious), Duke of Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg, introduced compulsory school attendance in 1642 and saw that his schools were well equipped. Schoolbooks were printed. That was about 150 years after America was discovered and if I were into cheap shots I'd say now "150 years after America was discovered and some centuries before you winded up stealing your country from the natives", but I don't because I am not into cheap shots. Other German states followed suit, for example Prussia with the Principia Regulativa of Friedrich Wilhelm I. in 1717. Day-by-day realisation was somewhat slower, but by the end of the 19th century all of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Scandinavia and France had put into practice compulsory school attendance laws, and because I am not into cheap shots and "past history", I will refrain from pointing out any chronology connected to slavery in the American South.
This may amaze you, but we consider this one of the great civilisatory achievements, of which Europe, and Germany, can be justifiedly proud.
Now what about the "past history" between 1933 and 1945 during which countless regulations, rules and decrees were passed, which were unashamedly against God's and men's natural law. However, the law that finally and for all did away with homeschooling wasn't one of them. A lot of regulations, rules and decrees were passed as well, which were part of the everyday business of running a state –- ANY state.
It is not exactly as if the Nazis had destroyed a thriving homeschooling infrastructure and in fact it is the height of intellectual dishonesty to say, or insinuate, so. In fact, there WAS no such infrastructure and never had been. The lawmaking process just did what would have been done sooner or later by any German government anyway, namely legally clarifying the status quo.
Obviously, some of the more zealous among the American homeschooling champions are too dense to understand that (or too much lacking in integrity to say so) and that their own traditions, historical development, understanding of personal freedom and scepticism towards governmental paternalism -- in a word: their mentality -- can not be applied offhandedly to other, specifically European, countries. If that were so easy, we'd all be over there.
As it is, it's good that at least the Romeikes are now.
A Well-Meaning Suggestion for American Homeschoolers
Dumb, dumber, American conservative
When a Nazi poofter in lederhosen speaks the truth, something stinks!