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Average American = extremist German?
Posted By Eric Sammons On January 29, 2010 @ 6:00 am In Parenting | Comments Disabled
Another German reader  takes issue with my support for asylum for a German homeschooling family . He writes:
In Germany we do not tolerate any kind of extremists – neither left nor right nor religious ones. As traditional christian schools seem to actually not be christian enough for this family, my only guess is that they want to indoctrinate their children with stong xenophobic values.
I am happy that our judges forbade this. We don’t allow fundamentlistic muslims to indoctrinate their children either so why should we allow Christians? Parallel societies never led to anything good in our history – so why should we help those who want to start them? If it was only about Christian values then I must say it is something the parents could have taught their children after the normal school as well (which ends at around noon in the first grades).
And just because the law was written when the Nazis were ruling our country (which it was) it doesn’t mean that the law itself may not make sense. Nobody is arguing whether it makes sense to have motorways either despite them having been built mostly to enable the war machinery to go quickly from east to west.
It seems clear to me that Germans have a much different view of extremism, schooling and freedom than (most) Americans do. A few specific points:
Why assume these people are “extremists”? He seems to define them as extremists simply because they want to homeschool. That makes millions of American families and countless other families throughout the world through the ages “extremists”. Extremism as a descriptive term is completely subjective: it simply means someone who significantly disagrees with you. Perhaps they think you are an extremist: should they be able to tell you how to raise your children?
Our German friend further states that because this family wants to homeschool “my only guess is that they want to indoctrinate their children with stong xenophobic values”. That is quite an illogical leap. Many, many people in this country who are non-religious (or, as he would say, “non-extremist”) choose to homeschool simply because they find it is a superior educational method to institutional schools. One may disagree with this assessment (although many studies would support it), but one cannot dismiss it outright, considering homeschooling has been with us since the beginning of time and has produced some of the world’s greatest intellects. Assuming homeschooling=indoctrination is simply a coded way of saying that you don’t agree with what these parents believe and you want to prevent them from teaching it to their children. This is one very small step from just taking children away from their parents who don’t support the beliefs of the majority mob.
Finally, a point about freedom. In a truly free society, you must allow a wide multitude of beliefs and practices. Some you may find distasteful, but that is the cost of freedom. Unless they are advocating a truly criminal behavior (such as assassination or other types of violence), they should be allowed. And yes, this means practicing Christians, Muslims and other religious people. But perhaps that is too “extreme” for modern Germany.
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2010/01/29/average-american-extremist-german/
URLs in this post:
 Another German reader: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2010/01/20/political-asylum-for-homeschooling/#comment-7345
 my support for asylum for a German homeschooling family: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2010/01/20/political-asylum-for-homeschooling/
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