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    Ratzinger Against Sexual Education
    By Tommaso Dorigo | January 10th 2011 06:43 AM | 36 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Tommaso

    I am an experimental particle physicist working with the CMS experiment at CERN. In my spare time I play chess, abuse the piano, and aim my dobson...

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    That's too bad. Pope Benedict XVI just let go with a very unfortunate judgement, which betrays just how much the catholic church would like to force a control on our society.

    In a new-year speech he gave in front of diplomats, Benedict touched the subject of the way sexual education is taught in Europe:

    "Proseguendo la mia riflessione, non posso passare sotto silenzio un'altra minaccia alla libertà religiosa delle famiglie in alcuni Paesi europei, là dove è imposta la partecipazione a corsi di educazione sessuale o civile che trasmettono concezioni della persona e della vita presunte neutre, ma che in realtà riflettono un'antropologia contraria alla fede e alla retta ragione."

    Quick-and-dirty translation:

    "To continue with my thoughts, I cannot silence myself on another threat to the religious freedom of families in some European countries, where the participation to sexual or civil education courses is mandatory. There, an idea of the person and of life are broadcast which are supposedly neutral, but in reality reflect an anthropology which is opposed to faith and to the reason of believers."
    These catholics are obsessed with sex. It's the proof that too little of a good thing is worse than too much of it ;-)

    Comments

    The Pope has the right to say what he wants... and we have the right to not listen to him. The only issues that we have to take care are laws and individual needs. Finally, what is good with laws, is that is based on scientific studies.

    Aitch
    Finally, what is good with laws, is that is based on scientific studies.

    That just shows me, that you've never been near a Judicial Court....another area where sexual perversion is revered on only one side of the bench, IMHO

    Aitch
    rholley
    where sexual perversion is revered on only one side of the bench
    That one is a bit to subtle for me.  Explanation or examples, please.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Aitch
    Aw, come on, Robert....

    Even you must've heard of the trial Judge's private perverted porn viewings....?

    For a Judge, it's a job, for everyone else, a scandal and likely prison sentence....

    Aitch
    dorigo
    Sure, the Pope can speak, and we can avoid listening. Can we ? If you lived in Italy, you would know that it is quite hard to not listen to the Pope. Unfortunately, a good part of our politicians' agenda is dictated by the Vatican.

    Cheers,
    T.
    I am not agree with you. Yes, the Pope used to talk for his coreligioners, but most of catholics don't really pay attention. Here, in Québec, Canada, the religion Catholic held his claws over our population a century, but into the 60's ( 1960-1968) during a era called : La Révolution Tranquille ( tr : Quiet Revolution), the french-canadian kick the religious people out of public institutions... Goold for us ! and the Church belongs now to the folklore.

    Sexual education ought to be teached in school, not by every teachers avaible, but by sexologists who have a teaching certificate and... and a «no criminal record» certificate. No risk to take...

    I agree with the Holy Father that much of the sex education in the contemporary society has an anti-religious - and sometimes even immoral - content, and at the very minimum, families should have the right to remove their children from such classes, at least in the same way as parents have the right to remove their children from religion classes.

    And be sure that this opinion was written by a de facto atheist.

    dorigo
    Ok you are an atheist Lubos. But what is your sexual preference ? Eterosexual ? Bisexual ? Homosexual ? Gerontophile ? Pedophile ? Necrophile ? Let's discuss. Only for educational purposes, of course ;-)

    Cheers,
    T.
    Is that normal for leftists like you to attack someone personally when he has an inconvenient opinion? I am as straight as faggots of your kind can't even dream.

    dorigo
    Hi Lubos,

    I was only trying to apply your method to you for once... don't take it personally ;-)
    T.
    I have made nothing of the sort, fucking liar, and neither did the Pope.

    People like you are just immoral scum. It's always you who is trying to penetrate deeply to the very intimate life of the Italian prime minister - and now the the head of the Catholic Church and even my own, things that are absolutely beyond your business - and then you deny that you did it, or even try to pretend that it was the other side who did it.

    People like you have no decency. I don't defend the universal prosecution or execution of jerks like you - but the world was surely a better place when people like you were regulated away. What I would find as shocking as the Pope would be if perverse deviants who have no respect for the basic moral values of the Western civilization were trying to miseducate the children, too.

    dorigo
    Uuuh Lubos, you are on a bad mood today. Who attacked you ? I joked that since you had produced your personal ideas on religion, you could complement that with your sexual preferences. The rest is paranoia on your part.

    Cheers,
    T.
    "I agree with the Holy Father that much of the sex education in the contemporary society has an anti-religious - and sometimes even immoral - content, and at the very minimum, families should have the right to remove their children from such classes, at least in the same way as parents have the right to remove their children from religion classes."

    Forgive me the poor quality of my english.
    All right. But who says that families are not allowed to remove their children from such schools? At least in France, it is possible. But, of course, these chidren are ought to go to other schools, I mean really private schools. And the teachers there are not paid by the french state. This means that these are rather expensive schools. But who cares about the money when the problem is to keep your teenagers away from sexual education, information about pregnancy, SIV and other horrible topics ?

    dorigo
    Hi Jean,

    indeed, catholics have always pushed for private schools -and government funding. In Italy, the State gives billions of euros to catholic institutes for a service which is intrinsically against the interests of a laic society.

    Cheers,
    T.
    rholley
    When sex education came into schools in Britain, our cartoonist Giles came out with one featuring a class of (approximately) ten-year olds being taught by a middle-aged schoolmistress.  One bright young spark was raising his hand and asking:

    “Please Miss, when do we get on to the practical?”
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Fred Phillips
    Just so, when someone tells me his field is theology, I love to reply, “Theoretical, or experimental?“
    dorigo
    Of course Robert, that's the central issue. But I do not despair. Give it time, and we'll have practical courses, too. And I hope they'll accept catholics there too - I have the feeling they'll be the first in line to sign up.

    Cheers,
    T.
    rholley
    and we'll have practical courses, too.
    And who will write the course manuals?

    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    HedgehogFive
    who will write the course manuals?
    Many great textbooks have two authors.  How about Berlusconi and Bruni?
    rholley
    Rather them than followers of György Lukács, Deputy Commissioner of Culture in Hungary short the short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic headed by Béla Kun.  As this delightful article titled A Nation of Frogs narrates:
    ... his first task was to put in radical sex education in the schools. He reasoned that this was the best way to destroy traditional sexual morality, and weaken the family. Hungarian children learned the subtle nuances of free love, sexual intercourse, and the archaic nature of middle-class family codes, the obsolete nature of monogamy, and the irrelevance of organized religion, which deprived man of pleasure. Children were urged to deride and ignore the authority of parental authority, and precepts of traditional morality.
    But perhaps Tommaso’s recommendations incline more to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, or even the world of We by Evgeny Zamyatin.  A disclaimer would help to put my mind at rest.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    dorigo
    Here is my disclaimer Robert:

    Never should the catholic church dictate what should be taught in schools. Other countries happily ignore the Pope and his bishops, but in Italy politicians are for the vast majority lackeys who try to have the support of the Vatican to further their political career, and they more often than not try to please the church.

    Am I being naive ? Why are my tax moneys financing the Vatican ?

    Cheers,
    T.
    What on earth is "civil education"? I have never heard this term used before. Is it the same thing we in the US would call Social Studies? If it is, I fail to see that it has anything at all to do with religion, either pro or con.

    dorigo
    Maybe "civic" Bill. On the organization of the state, the constitution, and such.
    Cheers,
    T.
    Uhm, I'm just crazy. I'm going to use my poor english discussing with another italian...

    In any case, I think you probably are wrong about some points.
    Most of comments to BXVI statement were sort of “What's up with him? Sexual education IS neutral, it's about condoms, pregnancy and other objective informations! What on Earth could be bad with giving such scientifics informations?!”

    There's a problem in such thoughts. In real world, sometimes happens that sexual education arbitrarly suggest you how to live your sexual life. Here some examples.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article6689953.ece
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article885612.ece

    In brief, those brilliant sexual education's programs addressed to teenagers tell you “Hey, guys, give yourselves to pleasure! Let's enjoy a regular sexual life!” and “I'll tell you, oral sex is JUST GREAT! You should do it!”

    As you can see, it's everything but neutral. How about you being a parent who tried to give a somehow different vision of sex to your sons? Ok, they have right to choiche, but to be against the state judgment itself is way too much...

    rholley
    An excellent point.  I read those Times links.  The answer to those who say “let them try oral sex and they might defer full intercourse” is “Try telling that to the Marines!”

    The English was pretty good, but could you please expand on the following?  The idea is too compact for me to get hold of easily.
    but to be against the state judgment itself is way too much...
    (I can also read Italian.)
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Err, sorry, in any case what I meant was:
    Well, imagine that you are the parent and you teached some reasonable things to your sons about how to handle their sexual life (as, to say, "be patient", and so on) and then their sexual education course tells them someting really different. I think it would be pretty unpleasant seeing that school is "against you", that some arbitrary but fully legitimate parental advices are totally screwed up by some public institution...

    rholley
    That is only too true.  When I was a teenager I experienced cultural and political dissonance between what I picked up at home and what I was taught at school.
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    dorigo
    Guys, please do not drift away. We are not discussing the fact that parents should have a choice of whether to pick that course or not -exactly as they have a choice to choose the teaching of catholic religion in italian school, something that the church tried hard to avoid by the way!

    Cheers,
    T.
    I did not try to drift away. I never said anything about whether such possibility of choise should be given or not, (nor i read that Robert did so...)

    In my opinion the point is that in your post the statement made by the Pope is "very unfortunate" and just "betrays just how much the catholic church would like to force a control on our society". You do not even consider the possibility that he could just be right, that some courses could be not neutral. I tryed to point out that instead this could be a real issue.

    dorigo
    But my point is that instead of dealing with religious issues he constantly invades a sphere he should stay away from.

    Cheers,
    T.
    But you see, he was dealing with a religious issue.

    Firts, what's wrong with sexual education courses like those I reported? The fact that between the various legitimate ways to live your sexual life, they explicitly suggest which one you should choose (sort of having your public television coming out with some "Come on, why don't vote Tories?"). This is clearly not neutral. The Pope has the full right to discuss this since the religion he represent has his own vision of sexual life, and, while for sure Catholics do not have absolutly the right to pretend that others should behave according to their way, the for sure have the right to not being suggested by the state to change their ideas.

    (I note only now that in your english translation you put a dot which make the phrase ambiguos, possibly suggesting that in every state in which sexual education is mandatory it is opposed to faith, while in the original italian the phrase tells that in some state, sexual education is mandatory AND it is opposed to faith (the first does not imply the second). I suppose a more correct (but Cicero-like, it's my limit) translation should be
    "in some European countries, where the participation to sexual or civil education courses which broadcast an idea of the person and of life supposedly neutral, but in reality reflecting an anthropology which is opposed to faith and to the reason of believers, is mandatory."
    Uhm, maybe the following is a bit less correct but way more readable:
    "in some European countries, where it is imposed the participation to sexual or civil education courses which broadcast an idea of the person and of life supposedly neutral, but in reality reflecting an anthropology which is opposed to faith and to the reason of believers.")

    dorigo
    Ok, enough. If we are discussing English translations this thread is basically dead. Thank you for your interest, anyway. I remain of my opinion, and I respect yours.

    Best,
    T.
    Come on, it was between "( )" :p
    My main point is: you say he was Off-Topic, I say no (and I tried do say why).

    rholley
    Tommaso,

    It seems the title of this article keeps attracting so much spam, and since I have “notify” checked then I get useless emails.

    However, yesterday I heard about the temple to the Emperor Tiberius which was erected in Smyrna, and of the martyrdom of Christians who refused to worship there.

    And then I thought a horrible thought.

    Now I surmise that to you, one religion is as bad as another.  Nevertheless, thanks to the efforts of those martyrs, no-one today is forced to offer worship of that kind to Silvio Berlusconi.
     
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Hank
    In the early days, we wanted as few barriers as possible to participation so we allowed anonymous comments.   We use the most well-known spam blocker in the world so regular people never see it but moderators (like you) will get notified if they have email notification for an article.   

    I think allowing commenting by members only is too onerous but we might disable comments after two weeks or so to anonymous people.   That seems to be when the bulk of the comments are spam.