And Did You Mean It, Did You?

Obama calls for an end to Catholic schools, apparently. You can see where he's going with the point he's trying to make, but it seems he didn't think this all the way through.


Ymar Sakar said...

This is an attack on private schools, not government sanctioned ones. In Japan many schools seem to be private, far more than in the US city districts. And some of them happen to be Catholic, since they were created and funded as such.

Mao demonstrated quite well how the state can gain control via accessing children and even changing the language "Simplified Chinese". A person educated in Simplified Chinese, meaning Singapore/mainland CHina, can no longer read traditional Chinese. Which happens to be convenient, since many martial arts histories, traditional knowledge, and Chinese history were written in traditional Chinese as a way to unify the culture.

MikeD said...

It takes a VERY tortured reading of the comments to turn it into "Catholic schools are bad". Like Bill Donahue, I am no fan of the President, but come on. This is not a cheap shot, it's a stupid one.

Grim said...

I don't think so, Mike. Here's what he said:

"If towns remain divided – if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs – if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation."

Now, I said I thought you could see what he meant to say here. But if you take this at face value, the clear 'action items' are these:

1) Eliminate Catholic schools / buildings.
2) Eliminate Protestant schools / buildings.
3) See yourselves in one another.
4) Abandon resentment.
5) Abandon division.
6) Encourage cooperation.

Some of that is good advice, and some of it not. There's a baby with the bathwater issue where religious schools are concerned.

Speaking of which, do you doubt that the President would prefer to require everyone to attend public schools run by official teachers unions? Had he the power, I mean? Do you doubt that he sees sectarian schools as undesirable competitors to the state as a source of authority and correct opinion?

Grim said...

Just to be clear, I'm only accusing the President of having not thought his comments all the way through. But I suspect the reason he didn't think them through is that he has this unspoken preference for eliminating things like sectarian schools, or homeschooling, for just the reasons he says. He thinks this common upbringing and common education helps us to see each other as the same.

Plato makes a similar argument in the Republic. It's not wholly implausible. It's just that there are some significant costs that he didn't stop to consider, and it allowed that bias against religious education to slip out of his mouth.