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Bishops call for religion in public education

September 25, 2012

With Mexico in a state of “national emergency,” the Mexican Episcopal Conference (CEM) called this week for public schools to give religious education classes in order to restore a sense of morality to the country’s youth.

Outlined in a 155-page document, the “Education for a New Society” program would overturn the historic and constitutional separation of religion and education in Mexico, as well as limiting the power of teachers’ unions to determine the national curriculum.

The bishops’ proposals will undoubtedly encounter strong resistance not only from the unions, but also those concerned that the Catholic Church would take advantage of new laws to indoctrinate children. However, if pupils were taught – as the bishops have suggested – the ideals of many different faiths, including Judaism and Islam, then the classes could arguably be of some value to Mexican society.

The bishops insist they do not seek to undermine the secular state, but simply to instill some much needed ethics in education. They hope the classes would help kids to ignore the temptations of drug abuse or a life of crime, which may appear glamorous to those who are poorly educated or economically deprived.

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