Is there no end? I’ve been discussing Creationism and Intelligent Design with people ad nauseam (and believe me I don’t get tired of discussions quickly) and pulling my hair trying to comprehend why American conservative Christians cannot cope with it being dealt with in church and perhaps Sunday schools, but not in a state school. Now, I hear that right in my back yard, Opus Dei plans to raise 2 million Euros for funding a school near the German capital. Read and watch the full story in German on the ZDF site.
Can we please stop them?
We do not need a recruitment center for Opus Dei. We do not need to provide them with an excellent disguise for subverting the education of our youth. Even if the teachers will be paid by the administration, it requires little imagination predict what the school board would look like. There is even less imagination required here because examples from the United States abound (for the most prominent example ref. here and here).
Here is the translation of my e-mail to the mayor of Potsdam:
Dear Mr. Jakobs,
though I am not a citizen of Potsdam, with reference to the ZDF’s report from April 10th 2007 (http://www.zdf.de/ZDF/download/0,5587,5000716,00.pdf and
http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/inhalt/17/0,4070,5262961-5,00.html) I need to ask if we need, even in light of all budget deficit, a recruitment center for Opus Dei in Germany?
For a long time I was only worried about circumstances in the United States where “Creationism” and “Intelligent Design” are social phenomena, but have, by now at least, largely disappeared from state institutions. Now we are to build a school for Opus Dei members here? An undertaking where the stakeholders announce they will furnish the curriculum with question marks, at least. You do not need a lot of imagination to picture what the school board would look like. This is especially true because examples of what they would look like abound in the United States.
Even traditio.com (a traditional catholic network, which one cannot quite accuse of liberalism) warns of the subversive cult of Opus Dei, (ref. the entry of June 22nd in: http://www.traditio.com/comment/com0506.htm)
One may not share my personal assessment according to which the outlook and methods with which Opus Dei, much like other self-proclaimed “Christian” organizations for laymen (as for example the Discovery Institute in the U. S.), try to exert their influence on the government, eventually to bring about a theocracy and doing so understanding subversion as an acceptable means, justify monitoring through the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution no less than those of Scientology. Even if you do not, those people should still be confined to founding private Sunday Schools. You do not need to promote their influence in state schools.
I, for one, would like to rely on my daughter, when she enrolls in a school in one and a half year, enjoying classes according to a curriculum that was designed and accounted for by elected representatives and quality-assured by our ministers of education … not by Opus Dei, not by whatever Mullah, not even by the Pope Benedikt.
Karl H. Beckers
If you feel like contacting the mayor, too, here’s how to.
You might also want to take a look at the Opus Dei Awareness Network (ODAN) site.