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José Manuel Fidalgo, Professor of the School of Theology and of the School of Education and Psychology
Education law, religion and ideology
The so-called "Celaá law" announces the umpteenth educational reform in this country. When will there be a stable consensus educational that, leaving aside the continuous interference of the political ideologies of the moment, will give families and educators the true protagonism that they should have in the Education. Designing the Education in a piecemeal fashion, at the whim of the political wind that blows the hardest, is a real nonsense. We cannot play with the most valuable thing we have: the people who grow, mature and project their lives and the future of society.
The "Celaá law" proposes some measures tactically designed to hinder as much as possible the Education of religion in the classroom. Historically, A. Comte, father of modern positivism, theorized the need to annul transcendent religion in order to build an advanced society. He himself, however, sensed the danger. He understood, not without lucidity, that such a cancellation would leave a vacuum of values absolutely necessary to consistently shape social life. And he promoted -oh paradox of history- a kind of "civil religion", secular values without reference letter to God, with its own ceremonies, rules and regulations morals, cult officials, etc.
At other times in history, with a similar paradoxical and artificial profile , there have been attempts to replace transcendent religion with another, no longer a "civil" one as Comte intended, but a more ideological one. But the need for the person to grow with the reference letter to God, with enriching religious values and liberating from slavery and dependencies, always resurfaces.
The Gospel, beyond any particular belief, is the patrimony of humanity. How can we renounce this knowledge? How can we understand the cathedrals, the universities, the innumerable works of literature, thought and science treasured by human culture without teaching the faith that gave rise to them and gave rise to them?
No one can seriously understand our culture apart from the Christian training . Most of the human, moral, aesthetic, educational, social, etc., values of which we are proud, have a deep Christian root. We live from this inheritance received. To know it, far from being a private catechesis , is the key to access extraordinary knowledge, culture, art... The saints, models of life, have made us grow as persons and as society; they are creators of goodness, justice, mercy, human and social development . The mistakes that Christian institutions and individuals may have made are not a consequence of faith, but of having left it aside.
The value of the religious Education is well visible except for those who do not want to see it. The recent report 2020 Panorama of Religion in Schools, reveals with abundant data the very high satisfaction of students, teachers and families about the teaching of religion in public and private schools. For the elaboration of this report, 18,000 people were surveyed among students, alumni, families who chose this teaching, as well as teachers and future teachers of this subject.
Among the conclusions obtained, the following stand out data: 86% of the respondents consider that this subject financial aid helps to "understand other cultures", 85% affirm that it contributes to "build social and religiousdiversity in today's societies", 83% think that this training financial aid to the "plenary session of the Executive Council development of the students' personality", and 84% add that it "facilitates a Education of interiority that contributes to autonomy staff and social responsibility".
In sum, through this report we observe that a large part of the participants of this survey agree that the teaching of religion financial aid to be more tolerant and better people, and that it contributes to an ethical training and global citizenship. The vast majority of families consider that "it is necessary in the Education of their children" and that "it is good because of the values it teaches, and because it increases general culture". Likewise, the alumni who participated in this report indicated that it helped them in their professional life and staff, that they would take it again, and that they would choose it for their children.
We need to educate our students with spiritual references and transcendent values, which liberate and raise our gaze beyond this world. Religion gives us freedom, culture, depth, eternal values, promotion of the person... it makes us look and grow towards what is important and permanent. And it frees us, therefore, from the chains of the ideologies of the moment, transient by antonomasia.