by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Government officials in the German state of Salzkotten have begun to sentence fathers to one week in jail for opting their children out of graphic sex ed classes, prompting an international civil rights group to file a civil lawsuit on behalf of parents.
According to a report by WorldNetDaily (WND), parents are being punished for refusing to allow their children to be indoctrinated in a state-designed program that includes graphic sex ed and a play-acting program called “My Body Belongs to Me” that teaches children how to engage in sexual activity.
Richard Guenther, European director of the International Human Rights Group (IHRG) says eight Christian families have decided to withhold their children from these required classes, and the government has begun to impose mandatory one-week jail sentences on the fathers. This is in addition to the fines the government has already imposed on the families, which they are refusing to pay.
Joel Thornton of IHRG says the new punishment reveals how determined German officials are to punish parents who refuse to turn their children over to the state for their education. Homeschooling is illegal in the country and Christian parents have lost custody of their children for persisting in the practice.
“Unlike American officials, German officials do not recognize the right of parents to opt their children out of offensive classes such as sex education which overrides the parent’s beliefs or desires for their own children,” Thornton told WND.
“One of the reasons for this is that German officials view the children as belonging to the state, particularly during the time they are in school,” he said.
IHRG is planning to file a civil lawsuit on behalf of a number of homeschooling families to try to force the court to recognize the rights of parents to control the education of their children.
Meanwhile, those German parents who are standing up to the state are generating worldwide attention – and admiration.
“Martyrdom is extremely powerful,” writes Selwyn Duke of the New American. “When we see that people would rather endure punishment than renounce their beliefs, it lends those beliefs great credibility. And it also sets an example of fortitude, emboldening others to take the same stand.”
This is why it is said that the Church was built on the blood of martyrs, he says.
Referencing St. Lawrence of Brindisi, who was grilled to death on a gridiron, Selwyn writes, “To this day, people remember the essence of what he said, ‘Turn me over, I’m done on this side!’ but “no one remembers the man who lit the fire.”
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