Let’s back our way into this outrageous story:

Thornton states that unlike much of the American
education system, German officials “view the children as belonging to
the State, particularly during the time they are in school” and for
that reason parents’ beliefs and authority over their children takes
second place to the interests and mandates of the State.

Which pretty much explains the rest of what happened there when some
families tried to opt out of certain mandatory sex-ed classes.

At least eight Russo-German families in Salzkotten,
Germany, have suffered heavy fines and now their fathers have been
sentenced to prison…

just because they exercised their parental discretion in choosing
what their children should be exposed to in the delicate discussion of
human sexuality.

The International Human Rights Group, a Christian legal
defense organization that defends religious liberty and the right to
homeschool in Europe, reports that in addition to refusing to allow
their children to attend sex-ed classes, the families also resisted
having their children enlisted in a theatre production of “Mein Körper
gehört mir” or “My Body Belongs to Me,” which informs young children in
how to engage in sexual intercourse.

Parents of young children should be allowed to exercise their
authority and opt out of this age-inappropriate production. That should
be a given.

What’s given is that penalties will be leveled for non-compliance with statism.

With fines having failed to force the families into
compliance, government officials have now sentenced each of the
families’ respective fathers to spend a brief time in prison. One
father has already spent seven days in jail and was released Friday.
 
Instead of inflicting ordinary punitive fines on the families, the
state has opted to impose a special fine called “Bussgeld,” which IHRG
European Director Richard Guenther explains literally means “repentance
money” and is “designed to show contrition for a wrong behavior on the
part of the person being fined.”

Which is cruelly paradoxical.

The “Bussgeld” fines are significant, perhaps especially
because they put the eight German families in an impossible situation:
payment of the fines would imply an admission of guilt, but they
believe that they have done nothing wrong.

Radical actions call for drastic reactions.

This involves lodging a civil suit on behalf of a number
of persecuted home-school families in order to force Germany’s courts
to recognize the rights of parents as the primary educators of their
children.

(Which the Catholic Church teaches and strongly emphasizes again and again.)

Christians in Germany have faced enormous persecution
from the German government for removing their children from the German
public schools, either through homeschooling – an illegal act according
to a law instituted during the Third Reich – or taking them out of
select classes they deem harmful to their Christian values, which is
also illegal.

The fact that these children often outperform their counterparts in
state schools has little bearing on the matter for Germany; the
government’s stated public policy is to suppress the existence of
Parallelgesellschaften or “parallel societies” based on “separate
philosophical convictions” through the education system.

The thought police are still (or again) in control.

Look folks, this is what state control has come to:

The Youth Welfare Office or Jugendamt – an institution
similar to Child Protective Services – acts as the government’s chief
intervening instrument, and when prison and fines do not bend Christian
families into compliance, they recommend that these Christians lose
parental custody of their children.

As we’ve heard from the United Nations, Barack Obama and Mother
Teresa among others, injustice against any of us is injustice against
all of us. When government can invade the sanctity of the family to
this extent anywhere, the threat to families exists everywhere.

Contacts for German embassies are listed at bottom there. People
should remind them how quickly they’ve forgotten the lessons of
totalitarianism.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....