Not much pondered
Paul Moomjean, whom I did praise recently for his Op-Ed “Football frenzy” (Right Persuasion, 1/30), distressingly seems again, in a recent VCReporter, to have proposed an unconscionably restricted notion of freedom (3/13). Central in his concern is a German family denied by German educational policy the right to home school its children. Moomjean gives no details of this family, so one wonders if he would have as quickly jumped to their defense if it had been a Muslim or Hindu family. Perhaps he would have!
(As I was home taught I feel some justification in commenting.)
Backing up a bit, the “malign” German educational policy, Mr. Moomjean feels so amiss is its concern to ensure an educational system that teaches “tolerance” and “pluralism.” Don’t these terms imply freedom in the most fundamental sense? If he’ s so concerned for freedom, how can he, in effect, not see it in tolerance and pluralism?
Since home schooling is so central to his Op-Ed, one would think he’d have some defense on hand against known shortcomings. For example, he’s not defending home schooling for a racist family, is he? For that matter for any number of questionable subcultures that now seem to be proliferating? Even in more usual situations where families are committed to a very clearly defined set of beliefs, how often is a come-of-age young person routinely allowed or expected to make up his or her own mind? Doing so often results in family ostracism of the young person. What homage is being given to the sacred reality of freedom in such instances?
Moomjean’s assault on Europe generally seems full of unexplained hubris and is totally lacking in any recognition that almost all of our roots are European — even our Christianity! Does the Atlantic really create such a cultural gulf!? All he does is tarnish any semblance of objectivity.
Mr. Moomjean is a bright man; he seems, though, to be intoning the word “freedom” as a mantra, as if just its repetition would cause it to materialize. All I can figure is that this Op-Ed was hurriedly written and not much pondered.