Educating a matter of freedom
I understand the writer of "German school policy just fine" (letter, March 19) is offended by foreigners criticizing her country’s policies. I have often been on the receiving end of Germans telling me whom I should vote for. However, the letter she is responding to ("Home-schooling is no crime," March 17) is merely pointing out something he sees as an injustice (and I must agree with him), namely, the state usurping natural parental rights to educate their children as they see fit. The author of "Home-schooling is no crime" is not condemning the option of public or private school. Nor is he denying a parent’s responsibility to educate their children.
He is actually affirming that responsibility. What he condemns is that lack of freedom and option for home-schooling and the heavy-handed actions of the German government in enforcing its policy. He has every right to criticize Germany for this violation of human rights, as in America we have our First Amendment rights and Stars and Stripes is an American newspaper for Americans.
Of course, I realize Germans have a different idea of freedom than Americans do. The American ideal of freedom is basically the freedom to take care of your own affairs and responsibilities with as little interference from government as is possible. The German ideal is to have the government take care of you, reducing responsibility for yourself as much as possible.
Finally, people all over the world, including Germans, should constantly recall the evil actions of the fascists, Nazis and communists because the philosophers who brought forth the ideas that led to the Third Reich and East Germany are still popular and influential, directly and indirectly.
We should not just accept the racist caricature of fascism and forget what fascism really taught, lest we find ourselves in a similar statist society.
Jason ThorpWiesbaden, Germany