Bishop compares public schools to Nazi, fascist education systems
January 26, 2012
Bishop Joseph McFadden of Harrisburg has attracted criticism from the Anti-Defamation League and others for comparing the monolithic nature of the public education system to the education systems of 20th-century totalitarian regimes.
“In totalitarian governments, they would love our system,” the bishop said last week as he discussed his support for voucher legislation. “This is what Hitler and Mussolini and all those tried to establish a monolith so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things.”
Bishop McFadden defended his remarks after the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director said they trivialized the suffering of victims of the Holocaust.
“The reference to dictators and totalitarian governments of the 20th century, which I made in an interview on the topic of school choice, was to make a dramatic illustration of how these unchecked monolithic governments of the past used schools to curtail the primary responsibility of the parent in the education of their children,” Bishop McFadden said.
“Today many parents in our state experience the same lack of freedom in choosing an education that bests suits their child as those parents oppressed by dictators of the past. I intentionally did not make reference to the Holocaust in my remarks,” he added.
“Our support of a school voucher program has the goal of giving parents something that dictators never would, a choice in which school their children attend by being able to control the portion of the tax dollars that is designated for the education of each child.”
- Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg draws anger with Hitler comment (Harrisburg Patriot-News)