French govt threatens to disband Catholic pro-family activists for violating 'secularism'
PARIS, December 14, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - The French government will use a new proposed “Observatory of Secularism” to monitor and perhaps “dissolve” organizations such as Institut Civitas, a Catholic activist group opposing the government’s proposed homosexual “marriage” law, according to Reuters.
Reuters’ Religion Editor Tom Heneghan reports that France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced the policy at a Meeting on Secularism organized by socialist members of France’s National Assembly, the country’s lower legislative house, on Tuesday.
Reuters is the only news agency known to LifeSiteNews.com to have reported on the statements, which were left unmentioned in the French press.
Valls claimed that that Institut Civitas, a group that socialist legislators have called to be disbanded for its aggressive defense of Catholic values and opposition to the homosexual political agenda, is close to “the limits of legality,” and warned that “all excesses are being minutely registered in case we have to consider dissolving it and defending this before a judge.”
Valls claimed at the meeting that “the aim is not to combat opinions by force, but to detect and understand when an opinion turns into a potentially violent and criminal excess,” according to Reuters. “The objective is to identify when it’s suitable to intervene to treat what has become a religious pathology.”
“Behold a program of radical secularist extremism, which fraudulently equates choice of life, of convictions, with terrorist and criminal acts,” wrote French journalist and LifeSiteNews.com correspondent Jeanne Smits, editor of the French newspaper Present, in response to the statements.
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France’s socialist education minister has also been under fire for his promotion of “secularist morality” classes for the nation’s schools, which have been compared to brainwashing classes instituted by Vichy France’s pro-Nazi leader Philippe Petain during World War II. The proposed “Observatory of Secularism” would also be used to institute such classes, according to government officials.
“Secularism is not about simple tolerance. It’s not about ‘anything goes.’ It is a set of values that we have to share,” Minister of Education Vincent Peillon told the French press recently. “To be shared, these values need to be taught and learned and we need to rebuild them among France’s children.”
Pellion’s immediate predecessor in the Ministry of Education, Luc Chatel, called Peillon’s words “frightening,” claiming that his call for the “intellectual and moral reeducation” of French children was a “word for word the call of Marshal Petain on June 25, 1940.”