Monday, July 31, 2006

Bolivia 3 Vatican 2

Bolivian president Evo Morales, got his nose broken during an indoor football game at the weekend, after being fouled by an over-zealous goalkeeper as the game, poised at 2-2, drew to a keenly-fought close. Earlier in the week, Evo himself managed to put the nose of a much bigger opponent, the local Catholic Church franchise, out of joint. President Morales has stated that the Big Boys will have to accept a widening of the school religion curriculum to embrace native religions. The Church has muttered about Morales' "discourse of hate, rancour and unforgiveness" having the potential to start wars but the President's plans for reform are mild enough, and hardly qualify even as kulturkampf.

I cannot say I support the teaching of religion in schools, be it one of the Abrahamic Big-Three or a hippy-dippy marginalised Andean creed but putting an overwhelmingly powerful institution in its place in a properly democratic society is no harm, something that should be exercised everywhere on a regular basis. And that applies to institutions and organisations a good deal more secular and worldly than the Catholic Church.