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Can atheists be teachers? Senatorial interpellation and the answer of the Ministry of Education

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In an official interpellation, Senator Krzysztof Brejza asked Minister Przemysław Czarnek if he shared the words of one of his experts that “atheists are not suitable for education and atheism is an attack on human reason?”. Deputy Minister Dariusz Piontkowski replied.

It was based on the words of Czarnek’s advisor, dr hab. Paweł Skrzydlewski from seven years ago. During one of his public speeches, which can be found on social media, Skrzydlewski stated: “Since the time of St. Augustine, (…) St. Thomas Aquinas, there is a belief, characteristic of Western culture, that many people are not suitable for education. Many people are not fit to be teachers. First of all, atheists are unsuitable, because atheism itself is an attack on human reason. It is consent to the absurd. It is a violation of the foundations of rationality. “

The original recording was published on YouTube, on the channel of the Catholic bimonthly “Polonia Christiana”, for whose readers Skrzydlewski was to deliver this lecture.


It started with “female virtues”

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This statement was reminded of Skrzydlewski when his recent words on “female virtues” became loud. In the issue of “Nasz Dziennik” on Thursday, July 8, habilitated doctor Paweł Skrzydlewski, professor of the State Higher Vocational School in Chełm, said, among other things, that the key is “proper upbringing of women, namely strengthening girls to the virtues of women”. And he argued: “Today we observe in culture a very dangerous moral phenomenon, including religious one, a certain spiritual corruption of a woman consisting in arousing a woman’s pride, which manifests itself in vanity, an interest only in oneself, egotism, fighting the objective order in favor of seeing oneself”.

Protest “We are priming the Virtues of the Woman”Tomasz Zieliński / tvnwarszawa.pl

These words caused numerous comments and protests, but Minister Czarnek defended his adviser. – Professor Skrzydlewski is an outstanding philosopher who tells the truth. If anyone laughs that girls should be sensitive to the virtues of women, what are they supposed to be? For male? Some would probably want to, but we are not genderists – he said in Polish Radio.

The senator asks, the deputy minister replies

Coalition senator Krzysztof Brejza decided to check whether Czarnek would also defend words about atheists. On July 24, he addressed an interpellation to him, in which he asked if the minister shared the view that “atheists are not suitable for education, and atheism is an attack on human reason?”.

Interpellation by senator Krzysztof Brejza

On behalf of his boss Brejzie replied Deputy Minister Dariusz Piontkowski. At the outset, he made a reservation that Skrzydlewski “does not advise Minister Przemysław Czarnek on philosophy, including the philosophy of religion.” His responsibilities also exclude “issues related to teacher education or professional pragmatics”.

The minister is an anti-foreclosure lawyer

The deputy minister also emphasizes that “lectures, classes, scientific articles or philosophical views of Dr. hab. Paweł Skrzydlewski are not subject to evaluation by Minister Przemysław Czarnek ”. The issues raised by him are not among the tasks provided to the ministry. Piontkowski also reminds that “philosophical issues, including those related to the philosophy of ethics, are beyond the scope of the scientific activity of Przemysław Czarnek, who is a habilitated doctor of law”.

Piontkowski ends his official answer: “I want to clearly emphasize that we are opposed to all forms of exclusion and discrimination. Every child in Poland also has the right to education ”.

– I am not reassured by this answer, because I can still see the heat of ideology in the Ministry of Education – says Brejza tvn24.pl. – After all, this is another statement of this type by people from the minister’s environment, which causes great harm to education. Such words can influence the attitude of society towards teachers. People who advocate such absurd theses should not have to deal with education – he adds.

Main photo source: PAP / Artur Reszko

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