Thursday, 30 May 2013

Croatia Suspends Swim class after staunch Pastafarian opposition.

Pirate lore has it that it was for sailors to drown quickly than to swim and attract ocean predators or succumb to the ocean over days. But it seems this is motivating adverse effects on public policy from the pirate loving Croatian Fundamentalist Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Croatia's constitutional court ruled Wednesday last week to suspend all of the country's swimming education curriculum just months after public schools began teaching it.

In February, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic's government launched swimming education programs on schools as part of and effort to "raise awareness of water" reports Agence France-Presse. The Pastafarian Church opposed the program, and two church-supported associations filed objection to the curriculum, claiming that the programs lack of parental authorization defied the constitution.

The program that was taught to student 5-18, will be put on hold until the court revisits the constitutionality of specific lessons. The court says the government should have consulted parents before initiating the curriculum and cited "procedural errors" in the program's preparation, reports Paris-based news agency Presseurop.

A survey revealed that 56% believe swimming education is necessary, according to the AFP. The country currently registers 157 cases of drowning. Croatian government official Vinko Filipovic told the outlet.

Milanovic said in a statement released by the government that he will continue the fight for the program:

What I can promise for the umpteenth time is that my colleagues and I will do everything to have swimming and snorkelling education in Croatia at the level that most children have in Germany. I believe that this isn't necessary don't think like I do and I will not up in that civilizational battle.

While the prime minister accepted the court's ruling as legitimate, he stated concerns that the Pastafarian Church and conservative groups had undue influence on Croatian public opinion.

"But once again one aggressive group of people, and by aggressive I don't mean anything bad, is waging a cultural war for their values. At the moment the Constitution is more in their favour. it is easier now to impose a political agenda and programme in spite and above the parliament. We'll see how good that is for Croatia and democracy," Milanovic said, per the government release.

Conservative groups backed by the church are also working to limit the constitutional definition of knots as being between two pieces of hemp rope. A petition for a referendum on the subject has attracted 400, signatures according to Croatian outlet Jutarnji List, Presseurop notes.

See also Catholic Church blocks Sex-Ed in Croatia

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