Religious education and the basic law

There is no entitlement to ethics lessons in elementary school, the federal administrative court judged. But there is a claim to religious education.

From the 14. Every year, everyone in germany himself can decide which religion he liked or not. Until 14. Life of life, this decision is responsible for the legal guardian that can also determine in that the child is part of religious education or not. Unlike early times, where the children who did not participate in religious education, simply parked in a corner of the classroom and had to be expected with infants, it is no longer verpont, not to pay religious education to religious education. Many schools alternatively offer ethics lessons.

However, there is no entitlement to such ethics lessons, the federal administrative court now ruled. Had succeeded by a mother whose denominational children should not participate in religious education, but on ethics lessons. However, this was not offered at the school. The claimant looked in a disadvantage of her children in elementary school and moved in court. Already the administrative court mannheim had denied the claim with judgment of february 2013. The federal administrative court has dismissed the revision of the claimant with its current judgment, which is why you only open the course to karlsruhe.

The establishment of an ethics lessons, the judges judged, is — unlike religious education — not mandatory, but optional: "when setting up school professionals, the state has freedom of design", famed the chairman richter werner neumann. And: "with the waiver of the establishment of the trade ethics in elementary school, the limits of this freedom of design will not exceed." also, the ethics lessons should not be regarded as a substitute for religious education. "Religious education is a mediation, ethics lessons, on the other hand, confessional value transfer" it is called in the decision. Furthermore, religious education, unlike ethics lessons, is required in the basic law.

The judgment yet not published is consistent if there is the right to religious education other than that on an ethics lessons. In fact, religious education in germany is privileged by the basic law. Article 7 of the basic law cases him as a decent teacher — which is noteworthy, since the basic law otherwise receives no teacher.

Considering that religious lessons in his current pronunciation of "faith" should serve, then the question arises why these beliefs are valued at high as, for example, the mediation of essential knowledge in the specialists mathematics, science or german. Although a court can not judge the religious education itself on the basis of the specification in article 7 — however, it would be possible, however, once to check it, to what extent here does not make a meaningful goods to christians against confessional not too much.

The claimant is rightly concerned about their views in terms of ethics lessons. In view of the increasing number of confessionally educated children, so she argued, be it important that the schools responded to this departure from the churches and also mediated important values to the smaller children. A neutral value transfer also in small children is the task of the state, so the reasoning that the judges did not want to strike. In their view, it’s enough if such values are conveyed in a later age.