A circular published by the Ministry of Education of Cyprus [pdf, Greek, pp. 48-9] yesterday marks a new low in the already problematic relationship between Church and State in Cyprus .
I am very uncomfortable with the usage of the term post-something. We live in the post-secular age, Habermas argues, or “we live in an era which perceives itself as post-ideological” Žižek says in a recent article. This seems to suggest that we have indeed dealt with the challenges of the era that we have now left behind, in these cases the secular and ideological era, as if classes have become irrelevant and religion has either disappeared or became comfortably confined to the private sphere of the liberal state.
Opposite the critiques of group-rights, stands Tariq Modood who is one of the most vocal proponents of multiculturalism in the UK. His book Multiculturalism: a Civic Idea (2007) is a reply to the conservative claims that multiculturalism is dead, like those advanced by the British Prime Minister David Cameron when discussing terrorism and radicalisation (05 February 2011).
Today, Ombudswoman Eliza Savvidou suggested to the Ministry of Education that the habit of inviting a Greek-Orthdox clergyman to high-schools for confession should be abandoned since it is, firstly, against the religious freedoms of children and of their parents, and secondly, in contrast with the policy of religious neutrality that the state promotes (or ought to do so anyway). The Ministry, responding to a parent who complained, has supported voluntary confession under the permission of the headmaster. Thankfully, Savvidou made it clear that the invitation of clergymen in school premises, puts pressure upon children to engage in the practice of confession and is therefore a source of exclusion and discrimination.