Luxembourg’s New Prime Minister Wants to Replace Religious Instruction in School with Ethics Classes

The country of Luxembourg, population just 525,000 (but an international powerhouse of finance), just became the first nation in the world whose top two leaders are openly gay.

While I imagine that few local voters care with whom prime minister Xavier Bettel (left) and vice prime minister Etienne Schneider share their beds, one of Bettel’s proposals may ignite controversy:

The new leader, previously the mayor of Luxembourg City, is expected to introduce changes like replacing religious instruction in school with more general ethics classes.

Then again, maybe Luxembourgers don’t make a big deal about such things one way or the other. While 80 to 90 percent of the population is classified as religious (with Catholics being by far the largest faction),

According to a 2005 Eurobarometer poll, 44% of Luxembourg citizens responded that “they believe there is a God”, whereas 28% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force” and 22% that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force”.

I wasn’t able to find specifics about Bettel’s plan to scrap religion classes, but I’ll keep an eye on this story. Readers from Luxembourg, or with knowledge of current events there, feel free to post what you know in the comments. More as further news develops.

(Image via AP)

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.


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