Homeschooling has long been under attack in progressive European nations, but France’s ban on homeschooling has taken that attack to an all-new level.
On Friday, Oct. 2, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France would place a ban on homeschooling and require that all children 3 years old and up go to school. The only exception, he said, was for physical or health limitations.
The president says it’s to avoid Islamic indoctrination, which has been a cause for concern after several terrorist attacks in recent years. But his quotes make it clear that it’s more about making sure each child believes what the State wants them to believe.
In a recent newscast on Answers News, Bodie Hodge points out that Nazis made a similar move in 1938 when Hitler banned homeschooling in order to control young people’s minds. The goal? Raise up a new generation that fully believed in the Nazi propaganda.
“They don’t want children to think for themselves,” says Hodge of the secular French government. “They want them to, basically, be citizens of the State.”
It's hard to disagree with that statement. If you read President Macron’s quotes (translated from French), it’s clear that raising citizens of the State is certainly his goal. In fact, he went so far as to say:
“School is the republican melting pot. It’s what makes it possible for us to protect our children in a complete way from any religious sign, from religion. It is truly the heart of the space of secularism, and it is this place where we form consciences so that children become free, rational citizens, able to choose their own lives.”
The Ban on Homeschooling Is an Infringement on Parents’ Rights
As Christians, embracing this kind of secular mindset doesn’t align with our biblical values. Yes, every individual has a right to pursue their own religious beliefs (provided they do not cause real harm to others or infringe on their rights), but you don’t have to be a secularist to agree with that sentiment. Yet it seems as though France believes it’s impossible to protect freedom apart from secularism—and they want to force that mindset onto our children.
On the surface, President Macron’s quote might seem to promote the concept of free-thinking. But you don’t have to read too much into his words to see he’s implying that, in order for children to think for themselves, they have to believe exactly what the State wants them to believe. This is a frightening concept to say the least.
What’s more, this is the very mindset that causes so many Christian parents to want to homeschool their children. They know that when schools begin teaching evolution, millions of years, and secularism as the only right way to think, it always leads to an attempt to undermine the Christian faith.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (ESV).
The truth is that every parent has the right to train their child in a way that honors God. When a government steps in and takes this role of training a child, they’re effectively stealing that role from the parent.
Just because some extremists indoctrinate their children with violent and evil beliefs does not mean that a country has the right to restrict every parent’s right to raise their child according to their reasonable beliefs and their faith.
Why France’s Ban on Homeschooling Matters for Christians Worldwide
For those living in the United States or other more conservative nations, it’s easy to think, Well, that’s France. They’re known for their liberal policies, and what they do doesn’t affect my family.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s no secret that, in recent decades, the U.S. has followed where Europe leads. Many progressive European nations like France have led the way in enforcing laws that support socialism, abortion, same-sex marriage, and more. The United States may have been years or decades behind—but their laws have eventually followed the same trend.
The truth is that we as Christians need to be proactive when it comes to standing for our rights. It’s important that we, first of all, know our rights (including the right to homeschool our kids) and, second of all, make sure we speak out to protect them.
After all, it’s your God-given right to raise your child in the way he should go.
More Homeschooling Resources on Answers.tv
If you’re raising a busy homeschooling family, you’ll love the many resources available on Answers.tv.
Stay up to date on news about homeschooling around the world and other Christian topics with our daily news discussions on Answers News. And make sure you take advantage of our homeschooling tips and reviews on Homeschool Quick Tipswith Dr. Georgia Purdom and Dr. Jennifer Rivera.