Thursday, October 31, 2013

"I don’t know if it’s appropriate for a foreigner to judge"

The Korea Times reported the other day that a foreign pastor was protesting homophobic textbooks:
Rev. Daniel Payne of Open Doors Community Church near Itaewon said they would deliver letters on Monday to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as well as relevant lawmakers, after the ministry recommended that two publishing companies — Kyohak Printing and Publishing and Chunjae Education — rewrite material teaching that homosexuals should not be discriminated against.

The move was made after an Oct. 4 meeting between the ministry and 20 Christian lawmakers and religious leaders who oppose same-sex marriage. They argue that the references are an affront to those who believe homosexuality is a sin.

Lee Seung-pyo, the education ministry’s senior supervisor of textbook planning, said the companies will likely be ordered to make the changes if they do not accept the recommendation. The Education Minister holds the authority to revoke the approval of these books for use at schools if publishers refuse to follow the ministry’s direction.
Those Christian lawmakers and religious leaders sure put the 'fun' in 'fundamentalist.' The government response is rather amusing, however.
But Lee of the education ministry wondered if Payne should be involving himself in the issue.[...]

“Every country has its own set of laws in evaluating and approving the education material for books. I don’t know if it’s appropriate for a foreigner to judge how we manage our education. You won’t see us commenting how other countries teach at schools.”
Right, like the ROK hasn't lodged, what, hundreds of protests against Japanese textbooks?

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