The bishop of the Costa Rican Lutheran Church is asking the nation’s Constitutional Court to ensure a state-sponsored sex education program will be based on science and not on any one group’s beliefs or theology.
“Our church considers human sexuality to be a gift from God, which is to be exercised responsibly by each person, according to his or her own sexual orientation, but always in the context of respect for dignity, freedom and responsibility among people,” wrote Bishop Melvin Jimenez in a letter to the court.
The Lutheran Church’s opinion is contrary to other churches in the country, which have spoken in opposition to the nationally-mandated program designed to be taught in schools.
The Evangelical Alliance in Costa Rica has opposed the program, saying sex education must be taught at home, not in public schools. Roman Catholic leaders have also opposed the “Education for Affectivity and Sexuality” program by the Ministry of Popular Education, Costa Rican newspapers and television stations have reported. Both groups have asked the court to stop the program from being implemented.
For Jimenez, the government cannot impose a set of values on families. “That would, obviously, be unconstitutional,” he wrote.
“Furthermore, the parents, and still less the churches, cannot intend that the State no longer fulfill its responsibility of educating based on ethical and scientific criteria in fundamental aspects of a healthy development and coexistence among the citizens. Sexuality is, without a doubt, one of those fundamental aspects,” Jimenez said.
His letter also expresses confidence in the court to make the correct decision and expresses hope that the decision help eliminate intolerance and fanaticism.