Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh, Canada.

What does education look like in a country that has legalized gay marriage? It looks like this (hat tip: Mark Shea):

HAMILTON, Ontario, February 15, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Public school children in Hamilton, Ontario will not be permitted to withdraw from classes that promote homosexuality, according to the Hamilton Mountain News. At the same time, according to a leaked document obtained by a local journalist, teachers are being instructed to tell parents who object to the curriculum that “this is not about parent rights.”

At the end of January, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) hosted a professional development day dedicated to “equity” training, where they distributed a sheet to teachers with “quick responses” they can offer to parents who object to the school board's “anti-homophobia” curriculum.

That document was obtained by journalist Mark Cripps, and posted on the website of the Hamilton Mountain News. Cripps observes that the handout “basically indicates parents have no rights when it comes to their child’s education at the HWDSB.”

In addition, Cripps reports that, “The board says no child will be excused from the class when topics of homosexuality are brought into the classroom.”

The school board is developing a new equity policy, as required of all boards under the Ontario Ministry of Education's equity strategy, announced last year. Among other things, the Ministry is requiring all boards, Catholic and public, to develop a plan for combating “homophobia.”

View the document here.

Let it be said that as a Catholic I oppose all unjust discrimination against anyone. There is no reason to treat people with anything less than respect for their humanity, for their status as a child of God.

But insisting that children be taught that the long-standing teaching of the Catholic church (and similar faiths) that homosexual acts are gravely morally evil and that thus gay marriage cannot be condoned because it is, itself, an attack on that inherent human dignity is nothing less than evil. And giving teachers a "script" in which they are, essentially, to attack parental rights, religious rights, and the notion that certain topics involving sexuality ought not be addressed with young children is forcing those teachers to acts as agents of an intolerant state which is so blind to its own bigotry against parents and religion that it cannot see what it is asking these teachers to do.

We can expect the same, here in America, if gay marriage ever becomes a reality; Massachusetts has, after all, attacked parental rights and religious beliefs in the same way in its increasingly depraved public schools. For now, we have the luxury to shake our heads and say: Oh, Canada.


kkollwitz said...

Have you read any of Michael O'Brien's novels? Some of them (I'm thinking of Plague Journal and Eclipse of the Sun)are redolent with such Canadian coercion.

Anonymous said...

Wow. One might think that the school system is enacting a discriminatory poicy against families that don't want to be subject to whatever the system wants to promote, especially if parents are deliverately kept from previewing the materials and presentation, undermining parental authority pitting children against parents.

Anonymous said...

undermining parental authority pitting children against parents.

My Grandparents would have insisted that the schools that educated my father teach that Catholic's were disloyal
Papist minions of the Anti-Christ, if they had known how. My Grandmother blamed the government vociferously when my Aunt Gladie married a Catholic. They didn't speak until my cousin Wes was five. She never spoke to my Uncle Tommy.

Religious beliefs are not the soundest biases for curriculum development.

Mont D. Law

Larry Denninger said...

Sounds like the US is on its way to mimic Canada with HR4530 currently in the House.

Sorry - too tired to provide a link, but you can read about it at Adrienne's Catholic Corner or Gateway Pundit.

BobN said...

Uh.... there's nothing in the handout about same-sex marriage.

You say you oppose "unjust" discrimination. Ignoring the existence of an entire group of people is unjust.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

We actually have a better chance to fight such rigid educational policies here, even though the more narcissistic gay organizations will scream about it, if people look carefully at both our constitution and the lines of case law expounding its meaning. Canada, a former British dominion, is a late-comer to the notion of liberty and human rights. It has a veneer of a boon granted by a liberalized state, rather than a restriction on the very authority of the government. Not so in our jurisprudence.

The government may not establish a religion, nor a religious doctrine. If the school teaches basic facts, like, yes, some people develop a sexual preference for their own sex, rather than the opposite sex, and nobody is really sure why, I can't see how that would be objectionable. If the schools teach, historically, people who feel this way have been singled out for vicious discrimination and retaliation, and this is wrong, that would be a good thing.

But, if the schools teach "this is perfectly normal and its something we should all learn to appreciate," that is treading on an area where parents do have rights, whether or not some narrow minded school administrator thinks they can decree otherwise. I still think a good comparison is to church teaching on alcohol, pork, and shellfish. Some churches teach than drinking alcohol is a sin. Some don't. Some teach that eating pork or shellfish is a sin. Some don't. All of the above are legal, but it is not "alcoholophobia" for churches to teach that drinking alcohol is a sin. It is not barbecuephobia to teach that consuming pork is a sin. Nor are churches that condemn alcohol authorized to either burn down taverns or invade Catholic and Lutheran services to spill communion wine.

Two caveats: if Geoff G shows up, he is not what I mean by the more narcissistic gay organizations. I mean those who think they have a right to the appreciation and praise of the entire community -- some of us might think what they do stinks, and we have a right to think and say so. Second, ignoring the existence of a people has nothing to do with justice. Most of every day of a gay person's life is filled with unexceptional activities like doing laundry, cooking dinner, going to work, mowing the lawn, and there is no reason to single "them" out in the midst of any such activity. The only thing different is their sexual proclivities, and I have every right to ignore that. I really don't care to know, and they gain no benefit from my paying attention -- unless they really are narcissists and exhibitionists.