Wednesday, 21 March 2012

We are being forced to be nice, and that is not good!

Catholic Education is under threat in Alberta:

Here is the intent of the Bill. (  N.B., the ACSTA is the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association)

"Bill 2: The Education Act will change the face of education in Alberta if passed. 

Bill 2 has the potential to seriously effect publicly funded Catholic education in Alberta, Catholic school boards, and Catholic schools, teachers, staff, and students

How does Bill 2 effect you?

1. Shared Facilities
Bill 2 allows for the Minister to share Catholic and Public schools facilities with each other. Alberta’s Catholic schools are unique. Every aspect of Alberta’s Catholic schools is filled with the Catholic faith, from the building structure, to the curriculum, to the recognition of Catholic Gospel values and Sacramental life. To maintain this uniqueness, Catholic schools must remain distinct and separate entities.

2. Joining together of School Divisions Consisting of Public School Districts, Separate School Districts and School Divisions

Bill 2 allows for the Minister to combine Separate (Catholic) boards together with Public boards - a “blended board”. The ACSTA strongly believes that separate school districts are, like our Catholic schools, unique entities that must remain distinct. The ACSTA believes that a separate school division may only be comprised of separate school districts or separate school divisions and does not support
the potential for “blended boards” to exist. The ACSTA supports stand alone boards.

3. Diversity and Respect Provisions. 

The ACSTA supports Catholic parents as the primary educators of their children. The ACSTA believes that the Education Act must reflect this primacy of the home and parents as primary teachers. "

Every 5 or 10 years the government attacks Catholic education. Catholics in Alberta cannot get complacent. If you are from Alberta contact your MLA and raise a holy stink!

Your MLA can be found at: 

"What you can do?

It is imperative that Catholics in Alberta make their voice known on this Issue. The ACSTA is calling on all Catholics to contact their MLAs and tell them:

• No to Shared Facilities
• No to Blended Boards
• Yes to Recongizing the Role of the Parent as Primary Educator "

This is a draft of the email I sent to the education minister:

As a practicing Catholic, parent of school aged kids and as a former teacher/school administrator I have serious misgivings about Bill 2.

A Catholic school is not just the regular curriculum with 15 minutes of RE thrown in, and the occasional crucifix. It's a Catholic community. Shared facilities will significantly impact these communities.

As Catholics we have a world view (that has shaped civilization and upheld it over 2 millenia I might add) that is not always in step with mainstream society. Shared boards would seriously undercut the ability of Catholic School Boards to foster the atmosphere and environment we wish our kids to be brought up in.

For instance we are fundamentally opposed to "gay" marriage, extra-marital sex, contraception and abortion. We believe in the fundamental sacredness of life from the moment of conception to natural death. I believe that shared school boards would pose a serious threat to our beliefs and our ability to teach these beliefs as Catholics.

With regard to the Diversity and Respect provisions in the act (which will force homeschooling parents to teach their kids about "diversity -another name for homosexual relationships are OK): I believe that parents are the primary educators, and should teach the Children the morality they believe is correct.

As Catholics we teach respect for all people and for all human life, and do not need to be forced into a politically correct model of "respect" in order to behave charitably towards others. Our beliefs in this matter are based on the command of Jesus to, "Love one another as I have loved you."

Here's hoping that the Bill does not get passed in any form which would undermine our Catholic Faith.


Why am I upset about this?

1. Shared spaces will be secular spaces, and the whole notion of a Catholic Community will be undermined. Sacred objects and symbols will not be allowed, nor will public prayer: Our kids start with school-wide prayer each morning.

Furthermore the whole concept of a Catholic Community of caring will be undermined. No doubt everyone will have human rights, and "diversity" will be "respected." But human rights (deemed suitable or appropriate by some earthly legislator) are very different from the Catholic (Christian) concept that we are made in the image and likeness of God. It's the difference between being "nice" and being "good." These shared spaces will be nice, and everyone will be "safe," but they will not be "good" and no-on will be challenged to be "better."

2. Shared boards. The second line of attack is to blend public and separate boards. Now Catholic students are outnumbered 3:1, and this is reflected in the budget given to the different districts. 3 times as many students equals 3 times as much money, and 3 times the teachers, schools, infrastructure etc. Catholics will be a "rump" on these boards and will never be able to seriously challenge initiatives that run counter to Church teaching.

3. Diversity and Respect: Buzzwords for accepting an agenda based on sexual orientation: Nice. Rather than respecting all people as created in the image and likeness of God: Good.

As I wrote in the letter above: As Catholics we teach respect for all people and for all human life, and do not need to be forced into a politically correct model of "respect" in order to behave charitably towards others. Our beliefs in this matter are based on the command of Jesus to, "Love one another as I have loved you."

This love doesn't necessarily behave nicely: i.e., it does not accept that homosexual relationships are OK, because it does not believe that ANY sexual relationship outside of marriage is OK. This love calls ALL those not in the relationship of marriage to be chaste and celibate, whether they are young or old, male or female, religious or lay, homosexual or straight. This is "Good" and just.

Forcing parents who home-school to teach their kids anything else is a severe restriction on their rights as parents and on the freedom of religion.

If you are from Alberta please contact your MLA. 

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