Quebec has a program of study which entails learning about different religions. It does not say “This is right. That is wrong.” It makes no endorsement of religion. It is simply a well-tailored course which educates students about what others believe, the culture surrounding those beliefs, and the diversity that is entailed in the world, with an obvious focus on Quebec’s diversity.
Of course, it comes as no surpise that some dogmatic mooks do not recognize the point of the class.
The course “is forcing children to learn the content of other religions,” Jean Morse-Chevrier, president of the Quebec Association of Catholic Parents, said yesterday. “Therefore it is the state deciding what religious content will be learned, at what age, and that is totally overriding the parents’ authority and role.”
The new course is the final step in a secularization of Quebec schooling that began with a 1997 constitutional amendment replacing the province’s denominational school boards with linguistic ones.
The notion that parents should have the authority to shelter their children from knowledge is obscene. The course is about learning how other people think and why. It offers insight, not harm. What these parents want to do is have the right to abuse their children by keeping them locked in an intellectual cage of uniformity and dogma.
A 2005 law changed Quebec’s Education Act and its Charter of Rights to eliminate parents’ right to choose a course in Catholic, Protestant or moral instruction, and the changes came into effect last June.
Am I reading this right? Students had to attend some form of “moral instruction”? Even with the options offered, this is inane. Looking beyond the oxymoron of Christian morality, at what point did Canada think it a good idea to indoctrinate children with particular notions of right and wrong beyond perhaps some basics (i.e., no fighting)? I thought you were better than that, O Canada.
Of course, such an article would not be complete without an example of the topic.
For Diane Gagne and her 16-year-old son Jonathan, evangelical Christians in Granby, the course teaches values that run counter to their religion.
Jonathan has been sitting out the course this fall, which is taught for about two hours a week. Last Friday he was told by J-H-Leclerc secondary school that he had been suspended for the day.
If he continues to skip the class, school rules could eventually lead to expulsion.
Ms. Gagne said her son remains determined despite the suspension. “He told me, ‘Mom, I am still standing, and I’m going to keep standing and fight this to the end.’ We’re prepared to go right to expulsion.”
Dear Ms. Gagne,
Your son is a moron.
Puh-lease. This is just sad. This kid is so indoctrinated in his mother’s particular brand of inanity that he is unwilling to so much as listen to what someone else believes. Such action is not the mark of an intelligent individual.
Filed under: Misc | Tagged: canada, Diane Gagne, Drummondville, Ethics and Religious Culture, Jean Morse-Chevrie, Jonathan Gagne, Montreal, Protestant, Quebec, Quebec Association of Catholic Parents | 3 Comments »