The Ontario government has been under constant pressure to establish a strategy to deal with the increasing frequency of “bullying” issues and the intensifying harm that bullying is having on our young people. There have been several suicides directly attributable to bullying issues, documented and undocumented incidents of violence and … generally speaking a “culture of cruelty” that needs to be brought into check.
One of the government’s initiatives is to legislatively mandate that all Ontario schools allow (and assist) students to create clubs designed to foster a safe environment for students that feel persecuted. One suicide (this year) in a local high school was documented as directly linked to the reaction of the school and fellow students when a young man tried to establish a Gay/Straight Tolerant club.
The legislation calls for action if – specifically “if” – a student or group of students ask for such a club.
Now some organization with a name that sounds like “family values” or something is all up in arms. They represent the Catholic School board. Their mouth-piece is on the national news complaining about how this is going to devastate the Catholic School system. The argument from the Catholic Schools is that homosexuality is not supported by Catholic doctrine and that such a club would be an affront to the religion. The mouth-piece went on to shove his shoes in his mouth with things like… “Next thing you know the Muslim students will want a club.” (etc. etc. etc… he just kept going). See… there are not enough public school system high schools so anyone of any faith can attend a Catholic HS – they just have to take “religious studies”. So most of the “Catholics” in a Catholic HS are simply catholic-of-convenience students.
The interviewer (CBC, btw) was cautious but obviously not buying it. She tried to stay focused on the issue that gay students feel unsafe in school… catholic or otherwise, etc. etc. etc. The rebuttal was all about “we need tougher laws that target bully’s and punish them.”
So… ignoring the obvious avenues of ridicule that open up here with the idea that the religious organization proposes “punishment” as the most effective means to an end… I have to say… sadly… that I agree with the mouth-piece.
The “catholic school” system is a school system that is based on teaching Christianity and focused on Catholicism. Catholicism deplores homosexuality, let alone women-in-general. They wrap Catholicism in an official curriculum that meets provincial guidelines and presto… total public funding for the whole shebang. I don’t know about the rest of the province… but in Ottawa and the surrounding communities, the Catholic High Schools are the biggest, newest and nicest. BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE - they are religious schools based on a religion. Lets forget about the history of Catholicism, the crusades, wars, persecution etc. The real issue is INTOLERANCE. And freedom of religion makes a law out of letting them be as intolerant as they want.
“Oh my church is like a social club… a support organization… a charity.”
“Catholicism… well, we only follow the bits of the bible that make sense…”
blah blah blah…
Stop lying to yourself and everyone around you.
If you’re calling yourself catholic… (let alone tithing on a regular basis), you are lending your support to an intolerant organization.
Therein lays the problem.
The government wants to promote tolerance and support for all… but they (the government) support the Catholic School system which is diametrically opposed to those goals.
Why we have two school systems (four, actually, because the secular and catholic schools have French equivalents) is totally whack!! I say do away with that shit and just have a freaking “school board” for the province.