FacebookTwitterYoutube

The Politics of Homeschooling... - Part I

Ontario Bill C-13 Bully

Up until our recent past, the topic of homescooling was rarely discussed, as schools for the most part served our children well with regards to a secure foundation in language, mathematics and the sciences. However, as we will demonstrate in this series of essays, this perception of traditional schooling is no longer valid. Imbedded in school curricula are elements of social engineering, including indoctrination into an aggressive secularism which goes contrary to Christian beliefs and values, as well as those of other faith groups. Thankfully, devout and discerning Christian parents in many countries still have the right to homeschool their children. On the other hand, this alternative involves great sacrifices as one parent must stay home, thus limiting the family income, and furthermore, there is the out-of-pocket expenses of books and other learning materials. In today’s economy, not many are willing to make this forfeiture. Yet, there are those who love their children and wish to give them a better education and pass on time-honoured values that choose to do so despite the cost. The goal of Saint Gabriel’s Homeschooling Community is to provide information and resources to aid Roman Catholic parents, and other parents as well, who wish to engage in this true labour of love. And the reason for this is that Catholic parents who once enjoyed the benefits of a separate school system which truly reflected the Church’s teachings and values are now realizing that their schools are also the targets of the government’s secular agenda. In this article, we will discuss our politicians’ latest affront to Ontario Christians and members of other faiths, which came with the introduction in Ontario of Bill C-13, which Tom Scotus addressed on June 23 in an article entitled Bishops Show Impotence as Bill 13 Passed Into Law.

In this series of essays, we will provide links to web sites and supporting documents for those who want deeper knowledge of our particular topic. Our featured document for this article is Bill C-13 itself; you may wish to read the entire bill before proceeding to the rest of the article in order to gain a first impression and become familiar with its substance, by clicking here. Or, you can continue with the article which presents the entire preamble along with our comment and reflections.

The preamble begins as follows…

The people of Ontario and the Legislative Assembly:…

For the sake of accuracy, this first line should read “some people of Ontario” since not all people of Ontario will agree with what follows, especially citizens with strong moral and religious convictions. Our own informal surveys within our families and church congregations demonstrate that most people have never heard of Bill C-13, and when informed about the bill’s content, they disagree with it, which raises a few questions: how can the government proclaim that this bill truly represent the beliefs and values of the people of Ontario? Where did they acquire this unanimous statistical sample?

Believe that education plays a critical role in preparing young people to grow up as productive, contributing and constructive citizens in the diverse society of Ontario;

This first paragraph of Bill 13 is nothing more than rhetoric, it is a truism meant to solicit ascent from the reader. It does not define—and granted it cannot, since it is not within the scope of the document to do so—what it means to be “productive,” “contributing” and “constructive” with respect to the role educations plays. Thus, we cannot with certainty concur in that belief without more clarity. But this nebulousness notwithstanding, the paragraph submits for our consideration the “diverse society of Ontario.” Again, this is not defined, but we may have common ground here. If what is meant by a “diverse” society is a pluralistic society, we would agree with that premise since it must be acknowledged that there are people with many different values—including many religious and faith-based groups—which are subsets of the “set” called “Ontario’s citizens.” Included in Ontario’s diversity of citizens are people of religious conviction who fundamentally oppose a government bill that negatively impacts people’s constitutional rights to religious freedom and compromises parental authority which is still upheld in several charters on human rights. While apparently extolling diversity, the government seeks to suppress this very diversity by attempting to create a homogenous society. This they accomplish by enforcing their perspectives and belief systems—which are based on principles of secular humanism—on its citizens and silencing those of deeper religious convictions, without respect for each citizen’s cultural, moral and religious values. An argument will be made throughout this article that the government is hypocritically introducing an anti-bullying bill while they themselves bully institutions such as the Catholic separate school system into accepting it. If we concur that “education plays a critical role in preparing young people to grow up as “productive, contributing and constructive citizens,” we will add that just as there is an acknowledged “diverse” society in Ontario, there should be diversity in education—which now include the public school system, the Catholic separate school system, private schools and homeschooling—each of which should reflect and respect the values, religious or otherwise, of each particular segment of Ontario’s diversity. And all societal ideologies aside, each of these diverse education systems would be equally valid regarding the “critical role” of preparing young people to grow up to be “productive,” “contributing” and “constructive” citizens, according to the strict dictionary definition of these terms.

Believe that all students should feel safe at school and deserve a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability;

A critical analysis of the above paragraph could easily fill an entire book. Therefore, to remain within the compass of this essay, we will simply begin by pointing out that being of a particular race, of a certain ancestry, of a particular place of origin, of a certain colour, of a particular ethnic origin, of a certain citizenship, of a certain faith, of a certain sex, of a certain sexual orientation, of a particular age, of a certain marital or family status, or disabled are thing which are not in themselves immoral. These are things people are and in most cases cannot change. Yet one item stands out, “sexual orientation,” which is the only one that can involve the participation of two or more people in an activity that is immoral, that is, according to the convictions of a mainly non-atheist segment of Ontario’s diversity who believe that there is such a thing as objective morality. If the only “sexual orientation” we knew of was that between members of the opposite sex, as reflected in the very design of our bodies, or revealed by nature itself as being necessary for the propagation of the human species, then it would not appear here as a category. Therefore, with respect to this list, that leaves for our consideration only the homosexual act (pedophilia and bestiality aside) as a sexual orientation that is ipso facto classifiable, by a sizeable segment of Ontario’s diverse population, as an immoral act. Since the paragraph does not draw our attention to any distinction between being a homosexual, which is not immoral, and the homosexual act which is, then we must assume both aspects are implied. Now cancelling out all items which are not immoral, the act of homosexuality stands out as a purposely and cunningly inserted “category error” on the part of the drafters of this bill in order to advance their secular humanist agenda by means of, as we shall see later, the gay straight alliances, or GSAs.

Remember that promoters of the gay and lesbian agenda do not represent or endorse the choice made by homosexuals who decide to live lives of virtue and chastity. Gay pride parades obviously are not exhibited to promote sexual abstinence; the gay “lifestyle” is the issue. Fifty years ago, the practice of homosexuality was illegal in Canada. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) “voted” homosexuality out of its list of mental disorders in the early 1970s as a political move, bowing to pressure from gay and lesbian activists and advocates of the time. But then, the APA votes most disorders in or out of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) for political or economic reasons. The Catholic Church however is more precise and consistent in its teachings and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states in Article 2357 that “tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and “under no circumstances can they be approved.” According to the Catholic Church—and this applies to some other faith groups as well—the sexual act must be open to the very purpose of its design; that is, it must be open to life. That is why contraception is not approved by the Church, and obviously, it’s impossible for the homosexual act to achieve that openness to life. Therefore, this paragraph of Bill 13 aimed at soliciting ascent from the reader amounts to misleading rhetoric. And finally, the paragraph denotes a plurality of class and values, including “creed,” which is characteristic of a “diverse society”; all should be equal in the eyes of the law, but evidently, the Ontario government considers some groups more equal than others.

Believe that a healthy, safe and inclusive learning environment where all students feel accepted is a necessary condition for student success;

Again, this is rhetoric which petitions a belief which in this case people may or may not adhere to. I have personally known many students whose exceptional success was not predicated on “feeling accepted.” Bullies of course may not need to “feel accepted,” but they are usually not exceptional achievers; yet there are many high achievers who could be described as well adjusted independent individuals. But let’s for the moment grant the drafters of the bill their premise: as mentioned above, there are, and should be, educational alternatives, and the home can certainly be classified as a “safe and inclusive” environment where the student “feels accepted” if that is a legitimate condition for success. But the real advantage of homeschooling, apart from the fact that homeschooled children are statistically higher achievers, is the central benefit of not being in a learning environment where they are subject to indoctrination into a politically driven secular humanist social agenda, as well as the government imperatives included in Bill 13.

Special attention should be made here regarding the word “inclusive.” This political buzzword, practically unheard of in the past, is one of the most used political buzzterm that we shall encounter in this series of articles, especially when addressing various forms of collectivism where “homogeneity” is the goal respecting the citizenry and where true “diversity” and pluralism are stifled and all independent thinking that is at variance with the government imposed schema is smothered. Although we can agree with such terms as “healthy” and “safe,” at this point we should ask ourselves where the drafters of this bill are headed regarding the term “inclusive.”

Understand that students cannot be expected to reach their full potential in an environment where they feel insecure or intimidated;

Again, this is a truism in that it hardly needs mentioning except when used, as in this case, as a rhetorical device, thus the reason why this statement doesn’t need to begin with an appeal to “belief.” This “establishment of common ground” is an effective tactic used for indoctrination where your ascent to one or more self-evident propositions makes you more open to blindly accepting the more obfuscated ones (such as the next paragraph), to the point where you eventually buy the whole bogus package along with its false conclusions.

Believe that students need to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, attitude and values to engage the world and others critically, which means developing a critical consciousness that allows them to take action on making their schools and communities more equitable and inclusive for all people, including LGBTTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, two-spirited, intersexed, queer and questioning) people;

What the drafters of this bill mean by “critical consciousness” is unclear, nor what they mean by “engaging the world and others critically.” If we can assume that we are here dealing with the expression coined by pedagogue Paulo Freire, then critical consciousness basically refers to the politics of victimhood and oppression. A minority group can gain significant political support by playing the “victim card,” thus soliciting sympathy from the population at large to further an agenda. In this case, the minority group is clearly identified as “LGBTTIQ people.” Quoting from Freire’s book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, we have the following: “who are better prepared than the oppressed to understand the terrible significance of an oppressive society?” Many, including the Marxists have used such political tactics to achieve their objectives; for example, they had to convince the proletariat that they were victims of the machinations of the bourgeoisie in order to establish communism. Such collectivist tactics can originate from any government that wishes to steer the populace towards authoritarianism, which necessitates a more homogenous society rather than a pluralistic one where some are capable of independent critical thinking. A homogeneous society is much easier to govern. If we assume this definition of “critical consciousness,” then ironically, we as Christians can in fact assert that it is this very critical consciousness that gives Ontario’s people of faith the ability to perceive and understand that they are victims of political oppression from their own government in the form of coercive measures such as Bill 13. Clearly, the government is persecuting a sizeable segment of its tax-paying population base to gratify the desires a smaller minority of the population who wants to be publicly affirmed vis-à-vis their sexual conduct.

Recognize that a whole-school approach is required, and that everyone—government, educators, school staff, parents, students and the wider community—has a role to play in creating a positive school climate and preventing inappropriate behaviour, such as bullying, sexual assault, gender-based violence and incidents based on homophobia;

Here is an appeal to “recognition,” but unfortunately, critically discerning members of the Christian faith do not “recognize” any validity regarding the term “homophobia,” which literally means “fear of man” (although the term could apply to wild birds and squirrels I suppose). Let’s say we are a parent of a son or daughter who has lately began experimenting with marijuana. We obviously love our child, but not a drug habit that could have serious consequences for them. Does that make us “pot-a-phobic?” Would rushing to unplug an old electrical appliance that has started emitting sparks due to an intermittent short make someone “electrophobic?” Would quickly removing an open jar containing a dangerous acid that has been carelessly left in an area often occupied by children make one “aciphobic?” The answer is no, despite the fact that in all these instances, we do justifiably “fear” the potentially dangerous outcome of each situation.

Try a thought experiment; picture yourself making an appointment with a psychologist because you have an excessive fear of spiders. You inform the doctor that you suffer from arachnophobia; You describe the chill you first experience upon seeing one of these eight legged creepy crawlies, the sudden stomach tightness, the cold sweat and anxiety, and finally, the inability to move, only perhaps scream. Or maybe your visit involves similar symptoms that happened when you accidentally locked yourself in a small unlit closet, or encountered a snake, or when you suddenly froze half way up a tall ladder you were climbing, leaving you unable to continue, or come down.

Okay, now imagine yourself visiting the same medical practitioner to explain to him or her that you suffer from homophobia, and you proceed to relate an occasion where you passed by a person on the street which appeared to be gay and you describe how you almost swooned from the sudden seizure of chills and cold sweats. Your stomach suddenly tightened, you gasped for air, and the ensuing anxiety almost caused you to empty your bowels right there and then, but thankfully, you only ended up dropping your grocery bags and screaming.

It’s absurd!

People of faith do not “fear” homosexuals. Hopefully the above examples will help to clarify the distinction between an intelligent and informed apprehension on the one hand and an anxiety disorder on the other.

Homophobia is not a medical term, but a political “label,” no more, no less. It is a word coined in the 1960s by psychologist George Weinberg, a supporter of the then fledging gay movement. The term first appeared in print in a pornographic tabloid called Screw and in that instance the word referred to a fear experienced by heterosexual men who felt others might think they are gay. As stated above, in the early 1970s, the expression became an important tool for gay and lesbian activists and advocates. It is essentially a term used to label and stigmatize people whose moral and religious convictions do not allow them to affirm people in their committing any act that has dire eternal consequences, as it would violate their conscience, the freedom of which is still protected in most constitutions. And since its use in Bill 13 is to bully a segment of an acknowledged “diverse” population, the term “homophobia” has no place in this, or any other government bill.

Acknowledge that there is a need for stronger action to create a safe and inclusive environment in all schools, and to support all students, including both students who are impacted by and students who have engaged in inappropriate behavior, to assist them in developing healthy relationships, making good choices, continuing their learning and achieving success.

 

Therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

The last paragraph which solicits “acknowledgment” from the reader is another rhetorical potpourri of self-evident clichés, designed to obtain ascent from the reader, while setting up the LGBTTIQ community as “victims” in order to sell a lifestyle alternative to our youth. Now, although the above preamble as a whole touts “stronger action” and “safe and inclusive environments,” it does not mention the “solution,” which as it turns out, includes the Gay Straight Alliance clubs (GSAs). So far we have a political propaganda piece drafted as a response to the question “how do we get the population to accept the indoctrination of our youth into secularism and the gay and lesbian lifestyle?” As we shall see, it is by means of a red herring called “bullying!” Clearly, if the LGBTTIQ had come out of the blue and proposed school programs designed to deliberately indoctrinate our youth to the gay and lesbian culture, it would have quickly bit the dust due to public outcry. Therefore, a device often used by governments to dupe the general public into compliance has been invoked, which is the Hegelian dialectic: in this case, by proposing an antithesis called “bullying” as the latest social scourge, and the LGBTTIQ community as the prime victims, the mainstream population then clamours for a solution, and the government is more than happy to provide a remedy in the form of the pre-packaged synthesis, which in this case is that very same once-destined-for-the-dust indoctrination of our youth into the gay and lesbian culture. This GSA “solution” will be the topic of our next article.

Now let’s be clear; bullying is, and has always been a serious issue. Children and adolescents have been bullied and suffered the consequences of bullying for ages, because of their weight, their complexion, their choice of clothes, their grades, as well as for perceived same sex attraction. Yet no one cared, especially the government who is not and never will be in the caring business to begin with, but who will nevertheless—stone-faced as an expert gambler—play the “caring card” when it furthers a political gambit such as the pushing of the gay and lesbian agenda on the public. But what’s in it for the government? Why should they “care” about the gay and lesbian movement if they’re not in the “caring business?” The answer: a secular nation. We’ll address this in a future article.

We’ll sum up this first part of our article by pointing out that bullying activities are of different kinds. This bill addresses bullying on a small scale—mostly between individuals—but this “microbullying” is but a miniature version of a larger and more sinister kind of bullying which is bullying writ large, or “macrobullying,” if you will, against which we should have constitutional protection. This involves the bullying of faith based people and institutions on the part of a small segment of the population which shoves its agenda—which amounts to the promotion of a lifestyle which the mainstream population considers immoral—in our faces with its lobbying activities and its pride parades, all backed with the government’s own bullying power. Laurel Broten, the Minister of Education under Premier McGuinty has stated that she will force the GSAs on Catholic Schools, more or less whether they like it or not. Well, according to the verbiage of the “anti-bullying” Bill 13, this behaviour on the part of our political leaders would classify as being “aggressive” and “intimidating” especially when there is a power imbalance between the perpetrator and victim, and most particularly when that imbalance is based on factors of political clout, and where the behaviour is expressed by “written or other means.” Bill 13 would classify as the “written means” and the education minister’s comment as a “verbal means.” McGuinty and Broten are indeed experts on bullying, being expert bullies themselves.

In our next article, we will examine the GSA and offer concluding remarks regarding the issue of Bill C 13.