Thursday, September 11, 2008

If it ain't broke, fix it

As predicted, no sooner has it been determined that Ontario's Catholic school boards are disproportionately outperforming the province's public school boards, than the call goes out to "correct [the] injustice" of a separate Roman Catholic school system.
Separate Roman Catholic schools exist in Ontario because Catholic Quebec legislators insisted on them as a condition for the legislators' cooperation, first in the Union Parliament before Confederation, and then for Quebec joining Canada. But times have changed. Quebec no longer supports public religious schools, and Ontario now contains many adherents of non-Christian religions. Ontario is now among the world's most diverse, secular societies and yet the Ontario government is still being held hostage to 1867 arrangements.
The authors go on to reveal that the hostage takers aren't so much these antiquated "arrangements" of 1867, as they are the 40% of the population that continue to support a separate Catholic system. (That's roughly five million people.)

It continues:
One of Ontario's publicly funded school systems serves students and parents of all creeds and cultures in an atmosphere that focuses on our community as citizens of Canada. The other, the Roman Catholic separate school system, sorts and segregates on the basis of parents' religion and uses public dollars to hire a select group of employees to inculcate the beliefs of that religion into a select group of students.
This is beautiful! This notion that Ontario's public schools "serve students and parents of all creeds and cultures" etc. Speaking as someone who has taught in a handful of these schools, the only thing they're serving is a tepid mush of sentiment, superficiality and mediocrity. (Save for the odd ripe portion of left-liberal, anti-West, anti-Christian propaganda, that is.) And this insinuation that the RC system actively "sorts and segregates," then "inculcates" its vile doctrine into its "select group" of little shock troops, as though tens of thousands of Roman Catholic parents didn't choose freely not to send their children to Catholic school? Priceless!

But this is the kicker (my emphasis):
In a world where religious tensions seem to be growing, stressing what unites our next generation of citizens is of paramount importance. There would be no better way to accomplish that than establishing a single, secular, publicly funded school system made up of English and French-language school boards.
Ah! Nothing like flushing your point directly down the toilet! Ontario's ever-increasing diversity trumps public funding of Roman Catholic boards, but of course we should still dedicate entire schools to an exclusively French curriculum. Never mind the fact that native French speaking Ontarians comprise not even 5% of the population (that's roughly 550,000 people); nor, obviously, the fact of ongoing language "tensions" that threaten to tear the very fabric of the nation. No! Rather it's this movement for, apparently, a free and independent Roman Catholic state--that's been ever so subtly asserting itself over the last 140 years through the pernicious influence of morning prayer and mustachioed lady faith councillors--that we need to ruthlessly stamp out in the name of acceptance and equality!

(And this line can't be allowed to go without comment:
Defenders of Ontario's Catholic schools claim that they have a divine right to receive public funding because the right is enshrined in the constitution ...
They claim to have a divine right because it is enshrined in the constitution ... I smell a Pulitzer!)