Thursday, February 20, 2014

Aw, Canada

by Edd Doerr

Secular, publicly funded York University in Ontario is trying to force veteran sociology prof Paul Grayson to allow an unnamed student to opt out of a course group project because he does not wish to interact with female students for "religious reasons". Says Grayson: "Can I assume that a similar logic would apply if the group with which he did not want to interact was comprised of Blacks, Muslims [or] homosexuals?  Do we want our daughters going to universities where it's OK for male students to say that we don't want to interact with you?"

Huron University College in Ontario,  tax aided and originally an Anglican seminary,  which offers a course called "The Muslim Voice: Islamic Preaching, Public Speaking and Worship", allowed Moray Wilson to enroll in the course but then kicked him out because he is not a Muslim. Several years ago at the same college a Buddhist student was persuaded not to take a Christian homiletics class.

I generally have a high regard for Canada and Canadians, but this is ridiculous.

Also ridiculous is Ontario's providing full tax support for public and Catholic schools but not Jewish or Protestant schools, an arrangement that goes back to the British North America Act of 1867. Polls have shown that a majority of Ontario voters would like to change things, but thus far nothing has been done, even though the Ontario arrangement violates international agreements that Canada has signed.

Back in the 1990s Newfoundland province, which had no public schools but only tax-supported faith-based schools, found that the system was the worst in all of Canada. The provincial government finally did away with the old order and created a secular public school system, which was upheld by Newfie voters in a referendum by 3 to 1. Interestingly, the schools offer instruction "about"  the various religious traditions in the province (including the unchurched) at several grade levels that US schools would be afraid to do. I have a complete set of the textbooks and find them very good.

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