Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Quebec forces homeschoolers to teach moral relativism and religious pluralism

Story from the National Post. (H/T Canbuhay)

Excerpt:

In a recent troubling judgment (Lavallee vs. Commission scolaire des Chenes), Quebec’s Superior Court ruled that parents do not have ultimate authority over the moral or religious education of their children, and that the state can impose a curriculum that conflicts with the moral codes parents strive to instill. The court rejected a claim brought by parents seeking to exempt their children from the “Ethics and Religious Culture” (ERC) course, which in 2008 became mandatory for all students from Grade 1 to Grade 11, including students in private religious schools.

[...][The province maintains, and the court accepted, that parents' constitutional freedoms remain intact since they are still free to instruct their children in their own moral codes in the privacy of home. But even homeschoolers, who frequently opt out of government schooling precisely because they prefer to instruct their children in their own belief systems, will be required to teach the “even-handed” ERC course or an equivalent course. Imagine parents instructing their children about the importance of adhering to their own religious beliefs in the morning, then telling them that there are a dozen other religions to choose from, all equally valid, in the afternoon. It’s ludicrous for the province to argue that such a process respects freedom of belief.

This is exactly the problem I have with some fundamentalists who don’t see the need to raise their children to have an impact on the world as a whole. I don’t think that the secularists are going to leave Christians alone, so as a matter of self-defense, we need to be the best in our fields in order to have an influence at the highest levels.

Many of the most ambitious people tend to be rabidly secular because they are usually the people who are least likely to want to give up their autonomy to the demands of the moral law. The higher they rise, the less they respect any external restrictions on their selfish pursuit of pleasure.

It’s natural for influential non-Christians to use the law and the public schools to suppress things that seem to limit their autonomy and pursuit of happiness, such as free speech, parental rights, etc. It annoys them when we disagree with them, and that we teach our children things they don’t believe.

Rather than having a live and let live attitude, they are not at all shy about using the law and the public schools to attack our basic human rights. In order to prevent that, we need to make sure that Christians are in position where they can defend human rights for ourselves, and everyone.

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Should fundamentalists encourage pro-abortion, pro-public-school and anti-marriage policies?

Here’s a post from Newsbusters about a group of “patriarchal” Christians that opposed the nomination of Sarah Palin for the post of vice presidency based on their interpretation of the Bible.

Excerpt:

The Los Angeles Times seems to have taken a sudden new interest in biblical study. No, they haven’t become religious or anything close to that. Instead, they are microanalyzing the Bible for passages that they think they can use to slam Sarah Palin for running for vice-president. They are also searching the countryside to dig up the very few strongly religious Christians they can find who think Palin is wrong to run for public office.

Should fundamentalists directly or indirectly support the election of Barack Obama, which caused disastrous effects in society, (increasing abortion, enabling a stronger influence for public schools, and potentially legalizing same-sex marriage, for starters)?

Does Scripture actually justify any of these radically left-wing positions? Won’t these fundamentalist Christians be judged based on the fruits of their opposition to Sarah Palin? Don’t Christians have a responsibility to be educated about the consequences of their positions? Isn’t it important to interpret the Bible correctly?

See my previous post on the need to have an influence in the public square in the most effective ways possible.

Another point of view

A mother of 12 writes:

It is a continual source of amazement to me that some Evangelicals/Protestants raise such a ruckus about Catholics believing in the spiritual authority of the Pope, even while setting up little mini-Popes of their own – and that these leaders disobey God’s imperative to servant leadership in order to revel in their pedestal status.

Often these begin as well-intentioned people seeking righteousness, but then giving into the temptation of spiritual pride. Like the Pharisees Jesus condemned, they become white-washed sepulchers.

Our family’s experience in a legalistic church (mercifully brief 1989-1990) was filled with people bossing us around, telling us that they had a Word for us from God. How dared they presume that God would speak to a stranger rather than guiding us Himself?

And how dare the Vision Forum crowd presume to become the Pope to Sarah Palin?

The truth is that these well-meaning people have become isolated and insulated, building an alternative universe and then judging the outside world by their self-imposed standards rather than by the historical truth of a heavenly Father who throughout the Bible has chosen unlikely leaders and who has warned us about making our own.

Found here.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NH court orders home-schooled child into government-run school

Story from the Alliance Defense Fund.

Excerpt:

The parents of the child divorced in 1999.  The mother has home-schooled their daughter since first grade with curriculum that meets all state review standards.  In addition to home schooling, the girl attends supplemental public school classes and has also been involved in a variety of extra-curricular sports activities.

In the process of renegotiating the terms of a parenting plan for the girl, the guardian ad litem involved in the case concluded, according to the court order, that the girl “appeared to reflect her mother’s rigidity on questions of faith” and that the girl’s interests “would be best served by exposure to a public school setting” and “different points of view at a time when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief…in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”

The WND story is here, but I don’t like WND.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

The war on parents in Canada, Germany and New Zealand

Everyone is complaining about men not wanting to be responsible and get married these days, but no one is paying attention to the incentives that cause men to stay clear of a relationship that is completely regulated by the state. Men don’t want to be coerced to do things.

The problem with the political left is that they never understand what incentives they are creating when they start controlling private interactions between individuals. Take a look at the stories below and ask yourself: is this going to make men and women want to marry and have children?

In Canada:

A Quebec youngster has used the courts to avoid parental discipline in a “landmark” case. The 12-year-old girl, who is too young to be named, went to court to force her father to overturn his decision not to allow her to go on a school trip. Her father had decided to ground her after he found out she had posted photos of herself on a dating website against his wishes.

The sixth grader then took her father to court, arguing that his punishments were too severe.

Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier of the Quebec Superior Court ruled today that denying the girl permission to go on the school trip was an excessive punishment. The girl’s lawyer, Lucie Fortin, said, “She’s becoming a big girl” and described the school trip as “a unique event in her life”, the Globe and Mail reported.

In Germany:

A homeschooling family in Southern Germany spent six hours in a grueling German Family Court session this week with the hopes of regaining custody of their six homeschooled children, who have been held in state custody since January. After the long and confusing session, the Gorbers regained custody of their 3-year-old son. The judge, meanwhile, retained custody of five other Gorber children now being kept in foster care and youth homes pending a court-ordered psychological evaluation of the parents. The court did allow increased visitation for some of the children up from one hour every two weeks that had been permitted since the children were seized in a surprise raid by the youth welfare office (“Jugendamt”) and police.

In New Zealand:

Green MP Sue Bradford’s controversial child discipline bill was tonight passed by Parliament, with only seven MPs voting against it.

The bill removes from the Crimes Act the statutory defence of “reasonable force” to correct a child, meaning there will be no justification for the use of force for that purpose.

But it doesn’t even work because it targets law-abiding people only! (Just like gun control!)

It’s very much like the Democrat party’s complaints about outsourcing. The left caused outsourcing with their interventionist war on “the rich” and “greedy corporations”. We need to move away from noble-sounding intentions fueled by the need to feel superior, and talk about actual incentives and actual effects of policies.

Sex education and taxes

Laura posted on the state interfering with parents’ right to educate their own children about sex:  (CP link)

No, we generally are not in favor of sex ed at school.  If “comprehensive” sex education included what it did when I took it in the early 80s – basic human anatomy, puberty, tab A fits into slot B, birth control methods include the following… even in the conservative evangelical circles I run in, few would object.  That’s all stuff we tell kids at home after we opt them out of sex ed at school- along with the main message of “Don’t do this; it’s not time in your life yet for this.”   What we object to is the attitude that teen sex is normal and inevitable and we should quit squawking about it.  We object to schools teaching bizarre sex practices like fisting.  We object to the theory that teenagers are mindless bags of hormones who can’t be expected to control themselves.

…Our teens are political pawns for the left.  They’re helpless victims of our [= parents'] prudery, children that the government needs to provide for at every turn with health insurance and free college tuition (but don’t deserve an adequate secondary education except when it’s time to raise taxes),  socially and technologically savvy enough to make their own entertainment and political choices free from our censorship,  mature and wise enough to choose abortion (but not give birth), and 18 year old babies who need to be protected from sneaky military recruiters and beer.   The rallying cry may be “it’s for the children!” but the only really consistent position I see in the left is that parents do not know best; government does.

Laura also posted on how socialism takes money away from the family:

When we charge people more to earn money via income taxes, regulations, and similar means, history has proved time and again that people earn less money.  Whether that’s by choice, where people like me purposely throttle back our income in order to pay fewer taxes, or by government fiat, where government takes more money from businesses, the bottom line is that productivity goes down and everybody, including the government, gets less money out of the system.

By the way, I notice that Laura has a new post up at Hot Air’s Green Room, (CP link), on how families can send the socialists a message by cutting off their supply of money, legally. She runs a business, so she knows what she is talking about.

Further study

Recently, I blogged about the myth of “dead-beat Dads”. And about how the feminist state’s discrimination against male teachers is negatively impacting young men. And there is my series on how Democrat policies discourage marriage: Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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