If you ever doubted that progressivists have Christianity in their sights, go to western Canada. In Alberta, the prairie province run by the amusingly misnamed New Democrat Party, progressive intolerance is in full swing.
The NDP, instead of wishing to see a healthy public space where differences can be discussed respectfully, seek to silence alternative viewpoints. In pursuit of their LGBTQ-friendly agenda, they are set on destroying independent schools which insist on retaining their Christian ethos.
Around 34,000 Alberta students attend 61 independent schools. As required, the schools submitted their ‘Safe and Caring’ anti-bullying policies to David Eggen, Alberta’s Minister of Education, in March 2016. The schools had to wait until the first week of September 2018 to receive Eggen’s response as to whether he considered their policies to follow the School Act.
The answer was a big fat ‘No’.
Alberta’s Deputy Minister of Education Curtis Clark wrote to the independent schools in the province threatening their funding and accreditation if they do not dump a broad range of Christian-based content from their ‘Safe and Caring’ school policies.
A statement such as ‘We believe men and women were created in the image of God, after His likeness, and therefore have transcendent, intrinsic worth’ appears to be standard Christian teaching. Non-believers may reject the idea of God’s creation but one might think they would at least applaud the assertion of the individual’s ‘intrinsic worth’.
Not in Alberta they don’t. According to the province’s Ministry of Education it violates the School Act because it is ‘unwelcoming, uncaring and/or disrespectful’.
This heading of ‘unwelcoming, uncaring and/or disrespectful’ is being used as a bludgeon to smash independent Christian schools and promote an LGBTQ agenda.
The letter continues. A school’s ‘Personal and Social Value Commitments’, including the commitment ‘To develop godly attitudes toward marriage and the family along with the understanding and skills needed to establish a God-honouring home’, is also held to violate the School Act. It is ‘unwelcoming, uncaring and/or disrespectful’.
For a school principal evaluating a request for a club activity to ask whether the ‘club or activities would create a safe, caring, welcoming and respectful environment and is consistent with the vision and mission of the school’ is ‘unwelcoming, uncaring and/or disrespectful’.
Any statement regarding family, marriage, Christian values or the Bible seems to earn automatic rejection, struck down as being uncaring and/or disrespectful, or not respecting diversity.
‘God created mankind as male and female, equal in dignity and worth, yet with distinct and complementary roles’ is excluded on the grounds that it is contrary to the School Act requirement for a ‘welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment’.
If parents disagree with a school’s faith ethos and want to switch schools, the school’s offer to help the parents find a more appropriate school is also considered to be ‘contrary to the School Act as unwelcoming, uncaring and/or disrespectful’.
It is easy to imagine that this is a sketch from Monty Python. But it is all too serious. Alberta Education states that failure to remove the cited language from a school’s ‘Safe and Caring’ policies ‘may result in funding implications . . . and the suspension or cancellation of accreditation’. If schools don’t abandon their Christian basis and instead choose to adopt progressivism they will be destroyed.
In the name of ‘diversity’, Alberta’s Minister for Education is attacking diversity. Actual diversity is, apparently, intolerable. Eggan insists all policies be worded according to progressive doctrine, despite the lack of evidence that uniformity is needed or healthy.
He rejects the right of parents to want their children to be exposed to opinions and beliefs differing from progressive dogma. This is an attempt to force schools to conform to the state’s beliefs. This is happening, not in a banana republic or a third world dictatorship, but in Canada, a modern western democracy.
By insisting that if a school’s core values are Christian these values should play no role in its anti-bullying policies the Alberta’s NDP government is requiring schools to abandon Christian teaching.
This is yet another progressive attack based on the idea that Christianity is permissible, but only as long as it is a purely private concern and has no impact on public life.
If a school, or any other Christian institution, is not permitted, on pain of penalty, to allow its foundational biblical beliefs to shape all aspects of its practices, we have a nakedly aggressive anti-Christian attack.