Skip to comments.Ontario Official: Catholic Schools Can’t Teach “Misogynistic” Pro-life
Posted on 10/12/2012 5:59:09 PM PDT by annalex
The Education Minister of Ontario, Canada a professing Catholic who sends her children to Catholic schools declared October 10 that the provinces publicly funded Catholic schools may not teach students that abortion is wrong because such teaching amounts to misogyny, which is prohibited in schools under a controversial anti-bullying law.
Taking away a womans right to choose could arguably be considered one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take, Laurel Broten said during a press conference.
Bill 13, she asserted, is about tackling misogyny.
Passed in June, Bill 13 requires schools to provide a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting, regardless of race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability. The law specifically mandates that schools Catholic schools included establish gay-straight alliance organizations. Now, it seems, it will also be used to infringe even further on religious freedom by prohibiting Catholic schools from teaching that abortion is sinful.
Broten, in her capacity as minister responsible for womens issues, had called the press conference to express [her] disappointment with a press conference held earlier in the day by three provincial legislators in which they argued that Ontario taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortions. Those men had the audacity, Broten averred, to reopen the debate in Ontario about a womans right to choose a debate that has been ended for quite some time. Their press conference, she added, was frankly disheartening. (Note, by the way, that the legislators were not even talking about banning abortion itself, just public funding of it.)
Asked by a member of the press if it was appropriate for Catholic schools to let kids out of school to go to anti-abortion rallies, Broten said that in Ontario we support Catholic education, support the teaching of love and tolerance in our Catholic schools and at the same time support a womans right to choose.
In other words, the government of Ontario led by pro-choice Premier Dalton McGuinty, who is also a Catholic supports Catholic education only up to the point where it conflicts with left-wing orthodoxy.
I am one that supports Catholic education and has been adamantly in support of womens right to choose for many years and I do not see a conflict in those, Broten continued.
It may come as a shock to Broten (and McGuinty), but the Catechism of the Catholic Church is quite clear on the subject: Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. Nor does the church consider this merely a private matter: The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation. (Emphasis in original.) It simply is not possible to be a Catholic in good standing and support abortion and its funding by the state.
It is clear, however, that Broten is a progressive first and a Catholic second. The Catholic teachings are one aspect that we teach in our schools, she said, but we do not allow and were very clear with the passage of Bill 13 that Catholic teachings cannot be taught in our schools that violates human rights and which brings a lack of acceptance to participation in schools.
She noted approvingly that Bill 13 forced Catholic schools to accept gay-straight alliances so that students feel safe, and therefore those schools can also be silenced with regard to abortion so that young girls can make the choices that they make.
This is not about being pro-abortion, she maintained. It is about being pro-choice. That choice, of course, is the one to have an abortion.
One reporter pointed out that Broten seemed to have gone off on a tangent, observing that Bill 13 had nothing to do with, or didnt say anything about pro-life or pro-choice, abortion, anything about that. I dont quite understand why youre bringing it up.
Bill 13 has in it a clear indication of ensuring that our schools are safe, accepting places for all our students. That includes LGBTQ students. That includes young girls in our school. Bill 13 is about tackling misogyny. Taking away a womans right to choose could arguably be one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take.
(LGBTQ was probably shorthand for Bill 13s original formulation of LGBTTIQ, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirited, intersex, queer and questioning.)
Thus, merely stating in a Catholic school the churchs opposition to abortion is, in Brotens opinion, misogynistic and must be banned.
But as William Saunders, senior vice president of legal affairs for Americans United for Life told LifeSiteNews.com, It cant be misogynistic to oppose something that is so harmful to women, as many recent studies show.
Thats the dirty secret about abortion how harmful it is to women; and so to suggest its misogynist is to completely miss the point, he added.
Also, as Faye Sonier, legal counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, told the website: A 2012 Ipsos Reid poll found that 60% of Canadians support the introduction of legislation that would limit abortion access . Are a majority of Canadians therefore misogynistic?
If Bill 13 were interpreted in the way the Minister suggests, in my opinion, it would be unconstitutional as offending freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and free speech, as well as contrary to parents obligations and rights with respect to their children, and so on, Dr. Margaret Somerville, the founding director of McGill Universitys Center for Medicine, Ethics and Law told LifeSiteNews.com.
Now, one could argue that government control over an organizations activities, even at the expense of religious freedom, is the price that organization pays for accepting state funding; and certainly Ontarios Catholic schools are more vulnerable to such assaults as a result of their being publicly funded. However, a representative of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, testifying in favor of Bill 13 before a legislative committee in May, said, All schools, including public, Catholic and private, have a legal duty to provide students with an educational environment free from harassment and other forms of discrimination because of their race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability and sex including gender identity. (Emphasis added.) This indicates that at least some officials intend to enforce Bill 13 on private schools as well, thereby infringing on their rights, too.
What Brotens remarks and, indeed, the entirety of Bill 13 boil down to is this: The radical left doesnt merely want to win debates over public policy; it wants to prohibit any debate in the first place. This is why Broten and other pro-abortion types were up in arms that other legislators were even bringing up the subject of abortion. (We find that very sad, legislator Cheri DiNovo, a minister in the United Church of Canada, told the Canadian Press. This is 2012. We should be beyond that discussion.)
Unless Ontarians get up the gumption to take on these tyrants, they may soon find that the only thing left to debate is which of their liberties will be trampled next.
True, and therefore the minister of education wants to take the school away from the Church. Revolutions started for lesser usurpations.
Yes, that is the fundamental problem. But as you see in Post 36 a country could have publicly funded schools yet teach the right doctrine, and it is in fact the Canadian system. The minister of "education" wants to break the law as written.
So what came of it?
"Conservative" is not a meaningful term when it comes to elected officials.
Right, so the choice for the Church is clear: to teach clear doctrine, disobey the minister and her jackbooted government, and go underground if necessary. They should not, however, push for privatization of Catholic Schools in isolation from a broad reform of taxation and school control for all schools.
Good question. Generally, where are the bishops of the Church on this?
I think they should begin, in addition to the pro-life doctrines, to teach that the democratic process is no guarantee of usurpation of power, and that a Catholic is obligated to resist unjust laws no matter who and under what lawmaking procedure promulgated them.
Thank you very mush for the substantive post.
Yes. What is really needed is a revolution, and not only in Canada. But the first step is in realizing who the enemy is, and stop treating the government as universally legitimate. Increasingly, modern governments in industrial democracies work in direct opposition to natural rights. Their mandate should not be respected when they do.
It’s often said in situations liek this one: Well, the school will not be Catholic if it obeys. That is true, but another part is true as well: that minister is no longer a legitimate minister.
I am not sure we the US Americans are prepared to take our Catholicism seriously. However, there is a certain culture of docility in Canada (except in Quebec) which makes their government meaner and more arrogant. Who knows? We all are due for a paradigm shift in the civil society, in Americas and in Europe.
Well, it does. Your perception of what I think is incorrect. I simply look at the reality in Canada and I recognize that the Canadian type of social contract is different than in the US: the Canadians are tolerant of elements of socialism perhaps because of the different historical experience and harsh climate.
I think that we have a patient who has a cancer and also a heart attack. The threat of a government mandate to teach government pro-death doctrine is a heart attack and the idea that the government has a role to play in education is cancer. You treat the heart attack first because if you don't, you die. But you should also treat the cancer. What I am against is mixing up the two problems, because then you end up treating neither one.
I think they backed down, but I’m not sure
We don’t know what is going on among the priests. There may be, I guess, more than one willing to teach the truth underground.
But what we definitely don’t have is courage among the bishops.