Religious fast-food in quebec - Awesome

The Evangelical and right wing Christians
are not liking this...

In September 2008, a new ethics and religious culture program was implemented in elementary and secondary schools in Quebec. I doubt this course of study could have been started in many places in this world and it makes lots of sense to see it starting in Quebec.

Quebec has a long historical connection to the Catholic church and many wrongs have been committed in the name of the the "official" church. Just as we see many nations around the world based on a religion, Quebec was one of those places. The Catholic Church held sway for 100's of years until the 1960's and its influence started to fall away. Today Quebec stands as one of the most progressive provinces with respect to separation of state and religion.

The course will...
recognize different ways of viewing life, relationships with others, and the place and role of human beings in the world
reflect on values (freedom, equity, equality, justice, respect, integrity, etc.) and social prescriptions (laws, rules, regulations, etc.)
take a reflective position with respect to problem situations in which different values are at stake or choices have to be made
make choices based on the common good, get involved and act toward others autonomously and responsibly
It looks too me that it is a giant step forward in education. And because it is a giant step forward there are some getting exercised in a big way over it. This course is compulsory and children cannot be exempted. It replaces three options that had been available to Quebec students - a generic course in moral education or two other courses that were either Catholic or Protestant in nature.
A Catholic private boys' school in Montreal, Loyola High School, made a request to be exempted from the compulsory course, on the grounds that the course conflicted with the school's Catholic character. The Ministère de l’É ducation, du Loisir et du Sport, Michelle Courchesne, rejected their request. The school is indicating that they may take it to Court.

Another family is also taking a local school board and the Ministère de l’É ducation, du Loisir et du Sport to court. Sylvain Lamontagne, says he is concerned the course exposes his children to world religions at a very young age thus threatening their Christian faith, and will cause confusion and push his kids towards atheism. "It's religious fast-food. We can't do this to children. It will only confuse them," said Lamontagne. "Religion isn't a Chinese buffet. You can't just pick one and then another however you want."

Last year Jean Morse-Chevrier of the Association of Catholic Parents, told Lifesite News the course covers different world religions as if all are equal. The major religions focused on in the program are Christianity, Native Spirituality, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Atheism is also covered as a cultural expression. Instruction equating homosexuality with normal family life is to be presented as early as grade one. Under 'ethics' for grades 1-2 the course is intended "to bring children to explore the diversity of relationships of interdependence between members of different types of families."

There is a protest being planned for today in Montreal, the organizers are hoping for thousands of parents to attend. I suspect it will not be that large and secondly, I seriously doubt that they will be able to change the mind of the Ministère de l’É ducation, du Loisir et du Sport.

Some days you just have to love Quebec. I say right on Quebec, the sooner kids are exposed to the alternatives in this world, the less chance we have in seeing them brainwashed by their parents and Churches.


Skinny Dipper said...

Based on my experience, I can guess that Quebec students will be taking this course at the elementary level 40 minutes per week. For a grade-one class, it is enough time for a teacher to read a book about Hanukkah and students colouring a Menorah with a sentence below indicating that Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days. I also can't see a rush of teachers reading books about two mommies or daddies.

From the view of a principal or teacher, Language Arts and Mathematics are the highest priority subjects. Science and Social Studies come next. After, Music, Art, Gym, Drama, and French/English as a Second Language are at the bottom. Religious and Cultural Studies would probably be placed in the same bottom category. On paper, all subjects are important as they help shape the development of the child. In reality, educators concentrate on Language Arts and Math.

My guess is that a Catholic school will be able to teach the Religious and Cultural Studies curriculum from a Catholic perspective unofficially. Again, in a grade-one class, the teacher and students can talk about different kinds of families such as one-parent; two (heterosexual) parents; and extended families with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. There will probably be no mention of same-sex couples with families unless a student mentions his or her own family. In a Catholic school, I doubt this will happen.

I will guess that if Loyola loses the court case, it will accept the decision. At the same time, the school will interpret the curriculum in its own way.

Ryan said...

I think it's a good start, even if it isn't a long or extensive program. Here in Calgary they are starting a pilot ethics class in the public system. Would probably be a little more useful and enlightening than "career and life management."

I learned how to use the government of Alberta site too look up job opportunities! And to write a cover letter!

Steevie said...

Skinny Dipper wrote:

>My guess is that a Catholic school >will be able to teach the Religious >and Cultural Studies curriculum >from a Catholic perspective >unofficially.

Well, what do you mean by unofficially? Illegally? Why the hypocrisy, why is the governement imposing this againts the will of parents?

I love the tag "theocracy" labelling this article. Who has teh authority (cracy), dear blogger if it is not the State imposing its relativistic and pluralistic course on all?

The tables have turned and the agnostics ruling us at not any more tolerant than the "theocracies" (which ones ?) of yesteryear...

Oh, did you hear about the Monopoly of Education threatening parents who withdraw their children with calling the "Youth protection services"?

Tolerance, I tell you.

Some background before too much prejudice sets in some "progressist" minds:


pictures (text is in French)


Newscast with letters showing letters threatening using the Youth Protection services