Now here’s a cause for the Office of Religious Freedom:
Some Manitoba religious schools say the government is infringing on their religious freedoms with its new anti-bullying law.
That’s right, the Manitoba government is infringing on faith-based schools’ right to chose their faith over the needs of “students who want to start specific anti-bullying clubs, including gay-straight alliances.” Office of Religious Freedom ambassador Andrew Bennett doesn’t need to leave the country to fight for religious freedom. He could have flown to Steinbach, Manitoba on February 24 to join
About 1,000 staff, students and parents met Sunday night in the gymnasium at Steinbach Christian High School for an information and prayer event regarding the Manitoba government’s Bill 18: The Public Schools Amendment Act (Safe And Inclusive Schools) which, if passed, would require all schools, including faith-based schools to allow the students to form clubs that use the name gay-straight alliance (GSA).
I don’t know what Bennett would have said to the administrators and parents who are objecting to Manitoba’s Bill 18: The Public Schools Amendment Act (Safe And Inclusive Schools). I know what I would say: You are perfectly willing to take the taxpayers’ money; now, do what the government tells you: obey the law.
Funded independent schools receive 50 per cent of their funding from the government, the rest through tuition and donations.
Robert Praznik, director of education for Catholic schools and board chairman for the Manitoba Federation of Independent Schools, says, “the Catholic schools are working to satisfy both the province and their own beliefs.”
Praznik wants to challenge the “too broad” definition of bullying:
“We have concerns that if we had parents and students that might feel their feelings might be hurt in terms of a church teaching or policy that would be considered bullying. So that would go against the faith dimension of our schools.”
Seventeen year old Xavier Raddysh has a question for parents and students who object to Bill 18 and GSAs:
“Would you rather keep your religion because that’s what your God says … and then let one of your children of God die because you do not give him the freedom to have a gay-straight alliance and have that support?”
Raddish is too polite to say,
If you want your children to be educated in a religious environment that is bigoted, homophobic, and hypocritical, that’s fine, just do it on your own dime. Stop sticking your nose in the government trough; send your kids to private schools and pay for their education yourselves.
Faith-based schools would be subjected to the same provisions as public schools, she said, including the requirement schools accommodate student activities using the name “gay-straight alliance.”