McGuinty’s poison pill for Ontario schools
by Father Alphonse de Valk, Catholic Insight (republished with permission)
“No to McGuinty” reads June’s editorial. The July/August, message was “Alarm bells are ringing for your children.” In May, Catholic Insight published, “The rising polyamorous culture is out to get your children” (pp.16-18), and in January we are on record as saying that “Ontario Education Minister Kathleen Wynne is going headlong against the teaching of the Church” (“Ontario government’s initiative would force Catholic Schools to violate Church teaching,” Life Site News, Jan 7, 2010) . How serious is all this? What is the context?
The context is threefold:
First, Ontario Premier McGuinty’s program concerns sex education. “Sex education,” observed psychiatrist Dr. Miriam Grossman in Ottawa recently, “is a social movement. Its goal is to change society. Its priority is not sexual health, it is sexual freedom.” Those changes include freeing people from sexual taboos, especially Judeo- Christian morality (Deborah Gyapong, ‘‘Psychiatrist exposes lies of public sex education,” The New Freeman, March 19, 2010). Secondly, sex education has acquired a much sharper edge because today it involves the homosexual agenda as well. Under the banner of “ Gay Rights” the activists successfully disguise themselves as a new Civil Rights movement and are using existing federal and provincial anti-hatred and discrimination laws for their own purposes. Thirdly, the Ontario program is part and parcel of the older and much larger feminist rebellion against society in the west, embracing the Pill and contraceptives, divorce and sterilization, and the killing of preborn babies as the foundation of an anti-family, anti-child ideology. This, in turn, is tied to secularism which has no central goal except to deny that objective truth exists. This promotes endless relativism. The late Pope John Paul II tried to express it in the encyclical Evangelum vitae (The Gospel of Life) when he wrote the Culture of Life is facing the Culture of Death. That was in 1995. Fifteen years have gone by and every month the Culture of Death encroaches further on the Judeo-Christian civilization in Europe and the Americas. Today in our Christian-based society in Canada the assault has reached a critical point with the struggle over education.
As a further footnote to these developments, one should note that in the meantime the word “hatred” in the hate crimes provisions of the Criminal Code and Human Rights Act, which was never defined, has morphed into “discrimination”, from there into “homophobia”, and homophobia (a term coined by homosexual activists) is now in turn interpreted as opposition—any and all opposition—to the homosexual lifestyle. This despite the fact that humanity’s major religions reject this lifestyle as corrupt and sinful. The Catholic Church teaches that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complimentary. Under no circumstance can they be approved.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No 2357). Another relevant point in Canada is the decline of institutional Christian schools in several provinces.
Christian schools in Newfoundland and Quebec
The separate school systems in Newfoundland and Quebec are no more, the first one destroyed by Newfoundland Liberal Premier Brian Tobin in 1997 with the help of the Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in Ottawa. (C.I., Jan-Feb 1998, pp.24-5); the other by Parti Quebecois Premier Lucien Bouchard, first in l997 when the law for linguistic schools rather than confessional ones was passed, then in June 2000 when the law was enacted (C.I., April 2001, p.28; also see Regina Farrell “Quebec: language before religion, “ C.I,, June 1997, p.8).
After 2000, the schools in Quebec were to be given a non-denominational “Spiritual Care” program, which we predicted would soon become a “humanitarian mishmash” without much meaning at all. As for the then still two existing confessional religion courses (Catholic and Protestant), we asked the question: “Who will control the content of these courses, the Church or the government? If it is the government the course will soon prove unacceptable to Catholics” (C.I. April 2001, p. 29).
The Quebec government pushed the de-confessionalization of the religion courses and by 2008 the confessional courses were gone, replaced by a new, mandatory, culture and religion course designed by the secular Ministry of Education. In other words, Quebec families are told their children must take a religion course written by atheists in which the worldwide Catholic Church is reduced to a sectarian cult, one among many others, and, needless to say, without a word about her divine origin. In June 2010 Quebec judge Gérard Dugré ruled the imposition of that course on an independent (private) Catholic secondary school as “acting in a totalitarian fashion.” And that is exactly what Catholics face (C.I., July/August 2010 “School battle in Quebec,” p.29).
Just to illustrate how hostile today’s Quebec ruling elite is towards Catholicism, recall that on May 19, 2010 Quebec’s Premier Jean Charest in the name of a woman’s right to “choose” declared the right to kill pre-born babies a sacred trust of the Quebec people, in direct contradiction to Quebec City’s Cardinal Marc Ouellet upholding of Catholic teaching. Charest had it confirmed in the National Assembly by a vote of 109-0, with sixteen members of the Assembly absent (C.I., June 2010, pp.12-3). What a dreary “legacy” for that man!
Also in Quebec, the Minister of Justice, Kathleen Weil, announced that she intends to uproot all “homophobia,” meaning, all contrary opinions to the lifestyle. (Weil was moved to another ministry on August 11, 2010).
At the other end of the country, in British Columbia, Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell has ordered that from Kindergarten to High School graduation, the homosexual community must have its way of life acknowledged and set forth as wholesome in every school. Here the real mover is the B.C. Teachers Federation (BCTF) which relentlessly pursues the goal of moving students’ attitudes towards the LGBTQ syndrome (lestbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) going from beyond “tolerance” to “acceptance” – and then further along to “support”, “admiration”, “appreciation” and finally “celebration” of deviant sexual behaviour (Ron Gray, “BC teachers’ ‘social justice’ conference” members told how to manipulate students, C.I., June 2009. p.29; also on website) Back in Quebec, Judge Dugré’s ruling in defence of Montreal’s Loyola High School pointed out what is at stake. He used as illustration Galileo Galilei (1504-1642) being silenced by the Roman inquisition for holding Copernicus’ idea that the earth
rotates around the sun confirmed by empirical observations, rather than the standard belief that the sun circles around the earth derived from the Greek philosopher Ptolemaeus and seemingly confirmed by the Bible. After a few months of confinement, Galileo was permitted to go home to Florence, Nevertheless, it was an attempt at thought control, be it only of an individual person. Today we are threatened by thought control of the masses, one group at a time.
In the Maritimes the situation does not appear any better than in Ontario though perhaps less centrally organized and mostly implemented by stealth so as not to alarm parents. New Brunswick has adopted a sex education program similar to that of Ontario, based on an American Planned Parenthood document called Beyond the Basics (Letter from Dr. Carolyn Barry, Fredericton, NB, May 19, 2010).
On June 21, 2010, Miramichi Right to Life drew attention to a recent “sex assembly” for Grade 9 students in District 16 on May 12, 2010. Protests were e-mailed to politicians. Its mailing covers details of the “lewd content,” in support of “a sexually permissive lifestyle for children.” It draws parents’ attention to the fact that “liability issues can be raised” if harm comes to your child. Schools and principals can be sued. Many parents were in the dark because children were not obliged to show the invitation to the sex assembly to their parents.
Ontario’s poison pill
In January 2010, Ontario parents were made aware that their government planned a new “equity” program. What is equity? Stockbrokers speak of investing money in “equities.” So what is this equity? The roots of the word point to “equality.” The idea is to create equality among children by uprooting discrimination against natives, the poor, people of non-white colour, and the handicapped, a very difficult task under the best of circumstances.
Now who could be against that? Nobody. It is a good idea in harmony with universal religious sentiments. Except for one thing: Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty introduced a poison pill called “sexual orientation.” Accordingly, opposition to homosexual activity and propaganda is the new evil to be fought tooth and nail.
Ontario Human Rights Commission
McGuinty made the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) part and parcel of his Equity and Inclusivity strategy. The Commission seems to be the Premier’s favourite tool. In 2008 he provided it with a new constitution, an extra bureaucracy of 18 people and an additional budget of $39 million. In the fall of 2008, the OHRC convinced the Executive of the Ontario College of Physicians to issue an edict suppressing freedom of conscience for medical personnel. This measure misfired when over 300 doctors revolted against it, indicating they would not comply. (B. Turner “Ontario HRC and College of Physicians assault freedom of conscience, C.I., Oct 2008, p-.35-37; also on our website) It was a blatant attempt to establish thought control over a large profession. In 2009 the HRC’s, both nationally and provincially, incurred much hostile press coverage in every part of the country because of their extra-judicial procedures and attempts to suppress freedom of speech and religion. But McGuinty quietly beefed up the OHRC with tens of millions more dollars for a larger staff. Today the OHRC is designated to be an intrinsic part of his school indoctrination and control program. (In the regular court system the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Under the extra-judicial HRC’s one is guilty until the accused can prove his innocence, at his own expense. The accuser’s case is handled by the Commissions at taxpayer’s expense).
The Equity and Inclusive Education strategy
The Equity and Inclusive education strategy (hereafter E and I strategy) is the product of Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty. Of course, McGuinty did not write the document himself, he left that to MPP Kathleen Wynne, (formerly married with three children but today well-known as a person living in a lesbian relationship) whom he appointed Minister of Education in 2006. (In mid-January 2010 he moved her to another Ministry (Transport) in order to divert attention away from the real nature of the E and I strategy).
Dalton McGuinty, the “Catholic”
Earlier in his career McGuinty, a Catholic, adopted the pro-abortion position. He broke with the tradition of his father who had been a pro-life politician. He also broke with the Catholic Church which teaches that abortion is murder. That was what Pope John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical Gospel of Life was all about.
In December 1996 Catholic Insight reported Ontario Liberal Party leadership candidate, Dalton McGuinty, as supporting and approving abortions whole-heartedly. Elected leader on December 2, 1996 he stated:
“It’s quite true that I am a Roman Catholic but I can tell you that as a public representative I represent Protestants, Muslims, Jews, atheists, Roman Catholics, half of whom by the way believe in a woman’s right to choose. I am not prepared to let any one religion impose its beliefs on the rest of the population. I believe in a woman’s right to choose.”(C.I., April 1997, p. 12).
The argument that he, McGuinty, has the right to follow his belief and impose it upon the province while other Ontario Canadians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Catholics, etc., who stay with the teachings of their religion, do not, is directly borrowed from the pro-abortion, pro-“gay” dialectics of Toronto’s Globe & Mail. That newspaper used these arguments as early as the mid and late nineteen-sixties. It is as arrogant as it is supercilious, as it is old. (See “May 14, 1969: Parliament denies God’s law,” C.I., May 2009, pp. 14-22).
Two years later, in June 1998, McGuinty made it clear that if elected, his party would support the homosexual drive for equality, beginning by amending the law and allowing same-sex couples to adopt children (C.I., Oct. 1998, p. 22). He won the Ontario election in October 2003.
Various judges, anxious to exercise their newly given powers to update Canada’s legal system by imposing their own opinions, ordered governments to recognize same-sex “marriage.” In July 2005, Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, another Catholic politician duly observant to political correctness rather than to his Faith, had the immemorial definition of marriage as “a voluntary union between one man and one woman for life” in Canadian law thrown out and replaced by a “union between any two people.”
From here on in McGuinty eagerly embraced the homosexuality heresy, having earlier cast the die and cut himself an independent position over and against the Pope, bishops and fellow Catholics on abortion.
In 2005 McGuinty allocated $61 million for new elementary and high school textbooks re-written in politically correct language. He also updated Ontario’s legislation eliminating such terms “Man and Woman,” “Wife”, “Husband”, “Widow”, and “Widower.” These were to be banned for all time. He ordered the same be done in other government programs or services. His government also funded a new Grade 2 level reader, entitled “Mom and Mum are Getting Married!” (Canada Free Press, September 10, 2005).
Once entered upon this road of no return, it is difficult to know where to stop and turn around. So he behaved more authoritarian. In the provincial election of 2007 McGuinty ordered all Liberal candidates to support “SSM,” i.e. samesex “marriage”. Everyone seems to have fallen in line. I may have missed it but I do not remember seeing any reports about resisting this dictatorial behaviour. Nor was there a sign anywhere of clergy displeasure. All around the world bishops, archbishops, Cardinals and as we have seen Popes, have explained that Catholics will excommunicate themselves when they publicly scorn and reject essential doctrinal or moral teaching. Public offences require public reprobation (see footnote). In Canada that is mostly kept a secret. McGuinty still receives Holy Communion when he attends Mass.
The Premier’s appointment of Kathleen Wynee as education minister in 2006 was deliberate, as was the earlier appointment of the homosexual activist George Smitherman as Minister of Health. He was “becoming a law unto himself,” as one commentator put it. McGuinty told students in September 2007 that he was doing it because he, McGuinty, had “the greater good of society” at heart (and the Church presumably did not). (Rory Leishman “McGuinty repudiates the Pope,” C.I., July/August 2007, p. 11).
In essence the E and I strategy is simple. As mentioned, it is directed against violence and racism of any kind, whether against black people, immigrants of colour, or Canadian natives. However, with McGuinty’s E and I strategy the main thrust has become to remove religious morality and replace it with atheist reasoning. The history of atheism in practice, as in the former Soviet Union, China, et. al, shows a sorry record of accomplishments. It often achieves the exact opposite of what it intends to do. Could it be that by inflaming the issue of discrimination so much that rather than promoting greater harmony, it will foster greater intolerance?
What is to be done?
Resistance is the only answer. The Ministry’s demand to receive from every school, every principal, ever teacher, periodic progress reports on individual schools, classes and students, should be ignored. This attempt at Stalinist thought control should be resisted by every citizen, by every politician, by every cleric in Ontario. Nor should anyone be cowered by the Ontario Human Rights Commission. If voters band together it will be on the way out, together with Premier Dalton McGuinty and those who support him.
Excommunication is not an act by tyrannical power mongers in the Church. Rather, excommunication is intended primarily as a means of getting a person who is in grave
error to recognize the depth of this error and repent. A second reason, while somewhat secondary but no less important, is to assure the faithful that what they believe to be the teaching of the Church is true and correct. To allow their faith to be shaken or allowing them to be confused when Catholics publicly affirm something contrary to faith and morals, seemingly without consequences, scandalizes the faithful. The Church has an obligation to defend the faith and to protect the faithful. When a bishop speaks out he only declares that the person is excommunicated by virtue of the person’s own actions. When bishops do not speak out, the person is still excommunicated. It is his or her own actions that cause the excommunication. (Extracted from “Bishop Vasa (of Baker, OR) explains penalty of Excommunication,” The Wanderer, January 14, 2010).
The author is publisher and editor of Catholic Insight magazine. He is a priest of the Congregation of St. Basil (C.S.B.). This article is a companion piece to “How I.C.E. and its Ontario allies let Catholics down,” placed in C.I.’s web page on Thursday, August 12, 2010. Both articles will appear in print in the September edition.