LifeSiteNews.com reported last week that the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the appeal of a Quebec family for permission to exempt their child from that province’s controversial ethics and religious culture course. The decision, whether intentionally or not, has already sent a booming message across Canada: namely, that the authority to educate children resides with the state, not with the parents. Additionally, a spokesperson for the Alberta education minister stated that under that province’s new Education Act even homeschooling parents will no longer be allowed to teach their children traditional Christian sexual ethics during their “instructional times.”
The LifeSiteNews editorial, accurately titled, “Canada’s new tyranny: the state’s takeover of the family” quoted the great English writer G. K. Chesterton: “The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.” If what Chesterton says is true, then Canada fails the test, because the Canadian family is no longer free.
Education is constitutionally under provincial jurisdiction. This news makes it painfully clear just how important it is for the Christian Heritage Party and its members to be engaged in provincial politics as well as federal. The decision of the CHP National Board in 2011 to “go provincial” should be celebrated as it has already allowed for the birthing of two provincial parties, CHP British Columbia and CHP Manitoba.
This move was a vital response to the loss of educational freedoms that has become so drearily prevalent since the undemocratic imposition of same-sex marriage. The state now shows a prurient preoccupation with what goes on in the “bedrooms of our nation,” to the point where it will now influence what a child believes when kneeling at his or her bedside in prayer.
The words spoken to me a couple of years ago in Toronto by a Ukrainian immigrant are ringing loud and clear to me today. In speaking about the latter stages of the communist takeover of his country he said, “In the end, government officials came to the churches and told the priests and pastors that they could preach anything they wanted but the children were not allowed to attend church until they turned 20 years old.” He went on to say, “Jim, Canada is asleep! I see the same sequence of events that happened in the Ukraine happening right here in Canada! Let Canadians know, wherever you travel, to wake up!”
Once the decision for CHP Canada had been made to “go provincial,” I had the pleasure of asking a very learned CHP educator what he felt a CHP provincial platform on education could look like. First off, it is interesting that he titled his document “Educational Excellence, Parental Choice.”
The preamble to his submission stated in part:
The key to national productivity, preservation of democratic ideals, and creative solutions to the problems of the nation is a well-educated citizenry. The primary responsibility for education, as recognized by the United Nations, rests with the parents/guardians. Professional educators have a delegated role, yet nevertheless, deserve the support of the state and the parents in that role. All citizens and corporations have a vested stake in the education of the young, and therefore, must contribute to the costs of educating students through the tax system….The transmission of social values for the common good is a goal shared by all citizens, including respect for individual differences, cultural traditions, and spiritual values. Notwithstanding that, it is recognized that parents, as primary educators, have an inalienable right to transmit their religious and cultural traditions to their children, and to expect that the education system will not intentionally undermine that right. The education system, therefore, should provide reasonable options to parents…
Yes, educational excellence and freedom will be lost completely if parents are taken out of the equation. But, we will lose much more than this. With the loss of esteem for the role of the family in shaping future generations, with what are we left? The failed socialist experiment of the former Soviet Union. The collapse of which was celebrated by its captives, such as Alex Kovalenko, as they sought to provide their families with a better way by immigrating to Canada.
Let’s not only congratulate our CHP provincial wings for stepping into the fray, let’s support them. They have a major task to undertake in waking up this nation to the threat families face from the deterioration of our freedom at the provincial level.