This is going to the shortest posting in Lacking Credentials history. Much eloquent and lengthy ink has been spilled on why it no longer makes sense to publicly fund religious schools in a modern western democracy; I don’t need to explain why. The Catholic Church seems to have awakened a sleeping avalanche of antipathy towards it in its flat refusal to allow GSAs (Gay-Straight Alliances, to protect gay kids from bullies by letting enlightened ones support them. Strength in numbers) in schools. The church claims religious diversity is threatened because their right to be intolerant toward sexual diversity on the public dime is being threatened. Please look up the word Disingenuous at dictionary.com
There is no need to excessively attack the church because there is (excuse the pun) a snowball’s chance in hell of a competing massive wave of public opinion emerging to validate their views. They are on the wrong side of history. Like Mitt Romney’s wooden articulation of his line in the sand against gay marriage at a University commencement last month, the church’s posturing is nothing more than some blustery red meat and bones bluster thrown to a rabid but dwindling and increasingly irrelevant base. Find me a reasonable person who cares about either issue.
For three decades since the ill-advised decision was made to publicly fund Catholic schools in Ontario, the declining church has relied on the good experiences and loyalty of former students (like me) to send their kids to Catholic school for no other reason than “that they went to Catholic school”. There is no way people are going to continue to conscionably engage in such hypocrisy after the GSA controversy, which will go down as the straw that broke the camel's back. Most of the religious substance in the system has already been removed, as has the requirement to belong to the Catholic faith to attend (that would be discriminatory). This dilution of Catholic education happened more or less without incident. Yet here is the church telling a government with gay cabinet ministers not to step on its toes, because it just can’t get over its own hatred of gays.
This is an institution that controls probably one of the top five fortunes in the world and pays no taxes. This is an institution that has steadfastly denied, defended, and covered-up its child-molester perp staff members for decades. This is an institution that took almost 400 years to admit that the earth was round.
But despite all that, let’s keep all the schools open. We want to avoid ruffling feathers, We don't need to provoke a fight with a group that claims to represent 40% of the Ontario population (Although with the amount of under-25 weddings, 10 children families and seminary enrolment we see in Ontario these days, I'm not sure what percent of that 40 takes the faith as seriously Archbishop Collins). Don’t interrupt teachers and students. And history is important, so let the schools continue to be called Holy this and Saint that and Our Lady of Perpetual Agony and Misery. But merge the boards, sever the connection with the Archdioceses and the Vatican immediately, and don’t advance another taxpayer dime until this has been achieved.
In your endless desire to please everybody, Dalton, you’ll waffle and waver in the wind. Don’t do it. Get on the right side of history. We are 12 years into the twenty first century. De-fund Catholic Schools.
Sincerely, an Ontarian who received an excellent Catholic school education
PS - if I made you uncomfortable and you’re convinced people want publicly funded religious schools, man up and put it to a referendum. Thanks
OK maybe this wasn’t that short.