September 11, 2007

Retired Ontario Principal On Tory's Plan To Publicly Fund Faith Based Schools

The following is an e-mail I received regarding John Tory's imbecilic plan to fund faith based schools in Ontario. I happened to ask the retired high school principal for his opinion of this idiocy:

"Funding for Catholic education in Ontario was guaranteed by the 1867 BNA Act up to the end of high school which back then was grade 10. The extension for the remaining years of high school was the last piece of legislation passed by the Davis government as part of a commitment made by Bill Davis to Cardinal Carter of Toronto. Ironically, it was Bill Davis who advised Tory to extend the funding to other faiths.

The discriminatory part of this Tory proposal is that it does not include extension to non-religious groups who also want an independent private school status -- these include such groups from Montessori to Upper Canada College, even though they are currently inspected by education officers from the Ministry and have to conform to Ministry guidelines.

Methinks Tory was ill-advised on this matter and will certainly not get my vote. Multiculturalism through educational and religious diversity is not only divisive but very expensive. In a nutshell, we can't afford to operate different systems that not only duplicate building costs and administrative personnel, but may well dilute educational programs into bird courses. For example, religion is offered by the RC system as an OAC for university admission. The marks in this course have traditionally been very high and can be used by Catholic students to gain bursaries and scholarships at the expense of students in the public school system.

Unfair -- you bet. Every whacko in the Christian community from Baptists to Creationists will want to get on this educational bandwagon, let alone the different sects of Islam. This proposal exposes Tory and his clowns for what they really are -- opportunistic political nags who are trying to win an electoral horse race by feeding the public horse shit."

About the "fairness" issue that I'm sure Tory will use in debates, I came across this comment at A Step To The Right:

John Heder said,

September 11, 2007 at 9:04 am

"This thread has degenerated into a atheist/believer sideshow, let’s get back to the real issue of publicly funded faith based education. As a teacher there is an issue in this morass that stands apart from the ethical dilemmas of the general public supporting an education that is based on religious precepts.
When I graduated 10 years ago from teacher’s college I started to scan the education ads in the Globe and Mail. The vast majority of ads had the footer “We are an equal opportunity employer”, and EVERY government of Ontario position had that rider. However…upon closer inspection, every Catholic position required the applicant to provide a pastoral letter endorsing that the candidate was a practicing Catholic. Yes, in the 21st century, in Canada, in a publicly funded institution, you can still bar an applicant because of their faith.
Imagine any other publicly funded position that was open only to members of a certain faith, or political party, or sexual orientation. It sounds absurd, but under the current model of faith based schools it is not only acceptable, but somehow defensible. Somehow the Charter of Rights and Freedoms seems to have been forgotten in this specific case.
If schools remain privately funded, these hiring practices, while reprehensible, are understandable. However once an institution accepts public money it should be accountable to the general public for its ethical and legal stance on non-discriminatory hiring practices.
I am happily employed as a teacher, and have no desire to work in the Catholic system or any other faith based school for that matter. I am, however, concerned for recent graduates who may find themselves barred from teaching mathematics, history, or any other non-religious course in a Catholic school just because of the unhappy fact they weren’t born into a Catholic family.
Before we jump into extending funding to all other possible religions, I think that this very important issue must be addressed."

Again, if Tory is seeking fairness he needs to put a stop to all religious school funding.


I received another email from the retired principal:

"Whatever happened to our democratic tradition re the separation of Church and State? Methinks we should consider reminding our provincial politicians of America's original national motto, e pluribus unum, which was apparently plagiarized from an ancient recipe for salad dressing.
Anyway, e pluribus unum means "out of many, one", and amidst the current controversy re multi-faith educational funding it would mean that in a multicultural society, people in general would be best served by putting aside their religious differences, and mixing with others to form one harmonious public educational system -- a true cultural melting pot based on secularism rather than faith."

Also, it seems that a book burning moderator over at Blogging Tories didn't like the way the discussion having to do with John Tory and his ridiculous education platform was going so they closed the thread. Why not let it close because of lack of interest? What babies. The truth is that I was being ganged up on by creationists/theist/anti-evolutionists and decided to defend myself, which is completely related to the topic at hand because I'm giving legit reasons why it is baseless to put faith in the school system.

I started another thread on Blogging Tories here.
It does irk me when idiotic theists invent new definitions for words like "religious."


  1. I think this post sums it up much better than the previous one. And John Heder, whose comment is also partly in response to your comments, is right. This isn't really about atheism v. theism.

    Of course I wouldn't vote for Tory either although I'm not convinced that his idea would necessarily lead to more segregation/more Creationism/more "brainwashing"/more terrorism: all these arguments are very contentious and could be debated for and against ad nauseam.

    But Tory is hunting votes with a very populistic idea. He may be difficult to defeat, not sure.

  2. Apparently 62% of Ontarians polled support faith based school funding.
    But I don't think it is a huge issue for most who support it, because Tory just moved up a few points in the early polls. He still trails by 5%.

    What Tory didn't take into account is that this is a hot button issue for those who don't support it. He will lose those votes, and he had a reasonable shot of winning if he didn't lose those votes because of McGuinty (the Liberal leader) and his record of broken promises.

    Me and the Mrs are voting McGuinty now.

  3. Don't the Liberals "support Hamas"? (wink)

  4. I agree that funding religious schools, which are inherently discriminatory in nature, is wrong.

    That is why I am not voting for Tory or McGuinty, since both support Catholic funding for 675,000 kids. In my mind that is really more of an issue than the extension of equal treatment to the other small minorities. In fact, if Catholic schools continue to be funded, it actually seems to make sense to treat the other equally since it is hard to justify ongoing official religious discrimination.

    I will be voting Green. In my opinion any atheists who care about the religious school funding issue and vote for McGuinty, whose not-so-hidden agenda seems to be defending Catholic schools, are really deluding themselves, not to mention violating their own principles.

  5. Gert, the problem with the Liberals is that they don't don't support Hamas.

    Carl, I also would like to see Indians not get breaks anymore or at least have their breaks phased out. I don't see the Green Party taking a stance on that. In fact, I went to the Green Party website and I can't even find what their platform is. I don't just pick a party that supports only one of my ideas.

    As far a Libs and Conservatives go, there is a fine line that separates them on what they will accomplish and how they will affect me personally, but I look at the historical deal with the Catholics much like I look at the borders on a map. There isn't much I or anyone can do about it at this present time, and my vote for the GReens would be wasted, but at least if the Libs win, the faith based funding extras won't happen.

  6. Off topic:

    The latest banner ad heading this blog is "Faith matters:" - LOL!

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    If would like to trade, post my link, then comment or email me and I will post yours on my site as a permanent link. Send what you want to your link to be called and your link please.
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