Canada’s homeschoolers can’t teach against homosexuality

O, Canada!

Under Alberta’s new Education Act, homeschoolers and faith-based schools will not be permitted to teach that homosexual acts are sinful as part of their academic program, says the spokesperson for Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.

“Whatever the nature of schooling – homeschool, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences,” Donna McColl, Lukaszuk’s assistant director of communications, told LifeSiteNews on Wednesday evening.

“You can affirm the family’s ideology in your family life, you just can’t do it as part of your educational study and instruction,” she added.

Reacting to the remarks, Paul Faris of the Home School Legal Defence Association said the Ministry of Education is “clearly signaling that they are in fact planning to violate the private conversations families have in their own homes.” . . .

Section 16 of the new legislation restates the current School Act’s requirement that schools “reflect the diverse nature” of Alberta in their curriculum, but it adds that they must also “honour and respect” the controversial Alberta Human Rights Act that has been used to target Christians with traditional beliefs on homosexuality. ‘School’ is defined to include homeschoolers and private schools in addition to publicly funded school boards. . . .

According to McColl, Christian homeschooling families can continue to impart Biblical teachings on homosexuality in their homes, “as long as it’s not part of their academic program of studies and instructional materials.”

“What they want to do about their ideology elsewhere, that’s their family business. But a fundamental nature of our society is to respect diversity,” she added. . . .

She justified the government’s position by pointing to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Quebec government’s refusal to exempt families from its controversial ethics and religious culture program. That program, which aims to present the spectrum of world religions and lifestyle choices from a “neutral” stance, is required of all students, including homeschoolers.

via Homeschooling families can’t teach homosexual acts sinful in class says Alberta gvmt | LifeSiteNews.com.

 

Today’s primaries in Michigan and Arizona

I predict that Romney will win today’s primaries in Michigan and Arizona.  Rick Santorum hasn’t backed down from his in-your-face social conservatism, even as the media has just been hammering him for it.  I salute him for his principles, but I’m afraid there aren’t enough social conservatives in the country to elect him.

Next week is Super Tuesday when a bunch of states, mostly in the south though including the big prize of Ohio, hold their primaries on the same day.  Santorum and Gingrich have a shot at some delegates, but I still think Romney will soon become inevitable.  As will the Democratic landslide.

No adult supervision

Alexandra Petri usually writes humorous punditry, but not when she considers the case of George Huguely V who got drunk at the University of Virginia and killed his girlfriend.  Her descriptions of the moral climate at most of our colleges and universities and the complete lack of adult supervision are quite accurate:

The setting is a character on its own: the college campus, where hook-up culture runs rampant and you are expected to drink four times a week, where you can sleep with someone and he can come to the stand and say that you were just friends, and it can be true. It’s a no-man’s land in which everyone wants to have fun without consequence. Where people are just mature enough to act immaturely. . . .

Under the best of circumstances, drugs, alcohol, sex, sports and a lack of supervision can be a potent and bewildering combination. This is hard enough when it’s going well, when calling yourself an “alcoholic” is a joke among friends. When it’s going badly, it’s impossible.

Where were the adults?

Time and again, reading through the coverage of the trial, I am struck by the — adriftness, for want of a better word — of everyone involved in this. There’s the discipline of sports but then, off the field, there’s the strange mess of college life. Sunday Funday. Hookups. Parties. College is a place you arrive after working awfully hard in high school — or at least writing one or two really compelling personal essays — and you are entitled to your share of fun. Afterwards, you might not find a job. So enjoy those four years. Colleges act in loco parentis only in the sense that some parents are very hands-off, have lots of money and only show up to prevent the police from getting involved.

This is the worst kind of protection. The point of college is to admit high school kids and graduate adults. But it is impossible to grow up in a world where no one is watching.

And this is how things go wrong in a world where nothing is supposed to go wrong.

The only thing that happens in moderation on college campuses? Studying. Eat and drink and love and lie, for tomorrow we may graduate. Institutions of higher learning? As the study “Academically Adrift” found, the average college student spends just 12 hours a week, well, studying, avoiding courses with more than 40 pages of reading a week. This is college. They have better things to do. For some, it works out fine. But for others, the lack of supervision comes at a heavy cost.

Where were the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law on that dreadful Monday night when Huguely stormed to [Yeardley] Love’s apartment and bashed in her door?

In life, these awful tragedies happen, and there is little you can do to stop them. The net of family and friends and well-intentioned neighbors is not always woven tightly enough.

But this should not happen at college.

It’s an adult tragedy with adult consequences. Where were the adults?

via The tragedy of George Huguely – ComPost – The Washington Post.

I suspect most parents of university students and most taxpayers who support state institutions have no idea the level of debauchery that has become typical on college campuses today.  The authors of the book referred to above, Academically Adrift, care little about moral issues as such, but they blame the nonstop sex-and-intoxication culture and the hands-off attitude of college administrators as one reason for the collapse of academics that is happening even in big-name institutions.  (Things are different at my institution, Patrick Henry College, both in our moral ethos and in our academic achievements.)

I also suspect that the lack, for all practical purpose, of an adult presence in the world of teenagers also played a role in yesterday’s shootings in that Ohio high school.

California judges must say if they’re gay

Besides the precedent in privacy violation, is this the beginning of affirmative action for homosexuals?

In order to make sure gays and lesbians are adequately represented on the judicial bench, the state of California is requiring all judges and justices to reveal their sexual orientation.

The announcement was made in an internal memo sent to all California judges and justices.“[The Administrative Office of the Courts] is contacting all judges and justices to gather data on race/ethnicity, gender identification, and sexual orientation,” reads an email sent by Romunda Price of the Administrative Office of the Courts. A copy of Price’s memo was obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

“Providing complete and accurate aggregate demographic data is crucial to garnering continuing legislative support for securing critically needed judgeships,” Price writes.

The process of self-revealing one’s sexual orientation is an element of a now yearly process. “To ensure that the AOC reports accurate data and to avoid the need to ask all judges to provide this information on an annual basis, the questionnaire asks that names be provided. The AOC, however, will release only aggregate statistical information, by jurisdiction, as required by the Government Code and will not identify any specific justice or judge.”

via California Asks Judges: Gay or Straight? | The Weekly Standard.

And isn’t this stacking the deck for the gay-related court cases on the horizon?

What’s with today’s Christians and movies?

The Washington Post had a big story about a new venture in “doing church” in which a network of cutting edged congregations is meeting in movie theaters:  From a movie theater church, pastor Mark Batterson blends orthodoxy and innovation – The Washington Post.

I’ve noticed that evangelicals today are often fixated on movies.  They seem to think that movies drive the culture and that making movies is a way to change the culture.

I’m not against that, by any means.  I teach a course in film.  But I don’t know that I like movies more than, say, novels or epic poems.  Yes, films have vast artistic potential–though few are interested in even trying to reach that potential, the commercial motives dominating so much of the film world. And, yes, films can explore spiritual truths, though that poses particular challenges for a visual medium. Why are Christians today more interested in movies, than, say, in literature or even the other visual arts?

I think it’s good that Christians are getting so interested in film.  But I’m curious about why.  When I was growing up, I had a friend from a really strict church that wouldn’t let him go to movies.  This at a time when most movies were pretty much innocent.  Now that stance seems quite rare, if it exists at all, and we seem to be at the other extreme, even though movies have become much less innocent.

I’m curious about your thoughts.  And go ahead and discuss the Oscars if you want to.  I’ve seen more of the nominated films than I have for some time, though I was not all that impressed with them (though I have Tree of Life on DVD but haven’t watched it yet) and made no effort to watch the Academy Awards.   That two of the leading pictures up for awards are about silent movies–The Artist and Hugo–is good in a way.  Hollywood is discovering its traditions, which is healthy, and silent movies are very much worth seeing, being pure examples of visual story telling and some of the classic silent films do that in a stunning way.  On the other hand, all of this looking back–when you add in all of the rummaging through old comic book collections, sequels, prequels, and remakes of  movies made not all that long ago–may be a sign of creative paralysis.  Which indeed would mean an opening for Christians, if we could only recover the Christian imagination.

Rights as pretexts for state power

In the course of an essay worth reading as a whole, Mark Steyn identifies a profound shift in the understanding of a human right, from a limitation on government power to a mandate for even more government power:

When it comes to human rights, I go back to 1215 and Magna Carta — or, to give it its full name, Magna Carta Libertatum. My italics: I don’t think they had them back in 1215. But they understood that “libertatum” is the word that matters. Back then, “human rights” were rights of humans, of individuals — and restraints upon the king: They’re the rights that matter: limitations upon kingly power. Eight centuries later, we have entirely inverted the principle: “Rights” are now gifts that a benign king graciously showers upon his subjects — the right to “free” health care, to affordable housing, the “right of access to a free placement service” (to quote the European Constitution’s “rights” for workers). The Democratic National Committee understands the new school of rights very well: In its recent video, Obama’s bureaucratic edict is upgraded into the “right to contraception coverage at no additional cost.” And, up against a “human right” as basic as that, how can such peripheral rights as freedom of conscience possibly compete?

The transformation of “human rights” from restraints upon state power into a pretext for state power is nicely encapsulated in the language of Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which states that everyone has the right “to receive free compulsory education.” Got that? You have the human right to be forced to do something by the government.

via The Perversion of Rights – Mark Steyn – National Review Online.


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