We had a discussion in my Sunday School small group last week that had me laying awake wondering about what the future may hold for my kids as they raise my grandkids here in Canada. A young mom in our group asked us to pray after she found out that Christian Home schoolers and possibly all Christian schools in the province may be forced to teach the very secular component of Alberta’s Education Sex Education curriculum that for years they have been allowed to “opt out on” for religious reasons. This includes teaching about homosexuality etc. http://thenewamerican.com/world-mainmenu-26/north-america-mainmenu-36/11049-alberta-law-would-ban-homeschool-parents-from-teaching-against-homosexuality
“The Minister of Education introduced the new Education Act, Bill 2, in the Alberta Legislature on Valentine’s Day. After meetings with home educators, the minister has not changed the items of greatest concern to us. The best impact you can have now is to remind your own MLA you have major concerns with this legislation.
Article 16, Diversity and Respect, contains very specific wording, making it possible to impose both curriculum and values upon all schools in Alberta, and giving special interest groups leverage to actively promote alternate lifestyles.
Diversity and respect
16 All courses or programs of study offered and instructional materials used in a school must reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.
Article 1 (1) (x) defines your home as a school. (x) school means a structured learning environment through which an education program is offered to a student by (i) a board, (ii) a person responsible for the operation of a private school, (iii) a person providing an early childhood services program, (iv) a parent providing a home education program, or (v) the Minister;
The implications are very serious:
Your home schooling learning environment is not limited to particular places and times, so this legislation could actually have authority over all family activities, day and night.
Your home would have no more autonomy than public schools to teach values and lifestyles contrary to some of those promoted by special interest groups. The Alberta Human Rights Act and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have been used to severely limit the freedom of conscience of individual citizens in the past, and now this level of control could be imposed upon your home.
The minister may affirm that it is not their intention to control the conscience of parents and the moral or religious practises and teachings in their home, but once this legislation is in place, you could be charged by anyone who has an agenda.
Time is short. Speak to your MLA now, before this bill gets approved. (forum board on WISDOM Home Schooling website.)
I remember when my daughter was in elementary school, our rural public school district was one of the last bastions in Canada for allowing the reciting of the “Lord’s Prayer” in the classroom. Every morning, at the very start of the school day, all the children stood to sing “O Canada” and then they all said the Lord’s Prayer. No one seemed to have a problem with the routine until one mother decided to complain saying it infringed on her “rights” as an atheist to have her child recite a prayer to a deity her family did not believe in. She was very vocal, and she started her own personal letter-writing campaign to school administration, school district officials and to local newspapers. The result was that she single-handedly managed to have the Lord’s Prayer banned from the schools.
Now, it’s not like we Christian parents didn’t do anything, because we did! I started a letter-writing campaign too and there were many parents (even some non-Christian ones) who supported the reciting of the Lord’s Prayer, but it was obvious the media and the government officials sided with her and the rest, so they say, is history.
I don’t want to see something like that happen again.
Scripture is very clear that we will be persecuted for our faith: “Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. (1 John 3:13); If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. (John 15:18); No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.(John 15:20); All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.(Mark 13:13); Rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:13); Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (James 1:2-3); If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. (1 Peter 2:20); If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. (1 Peter 4:16); If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests on you. (1 Peter 4:14); Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.(Luke 6:22); In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:12-13); Dear friends, do not be surprised if the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12-13).
It does not come as a surprise to me that Christian families are being attacked from every side. We live in a fallen world and the enemy is threatened by the Gospel message. He wants the world to live in darkness, to be oblivious of the spiritual battle raging in the heavenlies. “For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical (weapons of flesh and blood), but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4); For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV).
The question is what do we do about this? I am not a homeschooling parent, so why get involved you might say? I don’t home school but I see this legislation as the “slippery slope” towards mandating what can and cannot be taught in private Christian Schools as well as in the home. Where will it stop? Christians have a reputation of being “too nice” sometimes. We tend to get bullied…and you all know how I feel about bullying! Stand up to them! That’s why I’m writing this posting today to inform and encourage my readers to get involved. We can be “squeaky wheels” if we want to be and we can make a difference. I’ve posted links to Canadian and Albertan Government Officials. Please write them voicing your concern and opposition about teaching this sex education curriculum in Alberta schools and within Homeschooling homes. Repost this blog, Facebook, tweet, etc.
Remember: We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
Alberta Education: Phone: 780-427-7219 (For toll-free access within Alberta, first dial 310-0000.)
You may leave an email comment on the form found at this link: http://alberta.ca/contact.cfm
or contact by Snail Mail:
Redford, Alison, Honourable Premier Member of Executive Council
Executive Branch 307 Legislature Building 10800 – 97 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
Phone: 780 427-2251 Fax: 780 427-1349
Lukaszuk, Thomas, Honourable Minister of Education Member of Executive Council
Executive Branch 423 Legislature Building 10800 – 97 Avenue Edmonton, AB T5K 2B6
Phone: 780 427-5010 Fax: 780 427-5018
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With respect, as a Christian and a former home-schooler, I support the government’s desire to respect diversity and its attempt to include gays and lesbians into the greater community. I don’t however, believe this is an enforceable law. I see it therefore as a form of good intention overreaching itself.
Neither do I see this as a slippery slope. The legalization of same-sex marriage has not resulted in the collapse of society.
So just to say, not all Christians (or Inscribe members…well, one at least) believe that homosexuals are defective heterosexuals. Not all Christians believe that homosexuality is sinful. Some of us believe that a homosexual union within a monogamous and loving relationship is simply another way of being human.
I’m glad you raised this concern, Lynn. The more people who know about this issue, the better.
I agree this is the potential beginning of a slippery slope. It is ALSO a very real concern right now.
If the bill passes, with Section 16 intact as it is written now, it will significantly limit what Alberta home-schoolers AND Christian schools can teach their students. It will impact what people of other faiths teach their students, as well.
Please, everyone… do these two things: a) pray about this, and 2) write your MLA, our premier, and/or the Minister of Education. Thank you!
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I understand there is a rally in Calgary today too?
You are so very right Lynn! This isn’t the small issue it seems at first glance, and it’s not a “homeschool” issue, it’s opening the door to Christians being mandated as to what they can or cannot teach their own children in their own homes! The Wildrose Party has proposed 2 amendments to Bill 2, and there is actually a rally going on in Edmonton today. This isn’t about the small issue, it’s about, like you said, the slippery slope that this can lead to…..