The Beauty of Interfaith Cooperation

The only thing worse than when Fundamentalist Christians and Conservative Muslims fight with each other, is when they team up.

Case in point, the latest outburst of stupidity over the province of Ontario’s unjustly-controversial new curricular policies. This time, at least, the complaining parents appear to be refraining from the old “my child is too stupid to understand basic facts about the world” meme, but they retain their belief in that awful notion that children are somehow extensions of their parents:

The father of two — he has a son in Grade 4 and a daughter in Grade 1 — wants the board to “acknowledge my inherent parental rights to direct the spiritual and moral education of my children,” he told CBC News.

“I’m not an extremist, but I must ensure that my children abstain from certain activities that may include lessons which promote views contrary to our faith.”

Now of course, I can make a few observations here. First of all, as is always the case when parents talk about the faith of their children, what they actually mean is the faith that they themselves have, which they think that they have an inherent right to impose upon another person (i.e, their children).

Secondly, whenever someone begins a sentence with a statement like “I’m not an extremist, but…” or “I’m not a racist, but…”, I find that my bullshit detector invariably gets activated. So, with that in mind, let’s see what these horrible lessons which will lead to Sin and Calumny are:

homosexuality

(Of course, when they say they’re “teaching homosexuality,” what they in fact mean is that they’re teaching that gay people exist, and that they should be respected as Human Beings. Apparently not walking around with an unjustified, religiously motivated sense of heterosupremacism is objectionable to the father in question.)

evolution

(Okay, I’ve said it before and I will say it again: if your religion motivates you to deny basic facts of reality, then it is time to get a new religion because your current one is broken)

birth control

(I can’t wait to see how he treats his daughter in ten years)

and “environmental worship”

(“Environmental Worship” is of course, Redneck for “not deliberately trashing the only planet we have, thus reducing it to smouldering, uninhabitable wasteland.”)

The education board has politely recommended that the parents in question try homeschooling their children. The parents, of course, are now whining about condescension, but to me, the school board’s suggestion seems like a very wussy, milquetoasty reply that goes nowhere near far enough.

I mean…I’m not an extremist, but it seems to me like deliberately denying children access to basic information about the world in which they live on account of your own sick desire to dominate their thoughts and opinions is a fairly severe form of child abuse. Personally, I think that the every single person who has signed the petition should receive a visit from child and family services.

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About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
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11 Responses to The Beauty of Interfaith Cooperation

  1. Lindsay says:

    Another thing that makes the “don’t say gay” stuff absurd is the fact that whether or not you hear about different sexual orientations in school won’t affect what your orientation turns out to be!

    I heard not a single peep about homosexuality until high school (and there I found it out from books, movies and other kids rather than from any class material), and, guess what? Still turned out bi.

    The most not telling kids about it’ll do is delay their finding out about what they are, and probably also increase their sense of shame and isolation. *I* do not consider those good outcomes, although the person you’re quoting probably would.

    I did get lots of “environmental worship” training in elementary school though!

  2. “Secondly, whenever someone begins a sentence with a statement like “I’m not an extremist, but…” or “I’m not a racist, but…”, I find that my bullshit detector invariably gets activated.”

    – Yeah, I’m sure he has a few non-extremists and non-racists among his best friends, too.

    ‘it seems to me like deliberately denying children access to basic information about the world in which they live on account of your own sick desire to dominate their thoughts and opinions is a fairly severe form of child abuse. Personally, I think that the every single person who has signed the petition should receive a visit from child and family services.”

    – I always get a lot of criticism whenever I say that this is child abuse, pure and simple. I’m glad that I’m not alone in my belief that such parents are abusing their children. ANY normal loving parent should be in favor of letting the child know that homosexuality exists and that it is completely normal. What if their children are gay? Do they really want the kids to grow up in an environment where the children’s way of being is treated like something dirty? If they don;t love their children enough to get over their stupid prejudice, that makes them horrible parents and nasty human beings.

    • Of course, there’s a bit of ambiguity as to when particular modes of parenting end and abuse begins (I do not think that it’s the business of the state to police ideology in private households). However, when you deliberately deny basic information about the world to a child–or deliberately lie to him–in order to force him to think in a particular way, then there’s little question in my mind that that is abusive.
      And what’s more, I’m sure that if you looked into it, you would find that many of the signatories of this petition also engage in more classical forms of child abuse as well; I doubt that people who would go so far to dominate their child’s mind would hesitate to use corporal punishment to keep him in line.

      • n8chz says:

        …when you deliberately deny basic information about the world to a child–or deliberately lie to him–in order to force him to think in a particular way, then there’s little question in my mind that that is abusive.

        It’s holding a person incommunicado. Roughly as serious as kidnapping, I would think.

  3. Rob F says:

    Consider the following:

    You are raising a child. (If you have no kids, pretend you do). Suppose further that s/he is old enough to talk, ask questions, etc. Now, suppose that one of your parents (the child’s grandparent) passes away. How would you handle this? You talk to your kid, explain it to them, and so on. One thing you certainly don’t do is try to outlaw death or something. Do you think anyone would actually like doing this? I doubt it. But parents do it anyway. Why? Because talking about things you don’t like is part of parenting. No one has an exemption from talking to their kids about difficult things.

    The same reasoning applies to the Ontario parents: grow a spine.

    BTW, conservative “sexual morality” is absolutely rotten to the core (because it leads to misogyny and the sexual abuse of children). Hence, I absolutely do think that no one should be able to withdraw their kids from comprehensive sex ed, no matter what reason is given (especially religious).

    • n8chz says:

      We in the western world, and most others, have evolved to the point where the key issue in sexual ethics (I don’t use the word morality, it’s loaded) is consent, not marital status. Events of recent decades have taught me that there’s nothing is safe, and that any amount of hard-won progress can be rolled back at any time. Eternal vigilance!

      • Rob F says:

        “We in the western world, and most others, have evolved to the point where the key issue in sexual ethics (I don’t use the word morality, it’s loaded) is consent, not marital status.”

        Too many conservatives seem not to have evolved, then.

  4. n8chz says:

    Environmental worship? That’s just plain insulting. Evangelical theology is summed up by Bob Dylan’s song Gotta Serve Somebody. The idea is that not serving God automagically implies serving Satan. He that is not against Me is for Me. (Mark 9:40) He that is not for Me is against Me. (Matt. 12:30) Everybody worships something. Atheists worship themselves. Blah, blah, blah.

    • Ah, so the idea is that environmentalists are not Christians, therefore they need to worship something (the environment), which is really just Satan in disguise because anything that’s worshipped that is not God is Satan.
      That makes sense.
      What about Christian environmentalists?

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