Can the government tell us what to teach our kids? Is this law right?
You won't believe latest intrusion by government
Homeschooling families will soon be forbidden from teaching that homosexual sex is sinful as part of their schooling program, according to the government of Alberta, Canada.
Under the province’s Education Act, homeschoolers and religious schools will be banned from “disrespecting” people’s differences, Alberta Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk’s office told LifeSiteNews just last week.
“Whatever the nature of schooling – homeschool, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences,” said Donna McColl, Lukaszuk’s assistant director of communications. “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.”
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Paul Faris, president of the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada, told the news website the Ministry of Education is “clearly signaling that they are in fact planning to violate the private conversations families have in their own homes. A government that seeks that sort of control over our personal lives should be feared and opposed.”
According to the report, a government spokesman said, “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.”
HSLDA and other homeschool organizations have expressed concerns that the new Alberta Education Act would to force “diversity” education on all schools – including private and home schools.
The legislation, known as Bill 2 in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, requires that all schools “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.”
LifeSiteNews reports that the Human Rights Act has been used to target Christians and conservatives across the country, especially those who hold traditional beliefs about homosexuality.
McColl added that Christian homeschooling families can teach biblical lessons 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,” she said. “But a fundamental nature of our society is to respect diversity.”
According to the report, when McColl was asked by LifeSiteNews to explain the distinction between homeschoolers’ education and their family life, she replied that the question involved “real nuances” and said she would need to get back to reporter with specifics.
In a second interview, McColl explained that the government “won’t speculate” about specific examples and said she hadn’t been given a “straight answer” on what precisely constitutes “disrespect” – adding that families “can’t be hatemongering, if you will.”
The news site reports several Canadian provinces – including Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and now Alberta – have seen major battles in the last two years over “increasing normalization of homosexuality in the schools.”
Patty Marler, government liaison for the Alberta Home Education Association, told the website she was astonished at the Ministry’s candor. She wondered how the government would stipulate the difference between homeschoolers’ school and family time.
“We educate our children all the time, and that’s just the way we live. It’s a lifestyle,” she said. “Making that distinction between the times when we’re homeschooling and when we’re just living is really hard to do.”
She added, “Throw in the fact that I do use the Bible as part of my curriculum, and now I’m very blatantly going to be teaching stuff that will be against [the Alberta Human Rights Act].”
In 2009, the Alberta Human Rights Act was amended to classify marriage as an institution between two “persons,” rather than a man and a woman.
“When I read Genesis and it talks about marriage being one man in union with one woman, I am very, very clearly opposing the human rights act that says it’s one person marrying another person,” Marler said.
Faris noted that the most troubling issue is how government is attempting to control homeschoolers and how they teach their own children in their own homes.
He added that many homeschoolers have been receiving misleading information when they call the Minister’s office, which has been saying, “‘Look, there are no changes here. We’re not going to do anything differently,’ and other things like that.”
“The long arm of the government wants to reach into family’s homes and control what they teach to their own children in their own homes about religion, sexuality and morality,” Faris said. “These are not the words of a government that is friendly to homeschooling or to parental freedom.”
LifeSiteNews noted that the Progressive Conservative government has 67 of the 83 seats in the Alberta Legislature, so the bill is almost certain to pass. However, with an election coming up, the new right-wing Wildrose Alliance Party may have a strong showing.