My former high school board Halton Catholic Board has decided that gay-straight alliances are to be banned because they are against the churches teachings. What progressive movement isn’t against the churches teachings?:
“We don’t have Nazi groups either,” rationalizes board chair Alice Anne LeMay. “Gay-straight alliances are banned because they are not within the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
“If a gay student requests a gay-straight alliance they would be denied,” she says flatly. “It’s not in accordance with the teachings of the church. If they wanted to have a club outside of school, fine, just not in school.”
Why is it every time some social conservatives talk about gay rights they have to mention Nazis or doing drugs? Of course LeMay thinks her comments were taken out context. Here’s the context: you banned something because it had the word “gay” in it, and when asked about it, you mentioned Nazi groups, thinking that this was going to be newsworthy.
There are so many reasons why this story is disappointing and upsetting:
1. Haven’t we gotten to the point where it’s obvious that this is not a choice and that people who are gay are in no real way different from people who are straight.
2. Why are we calling the board out on all the other teachings of the church they ignore? They don’t ban divorce students from attending school. They don’t ban children born out-of-wedlock. They don’t ban children whose parents use contraceptives or had vasectomies or tubaligation. They don’t ban tattoos or students who have premature sex. There are more examples.
3. This is school board, an organization that is supposed to create an open environment for learning. From their press release on the matter:
The Halton Catholic District School Board has always been and continues to be committed to the safety and well-being of all of our students. We have and will continue to provide a number of supports to all students, including dialogue groups that focus on inclusion, to ensure that each student feels safe, respected and is free from any form of persecution in our schools. Our priority is to promote equity, inclusion and respect for the dignity of each human being in our system.
Then you have failed your priority. You have made gay students feel isolated and denied them a support group in a potentially hostile environment. You have shown that your desire to appease a god, who can’t be bothered with the simple task of demonstrating his existence, is more important than these students’ safety and well-being. You have removed one of the most powerful tools is fighting gay discrimination in our schools. How dare you say have their interests in mind.
4. Finally, the fact that this is a publicly funded school board is a disgrace. We are allowing government agents to teach gay discrimination based on superstition from an archaic book writing thousands of years ago by desert wandering. This needs to stop.
A simple analysis of 2007-2008 financial information for Ontario Education System demonstrates just under 32% of students are enrolled in the Catholic boards(Page 9) and just over 32% of full time administrators (FTA) are employed by the Catholic boards(page 9). So let’s say that 32% of the 19+ Billion dollars went to the Catholic boards. That’s approximately 6 Billion dollars. Now not all of this is spent on Catholicism.
Of this 32%, 33.35% of students were enrolled in high school and the rest, and 36.67% of FTA are in the high schools and rest in elementary schools. Let’s say this means 35% of the original 32% is spent on high school and 65% on elementary school. So of the 6+ Billion, 2.1 Billion went to high schools and 3.9 went to elementary schools.
The average high school student must take one religion a year out of 8. The average elementary school student is involved in (let’s say, I can’t find appropriate hour totals) 2.5 hours out 25 a week. There are a lot of religious assemblies and in some years (grade 3 eucharist and grade 8 confirmation) there is a lot more time per week. So 10% is not unreasonable. (If someone could point me to actual number because I am going off of memory, that would be great.) So the grand total spent on teaching religion in 2007-2008 school year was 650+ Million dollars. That is far too much money for complete horseshit.