This is an open letter to Thomas Lukaszuk, Alberta Minister of Education.
Hi Thomas, I don't understand why you think bill 2 won't infringe on our religious freedoms. It is so open in it's wording that it would pretty much allow a judge to rule any way he'd like, if a home schooling family decided to pick a curriculum that was religiously based, and spoke against homosexuality being a valid way of life (among many other things).
Alison Redford says that Alberta wants to support "diversity". Well, forcing home schooling families into picking curriculum that supports the Alberta government's view of "diversity" is actually not diversity at all. I call it "group think". Essentially, it appears as if the Alberta government wants to remove diversity from the schools, and force them to think the way they do.
This bill being proposed brings in a potentially serious blow to the religious freedoms of home schooling families across Alberta. The way I see it, this is going to immediately (not later) remove the right for us to use a Christian based curriculum, which teaches that a man and a woman are to be together, not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, and that the later is morally wrong. Seeing that many curricula are from the states, those curricula won't likely change just to adopt our laws, or at the very least they will only slowly change.
I feel it is very important that Christians teach Christian values at the same time as their normal studies, or at the very least don't teach anti-Christian values. Why shouldn't we be allowed to? This law pretty much puts the decision in the judge's hands, as to whether a particular family is indeed separating home and educational studies. For example, if a family decides to have religious studies directly after educational studies, the judge may well deem that they are being studied at the same time, and are therefore the same. The judge could not do this for public school, because they are clearly delineated, but they could for home schooling families . Or, maybe one judge might deem that if you're teaching religious studies at a time before 3:30pm, you are in violation of the law. Either way, they will likely force you to send your children to public school as a result.
It appears that this bill is essentially telling us to teach our children one thing during educational studies, but giving us the right to completely reverse that teaching immediately afterwards. It is completely futile for the government to do this, because parents are still going to be teaching their children religious values that they deem appropriate during their family time. The only thing this bill does, is prevent us from using curricula that doesn't agree with the narrow mindsets of government officials. Academically speaking, many of the Christian based curricula out there are far better than those offered in the public sector. This bill may very well prevent us from using those curricula.
It is our right, as free Canadians, to believe and teach our children any way we like, as long as we are not inciting hate against other people. Disagreeing with another person's life style is not inciting hate. According to the criminal code of Canada, religions have the freedom to express themselves in ways that are in alignment with their religious texts.
So minister, how am I wrong in my perception of this bill? Can you point out where it clearly delineates what we can and cannot do, in a way that upholds our religious freedoms?