Agree or Disagree: It is time to eliminate the Separate School System.


As usual, there was lots of interesting conversation on Facebook.

Today, the topic was education. And the discussion of the need of the Catholic School System.

There was a comment on Facebook that made the rounds. I thought we can use this as our framework tonight.

It is from a contributor named Luke Fevin. Or, for now Duke Luke Fevin. Here it is.

PM Wilfred Laurier did a deal in 1905 just prior to Alberta coming into Confederation to secure the Catholic vote in the upcoming election. His end of the deal was to promise the option of “Separate” schools for the Catholics in Alberta, in areas where they were the minority and there was an existing Public (Protestant) school.

These schools were intended to be “secular” (yes, that’s the word they used to describe them) during the day with the exception of the option of opening the school day with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, and RESTRICTS the option of 30 minutes of religious instruction to the end of the day.

The fact that there was so little difference (they were identical in every way during the day) meant that Separate schools weren’t generally expected to survive. That given the only difference between Public & Separate school was the last 30 minutes of the day, it was expected that the taxpayers would say it wasn’t worth the expense.

From 1905, we have in my opinion gone backward. The Catholic system has completely ignored, flouted and abused laws & the Rights of others.

Although to be fair, it’s not just the Catholic system that has ignored these laws. We have a number of Evangelical Christian Public schools, as well Christian programs such as LOGOS, as well as a couple of other Public Faith schools that all demand and enjoy the privileges and protections of law, but completely ignore it when it suits them.

It is time to dis-establish the Separate school system.

It is it blatantly unfair for the government to favor one religion with infrastructure and tax dollars and the “constitutional” argument is redundant. Firstly, other provinces have done it already. No biggie.

And let me ask you. If women not having the vote was constitutionally protected, would anyone care? No. It’s a bad idea, irrelevant to today and so we’d change it. The Separate school system is no different.

In fact, t is so unfair, that the United Nations Human Rights Committee actually cited Canada for religious discrimination!

A family with 3 kids in another denominational Private school is worse off by $150,000 tax dollars than the same Catholic family in a Catholic school . How is that fair?

And for those that say their property taxes get directed to their local Catholic board. No it doesn’t. The money goes in a big pot and then follows the child. On top of which, if you’re paying $3,000 a year in property taxes and have 3 kids in school – even if 50% of your taxes go to education you are still only contributing $500 of a $10,000 tab. The Province is picking up the other 95%.

And as for what we get in return for the approx. $200 MILLION we waste EVERY year in the operating inefficiences of running two competing duplicate systems? What is the educational advantage?

Nothing. We get a cross over the door of one in 5 of our schools and get to act like a farm team for the Catholic church. In the meantime (many of) the Catholic schools and boards get / choose to;

#1 Deny Canadian families their Charter Rights.
#2 Turn away non-Catholic families (including forcing them on lengthy bus rides).
#3 Discriminate in hiring non-Catholics teachers.
#4 Coerce young graduating teachers to become Catholic.
#5 Deny students the ability to form GSA’s.
#6 Force teachers / students to sign Christian lifestyle pledges.
#7 Teach abstinence focused sex ed.
#8 Fire gender-reassigning teachers.
#9 Coerce gay teachers in / remain in closet.
#10 Choose to deny schoolchildren the choice of easy access to medicine / vaccinations based on inaccurate religious beliefs.

Madness. You have to have grown up here to think that this is OK or normal. We actually operate a school system where we bus kids past schools they could walk to! For why?

Personally I’d rather spend the $200 MILLION dollars EVERY year from the EDUCATION budget on more teachers & schools – and I think it’s time we let our elected officials know that.

What do you think of this statement? Do you Agree or Disagree with it?

Question: What is a Christian?


hands_holding_bible-6327

A while ago, I was part of a panel discussion with about the topic of Worldviews.

There was an Atheist,  a Baha’i, more of a conservative Christian, and me a “Progressive” Christian.

On Saturday, I’m going to be part of a panel discussing the future of Christianity. There will be a “Progressive” Christian, an ex-Christian, a new Christian, and a Conservative/Traditional Christian. This should be an interesting conversation.

One of the first questions we are going to discuss is this one. And, I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on this.

If you were asked what a Christian is, how would you respond? You don’t have to be a Christian to answer this question. As a matter of  fact, I welcome those who aren’t.

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-The Freedom Initiative


Jennifer Kornfield, and Ryan Martin discuss a project called The Freedom Initiative.

The intent of the project is to share the great stories of social justice and foreign aid.Stories that happen in different countries. Stories that you don’t, or won’t hear in the news.

Click here to listen to the Podcast.
Topics we discuss include;

Who are Jennifer and Ryan?
In terms of social justice and foreign aid, what is currently working?

What is not working?

Does the media only focus on negative news?

The Freedom Initiative’s first project.

Their kickstarter campaign. Which is below

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1504281566/the-freedom-initiative-project-burma
Follow the Freedom Initiative
Facebook: The Freedom Initiative.
www.thefreedominitiative.ca
Twitter: @FrdmInitative

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Agree or Disagree: Mental Health Issues are too hard to talk about over Social Media.


Mental-Health-Awareness-Week-3

You may, or may not be aware that this is Mental Health Awareness Week.

For those who are not aware what it is, you can click here.

I do post a lot of different…conversation  pieces on Facebook and Twitter and this blog. Things like dating, sex, politics, religion . They all get a good conversation and different perspectives involved.

I also post stuff on mental illness from time to time.  With the exception of one that went horribly sideways, generally there is not a lot of comments on the topic.

It has lead to me wonder about something.

Is the actual topic of mental illness and mental struggles too tough and perhaps too personal to discuss over Social Media? As much as we think there is an openness to this, that is something very personal?

What are your thoughts?

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-A Preview of the Calgary Flames 2014-2015 Season


Calgary-Flames

Dan Stephenson from Fireside Chat is back with his co-host Matt to talk about the Calgary Flames and the expectations for this coming year.

Topics include.
A review of the Flames Draft.
Did Brian Burke write Dan a letter because Cammarelli left for free agency?
Who also left the Flames?
Who came in to help the Flames?
A quick assessment of the Oilers and Canucks.
Flames Training Camp.
Goaltender, Defence pairings, and Forward lines.
The expected first call ups.
A prediction from Matt on how well the Flames farm team Adirondack Flames will do this year.

Click Here to listen to the Podcast
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www.firesidechat.ca

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@kevole
@AorDThePodcast
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Kevin Olenick.
Join the Facebook Group
Agree or Disagree: The Podcast.

Agree or Disagree: The Religious Right is fading away.


There is a new book out.

I’m not sure many of you will read it. Well, you might.

The book is called Distortion. It’s basically a book taking shots on how the Progressive Christians are destroying the message of the Gospel. People like Rachel Held Evans,Sarah Bessey, Shane Claiborne, and Benjamin Corey.

Speaking of Covey….

He  notes that the Religious Right is facing a demise. Actually, I apologize, that is somewhat of an understatement. Here’s a portion of his post on this in Patheos.

“They know it, and we know it: the movement of the “Religious Right” has failed. What we’re seeing out of the Religious Right is similar to when a star dies– after the death of a star there’s still some fusion activity going on, the core begins to collapse under the forces of gravity, and the outer layers temporarily heat up as the star undergoes a prolonged death experience. The star is dead– out of fuel– but the actual death process can take a few billion years.”

You can read the rest here.

We can sit and talk about  an endless list of things the Religious Right has been responsible for. For example, speaking out against homosexuality and ignoring the bullying of them.  Or, subtly, or actually not so subtly, telling people to stop supporting Third World children because of “traditional values”.

These things have caused anger to non-Christians and Christians. Particularly from Christians who have a far different view of Scripture than the angry, authoritative and uninformed views some of the Right have represented.

So, two questions

But, is the Religious Right done? Are we watching the slow death or demise of this movement? Or, does it still have the strength to move forward?

The other question is this. Corey thinks there are things we can learn from the apparent demise of the Religious Right.  Things like “taking back the country from the left”. Do you think there are things we can learn from this?

Agree or Disagree: Canada sending military support to stop ISIS


In case you missed it today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a 6 month maximum commitment of air combat to fight ISIS.

For a rundown for the story, here is a link to the story from CBC which you can read here.

What are your thoughts on the decision? Is the right strategy?  Too much?  Too little?  Just right?