Christian Group in Edmonton Opposes Anti-Discrimination Program June 13, 2011

Christian Group in Edmonton Opposes Anti-Discrimination Program

The board for the Edmonton Public Schools in Canada wanted to “create a policy for schools dealing with discrimination based on sexual orientation.” Here’s part of what they came up with:

The Board believes that all sexual and gender minority students, staff, families and same-sex parented families have the right to:

… be included, affirmed, and represented in an inclusive, positive, and respectful manner by all school personnel;

… have their unique identities, families, cultures, and communities valued and affirmed within all aspects of the school environment.

Sounds all well and good.

Apparently, though, that phrasing is a problem for some Christians: It’s too kind to gay people.

The Edmonton Logos Society sent “an alert to parents” early this month that says the proposed policy might force teachers and principals with the Christian alternative program to go against their beliefs.

All children should be free from bullying and everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, in keeping with Jesus’s teachings, the notice says.

“However, if the policy developed … means that our Logos teachers and principals would no longer be able to express freely in their classrooms that the homosexual lifestyle is not in accord with their Christian beliefs, and that they would be required to ‘affirm’ homosexual lifestyle as acceptable to traditional Christian family values, then we cannot accept this,” the two-page notice says in bold lettering.

Treat gay relationships as if their were somehow equal to straight ones?! HOW DARE THEY?! That is NOT how the Logos Society operates!

You know, this is what happens when you don’t have complete church/state separation…

I love the reaction from one parent:

Lance Anderson and his husband Blair Croft have two adopted children in Grades 2 and 3.

“For my kids, I don’t know if they’re gay or not, but we are. So for my kids to go through a school and be told their family is horrible, despicable and going to hell, I don’t want to see that. It’s harmful. We’re not asking people not to teach their religion to children. We’re saying, do it in a respectful way in the public school system and if you want to teach prejudice you go ahead and do it on your own private time,” Anderson said. “My personal opinion is, you’re accepting public money for your program and so you follow public policies. If you can’t follow public policies or you feel your belief system is not in accord with public policy, then go ahead and privately school your children.”

Even the school board president stuck it to the Christian bigots:

“I would hope that, by and large, the Christian community would understand the importance of respecting the dignity, safety and well-being of all of our students,” [chairman Dave] Colburn said Sunday.

“It seems to me the principles of safety, respect and acceptance of all people and understanding the value of every human being would be a fundamental part of Christianity, and I’d like to think people would consider those values when they respond to the creation of this policy.”

It’s like these Christians want a policy that reads, “Beating gay kids up will not be tolerated, but feel free to condemn them to hell all you want.”

This isn’t a finalized policy yet. The school board will revisit it in the fall and listen to public statements at that time.

Just to put this in some context: We have a situation where gay kids are getting bullied left and right, but it’s the Christians who are acting like victims. Amazing, right? You have to have some big fucking cojones to pull something like this off.

(Thanks to Kirby for the link)


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  • …xians playing the victim…again *yawns* they realllly need to find new schtick

  • I say, jokingly of course ;), that if they really want to play the victim, why not bring back the lions and give them a run for their money.

  • Oh how sad, Christians have to play nice and acknowledge homosexual people as human. Boo hoo, how can a Christian represent themselves when they’re not allowed to condemn homosexuals to Hell?

  • I think you mean cabeza instead of cajones. I’m not sure empathy can be taught… but these assholes are definitely in need of a lesson or two.

  • The Edmonton Logos Society… says the proposed policy might force teachers and principals with the Christian alternative program to go against their beliefs.

    This wouldn’t be a problem if your beliefs didn’t suck.

  • Steve

    It’s like their religion is so empty and meaningless that they can easily reduce it to the two or three verses that call for the execution of gay people.

  • The policy doesn’t require the Logos to go against their Christian beliefs. Nobody is demanding they participate in a gay relationship. The policy only requires that they accept the fact and reality that other people have other beliefs. If they can’t deal with this basic fact of life, they don’t need to be in a position to teach children.

  • Shorter Christian response: “WAAAAAH, YOU WON’T LET US BULLY THE GAY KIDS!!!!”

  • rt

    “However, if the policy developed … means that our Logos teachers and principals would no longer be able to express freely in their classrooms that the homosexual lifestyle is not in accord with their Christian beliefs

    They have not been able to teach that for a couple hundred years now.

    While the question of some christians opinions about homosexual relationships might come up during comparative religion the personal opinion of the teacher/principal is utterly irrelevant to anything. The bottom line is that no specific flavour of “christian beliefs” or “hindu beliefs” or “islamic beliefs” can be taught as “the right one” using the authority of state teachers. Especially not on the whim of some teacher. With the ever increasing number of tax dollar going to churches, typically the politically compliant ones, it is now more than ever true that if people would want their taxdollars spend on proselytizing they would send them to a church.

    Other than that you can spend endless schoolhours discussing religion. Though it should be noted that if you are teaching kids a lot of religion you are not exactly preparing them for a growth industry.

    The “no proselytizing” thing makes extra sense on an issue where there is (once again) divergence in the various churges teachings on what their particular edition of the supposed words of god actually say. Plenty of christian teachers would love to spend hours talking about just how compatible gay love and christs love are. (You would think that after this many religious wars the guy would just send down an update to clarify matters, take a page from the simple english wikipedia and have a burning bush deliver “bible 2.0, simple english edition”, we know the the whole tower of bable fiasco the guy knows humanity cant keep its languages straight)

    We’re not asking people not to teach their religion to children.

    Maybe you are not, but when it comes to public schools I am, in fact, I am more than asking, I am demanding while waving around a copy of the first amendment.

  • Trace

    “big fucking cojones”

    oh, my! 😉

  • Claudia

    Just to put this in some context: We have a situation where gay kids are getting bullied left and right, but it’s the Christians who are acting like victims. Amazing, right?

    Not really. The reflexive reaching for “No, we’re the real victims” is an entirely standard reaction for many (though of course not all) members of a majority who don’t wish to confront the notion of minority oppression.

    – “Poverty and unemployment disproportionately affects African Americans, and drug-laws are unequally enforced in a way that overwhelmingly affects communities of color” –> “The law is equal for everyone! You just don’t want to take any responsibility for yourself! I heard from a friend of a friend that he didn’t get into Harvard because he was white, because they have black quotas. Reverse racism!”

    – “Anti-bullying policies should include specific language dealing with sexual orientation” –> You’re calling me a bully! Beating kids up is against the rules anyway, why do we have to give special treatment to gays? You are infringing on my freedom of speech. This is anti-Christian bullying!”

    – “Women still face barriers and sexism even within the atheist community” –> “Oh stop being such a whiny child. What, I’m not even allowed to notice if a women is attractive? You’re just a man-hating feminazi. You just want to be treated with special delicacy. Ur rlly hot, I wanna fuck you!” (That last one is an online favorite, ask any online female atheist)

    – “That is an unconstitutional breach of the separation of church and state” –> “You atheists are just so angry. You want to force non-religion down our throats. You want to use the law to force everyone to be like you. You just hate Christians and God. Almost everyone is religious but you want to make everyone follow your rules!”

    The names and faces change, but the tactic remains the same.

  • cass_m

    Alberta wrote specifically wrote sexual orientation into the provincial human rights act in the past couple of years so it’s protected from discrimination. Teachers also send consent forms when controversial topics (like sex ed)are taught to allow kids to be withdrawn for that portion. I have to admit I’m kind of surprised the Edmonton school board is creating this sort of specific policy but the wording is in line with the provincial law. Perhaps this means that the catholic school system will implode at last?!? A win all around since even with home schooling there is a group participation requirement that exposes kids to different people.

  • T-Rex

    I’ll say it again. Religion sucks. I used to think muslims were the most oppressive and hateful religion but not any more. I’ve seen so much hate and bigotry from Xians recently that I’d put them on near equal ground in the hateful religion category.

  • If they don’t want to go against their beliefs, perhaps it’s up to us to hold them to their beliefs – as in get them to turn the other cheek and render unto Caesar, and never ever work on Sunday. It’s about time we held Christians to their standards and find them failing, and not listen to a word they have to say until they uphold all their standards – even the mutually contradictory ones.

  • Jim [the other Jim]

    I live in Edmonton and I have heard or read nothing about this in any local media. This “Logos society” can’t be much of an influence if the media doesn’t notice or care.

  • Kevin S.

    Ugh. The next time Christians claim that they’re the victims in their struggle with LGBT, show them this Rob Tisinai video: http://wakingupnow.com/blog/cadc

  • Ben

    HM:”You have to have some big fucking cojones to pull something like this off.”

    No, not really. You just have to be a self-righteous, hypocritical a$$ho1e.

  • The reflexive reaching for “No, we’re the real victims” is an entirely standard reaction for many (though of course not all) members of a majority who don’t wish to confront the notion of minority oppression.

    That’s true, but it’s also telling that the Christian religion goes out of its way to reward the members of the church that are persecuted.

    2 Thessalonians 1:3-6

    “… we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer….”

    Since most Christians in the US/Canada don’t have much physical persecution at hand like the early church did, they have to go out of their way to be “counted worthy of the kingdom of God”. Therefore, everything that contradicts a Christian’s worldview is “persecution”.

    A very pedestrian kind of persecution. I am unimpressed.

    (Stuff Christian Culture Likes does a pretty good job handling the issue here.)

  • GregFromCos

    It always amazes me that Christians don’t understand that the bullying begins because of what they believe. Every time they teach that being Gay is wrong, they give justification to the kids for bullying.

    I think its very important that we remind those parents that bullying is often just exaggerating the truth of the beliefs learned at home and church. For example what are the biggest ways kids get bullied? 1) Accusing someone of being gay. 2) Accusing someone of being gay. 3) Accusing someone of not sharing the same belief system.

  • Ibis

    Okay, so we have a country in which same-sex marriage has been the law of the land for 6 yrs, gays have been able to serve openly in the military since 1992, equal rights regardless of sexual orientation or gender are guaranteed under the Charter of Rights, any section of the public distinguished by sexual orientation is a protected group under the federal hate speech law. We have a province that includes both sexual orientation and gender (including being transgendered) as grounds for protection under the provincial human rights act. We have a public school board that is creating a policy to directly address discrimination of LGBTQ staff and students, and a response from the board’s spokesperson basically telling the Christian whiners to get stuffed. So what exactly was this

    You know, this is what happens when you don’t have complete church/state separation…

    in reference to?

  • Bob

    I really think that these Christians go back and read the Sermon on the Mount for starters. It’s where we get the Golden Rule and the idea to love your enemies. Then they need to continue reading in Matthew until they find this (25:41-45): “Matthew 25:41-45
    Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.‘”

    I’m amazed at how much Christians don’t understand “What Would Jesus Do?”

  • cg

    Huh. In Louisiana, the message is that beating up/bullying gay kids is exceptionally tolerable – see this article about La House bill 112: http://www.theind.com/news/8329-anti-bullying-bill-sans-gay-language-fails-in-full-house
    It was a “safe schools” bill that had the temerity to include gender identity and expression and sexual orientation in its protection.

    Part of what personally bugs me about this kind of nonsense is that anyone can be bullied about being gay whether they are or not. I had a friend in grade and high school who was constantly picked on for being gay – which he denied being. We lost touch and I don’t know if he is or not, but it shouldn’t matter. These people aren’t thinking that their sacred straight kids can also be bullied and called a faggot and they wouldn’t be protected any more than an actual gay kid would be. All kids should be protected.

    Kids aren’t dumb either. The smart bullies can figure it out and find a way to pick on someone for something that they won’t get in as much trouble for.

    For some dish on the legislators who nixed the bill, see follow-up article: http://www.theind.com/news/8335-bully-bill-demise-stirs-discord-among-dems

  • Traziness

    Thank you, Ibis, I’m a little less embarrassed to live in this city when someone points out the work toward fairness being done and reminds us the haters are still being kept in check. That’s the Edmonton I know.

  • Blacksheep

    The Edmonton Logos Society sent “an alert to parents” early this month that says the proposed policy might force teachers and principals with the Christian alternative program to go against their beliefs.

    What’s the “Christian alternative program?” is there a Christian curriculum within the school? Curious, because I’ve never heard of that sort of thing in a public school.

  • Claudia

    @Blacksheep, just in case you weren’t aware, this post is about schools in Canada. In Canada, because they don’t have separation of church and state, there are religious public schools. Edmonton offers publicly funded Christian faith schools.

    I generally think of Canada as our rather more civilized neighbors to the North, and the fact is that for most things, they’ve done a much better job of building a truly secular society. But the fact that taz-payer dollars go to faith schools is a disrace.

  • Vystrix Nexoth

    Not big cojones. Little ones.

  • Sean

    @Ibis
    You said it!

  • Suzanne

    We have a similar debate going on where my kids go to school. The Burnaby School district is set to implement policy 5.45 which is a new policy on how to deal with LGBTQ+ issues and education in schools. There is a group that has put forth a petiton against the policy saying it descriminates against parents who don’t want their kids to learn about anything that is not “tradtional”.

  • Dea

    We need to get religion completely out of the public school system – it’s just getting ridiculous with having a public school offer separate secular and christian programs, and now there are other religious schools going up all over the city for Jewish and Muslim kids – I think those are private though. A true secular public program is all children need. No need to discuss religion at all, but teach values we all hold as humans and stick to educating children. A secular education protects everyone – religious and non-religious alike. Leave superstition and religion to parents and churches, but lets have a place where everyone is comfortable enough to learn.

  • Gliewmeden

    Even scarier, in Cochrane (NW of Calgary, Alberta) there is a “pilot project” school, gv’t funded, that is teaching Creatiion Science alongside Evolution. Makes me crazy!

    How is this possible? No separation of church/state plus a lukewarm attitude that we Canucks tolerate everything.

    We’re also known as Texas north…

  • Ron

    Once again we have a group of atheists refusing to think. The problem is the word affirm, which basically means to be considered as true (according to my dictionary). Since we don’t accept the homosexual lifestyle it then follows with most non-thinking people that we are bullies. Given that logic we should be bullying people who lie, cheat etc. I’ve got news for you… we are too busy living our lives to worry about this. I have been close to the education scene in Edmonton for many years and the bullying I’ve seen comes not from Christian kids but from, well bullies… atheists, moslem, christian, Jewish etc. Everyone does it and to think it is only in the sphere of the christian camp is ridiculous and demonstrates the typical knee jerk reaction of the atheist mindset. Free thinkers? Ha!!!