A public school authority in Canada did the right thing by closing Cornerstone Christian Academy after its administrators refused to stop teaching anti-gay propaganda, but it’s being sued for “censorship of the Bible” nonetheless.
The heart of the dispute is the school’s decision to teach 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Battle River Regional Division No. 31 asked the school to stop specifically teaching verses like this one in a homophobic context, but the school refused. District officials say the promotion of homophobia violates the Alberta Human Rights Act, which all schools must abide by even if they are religious in nature, which is why they taking this step. It’s not about preventing the Christian school from teaching Christianity, but about making sure a Christian school under its purview is still following the law. (Talk about the need for more church/state separation in Alberta…)
Since the school wouldn’t obey the law, the District ended its contract to run the school, and now the Cornerstone Christian Society of Camrose is firing back.
In a press release from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which filed the court application on behalf of the Society, the group says it hopes to overturn the school authority’s decision to close the school. It says the school was within its rights when it “refused a demand to censor Biblical references in its curriculum.”
“In deciding to close Cornerstone, BRSD acted out of anti-religious prejudice and ideological discrimination, and lost sight of the best interests of the children,” explained Calgary lawyer and Justice Centre president John Carpay.
“In attempting to censor the teaching of Biblical sexuality, and in attempting to prevent the Society from communication with staff and parents, BRSD breached its obligations under the Master Agreement, the School Act, the Alberta Bill of Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” continued Carpay.
Basically, the school is trying to say it’s illegal for the division to censor the school’s homophobia. They argue that, if they want to spread hate against gay people (regardless of the consequences), they should be allowed to because everybody knows they’re an evangelical Christian school. That distinction alone, however, doesn’t give them free rein to teach whatever they want.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Lorne for the link)