March 19, 2015

Catholic school gets partial win at court, still forced to teach against faith

Brian LilleyRebel Co-Founder
 

OTTAWA - A private Catholic school in Montreal has been told they have partial freedom of religion after a Supreme Court ruling said the school must still teach other religions in a way the school says violates their faith and Charter rights.

Loyola High School, an English speaking private school in Montreal, went to court seeking an injunction from teaching the provincial Ethics and Religious Culture introduced in 2008. The program seeks to instruct children on various religious beliefs and practices but requires all religions to be treated in the same manner.

Parents and teachers at Loyola argued that teaching Catholicism and other religions as all being equally valid and true, inside a Catholic school, would undermine Catholic teaching and prevent the school from fully professing their faith.



The court ruled unanimously that requiring a Catholic school to teach Catholicism from a neutral and secular perspective was a violation of the freedom of religion because it, “interferes with the rights of parents to transmit the Catholic faith to their children, not because it requires neutral discussion of other faiths and ethical systems, but because it prevents a Catholic discussion of Catholicism.”

The ruling means the school gets a partial win in its fight with the Quebec ministry of education.

When teaching other religions however the court split 4-3 and ruled that the private school must instruct students from a neutral rather than a Catholic perspective.

“To ask a religious school’s teachers to discuss other religions and their ethical beliefs as objectively as possible does not seriously harm the values underlying religious freedom,” Justice Abella wrote for the majority.

Yet the school had argued that teaching the beliefs and ethics of other religions without the ability to explain nuances from a Catholic perspective was a violation of the school’s religious freedom, a viewpoint the minority agreed with.

“Requiring Loyola’s teachers to maintain a neutral posture on ethical questions poses serious practical difficulties and represents a significant infringement on how Loyola transmits an understanding of the Catholic faith,” the minority decision reads.

“It is inevitable that ethical standards that do not comport with Catholic beliefs will be raised for discussion.  Faced with a position that is fundamentally at odds with the Catholic faith, Loyola’s teachers would be coerced into adopting a false and facile posture of neutrality.”

The majority on this decision was comprised of justices Abella, LeBel, Cromwell and Karakatsanis. The minority ruling was supported by Chief Justice McLachlin as well as justices Moldaver and Rothstein.



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Comments
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commented 2015-03-21 14:22:39 -0400
Ken Conrad, thanks for bringing this up: “It’s an universal law— intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”

Solzhenitsyn chose his adjectives carefully. I like his use of the adjective “inadequate”, and the fact that he set humility as the standard. As noted in many other comments on other posts, arrogant intolerance is certainly at least as prevalent in the lettered classes as it is among the blue collar crowd.
commented 2015-03-20 16:11:58 -0400
Guy,

There is some truth in your statement… however, faith doesn’t deal in facts, and we all know that historical facts can be somewhat biased and convoluted and therefore bewildering.

To suggest that all religions have done bad things is akin to saying that all guns have done bad things or that money is the root of all evil. Are they really, or is it the fact that religions (churches), guns and money are used as convenient excuses by people to deflect blame away from what should be a self evident truth? That human being have an innate flawed human nature.

As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn states, “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”.

And again he states, “It’s an universal law— intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”
commented 2015-03-20 14:39:01 -0400
They need to teach Judaism, Christianity and Islam from a TRUE historical point of view including the 7 years of crusades, the different inquisitions and the 1400+ years of Muslim colonization and genocide from an unbiased point of view. Teaching Buddhism, Hinduism as well will lead to Sikhism after the Muslims committed genocide against pacifist the Hindu population. Very neutral, all religions have done bad things, but some have reformed and become tolerant … others not so much, but just use the facts.
commented 2015-03-20 11:53:44 -0400
Under the circumstances, a partial win is NO win. Teaching other religions in a “neutral” way? Nutty. There is no such thing as NEUTRALITY.
commented 2015-03-20 06:18:31 -0400
The seeds of destruction from radical religious beliefs being staged here and around the Western world, is paving the way for the adoption, that all religious teachings will eventually be relegated or controlled by the state. China democracy may be the eventually winner.
commented 2015-03-19 23:17:16 -0400
Videos are looking great, Brian and Ezra! Just like the recent good old days of SNN. Love how the website has really come along (I haven’t visited in about 4 days). Goodbye to CTV, CBC, and the rest of the consensus media as of the end of 2016 on cable TV. Rebel Media will be at the top, even if people still watch those one-sided-goats online. Can’t wait to see what juicy stuff is in store from Rebel!
commented 2015-03-19 20:28:50 -0400
Thank you Brian Lilley. Finally a victory for our rights. Oh and thanks be to God. I came on board mainly because of my appreciation of your work and I felt your pain at the loss of SNN. Good News. Jesus loves you
commented 2015-03-19 18:39:26 -0400
Rather then trying to lump everyone into one proverbial box via a socialistic public education system, privatize the education system and allow it to diversify.
commented 2015-03-19 17:29:27 -0400
Keep religion out of schools!
commented 2015-03-19 16:47:32 -0400
I’m wondering if Muslim schools have to provide neutral views of other religions in their classrooms? Doubtful. And I think I’d be unlikely to believe them even if they said they did.
commented 2015-03-19 16:29:31 -0400
He is so right, imagine , somebody had to go to court to grant a Catholic school to teach catholicism .
commented 2015-03-19 16:21:14 -0400
First the Centre Party voted for ermächtigungsgesetz, and then there was reichskonkordat, and then there was gleichschaltung. Perhaps an old quote of Martin Niemöller’s would be appropriate as well.
commented 2015-03-19 14:37:28 -0400
You know something, that Quebec Government isn’t very smart.

If it would only have given that Catholic school a good chunk of tax-payer funding a few years ago and made it an annual thing! That would have created gratitude and dependency, which damned well dilutes the quantity and quality of complaints contra the hand-that-feeds-you.

That’s how it works in Ontario. Doesn’t matter if it’s farmer associations, hunting organizations, or Catholic schools – the government puts everyone on the tit. Our Catholic school boards (and teachers) are so beholding to the Liberal Government that they support Benny-the-Diddler’s sex-ed program – even though it flies in the face of so many official positions of the Roman Catholic Church.

Groucho said: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”
In Ontario, this timeless quote has undergone a slight (but very significant) change: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others….so, put your cash on table.”
commented 2015-03-19 14:21:45 -0400
You know something, that Quebec Government isn’t very smart.

If it would only have given that Catholic school a good chunk of tax-payer funding a few years ago and made it an annual thing.! That would have created gratitude and dependency, which damned well dilutes the quantity and quality of complaints contra the hand-that-feeds-you. If La Belle Province had done this, this case would never have gone to court.

That’s how it works in Ontario. Doesn’t matter if it’s farmer associations, hunting organizations, or Catholic schools – the government puts everyone on the tit. Our Catholic school boards (and teachers) are so beholding to the Liberal Government that they support Benny-the-Diddler’s sex-ed program – even though it flies in the face of so many official positions of the Roman Catholic Church.

Groucho said: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”
In Ontario, this timeless quote has undergone a slight (but very significant) change: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others….so, put your cash on table.”
commented 2015-03-19 13:57:08 -0400
@ AHMED F. HOSNY – “So when can we expect the ruling that Madrassas and Mosques are to start teaching, objectively, of course, other religions?”

When hell freeze over?

It today’s current “politically correct” climate, it is okay do cut the fabric of Christianity, but not Islam or any other religion. It clearly is open season on Christianity, though.
commented 2015-03-19 13:03:36 -0400
Religion, at least the intellectual component of religion, is basically a declaration of what one believes to be the objective truth. The funny thing about objective truth is that it’s exclusive; it simply IS!! Anything that contradicts it must necessarily be false. You don’t have to be a Catholic if you don’t want to; I’m not a Catholic. But like any other belief, Catholicism is either true or false. These are Catholic schools…. They obviously teach and believe that the Catholic faith is true! How, then, can they possible teach other world religions from a non-Catholic neutral position? That would be totally schizophrenic and confusing to the students. And don’t think they would see this contradiction for them selves. How, then, seeing this contradiction, could they take anything they’re taught seriously? Why do we keep putting stupid people in positions of authority? I guess we couldn’t be all that bright ourselves.
commented 2015-03-19 12:14:13 -0400
Interesting split on the second point. Some other case will rise to the SCC and open it again for redress.

Loyolla needs to give its teachers instruction in and informal but insistent direction to use Socratic methods. That way, teachers can steer discussions in the direction of Catholic belief while still obeying this rule.
commented 2015-03-19 11:42:15 -0400
Disappointing, but it could have been worse. Perhaps the greatest failing of the Conservative government has been its inability or unwillingness to appoint judges who understand their proper role in a parliamentary democracy.
commented 2015-03-19 11:33:33 -0400
Another day, another attack, in the ongoing and escalating war against Christianity, Christians and the Christian moral principals this country was founded on…
commented 2015-03-19 11:27:57 -0400
So when can we expect the ruling that Madrassas and Mosques are to start teaching, objectively, of course, other religions?
commented 2015-03-19 10:50:34 -0400
Simple…no compromise. Be a shadrach, Meschek, and Abednigo!!
commented 2015-03-19 10:25:22 -0400
Socialism bases itself on no religion. And so crap like gets passed.
Yep – let’s get those moozlim schools showing a little Christianity – too obvious – will never happen.
commented 2015-03-19 10:17:19 -0400
it’s a CATHOLIC school. Going to go to muslim schools and do the same? I doubt it.
commented 2015-03-19 09:58:24 -0400
So much for the separation of church and state, or is that state and church?