Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Positive Values of a Roman Catholic Education?

The Ontario government funds Roman Catholic Schools but not schools of any other religion. I've just returned from a high school reunion at one of the "public" schools (nonreligious) so I've been thinking about the education I received in an environment that was free of religious indoctrination.

My friends all seem to be pretty moral and they seem to be at least as good at practicing the Golden Rule as any other citizens. When we were students we organized contributions to charity and helped the needy. We made lifelong friends in the public schools.

Most of my high school friends are pretty secular in their outlook and a large percentage are nonbelievers. The percentages aren't much different among my friends who went to Roman Catholic schools.

Here's a bit of propaganda from one who supports government funding of Roman Catholic schools. They need all the support they can get because Roman Catholic values are coming under heavy criticism lately. Roman Catholic students have been bussed to anti-abortion protests and school clubs for gays and lesbians have been banned in the Roman Catholic schools system. "Sex education" is a joke.

What do you think? Does this make you want to continue sending your tax dollars to the Roman Catholic schools?


65 comments :

  1. I wonder: Could the practice of forcing us to subsidize religious organizations thru our taxes be succesfully challenged as unconstitutional? I know eliminating Catholic schools would require amending the constitution. But is there any requirement that citizens fund such schools?

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    1. Never mind. It's already been decided:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adler_v._Ontario

      It seems if this archaic and unjust system is to be changed, it's up to the politicians. I'm not holding my breath.

      Delete
  2. (S)chool clubs for gays and lesbians have been banned in the Roman Catholic schools system.

    A point of correction: The Catholic Church tried to ban "Gay Straight Alliance" groups from their schools, but the provincial gov't introduced anti-bullying legislation specifically mandating that such groups must be permitted in all schools and, in a rare show of backbone for him, then-Premier Dalton McGuinty refused to back down to the Church. Instead, it was the Church that ended up acquiescing, possibly because it realized that it risked losing its hold on the public purse strings if it made its homophobia too obvious.

    It should also be pointed out that, by and large, Catholic school teachers (including McGuinty's wife) supported the pro-gay rights legislation. It was their overlords within the Church that had problems with it.

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  3. Your mother did not abort you, Prof Moran. If you were to be conceive today, maybe she would.

    Why is that?


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    1. PayPay, the dumb fuck who gives html advice but is too lazy and ignorant to do his own research and laps up creotard shit like a dog returning to his vomit, who if he had a shred of intellectual integrity, would know that Countries with restrictive abortion laws have significantly higher rates of unsafe abortion (and similar overall abortion rates) compared to those where abortion is legal and available.

      Delete
    2. Oh no. Don't ask Pépé to get educated. He rather pretends to know stuff than learn something that might challenge his bigoted views.

      Delete
    3. About 50% of fertilized human eggs are spontaneously aborted. If Larry was conceived today, maybe he would be aborted spontaneously. Why is that?

      Of course, he (and the entire Earth) could be hit by a comet too. Why is that?

      Or, perhaps, the better the better question is 'So what?'

      Delete
  4. "Why is that?"

    Maybe because of the Catholic church? I mean, why else would Catholic women have a significantly higher abortion rate than Protestant women?

    It certainly isn't some simple teaching of the church thing, nor legality or illegality. After all, in Brazil where abortion is illegal in all but cases of life endangerment, 20% of Brazilian women of childbearing age have had an abortion. So you have to wonder if it's even true that women where less likely to have an abortion back when the good Prof was conceived. It was certainly less safe for the woman involved.

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  5. Strike three PePe. Goodbye.

    My mother reads this blog.

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    Replies
    1. Larry,

      if you have banned PayPay, I hope you do an OP describing the reasons for his banning and which rules he violated. I don't want this place to turn into UD with its Stalinist hyper-purges.

      Delete
    2. You will be banned if you insult me for no good reason just because I'm the host blogger. You will be banned if you insult or disrespect any member of my family.

      Pépé and Dominic Nikel have both been banned for violating those simple rules. That's how John Witton, Atheistoclast, and Dennis Markuze got banned [Goodbye John Witton].

      You will also be banned instantly if you threaten other bloggers and commenters by contacting their families or their employers. That's how David Roemer, John Kwok, and Doug Dobney got banned [How to Get Banned on Sandwalk].

      Delete
  6. I am a teacher in the Catholic school system, and as far as I understand it, residents have a choice as to where their property tax funds go, with the default being the public system.

    I also understand that the Catholic school system gets less money per pupil than the public system.

    Amalgamating the systems will not save a huge amount of money, because the same number of students will exist, so will the same number of schools, teachers, principals, and likely the same number of senior administrators as well. I remember when the amalgamated the city of Toronto, and they ended up with more city employees than before amalgamation.

    And, Larry, you mentioned indoctrination in your original post. At my school, we have a large population of students that are non-Catholic. There is no effort to indoctrinate any student, and students are taught to respect the beliefs of others. Respectfully, you do more proselytizing on your blog than Catholic teachers do in schools.

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    1. Well then Vitamin B, you are a very uninformed (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here) teacher in the Catholic school system, Ontario residents have absolutely no control where their funds go, schools in Ontario are funded on a per pupil basis and Catholic schools receive funding based on the number of students.

      What you allude to, in a completely ignorant and uninformed fashion, assuming you are not just being outright dishonest, is the choice as to which school board, public or catholic, the tax payer will elect members.

      As a teacher I would say you have higher standard of intellectual integrity to adhere to, and you appear to be failing miserably at this so far.

      But perhaps this is what we should expect from an alumni of the Catholic school system.

      It certainly damaged me and it appears to have done the same to you.

      Shame on you for regurgitating Catholic propaganda talking points without the slightest attempt at fact checking.

      Delete
    2. Steve, lets avoid any ad hominem arguments. There is no need to call me uninformed, ignorant, damage, or lacking integrity just because you have a bias against Catholicism.

      Here is an excerpt from a CBC.com article:
      "The Roman Catholic school system gets about one-third of Ontario's $24-billion education budget, but only [i]23 per cent of electors direct their education taxes to separate schools[/i]." Now, while there are funds supplied to the Catholic board from people who did not indicate Catholic on the MPAC forms, keep in mind that Catholic schools teach more than 23% of the pupils.

      I can assure you that I am not damaged, but it's unfortunate you are. I would never want to be prejudiced against any group.

      Next, let's try to keep the hyperbole to a minimum. The Catholic school system in Ontario does not engage in propaganda, systematic paedophelia, sub Saharan genocide, blah blah blah. I was just adding points to what I hoped would be a rational discussion about the topic.

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    3. The Catholic school system in Ontario does not engage in propaganda

      That's a lie, of course. I just happened to visit a Catholic high school this weekend, in Toronto. Throughout the halls there are large signs about Jeebus, and Gawd, and how important it is to serve them, and so forth. There is an extremely large chapel in the hall right next to the classrooms.

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    4. McDonald's does not engage in propaganda. That's a lie, of course. I just happened to visit a Mickey D's this weekend, in Tokyo. Over the counter there were large signs about Big Macs, and Mcnuggets, and gasp- how delicious they are! They even had the words "I'm Lovin' It' on the poster. The brainwashing was just palpable!

      Wait, it gets worse! There is an extremely large dining area right next to the counter.

      Delete
    5. AB, by comparing the Christianity to McDonald's, has made my point for me. Thanks, AB.

      My kid goes to a Catholic school in the States. They do engage in indoctrination. He gets Jesus magazines for kids ("Seeds") with cartoons of Jesus and is taught to sing religious songs. I have been there for prayer sessions so I know the teacher's attitude. She is a young blonde hottie who keeps the kids in line and stops everything and everybody for "God's time" [prayer]. I'm not complaining, but it's indoctrination.

      My kid, who's 5, said to me the other day, "Daddy, I don't want to hear about God and Jesus any more!" I never taught him any atheism nor did I say God didn't exist. My son is just exhausted by having the same claims repeated over and over.

      He's especially tired of religious songs: "I don't want to sing songs about God and Jesus anymore!" He never complained about singing songs about bears or kitties. Kids know what indoctrination is.

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    6. Dio, you send your kid to a catholic school? That odious cult's child abuse factory???

      Don't you know that by doing so you are supporting atrocities all over the globe? How could you? You are as guilty as every pedophile priest (is there any other kind?)
      Why, if oberski and twt find out about this, I'd be surprised if they ever speak to you again!

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    7. @VitaminB

      I agree with Steve. As a teacher in the Roman Catholic schools system who voluntarily enters into the debate over funding, I would expect you to understand the issues.

      Let me ask you whether you still believe that the two statements you made are correct or whether you'd like to change your mind.

      The statements are ...

      I am a teacher in the Catholic school system, and as far as I understand it, residents have a choice as to where their property tax funds go, with the default being the public system.

      I also understand that the Catholic school system gets less money per pupil than the public system.


      Do you stand by those claims?

      You said ...

      Steve, lets avoid any ad hominem arguments. There is no need to call me uninformed, ignorant, damage, or lacking integrity just because you have a bias against Catholicism.

      Steve argued against your facts and pointed out that they were wrong. That makes you ignorant and uninformed, by definition. He also mentioned that this was surprising since you are a teacher in a Roman Catholic school and you should know better—especially since you voluntarily choose to enter this discussion.

      That's not an ad hominem fallacy.

      An example of an ad hominem fallacy is when you dispute an arguments based not on facts but on the presumed bias of your opponent (see ad hominem circumstantial in the Wikipedia article). An example would be someone who ignores the facts of the argument but claims that someone is wrong just because they have a bias against Catholics.

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    8. LM writes,
      "That's not an ad hominem fallacy"

      What nonsense. Here is how Webster defines 'ad hominem':
      'marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made'

      By that definition, the following statements are all ad hominems

      "What you allude to, in a completely ignorant and uninformed fashion, assuming you are not just being outright dishonest,.....

      As a teacher I would say you have higher standard of intellectual integrity to adhere to, and you appear to be failing miserably at this so far.

      But perhaps this is what we should expect from an alumni of the Catholic school system.

      It certainly damaged me and it appears to have done the same to you.

      Shame on you for regurgitating Catholic propaganda talking points without the slightest attempt at fact checking."

      Delete
    9. @VitaminB,

      You are sadly uninformed about the taxation mechanism by which the money to pay your salary is derived. From the Ontario Ministry of Education itself:

      Where does funding come from?

      School boards receive money in two ways. First, some of the property taxes collected in your community go to your local school board. Second, the province tops up this amount to bring the total for each board up to the amount set out by the funding formula.


      http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/funding/formula.html

      You might then ask why we are required to indicate which school board we wish our property taxes to be directed to, since in the end it makes no difference how much our tax dollars go to each board. To which I can only reply, "Damned good question!"

      Delete
    10. andyboerger compares the Church to McDonald's in an effort to defend the former against the accusation of spreading propaganda.

      As they say, "I'm Lovin' It!"

      Delete
    11. andyboerger said:

      "Why, if oberski and twt find out about this, I'd be surprised if they ever speak to you again!"

      Well, I do think that it's odd that Diogenes enrolled and keeps his son in a catholic school, especially since his son complains a lot about the god and jesus stuff. Maybe Diogenes thinks it's the best way to convince his son that god and jesus stuff is bullshit, but if that's the case it seems to me like a detrimental way (to his son) to go about it.

      Delete
  7. I just want to add to my comment regarding the tax dollar issue.

    Imagine that there are taxpayers who don't understand Climate Change, and deny human influence on climate, that say that they don't want their tax dollars going to any grants to climate scientists.

    Or that taxpayers who are IDiots not wanting their tax dollars going to schools at all, because evolution is in the curriculum.

    At some point you can no longer dictate what happens to your taxes. At least with school funding there is choice, and taxpayers can select through MPAC where their money goes.

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    1. So you equate the teaching of misogyny and homophobia with lack of understanding of climate change ?

      I tell you where I don't want my tax dollars to go, and that's to a criminal institution that aids and abets paedophiles and conducts a campaign of genocide in sub Saharan Africa with their demented and anti-human policy against reproductive rights for women and sexual prophylaxis.

      You can't even be bother to get the basic facts about how schools are funded in Ontario and you expect to be taken seriously about the benefits of state funded religious indoctrination of children ?

      And don't give me any bullshit about no indoctrination in the Ontario Catholic schools system, I'm a kindergarten to Grade 13 survivor and it the RCC bending the twigs and producing stunted trees all the way.

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    2. Oberski, can you cool it? You're making the rest of us look bad.

      a criminal institution that aids and abets paedophiles and conducts a campaign of genocide in sub Saharan Africa

      I fully agree that the "no condoms" rule kills people, but it's not the same thing as a "campaign of genocide." Not everything is genocide.

      They don't "aid and abet" pedophiles, but they do shuffle them from one parish to another, thus insulating them from prosecution.

      If you feel abused by your Catholic education, why don't you just tell us what happened to you in non-hyperbolic terms?

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    3. To the extent that catholics provide financial and moral support to the catholic church, they are complicit and must bear responsibility for the actions of the church.

      This includes the ongoing institutionalized paedophilia, and yes, the active program of genocide in sub Saharan Africa, amongst other places, via their active opposition to reproductive freedom for women, birth control and sexual prophylaxis.

      That sexual predators no longer have unfettered access to children in the school system is not due to the efforts of the Catholic church and it's flock, and in fact has been fought tooth and nail by them, but is due to an increasing unwillingness by the public to accord the RCC the automatic and undeserved respect that they think is due to them.

      I don't understand the distinction between "aid and abet" and "shuffle them from one parish to another, thus insulating them from prosecution", this seems to me to be simply restating the facts, which are that they are aiding and abetting criminals. This is simply no clearer or conciser way of presenting this information.

      As for what happened to me, imagine Vitamin B in front of a class room of credulous children promulgating the bullshit that he has presented here, his basic premises about the funding of schools in Ontario are wrong, his faux concern for the poor Ontario taxpayer is nauseating in it's self serving insincerity, and when faced with criticism of his arguments in a venue where he can not provide an evidence based rebuttal to push back of his ideas, must resort to a hurt feelings defence. Is this an example of the higher quality of Catholic education ?

      Yes Vitamin B, it's one thing to shovel Catholic dogma into the minds of children, another to try to present that bullshit as fact in a public forum.

      I am not as complacent as Larry, the Catholic church is indeed self destructing and eventually their grip on the school system will be gone but this does not rule out active opposition in order to expedite the process.

      I have some questions for Vitamin B, in your school, what is the policy on organizations for LGBT youth, are there any organizations that represent them ?

      What is your schools policy on hiring teachers, do they have to be practicing Catholics ?

      What is you personal stance on abortion, birth control, homosexual marriage, end of life choices and how do these differ from the official stance of your church ?

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    4. The issue, VitaminB, is that under the current system the Catholic Church receives tax dollars to run a fully funded school system, and Catholic families are able to send their children to a religious school without paying a cent out of their pockets.

      No other religion receives such preferential treatment.

      Do you believe this is justifiable in present day Canadian society?

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    5. Catholic families pay the same property taxes that non-Catholic families do. In fact, many non-Catholic families send their children to Catholic secondary schools, while indicating on their MPAC forms that their tax dollars will go to the public system.

      I don't believe it is justifiable in present day society to support just one religion though. I would be a supporter of other publicly funded faith based schools (I'd be a hypocrite otherwise).

      Delete
    6. Steve

      My school does have a student club to raise support for LGBTQ youth. I was a staff supervisor for the club when it first started (but starting my own family has taken me away from most extra curriculars for now).

      LGBTQ students are fully embraced by the staff of the school, and most students. Unfortunately, some students are bigotted... this mirrors adulthood as well, some of us are bigots as well, regardless of religion.

      My personal views on contraception, abortion, end of life issues, and homosexual marriage are not 100% in line with the teachings of the church. What they are exactly is none of your business.

      As for "he can not provide an evidence based rebuttal to push back of his ideas", keep in mind that these are posts in a blog. I do not have the time to write you an essay, full with citations properly referenced. I am busy with work and family. You also provided little evidence.

      And the suggestion that because some people within an organization commit atrocities, all members of said organization are complicit is asinine. You clearly are prejudiced against anything to do with Catholicism.

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    7. @Vitamin B

      Catholic families pay the same property taxes that non-Catholic families do. In fact, many non-Catholic families send their children to Catholic secondary schools, while indicating on their MPAC forms that their tax dollars will go to the public system.

      That's of no relevance to my comment. The point is that people of every other religion, or no religion, pay the same taxes as Catholics, yet do not in in return receive publicly funded schools devoted to their own faith.

      It seems you are still not understanding how schools are funded in Ontario, even though I corrected you just above. It's true that you can choose where your property taxes are directed, but that is a symbolic measure only. If you do not choose to have your property tax go to the Catholic board, then more of your provincial income tax will go there. You pay either way, and you have no say in the matter.

      I don't believe it is justifiable in present day society to support just one religion though. I would be a supporter of other publicly funded faith based schools (I'd be a hypocrite otherwise).

      On that, you are completely correct.

      I also commend you on your enlightened attitude towards your gay students. However, you cannot deny that the Catholic School boards actively fought such measures, even trying to ban the words "gay" or "rainbow" in the names of school groups:

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/catholic-school-trustees-fear-fallout-over-gay-straight-alliance-furor/article4230933/

      Your example points out how out of step the Catholic hierarchy is even w/ its own membership.

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    8. Lutesite

      Sorry, I thought I was responding to Steve, and didn't realize it was your post. I will fully admit that I do not know all the intricacies of the tax system. I remember reading some info in my school regarding funding, but I cannot find it online, and hence cannot give the source. One statement you made doesn't make sense to me though "If you do not choose to have your property tax go to the Catholic board, then more of your provincial income tax will go there". I don't see how choosing Not to send money to the catholic board sends more money to the catholic board.

      I particularly like the fact that there is a choice. No two children learn the same way. Some benefit from learning in a Catholic environment, others do not. Some learn better in an alternative environment, others do not. The same can be said for many aspects of a child's learning.

      As for the church being out of step, keep in mind that he church is composed of over a billion people. Those people have different views on all the issues being discussed. The church is out of step in the with some of their membership, but also seen as too liberal by other parts of their membership. Its also a slow moving beast. My personal hope is that they change course on a number of issues, but I know it will not happen overnight. Just because the community I belong to differs in some of my views, doesn't mean I am going to abandon them.

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    9. @VitaminB

      What they are exactly is none of your business.

      Would that your students had that choice.

      That's the entire point of shutting down publicly funded religious indoctrination.

      No one wants to know about your relationship with an invisible friend.

      It's when you inject irrational and non evidence based bigotry into the public sphere, expect the tax payer to pick up the tab and whine about being oppressed and discriminated against when it is rightly pointed out that your attitudes are repulsive and anti-human that you are going to get push back.

      You clearly are prejudiced against anything to do with Catholicism.

      Ah yes, the familiar bleat of the oppressed xtian majority.

      There is no aspect of our society where your mythology does not intrude, be it in the denial of equal treatment under the law for women and homosexuals, end of life choices, reproductive autonomy and the publicly funded indoctrination of children.

      There is no public event where your shamans are not out in force, mumbling imprecations to voices in their heads under the pretence that having your morals and ethics informed by tribal wisdom is the only path to a good society and telling us that the latest natural catastrophe is either due to someone not following the commandments of their particular supernatural capo or the work of a deity who ways are beyond our ken.

      Delete
    10. I will fully admit that I do not know all the intricacies of the tax system. I remember reading some info in my school regarding funding, but I cannot find it online, and hence cannot give the source. One statement you made doesn't make sense to me though "If you do not choose to have your property tax go to the Catholic board, then more of your provincial income tax will go there". I don't see how choosing Not to send money to the catholic board sends more money to the catholic board.

      That's not what I said. I provided a link up above to the Ont. gov't's website that explains the funding system, but one more time: Each school board receives funding, the amount of which is determined by a formula based on the student enrollment in each district. This formula is the same for the secular and the Catholic boards. The funding for this is provided thru both municipal property taxes and the provincial income tax. As you say, when you pay your property tax you are able to declare whether you want the education portion of the tax to go to the Catholic school board in your area, or the secular board. However, once the property tax funds have been allotted to the respective boards, the province then tops it up to reach the amount mandated by the funding formula. So each school board is funded thru a combination of property tax and income tax. If the Catholic board receives enough property tax to meet 20% of its budget, then the province kicks in the remaining 80%. If it only receives 15% from property tax, then the province makes up the remaining 85%.

      But who pays the property tax? Guess. That's right, you do! And who pays the income tax? Right again: You! so regardless of which box you tick on the municipal tax form, your taxes are fully funding both school systems.

      Here's the link again:

      http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/funding/formula.html

      I find it quite revealing that even you, a person working within the Catholic system, is under the misapprehension that funding for that system is voluntary on the part of the tax payer. No doubt that is the impression many people have. I wonder if opposition to the separate school system would be more widespread if everyone realized the truth.

      I particularly like the fact that there is a choice. No two children learn the same way. Some benefit from learning in a Catholic environment, others do not. Some learn better in an alternative environment, others do not. The same can be said for many aspects of a child's learning.

      Nothing wrong with choice, of course. So long as every citizen is provided with the same choice. However, I thought you already agreed that it is unfair to provide choices to Catholic citizens that are denied citizens of other religious faiths. That is discrimination, plain and simple.

      It’s an interesting thought experiment to imagine if the Ontario gov’t decided to abolish the Catholic system and replace it with a separate Islamic school system, in which girls were required to cover their heads and sit behind the male students. What would the public reaction be? Actually, we don’t have to imagine. In the provincial election before last, PC leader John Tory merely speculated on the possibility of allowing public funding for other “faith schools”, including Islamic ones. The uproar he provoked was so strong he likely lost the election over that single issue alone. Yet those very same people have no problem supporting the exact same system when it benefits Catholics. As you said, hypocrisy.

      Delete
  8. As a non-Canadian, from a country where (the theory goes, at least) taxes can't be used to fund religious schools, I'd naturally side with those who think that merely because Roman Catholic values are allegedly "under heavy criticism" is a lousy reason to give them public money.

    But as a product of privately funded Catholic schools, I have to report that, in my little corner of American Catholicism, at a time just at the begining of the counter-culture, there was damn little talk in the schools about "Roman Catholic values." Sure, we had a priest come in very occasionaly to warn us, much to our adolescent amusement, of the dangers of masturbation. I never heard of any parish priest wondering why young healthy couples were only having 2.5 children. Of couse this was before Roe v. Wade and the unholy alliance between the Church hierarchy and the fundagelicals (which does not seem to impress the laity even to this day).

    The schools then were good. It was encouraged/demanded that we think for ourselves in matters social, political and even theological. It was in that environment that I decided, about age 17, that I certainly wasn't a Catholic and, at most, I was some sort of agnostic pantheist/deist. My four years at a Jesuit college, where I never attended Mass or other rites (and was not forced to) and where we were exposed to many non-Christian ideas, did nothing to pressure me to change my mind.

    I suppose I'm saying that, if your Catholic schools are anything like those of my youth and if you are going to pay for religious schools at all, things could be worse.

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    1. John, I know exactly what you mean. My experiences were roughly the same. I got a good education at the parochial schools I attended for twelve years, much better than I would have gotten at the local public school, and very little to no indoctrination. Like Vitamin B writes above, I was also encouraged to question and challenge. I remember how apoplectic my priest/teacher got when I was thirteen or so and I said in front of the class that Hitler was a Christian, but he argued with me with words, not threats or attempts to punish me. No talk of expulsion, suspension, anything. Just a heated moment in the classroom.

      Some people who write on this site, as in the case of someone who writes above, write with so little sense of balance about the RCC, such histrionic and hyperbolic and palpable hatred, that one wonders if they are, indeed, balanced.

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    2. Andy, your bit about claiming Hitler was a Christian and how your teacher became apoplectic seems an odd circumstance to use as an example of being encouraged to question and challenge. Were you given any indication by the teacher what his preferred view of Hitler was in terms of theology? Should I hazard a guess?

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    3. It was a long time ago, so I don't exactly remember. I think it was basically a suggestion that Naziism was a form of satanic practice, and the schwastika was a deliberate distortion of the cross. He was a priest, remember. The point is that after getting indignant at first, we debated. A fourteen year old know it all and a thirty five year old man.

      Would you expect a science teacher like Larry to be wholly sanguine and equanimous if a kid tells him the entire theory of evolution is hogwash and moreover Darwin was a racist? I wouldn't. I would expect they would thrash it out, and the teacher would attempt to put the upstart in his place. That's what happened.
      I never heard any more about it, and graduated near the top of my class a couple years later.

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    4. andyboerger grossly overrated himself by saying:

      "I got a good education at the parochial schools I attended for twelve years..."

      He also ignorantly barfed:

      "Some people who write on this site, as in the case of someone who writes above, write with so little sense of balance about the RCC, such histrionic and hyperbolic and palpable hatred, that one wonders if they are, indeed, balanced."

      Tell me, andy, what is "balanced" about the despicable catholic cult?

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    5. just be you, twt. You make my job so much easier that way.

      Delete
    6. The interesting thing about twt, and oberski, when they refer to the catholic church as a 'despicable' or 'odious' 'cult', etc. is that they truly don't seem to recognize how far (as in way, way far) out of the mainstream they fall with those ideas and pronouncements. They sound like Alex Jones or Glenn Beck, or any other creepy ideological conspiracy theory type when they do.

      Sure, come here to a blatantly anti-religious site, read your Hitchens and your Dawkins books, and convince yourself that most of the world's evils can be attributed to religion without anyone calling you on it. Go anywhere else and spew this stuff and you get 'that look'.

      But then, with twt and oberski, I bet you don't even recognize 'that look'.

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    7. andy, you're an atrocity enabling lunatic, and you're the one who's like beck or jones or any other creepy ideological conspiracy theory type.

      The "mainstream"? That's the best you can come up with? LMAO!

      The historical and current doctrine and actions of the RCC are those of a despicable, odious, perverted, murderous, dominionist cult.

      I have never read or even held a book by Hitchens or Dawkins.

      That "look"? Even if I were to get that "look", do you actually believe that I should and would change my thoughts or behavior because of what some ignorant god zombie thinks? Unlike you andy, I have a mind of my own and I don't live my life according to what crackpots think of me.



      Delete
    8. twt writes, "andy, you're an atrocity enabling lunatic"

      How, exactly, am I 'enabling' atrocities, twt?
      My sole contribution of any kind to the Catholic church, or any Christian church, in the last thirty years, was to pay to visit the Sistine Chapel to see the Michelangelo ceiling a couple years ago.
      Now, I realize that you and steve might imagine that all the take from visitors to the Vatican go directly into a special fund that is used to procure Nintendo toys in order to lure boys into the lairs of ped-priests (actually, you two possibly DO imagine that) but then that ends up being an awful lot of people to vent your hatred toward. It's a good thing hatred is the one thing you have a seemingly unlimited supply of.

      Oh, and you're right, there's more. I DID congratulate an uncle of mine who was nominated for Catholic Man of the Year by his diocese. The nomination commended him for his volunteerism and support toward the local homeless shelter, a veterans support group, and the Sierra Club, among other activities (I'm assuming that didn't include buying Nintendo games for the fund I mentioned above). I 'enabled' him to continue with the volunteer work to help people in tough situations and to preserve the environment. I'm just so bad, twt.

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  9. Tax dollars!!
    AMEN. Many don't want our tax dollars being spent on public schools to attack christianity or other values or puxh evolution or censor creationism.
    If its our money then AMEN to the moral right to complain about its use in schools!!
    catholic schools exist because of identity reasons. I understand they came from French Canadian, who lived in ontario, identity claims back in the day. Then it expanded to all of them. They were a rejection of Canadian, they said protestant, identity coming through the education.
    Its always the post WW11 ethnic people who went to Catholic schools.

    Its hard to deny them now. It would be better if there was one school system based on mutual Canadian identity.
    Yet there is so much liberal hostility to Catholicism, as a part of Christianism, that it seems its best they exist as a balance. Indeed Evangelical schools should also get funded.
    A sad segregation but their is worse stuff in old Canada.
    Indoctrination of kids, the gay stuff case in point, has become the lefts passion.
    The canadian man has never strongly told the foreigner how it is to be. The Canadian man has been told. This can and must change.

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    1. Byers: Indeed Evangelical schools should also get funded. ...Indoctrination of kids, the gay stuff case in point, has become the lefts passion.

      Wait, first you say "indoctrination" is good, as long as your side does it, then you say "indoctrination" is bad, if someone you disagree with does it. Certainly "indoctrination" is the passion of your side, the Evangelical side, but it's good when it's your passion.

      As for the "gay stuff", it is your side that is obsessed with indoctrinating kids into "gay stuff" and how evil "gay stuff" is. In public schools it's not even mentioned, unless the students form a club on their own, which is not "indoctrination" by adult authority figures.

      "Gay stuff" is your passion. In your evangelical schools, the "gay stuff" (how evil they are) is indeed indoctrinated into kids.

      Byers: Its always the post WW11 ethnic people who went to Catholic schools.

      "Ethnic people"? Racist fuck. How are Irish or Italians "ethnic" but an Anglo or a Scot not "ethnic"?

      Byers: The canadian man has never strongly told the foreigner how it is to be.

      Ah, so people of Irish or Italian descent are "foreigners" in Canada! But those of Anglo descent are not? You racist fuck.

      Byers, how would you feel if taxpayer-supported Catholic schools taught that Martin Luther was the anti-Christ, and that Protestants are apostates and go to hell? Funded by your taxpayer dollars.

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    2. Larry, I know you've outlined your criteria for banning above, and I appreciate you want to use that only sparingly. However, I respectfully ask that you consider adding racist bilge of the sort that Mr. Byers spews above as an additional reason to be banned from this blog. Personally, I wouldn't want to provide a platform for such views.

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    3. I don't want Byers to be banned because he honestly states what most creationists really believe.

      Most creationists use obfuscation and double-talk to conceal their real beliefs, and to attempt to disguise their obvious self-contradictions. But Byers does not have enough guile to conceal his self-contradictions. They're hanging out there for all to see.

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    4. I agree, with an ideology so often attended by shameless and obvious dishonesty (Liar's for Jesus and all that)Byers at least seems to be plain and honest even though his convictions may be ill-conceived.

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    5. I have no problem with Mr. Byers' defense of creationism which, as you both suggest, is often revealing in ways he probably does not intend. His racism, however, is another matter altogether and is just ugly and not edifying in any way. But, of course, that's up to Larry to decide. I just wanted to put my 2 cents in.

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    6. I also feel that a lot of entertainment would be lost if RB were to be banned.
      (I enjoy and deplore the mangling of the language in equql measure but it does provide a 'marker' - noone else can pretend to be Mr Byers; and vice-versa).
      YEC - including Mr B - can have at this, I really want to engage with their Xenon thoughts (as opposed to the less palatable xenophobic ones):

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v497/n7449/full/nature12127.html

      (additionally: should've works....'should of' really really does not work at all. Likewise would've, could've...........)

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    7. Robert Byers is my favourite haiku/jazz/beat fusion poet.

      He's a fundamentalist version of William S. Burroughs.

      I wish him a long and productive literary career.

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    8. Christ, what if we had Byers' voice on a podcast. We could set it to a hip-hop beat, do some electronic distortion... Oh my.

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  10. I'm just surprised that the separate school system has survived so long in Canada, the supposed paragon of multiculturalism. Having two tax payer-funded systems also leads to discriminatory hiring practises where a catholic can be hired by either the public or separate school system whereas a non-catholic can be excluded from the separate system. The UN has criticized Canada on this very point.

    Naturally, if all religions were allowed to compete for a finite pool of tax payer money we would quickly see how much respect there is within a given religion for other belief systems.

    As for indoctrination, there could scarcely be another reason for having a separate school system other than that goal. And shouldn't that goal (of stating that there is truth in the obviously untrue foundational claims of religion) be left to churches (who already receive tax exemptions) and to parents who are so inclined.

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    1. The reason the separate school system was devised was to protect the rights of the French Canadian minority after Confederation. The other school system was Protestant. It was only later that the Protestant system became secular, while for some reason the Catholic system was retained as some sort of vestigial organ from the days when our nation was pretty well comprised of only two ethnic groups and religious education was taken as a given. The system clearly has no relevance to Canada as it now exists.

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  11. As an ex-Catholic School attending child (first is Hagerstown, Maryland at St. Mary's and then in Wauwatosa/Milwaukee, WI at Christ King and Pius XI High School)... The handling of these kids seems very odd...

    My school in Maryland was 100% different from the schools in Ontario (as reported), and would probably be very different today (although the nuns were apparently from the Milwaukee area, so maybe not.)

    The gay and lesbians thing should also be let alone and run from, but not by, the school. The same with any anti-gay and lesbian type of thing. You guys are worse than us, and that's a hard job.

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  12. I have asked a very high-ranked priest, if it was morally acceptable to kill another Catholic? He answered with a very polite smile:
    "No my son. The six commandment says that you shall not kill".

    I asked, if there were any exceptions to this commandment and he said "no".
    I said: Why then did the Catholic Church bless my uncles to go out and kill other Catholics during the II world war?

    What do you think his answer was?

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    1. The priest's answer was: "God is mysterious".
      Shouldn't he have said Catholic Church is hypocritical?

      BTW: I agree with you Larry for once. The catholic education is counterproductive. Recently we moved to Mississauga (I still can't spell it after so many years) and my kids went to public schools. While I don't like the facebook and guy overtones in their teaching, I think they are doing much better than Catholic schools. Actually, my employee told me that his son and his buddies have been smoking pot in the chapel of a catholic school because the chaplain smokes it too and he likes other things...???

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  13. I'm opposed to public funding of Roman Catholic schools because I don't think the government should be in the business of supporting a particular religion. I also think that our society will be better served by having a secular public school system where children with different worldviews can mix and mingle.

    I don't emphasize my support for One School System because, in fact, the current situation is quite harmless. The children in the Roman Catholic school system are getting a very good education and the church influence seems to be very effective at converting most of them to nonbelievers who abandon the Roman Catholic faith.

    I hope the Roman Catholic school board members keep up the good work and continue to make fools of themselves by opposing common sense practices that are supported by most students, most parents, and most teachers. The hypocrisy is blatantly obvious and that's a good thing.

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    1. Yes, I think two issues are being conflated here: The Ontario separate school system, and the evils of the Catholic Church itself. I have as many problems w/ the Church as anyone else, but that's besides the point on this issue. I would be no less opposed to a separate school system if it promoted Islam, or Buddhism, or, for that matter, atheism. (Although it's an interesting thought experiment to imagine the reaction from supporters of the Catholic system if any of these were proposed). Discrimination is discrimination, regardless of whom it is directed at.

      Most provinces have managed to rid themselves of this antiquated system. Ontario should be able to do the same.

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    2. As a student in a Catholic High School I can assure that religion class is VERY efficient at making atheists.

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    3. If you look at the comment section of the video in Larry's post, you'll see that the kid who made it hints that he does not support the Church's position on homosexuality or reproductive health.

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    4. Mr Moran
      Because a government PAYS for a school system IT does not make it a government supporting some religion. The government is just a expression of the people. We are the government. The government pays for the roads leading to a church. Would one stop paying for such roads.
      Your saying paying for the separate system is the same species As pushing a religon. It isn't. its just about money. nothing wrong with mere money grants.

      If you really oppose it because of a opposition to religion period and wish to not see religion get the thumbs up by society by supporting the school system then this is all it is.
      A religious belief issue.

      School;s should be about teaching the truth.
      If we all agree not to teach on the truth/untruth of faiths then it should be consisternt.
      Yet first they break this social contract by teaching things against faith or by , in origins, banning teachings which is really another way of teaching somethings not true.
      Then other matters are pushed that cross lines which also censor faith's point of view.
      In all this it betrays people believe the kids are getting taught conclusions and values without equal time .
      The schools are seen by everyone as propaganda machines for some elite. One side or the other.

      As I said a people or nation should have one system. There's no reason to have reliogous schools as long as schools are not anti-religion.
      these days they are.
      Yet the reason for Catholic schools is because of identity and not really religion.
      Catholic schools are really attended by the post WW11 immigrant identies who wish to maintain their old cultures religious base.
      I don't see religion as the motive. Its cultural or national etc.
      This is why they are wrong.
      If it was on a pure intent to teach with religious foundations and framework then only a small minority of present Catholic students would be in these schools.
      Its a identity agenda and not a religious one.
      Indeed easily they accept/apathetic the same teachings on any subject as in public schools . Its the true Catholic motivated people who tend to seek office in catholic schools.

      Anyways no segregation should of been allowed except for the original intent to satisfy the French Canadians.
      Now it seems too late too complain or care.

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  14. The beat poet Robert Byers intones in tortured english:

    The government pays for the roads leading to a church. Would one stop paying for such roads.

    No I'd start taxing the churches, just like I would any other social club. Knock yourselves out grovelling to your invisible friends accompanied by really bad music and that race to parking lot to be the first one out and the end of the sabbat, but be prepared to pay your share of taxes to support the load that your worship huts place on the local infrastructure, you know, things like roads, fire and police service, sewage etc., since the last time I checked, despite all the fairy tales to the contrary, none of you are being transported there by angels or fly there on broomsticks.

    There's no reason to have reliogous schools as long as schools are not anti-religion.

    We already have those. They are called public schools. They have a secular agenda where no religion is taught as fact. By all means let them teach about religions, just like they would any of the other charming, irrational and non evidence based systems that we human beings have adopted over the ages, and let them do this under the disciplines of literary studies, anthropology, and other cultural studies.

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    1. In these secular places no religion is taught but they teach against religion.
      Thats a great complaint. Creationism censorship being just one more thing.

      Christian music has loads of hit songs that are played throughout North America.
      Constantly the favourites are played in churches. tHen there is a great christian music industry.
      I only listen to classic rock and pop on my own.
      Evangelical christians have created a audience for its own music as it creates a audience for creationism and counting.

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