The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let's Stop Public Funding of Catholic Schools

Check out this story and the comments at Bulletproof Courier, Canadian Atheist, and Larry Moran over at Sandwalk. It really disgusts me that at a publicly funded school a student can be sent home for expressing her opinion.

It's not like she was alone, either. The other students (holding opposite opinions on the abortion issue) were certainly not sent home for expressing THEIR opinions, obviously shared by school officials. Hypocrisy much? Not that I should expect anything less from Catholicism.

Alexandria Szeglet, the sent-home student, said this about her day "vacation":
I think everyone should have a right to show their opinion and do what they need and what they want instead of being told that no you have to keep the baby instead of doing what you feel is right for yourself.
Why is it that the 15 year old is the rational, adult one in this story and not the school principal or staff? Why am I not surprised?

John de Faveri, one of the story's villians, said this gem:
On the issue, pro-life is part of the Catholic stand...The pro-choice students were not appropriate in the context of a Catholic school.
You know what else is not appropriate in the context of a Catholic school? Public funding. If you clowns want to have your own education system, fabulous - fund it yourself and keep your idiotic, archaic, superstitious, misogynistic habits to yourselves.

17 Barbaric Yawps:

At 11/3/11 11:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a democracy, these matters are handled through elections and passing laws.
Are you suggesting that your own preferences should be enacted outside of the democratic process?

 
At 12/3/11 1:08 PM, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

There are not my personal preferences. What I'm suggesting is that a private religious institution should not be funded publicly. The Catholic school system is receiving preferential treatment over other religions and interests, which is not fair.

Are you suggesting that continuing to publicly fund an unfair, preferential school system is the right thing to do?

Are you also suggesting that a democracy is the right system for all situations, even when it may succumb to a tyranny of the majority?

 
At 12/3/11 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing I am not clear about.
Taxpayers indicate which school system they wish to support on their tax form. Right?
Is the amount that goes to the Roman Catholic school system, proportionate to the number of people choosing their tax dollars to go there?
Are any tax dollars from those indicating public school support, going to support the separate school system?

 
At 12/3/11 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have said:
"Are you also suggesting that a democracy is the right system for all situations, even when it may succumb to a tyranny of the majority?"

What alternative would you suggest?

 
At 12/3/11 3:47 PM, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

Anon: You said, "Taxpayers indicate which school system they wish to support on their tax form. Right?" This is exactly the problem. Why is this question on the tax form? There is no question asking if our tax dollars should fund a Jewish school, a Muslim madrassa, or a Hindu school, let alone an atheistic school.

Why do Catholic schools get preferential treatment? They shouldn't. Tax dollars should be for public schools and should be paid for by the public as a whole. If you choose to send your child to private school because of your particular religious beliefs, then you do so on your own dime, but because you pay taxes, the public school is always open to you. Oh, and any teacher can work there, regardless of their beliefs.

As for your democracy question, I think we as a society have figured out some things to a reasonable level. One of these things is that preferential treatment is wrong. As such, we should be able to make some rules that are in the best interest of everyone - one of which should be that everyone funds public education, the secular option being the default and inclusive of everyone.

Specific religious education is over and above and should be paid for separately by families.

Question: Are you saying that democracy is always the right way and that if Catholics (Hindus, Muslims, etc...) were 60% of the population that they could vote to make Catholic education the norm? That is, that the tyranny of the majority is just fine?

 
At 12/3/11 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have not addressed my questions:

Is the amount that goes to the Roman Catholic school system, proportionate to the number of people choosing their tax dollars to go there?
Are any tax dollars from those indicating public school support, going to support the separate school system?

I want to establish who is paying for what.
Do you know?

If you could stop the evasion to addressing these questions that would be great.

 
At 12/3/11 5:08 PM, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

I am not being evasive, your question is a red herring. It is irrelevant how much of the tax dollars go to which school system because it should be none. Other religious schools get none, therefore neither should the Catholic school system.

You, on the other hand, are evading my question of whether you think the majority should always rule, even when they are oppressing a minority.

 
At 12/3/11 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your opening post said that if Roman Catholics want to have their own education system, fabulous as long as they fund it themselves.

It appears that they are funding it themselves through their portion of their taxes using the mechanism of people indicating on their tax form whether they support the separate or public system.

If that is not correct, please let us know.

 
At 12/3/11 7:29 PM, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

The thrust of my argument which you seem not to understand, or are purposely avoiding, is that funding the public system should not be optional. If you choose to fund a religious school system as well, great. It should not be a choice, however to fund the one system that is open to everyone.

That is the fair way to make sure that everyone, regardless of race, religion (or lack thereof), sexuality, or whatever has access to quality education.

I'm repeating this because you are avoiding: Do you think the majority should always rule, even when they are oppressing a minority?

 
At 12/3/11 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your opening post said that if Roman Catholics want to have their own education system, that was fabulous as long as they fund it themselves.

It appears that they are funding it themselves through their portion of their taxes using the mechanism of people indicating on their tax form whether they support the separate or public system.

Now you have changed your story.
You said that if the separate school supporters funded it themselves that was fabulous.
It appears they do.

You have no criticism by your own statement.
I am not wasting any further time on your ridiculous backpedaling and evasions.

 
At 12/3/11 8:22 PM, Blogger Heathen Mike said...

Anon: If I could bang my head against the table now, I would. As I have clarified, the Catholic school system has an undeserved position of privilege that must be removed. Parents funding Catholic schools is fine as long as their tax money goes to the public system, like everyone else. If you choose a private religious school, then you're paying for it as well as the public system, like anyone else that sends their kids to a Jewish or Muslim school. Are we clear? If you have nothing more to contribute in response to this, then yes, we're done.

Plus, you continue to ignore my request for confirmation that you are in favor of democracy in all cases, including repressing a minority. Your silence is telling.

If you do not respond, goodbye and take your accusations of "ridiculous backpedaling and evasions" with you.

 
At 13/3/11 1:47 PM, Anonymous L.Long said...

Heathen good try but Anon is arguing from the 'fingers in ears with LaLaLaLaLALa' but at least your tax forms have a selection. Here in the USA we have no choice. phucking asshole xtian politicians send our tax money to brainwashing xtian schools and then have the gall to complain that the public schools do not have the funding to pay the teachers.

 
At 30/3/11 10:41 PM, Blogger Jennifer Black said...

Completely agree, I was sent to a strict catholic school in the UK, and when i finally hit puberty and realised that their invisible celestial dictator didn't actually exist, I did the natural thing and became a rebellious atheist. The school really didn't like this, and after I walked in to the headmasters office, refusing to attend mass unless i was taught evolution I got expelled.

 
At 10/4/11 12:12 AM, Blogger Eric Dunbar said...

It's a shame Anonymous didn't link his post to an account because I have a clear answer to his question:

"One thing I am not clear about.
Taxpayers indicate which school system they wish to support on their tax form. Right?

Is the amount that goes to the Roman Catholic school system, proportionate to the number of people choosing their tax dollars to go there?

Are any tax dollars from those indicating public school support, going to support the separate school system?"

The answer is a resounding: no, the support box on the tax form DOES NOT result in any more taxes going to the Separate school board! Its only purpose AFAIK is to indicate to electoral officials which School Board Trustees they will eligible to vote for.

ALL Ontario tax payers pay for the Catholic Separate School Boards (and one Protestant Separate School Board). The same funding is allocated by the provincial government to each school board per student, regardless of the fiscal realities of the board (Toronto DSB, for e.g., receives far less than it needs compared to sub-urban boards because of the age of its schools).

The Catholic Separate school boards provide Catholics in Ontario with nearly double the number of employment opportunities on the public dime as non-Catholics.

The 30% of Ontarians who are Catholic are eligible to work in 45% of all publicly funded teaching positions. The 70% of Ontarians who are non-Catholic are barred from working in schools for which they pay and thus are limited to only 55% of all positions.

Catholics are welcomed into the Public school system with open arms. Non-Catholics are discriminated against in PUBLICLY FUNDED Catholic separate schools in that they are barred (through a Constitutional anachronism that protects the Catholic Separate Schools in Ontario) from working in those schools and those schools actively do not hire non-Catholics!

 
At 29/1/12 8:08 AM, Blogger Canadian Atheist said...

There are two Canadian Atheists. I agree that students should be allowed to express their opinions and Catholic schools should not be publicly funded - it shows preferential treatment to one religion over another. Canada also needs to have something in their Charter that forbids these types of things, like America's separation of church and state.

 
At 14/11/12 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Catholic and would love to see tax dollars spent representationally. That would mean 35% Catholic 35% Protestant, 16%...no religion...the rest are very small percentages...3% Muslim etc...but have at em.

To suggest that Catholics should fund public/Protestant schools is just as silly...or how about the 70% Christian population in Ontario take back the school system and make it truly represent? be careful what you ask for.

 
At 15/11/12 7:16 AM, Anonymous Heathen in Toronto said...

I doubt Anonymous (14/11/12) left an e-mail address :(.

The Netherlands funds religious schools if they meet the national standards. This is a country where fewer than 1 in 5 people ever set foot in a church!

However, UNLIKE Ontario, discrimination on the basis of religion is PROHIBITED in schools. If you want public funding, you cannot discriminate against pupils in admissions or teachers in hiring.

Schools can require that teachers adhere to the tone of the school but a Catholic school, for example, cannot refuse to hire Muslims if they agree to adhere to the overall principles of the Catholic school.

Canada is stuck in a nasty religious quagmire. History has left governments in the uncomfortable position of funding Catholic religious schools (are there any Protestant PUBLICLY funded schools left in Canada?).

While, at the same time schools can AND DO discriminate against non-members of their religion.

So, we have this farcical situation where PUBLIC monies (which are supposed to be spent for the good of SOCIETY and not for specific, PRIVILEGED segments) are being spent to support schools that can and DO discriminate on the basis of religion.

I don't necessarily mind because it makes my task of raising my children non-religious that much easier.

All I have to do in Ontario is point to the Catholic school system and say--look at what they do.

They take public money, they privilege one group over another by GUARANTEEING 25% of the population, 33% of teaching jobs (not to mention all the Catholic teachers who are WELCOME to teach in the PUBLIC system, the same as ANYONE ELSE) and they disadvantage non-members of their religion, especially minority groups who are not Catholic.

Religion is evil. Slam dunk :) :) :). (my mother-in-law thinks I'm the devil incarnate but, I guess it takes one to know one ;)"

 

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