Rachel Notley versus Jason Kenney on the rights of Christian parents

By Jonathon Van Maren

Earlier this week, as both Education Minister David Eggen and Premier Rachel Notley raged that Alberta’s Catholic schools would be forced to withdraw the sex education curriculum that they’d proposed because it was Catholic, a viciously slanderous accusation began surfacing. From the Calgary Sun:

Certain people lost their minds Wednesday. All sorts of people, many of them inhabitants of social media’s world of drive-by smears. They suddenly believed Catholics want to teach kids it’s fine for someone to rape their spouse.

You read that right. Somehow the idea was floating out there. A news story said superintendents of Catholic schools took issue with sexual consent by a partner in marriage. Those thoughts could not be found in documents on sex education sent from Catholic schools to the Notley NDP government months ago.

But still the voices cranked up their outrage, not sweating the truth. How could this be happening? How could politicians defend such barbarism? So they went on. Premier Notley weighed in Tuesday saying to have sex the other person must consent. It’s the law.  Supporters, including at least a couple of her cabinet ministers, banged the drum with fervour. Way to go, Rachel! You tell ’em.

But who was she telling? Who was saying otherwise? Who was doing otherwise? No one.

That’s right. The entire story was fictitious, probably concocted by those who wanted to slander the Christian schools currently declining to teach the “progressive” values of Notley and Eggen. It’s also part of a larger trend unfolding across Canada over the last couple of years, where progressive politicians attack social conservative and Christians, often with the most egregious lies. The NDP tried to backtrack a little when it became obvious that they’d prematurely leapt at the chance to smear their enemies, but it was too late:

Even the NDP government now says Notley wasn’t referring to anything Catholics were actually teaching or proposing to teach. The issue was just raised out there. Raised by those with an axe to grind and a low view of Catholic education and a hatred of conservative politicians. You could see it on display in social media’s kangaroo court where you don’t have to be guilty to be found guilty and where the NDPers love to play.

“I’ve had NDP cabinet ministers say Jason Kenney wants to teach children consent is not necessary for sex. The NDP is lying through their teeth,” says Kenney, pointing to those documents showing Catholic schools have no intention of teaching sex without consent.

The NDP, of course, is terrified of Jason Kenney, an incredibly effective politician who has never lost a single election. Notley, meanwhile, has managed to enrage nearly every constituency in her province, from farmers to small business owners. The solution? Falsely accuse Kenney and Christian schools and parents of being bigots who cannot be trusted with their own children:

At a slightly lower temperature, Notley also took issue with actual Catholic teaching on such matters as homosexuality and gender identity. On Wednesday, Notley tells us she values religious education but it depends how it happens. She says walking away from calling out some of the stuff she’s seen from Catholic educators would not be right. In other words, Catholics can teach what they want, provided the NDP government agree — and the NDP government doesn’t agree with them much. 

Jason Kenney, the former federal cabinet minister, is running to be the leader of the United Conservatives.  That vote is this Saturday. Kenney just shakes his head. “It’s hardly news Catholic schools want to be Catholic. Why is this even a story? Is the CBC going to write a story about rain being wet? It’s the most uncontroversial, fabricated story I can remember.”

He does take aim at Notley. “The premier has come out and said the Catholic schools can’t teach Catholicism. That’s the statist ideology of the NDP on steroids. Rachel Notley has no more business than me or anybody else to tell Catholic schools how they should teach Catholic values. It’s none of her business. The government is basically a service provider. It’s not a surrogate parent.”

If parents don’t want their kids to go to Catholic schools, their tax dollars can fund the public schools and their kids can go there. Kenney says the Notley government is “always spoiling for a fight” and “always trying to divide people, including on the basis of their faith.”

“Why do they keep using the schools as a political battlefield? We’ve never had these fights in Alberta before? But they can’t help themselves. They cannot tolerate any dissent from their own political views.”

The United Conservative leadership contender adds if Notley doesn’t think Catholic schools should be allowed to be Catholic then she should come out and say she’ll seek a change in the constitution and get rid of them. Double dog dare you, Rachel! Catholic education is a constitutional right in Alberta and there would be one hell of a fight.

Kenney is clearly not amused. He doesn’t even finish his breakfast at the Blackfoot Diner. He says the NDP want a single, state-run cookie cutter education system where they get to decide what’s taught to suit their politics. “They don’t like real diversity. They don’t like parental choice,” says the United Conservative leadership contender. “Apparently, in this case, they don’t like religious freedom.”

Kenney is precisely right: Notley and her gang do not only dislike religious freedom, they don’t believe in religious freedom as a concept to begin with. They have an ideology that they believe everyone should be forced to learn in schools, and those parents and churches and schools who disagree will be smeared, slandered, and silenced. Thousands of years of Christian teaching on marriage, for example, is dismissed by these activists as nothing compared to the glorious twelve years since the legalization of gay marriage in Canada, and students must learn that this was a great leap forward for all of humanity. That way, the parents who disagree will eventually die out while Notley and Eggen and the rest take responsibility for the children, educating them out of the traditional values they once held.

In a single event, we can see the forces that are play in Canada. The lines are drawn between “progressive” politicians who demonize social conservatives to distract from their failing records and will repeat any slander to reduce support for religious freedom and parental rights in education, and common-sense conservatives who say once-obvious things like, “Catholic schools want to teach Catholic values.”

We should pay close attention to this, because the progressives are now revealing that they don’t actually believe that “diversity is our strength.” In fact, they want everyone to be homogenized behind their own ideology, and if Christians or Sikhs or orthodox Jews or Muslims have different beliefs, then they will ensure that the education system serves to eliminate those beliefs in the children. They do this under the guise of “equality” and a string of other buzzwords, but this recent event in Alberta finally has them saying what they’ve always believed: That Christians  should not be permitted to teach Christian values in their own schools.

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For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

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