Canada: Christian Schools Ordered to Refrain from Scriptures Deemed “Offensive” to Individuals
It’s amazing how fast the Christian West falls when it abandons God and the Bible as its basis for all of life. A public school board in Canada has now ordered a Christians school to refrains from reading or studying “any scripture that could be considered offensive to particular individuals.”
Well, that pretty much leaves the school to not reference the Bible at all! Among the passages of the New Testament that might inflame opposition include those that affirm Jesus as God, the only way to heaven, and others that speak again things like fornication, adultery, bestiality, idolatry, harlotry, witchcraft, stealing, murder and sodomy.
Cornerstone Christian Academy (CCA) in Kingman, Alberta, has been ordered by the Battle River School Division (BRSD) to refrain from reading or studying portions of the Bible that the board says might contravene Alberta’s human rights legislation.
The Christian school was incorporated in 1986 as a ministry of Cornerstone Evangelical Baptist Church. It belongs to the Association of Christian Schools International while also partnering with the BRSD. According to its website, parents in Camrose and nearby towns send their children to the Christian school because it integrates Bible study into the approved provincial curriculum. Formerly a private school, it joined the school division in 2009. It serves about 180 students.
The public school board trustees will meet this Thursday, June 15 to discuss the Bible verses they found to be offending in the school’s parent-student handbook. Some of the Bible passages formerly in the handbook included warnings against lifestyle choices that Christians consider sinful.
Two particular texts troubled the board.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies. -1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Sadly, the school gave the board and inch and the board decided to take a mile. The school caved to the board’s demands and removed the text from their handbook. The school saw blood in the water and then went on to demand they remove it from anywhere in the school, just like the little Canadian Nazis they are.
You can’t just pick and choose those scriptures,” said CCA chair Deanna Margel . “We need every single word there to challenge us, to call us to greater understanding. It’s just so important.”
“We’re talking about freedom of religion, but we’re (also) talking about freedom of expression,” she added.
Sadly, Margel said, “The specific reference and the word quality were not a big issue. Out of respect of the relationship we’ve had with them, we can say ‘okay, this isn’t the key point here.’”
But it is the key point. No government, including a school board has the right to say that texts of the Bible are not welcome in a Christian school and the Battle River School Division (BRSD) chair demonstrates it by what she says in opposition to Margel.
“Any scripture that could be considered offensive to particular individuals should not be read or studied in school,” BRSD chair Laurie Skori clarified in a separate email. “For example: any teachings that denigrate or vilify someone’s sexual orientation.”
“That’s a completely different directive, and it was shocking. Absolutely shocking,” Margel said.
Actually, it isn’t a different directive at all. It’s targeting the Christian school’s ability to teach historic Christianity which not only confronts these sins, but provides a remedy for them in the person and work of Jesus Christ and a call to repentance of those engaged in such behaviors.
“As a school system, we have an obligation: we need to follow the School Act and human rights legislation,” Diane Hutchinson told Global News, saying trustees think these verses might contravene Alberta’s human rights legislation. “As a public school division, we have that obligation and it is our obligation to ensure that our schools are also compliant.”
However, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), which is representing the Christian school, says it is nothing more than bullying the school into submission. And they are exactly right.
“Its attempt to prohibit the reading or studying of any, scripture that “could be considered offensive to particular individuals” is not only unwarranted and unrealistic, it is contrary to the Master Agreement between BRSD and the Society [Christian school], where BRSD agreed not to “attempt to change the essential nature of the CCA program” set out in the School Vision and Purpose Document,” the Justice Centre stated in a June 8th letter to the BRSD Board of Trustees.
“BRSD has directly violated the warning of the Supreme Court of Canada not to interfere in religion or beliefs,” the letter added. “BRSD is legally obligated to respect the parental choices expressed through the Society [Christian school], concerning the religious education of their children at CCA.”
“The operation of CCA as an alternative program emphasizing a particular religion requires collaboration between BRSD and the Society [Christian school], principally because only the Society can determine the religious nature of the program and BRSD is constitutionally prohibited from doing so,” the letter stated.
“The government’s duty of neutrality, required by the Supreme Court of Canada, means that a school board cannot dictate whether verses in the Torah, Koran, New Testament or Guru Granth Sahib are acceptable,” said Justice Centre President John Carpay in a press release. “Trustees enjoy the legal right to send their own kids to various schools that align with the parents’ beliefs and convictions. But these trustees have no right to impose their own ideology on schools they disagree with.”
After the June 15th meeting, the board was sent an eight-page letter by Carpay that listed “unwarranted and unrealistic” ban on scripture and other language important to Cornerstone’s identity.
The board responded by email just eight hours later that they were not backing down and would maintain their position.
“Trustees enjoy the legal right to send their own kids to various schools that align with the parents’ beliefs and convictions,” said Carpay in a statement. “But these trustees have no right to impose their own ideology on schools they disagree with.”
“The government’s duty of neutrality, required by the Supreme Court of Canada, means that a school board cannot dictate whether verses in the Torah, Koran, New Testament or Guru Granth Sahib are acceptable,” he said.