29 February, 2012

George Jonas: Canadian Supreme Court puts the final nail in the coffin of religious freedom | Full Comment | National Post

George Jonas: Supreme Court puts the final nail in the coffin of religious freedom | Full Comment | National Post


  1. Hi Tim,

    It strikes me that Mr. Jonas is implying that parents have an absolute right to indoctrinate their children in any belief, up to and including, the withholding of factual information from the child.

    How would we feel if a parent was indoctrinating their child in Nazism? Would that parental "right" to control a child incldude withdrawal of the child from any class in a school that might contradict Nazism?

    What if the object of the indoctrination involved racism, genocidal beliefs, criminal culture, sado masachism etc...? Does society ever have the right to override or interfer with a parent's alleged right to indoctrinate a child? What about a child's right to accurate information about the world? Does the parent own the child's mind, body and soul until the age of emancipation? Is a child the sole and exclusive "property" of a parent?

    I would venture that most reasonable people would concede that at some point a parent's right to indoctrinate a child is limited. It is not an absolute right. I would argue that a child has a right to factual and accurate age approriate information about the world. I would even say that society has an obligation to provide it. It is one of the reasons that public education is one of the cornerstones of open modern democracies.

    No one is saying a parent is prevented from instructing a child in religion at home or in the community outside of school. In my view, the SCC has made a reasonable decision. Children should recieve factual information about multiple religious beliefs in school...just as they should receive factual information about evolution, astronomy, geology, sociology, history, literature etc... at school.

    Not sure I understand the durm und strang from Mr. Jonas. If religion is truly a free choice, then it can only be a meaningful choice when all the facts are known.


  2. We do not own children as parents, we care for them, feed them, nuture them, protect them and love them. It is not our job to mold them into anyone's image, especially not our image. We need to respect their individuality, and give them the foundation that will allow them to make the best decisions about their life in the future. And after we are gone, if they remember us with love, we will have entered the only heaven that really matters.



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