Laurel Broten: Canada’s Number One Bully
October 16, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Laurel Broten, Ontario’s Minister of Education, has announced that under her ministry’s new “anti-bullying law,” Bill 13, Catholic schools would no longer be permitted to teach that abortion is wrong.
In a transcript from Premier Dalton McGuinty’s office, Broten stated the following: “We do not allow and we’re very clear with the passage of Bill 13 that Catholic teachings cannot be taught in our schools that violates human rights…”
When asked for a clarification, the Minister said that “Bill 13 has in it a clear indication of ensuring that our schools are safe, accepting places for all our students ... That includes young girls in our school ... Bill 13 is about tackling misogyny, taking away a woman’s right to choose could be arguably one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take.”
It must be pointed out, first of all, that no one in Ontario is preventing women from having abortions. Broten is boldly tackling a ghost who is not there. Furthermore, given the horrible things that happen to women throughout the world on a daily basis, raising relevant facts about the real harm that abortion does to women can hardly be thought of as “arguably” the most egregious of all forms of misogyny.
Broten is confusing education with civic action, if not civil disobedience. To teach love and show, scientifically, that abortion is harmful not only to the unborn, but to women, marriage, the family and culture, should not be regarded as an illegal activity, but as education in the best sense. The Minister of Education, therefore, does not understand the first thing about education. She is actually firmly opposed to education.
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Nor does she seem to understand the first thing about “bullying.” The fact that she wants to bully the Catholic Church into silence over what the Church has consistently taught throughout the world and for more than 2,000 years, makes her Canada’s Number One bully.
Broten fails to realize, to her discredit, that the Catholic Church and other religious organizations are in the business of discouraging bullying. Without realizing it, she is planning to disable potential allies. Her hypocrisy is both astonishing and far-reaching: She believes that defending life is bullying, but shutting down Catholic education is anti-bullying.
As if to confirm her complete myopia, she naively professes that “I don’t think that there is a contrast or a conflict between choosing a Catholic education for your children and supporting a woman’s right to choose.” What she really means is that Catholic parents do not have the right to choose a Catholic education for their children, but they do have a “right” to snuff their children out in the womb.
What kind of religion would Catholicism be if it opposed human rights, as Broten contends it does? It would certainly be a misguided one, and one to which no self-respecting human being would want to belong. The truth is that abortion is the most severe and definitive form of all forms of bullying. Broten wants to make her own Church disreputable. She wants her own Church to kneel before the State. She wants to reduce her own Church’s role in society to mere ceremony. Devoid of any true understanding of Catholic teaching, she rejects it the way a fisherman would toss back into the water a fish he deemed to be inedible.
Toronto’s Cardinal Thomas Collins has affirmed that Catholic schools are protected in their pro-life teaching by Section 93 of the Canadian Constitution. In the meantime, however, Ontario is saddled with a Minister of Education who is dead set against education, and one who, with the ambition of a totalitarian and the recklessness of a barbarian, is using an anti-bullying bill to extend the cause of bullying to frontiers hitherto unaffected by bullying.
The only legitimate act Ms. Broten can now take, given her position against bullying, is to tender her resignation.
Donald DeMarco, PhD is a Senior Fellow of Human Life International. He is Professor Emeritus at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, CT. He is a frequent contributor to the Truth and Charity Forum where he is a contributing editor.