(Everyday For Life Canada) — The Toronto Star has published another column critical of Ontario’s separate school system. They just have an axe to grind with Catholics. The latest diatribe is written by Martin Regg Cohn with the title, “York’s Catholic school trustees are abusing their power by refusing to raise the Pride flag.” With the added threat, “Their day of reckoning is coming.” God help us!
Cohn is upset with the fact that York Catholic District School Board trustees voted against flying the pride flag in their schools. You see, the trustees who voted against the flag went rogue. They were expressing their faith with “prejudice under the cloak of religion.” The self-anointed Cohn seems to know much about living the Catholic religion.
The trustee vote was taken democratically, so why does Cohn and The Star refuse to accept the result? The answer is simple: they believe they can freely attack Catholic schools and push to have their government funding ended. This, as The Star collects taxpayer money from the federal government’s media bailout fund. The public funds even help to pay Cohn’s salary.
But Cohn doesn’t stop there. He scolds Catholics about their beliefs by suggesting that the vote was an expression of false pride before the fall. He takes the moral high-ground and writes that the result was “a lesson in the politics of religious intolerance and intransigence.” What fall? Cohn follows with the usual ultimatum for Catholic schools to lose public funding, as if Catholics don’t pay their fair share of taxes like all other Canadians.
Would Cohn so readily write anything similar about the Islamic and Jewish faiths? Would The Star publish it? Of course not. But criticizing Catholic education is always open season. It’s the “intolerance and intransigence” of the secular side, the woke, that must prevail. Faith is blind and secularism sees the light.
What triggers Cohn is board chair Frank Alexander’s statement, “The flag does not align with our faith. We stand for our faith, we stand for Christ.” This for Cohn is personal “catechism wrapped in contradiction inside an anachronism.” He schools Catholics. But he’s wrong. Catholic teaching doesn’t define the human person by sexual orientations and gender identity. It respects the sacredness of the whole person.
Cohn never does state how flying a flag and establishing gay/straight student clubs actually helps students learn. If equity and inclusive education is so badly needed, why is the issue causing such division in both Catholic and public schools and at board meetings across the province? Blame it all on those pesky, resistant Catholics who want to live their faith.
It all adds up to: fly the pride flag and embrace all the sexual letters of the alphabet or lose public funding. The constitutional right to Catholic education, which goes all the way back to 1867, is outdated. Back then, Catholics were a persecuted minority. But today, we can discriminate against Catholics because their schools aren’t fully embracing an explicit sex-curriculum. That’s Cohn’s anti-Catholic refrain.
So, the Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code that legally protect the right of Catholics to have and run their own schools must be overruled. All in the name of the secular religion of DIE — diversity, inclusion and equity. Public policy must not include the right of Catholics to govern their schools. But then, The Star also published a terrible piece not too long ago that suggested the unvaccinated could just die.
Most boards now provide Youthline as an LGBT online resource so that students and staff can read and learn about explicit sex and dating, queer women, men, trans issues, non-binary people and so much more. It’s worth noting that Ontario’s 2015 radical sex-curriculum was developed by Benjamin Levin, a convicted child sex-offender; the topics of consent, masturbation and trans ideology are embedded in Ontario’s comprehensive Health and Physical Education program for Grades 1-8. Public schools have been colonized by an aggressive LGBT agenda. Again, this is what Cohn wants Catholics schools to accept.
Cohn and The Star know that constitutionally, Catholics have the right to their schools without government and media interference. Human rights don’t automatically trump religious rights. This is what the article wants the reader to believe. However, it’s not true. The Ontario Human Rights Code, Section 19.1, on separate school rights states, “This Act shall not be construed to adversely affect any right or privilege respecting separate schools enjoyed by separate school boards or their supporters under the Constitution Act, 1867 and the Education Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, s. 19 (1).” If The Star and Cohn want to change the Constitution, let them do it politically. But stop publishing hit pieces just to criticize and bully Catholic schools in Ontario.
We suggest that Catholics stop buying The Star until it properly informs its readers with sound and balanced journalism. The Star owes an apology to Catholics in the province and the rest of Canada. The Star has no problem taking government funding, from taxpayers who are also Catholic, but then decides it wants to end public Catholic education. This is hypocritical and totally wrong. The York Catholic trustees didn’t abuse their power; they merely used it to defend Catholic teaching.
Reprinted with permission from Everyday For Life Canada.