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March 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Lenin, (the Russian socialist, not the British singer) is quoted as saying, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted… Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever.”

These words are, for good reason, chilling to any parent living in a free society. While democracy eventually triumphed over socialism and communism in the West with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, threats to liberty persist. 

One famous proverb wisely warns, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” The implication is that freedom will not likely be killed by a single day of revolution or by the election of a tyrant, but will instead die a slow death of a thousand cuts. Which brings us to Bill 10 in Alberta.

Bill 10, a controversial anti-bullying bill, was re-introduced in the Alberta legislature with significant amendments on March 10 of this year. In effect, the bill changed from Bill 10 as it was originally introduced last fall to Bill 202, a private member’s bill from Liberal MLA, Laurie Blakeman. The bill, which now removes some requirements for informing parents and imposes mandatory gay-straight alliance clubs (GSAs) on all schools if just one student requests it, went from dormant on the shelf to passed into law within hours. No public consultation. No debate. The bill, now law, imposes a one-size-fits-all approach to issues of bullying and issues of sexual ethics on all schools in the province, including independent, parent-run schools. 

Put aside matters of religion and sexuality for a moment. Instead, evaluate Bill 10 from a purely political-philosophical perspective. A State that refuses to inform parents about what is being taught to their children, a State that says there is only one way to deal with sexual ethics, a State that passes laws within hours of them being all-but-dead, a State that maligns other points of view by demonizing critics, a State that centralizes power in an education bureaucracy, such a State is not free. It is totalistic. Bill 10, and all the baggage it carries, is something that could only be promoted by socialists or worse. 

What is most troubling about Bill 10 is that Liberals, Conservatives and even libertarians voted for a Bill that would make Lenin proud. 

There are better solutions to the problems that the Alberta legislature is attempting to deal with. Good public policy does not use a heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all approach to issues of fundamental importance to families, religious communities and civic institutions. Good public policy trusts parents, teachers and communities at the local level to make good decisions for the benefit of the children whom they have an on-going relationship with. Bad public policy does the opposite. 

According to www.gaystraightalliance.org and other GSA websites, every gay and straight student has a right to be free from harassment, violence, name-calling and intimidation, and all students deserve dignity and respect. These are assertions that virtually no person would disagree with.  In particular, parents who disagree with having GSAs in their children’s schools agree entirely that harassment, violence, name-calling, intimidation and bullying are completely unacceptable behaviours. In an Albertan survey by Ipsos Reid in 2010, 98% of parents said they “encourage my children to be accepting of people who are different” and 92% talk to their children about bullying.

Professor Anthony Esolen says it well. He writes, “we are now in the odd position of supposing that sex is too trivial to require virtue for its exercise, but that it is simultaneously so significant, so determinative of a person’s identity, that to suggest any restraint upon its consensual exercise is an affront to the most important fount of human dignity. It is at once nugatory and holy… It requires no sacrifice from its exerciser, and the sacrifice of everything else to it: the welfare of children and the family, public morals, the common good, and liberty itself.”

Albertan parents must wake up to the fundamental danger Bill 10 poses to parental rights, to the autonomy of the family, to religious and associational freedom, to liberty and to democracy. Liberty will die a death of a thousand cuts. Bill 10 just inflicted a few deep gashes.

André Schutten, Hon.B.A., LL.B., LL.M., is a lawyer with the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada. For more analysis on Bill 10, see ARPACanada.ca