In Alberta, Canada, a semi-private Christian school has been told by its board that it must stop teaching “offensive” scriptures to children.
Cornerstone Christian Academy in Alberta is locked in a heated battle with the Battle River School Division after emails between the school and the board exposed sharp contrasts in how the two entities view a proper Christian education. Last week, Battle River Chair Laurie Skori accused the school of trying to “create controversy” by going public with the dispute, but CCA officials say they’re merely trying to make sure they retain the religious liberties to which they are entitled.
According to CCA official Deanna Margel, it should be up to the Christian academy to determine what they are allowed to teach their students. Furthermore, she says, it’s not up to the school board to say which parts of the Bible are too controversial for the private classroom.
“You can’t just pick and choose those scriptures,” she said, according to The National Post. “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.”
Well, the two are inseparable in most cases. And, going back to her first point about picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to teach and which parts to ignore…isn’t that exactly the kind of thing that drives religious extremism? You see it in the most extreme forms of Christianity – the Westboro Baptist types who conveniently forget that Jesus’s message is one of love and forgiveness. And that’s not even getting into whatever’s going on with Islamic extremism. Once you start cherry-picking which parts of a religion to follow, you aren’t really following a religion at all. You’re just making up your own thing and then finding ways to support what you already believe. That might be gratifying, but it’s hardly a valid philosophy of life.
Here, of course, it’s even worse, because these kids aren’t even being allowed to choose for themselves which parts of the Bible to acknowledge or discard; it’s being imposed on them by adults who – cough, cough – know what’s best for them. And “what’s best for them” is what dovetails neatly into the left’s current social agenda.
The trouble started over a Bible verse from 1 Corinthians that the school was using in their statement of faith: “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
And of course, you already know what kind of agenda is driving the school board, right?
The school agreed to remove the verse, but the school board followed up with a new order, directing CCA that “any scripture that could be considered offensive to particular individuals should not be read or studied in school.”
Which, if you break it down, could literally apply to any verse in the Bible. For that matter, any sentence in any book that has ever been written. Once you have that kind of dictum, the school board has you and your religious teachings over a barrel and the idea of free speech is lost.
We wish the Christian academy all the best in their fight for freedom, but make no mistake about it: This fight will soon be playing out in the U.S. as well. We’ll see if our Constitution is strong enough to beat back the liberal insanity, but it’s only as powerful as the men and women sworn to defend it. From what we’ve seen in the courts lately, we’re not terribly optimistic about where all of this lands.