JERRY AGAR

Sticking up for faith

Posted By: Jerry Agar · 4/5/2012 9:38:00 PM

As we head toward the Easter weekend and Passover, I would like to take as minute to stand up for faith in Canada.

After living outside my native land for a number of years it was distressing to realize upon my return that there is a lot of religious bigotry here.

The latest example is a fight going on in Ontario over what should be an issue of no disagreement.

The stated goal is combating bullying in school. Who is for it? Only the bullies, I would assume.

Ontario has two anti-bullying laws being debated.

The Liberal bill singles out the problem of gay bullying more than the Conservative one, which talks about all forms of it.

Gay rights activists want to force Catholic schools to form Gay Straight Alliances as opposed to anti-bullying groups or clubs or safe zones, while some Catholic parents complain gay activists are trying to hijack the education of their children.

I have spoken to concerned parents in the Catholic school system. They welcome an anti-bullying program and they do not want gay kids to be bullied.

But they themselves are being bullied by gay activists who seem more inclined to want to bully the Catholics than they are in actually combating all other forms of bullying.

To claim, as these activists are doing, that bullying is only an issue for gay kids is one more savage attack on the fat kid, the homely girl and the immigrant kid who struggles to learn the language and comes to school in funny clothing.

What does the fat kid say at the Gay Straight Alliance meeting? What do they say to him? Oh, I know. Nothing, because he is unlikely to go to the meeting, as it isn’t about his bothersome problems.

Stupid fat kid – don’t you know gays have real problems?

As the Toronto Sun editorialized, “All this is so far removed from the problem of bullying that it’s time for a reality check.”

The way to fight bullying is to have school boards, bureaucrats, principals and teachers committed to ending it.

It’s to make it clear to kids from the first day of school that no one has the right to bully them for any reason and that if they are being bullied, the adults in charge of the school will help them.

Then, that promise has to be backed up with real action.

The Sun wrote, “None of this will happen as long as we’re caught in an ideologically-driven sideshow over one form of bullying based on sexual orientation. Bullying kids because they’re gay is unacceptable. So is bullying them for any other reason.”

I can think of only one reason for anyone to make the issue about the Catholics and not about bullying.

Religious bigotry and, yes, there is a gay agenda.

I don’t think it represents all gay people, possibly not most gay people.

But it is there, and it is definitely anti-faith in general and in Ontario, anti-Catholic in particular.

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  1. szcruffy posted on 04/05/2012 11:41 PM
    I agree, no bullying, zero tolerance is the only answer as society has to itself end bullying. Sorry i am going off subject here, but, can you tell me if the 5 1/2 are ever going to reunite for one more show.
  2. Rob posted on 04/06/2012 06:58 AM
    No one is trying to " force Catholic schools to form Gay Straight Alliances". What the legislation says is that Catholic schools cannot prevent Gay Straight Alliances from being formed. Two very different ideas. If no students want to form one, than there won't be one. But an administration cannot stop one from being formed. An important difference that I'm sure you just missed rather than deliberately misrepresented.
  3. Tim posted on 04/06/2012 08:35 AM
    What nonsense... Religious bullies have been plaguing human society for thousands of years and now that we are developing laws to protect all people from the harms of mainly religious persecution, it's only natural that there should be bleating against bill 13. Is it not religion that has taught humans for centuries to discriminate against people who don't conform to their own in-group? Very telling that the majority of protests against this bill are big C christians turning the debate into "gays are trying to infiltrate and influence our children" rather than the more constructive "let's protect all children from harm".
    1. PaulH_8674 posted on 04/10/2012 05:38 AM
      @Tim You are correct, in part. Religion has been the cause of "bullying" (for lack of a better word) for centuries. The crusades are an easy example to cite. However, and this is a big 'however', it is quite unfair to leave the impression that Christianity is the biggest bully on the religious block. We in the Western World may well see most bullying behaviour as Christian bullying, but move to the Middle East and try to make the same argument. Today most Christians in the West are trying to work for more religious tolerance; can you say the same about most Muslims in the Middle East?

      A further note: Jesus Christ did not teach bullying, nor was he a proponent of bullying behaviours. Even if you think He is just a mythical creation, nonetheless only the truly ignorant can say that the teachings attributed to Him in the Bible encourage or condone bullying. His was a life and teaching grounded in and centered on love for one's neighbours. Some of His followers may twist His teachings to allow them to bully others, but that does not make it an attribute of the religious belief system which bears His name.
    2. PaulH_8674 posted on 04/10/2012 05:44 AM
      @Tim You are correct, in part. Some religions have been the cause of "bullying" (for lack of a better word) for centuries. The crusades are an easy example to cite. However, and this is a big 'however', it is quite unfair to leave the impression that Christianity is the biggest bully on the religious block. We in the Western world may well see most bullying behaviour as Christian bullying, but move to the Middle East and try to make the same argument. Today most nations in the once-Christian West are trying to show more religious tolerance; can you say the same about most Muslim nations in the Middle East? Many, many individual Muslims in the Middle East believe in tolerance and co-existence, but the majority of the nations they live in most certainly do not.

      A further note: Jesus Christ did not teach bullying, nor was He a proponent of bullying behaviours. Even if you think He is just a mythical creation, nonetheless only the truly ignorant can say that the teachings attributed to Him in the Bible encourage or even condone bullying. His was a life grounded in and centered on love for one's neighbours. Some of His followers may twist His teachings to allow them to bully others, but that does not make it an attribute of the religious belief system which bears His name.
  4. Chris posted on 04/06/2012 05:29 PM
    You're such a troll, Jerry, with your anti-religious bigotry buzz phrase. I'm waiting for you to start saying that going to a catholic school should be a privilege and not a right.

    Did a light bulb just go off inside your head? Don't forget about the funding.

    Where was the anti bullying advocacy when I was in school? Where was it when my younger sister was in school? Oh that's right, it was in the form of that zero-tolerance policy implemented by the early to mid 90s. An Anti-bullying policy is simply zero tolerance 2.0. A Homogeneous hands-off lip service to allow the true bigots to save face.

    Go ahead and equivocate the afro centric and other schools that do not promote diversity while ignoring the fallacy that two wrongs do not make a right.

    Public funded Catholic schools can get in to the now or perish to the private sector as far as I'm concerned. What are they these days but a mere feel good institution for self righteous families hung up on a false sense of tradition?

    My high school years were spent at two Catholic high schools. Uniforms, optional masses, and Religion classes ( where you learn more about world religion and sex ed than you do about the bible) are the only distinguishing marks of the Catholic school system. What a waste of our tax dollars.
  5. david henman posted on 04/27/2012 09:54 AM
    ...religion and morality need to be kept as far apart as possible. and calling the crusade for sexual equality a "gay agenda" is just...creepy.
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