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July 5th, 2011:

Religion teaching – no matter the stripe…

… should not be funded from the public purse!

I, uh, seldom… no, wait – NEVER use any of the rags in the Sun media group as a source for stories. I might get desperate for ideas from time to time but never THAT desperate! But this article was floated my way about the use of a cafeteria in a Toronto middle school as a mosque on Fridays to be used by Imams for prayer sessions.

“It is a safety issue,” the Toronto District School Board spokesperson Shari Schwartz told The Toronto Sun’s Tom Godfrey. “Students were leaving for the mosque during the day and some weren’t returning.”

That’s uh, lame… so count them as absent and it goes on their record, right?

Let me be clear – and if you ever read a single article I have posted – you will know that I am in no way, no have I ever been – anti-Islam… anymore than I am anti-Christian, anti-Hindu, anti-Semitic or anti-Scientologist. I am baffled by all religions equally and will never understand why other seemingly intelligent people buy into these belief systems…


This is not a ” left” or “right” thing. This is about the separation of church and State. Sadly, the right will blame the left about being too accommodating and the left will call those on the right a bunch of racists. And this is really too bad because many of us in Ontario would like to see a real public debate on the public funding of non-secular schools and programs prior to this Fall’s elections.

What is happening in this particular school is wrong. Pubic funds built and operate this school and those funds should in no way be used to facilitate religious activities of any kind. What. So. Ever.

BUT – what the article steers clear of completely and what is so obvious is that the public already DOES fund a school system that carries out religious teachings each and every day. To me, the Sun makes a valid point (that was hard to type) about the use of the cafeteria but they also have to acknowledge that this is not a lot different from public tax dollars funding the discriminatory Catholic school system in Ontario. In this, they are being hypocritical. It is not right to ignore and validate the existence of one school system that has as a raison d’être the teaching of the Catholic system of beliefs while simultaneously lambasting the Toronto School Board for allowing Imams into a public school’s cafeteria.

Neither is right. And neither should be tolerated.

Religion matters to some but it should be practiced in homes, churches, synagogues, mosques and temples – not in schools that public tax dollars support.