Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Abusing "Freedom of Religion"

This is very troubling. A school in Quebec is ordered to shut down to shut down because it doesn't meet provincial standards.

The response? Well, instead of fixing the deficiencies (eg. following basic curriculum standards and having certified teachers), the people whose students attend the school decide to move to another province.

These events are examples of the key problems that I have with any private school that tries to separate itself entirely from the public standards and regulation. I have no problems with schools exceeding that standard, however, not meeting those standards is another thing altogether.

Unfortunately, many people seem to believe that their religious views take precedence over everything else in the secular world. This is demonstrably poor logic, and in the long run impairs the options open to their children.

For example, let us assume that this school chooses to teach a "theologically correct" version of physics (perhaps one that refutes any non-Newtonian mechanics). Up to a point, this might be fine, but for the fact that there is no "theologically correct" physics. When an unexplainable phenomenon is found, specialists in that domain seek an explanation that they can model, they don't simply sit back and say "God made it that way" as a pat explanation.

Now, let's consider a student who has graduated from a school teaching "theological physics", and walks into a first year physics course in college. They will likely be functioning with a significant knowledge deficit because they will have not been exposed to entire significant aspects of the discipline simply because someone decided it wasn't "appropriate" on religious grounds. (Or worse, simply taught badly by well-meaning but untrained educators who would not qualify for certification as teachers)

I'm not saying that these students shouldn't be educated within the context of their faith, but rather that there are compelling reasons that private schools can and should be held accountable to certain basic standards - regardless of ideology.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So, what's the big fuss?

As a fundamental tenant of belief MY religion believes that the rules of math are flawed.

The heathen believe that 2 + 4 equal s*x, however since in my belief the number s*x is unholy (it is after all part of the number of the beast and the name itself represents a reprehensible act [my children are all from virgin birth]), that the correct holy math is that 2 + 4 can equal either 5 or 7, depending on the circumstance.

My children will be brought up with this belief, and shielded from the unholy s*x.

In school, they are given marks that reflect the perfection of the lord.

As they receive perfect marks, it shouldn't matter who is doing the teaching - after all, they are guided by the hand of the lord.

So, when it comes to provincial testing, my children who are acting within the fundamentals of their belief are subject to unfair treatment. They should simply receive a perfect score (to reflect their holiness), and the tests should be changed to accomodate the religious answers.

Universities should eliminate their requirements for university level math as well, as it is equally unholy with an unnatural reliance on s*x.

Why not just grant my children a university degree without expecting them to mix with the unholy - after all, I believe that they deserve it. And their holy marks and perfect scores uphold this belief.

It's discrimination against my FAITH!