So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Saturday, April 15, 2017

National Post: Survey on Religious Practices in BC Schools. Yes or No?

The National Post reports:
Many British Columbians are open to allowing both mindfulness meditation and Christian prayer in public schools, according to a poll conducted for Postmedia News.

There is little enthusiasm, though, for First Nations prayers or “smudging” ceremonies, with more opposed than favouring the practices, which have recently been the subject of legal action in B.C.

These are two of the surprising results of a Mainstreet Research poll of 5,500 British Columbians, conducted on the eve of Easter, that probed several thorny issues related to religion and education.

* The poll found 45 per cent of British Columbians oppose even partly funding private schools, whether they’re religious or not.

* British Columbians were mixed on many spiritual issues, with 42 per cent believing “mindfulness meditation should be allowed in public schools.” Just 35 per cent opposed the meditative practice which teachers are increasingly teaching their public-school students. It is linked most strongly with Buddhist and Hindu spirituality.

* Though the Lord’s Prayer was banned five decades ago from B.C. public schools, 39 per cent of British Columbians believe Christian prayers should be allowed in schools, while roughly the same proportion were opposed. (I clearly remember the time when my mum attended a PTA meeting and parents were informed that the Lord's Prayer would no longer be said first thing in the morning before classes. In our elementary school, the principal always read the Lord's Prayer over the P/A system. Mum, not a Catholic, who spent her early adult life in England before coming to Canada in her thirties, and a staunch supporter of prayer in schools, was livid over the district's decision, but composed. Apparently, of the parents who attended the meeting (and most parents did attend!), none agreed with the school district's decision. In fact, opposition to removing prayer in school was unanimous. The principal, a formidable woman, continued reading the Lord's Prayer before classes until she retired a few years later. It took another four years after the decision was announced before the local school district completely shut down prayer in our schools.)

* A firm two of three British Columbians reject Muslim ceremonies and prayers in public schools. The only group that backed Islamic prayers in schools were B.C. Muslims, by a whopping 89 per cent margin.

The B.C. Education Act requires public schools to be “secular” and not favour one religion over another. (That was not always the case! The public school system in British Columbia began as the Protestant School system, primarily managed by the Anglican Church, and was distinct from the Catholic School system. Catholic schools have continued and thrive, even while some would like to defund our schools. Let Catholic tax dollars support Catholic schools. Furthermore, the Catholic Church, by hosting separate schools, subsidizes the education of children. Would people be so enthusiastic in their calls for defunding Catholic schools if they knew how much it costs to educate children, and that the Church saves the province tens of millions of dollars by contributing funds to children's education by supporting schools that educate children for less than public schools do? Imagine if the Church suddenly closed all its schools and secular governments had to pick up the tab for educating all those additional kids. Not so quick to defund Catholic schools now, are ya secularists, when your taxes would have to be raised considerably to make up for the shortfall formerly offset by Catholics contributing both taxes to the state and financial support through parishes!)

The Mainstreet poll did not probe whether respondents felt meditation or prayers should be mandatory in schools, or be voluntary or be limited to lunch or after-school hours.
Read the rest HERE.

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