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February 25, 2013

Bill 18 and the right to discrimination

If you’re a Christian living in Manitoba, your voice needs to be heard.

The Manitoba government is attempting to pass Bill 18, a school anti-bullying Bill. Under this Bill, it would be a crime to bully children because of their gender, their race, their disabilities, or their sexual orientation. But many conservative Christians in southern Manitoba—specifically the Steinbach area—have been extremely vocal against this Bill. Specifically, the Steinbach Christian High School has been rallying people to fight the Bill, arguing that their religious beliefs conflict with the right of their students to be protected against bullying. Keep in mind that this Bill does nothing to change what is taught in schools; it was specifically written solely to prevent student minority groups from bullying, either from other students or from the school itself. You can read the Bill in its entirety here.

Many Christians in Manitoba treat the freedom of religion as if it’s their own personal weapon to wield, but the reality is that the freedom of religion exists to protect us from our own discrimination. Discrimination is not a protected right. If you want to say “Christian schools shouldn’t have to allow pro-gay groups” (because, let’s be honest, that’s why this backlash is about) you must immediately follow that with “secular schools shouldn’t have to allow Christian groups.” Privately, people can do whatever they’d like—as a Canadian citizen, you’re allowed to participate in racism, sexism, and homophobia, but you cannot receive government support for doing so.

The question I’d pose is this: Opponents of Bill 18 argue that a religion’s right to discrimination—as a deeply held belief—should override a student’s right to be protected from that discrimination. But the Christians in opposition to the Bill are looking through a very narrow viewfinder. Mormonism teaches that black skin is caused by sin. Would you support a school with a Mormon administration in their decision to disallow gatherings of black students? Would you support a school with an administration dominated by Atheists if they decided that Christian students shouldn’t be allowed to gather?

Bill 18 is a protection of these rights. Fighting Bill 18 is fighting against the very protection that allows Christians to gather at schools. It’s amazing that the opponents of the Bill are so incredibly blinded to that just because they see the words “sexual orientation” in the Bill, as if those words were part of some sort of secret agenda. Yes, the government does have an agenda, and it is this: don’t allow schools to bully kids, regardless of how much they think those kids deserve to be bullied. The backlash against the Bill only serves as proof that, sadly, it’s a Bill we need.

Yesterday, 1200 people gathered in Steinbach to say that their right to discriminate was more important a student’s right to be free from that discrimination. If you’re a Christian, you need to speak up. Too many kids have already committed suicide to escape the exact sort of bullying that this vocal group is advocating. If you have a single drop of love in your body, you’ll fight this hate. What I can do from here is fairly limited, so please, do what you can.

Comments
  • Thank you for outlining so clearly what is at stake here in Manitoba if the opponents to Bill 18 are viewed as the viewpoint of all Christians. The voices speaking out against the anti-bullying bill remind me of something we’d expect from the Taliban or other right-wing fanatics who can’t see past their own noses. As my husband would say: how can they breathe with their heads up their asses? They may be the tip of a dangerous iceberg if other Christians just sit back and ignore them.

    Roxanne · Feb 25, 06:56 PM · #
  • Hey, thanks for your thoughts. I am glad you wrote this. To be somewhat tongue in cheek, I have been thinking lately that that old song needs to be changed to, ‘And they’ll know we are Christians by our close-mindedness, ignorance, and discrimination.’ Ugh. I just cringe when I see a ‘Christian’ opinion being portrayed in the media these days. It’s almost always bad.

    And while I feel I may understand why a lot of these people are voicing their opinions and the opinions themselves, I just feel a lot of them are so misinformed. And their passion is misplaced. And if it is not ignorance, it is just the inability to see outside of their bubble. Their protest is sad and embarrassing and irritating—more than irritating. Worrisome. And breaks through my apathy.

    As I am learning about this issue, I am finding myself in agreement with Bill 18, and again, while I feel I may understand what this particular group of people in Steinbach is protesting, I do not condone it; I think they are mistaken to protest the Bill.

    However, and I’m just musing one step further I suppose, I’m not quite sure what best-case solution would be regarding government funding in religious institutions. It’s a vast issue. I understand it’s not the direct issue we’re talking about here, but for the sake of conversation — I see the point of disallowing government funding for religious institutions, and then let them do their own thing; if it is an operation entirely funded by that particular group, let them do what they will. Sure. Well, maybe. I’m thinking of a variety of religious educational institutions that are not inherently evil, are just trying to do their best. Does ‘just trying to do their best’ justify ignorance and discrimination? No, certainly not. But it isn’t a simple answer. Maybe the government is aiding educational efforts provided by public and private/religious institutions alike because there is still benefit to having these institutions. There is education going on there. In a lot of cases, there is the fostering of true and open learning. I believe, call me idealistic if you will, that the pursuit of knowledge and the practice of faith are not in conflict with each other.

    And in that vein, since government funding is currently supporting many religious schools, is the answer really to pull out all this funding? What would happen to the religious schools? Would they all close? Is that in the best interest of many of the people who are choosing this kind of education? Even if the government reduces funding over time and bows out slowly, and the religious communities do step in and fund their own programming, is that really going to be a good setup? I mean, surely there are checks and balances in place for schools receiving government funds. Surely our government officials wouldn’t be supporting close-minded, ignorant, discriminatory educational institutions? If they can help it? Right, right? Well, I’m hoping there are checks on where our tax dollars are going, that’s for sure. I’m not quite sure what scares me more, the current level of close-mindedness and discrimination or schools setting themselves up by unmonitored religious groups. :)

    And therein raises another question: SHOULD the government be checking in on and regulating religious institutions? What about the separation of church and state? Ugh, see, it’s kind of messy. They’ve gone and messed it all up and it’s all a messy mess. I haven’t thought it through past this. Just musing I guess.

    I’d like to think people are trying to do their best. I’d also like people to voice their opinions if they are supporting Bill 18, now that it seems so many people are in opposition to it.

    Aaron! I’m taking over your blog! OK, I’m done. And only one smiley.

    Sara Beth · Feb 25, 08:03 PM · #
  • Aaron, forgive me for following a tangent, but I think you’ll agree that it is germane to the discussion.

    Sara Beth, you raise some very good questions about secular government—namely, the idea that government should be neutral on religious matters. It is the cornerstone of religious freedoms and was first put into practice (at least in modern times) in the US Constitution. Unfortunately, I have more knowledge of the US laws and history on the matter than that of Canada, but still think that we should hew as close as possible to this ideal.

    At the very least, institutions which take government money should abide by law and practice/foster values which are good for/celebrated by all Canadians. In the case of Bill 18, the SCHS might be legally able to disregard the Safe and Inclusive Schools amendment and turn a blind eye to bullying and prevent students from forming Gay-Straight Alliance clubs if they no longer receive government funding. On the other hand, if LGBT students are discriminated against at SCHS and it turned into a human rights court case, I don’t think 100% private funding would be enough to get the school off the hook.

    As it now stands, they simply cannot continue to violate Manitoba law while taking the money of all its citizens. One of the statements of SCHS’ spokesman was to the effect that they’d rather disregard Bill 18 and still get public money. That would be cushy: break any laws you like and still get taxpayer money. But it’s simply unethical.

    Back to the broader question at hand, I don’t see an easy answer either, but there are some possible guidelines we can consider. Being tax-free means or should mean that the government is forgoing income from the institution because it benefits the community. I absolutely reject the idea that status as a church automatically makes the money given to them to be tax-free. I think that if churches or religious schools want this status, the burden of proof should be upon them to demonstrate their contribution. Doubtless many churches and schools would have little difficulty doing so. And, as I mentioned before, they should be adhering to municipal/provincial/national law. Schools in particular should demonstrate that their curriculum meets provincial/national standards. I also think that if churches want the benefits of NPOs, they should be run as such, with financial transparency. I’m sure that this goal may be best served by—as some churches have done—clearly delineating their charity arm and operating it as such. A church which cannot demonstrate its benefit to the community beyond the function of a country club is exactly that. And country clubs are taxable.

    Chad · Feb 25, 11:13 PM · #
  • This is absolutely a tangent worth following, and it’s something that definitely needs to be discussed going forward. You’ve raised really, really good points, Sara. And I don’t think there’s any easy answer.

    Ultimately, I think the question we need to ask is one about the role of the government in education. Caitlin and I have talked about this a lot, and I think the only real answer is…we need to keep talking about it. I won’t try to post some knee-jerk response here right now. If I think of anything constructive to add, I’ll comment a little later.

    Aaron · Feb 25, 11:46 PM · #
  • I need to print this out and leave it in the staff room at my school.

    Keira · Feb 26, 05:18 AM · #
  • Country clubs are not, in fact, taxable by default. Some are profit oriented enterprises seeking to earn income for their shareholders, but many are run as non profits in the same way as other service bodies, answerable to their members but not providing them any increase in wealth. Churches, like all Canadian not for profits, are required to file annual returns with the CRA. To qualify as a charitable organization on top of that NFP status the filing requirements are even stricter. The burden of proof absolutely should rest on the organization, and it absolutely does.

    Ryan K · Feb 26, 06:23 AM · #
  • I couldn’t scroll down the entry field on my phone, so I had to cut that short.

    Chad, I think the more appropriate comparison would be between churches and community centres. And I would agree with you if you said it is odd that community centres can only issue tax receipts for contributions to specific programs they operate while a church can do so for its core service. The law currently grants charitable status for advancement of religion in addition to relief of poverty, advancement of education, and “other purposes beneficial to the community in a way the law regards as charitable.”

    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/plcy/cps/cps-024-eng.html#N10299

    Most (many?) churches meet all four of those criteria. If you were to remove the religious qualification from the law (I don’t think I could argue against that) they would still be able to issue receipts for much of what they do, but probably only for a proportionate share of their administrative, pastoral, and property overhead to the extent that it was used in activities unrelated to the Sunday service.

    Now to bring this tangent around full circle, this is from the further elaboration on what constitutes a public benefit from the link above:

    “The organization cannot restrict delivery of the benefits to a certain group or class of persons without adequate justification.”

    Ryan K · Feb 26, 07:15 AM · #
  • As a teacher in the public school system, I find this bill insulting. I deal with bullying every day, and I do my best to deal with it in a way that works to help all the students involved. Here are the reasons that I’m opposed to Bill 18:

    1. It limits the autonomy of teachers.
    2. It poorly defines what “bullying” is by casting too wide a net.
    3. It’s unenforceable.

    1. Bill 18 limits the autonomy of teachers by requiring them to take specific action when they witness bullying. Teachers, as professionals dealing with an environment where no two situations are quite alike, need flexibility and independence to be able to fairly and effectively deal with bullying. Teachers are in a place where they know the students involved, what is going on, and how to best deal with the situation. They should not be told how to do their jobs.
    2. The bill says that “[bullying] is intended to cause, or should be known to cause, fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other forms of harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, reputation or property” (1.2(1)a). These are things that, of course, should be avoided, but the bill defines bullying so broadly that a single poorly-thought-out remark could bring on charges of bullying. When the word “feelings” is involved, this makes the law so subjective that it becomes completely wide open to any interpretation. In terms of harm to body, reputation, and property, those are assault, slander, and vandalism or willful destruction of property, and have their own place in the law. A better approach to wording might be how North Dakota has worded its bullying laws. North Dakota’s law that describes bullying as conduct “so severe, pervasive, or objectively offensive that it substantially interferes with the student’s educational opportunities or benefits” and “places a student in actual and reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or… property.”
    3. Bill 18 is unenforceable for two reasons: because we are dealing with children, and because of the sheer amount of work it heaps on teachers’/administrators’ laps. Teachers do their best to help children understand how to respect each other, but many children learn bullying behaviours from home, and other sources, and since they are children, reproduce these behaviours wherever they go, including at school. Children who bully do not understand that they are being bullies, and since they don’t recognize the behaviour in themselves, a law will do nothing to stop it. Second, the requirements heaped on teachers for reporting bullying behaviour will overwhelm teachers and administrators. Instead, teachers need the autonomy to decide what is serious enough to be reported, instead of being legally required to report everything.

    Finally, these bills are being written by people who have no experience in a school. They have never taught a class, worked with several students to help them sort out their issues, or watched a student’s parent’s behaviour destroy their child’s life. School divisions have already implemented Bill 18 in ways that work for the schools. We should not be forced to abide by definitions and measures imposed by people outside our system. We wouldn’t let politicians tell a doctor how to perform kidney surgery, or an engineer how to design a truss rod, or tell Aaron how to reticulate splines, so why are politicians telling teachers how to deal with bullying?

    -Matt

    Matt · Feb 26, 11:45 AM · #
  • As a follow-up comment, I am NOT opposed to the content of the bill – just the wording, implementation, and the fact that it’s there.

    -Matt

    Matt · Feb 26, 11:47 AM · #
  • Don’t you find the Bill kind of self-justifying, though? I agree, this isn’t a Bill we should need, but the fact that proposing the Bill has resulted in an uprising of people who believe that bullying and discrimination is an institutional right kind of proves that it’s sadly necessary. The Bill is there as much to protect students from each other as it is to protect students from their schools.

    Out of the literally hundreds of concerns I’ve heard about the Bill, you’re only the third person to argue that the problem with the Bill is vague language about bullying. And you might have valid concerns about that. But that doesn’t change the fact that 1200 people didn’t gather because of vague wording—they gathered to fight for the right to be discriminatory. If there are valid concerns to be had over the Bill, they’re getting drowned out.

    Aaron · Feb 26, 12:27 PM · #
  • Aaron, I think you’re glossing over the wording concern, which may just be due to your available sources. Though in your favour, while it appears often here in political statements you’re not far off the mark in that it is often a footnote to the more fervent religious expression arguments. On top of that, A teacher’s fear of enforcement based on the shoddy wording (and it is shoddy) is certainly very different than a parent’s or school board’s fear of “criminalized values.”

    Ryan K · Feb 26, 03:54 PM · #
  • I disagree that 1200 people gathered together to fight to be discriminatory. In fact, if you’d have been there, they spent the first chunk of time discussing how bullying needs to stop, and how the bill would be doing nothing to stop bullying based on similar concerns to what Matt had pointed out.

    No one there put messages forth requesting people to inflict hate, anger, disregard, or any other negative attitude towards gay people. The concern is that the government is not willing to respect the decision of a Christian school to oppose the moral lifestyle of homosexuality, just like they wouldn’t support the moral lifestyle of adultery, pedophilia, thievery, etc.

    Perhaps, if you, or anyone, truly believes that 1200 people fought (and are fighting) to be discriminatory you should phone the school or meet with the administrators in person to clarify their intentions. I think you’d find that your accusations, and their intentions don’t line up.

    As a side note, do you want to see who is really going to be bullied as a result of all of this? Go read comment sections on any online article related to this.

    Roger · Feb 27, 05:38 AM · #
  • Aaron, you need to be careful with your assumptions. Yes, 1200 people attended a meeting. This does NOT mean that 1200 people are in support of the bill – you can only infer that 1200 people wanted information. This is an appeal to probability.

    As to the bill being self-justifying, I think that if it was better worded, the concerns would disappear. If you look at SCHS’s handout’s talking points, they discuss this.
    http://www.schs.ca/sites/schs.ca/files/content/files/Bill%2018%20Newsletter.pdf
    However, your argument is a red herring. Let’s keep this about the bill itself, which is what I have concerns about.

    Third, regardless of what the Bill is trying to accomplish, it needs to be able to accomplish those goals. The Bill is vague and unenforceable, and is insulting to teachers.

    -Matt

    Matt · Feb 27, 05:50 AM · #
  • Roger: I’ve heard reports of what happened during the meeting. I think it’s safe to say that the major concern is this perceived attack on the freedom of religion. You’re right, no one is for bullying when bullying is being discussed out loud and in public, but privately it’s more complicated than that—the fact that you immediately lump homosexuality in with adultery, pedophilia and theft shows just how far we have to go in some areas of Canada. I need to stress again that the way the majority of Canadians feel about gay right now is exactly how the majority of Canadians felt about racial rights not that long ago. When people argued against segregation, those opposed claimed that they were the ones being attacked, that the growing tolerance being shown to racial groups was coming at the cost of tolerance towards themselves. But the key here is that no one is trying to take a single right away from Christians. Discrimination is not a right. Any argument that says this is somehow an attack on Christianity is a gross perversion of both the Bill and the Freedom of Religion in Canada. This, however, is usually when the conversation breaks down. You believe that the Freedom of Religion should enshrine the beliefs of Christianity above the beliefs and rights of others, up to the point where Christianity has the right to discriminate against other people groups. I believe that people—especially students—should have the right to exist in an public environment that is free of discrimination of their gender, race, ability, or sexual orientation, and that overrides a religion’s belief in discrimination, no matter how strong those beliefs are.

    I would like to hear your response to my questions about Mormon and Atheist school boards, though. Would you support a Mormon school disallowing the gathering of black students, and an Atheist administration disallowing the gathering of Christian students? These are the exact same argument, only from a different perspective.

    Matt: I’ve read the SCHS newsletter and talking points several times. They should come with a trigger warning. I think the FAQ and talking points completely avoid the first page of the newsletter. SCHS has been arguing that this is an attack on their free expression of religion—but when they assemble a list of talking points, they all have to do with getting the Bill dismissed on any issue but. They’re being very, very careful about it—the last thing they want to do is actually come out and say, clearly, that their problem is with homosexuality. It’s not because sexual orientation isn’t the issue—that’s the issue that everyone has been rallying around. The talking points are there to sidetrack the conversation and draw attention away from the homophobia. You can’t seriously tell me that if the vagueness around the definition of bullying was cleared up the Bill would suddenly see the support of SCHS.

    Aaron · Feb 27, 08:47 AM · #
  • Interesting discussion here (though I’ll admit I only skimmed; it’s a long discussion!). Thanks for writing this post.

    I was at the meeting at SCHS the other night, and was actually very pleasantly surprised at the tone of the meeting and the relatively benign nature of the opposition to the bill. I heard about the meeting when someone passed on to me an email newsletter from Southland church that was every bit as hateful, xenophobic, ignorant, and backward as I had expected the meeting itself would be. The meeting itself was none of those things, thanks be to God!

    Yes, it started out with someone talking about how our religious rights and freedoms are “under attack,” the typical rhetoric and calls for Christendom, but then they jumped right into their critique of the bill, and after that into prayer in small groups. Most of the prayer points were for respectful dialogue, wisdom, and insight, and even though I support Bill 18, it didn’t take much in the way of modification for me to pray along with them.

    I appreciate your position in this post, but I want to be wary of ascribing hidden motives to others. While I’m sure that there are Christians who are lobbying against this bill because they genuinely do hate or fear homosexuals, I sincerely doubt that this perspective is dominant. Many (if not most) Christians know and care little about what homosexuality actually is (which is part of the problem, certainly), and certainly don’t care enough to actually hate homosexuals. Pity is much more common.

    I think what is more at issue is fearing a loss of religious freedom in the sense of being able to say and do whatever we think our religion requires of us. The only religious duty left in Evangelicalism is proclamation, and I’ve been thinking lately that religious freedom and freedom of speech are, for most evangelicals, identical. It’s a sad state for our theology when the ability to sound off on this issue constitutes a crucial moment for our religious freedom, but that’s where mainstream evangelicalism is at.

    More than just freedom of speech, though, the ability to control what our children experience is something many parents of every stripe hold sacred. Sadly, the fact that this right is a complete illusion doesn’t stop people from defending it to the death.

    So while I certainly empathize with you in that it very much seems like they’re arguing for the right to discriminate, I can also empathize with SCHS’s parents, who feel that their ability to pass on their saving faith to their children is being undermined. This is not an act of hatred or bigotry, but rather the insecure cry of people whose faith has been watered down to a few basic values by authorities they trust implicitly (namely, the way their church interprets the Bible, which is the ultimate authority). Most of us today lack the ability to interpret anything for ourselves, whether that’s scripture or legislation, and that’s a problem that’s not limited to conservative evangelical Christians.

    Sorry, I wandered a bit there. In short, let’s not make the mistake of demonizing our opponents as bigoted and hateful; it sucks when they do that to us too.

    Jeff · Feb 27, 03:02 PM · #
  • I would absolutely expect that an atheist school would not allow the formation and promotion of Christian student groups. I would also expect that an Islamic (or mormon, etc) school would not allow the promotion of Christian student groups.

    “I believe that people—especially students—should have the right to exist in an public environment that is free of discrimination of their gender, race, ability, or sexual orientation, and that overrides a religion’s belief in discrimination, no matter how strong those beliefs are.”

    I agree with this point, and we are not discussing SCHS’ having a desire to discriminate against students, but rather, to promote Christian values and provide an environment that is not in contradiction with their statement of faith and beliefs. You can respectfully disagree with someone and their lifestyle and their standard of morality while continuing to show them love.

    Roger · Feb 27, 07:22 PM · #
  • I am a Christian living in Manitoba, so I suppose my voice needs to be heard…

    I love all people, regardless of what they believe, and I hate bullying. We do need an anti-bullying policy in schools, but we don’t need Bill 18. Bill 18 is an interesting attempt at stopping bullying in Manitoba; however, it is destined to create more bullying than it prevents.

    You claim, Aaron, that this Bill “does nothing to change what is taught in schools”. That is not true. Currently, Steinbach Christian High School (SCHS) does not teach the value of premarital sex (regardless whether it is homosexual or heterosexual). This is because SCHS is an independent Manitoba school with a specific set of beliefs. That doesn’t make SCHS better than any other independent school. That doesn’t mean that SCHS tolerates bullying of any student that believes differently. That doesn’t even make SCHS correct. It just makes them independent.

    Independence fosters tolerance, because independence allows diversity of opinion. That is why independence is a good thing.

    Bill 18, however, will essentially destroy the independent school in Manitoba. Bill 18 will make it illegal for any independent school from preventing a student group from promoting behavior that is opposed to the values of the independent school. This is a serious breach of property rights and freedom of religion in Manitoba.

    Freedom of religion is not synonymous with freedom to discriminate. Discrimination is wrong. But just because you and I may agree to disagree on what we believe doesn’t give us license to hate and/or discriminate against each other. Being able to agree to disagree is a beautiful thing that must be tolerated in our province.

    And neither are private property rights synonymous with discrimination. I do not discriminate against anyone, regardless of lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean that you have the right to walk into my home unannounced and promote whatever it is that you want to promote. Similarly, our independent schools must retain the ability to determine what types of student behavior is/is not allowed in their hallways.

    You are correct, Aaron, when you say that it is just as wrong to force Christianity on non-Christians as it is to force non-Christian views on Christians. And that is another reason why Bill 18 must be re-written. Religious freedom was guaranteed to independent schools when the independent school funding agreement first came into being. Bill 18 stomps all over that agreement. Independent schools must be able to teach in accordance with their unique values.

    Would I support a school with an administration dominated by Atheists if they decided that Christian students shouldn’t be allowed to gather? Of course I would! Jesus never forced his views on anyone — why would I? We must allow all types of independent schools to operate in this province — independently!

    Bill 18 is not a protection of anyone’s rights and freedoms. On the contrary, Bill 18 is the usurping of the authority of school administration by our provincial government and a transfer of that authority to student groups.

    You claim, Aaron, that the objective of Bill 18 is, “don’t allow schools to bully kids, regardless of how much they think those kids deserve to be bullied.” Well that, my friend, is already the responsibility of local schools, and they currently do an outstanding job of just that.

    Diversity is not a bad thing. Government force is. That is why Bill 18 must be amended.

    But if Bill 18 does go through, Aaron, you have just been found guilty of breaking it. You described those who gathered at the SCHS meeting as people who “discriminate”, “hate”, and “advocate bullying”. These statements of yours hurt my feelings, because I hate no one, discriminate against no one, and despise bullying of all forms.

    P.S. Bringing the skin color issue into this debate, Aaron, is classless and unnecessary. We are born with our color; however, we choose what we choose to believe is right and wrong. If you have to stoop to playing the race card in order to win this argument, Aaron, then that only goes to show the weakness of your point of view.

    God bless you, Aaron!

    Ken McAllister · Mar 1, 12:36 PM · #
  • Given that Aaron, and the bulk of the informed public, believes we are also born with our sexual orientation, Ken, I’m not sure your postscript achieves its intended effect.

    Ryan K · Mar 1, 04:10 PM · #
  • Yes, Ryan K, we are born with our sexual orientation. But that does not excuse our behavior. My personal sexual orientation is to lust after women to whom I am not married. My actions, however, are to confess that lust as sin and CHOOSE to stay faithful to my beautiful wife of 28+ years.

    Regardless, I have absolutely no quibble whatsoever with someone who believes it is okay to engage in gay sex. We who believe gay sex is immoral must show love and tolerance to all people. And those who believe gay sex is okay should show love and tolerance to those tho feel otherwise.

    I am a believer in freedom of religion, and I love all people. I love it when we can agree to disagree. That is why I am in favor of independent schools remaining independent. That is why I oppose Bill 18, a most intolerant and coercive piece of legislation.

    Ken McAllister · Mar 4, 07:53 AM · #
  • Ken. I can not change being black anymore than I can change being LGBT. I do not have to respect or tolerate another person that is racist or homophobic. Those world views are wrong and evil. And they should be ostracized by a modern society.

    Desiree · Mar 6, 01:47 PM · #
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