The socialist case for funding Catholic schools

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genstrike

Sunday Hat wrote:

I think the onus in the question at the top should be reversed. 

It's the responsibility of socialists to organize the working class.

For that reason I think the NDP, if it is a socialist party, should focus on issues that unite people as a class.

A campaign to end funding for Catholic schools, no matter how it's explained, will divide people along religious lines and give parties like the Liberals all the excuse they need to avoid talking about issues of class.

So, I think the real question is what's the socialist case for making this the defining fight of our times?

And, more importantly, for the "socialist" caucus, what's the "socialist" case for this issue that's so strong you're backing the most right-wing candidate in the leadership race, one who supports corporate tax cuts and pursuing more corporate donors?

 

Well, I don't think anyone (not even John Tory) would rank this as their #1 issue, but it doesn't make sense to only talk about the #1 and completely ignore the #2 and lower issues.

Also, the NDP is not a socialist party and the Socialist Caucus (and Fightback, the IMT and any other tiny entryist trot group) is a joke.

Sunday Hat

@ Lord Palmerston - A lot of internal debate happened inside the NDP and other socialist parties over abortion and same-sex marriage (the Ortega government in Nicaragua has sided with the Catholic Church and adopted an anti-choice position for example).

But there are key differences.

First, lives aren't at stake, so the comparison to the abortion debate is way off. I don't think we should even pretend there's a comparison there. The fight for access to abortion was about saving the lives of women.

Second, in the case of same-sex marriage the debate couldn't be avoided. The issue was working its way through the courts and gays and lesbians were asking all parties for support.

Third, and more importantly, the fight for same-sex marriage was about standing in solidarity with a group that was being marginalized and discriminated against. Legalizing same-sex marriage is a way of saying to working people, "Let's not be divided by sexual preference." As a paralell, the fight to eliminate funding to Catholic schools doesn't work - unless you consider Catholics to be a powerful elite (I assume you don't).

@ Fidel - See this article "Prue wants NDP to start wooing corporate donors"

@ genstrike - John Tory certainly didn't want this to be his #1 issue. However, the Liberals forced that upon him. They will certainly do it again to us. Their entire political success rests on distracting the public from the issues that actually impact their lives.

Unionist

Sunday Hat wrote:

For that reason I think the NDP, if it is a socialist party, should focus on issues that unite people as a class.

A campaign to end funding for Catholic schools, no matter how it's explained, will divide people along religious lines...

What tripe. By that logic, we shouldn't talk about the war in Afghanistan (because we'll divide the people as a class, whatever that means), or abortion rights, or union rights, or rights for queers, or women for that matter.

Religious public schools in Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador were abolished - overnight - and promptly forgotten. There was no division among workers or anyone else. That's about the lamest excuse I've ever heard for not pursuing a simple and fundamental democratic reform.

ETA: Whoops! I didn't read the earlier post by LP, who said the same thing I did but more politely. I guess that means I'm right! Wink

Lord Palmerston

Sunday Hat wrote:

But there are key differences.

First, lives aren't at stake, so the comparison to the abortion debate is way off...

Um...I have no interest in "comparing" abortion rights or gay rights to the debate over religious school funding.  You were the one who suggested that the NDP shouldn't advocate anything that "divides workers as a class."  Any "controversial" idea will divide working people.

But to engage with your suggestion, I would argue that the existence of publicly funded schools for Catholics and publicly funded schools for everyone else divides the children of working class Catholics from everyone else.  In the last election, McGuinty hypocritically blabbered on and on about how wonderful it is that Jewish kids and Hindu kids and Muslim kids all learn together and play together, etc. - he never mentioned Catholic kids because...they were off in segregated Catholic schools (I thought he opposed "segregated schools").   Unfortunately the NDP lacked the political courage to offer an alternative.

Sunday Hat

I know you don't live in Ontario, unionist, but in 2007 we had an election in Ontario. The NDP hoped to campaign on the decline of manufacturing, the shift towards regressive taxation, and the need to invest in public services. Instead, the entire campaign focussed on religious school funding. It happened and many of us are fairly convinced it will happen again.

I wasn't in Newfoundland or Quebec when they made their changes but I'm pretty sure it's an overstatement to say it happened overnight. It took over a decade in Newfoundland and when it happened the move had all-party support.

That's very different from saying that one party should, unilaterally, open this up as a new political front.

 

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

Let me try this another way, sisters and brothers.  From my perception  I don't  see much knowledge  of  Canadin history or law or rights coming from those who want to cut funding for Cathoilic schools in Ontario. My apologies , pleasse prove I am wrong by a simple test.

I would like to see posts,  100 to 200 words or so, from those who wants to cut funding for Catholic schools in Ontario giving some of the reasons why these schools should continue to recieve funding.  A basic exercise to see if you can see anothers point of view and carry on an intelligent debate.It will require some knowledge of such facts as that Catholic schools hve been fudned in Onatio for a long.

And please do no fill  such a post with comments like  But that was 100 years ago and now they have no excuse from being  ignorant peasantst breeding like animals while they worship false  gods. Foot in mouth

Solidarity

 

Fidel

Sunday Hat wrote:

@ Fidel - See this article "Prue wants NDP to start wooing corporate donors"

Quote:

In the Legislature, he champions the poor, saying the provincial Liberals' anti-poverty strategy is flawed and the government should return the $86 million in clawbacks he says it takes every year from those both living on provincial assistance and trying to work.

"People who do not have children and who are living in poverty are worse off today than in the deepest, darkest days of Mike Harris."

I agree with Prue there. These 22 percenters are as hypocritical, and perhaps more hypocritical than the clowns they replaced.

As for corporate fundraisers, I cant see the the NDP ever agreeing to corporate donors. Bay Street has long-time connections to the two big business parties. They dont need to grease more palms than they already do at Queen's Park. Perhaps small and medium businesses, but not the fat-cats.

And Prue is surely wrong on corporate taxation. The depression era of the 30's was marked by unprecendented inequality in incomes between rich and poor. Prior to FDR in the states, Republicans claimed that they were practicing Keynesianism with raising taxes to no avail. But it was a matter of which Americans they raised taxes on. They actually raised taxes on the middle class and poor while lowering taxes for the rich. Giving money to the rich did little to stimulate what Keynes referred to as aggregate demand. Besides, what corporate taxes are paid tend to be paid by companies that are profitable. Lowering taxes for already struggling corporations doesnt increase consumer demand or cause companies with already flagging profits to hire more workers. Prue wont be receiving my support if this is what he proposes for the ONDP.

Word warriors said:

Quote:

Support Layton on corporate tax cut reversal

September 30, 2008

If there is one issue that separates the NDP from all the other parties - and really separates them - it is the issue of corporate tax cuts.   We must defend the NDP and Layton on his move to roll back the $50 billion in corporate tax cuts being implemented over 5 years by Harper/Flaherty.  Future governments will be totally paralyzed by lack of revenue because of these cuts - and all bets are thus off for any new social programs, foreign aid or infrastructure.

genstrike

Fidel wrote:

And Prue is surely wrong on corporate taxation.

What's this?  Fidel criticizing an NDPer?

Quick, circle the calendar! Laughing

Unionist

Sunday Hat wrote:

I know you don't live in Ontario, unionist, but in 2007 we had an election in Ontario. The NDP hoped to campaign on the decline of manufacturing, the shift towards regressive taxation, and the need to invest in public services. Instead, the entire campaign focussed on religious school funding. It happened and many of us are fairly convinced it will happen again.

Good reason to avoid the issue and take no position except support for the status quo by default, and act like Howard Hampton (or Fidel) did when asked the question, saying: "Geez, why can't I control the agenda???"

Quote:
I wasn't in Newfoundland or Quebec when they made their changes but I'm pretty sure it's an overstatement to say it happened overnight. It took over a decade in Newfoundland and when it happened the move had all-party support.

And exactly which Ontario party are you suggesting will campaign on the platform: "We must keep funding Catholic schools!", if and when the NDP says we should stop? This is 2009. Why can't this position have all-party support? Put differently, whom are you waiting for - all the other parties??

As for Quebec, no, it wasn't quite overnight - it took a Quiet Revolution in the 1960s which very rapidly destroyed the power of the Church over politics, health care, and education. The rest came in due course, but it took democrats to champion the cause of secularism and unity of the population. Too bad there aren't any of those in Ontario.

Quote:
That's very different from saying that one party should, unilaterally, open this up as a new political front.

You mean, like communistic medicare? Or same-sex marriage (which you say the courts pioneered, so the ONDP couldn't really hide any more)? Or equality of women? Yeah, God forbid that one party should open up anything new.

foxymoron

Hat, one thing to note about 2007 is that the Tories' message was inconsistent, ours was non-existent and that enabled the Liberals to define the campaign, and make it a single issue.

 Far better, methinks, to flesh out a position, pro or con, in advance. That way, we can go forward to the electorate with our position as one plank in a platform of many.

If the Liberals or the Tories try to fight a single-issue campaign on whatever our policy is, we can say, 'you know where we stand on the issue, we're upfront, here's our policy, but here's all our other policies i'm sure you're much more interested in talking about, unlike my liberal and conservative opponents.

At minimum, you earn some grudging respect that might aid in our rebuilding trust with the electorate. At maximum, you make government.

 

Unionist

peterjcassidy wrote:
And please do no fill  such a post with comments like  But that was 100 years ago and now they have no excuse from being  ignorant peasantst breeding like animals while they worship false  gods. Foot in mouth

Great example of profoundly understanding the other side's arguments, pjc.

 

Sunday Hat

It strikes me as self-evident, having watched the last campaign, that campaigning to de-fund Catholic schools will be a disaster politically. I can say with absolute confidence that yhe Liberal Party will relentlessly hammer the issue on doorsteps and every Catholic in the province will be told that the NDP hates Catholics.

I'm quite happy to see the party take a tough stand on issues that matter but I just don't feel passionately that a huge moral wrong if being committed here. The system is flawed but to compare it to abortion (and I don't want to antagonize LP but that's what you did) or private healthcare (as unionist did) doesn't make sense to me. Lives aren't at stake. The system makes no sense but, as anyone who's gone to a "catholic" school in Ontario can attest, it's pretty much the same as a public school.

I guess I'll just say, as someone who pounds on doors every campaign, I don't want to campaign on this issue. I imagine most New Dems feel the same and when the issue comes to the floor at convention they'll vote accordingly.

 

Fidel

It's strange, I dont see separate school funding front page and centre in the Liberal news media anymore. I guess it's just one of those diversionary tactics our two old line parties pull out of the pigsty they cohabit when needing another phony majority. 

Unionist

Sunday Hat wrote:

The system makes no sense but, as anyone who's gone to a "catholic" school in Ontario can attest, it's pretty much the same as a public school.

So the only reason people would want to have separate schools is what? Keep Catholic kids from getting to know others? Avoid intermarriage? If they're pretty much the same, why the duplication?

Lord Palmerston

This Steve Paikin piece gets it bang on (for the most part):

Quote:
What Tory didn't realize was that most Ontarians agree with him that the system is unfair. But their preferred method of leveling the playing field would be to de-fund the Catholic system, not
give tax dollars to more religious groups.

(And the NDP doesn't seem to realize this either).

Quote:
"How do people justify the current unfairness," I asked a Catholic school teacher during the campaign.
"We don't," the teacher said. "We just look the other way and change the subject."

(Same as the ONDP apparently).

http://www.onessn.org/Nov7-07-1.pdf

synthome

I'm all for the NDP taking unpopular stances as long as it's a principled stand worth taking (NDP support for CUPE 3903 being a good example). I don't think discussing the prioritization of an issue is a "non-answer", especially as this issue has already received lots of attention on the floor and the NDP has a stated position which was democratically reached. I'm not averse to reopening debates and reversing previous courses of action, but, I agree that there are more pressing issues. Electoral reform and the green economy come to mind.

Moreover, while I would agree that education should be a vital concern for the NDP, I believe that within our system of education there are, again, more pressing concerns than the funding of "Catholic" schools. Education is chronically underfunded. Standardized testing fosters a learning environment in which teachers, often overwhelmed, spend most of their time managing class room behaviour and teaching specifically to the tests. This further fosters a modular, results oriented only approach to education which destroys wonder and curiousity, and incidentally appears to contribute to higher instances of cheating to succeed.  We are burning out teachers at a faster pace than ever before. Education is the most valuable investment we can make in our future.  Before tinkering with the Catholic funding issue, I'd prefer to see these chronic issues prioritized.

Then there are the potentially spurious arguments in favour of abolishing the catholic school system.

The duplication of services argument is largely exaggerated. All public boards (including publicly funded Catholic boards) have agreements and share bus services and other services with each other. 

The "segregation" argument ranges from wrong to insulting. The stories of students being forced to travel great distances to find a public school to attend are largely unfounded. All Catholic secondary schools have what is called "open access" which means that any student, regardless of religious affiliation may attend a publicly funded Catholic school. All are welcome. I believe students in Catholic schools gain no less an appreciation for diversity and tolerance (arguably more) than their counterparts in the public system.

Lastly, I could be wrong, but my understanding is that as a minority right guaranteed under the BNA act,  if it is to change, then the minority, according to Canadian law must have a referendum. In other words, Catholic school supporters must be asked to vote to keep the funding or combine the systems into one.  

Fidel

I think the Liberal Party should run with this issue next election at the same time the economy goes tits up and some number of their 22 percent support base is looking for work.

And maybe we could bomb the Liberal Party's inbox with repeated anonymous email requests to deal with this pressing issue last week of the election campaign.

foxymoron

synth, the last point is in fact correct, but constitutions are living documents and in Canada, the Act has in fact been amended a few times. One shouldn't fall into the trap of assuming the Act is set in stone.

Beyond this, my spider sense tells me it would be something that likely would drive the Supreme Court crazy if it ever came up as a Charter challenge. If the Charter provides equality provisions, yet the Act is shown not to be equitable, what happens?

 

Lord Palmerston

synthome wrote:
All Catholic secondary schools have what is called "open access" which means that any student, regardless of religious affiliation may attend a publicly funded Catholic school. All are welcome. I believe students in Catholic schools gain no less an appreciation for diversity and tolerance (arguably more) than their counterparts in the public system

 

Meanwhile, in Catholic elementary schools:

i) Where Junior Kindergartens are in operation, students shall be admitted to Junior Kindergarten in September of any school year provided that they reach the age of four on, or before, December 31, in that same calendar year.
ii) Students shall be admitted to Kindergarten in September of any school year provided that they reach the age of five on, or before, December 31, in that same calendar year.
iii) Students shall be admitted to Grade 1 in September of any school year, provided that they reach the age of six on, or before, December 31, in that same calendar year.
iv) No child shall be admitted to schools unless parent(s)/guardian(s) are Separate School Supporters.
When a child is registered for the first time in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, the school principal must verify the parent's(s)/guardian's(s) proof of baptism in the Roman Catholic or Catholic of the Greek or Ukrainian or other Eastern Rites in union with the See of Rome.
v) In the event neither parent/guardian is qualified to be a separate school supporter, children who can show Catholic Baptismal Certificates, shall be admitted.

 

Fidel

Oh, LP, we had kids in our Catholic school whose families were pretty poor and didnt meet those criteria for being Catholic. Protestant public school down the street didnt want them for some reason or another. They were wards of Children's Aid with darker than usual skin and prolly the reason why. Those public school people can be some of the most bigoted hypocrites you'd ever want to avoid

Lord Palmerston

synthome wrote:
Education is chronically underfunded. Standardized testing fosters a learning environment in which teachers, often overwhelmed, spend most of their time managing class room behaviour and teaching specifically to the tests. This further fosters a modular, results oriented only approach to education which destroys wonder and curiousity, and incidentally appears to contribute to higher instances of cheating to succeed.  We are burning out teachers at a faster pace than ever before. Education is the most valuable investment we can make in our future.

These are some great points, and I haven't heard from any of the ONDP leadership candidates on this.  I'd love to see the ONDP take this up AND call for one school system - but I'm probably living in a fantasy world...

synthome

Lord Palmerston:

You're right. Although my understanding is that the elementary panel is looking at making Catholic elementary schools similarly "open access".

To be clear I'm not staunchly against revisiting the issue and abiding by the will of the membership. I just have other concerns I'd much much prefer to be addressed prior to this one, which has in my view already received more than its fair share of attention. I also think there's a lot of misinformation out there about Catholic schools.

Two more quick points: Abolishing Catholic school boards would be an attack on organized labour. How could we effect such a transition without undermining several large and well organized unions?

Off-topic but what would religion/spirituality look like under socialism? (I know Marx saw Christianity as complicit in the exploitation of the working class, but as a philosopher he must have seen a place for ethics or religion or some kind of spirituality in his socialist utopia).

Fidel

And if anyone really does care about the kids, the ONDP has pledged to deliver on Dalton McGuinty's broken promise to fix the school funding formula.

 

foxymoron

synth;

 your last question was probably the most thoughtful one i've heard in left circles in a long time. it gives me hope.

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture

Unionist wrote:

peterjcassidy wrote:
And please do no fill  such a post with comments like  But that was 100 years ago and now they have no excuse from being  ignorant peasantst breeding like animals while they worship false  gods. Foot in mouth

Great example of profoundly understanding the other side's arguments, pjc.

 

I do try to inject a bit of humour in discussion about an issue with much strong feeling.. In the same vein of humour. I bet you can;t do itt brother unionist. I don''t hink you could post a piece 100 to 200 words outlining the case for funding Catholic schools without using language such as I described. Why not try it, ry, in the privacy of your own home if you wish,  and you may come to recognize that you too  have set ideas and find it difficult to see the other side..

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Actually, Peter, I believe that you can 'see the other side', and that you reactively hate them for having both justice and logic on their side  (...and thus you continuously resort to abuse and insult).

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Now let's hear Cassidy make the opposite case...

Unionist

Peterjcassidy has challenged us to state some arguments for full and direct funding of Catholic schools in Ontario. Apparently he hasn't got enough of his own. Here is my list:

1. Section 93 of the BNA Act basically said that if a province had legislated certain educational rights for Protestants or Roman Catholics prior to Confederation, it lost its right to amend or revoke them afterwards. Three provinces have since restored those lost rights, but Roman Catholicism is much more deeply entrenched in Ontario. The very basis of our federation would be jeopardized if we force-marched Catholic children into secular public schools.

2. Catholic parents (who so choose) pay for Catholic education through their taxes. That's fair, isn't it?

3. Catholic schools aren't all that Catholic any more. So why not leave them be?

4. Catholic schools allow kids of all kinds of religions to enrol, even though they're not required to by law. Sure, the same doesn't apply to teachers, but Catholicism is obviously a bona fide occupational requirement for teaching at a Catholic school, isn't it?

5. Yes, the U.N. Human Rights Committee ruled against Ontario in 1999, finding it was in violation of Section 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights because it discriminated in education on the basis of religion. But they don't really understand our unique history and the delicate religious balance between previously warring factions in Upper Canada.

6. Lots of recent immigrants are Roman Catholic. How would they feel if we suddenly told them that their choice was between secular public schools (free) or private schools (subsidized)? It's not the Canadian thing to do. True, this would not apply to Muslims or Jews or Buddhists or others, but they can easily Google the BNA Act and realize that it's nothing personal.

7. Sure, there's room for change, but it's not a priority. Campaigning to unite kids in one school would be divisive. (OK, I confess I didn't make that argument very convincingly.) If education needs improvement and funds are scarce, let's improve both systems, rather than spend time and money melding them into one first. Duplication is decisive to dissent and democracy. (Ok, that wasn't highly logical, but at least it's alliterative.)

NOTE: Having actually written down the above arguments, I have now become a devoted advocate of public funding of Catholic schools in Ontario. Thank you peterjcassidy!  I've always loved visiting Ontario. Thank God I don't pay taxes there.

Fidel

Here's what Ben Levin said to Daniel Kitts about separate school funding, Kitts' primer on the [url=faith-based">http://www.tvo.org/cfmx/tvoorg/theagenda/index.cfm?page_id=3&action=blog... funding issue[/url] :

Quote:
When Quebec changed their Protestant/Catholic system into an English/French system, Levin said, it took about 20 years and a few visits to the Supreme Court to get it done. All this for what was essentially a name change. (Protestant schools were overwhelmingly English and Catholic schools overwhelmingly French, so not much apart from the signs changed).

And when Newfoundland amalgamated their schools into one public system in the late 1990s, Levin continued, for two or three years the education system was consumed with relocating hundreds of schools, merging collective bargaining agreements, reorganizing administration, etc, etc.

Levin argues it's better to work with the system we have, as imperfect as it might be, and focus on helping kids to learn.

The advocates for legal wrangling and dragging the kids through the mud for the sake of a name-change still dont talk about the shortfalls in school funding due to a flawed funding formula. We have pass-the-hat public education going on in Ontario with some schools not able to raise funds for essentials like textbooks and properly stocked libraries, extra-curricular activities, and even private money to pay wages for teacher's aids and special ed assistants being laid off across the province.

Howard Hampton is right, our two old line party leaders are hiding behind this dumb-dumb issue of faith-based funding instead of dealing with their broken promises to fix a flawed funding formula. As someone said before in an unrelated thread with an undertone that was unintended, this false concern for children in Ontario has to stop!

[url=Missing">http://www.policyalternatives.ca/reports/2007/05/reportsstudies1612/?pa=... the mark: How Ontario's education funding formula is shortchanging students[/url] Hugh Mackenzie

Cueball Cueball's picture

What the fuck do you mean "pass-the-hat". Buying school supplies is being downloaded onto teachers, directly.

Unionist

Fidel doesn't seem to grasp (or approve of) the fact that we threw the priests and nuns out of the public schools in Québec. They are gone - and this was done in the historically most priest-ridden part of Canada. The 21st century is coming to a school near you.

Fidel

That's right, in McGuilty's world, we have two-tiered funding from private sources for things as basic to elementary schooling as enough text books to go around, library resources, and even shortfalls in funding for special ed TA's. Parents are having to dole out for everything from chocolate covered almonds to cash upfront for school field trips.

Fidel

Wrt the Catholic school I attended in Northern Ontario, all teachers were certified. There were no nuns or priests teaching then or now. So, I'm not sure you know what youre talking about wrt Catholic schools in Ontario.

And unionist doesnt seem to grasp that Catholic school students are about a third of total in Ontario and receiving about a third of the funding. With these people, any issue will do other than criticizing those two tired and worn out old line parties for failing to come good on promises to fix the funding formula since Mike the Knife did his worst in Toronto before exiting stage right

genstrike

Fuck Ben Levin.  He's the one who is going to come out with the report on how to raise tuition in Manitoba in a few weeks.

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

Wrt the Catholic school I attended in Northern Ontario, all teachers were certified. There were no nuns or priests teaching then or now. So, I'm not sure you know what youre talking about wrt Catholic schools in Ontario.

When did I say nuns or priests were teaching?

And how do you know there are no nuns or priests teaching? Are they excluded? Is that lawful?

I was talking about the church(es) having influence in public schools, in syllabus, in instruction, etc. I didn't mean nuns and priests were literally chased out. I have nothing against nuns and priests. I was speaking figuratively. Now you're telling me nuns and priests aren't allowed to teach in Catholic schools?? Maybe I'm missing something here.

Oh yeah, and Ben Levin is an idiot.

Fidel

There were no penguins or black robes teaching at the school I went to for nine years to 1979, just certified teachers who were very good at their jobs and paying union dues.

Quote:
I was talking about the church(es) having influence in public schools, in syllabus, in instruction, etc

We did have catechism classes a few hours of the week. Oh, and then there were Christmas concerts and the odd field trip to Church. I suspect Catholics are paying for a lot of extra-curricular activities out of their own pockets like everyone else is expected to in Ontario today though.

They want everything to be run according to the neoliberal business model. And that's the problem 

 

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

We did have catechism classes a few hours of the week. Oh, and then there were Christmas concerts and the odd field trip to Church. I suspect Catholics are paying for a lot of extra-curricular activities out of their pockets like everyone else is doing in Ontario today though. 

And that little bit justifies having a separate school board, separate buildings, etc.?

Give me a break, I wasn't born yesterday.

The separate schools are to keep Catholic kids away from other kids, try to avoid alien influences, try to avoid intermarriage, try to keep them loyal dues-paying members of the flock when they grow up. All that is laudable (to be read out loud), but it should not be done under the guise of "public education". 

Fidel

It's too bad these anti-Catholic jihadis didnt feel this strongly when the CIA and Saudis were funding Talibanization of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s. Then it was a-okay to wage war with secularists in Central Asia. Most hypocritical bigots I've ever crossed wires with

wage zombie

I agree with a lot of people here that having a public Catholic school system in Ontario is undesirable.  But despite this i feel that the arguments given to switch to one system leave something to be desired.

 

For example Unionist explains that a reason, these days, for the Catholic system is to keep Catholic kids away from other kids, avoid alien influences.  And i would say that's true.  And i think there are non-Catholic parents sending their kids to Catholic schools for those same reasons--that there will be fewer alien influences at a Catholic school than at a (secular) public school.

 

But i don't think parents' motivation for sending their kids their forms the basis of a compelling argument.  I think this is an emotional issue and that's just not going to sway people.  I think it makes more sense to stick to the facts here.

 

I don't think the church(es) should have influence on the public school system either.  But rather than argue it as a philosophical point, i think it would be more powerful to show specific instances where this has had a negative effect.  What concrete things are happening at Catholic schools today in Ontario that can be pointed at, things that people do not appreciate, that are caused by the church having influence?  Keep it factual, not theoretical.  If problems are caused by the church having influence on the schools, find those problems and bring attention to them.

 

I think the same is true about the funding.  Sure, philosophically, theoretically, it makes sense that there's a certain amount of overhead in funding two school systems (four really, since there are elementary and high school boards for each system).  But what's the real cost of this overhead, in tangible numbers?  I want to see graphs and charts, i want to be able to see very quickly a detailed breakdown of how much better our system can be funded by eliminating Catholic schools.  Where is it?  Why isn't anyone making the case?

 

Oh the NDP should take up the issue, why oh why isn't the NDP doing anything?  Well, if this is such a big deal for people, why isn't there a citizen's group with a website up that shows concisely and thoroughly the advantages of making this change?  Why are the NDP the ones who bear the responsibility for making the case?

 

Maybe people aren't aware the ONDP isn't really in the greatest shape right now.  If you're personally interested in this issue, you should realize that the NDP will be better able to effectively spearhead this campaign if people can make it easy for the NDP to do so (ie. go about making the case now yourself).

 

I am always amazed how people seem to think that calling the NDP out as cowardly will have the effect of emboldening the NDP. 

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

It's too bad these anti-Catholic jihadis didnt feel this strongly when the CIA and Saudis were funding Talibanization of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s. Then it was a-okay to wage war with secularists in Central Asia. Most hypocritical bigots I've ever crossed wires with

Hypocrite? Bigot? I openly and publicly support Mullah Omar's holy war to unseat Benedict CCLXVIII and sit at the right hand of G-d!

Jihad yes, Crusade no!!

Happy? Yup, I thought so. I feel like I've been waterboarded, but at least you got the truth out of me, so as Iggy would say, "Yeah, it's repulsive, but hey, it worked!"

Fidel

wage zombie wrote:

I am always amazed how people seem to think that calling the NDP out as cowardly will have the effect of emboldening the NDP. 

I'm amazed at the lengths people will go to avoid criticizing our two dirty old line parties for screwing up school funding so badly in Ontario.

Neoliberalism is their religion, or whatever the two old line party high priests of the day tell them they should believe in. Trust and obey, it's the only way. 

 

 

Unionist

wage zombie wrote:

What concrete things are happening at Catholic schools today in Ontario that can be pointed at, things that people do not appreciate, that are caused by the church having influence?

You mean, like Catholic school boards banning books which they view as anti-God? Want some examples?

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Keep it factual, not theoretical.  If problems are caused by the church having influence on the schools, find those problems and bring attention to them.

You mean, like the treatment of sex ed, birth control, pre-marital sex, same-sex marriage and the like in Catholic schools? 

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I am always amazed how people seem to think that calling the NDP out as cowardly will have the effect of emboldening the NDP. 

I don't personally blame the NDP. I put more blame on progressive folks who don't challenge the NDP to stick with principle.

 

Fidel

Unionist wrote:
Fidel wrote:

It's too bad these anti-Catholic jihadis didnt feel this strongly when the CIA and Saudis were funding Talibanization of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s. Then it was a-okay to wage war with secularists in Central Asia. Most hypocritical bigots I've ever crossed wires with

Hypocrite? Bigot? I openly and publicly support Mullah Omar's holy war to unseat Benedict CCLXVIII and sit at the right hand of G-d!

Jihad yes, Crusade no!!

Happy? Yup, I thought so. I feel like I've been waterboarded, but at least you got the truth out of me, so as Iggy would say, "Yeah, it's repulsive, but hey, it worked!"

So now the hypocritical bigots wring their hands over the vicious empire's military occupation of Afghanistan.

And they have the gall to suggest to us that the Taliban are comparable with Ho Chi Minh's revolutionaries, Sandinistas, and even Cuba's campesinos of 1959.

Just a few more years worth of slaughter and chaos, and those Taliban will send the warfiteers packing. You'll see, they say. Meanwhile according to Malalai Joya, another Afghan stricken from their memories, Northern Alliance commanders in Karzai's kleptocracy have been arming the Taliban! But that's okay, according to our resident secularists. As long as only a few hundred Afghans are murdered this week, or a thousand the next, justice will be done. And these people are hypocritical bigots not to be trusted when they tell us they are concerned for children and learning in Ontario. They are false friends of social democracy and are not concerned about the welfare of children at all. It's in their posts whenever child poverty is the focus. Anything issue will do as long as it deflects criticism from their favourite old line party for doing a bad job in government.

Fidel

Unionist wrote:
Fidel wrote:

It's too bad these anti-Catholic jihadis didnt feel this strongly when the CIA and Saudis were funding Talibanization of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s. Then it was a-okay to wage war with secularists in Central Asia. Most hypocritical bigots I've ever crossed wires with

Hypocrite? Bigot? I openly and publicly support Mullah Omar's holy war to unseat Benedict CCLXVIII and sit at the right hand of G-d!

Jihad yes, Crusade no!!

Happy? Yup, I thought so. I feel like I've been waterboarded, but at least you got the truth out of me, so as Iggy would say, "Yeah, it's repulsive, but hey, it worked!"

So now the hypocritical bigots wring their hands of false concern over the vicious empire's military occupation of Afghanistan.

And they have the gall to suggest to us that the Taliban are comparable with Ho Chi Minh's revolutionaries, Sandinistas, and even Cuba's campesinos of 1959.

Just a few more years worth of slaughter and chaos, and those Taliban will send the warfiteers packing. You'll see, they say. Meanwhile according to Malalai Joya, another Afghan stricken from their memories, Northern Alliance commanders in Karzai's kleptocracy have been arming the Taliban! But that's okay, according to our resident secularists. As long as only a few hundred Afghans are murdered this week, or a thousand the next, justice will be done. And these people are hypocritical bigots not to be trusted when they tell us they are concerned for children and learning in Ontario. They are false friends of social democracy and are not concerned about the welfare of children at all. It's in their posts whenever child poverty is the focus. They dont care.

Any issue will do as long as it deflects criticism from their favourite old line party for doing a bad job in government. And this is another one of those elaborate attempts to focus off McGuilty's Liberal government for breaking election promises to fix the school funding formula.

wage zombie

Unionist wrote:
wage zombie wrote:

What concrete things are happening at Catholic schools today in Ontario that can be pointed at, things that people do not appreciate, that are caused by the church having influence?

You mean, like Catholic school boards banning books which they view as anti-God? Want some examples?

Yeah, of course i want examples.  Without examples you're not really making an argument.

I want to see a list of all the books banned by Catholic schools in Ontario, and i want to see it on its own page, on its own website, so that people don't have to wade through a bunch of fuckin message board drama to read it.

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Keep it factual, not theoretical.  If problems are caused by the church having influence on the schools, find those problems and bring attention to them.

You mean, like the treatment of sex ed, birth control, pre-marital sex, same-sex marriage and the like in Catholic schools?

Yeah, that's what i mean.  How is sex ed, birth control, pre-marital sex and same sex marriage treated in Catholic schools in Ontario?  Maybe you can tell us in detail.

Maybe you could show evidence that teen pregnancies are higher in Ontario Catholic schools due to the level of sex ed taught there.

Just show evidence of something.  If there's not a strong enough case to convince the ONDP membership that amalgamating the systems would be successful, then there's not a strong enough case to convince enough voters.

If you can't articulate a progressive position well enough for the NDP to get on board, you won't be able to get voters on board either.

Fidel

I think it's safe to say that unionist is not a socialist.

unionist, as well as our phony-baloney Liberal government in Toronto, are entirely unconcerned with either socialism or equitable funding of public schools in Ontario.

The real problem with public school funding in Ontario is that equal funding is not equitable.

And our two old line parties have broken several promises to fix the funding formula for public schools in Ontario in general, Catholic and secular schools both.

Fidel

dbl post

Unionist

wage zombie wrote:

I want to see a list of all the books banned by Catholic schools in Ontario, and i want to see it on its own page, on its own website, so that people don't have to wade through a bunch of fuckin message board drama to read it.

Catholic public schools should be abolished because they divide children on the basis of religion, with public support and full funding - not because of the church's influence.

The fact that some Ontario Catholic school boards banned (e.g.) The Golden Compass is not the issue, because secular school boards also commit crimes against children and against education.

I was simply responding to your request for evidence of church influence. I didn't realize you were going to go a bit haywire in response.

wage zombie

I didn't realize i went a bit haywire.  Sometimes i am frustrated that babble is more about personalities and broken records than about actually accomplishing anything positive.

 

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Catholic public schools should be abolished because they divide children on the basis of religion, with public support and full funding

 I agree with you.  But as an a priori truth, i don't think it's much of an argument.

 I feel like the people who are very concerned about this issue haven't really gone to any effort to promote it.  And it seems ridiculous to me that people are talking about it in relation to the ONDP leadership campaign when all of the candidates seem to be in favour of the status quo.

 If this is an important issue (that sooooo many people care about), where is the citizen's group website that gives detailed reasons for amalgamation?  And why do people so concerned about it waste countless hours jousting on babble when they could instead be moving the issue forward?

Fidel

wage zombie wrote:
  If this is an important issue (that sooooo many people care about), where is the citizen's group website that gives detailed reasons for amalgamation?  And why do people so concerned about it waste countless hours jousting on babble when they could instead be moving the issue forward?

And they have no comment on the chronic underfunding of public schools by an unfair and inequitable funding formula since the Harris years, so I'm not so sure that they are terribly concerned about schools in Ontario or the welfare of children here in general.

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