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-   -   Quebec Children must learn about other religions (http://www.raptorsforum.com/f/f23/quebec-children-must-learn-about-other-religions-10163.html)

Ligeia 09-03-2009 05:22 PM

Quebec Children must learn about other religions
 
Quote:

Graeme Hamilton, National Post Published: Wednesday, September 02, 2009

MONTREAL -- Christian parents who objected to their children being taught about other religions in a mandatory new Quebec school course have suffered a serious setback with a ruling this week that the teachings do not infringe their religious freedoms.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Jean-Guy Dubois dismissed a bid by parents in Drummondville, Que., who said the course on ethics and religious culture introduced across the province last year was undermining their efforts to instill Christian faith in their children.

"In light of all the evidence presented, the court does not see how the ... course limits the plaintiff's freedom of conscience and of religion for the children when it provides an overall presentation of various religions without obliging the children to adhere to them," Judge Dubois wrote.

The course was controversial even before instruction began last September. During the year there were protest marches in some cities, and about 1,700 parents asked that their children be exempted from attending the class. All such requests were refused.

The course's introduction was the final step in the secularization of Quebec schooling that began with a 1997 constitutional amendment replacing denominational school boards with linguistic ones.

As of last year, parents no longer had the right to choose between courses in Catholic, Protestant or moral instruction. The new curriculum covers a broad range of world religions, with particular emphasis on Quebec's religious heritage -- Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism and aboriginal spirituality. It is taught from Grade 1 through Grade 11.

The course's scope was too broad for the parents in the Drummondville case, who cannot be named because their two minor children are involved. During the trial, the children's mother testified that she did not see why her 7-year-old son needs to learn about Islam when he is still forming his own Catholic spirituality. "It's very confusing," she said.

In his ruling, Judge Dubois cited a Catholic theologian who testified that religious instruction is primarily the responsibility of parents, not schools. He added that there is a commitment on the part of the Catholic church to understand other religions.

The Quebec government, which intervened in the case in support of the Des Chęnes school board, argued that the course was objective and in no way limited parents' ability to pass their religious beliefs on to their children. Teaching children about other religions is a way to promote "equality, respect and tolerance in the Quebec school system," it said.

Sébastien Lebel-Grenier, a law professor at Université de Sherbrooke, said he is not surprised that the new course survived a challenge under the Charter of Rights.

"What parents were demanding was the right to ignorance, the right to protect their children from being exposed to the existence of other religions," he said. "This right to ignorance is certainly not protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Freedom of religion does not protect the right not to know what is going on in our universe."

He said the course is aimed not at instilling religious values but at trying "to explain to these children the diversity in which we now live in Quebec."

Richard Décarie, spokesman for a coalition opposed to the course, said the decision is a major disappointment. He believes there are grounds for an appeal, but he is not sure the parents involved can afford additional legal expenses. He said they have already spent close to $100,000 fighting the case.

"The course shouldn't be compulsory, because it changes completely how parents keep their moral authority over the education of their children," said Mr. Décarie, of the Coalition for Freedom in Education. "We're not talking about mathematics or French or English here. We're talking about something that involves the essence of the culture of people."

Two other challenges of the course are before the courts, with decisions expected this fall. Parents in Granby went to court after their children were suspended from school for failing to attend ethics and religious culture class. Montreal's Loyola High School, a private Jesuit school, has challenged the course, arguing that it obliges the school to put all religions on equal footing. The school says it already teaches world religions to its students.


Absolutely fantastic ruling, in my opinion.

Raptorman 09-03-2009 06:01 PM

Any chance they can learn English as well?

'trane 09-03-2009 06:04 PM

do you speak french raptorman?

rapsdabest 09-03-2009 06:26 PM

It's just ignorance not to teach about something like the Chinese government (excluding) Honk Kong pretends Tianamen Square never happened. Well in the real world there are other religions.:bash:

dfunkie1 09-03-2009 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 'trane (Post 235997)
do you speak french raptorman?

do you? and have you ever gone to quebec to use it? i'd imagine if you have, you'd know that it's completely useless learning it outside of quebec. we're only a bilingual country to keep them happy.

one province in canada speaks a fucked up version of french

half of another province speaks acadian

one province takes the time to learn france french

no one can communicate with one another

very very sad

fancylad 09-03-2009 06:42 PM

that's quite the assessment, Funkie.

'trane 09-03-2009 07:19 PM

touched a nerve, did i funk? pretty remarkable since all i did was ask if he spoke french.

to answer your question, yes. not fluently, but enough to get by. yes i have used it in quebec - in montreal, in quebec city, in hull, and even in ottawa - and no it's not at all useless to learn it outside of quebec. languages expand your understanding, not only of the population in your own country, but also of populations and thought processes around the world. i speak german as well. not just to travel in germany and austria, but to see the world in a different way and to expand my own thoughts about the ways i use the english language. it's never useless to speak more than one language, and we can be proud that we live in a country where more than one language is officially accepted. you're right that it's sad that we don't all speak it. we should try harder.

i will definitely take issue with the 'fucked up version of french' comment. it's perfectly good french, it just departed from the france version from about 1600-1700 and went along a different path. it's pretty similar to 17th century french actually, and it's no more fucked up that american or australian english is from the hoity-toity uppper class brits or the working class in manchester. any suggestion that it is 'fucked up' or inferior to france french is simply arrogance.

jeffb 09-03-2009 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jackson Filth (Post 236007)
do you? and have you ever gone to quebec to use it? i'd imagine if you have, you'd know that it's completely useless learning it outside of quebec. we're only a bilingual country to keep them happy.

I'm french and some of my family is originally from Quebec, and i agree with this to an extent.

dfunkie1 09-03-2009 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 'trane (Post 236016)
touched a nerve, did i funk? pretty remarkable since all i did was ask if he spoke french.

to answer your question, yes. not fluently, but enough to get by. yes i have used it in quebec - in montreal, in quebec city, in hull, and even in ottawa - and no it's not at all useless to learn it outside of quebec. languages expand your understanding, not only of the population in your own country, but also of populations and thought processes around the world. i speak german as well. not just to travel in germany and austria, but to see the world in a different way and to expand my own thoughts about the ways i use the english language. it's never useless to speak more than one language, and we can be proud that we live in a country where more than one language is officially accepted. you're right that it's sad that we don't all speak it. we should try harder.

i will definitely take issue with the 'fucked up version of french' comment. it's perfectly good french, it just departed from the france version from about 1600-1700 and went along a different path. it's pretty similar to 17th century french actually, and it's no more fucked up that american or australian english is from the hoity-toity uppper class brits or the working class in manchester. any suggestion that it is 'fucked up' or inferior to france french is simply arrogance.

the whole french-canadian issue touches a nerve with me. anyone in quebec who refuses to learn english is an ass. straight-up ass. canadians in general don't need french and if you look to montreal, they're really starting to understand that with major cooperations stepping out.

not sure how you could take offence to me calling quebecois fucked up french. it's no different than the fucked up english that is often criticized on this board. the grammatical sense of the language has been ruined. the proper french that we're taught is enough to understand directions, ordering food and simple greetings, but not good enough to converse with a quebec native.

i don't see how old english is comparable. we're not taught that. the problem is that we, the english, are not being taught the french that is used in canada.

i totally agree with what you said about learning languages. i've been learning french for quite a while now, i've also studied mandarin, but that's for personal satisfaction. when would someone in toronto, edmonton, st.john's or vancouver ever use french outside of vacationing?

whatever, though. i have a lot of french friends. i live in ottawa and i work for the government. i know there's a lot of great people there, but i fucking hate quebec and those quebec nationalist assholes. do you ever see english signs or canadian flags there? nope. do they come over here and throw moodies because a bus driver with say next stop bank street and not rue bank? yup.

jeffb 09-03-2009 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jackson Filth (Post 236056)
the whole french-canadian issue touches a nerve with me. anyone in quebec who refuses to learn english is an ass. straight-up ass. canadians in general don't need french and if you look to montreal, they're really starting to understand that with major cooperations stepping out.

not sure how you could take offence to me calling quebecois fucked up french. it's no different than the fucked up english that is often criticized on this board. the grammatical sense of the language has been ruined. the proper french that we're taught is enough to understand directions, ordering food and simple greetings, but not good enough to converse with a quebec native.

i don't see how old english is comparable. we're not taught that. the problem is that we, the english, are not being taught the french that is used in canada.

i totally agree with what you said about learning languages. i've been learning french for quite a while now, i've also studied mandarin, but that's for personal satisfaction. when would someone in toronto, edmonton, st.john's or vancouver ever use french outside of vacationing?

whatever, though. i have a lot of french friends. i live in ottawa and i work for the government. i know there's a lot of great people there, but i fucking hate quebec and those quebec nationalist assholes. do you ever see english signs or canadian flags there? nope. do they come over here and throw moodies because a bus driver with say next stop bank street and not rue bank? yup.


Most of Qhebec thinks that people in Canada should be more french, yet there businesses get fined if they have english on their signs that are too big (basically the french words need to be twice the size). It really is pathetic. Like i said, i'm French and i must say, i hate going to the province of Quebec. I remember during the Olympics (forget what year?) when a quebec athelete won a medal and said she was a quebecer not a Canadian. That sentence right there boggled my mind and says volumes of what Quebec in general thinks about the rest of the country outside of their province.

'trane 09-03-2009 10:44 PM

gee, i wonder why quebecois don't think of themselves as canadian....?

jeffb 09-03-2009 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 'trane (Post 236070)
gee, i wonder why quebecois don't think of themselves as canadian....?

Yeah, it's everyone elses fault? :sigh:

dfunkie1 09-03-2009 11:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 'trane (Post 236070)
gee, i wonder why quebecois don't think of themselves as canadian....?

how's that? not exact sure how we segregated them from feeling canadian when they're the ones too proud to call themselves canadians.

funny story. when i was seventeen, i was working with a french pastry chef from france. when he came to canada, he moved to quebec thinking it would be an easy transition for his family and himself. not so much. his family was un-welcomed because they were not the 'real' french. it came to the point where he actually received death threats. why? because he was from france.

my roommate, he's syrian and was born in france. when he moved to montreal, his family received the same treatment, yet worse because they weren't white.

when i say bad things about quebec, i'm talking about the seperatist. they could all burn in hell for all i care. canada and quebec is better off without them. think of me as you will, but there's a lot of people in quebec who agree with that.

Raptorman 09-03-2009 11:11 PM

No. I dont speak or understand functional French.

And I was fine with the whole French/English thing until Quebec passed a law to forbid English in their signs. That was shortsighted ignorance. As a business, you should have the chance to entice the higher percentage of English speaking client el.

jeffb 09-03-2009 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raptorman (Post 236075)

And I was fine with the whole French/English thing until Quebec passed a law to forbid English in their signs. That was shortsighted ignorance.

Bingo. Yet i remember a story a year ago when a Quebec resident was in Toronto and complained that the signs in the subway station weren't french enough. They simply want their cake and eat it too.

Windex 09-04-2009 05:49 AM

I have a good grasp on (real) French but I can't understand much of what people say in Quebec

I would like the province to be bilingual... or they can leave the country
maybe the rest of Canada should have a sign like this

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...brightened.jpg

of course change America to Canada

rapsdabest 09-04-2009 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Windex (Post 236110)
I have a good grasp on (real) French but I can't understand much of what people say in Quebec

I would like the province to be bilingual... or they can leave the country
maybe the rest of Canada should have a sign like this

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...brightened.jpg

of course change America to Canada

I doubt they'd like that. We need to tolerate them. Who cares if they don't speak english or deny being Canadian, that doesn't make them non-Canadian. They live in Canada. We're all the same. Who cares if they speak a different language or believe in different things. We're all Canadians whether you like it or not.

'trane 09-04-2009 11:30 AM

identity, of which nationhood is a part, comes from the self, not the state. while the citizenship of a quebecois is canadian, it is perfectly within their discretion (and i would argue their charter rights as well) to identify with whatever nation to which they feel they belong. i feel the same way about our first nations populations as well.

nationhood is extremely complex, and no longer related directly to statehood, as was the case in the nation-building that took place a century ago. the changes in populations, in borders, in immigration, etc have rendered a fundamental separation between state and nation, putting citizenship in the hands of centralized control and nationhood a matter of personal and historical identification.

the victor at the battle of the plains of abraham can't be said to be the deciding factor in the nationhood of quebeckers. it played a huge role in deciding their statehood and their citizenship, but it should have no place in deciding their nationhood. english and french in canada speak different languages, have different traditions, have different (historically speaking) religions and see the world and their identities in different ways. who are we to say they should identify nationally with the rest of canada? who are they to say that we should identify with them?

now the ways in which this manifests itself are not always appropriate. the sign law was not implemented well, in my opinion, but it does certainly rest in the attempt to preserve some value in that nationhood. again, it was a poor attempt, but i do recognize what the intent was. a better approach is through celebration and exploration of history and culture, much like you see with martin picard in his show martin sur la route. this type of national and cultural exploration will do a lot more to preserve quebecois culture than a sign law ever will. and it is in the best interests of canadians to attempt to learn something about that history for their own education, just as it should be for quebecois to do the same with that of the other parts of canada. education is never a bad thing.

but the point in the end, as far as i see it, is that it is not at all surprising that quebecois don't identify as being nationally or culturally canadian, and i can hardly blame them. the establishment of statehood on the basis of military victory and cultural dominance never rests well with those that lost. a canada that truly works as a multilingual and multicultural state is one that recognizes the different nations within it and that also values the diversity apart from those nations that make up such a huge part of our population. a nuanced and multifaceted understanding of what makes up canadian citizenship can easily accomodate a multiplicity of nations within it, and if done properly and with mutual recognition it wouldn't need a sign law to enforce it.

Aar_Canada 09-04-2009 11:42 AM

Back in the late 80's, myself and the family went on a trip to Ottawa. We stayed at the Chateau Laurier. We were there during the Meech talks and, surprise! were staying on the same floor as Robert Bourassa and his staff. My stepfather had a talk with one of his advisors who told him that, in a nutshell, Quebecers have an intense fear of losing their culture and language because they feel bombarded by the cultures of English Canada and the U.S.

jeffb 09-04-2009 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 'trane (Post 236221)
identity, of which nationhood is a part, comes from the self, not the state. while the citizenship of a quebecois is canadian, it is perfectly within their discretion (and i would argue their charter rights as well) to identify with whatever nation to which they feel they belong. i feel the same way about our first nations populations as well.

And that's the problem. Anyone from Quebec is Canadian, period. Everyone born here is Canadian reguardless of nationality or afilliations. Seriously wtf is going on with patriatism in this country. "I'm not Canadian, i'm a Quebecer"...Seriously? Last i checked Quebec was a province in CANADA! Deal with it. Can you imagine if this happened in the states or any other industrialized country....gee i'm not an amarican i'm a New Yorker. Give me a break.


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