My attention was drawn to two letters in The Progress this past week. The first from Graham Dowden was very creative and well written, making the strong case for needing to show respect to all with an attitude of inclusivity. I am in full agreement that in social interactions with others, we must be welcoming and inclusive of all, regardless of their values, beliefs, opinions or worldview. While we may disagree on social issues, we don’t need to be disagreeable. From a Christian point of view, I believe that every human is created in the image of God and has infinite value; therefore each person must be granted that dignity.
In our schools, certainly our children need to be treated kindly and with dignity and respect, regardless of race, religion, economic status, sex, gender preference, sexual orientation or appearance. What concerns me is that in the guise of adopting SOGI to prevent bullying in our schools, that under the radar, there’s another objective that is stealthily being advocated. There are many parents who don’t want their children to receive teaching that promotes values that are contrary to their own values. Why isn’t it possible that our schools can simply adopt a no-tolerance policy toward bullying of any sort, enforce that and then just stick to educating children without mandating that they be exposed to or need to celebrate every possible life style? While people ought to be treated as equals, all values are not equal.
Secondly, I appreciated the letter from Dave Blundell, and resonated strongly with his views. Indeed, too often those of us who are Christians fail to act compassionately towards those whose values, behaviour or life styles are different from our own. The first motive for every follower of Jesus should be to show love and acceptance towards all people.
But here’s where it gets tough. Why are people of faith expected to bow to the wishes of the secular “progressives”? It is our right, as it is the right of every person, to have the freedoms of conscience, religion and expression. These rights are not only granted to us in the Canadian Bill of Rights but also in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We now live in a very secularized culture where religious values are often seen as out of step with society.
But when did this happen? Certainly previous generations in Canada were more “God fearing,” having religious values that would not have embraced the changes in sexual expression and gender identity. Are we wiser then our forbears? Is this generation now more enlightened than our parents and grandparents?
Believe it or not, many people still believe in objective morality which is not subject to a popular vote or consensus. It is our right to not only hold those values but to be able to express them in public forums. Furthermore, it is our right to not subject our children to the sexual morals currently in vogue. In our current society, the buzzwords of tolerance and inclusivity are often heard. But tolerance isn’t a one-way street that only applies to those who agree with us. While people may disagree with others, the right of all to be heard needs to be upheld. Since there will never be agreement on moral issues, let’s simply focus on education while ensuring that bullying has no place in our schools. Teaching on sexuality rightly belongs in the home and has no place in the classroom.