Skip to main content

Ted Byfield: RC teachers must have the right to dispute Catholicism, says the ATA

If a teacher wants a Catholic school sex club, trustees must not be allowed to intervene

Ted Byfield: RC teachers must have the right to dispute Catholicism, says the ATA

The grave and mutual misunderstanding between people who believe in God and those who don’t was vividly on display in Alberta last week at a general; meeting of the Alberta Teachers Association, i.e. the teachers’ union.

The association passed a resolution urging Roman Catholic school boards “to recognize and respect the right of their teachers to exercise their own individual professional judgment with regard to religious instruction and the permeation of religion in the planning and teaching of lessons.”

An accompanying note explained: “The purpose of this policy is to make clear that teachers working in Alberta’s Roman Catholic separate schools have the same professional rights and obligations, whether in the context of religious instruction in religious education classes or when providing a religious perspective in other subject areas and activities.”

Now to the provincial executive council of the ATA, which proposed the resolution. all this does nothing more than recognize a teacher’s right to hold and express to her students her personal principles, ideas, beliefs and persuasions. These teachers are all “professional people.” What could possibly be wrong in allowing them every right to express things that they hold dear? Such, no doubt, is the thinking of the executive council.

And why not? To them, as to most modern people, religion is a “personal thing.” Religious teaching is not a matter of right-or-wrong, true-or-false, good or bad, but of one’s personal inclinations. If a teacher “feels” that while Jesus Christ was certainly a good man, the suggestion that he was somehow God Himself reduced to human terms, well surely such notions have outlived their usefulness, so why should she not be free to express her honest viewpoint? The idea that Jesus’ death had a cosmic dimension that in some way related to lives and deaths of all human beings, these are “lovely ideas,” but surely in today’s world we have long ago journeyed far beyond such primitive superstitions. Could a teacher in a Catholic or any Christian school hold such views? Why not? They are certainly the views that most of the general public hold. These, one must assume, is the position of the ATA’s provincial executive council.

This article continues at [Ted Byfield Blog] RC teachers must have the right to dispute Catholicism, says the ATA

Back to top