Alberta Education Minister David Eggen has condemned a pro-life group’s presentation to a Catholic school for comparing the Nazi extermination of Europe’s Jews with the killing of millions of unborn babies in Canada and the U.S.
But defenders of religious freedom condemned Eggen for telling Christians what to believe and teach.
Eggen said the video, “The Case Against Abortion, Personhood,” was “hateful propaganda.” He contacted the Red Deer Catholic School District, he said in a statement, “to share the government’s deep concern.” He told reporters, “Let me be clear. There is no place in a publicly-funded school for a video comparing the horrors of the Holocaust to abortion.”
While the Catholic school board swiftly acceded to Eggen, pro-life groups, including the one that made the presentation, defended the video. What’s more, a leading constitutional expert, John Carpay of the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, called Eggen’s comments “a profound interference in parental rights and religious freedom.”
However, Guy Pelletier, chairman of the board of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, said, “Any reference or comparison to the Holocaust in order to make or reinforce another idea is generally not an acceptable method of communication.” As with Eggen, he did not explain his reasons.
Pelletier also said the district was reviewing its method of vetting third-party presentations in its schools and discussing with Red Deer and Area Pro-Life, the video’s presenter, its future involvement with the schools.
The Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association told LifeSiteNews it would not comment because this was a local matter.
But Carpay told LifeSite, “The Catholic school trustees should be outraged by this attempt by the education minister to interfere in Catholic educational rights.”
“A Catholic school need not apologize for teaching its children consistent with its own beliefs,” he added. “It’s profoundly disturbing that the education minister should start dictating to Catholic schools.”
This article continues at [LifeSiteNews] Alberta gov’t: Catholic schools can’t compare abortion to Holocaust