Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A promise Tory can't keep

Earlier in the year, I wrote a post expressing my support for the idea of funding religious schools -- all of them, not just Catholic -- though not necessarily in the format that John Tory is proposing.

But if Tory was hoping to win over the religious right like Reagan and Dubya did in the States, he gave them a really big brush-off today when he said that any school that attempts to teach "creation science" or "intelligent design" as fact will lose their funding. Teaching about a religious point of view is only permitted in religion classes, according to the Department of Education.

Which is fine as far as it goes -- I went to a Catholic school where I had no choice but to take at least one religion class each year (for credit) and it wasn't a bird course either. Besides, I learned that the Catholic Church doesn't oppose the idea of evolution; its position is that God is needed to explain the human soul but that people should be allowed to reason, and evolution (or the theory of it) isn't necessarily in conflict with the Biblical story of creation. God is, after all, the creator of both the physical and the spiritual worlds. But people shouldn't be condemned because they honestly believe the world was created in just six days, either -- provided they have come to that through reason and not coercion.

The problem is that this promise that Tory made today is the kind of promise Tory simply can't keep. If the religious right wants its way, it will have its way and it will do it with votes -- and funding. Many would rather stay home than vote for the "infidel" parties. So if a vocal minority wants to impose their will on the majority, they will. And to hell with the common curriculum.

So, not that they were probably going to get my vote anyway, but Tory lost it for the Tories today -- at least from me.

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