Gender Ideologues Threaten Alberta’s Christian Schools

Canada has suffered an unreported revolution. In times past, revolutionaries first seized the radio stations thereby dominating the public narrative. Today, in the Age of Public Administration, they seize the faculties of education. Their “long march” through the Canadian schools has taken fifty years, but today their dominion seems unchallenged.

In September, Alberta’s provincial Department of Education warned sixty private Christian schools that they are in violation of the “Safe and Caring Schools” policy issued in 2016. The government threatened the schools with “suspension or cancellation of accreditation” unless they remove these “unwelcoming, uncaring and/or disrespectful” words from their manuals:

  • “We believe men and women were created in the image of God … and therefore have transcendent, intrinsic worth.”
  • “Parents are the primary educators…”
  • “The unchangeable and infallible truth of the Word of God…”
  • “God created mankind as male and female, equal in dignity and worth…”
  • “God’s institution of marriage, a covenant between one man and one woman…”
  • “Obedience to God’s law supersedes subjection to human authority”
  • “The above doctrines will be taught as truth in our school…”

The list continues with well over a dozen proscribed locutions denying Christian schools the right to teach Christian beliefs about sexuality and non-negotiable reality.

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The free-speech advocate Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms then requested clarification regarding how phrases like “men and women… have transcendent, intrinsic worth” might be “unwelcoming, uncaring and/or disrespectful.” The government replied that the wording was deemed inadmissible solely “in the opinion of the Minister”—socialist Education Minister David Eggen, a committed proponent of pre-pubescent children’s sexual rights.

Across Canada, “LGBTQ” infiltration of the education establishment is almost complete. In early 2013, the Ontario Education Department rolled out a sex-ed curriculum, teaching homosexuality in Grade 3, masturbation in Grade 6, and oral and anal sex in Grade 7. That summer, the same senior bureaucrat who crafted this curriculum, Deputy Minister of Education Ben Levin, was arrested for making and distributing child-pornography as well as online grooming of a minor. At his trial, a psychiatrist testified to Levin’s sadomasochist tendencies. Yet this influential bureaucrat was released after serving just 19 months of a three-year sentence. In the provincial legislature, when a Conservative member tried to “connect the dots” between the LGBTQ sex-ed curriculum and its grooming author he was shouted down as “homophobic.”

The assault on Christian schools by Alberta’s education ministry is just the latest in its campaign to impose “Gay-Straight Alliances”—LGBTQ clubs—on the province’s schools. GSAs were first crafted in 2015 by a collapsing Conservative government ducking a contentious election issue and then sold as an anti-bullying measure. The Catholic “Separate Schools” in the three Prairie Provinces are constitutionally-protected, but the Alberta bishops’ initial resistance sparked a media firestorm—“Catholics condemn gays and lesbians to hell,” cried the Edmonton Journal. The Conservatives made conciliatory noises and one bishop finally conceded, “We can work with it.” Then the Conservatives lost the election. Their successors, the socialist New Democratics, saw an historic opportunity and joined forces with gender activists, already deeply entrenched in the academic-governmental education establishment.

Within months, Alberta’s education minister ramped up GSA websites, linked to gay porn sites, and the media largely ignored the few parents who noticed. Eggen issued “best practices” for transgendered students, mandating “self-identification” as the sole criterion in locker room choices. The principal of a rural Catholic school was suspended for starting a generic “anti-bullying” club, rather than a gay club. Meanwhile, the teachers of an autistic 14-year-old girl encouraged her to “transition” to boyhood, and then informed her parents six months later only after she became suicidal. When the new Conservative leader Jason Kenney suggested families be informed in such cases, Eggen accused him of wanting to “out LGBTQ students to their parents, and that’s dangerous.” The generally childless media agreed.

The Catholic bishops argued for a compromise: a generic anti-bullying program that wouldn’t teach oral and anal sex to children. One Catholic trustee says they were promised concessions in private meetings. But the government later demanded unconditional surrender. In October 2017, Premier Rachel Notley ruled that Catholic moral teaching is “denying science” and “endangering children.” Eggen called the Catholic position “completely unacceptable.” In November 2017, the NDP passed Bill C-24: “An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances.”

The new law forbids teachers from telling parents anything about their children’s gender education. Teachers are forbidden from telling parents when their children join a GSA. They are forbidden from telling parents about outside “advisors” or “resources” brought into GSAs. They are forbidden from telling parents when their children are “supported” in the decision to transition to another sex. The unstated premise: only teachers, not parents, can be trusted to raise children to sexual maturity. Or what passes for it.

Within the Catholic system (a quarter of the province’s students), the culture has already transitioned. A daughter’s friend attends grade 11 in a publicly-funded separate school, and she likes the school. But…“there are some washrooms you don’t go into at noon.” The principal enforces a strict policy against fondling in the halls, but only with heterosexual students. “He’s scared to say anything to two girls or two guys,” she says, so same-sex couples are free to make-out in public.

Education is a provincial jurisdiction in Canada, therefore the revolution has spread at different rates. Mainly rural Saskatchewan has so far resisted GSAs, but British Columbia has stripped parents of the right to remove their kids from the classroom. Both Quebec and Newfoundland voted to disestablish their Catholic schools twenty years ago, so their churches are out of play.

This summer, Ontario (with 40 percent of Canada’s population) elected a new Conservative government, partly on the promise to repeal its sex-ed curriculum, but its teachers’ unions—including the Catholic OECTA—say they’ll teach whatever they want. “We must meet curriculum expectations,” one teacher blogged, “but nothing says we can’t EXCEED them.” Lawyers are backing two “transgendered” teens, demanding the LGBTQ curriculum, and it’s not clear the new government can stomach a fight. The clerks are declaring sovereignty.

Intellectual Roots of the Education Revolution
The revolution took fifty years. In the 1960s, the Education faculties drifted into the religion of liberation, and Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed) and Ivan Illich (Deschooling Society) prophesied that Noble Little Savages needed only to be freed from social norms (good habits) and economic categories (useful skills). In the 1970s, Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization proved that real oppression is sexual: an “over-determination” by the one-two punch of family and class, sex and property. The spectacularly shallow Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida then deconstructed conventional sanity and heterosexuality as symptoms of political power. The promise of sexual liberation awoke the Prometheus in the souls of timid educators. By the 1990s, liberationists held the university Ed Psych and Ed Foundations departments, crushing dissent and igniting new sex-ed controversies. Now, the hetero-Mensheviks have acceded to the homo-Bolsheviks, since obsessive compulsion always trumps mere vice.

Gender ideology—the sexualization of children—is the End Game, for most of the revolution’s carnage was inflicted before its LGBTQ-ization, in two generations of historical idiocy and sanctimonious egocentricity. The fundamental calamity was the rise of a lunatic theory of human happiness: happiness as enflaming our most powerful passions. Many have lived this way, but in 2,500 years of human reflection no one ever seriously proposed such a delusionary, self-destructive theory of happiness as the purpose of our public institutions—not until Marcuse, Foucault, and Derrida. Today, lunacy dominates the faculties of education and public discourse, codifying a societal disaster. It is as if drunkards came to believe, on the authority of the medical associations, universities, and social services, that alcoholism is their fundamental “identity” and Navy Rum their necessary nutrition.

This beggars de Tocqueville’s worst nightmare. Since the dawn of history, the world has understood that happiness arises out of friendship, and friendship out of self-sacrifice, mutual dedication, and a necessary self-control of our anarchic impulses and appetites. But the managerial state has an unerring instinct and appetite for dependency cohorts, i.e., “clients,” defined and cultivated by arrested development. In fact, ordinary homosexuals (2.5 percent) and the transgendered (0.6 percent) are the victims of neo-Marxist clerks, gay and straight, selling a self-defeating anthropology. Gender radicals today claim their compulsion as their identity, and their exhibitionism as happiness. The misery is in the programmatic narcissism.

The Church’s Anemic Response
Hindsight is 20/20, but it is highly regrettable that, for 50 years, the Catholic Church in Canada failed to teach its science of happiness in the pews—a serious sin of omission. The Church started colluding with the culture in the 1970s, when pastors failed to tackle youthful fornication from the pulpit for fear of alienating indulgent parents. However, the revolution’s end-game lunacy has proven the sanity of the Church’s natural anthropology. All the epidemics of a collapsing civilization—fatherlessness, child poverty, promiscuity, self-wounding (e.g., “cutting”), gender dysphoria, addiction, neuroses, and suicide—arise from collapsing families. The Church has science on its side—see The New Atlantis review cited below. Yet Minister Eggen endorses gender ideology as “settled science,” and no one objects.

The Canadian Church hid behind religious freedom. Yielding on the anthropology—the argument from nature—the Church left work-a-day Catholics in a state of unconscious Averroeism, i.e., trying to live “Two Truths,” Revelation versus Science. So when the 14-year-old daughter of our casually-Catholic neighbors declared herself a lesbian on Facebook—true story—they had to affirm her “identity.” No priest had ever told them that there’s no scientific evidence for innate “gender identities,” distinct from biological sex, as The New Atlantis report documents. No priest had ever mentioned that 50 to 80 percent of adolescents with same-sex attractions, when they mature as young adults, go on to experience only opposite-sex attractions (Arch Sex Behv 43/3). No priest had ever warned that choosing a lesbian life would render their daughter two to three times more likely to suffer mood disorders, substance abuse, domestic abuse, depression, and suicide (BMC Psychiatry 8: 70). No-one else had wanted to tell them, and the Church didn’t dare.

The Church’s failure to teach natural sexuality in its parishes was not only a crime—it was a blunder. The real issue is natural happiness, but with liberation ideology unchallenged on the science the narrative degenerated in the media. Once the science was conceded, religious freedom was reduced to the right to be wrong. Jehovah’s Witnesses show how well that works: they can refuse blood transfusions on religious grounds, but they have no right to harm their kids in this way. Likewise, adult Catholics may suppress their sexual identities, but they have no right to “harm” their kids. Invoking “science,” the state steps in.

Short term, GSA groomers will pick the low-hanging fruit, e.g., fragile kids from unstable families, damaging them further. Psychologists have forgotten the once-treasured “sexual latency period,” from late-toddlerhood to adolescence, when a child’s brain is designed to absorb reading, writing, arithmetic, music, history, science and poetry—if undisturbed by untimely sexual stimulation. Such intellectual flowering is the real hope for troubled kids. The West’s intellectual preeminence into the twentieth century arose partly from Christianity’s seriousness in preserving childhood innocence, and single-sex classrooms prove the intellectual benefits. But now, the sexualization of troubled kids will magnify all the problems caused by the pedagogy of self-esteem.

Will the gender narrative unravel? The Jordan Peterson phenomenon and the Ontario election suggest it might. The gender autocracy is so heavy-handed that even Canadians may take notice. Another election looms in six months, and prayers rise up. Yet tenured revolutionaries will still occupy the bureaucracy and education faculties.

Stuart Wachowicz, the sane former Director of Curriculum for Edmonton Public Schools, says education faculties have become so corrupt in “worshipping the religion of diversity” that they cannot be reformed. The only solution for any courageous government would be to sidestep the four-year B.Ed. union-ticket, by reinstating the old one-year teaching certificate, offered in community colleges after a real B.A. or B.Sc. The experts would howl, claiming only they can mold other people’s children. But an audacious government would reply that social engineering is the enemy of real diversity. A “return to basics” would allow “a thousand flowers bloom.”

(Photo credit: David Eggen 2016 press conference issuing LGBT guidelines for schools / Youtube screenshot)


  • Joseph Woodard

    Joseph Keith Woodard, PhD, was until retirement the Citizenship Judge for Calgary, Canada. He has degrees from the University of Alberta, Dalhousie, St. John’s College, and Claremont Graduate School. He taught at too many universities; was the religion editor at Western Report and Calgary Herald; and he has one wife, three sons, and seven daughters, now bearing grandchildren.

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