It’s a sad fact that the administration at the Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Whitehorse chooses to label homosexuality as “intrinsically disordered and contrary to the natural law” and says that “although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil.”
So in the view of this school, students who are homosexuals have a tendency towards an intrinsic moral evil.
It is deeply disturbing that a school board would describe their students in this way. Given the recent attempts across society to curb depression, anxiety, and bullying in schools, one would have hoped that the Vanier would have taken a more compassionate tone with its students.
It’s also a shocking position for the school to take given the recent well-publicized problems the Catholic Church has been having. One would think that given the many cases of child sexual abuse carried out by Catholic priests, and the deplorable attempts by church authorities to hide the evidence of such abuse, would give the Catholic Church some humility in making moral pronouncements on the sexual orientation of others.
Ultimately the Catholic administration is free to hold such draconian views.
They are not free, however, to enforce such draconian views and receive public funding in the form of taxpayer subsidies. By receiving public funds, this school must adhere to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadian laws on discrimination and educational laws on what can and cannot be taught as part of the curriculum in Canadian schools.
If the Vanier Catholic school wishes to maintain its homophobic stance, they should simply unregister their institution with Canadian educational standards, meaning they should no longer be considered a school under Canadian law. They should also return and refund all the taxpayer subsidies they’ve received over the years and stop taking federal and territorial funds for education.
Once freed of the cumbersome laws that govern our country with regard to human rights and dignity, Vanier can continue its policy of bullying homosexual students.
As for funding, Vanier should be able to depend on the Catholic Church institution, which The Economist estimated in 2012 spent $170 billion in 2010. Surely that is a low-ball estimate as well. Surely Vanier could lobby for a small percentage of that multi-billion dollar amount which the Catholic Church could spare?
Given the size of that number, one does have to wonder why Catholic schools continue to enjoy such lucrative tax breaks and public funds in the Canadian educational system.
Ethan Clow, executive director
Centre for Inquiry, Vancouver