By Grahame Stap
Published: November 2007
There has been a great deal rhetoric regarding funding of all religious denominations by various politicians during the current political campaign. I find it very strange that, to my knowledge, the public in general has not been asked if they want to move away from the currant funding structure to a more diverse structure.
Most polls are telling us that we do not want to segregate the people of Ontario by faith. The consensus of opinion seems to be that we need to integrate people of all faiths into society and the hope is, by doing this we will have tolerance and understanding and lessen the possibility of faith discrimination.
While it is certainly my hope, and most thinking people, that we will achieve religious harmony by not funding all religious schools but by integrating all faiths into our public system there is a difficulty that we seem to have overlooked.
I am not sure when we discontinued prayer in public schools. I suspect we are now into our third or even fourth generation of children not starting the day by saying prayers. The reason I mention this is not because I feel we should return to prayer in schools, but because the inherent moral grounding taught in the saying of prayers and learning of our relationship to God by whatever name God is called in a particular faith, has been removed and not replaced by anything else.
I realize that schools do offer classes on world religions and other alternatives to the saying of prayers but these are not compulsory and most of the time those that need moral grounding the most do not attend it. I also realize that catholic schools also have problems with bullying and violence but perhaps not to the extent that it is a problem in the public school sector.
If we read the news papers and watch the television, we seem to see an ever increasing trend to violence among our young. Also the level of violence seems to be increasing with more guns cutting short the lives of our sons and daughters.
Perhaps it is time to reinstate a program of moral grounding in all our schools.
Society has lived by a form of moral code since time began and in 1750bce the first written code of moral ethics came into being it was the code of Hammurabi. The Ten Commandments of Moses probably came from the code of Hammurabi.
The point is in all of our history a code was taught to the young so that they could become part of the civilization in which they lived and through this teaching respect the needs of those around them. I believe we have negated our responsibility to our young in not giving them the same moral grounding that we, of my generation, received during our school days.
So perhaps we should be asking our politicians how they are going to move towards implementing the golden rule in all our schools, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
Your donation will help us thrust the Niagara Anglican into the future - communicating the Gospel and the good news of our Anglican tradition to generations to come.