And don’t fear the gay lobby. As prosperity disappears, they’ll disappear along with it
Though most luminaries of the left would shrink from actually admitting this, an implicit assumption nevertheless underlies the way they view humanity. The people are the property, so to speak, of the government. It owns all the elderly, all the citizenry the fit and the unfit, and in particular it owns and is wholly responsible for the children. True, the parents are allowed certain jurisdiction over their offspring, provided they educate them in all the values the government holds dear, and learn to think and believe the government-authorized version of reality.
If this seems excessive, consider the implications of a televised statement made last week by Alberta’s minister of education, David Eggen. He was attacking the new Conservative leader Jason Kenney who had insisted that if a student joined one of the new sex clubs, which Mr. Eggen is establishing in the public schools, the parents had the right to be informed of this fact.
Here is Eggen’s reply: “I’ve certainly been disturbed about Jason Kenney’s remarks. We’ve been working hard the last two years at least to build ‘safe and caring’ schools for students, and Jason Kenney’s comments are (like I say) a big setback for creating a ‘safe and caring’ environment for students. Jason Kenney’s comments show him to be quite extreme — if you scratch the surface.”
In other words, if your son or daughter discover themselves at the age of, say, thirteen, to be of another gender, or to be homosexually inclined and join a school sex club, it is the duty of the school to keep this information from reaching the parent. To inform the parent would be “extreme.” In sum, the student is safer at school than at home. The teacher is trustworthy, the parent is not. Mr. Eggen has spent two years trying to get this dogma established, and now Mr. Kenney has jeopardized it.
Bear in mind that the parent has spent thousands of hours, and perhaps tens of thousands of dollars bringing the child up, nurturing and caring in ways the state can’t even begin to emulate. But in what might become the most grievous turn in the child’s life, the vital facts are kept secret from the parent. To inform the parent, says Mr. Eggen, would be “extreme.” It would “set back” the “safe and caring” environment the government has been building since it took office. Thus the assumption: Government knows best. We will protect the child where the parent won’t. The child is ours, not yours.
But that, alas, is not the end of the story. Kenney, having clearly won the point, incomprehensibly decided the next day to back down. He had not meant that the government must tell the parent, only that the government should not allow a conflict to arise between the parent and the school, he said. Whatever that might mean wasn’t clear. The only possible explanation is that he has acquired an inordinate fear of the gay lobby. He doesn’t want to be called names like homophobic nor, worst of all, to look “extreme.”
Bear in mind that Alberta is a province with two major cities. The biggest, Calgary, is a private enterprise town, created by ranchers and developed by the energy industry. Edmonton, the capital, is a government town. Therefore, the oil price collapse has hit the Calgary economy much more severely than it has so far hit Edmonton, where new projects continue, financed entirely by our socialist government on borrowed money whose availability is rapidly evaporating. So Edmonton’s turn will come.
We should also be aware that causes like gay rights, native rights, women’s rights, and numerous other rights are products of prosperity. In Edmonton, such things still matter. In Calgary they don’t, and Kenney, I suspect, is getting his advice from Edmonton. which is what some call “a bubble zone.” The political climate of the whole province, in fact of the whole country, if not of the whole western world, is rapidly changing. When people don’t know where next month’s mortgage payment is going to come from, or whether they might any day be run down by a Muslim mad man, something the government seems totally unable to control, they don’t seem to care much about things like trans-gendered washrooms in the public schools. And if Kenney is “extreme” about anything, that’s a mark in his favour, because “extreme” is what people who are hurting start to look for.
In other words, Mr. Kenney, you are a Calgarian. Listen to your fellow Calgarians. I am an Edmontonian. Don’t listen to us. We are living for the moment in a very false world.
Ted Byfield was founder and publisher of Alberta Report news magazine, general editor of Alberta in the Twentieth Century. a 12-volume history of the province, and general editor of The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years, a 12-volume history of Christianity. His column on education appears in The Christians.com, a web journal. He has recently authored two little books on modern pedagogy: Why History Matters and The Revolution Nobody Covered. You can order both copies here.