Quebec Mennonite school shutting down

The Quebec government has threatened legal action against a group of Mennonites who operate a small school in the little town of Roxton Falls. The school, which does not teach the theory of evolution, and which relies heavily on the Bible for all of its classes, has no accredited teachers, and their programs have not been provincially approved. The religious group has therefore decided to uproot themselves, and move on to greener pastures. Although it remains to be seen which province will welcome their Dark Age teachings, these Mennonites have expressed regret that their sacred classes could not continue.

I for one, applaud the government for finally having some common sense. The fact this school was even allowed to operate for more than an afternoon baffles me. It’s also encouraging that my home province in Canada is so willing to enforce strict adherence to tried and tested curriculum. The fact none of the teachers were accredited, for fear that having studies outside their sheltered community would have poisoned their minds, demonstrates the innate fear many highly orthodox institutions have regarding the outside world. For them, it is not only a place of sin, but also of vile corruption. They so easily distrust any knowledge that does not stem directly from their holy book.

Of course, it’s ironic their very exodus will be facilitated by technology; the cars they drive, the telephones they use to make arrangements, and perhaps even the websites they will rely on for directions. All of these marvels of technology exist because we have an understanding of the physical world that a dusty old tome can never equal. We know how electricity works, and we harness it. We know how chemical reactions occur, and so our vehicles can propel themselves forward. Yet, despite these wicked technologies, Mennonites reap the benefits of others with a keen understanding of the natural world.

I don’t want to senselessly bash all Mennonites. They do good work; many take an active role in their community, and the religion places a high degree of emphasis on volunteerism. Unfortunately, what we don’t need are a bunch of Bronze Age platitudes in the stead of real learning, and as a consequence, any school they open must follow the standard curriculum, whether they like it or not. They already live in a world that violently contradicts their most cherished beliefs; they just have to learn to deal with it better.

source: cbcnews

Comments (4)

  • avatar

    ken Greenwich

    What a misnomer “good” atheist… Just have to see your intolerant glee and enjoyment at the hardship endured by the Mennonites to realize the contradiction of termes.

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    You mistake glee for serious concern. But these individuals are not being forced out of their town. They have chosen to leave simply because their schools are unaccredited, and therefore are being closed down. If you feel instead that “tolerance” should trump the education of children, than I do object to this type of behavior. I will continue to debate and point out the deep flaws of religion.

    The “good” in good atheist is a testament to the fact that evil happens when good men do nothing; this includes fighting the irrationality of religion. Whether or not you feel this makes anyone a bad person is your opinion.

  • avatar

    Colin

    Ken, I don’t think intolerance is the issue here. Mennonite communites in the rest of Canada successfully send their children to public schools with supplementary religious education. Also, home schooling is fully available as an option with base minimum standards required in mathematics, english/french as required, physical education, nutrition, history, and yes even some sciences. Even as short as ten years ago the provincially mandated science curriculum had very little focus on evolution. This isn’t an evolution debate as these children weren’t even being taught the basic foundations of algebra.

    As I said, this isn’t about evolution; this is about children having the very basic minimums of educational framework in order to be able to integrate successful with a greated populace. That was lacking. Mennonite communites everywhere else seem to be able to do just fine with provincial e3ducation standards- why did this community specifically find it so hard?

  • avatar

    Angie

    A quick answer to Colin’s questions…thre are several branches of the mennonite church, and the ones that live in Quebec are not the same as the mennonites that send their children to public school elsewhere in Canada.

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