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.