What Bill 10 and Bill 202 should be about, and why are we fighting them?
If you have been in the Parents are Paramount Group on Facebook, you have probably read much of this already. It was part of a rant I went on this morning.
For the past couple of weeks the Alberta Legislature, the media, parents, and school kids have been up in arms over Gay Straight Alliances. The battle, though it could have been avoided had certain politicians used their heads, and gone into this without the primary agenda of destroying other political parties, is not what it appears on the surface. This has, without need to be, been the most divisive two weeks in Alberta politics in years. It could have been avoided.
Well, so what? I am getting a little sick and tired of Laurie Blakeman, MLA for Edmonton-Centre, Kent Hehr, MLA for Calgary-Buffalo, Danielle Smith, MLA for Highwood and Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, and Jim Prentice, Premier of Alberta, playing political games with the rights of Alberta’s children. Sure, parental rights are important. Parental rights are already present and protected in Alberta Law, though they are in the Human Rights Act instead of in the Education where they should be. Leave parental rights alone. Do you want to remove sexual orientation from the list of topics that parents can opt their kids out of? Fine. Remove those two words. I don’t have a problem with that. Move the parental rights section of the Human Rights Act into the Education Act. I don’t have a problem with that. That change makes sense. But, don’t mess with parental rights. It isn’t necessary for the spirit of the bill. It is takes away from the spirit of the bill. It makes people question what the real motivation is behind the bill.
Children, whether gay, straight, purple or green, need to learn to get along with each other. They need to know the world is a big place and there are lots of different types of people out there, and you waste a lot of energy hating people. We can’t protect them from gay people. What the heck do we need to protect them from gay people for. Don’t scream to me about immorality. There are immoral straight people. There are immoral gay people. There are immoral lawyers, priests, preachers, salesmen, and sports stars. Our kids know white children, black children, Christian children and Muslim children. Get used to it folks, our kids know gay children. What is wrong with that?
So the fight is on.
But what are we fighting against? What do Catholic, private, or charter schools hope to achieve by banning Gay-Straight Alliances? Is it in the best interest of Christians, Jews, Muslims, parents, kids, et al to ban these groups. The God I serve says NO.
The fact is there are gay kids out there. They exist in many churches, all schools, and every facet of society. They are accepted in most fundamentalist churches, Catholic churches and virtually all churches. They aren’t harming anyone. They aren’t preaching heresy, or causing all the youth in the church to become immoral, inciting mass orgies, or in any way damning our offspring to Hell. They are just kids. If anything were to happen to any of these children, the Church Community would be devastated.
Gay people have been part of society forever. Closeted for the most part, not spoken of, and pretty much ignored. Times have changed and gay people are not hiding any longer. There have been married gay people in the church forever. Of course no one judged them, no one shunned them because, though they may have been a little odd, or effeminate, they denied themselves, led heterosexual lives, but the fact remained they were gay. I can only imagine, having to deny who they really are made them miserable, to the point of addictions and even suicides. My God would not find this acceptable.
Pressure is being put on gay kids to come out. “Be an example. Stand up to the bigotry.” This pressure is what leads them to suicide. Pressure from the gay community to stand out. Pressure from some churches and parents to stay hidden. Pressure that no child should have to face. Why are children being asked by the Liberal members of our Legislative Assembly to make a stand? Children should be free from these sorts of pressures.
I am a person of faith and conviction. I am a parent. I have to ask myself, when Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”1 was he talking about straight kids only? Was he talking about only children who followed, to the letter, every single of the 613 laws in the Torah? Not likely. The God I serve would never turn down a single person, not for any reason.
What is more important for the Catholic School Board, charter schools, or private schools? Is it their definition of morality? Is it showing the kind of acceptance a loving, caring God would show? When are parents and the Church going to get it right? GSA’s are only part of the answer. Jesus would never turn his back on ANYONE’S suffering. Jesus would never shun a child. Do we represent the best of our religious faith when we fight against a club that may just provide a safe place where even one child may find comfort, acceptance and understanding, and be provided viable options to addictions and, yes, even suicide?
Granting LGBTQ children a safe place, a club, where they can be accepted by each other and their straight peers, is not going to bring down the Church. It is not going destroy the fabric of society for straight people. Our children are not going to be ruined by perhaps knowing gay people. They already know them. Understanding people are not the same, and learning to treat all people with respect and equality, with the same Agape type of Love our God has for us will strengthen them, not hurt them.
“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Do we practice what Christ taught, or do we sit with the scribes and pharisees? I think a little “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” is called for in this debate!!
To the premier; Basically Mr. Prentice, it is simple: Give the kids their clubs!! Who is it going to hurt? Kids who want to join will join. Kids who don’t want to join won’t join. Take it away from politicians to decide, or to pressure.
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