Canada’s Controversial Homeschool Bill Is Dead for Now
Weekly summary of world news
Norm Olson March 30, 2012
Canada’s controversial bill that would have prevented parents from teaching their homeschooled children that homosexuality is a sinful act has died in the legislature, reports onenewsnow.com. The Progressive Conservative Party’s new Education Act would have required homeschoolers to use instructional materials that validate homosexuality as acceptable. But Paul Farris, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association of Canada, reports that they could not get it through before an election was called. “Once you call an election, all the bills, all the proposed laws that haven’t passed then die,” he explained. “Now, if they win again, they can bring them back. But for the time being, the legislation is gone.” Farris said that more than 2,000 homeschoolers and other concerned citizens rallied at the legislature to protest the proposed measure earlier this month. “Certainly I think the rallies, . . . protests and calls of concerns from their voters, especially going into an election, played a huge role on that, but we don’t know exactly what caused them to let it die,” the HSLDA of Canada president offered. “But we have had a lot of indications and statements that they plan to bring it back.” Had the legislation passed, home and private schools that teach the precepts of their faith could have been prosecuted for “hate crimes.” Mike Smith, U.S. HSLDA president, remarked, “The challenge homeschoolers face now is the upcoming election. If the incumbents get reelected, the bill could come up again for passage. So, the homeschoolers are determined to get behind candidates that will support the right of parents to control the content of their child’s education in the homeschool setting. Canadians are learning that price of freedom is vigilance. A by-product of this legislative battle is homeschooled children are learning civics by application.”
- The Supreme Court’s conservative justices said Wednesday they are prepared to strike down President Obama’s healthcare law entirely, reports conservativebyte.com. Picking up where they left off Tuesday, the conservatives said they thought a decision striking down the law’s controversial individual mandate to purchase health insurance means the whole statute should fall with it. The court’s conservatives sounded as though they had determined for themselves that the 2,700-page measure must be declared unconstitutional. “One way or another, Congress will have to revisit it in toto,” said Justice Antonin Scalia. Agreeing, Justice Anthony Kennedy said it would be an “extreme proposition” to allow the various insurance regulations to stand after the mandate was struck down.
- Burma’s military ransacked a Baptist church and broke up a Christian conference of the predominantly Christian Chin community in the latest confrontation between government forces and ethnic minorities, Christian investigators told Worthy News. A legislator trying to halt the violence was reportedly threatened at gunpoint. Chin Human Rights Organization, which represents the community, said the Burma Army attacked the Sin Lum Pang Mu Baptist Church in Pang Mu village, in Bhamo district, on March 13. The church pastor Jangmaw Gam Maw said soldiers “from the 33rd battalion of the Burma Army’s 88th Infantry Division burned bibles, destroyed church property, and stole a video player, loudspeakers and villagers’ belongings.” However, soldiers reportedly claimed the properties belonged to an outpost of the autonomy seeking Kachin Independence Army, which has fought against government forces for decades. Troops allegedly also took money from the church donation boxes.
- An official State Department communication has labeled Jerusalem and Israel as separate entities, reports conservativebyte.com. Keeping up with its longstanding policy, the State Department refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital—despite a U.S. law stating otherwise. Obama faced criticism on the issue last year, when it was revealed that the White House had scrubbed all references to Jerusalem being part of the Jewish state from a collection of photos on its website. Obama has also been lambasted by pro-Israel leaders and some on Capitol Hill for capitulating to pressure from the State Department, which has long opposed U.S. law on the matter. A senior GOP aide condemned the State Department’s recent press release as unsound foreign policy. “Once again, President Obama’s administration reminds Jewish voters why he cannot be trusted when it comes to Israel’s security,” said the source. “He doesn’t think Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Is it its own sovereign nation?” The GOP source also chided Obama for continuing to buck U.S. law on the issue.
- Islamic militants with ties to terror group al-Qaida have launched the “ethnic cleansing of minority Christians” in Syria, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee the embattled Syrian city of Homs and other areas, aid workers confirmed Tuesday. At least 90 percent of Christians living in Homs have fled after “fanatics” forced them to leave their homes, said Dutch aid group “Kerk in Nood,” or Church in Need. It added that the exodus of 50,000 people mainly took place in the last six weeks. “They have fled to villages and in the mountains, sometimes as far as 50 kilometers from their homes. We have reports that Islamists ‘cleansed’ the Homs areas of Hamidiya en Bustan al-Diwan without giving them the opportunity to anything with them,” the group told Worthy News in a statement. Also, Lao authorities have detained five Christians who attended a Christian worship service Sunday in southern Laos amid a crackdown on Christianity in the region, representatives told Worthy News.
- Christian historian David Barton has come out with an assessment of the Obama presidency and religious freedom in the Jerusalem World News. Wrote Barton, “When one observes President Obama’s unwillingness to accommodate America’s four-century long religious conscience protection through his attempts to require Catholics to go against their own doctrines and beliefs, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Catholic. Although he has recently singled out Catholics, he has equally targeted traditional Protestant beliefs over the past four years. So since he has attacked Catholics and Protestants, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Christian. But that, too, would be inaccurate. He has been equally disrespectful in his appalling treatment of religious Jews in general and Israel in particular. So perhaps the most accurate description of his antipathy toward Catholics, Protestants, religious Jews, and the Jewish nation would be to characterize him as anti-biblical. And then when his hostility toward biblical people of faith is contrasted with his preferential treatment of Muslims and Muslim nations, it further strengthens the accuracy of the anti-biblical descriptor. In fact, there have been numerous clearly documented times when his pro-Islam positions have been the cause of his anti-biblical actions.” Barton went on to list numerous records of his attacks on biblical persons or organizations; examples of the hostility toward Biblical faith that have become evident in the past three years in the Obama-led military; his open attacks on biblical values; and a listing of numerous incidents of his preferential deference for Islam’s activities and positions, including letting his Islamic advisors guide and influence his hostility toward people of Biblical faith. Barton concluded, “Many of these actions are literally unprecedented—this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.”