Saturday, November 13, 2010

Secularists Opening up a Can of Their Own Worms?

Post 23—

We are still on the issue of why some secularists want to effect changes in the Public Schools of BC. The secularists under discussion are, of course, good friends of mine and fellow members of World Views Collaborative (WVC). So, I am talking here about and even to these friends. They are three and I could name them for you. Their initials are E and K and E. Well, you know that bit about privacy that’s in the BC air.

They invited me to join them in a “crusade” to have Public School authorities in BC agree to a new high school course that would teach about all major BC world views. That would include the various religions as well as Humanism, their own world view. I joined them because I agreed this would be a good thing and I am glad I did, for I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my WVC friends in a setting where everyone is very definite about their own world view but also very open, respectful and courteous about that of others.

I have tried to warn E, K and E that they could be opening up a can of their own worms. As it is, their world view is actually the reigning one in the Public Schools. There is no course teaching their world view, but theirs is the entire basis of the system and all courses are based on the secular world view. Now, of course, like other religions/world view, secularists are also divided amongst themselves, so that many of them will have some critique of the Public School system. However, by and large it is theirs that is the very atmosphere that the students and teachers breathe in these schools as the assumed truth that is hardly ever subject to scrutiny in those schools. The entire world view is simply assumed and considered neutral enough that everyone can subscribe to it. ‘t Ain’t so. Many do not subscribe to it and hence have transferred to schools more amenable to their own world view—after they have been forced to pay the taxes to have the establishment world view of Secularism taught.

E, K and E, do you not realize how privileged your world view is in the Public School? Without anyone overtly teaching it, students just soak it in effortlessly without realizing it. I know, for I have been through it and did indeed soak it up without realizing how I slowly veered away from my own Christian world view. Oh, I did not lose my faith, but my views of the world and events and scientific discoveries, etc. all became increasingly secularized. It was not until I began taking courses in Christian philosophy at university level that I began to realize that I had been secularized in much of my thinking. The secular world view of the system almost achieved its purpose with me.

But no one seems to realize that secularism is really the establishment faith or world view. It is exactly that. Now, if the schools are going to teach that course, including Secularism, students are going to question that world view that previously they simply imbibed unconsciously. Students and parents may suddenly begin to realize that there is nothing neutral about this perspective and that it is as subjective as all the other world views taught in the course. It, too, can be questioned and rejected like all the others or accepted. Its privileged status in the schools will be questioned. That is the can of worms I am talking about.

And with its privileged status now being questioned, people will begin to ask why the Public School only supports this one particular world view and not any of these others. Canadians have long ago rejected the notion of an establishment worldview, at least, when it was a Christian one. Catholics long had that dubious privilege in Quebec and they still enjoy the financial residue of that in Ontario. Anglicans have been the establishment in Ontario and, if my BC history is not completely off the track, even enjoyed a minor version of it on Vancouver Island. People have revolted against such arrangements and many take it ill of these churches for the establishmentarian roles they have played. E, K and E, is that what you are looking for? You really want those worms out of the can? Having an annual Christmas tree in these schools or one or two other tokens of our Christian past is a small price to pay for having your world view presented as unquestioned gospel truth.

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