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The School Funding Thread- Merged

Election Over

  • yes

    Votes: 13 40.6%
  • no

    Votes: 19 59.4%

  • Total voters
    32

DBA

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Promoting education to all I think most would agree is a public good. The majority of Canadians support or realize the necessity of levying taxes to support such a goal. The mechanics of achieving that goal are administrative and in a democracy must involve respecting the right of parents to make choices. To compel one choice above others through economic means is not in any way respecting that right.

I don't agree with the assumption that some form of collectivist education is a government goal or a worthy goal at all.
 

a_majoor

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Iterator said:
5) It does not matter if the above parents (items 3 and 4) intend to use the money for educational purposes, since it was never their money – it was always the public’s money, and intended for public education.

And that is the true and only crux of the argument right there: it IS the taxpayers money, not the politician's, not the bureaucrats and not the teacher's unions. For reasons ranging from accountability to justice, the parents should be the ones with total control over how this money is spent, hence the fact that the current proposal is only partially satisfactory. Full vouchers with full choice and full parental control; lets work to make that the real issue in this and any future elections!
 

ex-Sup

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Iterator said:
Having the Catholic school system is forcing the tax payers of Ontario to subsidize the Catholic Church.

Think of it this way: The government funds a school, and a soft drink company says it wants to run it; I’ll call this company Pep-C (hopefully not a real company).

The government is already funding all the education at the school. While Pep-C gets to mark everything with the Pep-C logo; gets to advertise how great Pep-C is to the assembled children (children who are there for education).

Sure, Pep-C will pay for the Taste-Test-Challenge, and other direct Pep-C classes; but other than that the whole thing is coming out of the tax payer’s pocket - and for no good reason. Pep-C would have paid for the whole thing; they require the brand loyalty they are establishing by getting the consumer during their formative years.

Pep-C would fight tooth-and-nail to keep this free ride going for as long as possible. And, if Pep-C failed to keep the monopoly on this, Pep-C would desperately try to convince people that the fair thing to do isn’t to stop doling out money to Pep-C, but to have the tax payer dole out more money to other businesses (like Koke, and Dr. Salt - hopefully not real companies either) to run the same scam, and to keep the free ride going.

By funding the Pep-C school you are subsidizing the Pep-C company. If you cannot see how this is happening then the people who run Pep-C are probably having a good (but diabolical) laugh right now.
Huh????????

So we've clearly established your opposition to religion in schools, especially Catholic schools (I'm making this assumption on some of your wording). We've been down that road...but it's clearly your opinion of the situation and one that is not shared by all. Now I would like to clarify some things for you.

First, what are you basing this interesting analogy on? I asked in a previous post for any teachers posting to sound off...you didn't, so I'm assuming you're not. Well, in case you missed it, I'm a Catholic teacher, so I know what I'm talking about. The Catholic church does not run the Catholic school system. The system is built upon the beliefs and teachings of the church, but not subservient to it. Our local bishop does not drop by and check on what we're doing; the board does not have conference calls with the Vatican to keep them up to date. The Catholic school system is directly responsible to the Ministry of Education, just like the Public system.
Catholic schools don't "brand" an education -- no Catholic student has been exposed to Catholic algebra.  There's no Christian physics.  I don't recall once seeing a Jesus fish in any of my text-books.
+1 Curriculum is curriculum. The Ministry of Education (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teachers/curriculum.html) details what we do in our classrooms everyday. We use the same material, which has been rewritten to include Catholic graduate expectations. These expectations are formulated by a group called ICE (http://www.occb.on.ca/ice/default.cfm?category=50), who represent Catholic educators, trustees and clergy. These items are an addendum to the curriculum; by no means do they override or replace it. They simply state what a Catholic student should know before they graduate (http://www.occb.on.ca/ice/online_docs/Graduate%20Expectations.pdf). The only curriculum ICE actually writes is that for the religious education courses, which are only used in Catholic schools.
I've already stated my position regarding religion is schools in a previous post. I base this on my experiences as an educator over the past ten years. One cannot assume to know what happens in a school, especially in a Catholic school, when you're on the outside looking in.
 

warrickdll

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DBA said:
...The mechanics of achieving that goal are administrative and in a democracy must involve respecting the right of parents to make choices. To compel one choice above others through economic means is not in any way respecting that right.
...

a_majoor said:
...For reasons ranging from accountability to justice, the parents should be the ones with total control over how this money is spent, hence the fact that the current proposal is only partially satisfactory. Full vouchers with full choice and full parental control; lets work to make that the real issue in this and any future elections!

The public (secular) education system is there for the public good. That is what the tax money is for; it isn’t a fund set aside for an episode of Pimp My Ride.

People are free to move around in the public system, or leave it. There is no reason for tax payers to pay for the designer educational desires of some parents. And under no circumstances should tax money go to religious organizations.

The real educational issues in Ontario are ending the Catholic school system and concentrating on having the best public (secular) system possible.



ex-Sup said:
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So we've clearly established your opposition to religion in schools, especially Catholic schools (I'm making this assumption on some of your wording).
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The topic is the Ontario school system and religious schools. The Catholic system is bound to come up – nothing special about it.



ex-Sup said:
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We've been down that road...but it's clearly your opinion of the situation and one that is not shared by all.
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I don’t mind holding the minority view, but most Canadians, in my opinion, are opposed to their tax money going to religious schools.



ex-Sup said:
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First, what are you basing this interesting analogy on?
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The analogy was to show how allowing a business interest to run a school with public funds is a massive subsidy. The Catholic school system in Ontario is a massive subsidy to the Catholic Church and should be ended immediately.



Shamrock said:
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Catholic schools don't "brand" an education -- no Catholic student has been exposed to Catholic algebra.  There's no Christian physics.  I don't recall once seeing a Jesus fish in any of my text-books.
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ex-Sup said:
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+1 Curriculum is curriculum.
...

No shortage of examples showing that education is just education; and how everything else is so insignificant a part of a religious school that it can be done at another time, another place, and with the religious organization's own money.
 

a_majoor

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Frankly Iterator, your position is the one that is not appropriate for a democracy.

You tell us that our tax dollars should be handed over to education bureaucrats to promote a "common good" which is not defined, nor do you make mention that the definition of "common good" chosen in Queens park might be wrong. I invite you to look at places like the former Soviet Union, or the current "New Labour" UK. The "common good" was chosen and imposed based on political ideology and enforced by State power (consider the fate of someone in the UK who chooses to with hold taxes in protest). Like here, alternatives were and are suppressed through various means. The situation is far advanced in the USSR and UK, and so now we can see the social collapse and economic ruin in the former USSR and the disintegration of social mores and general run down of the UK economy since 1997 (there was a fairly detailed article about the breakdown of the UK in Maclean's Magazine this summer).

If you or I make a wrong choice, only we have to bear the consequences. A distant bureaucrat in Queens park can make a wrong choice, and it is amplified with the power of billions of tax dollars to affect us all. Taking that power away and allowing parents to have a wider range of choices is for the benefit of us all. To stubbornly insist that parents must only follow your choice or should be economically punished for accessing a wider range of options (through what amounts to double taxation) reveals a petty and authoritarian streak which seems to be the common denominator among many of the opponents of this scheme in particular and school choice in general.
 

ex-Sup

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Iterator said:
The analogy was to show how allowing a business interest to run a school with public funds is a massive subsidy. The Catholic school system in Ontario is a massive subsidy to the Catholic Church and should be ended immediately.

No shortage of examples showing that education is just education; and how everything else is so insignificant a part of a religious school that it can be done at another time, another place, and with the religious organization's own money.
My point is that you are basing everything on your own opinion. How do you know these things? Are you in any way associated with education or specifically Catholic education? Everything that I've mentioned comes from my experiences in the system. They are not my opinion. It's clear that our students need more moral and ethical guidance; if religion provides that, so be it. And I don't buy this majority view either. There are over 100,000 teachers in the publically funded systems in Ontario; some 36,000 are Catholic.  Add to this the many that teach in private religious schools, the number is much higher. There are clearly many parents who want their children to experience the benefits of religious education.
editted for gammar
 

warrickdll

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a_majoor said:
Frankly Iterator, your position is the one that is not appropriate for a democracy.
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...the social collapse and economic ruin in the former USSR...
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...the disintegration of social mores and general run down of the UK economy...
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...To stubbornly insist that parents must only follow your choice or should be economically punished for accessing a wider range of options (through what amounts to double taxation) reveals a petty and authoritarian streak which seems to be the common denominator among many of the opponents of this scheme in particular and school choice in general.

I think you’ve confused the similes.

In my opinion, the right way:

- Government provides a good (secular) police force for the public good
- If you have the means, you can hire (for example) the services of a private security firm


- Government provides a good (secular) health care system for the common good
- If you have the means, you can hire (for example) the services of a private Doctor


- Government provides a good (secular) education system for the public good
- If you have the means, you can hire (for example) the services of a private school


- All private services will have some restrictions such as monitoring, accreditation, and limited powers.
- All private services must function without public money and must pay for government services such as monitoring and accreditation


In, my opinion, the wrong way:

- Government services formerly provided for the public good are allowed to rot
- People purchase private services they cannot afford and force the state to fund them
- Religious organizations set up exclusionary services and (even though the religious organizations have their own money) force tax payers to fund them


I’m calling for responsible government, individual choice and individual responsibility. You seem to be advocating government as an absentee landlord and people using tax money as their own private bank account.



ex-Sup said:
My point is that you are basing everything on your own opinion...

Yes; it is in my opinion that publicly funding religious schools are a subsidization of religion. I have stated why I hold that opinion, and provided an analogy to counter suggestions that it is not.


ex-Sup said:
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It's clear that our students need more moral and ethical guidance; if religion provides that, so be it....
...

It is not a “so be it” situation. The public (secular) school system is perfectly capable of handling the day-to-day business of “everyone needs to play nicely together” and any requirements of right and wrong that would apply equally in any school setting.

It is the responsibility of the parents to handle non-secular moral and ethical issues. If some parents want to farm this responsibility out to some religious group – fine, but that has nothing to do with education, and nothing to do with tax money.
 

Shamrock

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You still haven't clarified HOW these faith based schools are government funding religion. 

An analogy:

School Board A receives a contract with a beverage company, we'll call it Pep-C.  All the funds for the education come from public sources.  Pep-C inundates the students with marketing but all at Pep-C's own expense.  Therefore, Pep-C is funded by the government.


 

marc

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I moved from Quebec to Ontario for job purposes. I have young kids. I chose a French-Catholic school for them and I have higher quality service in Ontario than in the Quebec schools. I am watching Quebec schools as they are developing an education program to all religions. For the moment, it is a mess. It is a reason for which I am happy to be in Ontario.
 

PMedMoe

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Shamrock said:
You still haven't clarified HOW these faith based schools are government funding religion. 

Are income taxes are not considered government funds?

Let's take religion out of the equation (and no, I won't use brand names either).  Do you not think that if there were a Caucasian school board, being funded by the government, that did not allow the entry of non-Caucasian children, there would not be a HUGE uproar from all other ethnic groups?
Most people are arguing here against the religion based schools and NOT against the Catholics.  They are against ANY religious school being funded or they want ALL religious schools to be funded.  The Catholic school just happens to be the only one there is.
 

warrickdll

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Shamrock said:
You still haven't clarified HOW these faith based schools are government funding religion. 
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Really? I thought for sure the Pep-C analogy (though tiresome) really nailed it – if not the previous posts I submitted. I find it difficult to believe that someone cannot see how this is subsidizing religion.


- All the logistics are taken care of by the good people of Ontario. No need to convince parents to bring their children to church on the weekend or after school.

- It would be incredibly difficult for a religious organization to find a way to receive such a large and steady flow of consumers, and to have it just handed to them – and paid for by the government – Bonanza!

- The validation alone: “My religion is so real the government allows it to run schools with other people’s money!” – You can’t buy that.


 

DBA

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Iterator said:
In my opinion, the right way:

- Government provides a good (secular) police force for the public good
- If you have the means, you can hire (for example) the services of a private security firm


- Government provides a good (secular) health care system for the common good
- If you have the means, you can hire (for example) the services of a private Doctor


- Government provides a good (secular) education system for the public good
- If you have the means, you can hire (for example) the services of a private school


- All private services will have some restrictions such as monitoring, accreditation, and limited powers.
- All private services must function without public money and must pay for government services such as monitoring and accreditation


In, my opinion, the wrong way:

- Government services formerly provided for the public good are allowed to rot
- People purchase private services they cannot afford and force the state to fund them
- Religious organizations set up exclusionary services and (even though the religious organizations have their own money) force tax payers to fund them


I’m calling for responsible government, individual choice and individual responsibility. You seem to be advocating government as an absentee landlord and people using tax money as their own private bank account.

Except it all reads no choice at all except for those with money and they must leave the system not make choices within it. It's nothing but, Don't like it? Then leave/move/etc. The less choices and flexibility in a system the more it will resist change, the less it changes and adapts the bigger chance it rots in place. Throwing more money at rotting system that got that way through failure to adapt or change just papers over a symptom without addressing the cause. When education funding was changed in Ontario a couple years ago a pile of extra cash was added to allow school boards to adapt and make the changes necessary to function under the new funding formulae. Instead of changing they blew the money papering over problems leaving things in an even worse state today. Instead of rationalizing schools by closing some, expanding or building others and in general planning for predictable changes in student populations in different geographical areas they used the money to keep all the schools open. So the problem that school infrastructure is old, poorly matched to geographical student populations and very costly to run remains. We need to stop rewarding incompetence and intransigence with more money.
 

Shamrock

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Iterator said:
You can’t buy that.

You're absolutely right.  I don't buy your analogy for an instant.  It's beyond watery.

It has been argued in plain here that students are not exposed constantly to the Church while at school. 

Iterator said:
- All the logistics are taken care of by the good people of Ontario. No need to convince parents to bring their children to church on the weekend or after school.

This is equally ludicruous.  Do you really think that?  Can you verify it? 

Iterator said:
- It would be incredibly difficult for a religious organization to find a way to receive such a large and steady flow of consumers, and to have it just handed to them – and paid for by the government – Bonanza!
You seem to think religion is a marketable product instead of a faith.  Sure, you can find analogies between them.  I can find analogies between swimming and flying, but I have yet to see a sign that says, "Beware of low flying carp."

If only it were true that Catholic schools did produce ready-made Cathbots.  However, a quick read-through of this thread reveals that several students of Catholic school systems are no longer practicing Catholics.  The reverse is true, that practicing Catholics come from the public school system.  Are you going to argue that the public school system fails to protect children from the evils of mass marketing religion?
 

Kirkhill

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Mortarman Rockpainter said:
Naturally the arguments about Catholic School Boards in Ontario is an historical one.  The details escape me right now, but suffice it to say that the funding only goes to grade 10, again, for historical reasons.  Other than saying that there was a need in the past, I would argue that you would have to say what has changed that would cause the system to change.

As I understand it, you certainly don't have to be Catholic, or even Christian for that matter, to attend Catholic schools.  Some parents (when I was growing up) chose to have their kids attend Catholic schools because the catholic system (in that school board) happened to have a better rep than the public system.  Naturally there are mandatory masses etc for the kids, but in religion class, it wasn't all papistry (if such a word exists), but there was a significant programme educating us on World Religions.  

Anyway, I have no opinion either way.  I just moved here to Upper Canada, and I'm more focussed on the "proportional representation without responsibility" boondockle being suggested in the referendum.

Actually, I would argue that the same conditions that drove the two-system : one curriculum solution in the 1890's still apply in spades today.  The compromise had been cobbled together over the time from the taking of the Plains of Abraham.  There was an ongoing war between Huguenots and Catholics that had broken out in Paris in 1525 and that ended up with Britain calling herself protestant and aligning itself with the Huguenots while Catholics of all nations (including both Roman Catholics and the Bourbons' homegrown Gallican Catholics) lined up on the other side.  Irish Catholics, including Fenians, as well as Scots Metis and Cape Breton Highlanders, self identified with the Catholics.  (Together those groups represent the core constituency of the Liberal Party....but I digress as usual).

So the Schools Question was played out against a backdrop of a War that lasted over 400 years (1525 to 1963 - Day of the Placards to Vatican 2 and the Tascherau Report) and that regularly saw neighbours killing neighbours and Governments taking advantage of the heartfelt beliefs of individuals to further their own interests.

Our fight with Islam is entirely analogous to the Huguenot-Catholic War.  And as it was considered a "reasonable accomodation" to back off on principle - despite popular opposition - and display a bit of toleration by offering the gift of funding I think that it an equally acceptable solution today.

In the 1890s the greatest fear of the Church in Rome was of Toleration.  They believed it was more important that they were seen to be Right than that people were allowed to accomodate their neighbour. (Check the Vatican site for encyclicals of that era.  The sentiment was explicitly expressed.)  That puts the Mullahs of today and the Cardinals of the 1890s on the same page.

In return the Government gained access to the schools to inspect and "govern" the curriculum while at the same time demonstrating that all Protestants weren't all bast...ds all the time (12th of July, Derry Day and hiring practices excepted).

We are in exactly the same situation today between the Fundamentalists of Secularism and the Fundamentalists of Islam (not to mention Sikhs and Jews and Latter Day Saints and Presbyterians).  The issue goes to the question of the Government's right to monitor free speech and association and control messaging in the interest of maintaining some form of civil discourse, if not harmony.

It's worth it to me to pay a Shilling to a piper that plays poorly if I get to call the tune.

 

warrickdll

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DBA said:
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Throwing more money at rotting system that got that way through failure to adapt or change just papers over a symptom without addressing the cause.
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We need to stop rewarding incompetence and intransigence with more money.

Pointing out problems with the public system only shows how much effort and leadership is needed to fix it, not that it should be abandoned (note: I disagree with the board system).

Education isn’t some freak government service that is somehow unworkable or must be handed over, with bags of money, to religious organizations.

We all make choices in life; it doesn’t mean the government has to pay for all of them.




Shamrock said:
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It has been argued in plain here that students are not exposed constantly to the Church while at school.
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If only it were true that Catholic schools did produce ready-made Cathbots.  However, a quick read-through of this thread reveals that several students of Catholic school systems are no longer practicing Catholics.
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Well then clearly it is not needed to be run along religious lines.


- If you point out how much a religious school doesn’t teach religion you're just proving the point that a religious school is not required

- If you point out how much a religion needs a religious school you're just proving the point that it shouldn’t be government funded.



 

warrickdll

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Kirkhill said:
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We are in exactly the same situation today between the Fundamentalists of Secularism and the Fundamentalists of Islam (not to mention Sikhs and Jews and Latter Day Saints and Presbyterians).  The issue goes to the question of the Government's right to monitor free speech and association and control messaging in the interest of maintaining some form of civil discourse, if not harmony.

It's worth it to me to pay a Shilling to a piper that plays poorly if I get to call the tune.


The situation is not the same today. Canada’s governments today have only a few vestigial remains from its former Protestant status – none of which affect education. This leaves no cause for separate school systems or appeasement to religious organizations on this matter.

It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their children acquire education to a government set standard. The government provides the public (secular) system for them to achieve that. The parents may go outside the system and meet their responsibilities; but not with government money. There is absolutely no reason for the government to pay for schools run by religious organizations – religions have enough money for this.

The piper does not need your shilling - he must play your tune regardless.
 

Shamrock

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Iterator said:
- If you point out how much a religious school doesn’t teach religion you're just proving the point that a religious school is not required

Your logic is clearly flawed.  I am saying that a Catholic school teaches considerably more than religion. 

Iterator said:
- If you point out how much a religion needs a religious school you're just proving the point that it shouldn’t be government funded.

Aren't you the one asserting this?  I sure as hell ain't.

Iterator said:
There is absolutely no reason for the government to pay for schools run by religious organizations – religions have enough money for this.

I was under the impression the schools were run by the school boards, which in turn are ran by publicly elected trustees.
 

warrickdll

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Shamrock said:
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Aren't you the one asserting this?  I sure as hell ain't.
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Yes. It is my post - and very much my assertion.



Shamrock said:
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I was under the impression the schools were run by the school boards, which in turn are ran by publicly elected trustees.

I'll go with another - Really?! Why dance around this. It's a catholic school system. Not a school system that, just by happy coincidence, is favourable to Catholics.
 

Kirkhill

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Iterator said:
The situation is not the same today. Canada’s governments today have only a few vestigial remains from its former Protestant status – none of which affect education. This leaves no cause for separate school systems or appeasement to religious organizations on this matter.

It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their children acquire education to a government set standard. The government provides the public (secular) system for them to achieve that. The parents may go outside the system and meet their responsibilities; but not with government money. There is absolutely no reason for the government to pay for schools run by religious organizations – religions have enough money for this.

The piper does not need your shilling - he must play your tune regardless.

I see that we are likely to be in disagreement for a long while.  

First of all - it is never an issue of "needing" the shilling.  People that "need" the shilling do not appreciate it as a "gift".  It is usually seen as a just reward for services rendered.   They "need" the shilling to put food on the table.

On the other hand a gift freely offered when there is no need is likely to be taken as a token of friendship....and there is a thought - trying to make friends.  It is pretty hard to compel someone to be friendly.  I doubt the piper will play well if he has a bayonet at his backside. (Maybe we should check with RHFC_piper on that one  ;) )

As to the situation not being the same today.  You say it isn't.  I say it is.  I'm right.  ;D

The issue is not about the religious affiliation of the Government.  I agree that there is not much overt Protestantism about the Government.  But there is a great degree of Protestantism about Secularism.  The Roman Church took issue with the provision of "religion-free" schools just as much as they did about "protestant" schools because in both cases the innocents were being denied the protection of the Church from wayward arguments as the Church attempted to bring them safely to the One Truth.    In that the Church was no different than the Communists, the Presbyterians or even the Canadian Labour Congress and the CBC.
It is always done by good people with the best of intentions - but it never works.

The problem is not with the Government's perceptions.  The problem is with the perceptions of the problem population and changing those perceptions.  

And if that population perceives that they are under threat from the Government (and the general populace) I doubt if they are likely to be convinced otherwise by bayonets and other coercive and compulsive forces.

With respect to the curriculum/values thing:

With money comes access.
With access comes the opportunity to carry a message (any message)
With access comes the opportunity to demonstrate your values in action
With access comes the opportunity to demonstrate your own humanity and dispel rumours (like being hard-hearted spawn of satan that are just raising good muslim kids for the thanksgiving table)

That has a tendency to undercut any messaging from the other side.


BTW - I still have no problem with arresting disturbers of the peace and shooting any beggar that is inclined to shoot at me and mine.  This is not a bleeding-heart reflex.  It is a hard, cold, economic calculus.  I would sooner spend a Shilling on the piper and make him happy than a Pound putting down an insurrection by his malcontented relatives.












 

warrickdll

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Kirkhill said:
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But there is a great degree of Protestantism about Secularism.
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Much of Protestantism has changed in order to become more relevant to a population that is more secular.


Kirkhill said:
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The Roman Church took issue with the provision of "religion-free" schools just as much as they did about "protestant" schools
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That is not a problem that the government should pay for - I’m not saying Catholic schools can’t exist.


Kirkhill said:
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I would sooner spend a Shilling on the piper and make him happy than a Pound putting down an insurrection by his malcontented relatives.
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I can’t see this being a problem; there is no attack on anyone’s religion, just putting the funding where it should be.


Kirkhill said:
I see that we are likely to be in disagreement for a long while.
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As to the situation not being the same today.  You say it isn't.  I say it is.  I'm right.  ;D
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No, no! I'm sure my opinions are well thought out and entirely convincing. :)
 
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