Ontario’s New Laws…and What They Mean for Education
In this future, life is engineered so that there is no more war and no more poverty; no more disease; no more religion; no feelings of anxiety, guilt, or envy; all awareness of suffering has been blunted, if not eliminated. Huxley imagined what John Lennon sang about 40 years later.
This earthly paradise did not come without cost. In Huxley’s World State, the terms “father” and “mother” seem indecent not simply because people are “hatched,” but because the terms suggest a viable alternative to the state’s management.
In keeping with this ideal, all incentives for individuals to act responsibly and morally have been removed. There is no possibility of a better life. Yet self-interested or immoral choices are encouraged because individuals enslaved to their desires make ideal citizens of a totalitarian state.
The social landscape Huxley presents, and the portrait of human nature it paints, no longer seems so futuristic, and that may be particularly so in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, because of the social policies of its government.
ONTARIO’S GREAT LEAP FORWARD— STRANGER THAN FICTION?
Over the past five years under Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne, the changes redefining marriage, the family, and the human person have been swift and comprehensive.
Current SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) legislation is advancing society against marriage, the family, and personal responsibility in an unprecedented way. It eradicates the basis of personal identity, and makes human identity entirely dependent upon the state’s definition.
THE FLESH BECOMES WORD
There are five bills that encapsulate the legislative changes in Ontario.
✗ BILL 33 adds “gender identity and gender expression” to Ontario’s Human Rights Code. The Federal government has produced similar legislation.
This policy gives public recognition to a person’s private sense of identity, and overrides the public’s right to privacy in public places specifically designed to exclude the opposite sex. In other words, public bathrooms and showers are open to anyone who wishes to share them with you.
✗ BILL 13 requires public and Catholic schools to allow gaystraight alliances and to root out “homophobia,” “biphobia,” and “transphobia.” This served as a pretext for the Ontario government to usurp the power of parents (and duly elected trustees), even forcing schools to change their equity and inclusive education policies.
✗ BILL 77 prohibits “reparative therapy” for minors struggling with issues of sexuality or gender identity. Parents have no recourse, even with their own children. Scientific evidence or reason are not allowed to influence the discussion.
✗ BILL 28 removes the words “mother” and “father” from Ontario law, while allowing people to become parents through “pre-conception parentage agreements” with up to four unrelated and unmarried adults. The effect of this not only gets rid of the natural family as a defining feature of family law, it transforms all children into commodities and all parents into property owners. And private property is not a right defined under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
✗ BILL 89 integrates gender identity and expression into the Child and Youth Services Law. It has been suggested that parents who oppose the gender identity of their children could lose them.
These changes have been simultaneously implemented in the curricula of Ontario public schools in its sex-ed curriculum and in its Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, over strenuous parental objections and public protests. Primary schooling has been given over to “social justice” by the Elementary Teachers Federation.
A U.S. PERSPECTIVE
The thoroughgoing checks and balances of the United States’ political system, the tradition of state’s rights, and the sovereignty of the family, church, and school helps make them resistant to totalitarian rule. For these reasons, the U.S. may be less susceptible to this sort of legislation than Canada.
On the other hand, the American ideal of the “self-made” man is more truly American than in any other country, and the high tech moralists of Silicon Valley exercise their influence everywhere. The technological ideal of a Brave New World is a threat wherever man’s total dominion over life is embraced.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
In the end, a private classical Christian education is absolutely essential to the well-being of both our countries, because only it acknowledges the goodness of nature created by God as an aspect of His common grace. That natural good is in our very bodies, as Nancy Pearcey has argued in her recent book Love Thy Body, but it is only properly understood in the light of the redemptive work done by Christ in His human body.
For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof,” and of “the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.”
DR. SCOTT MASSON is an associate professor of English literature at Tyndale University College in Toronto. He studied classical Greek and Latin in Germany, but became a Christian while doing his doctoral work in Durham, England. He was the founding board chairman of Westminster Classical Christian Academy in Toronto, and remains committed to advancing classical education in Canada. He is a proud husband and father of two.