Relocation or Indoctrination: the Mennonites' Choice

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A small Mennonite community in a small town in Quebec is planning a possible exodus to the provinces of Ontario or New Brunswick to protect their children from evolutionary indoctrination, antibiblical teaching, and low “morality standards,” reports Canada’s National Post. Parents in the fifteen English-speaking Mennonite families fear that not sending their children to government-approved schools will result in child protection officials seizing the children, placing them in foster care.

The children are currently educated in a small school established by the Mennonites last decade.

The children are currently educated in a small school established by the Mennonites last decade. Originally meeting in a home, the school, which was expected to have 11 students this fall, now meets in the local Church of God in Christ. The children are taught reading, writing, math, science, geography, social sciences, music, and French.

The problem is that current laws in Quebec require all schoolchildren to be taught the official curriculum by certified teachers. To meet these requirements, the children would have to be enrolled in schools the Mennonite community does not approve of because, one Mennonite explained, “[W]e don’t agree with the emphasis on evolution, which we consider false; we don’t like the morality standards; and we don’t like the acceptance of alternative lifestyles.”

Quebec Ministry of Education spokesman Francois Lefebvre counters, “We are not trying to prevent them from living their life the way they want, but they have to obey the law when it comes to educating their kids.” The confrontation started last year after news reports led to an official complaint to the Education Department about the Mennonite school. Mennonite parents were warned legal action could be brought against them if their children were not enrolled in sanctioned schools by this year—legal action that could ultimately result in children being forcibly placed in approved schools, according to one Mennonite leader.

Every Christian parent should oppose measures that force children to receive a one-sided, whitewashed presentation of any controversial topic.

Sadly, we must ask whether these measures to force indoctrination (in this Canadian province or elsewhere in the country) are isolated extremes or signs of things to come. The government policy in Quebec, of course, is ostensibly to ensure children receive proper education in a number of fields, and it may serve this purpose to an extent. The question is this: how far will governments go to ensure that its view—often presented as unquestionable truth—is taught to children in every field, even when completely at odds to parental instruction? If it is wrong for children to receive science education based on the Bible, is it any more “acceptable” for them to receive history education or philosophy education based on the Bible? Will parents ever be restricted from, for example, teaching Jesus’ miracles as true history, since such miracles contradict the “official” understanding of science?

Most creationists have no opposition to having their children taught, objectively, about the evolution model of origins, for in such an objective way, the problems with evolution will be presented. Similarly, most creationists—including AiG—are against any sort of forced teaching of creation in public schools. What has caused tension since the often misrepresented Scopes Trial, and what continues to cause tension, is required indoctrination of evolution as unquestionable truth. Every Christian parent—and every other parent who wants to promote their children’s critical thinking—should oppose measures that force children to receive a one-sided, whitewashed presentation of any controversial topic. And that certainly includes origins!

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