A conversation about separate school education is not a conversation about religion or religious freedom. The disestablishment of Roman Catholic or Protestant separate schools would have no impact whatsoever on the free expression of religious conviction. Disestablishment would not impact church services, religious ceremonies, the operation of faith-based newspapers, or the teaching of catechism or any other religious expression, whether in churches or in church-owned private schools.
The disestablishment of separate schools would have no impact on the assets of any faith group. Separate schools are not owned by any church or faith-based organization. Separate schools are civil institutions and public buildings, like public schools, town halls, hospitals, and courts. They differ only in that they are the exclusive domain of Roman Catholics and Protestants.
The disestablishment of separate schools would not reduce the capacity of any church or congregation to make decisions. Separate school boards have no legal or financial obligations to any church. The disestablishment of separate schools would not deprive any church of anything it “owns” or “controls.”
The disestablishment of separate schools would not mean an end to Roman Catholic or Protestant education in Alberta. It would simply place such education on the same footing provided to Lutheran, Jewish, Muslim, Seventh Day Adventist, Bahá’í, etc. They would have to petition their public school board for a publicly funded program, or establish their own private or charter school.Do you agree that separate schools have more to do with special privileges than with religious freedom? Make sure you sign the petition!