The big issue for secularists in Alberta right now is the fact that our province is dumping large sums of money into public and private religious schools. Scott Rowed, of the Society for Secular Humanists in Calgary, soon to be CFI-Alberta, has written a great op-ed piece which appeared in the Edmonton Journal on the issue surrounding faith-based schooling. He reports the unreported stats, that are quite disturbing:
The religious schools in Alberta fall into three categories: separate (Catholic), private and alternative. The private schools are about 60 per cent funded by the taxpayers, have their own boards and are able to discriminate on religious grounds for both hiring staff and admitting students.
To have this choice of placing their children into a faith school, parents must obtain a letter from a preacher praising their church devotion and sign a statement of faith. This quote, from the constitution and bylaws of Fort McMurray Christian School Society, is typical: “We believe the Genesis account of creation is to be understood literally; that man was created in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not by evolution or change of species or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher form.”
The UofA Atheists and Agnostics will be engaging this issue more as time rolls by. Attempts to bring this up as an election issue were mainly waived off by politicians (using the excuse of “choice”), however, the issue is far from dead.