COLUMN: Lilley – Free people or subjects?

- October 19th, 2012

Big government calls the tune, but should they?

by Brian Lilley

There is an old saying in politics that a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.

Right now, those words are coming to life in Quebec.

The new Parti Quebecois government has announced that it will expand the province’s language laws to daycare centres.

Only in Quebec could this particular government proposal go forward.

Quebec has long enforced laws that limit the ability of immigrants and francophone families to attend school in the language of their choice.

From kindergarten through high school, French-speaking and immigrant families are required to attend school in French.

Now this rule will be extended to colleges and daycares, including privately owned daycare centres.

Why is Quebec able to do this?

Because the government controls the system from top to bottom.

Quebec’s system is held up as a model by progressives across the country who want to see a national daycare system that they say is all about helping the children and making things more affordable for Mom and Dad.

The other reason they never give for wanting a national system is control.

Because the Quebec government subsidizes daycare by more than $30 a day, leaving parents to pay just $7 per day, the bureaucrats and the politicians get to call the tune.

Quebec has already banned any religious instruction in daycare centres, even if the entire facility was set up and is still being run by a church, synagogue or mosque.

One centre in Montreal organized by a group of nuns has been told they can tell students the story of Noah’s ark but only if they take the religion out of it and you can forget about singing Michael Row the Boat Ashore.

Is this the proper role of government?

The answer for a free people is no, but when government has grown to the point of providing for every want and need of the citizenry, you have to ask whether the people are still free or are they subjects.

The world is being turned upside down and our public servants now think we work for them and are keen to take orders.

This vision of how things should work is not limited to Quebec.

Less than two weeks ago, Laurel Broten, Ontario’s education minister, said that the province’s Catholic schools could no longer teach that abortion is wrong because the province had passed anti-bullying legislation.

Broten said that being against abortion on demand paid for by taxpayers was “misogynistic” and an attempt to bully women, therefore it was illegal to teach that point of view in schools.

In Alberta, the government is trying to tell private schools, religious schools and even homeschooling families that they cannot teach any moral lessons that might go against the progressive, left-wing interpretation on the provincial human rights code.

When did government get big enough to tell churches and families what moral lessons they could teach?

Canadians need to become more skeptical of government and push back against this encroachment in our lives.

We need to reassert that we are a free people, that they work for us and not the other way around.

That, of course, requires looking to ourselves, our friends, our families and our neighbours to help solve our problems before we look to government as the solution to every problem, the provider for every need and want.

Categories: Contributor Columns

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13 comments

  1. Patrick Flannery says:

    Lilley is is attempting an ideological judo flip here, but ends up on his face. This has been a common tactic of the Christian right in the last couple decades: point to some area where a government will not allow religious teachings in a taxpayer-funded setting and cry oppression and discrimination. They grasp the language of freedom and civil rights (originally deployed to resist Christian domination) and attempt to flip it, judo-style, into a position where it justifies their use of doctrine in the public square to proselytize, discriminate and advance their religious values at the expense of those who don’t share them.

    Lilley would like us to think nuns are oppressed because they can’t recite their myths to kids and daycare workers are oppressed because they can’t preach anti-abortion to pre-schoolers (what would be the point of that?). The relevant question here is, who pays? Lilley and his ilk need to keep in mind that many of the people helping to fund these caregivers do not share these views. The minute daycare and education workers accept public dollars, they must conduct themselves in a manner that admits access for all taxpaying members of the public. Their religious views are inappropriate and out-of-place.

    Lilley is all up on his high horse about supposed abuse of the rights of these Christian caregivers. But what about the rights of the people who pay them, and their kids? After all, isn’t this supposed to be about the kids?

    The Alberta homeschooling issue is different, as it doesn’t involve public servants or paid contractors, but still illustrates the Matrix-like logical flexibility of the Christian mind. Human rights codes were put in place to oppose social injustices that often stemmed directly from Christian doctrine. For instance, keeping women in the kitchen and Jews out of country clubs, to name just two. Lilley would now like to flip those codes into a justification for homeschoolers to…disparage the codes. So religious freedom means the freedom to take away the religious freedom of others. Lilley is all tangled up in his gi and should just tap out.

  2. Ambrose says:

    After participating in just a few demonstrations I have come to the conclusion that we have always been subjects and not a free people. It is useless to oppose any policy: No amount of opposition changes the government’s mind unless they already want to change it.

    An unpopular policy will not get scrapped even if thousands turn out in a demonstration. A popular policy will get scrapped even if just a dozen people demonstrated, if the government’s intention is to scrap that policy.

    We pretend to live in a free country, but we don’t actually control our own destinies.

  3. Papa says:

    The breathtaking manipulation in Patrick’s comment is stunning.

    Where to even start? Let’s see…

    Freedom and civil rights are not in opposition to religion and never have been. That’s supposed to be the reason for freedom of BOTH religion and conscience being among the first things listed in the Charter. Note that its freedom OF religion and not freedom FROM religion as progressivist extremists like you would like it. Claiming freedom FROM anything is the opposite.

    Who pays for things? No thats not the real question. In fact, this is just one more ploy. The real question would be what are the options? First of all, its the parents that ultimately claim the money no matter how you try to set it up to look otherwise. And many of the people who use funded daycare do so because they can’t afford otherwise. This is nothing more than another example of progressives in government using something as a cudgel against those in our society least able to defend themselves and least likely to have any other choice but to go along. But then, they’re just poor people, right Patrick? They aren’t to be helped, they’re to be dealt with. Isn’t that right?

    “keeping women in the kitchen and Jews out of country clubs” – show us where “Christians” are teaching this anywhere. In fact, this is the domain of intolerant progressives like you who attack anyone who disagrees with you and labels them “bullies”, ‘homophobics” or whatever is convenient at the time. And no, we don’t want human rights codes changed. We want them gone. They are an Orwellian abomination and have no place in a so-called free country. And what religious freedom is being taken away by homeschoolers? Do you even comprehend what you are writing? Or are you suggesting with this that progressivism which Christians oppose constitutes a religion? Or is it statism? Or do you consider being gay a religion?

    All of the above is just a regurgitated hodge-podge of progressive cliches. What you dishonestly avoid here is actually saying what you really mean. I will chalk that up as usual progressive cowardice. You don’t like the fact that the catholic schools system and (horror!) homeschoolers could be outside of your reach. You simply can’t stand that anyone could be doing what they (gasp!) freely choose and teaching their children anything that disagrees with you. After all, we’re just the ignorant, stupid masses. We should just shut up and do as we’re told and let the progressives like you do “what’s best”. Isn’t that right Patrick?

  4. Gavin says:

    I totally agree, government is meant to serve the people and not control the people. We are a democracy not a communist regime. God save our Country.

  5. Vincent says:

    From Patrick
    “Human rights codes were put in place to oppose social injustices that often stemmed directly from Christian doctrine. For instance, keeping women in the kitchen and Jews out of country clubs, to name just two.”

    Huh????????

    What planet are you on?

  6. Constantin says:

    I would say that the judoka here is Mr. Flannery. He missed the key point made by Mr. Lilley, which was that the one who pays piper calls the tune to be played. Brian decries neither opression, nor discrimination – but dependence and subsidiarity allowing the government limitless power.
    The point was that just as a bureaucrat decides what is myth and what is reality, now it could also ban one of the two official languages of Canada. I wonder if Mr. Flannery also deems English language instruction in day care centres to be “inapropriate and out of place”? But what can you ask of someone who has a big anti-Christian axe to grind?
    Homescholing families not only don’t take”taxpyer money” but don’t even benefit from their own contribution, and still the bureaucrat knows best what values are teachable and what values are forbidden. Mr. Flannery’s last paragraph is the text book model for the thought police. And talking of mental judo: teaching Christian values disparages the sacred human rights code and nun are talking about locking women into the kitchen? Are you high or something? Back in Eastern Europe we used to call such retrogades who stuck to their Christian beliefs “enemies of the people” and systematically send them to the gulag. What is your “solution” for them Mr. Flannery?

  7. Jacques says:

    I think you are the who is very confused Mr Flannery. Do you have any idea what freedom means? Of course you do, you think freedom means doing what you want and as you please, well you are wrong! If you engage in pre-marital sex for example, you are enslaved to your sex drive; should you get your lover pregnant, you kill your child is that freedom? Doing as you like and not taking responsibility for your lack of self control is freedom? And you would like us hard working Canadians who elect governments to do what is right and good for society, and in that I mean respect for all people not just the atheists, the anti God people but all people, to now vow down to their totalitarian government demands? These totalitarian provincial governments do as they please to enslave people in lies disguised as human rights. In the end however, it all amounts to one thing, they do not care whether we live or die and mostly want abortion and euthanasia to ensure control over the population because they are power hungry and it is easier to control fewer people than greater numbers that cost money, money they think is theirs and will not share due to pure greed. This great country was founded by Christians, built by the sweat, blood and tears of God fearing people who are taught to love all people, unlike you who clearly hates Christians and has no respect for respectable people like Mr Lilley. Stop being a bully and how about you figure out where you came from and where you are headed.

  8. Jacques says:

    By the way, for those of you who do not seem to know or realize, Christianity teaches to love and respect everyone, and we show our love by praying for them… Clearly our totalitarian politicians like Broten, McGuinty and all who want abortion claiming women’s rights to disguise their hatred of ProLife people, are living a contradiction…when one cares for each person and their dignity as a human being no matter who they are and what they think, one does not go around promoting death of any kind. If you destroy an acorn no oak tree …if you destroy those bunch of rapidly developing cells formed by an egg and spern, no human being….and all the myriad of problems that come from that and damage the woman who destroyed that life, is that not called causing harm to the woman? Of course not for you ProChoice people, it is her right to harm herself and if she never has children again or dies two less lives…how royally confused you are Ms Broten and the rest to acuse us ProLifers of hating women….we still love you though, and we pray for you.

  9. Bill Elder says:

    Hey Brian, I see you baited in a reactionary secular statist with your reference to religious freedom. I was always thrilled by the way Murray Rothbard called attention to the fallacies held by dogmatic statists, so indulge me here while I have some fun. I always get a laugh at how these self-absorbed secular martinets see any advocacy for personal choice and individual freedom as an anti-government or “right-wing” Christian fanaticism (ignoring, of course their own secular statist dogmatic fanaticism). Personally, I think they are so blinded by anti-Christian hatred they can live with utter despotism as long as the state persecutes the right belief systems (i.e. not theirs).

    I’m secular myself Brian, but I have the wisdom to realise if the state persecutes on the basis of religious beliefs, language etc. which differ from mine, surely they will get around to persecuting my cultural sub-group. I think the dogmatic secular statist’s optics are so narrow they ignore the crimes of the state if those crimes do not impact them directly or punish their ideological enemies (this is the foundation of politically correct bigotry). Keep up fighting for freedom and giving big brother a well-deserved black eye Brian. Ignore these government worshipping secular statists, if opposing tyranny were left to them in the past, we would all be goose-stepping to a mandatory German language school.

  10. Larry Bennett says:

    Brian, I have been trying to point out such facts, out here in B.C., such as the fact that school boards have the right to attain an abortion here, without the approval (of the parents) so long as she is over 13, and okays it. Local newspapers deny that the boards have the power by law, to get a 13 year old girl an abortion w/o informing the parents, and refuse to print any letters decrying the fact. The same goes on in the U.S. despite the First Amendment, and our children are being surreptitiously taught that there is no moral restriction “religious” or otherwise, against sodomy and other sexual acts outside of marriage.

  11. Amy says:

    Thanks for the blog Brian it was good to know these facts and that truth be truth and the light shine and hopefully the word of God will be able to be told.

    I am sure that government is not all about giving and taking away as we have had many things happen in this decade of ours with new computers and ipads and internet all being able to be freely used and able to share our views. I am so thankful to live in a Country that is able to share views and opinions peacefully. It is a great gift!

    Keep up the great work!

  12. Catherine says:

    “The Alberta homeschooling issue is different, as it doesn’t involve public servants or paid contractors, ”

    Don’t know what blog post you’re reading Patrick Flannery but it’s sure not reading like you read Brian’s. Where did he mention anything close to what you’ve written?

    “Lilley would now like to flip those codes into a justification for homeschoolers to…disparage the codes.”

    Codes? What codes? You mean those cult like ones followed by the “government knows best” creed?

    Because they’ve done such a great job so far, right Patrick….NOT!

  13. George Wyndham says:

    In the article the most important line for me is:
    “Canadians need to become more skeptical of government and push back against this encroachment in our lives.”
    How do we push back? I really hate it when the ruling party say they did something because they have a “Mandate” given by the people. What infuriating rubbish.
    I have always wanted to push back. A single individual cannot push back. So when the Reform party arrived in the 80’s I jumped aboard. I even met Harper at a Reform party BBQ at a Calgary park. Manning introduced him as the future Prime Minister.
    Oh the hope that this would allow me and my wife the chance to be part of a “Push Back”. We worked to help them become the official opposition. What a waste of time that turned out to be.
    When a whole party cannot push back, then merges into another, cynicism replaces optimism.
    Manning was right about Harper becoming Prime Minster someday.
    I think he has been the best leader this country has had in a long time too.
    I only hope he will tell the new leader in Quebec to butt out of the international arena, first, next thing would be to either become a part of Canada, or we will let the the ROC vote on a referendum about letting you stay part of Canada, and Quebecers will not be allowed to vote. Ha!

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