Under the above heading, the November issue of The Canadian Intelligence Service, edited in Flesherton, Ontario, brings us an article quite to the point on the Catholic School question of British Columbia. It is written by a noncatholic and cannot, therefore, be charged of a sectarian bias. We are pleased to reproduce it here, as a proper accompaniment to our own article on Education as a responsibility of the parent and not an instrument of the State. (See page 6.)
One of the best known Western Canada columnists is Eric Nicol of Vancouver. In his September 21 column in The Vancouver Province he writes concerning the request of the Roman Catholics in B.C. for separate schools. He opposes Catholics having their own schools he says, because:
They are dogmatic in their view of the world and purposes of life. Our secular schools rightly teach that we can't be too certain about the ends, or purposes, of life, but that we can be scrupulous about the means. Hence the... English idea of 'fair play'...
Education, "the cornerstone of responsible government," is now free, universal and compulsory, and should be made "compulsory non-denominational."
Senator McCarthy, a product of 'dogmatic' Catholic education, is "dedicated to a holy war... prepared to risk the destruction of civilization because communism is atheistic..."
"Catholic schools do not give the best preparation for a reasonable attitude to (com munism) and to other problems that beset us with crucial consequences."
There could be no more legal objection to communist schools than to Catholic schools. Government, in action, should be agnostic.
Mr. Nichol, in attacking Catholic education, attacks Christian education, and state — perhaps unwittingly, but with jolting candor — the case for 'state' education.
His whole argument is that education should be a function of the state — an exclusive monopoly of the state - teaching only what the state authorizes, and— divorced from religion; and that parents, regardless of faith and conviction, should be compelled to submit their children to this state indoctrination and conformity. This, of course, is the Marxist-Communist policy we find under totalitarian, materialistic regimes.
The Christian viewpoint is that true education concerns not only the 'how' the mechanics and techniques of production and life, but also the 'why' not only the 'means' but the purposes and 'end' of life.
The education concerns the WHOLE man, spiritual as well as material. The purpose of education is to prepare man to meet life and the future, most of which has to do with the spiritual realm. The purpose of life is believed by the Christian to be the striving to know more intimately, the serving and glorifying of God, and the obeying of His Law; and thereby gaining eternal life for our spiritual being.
Education must facilitate the attainment of this ultimate purpose of life.
I, a non-Catholic, make these observations:
(1) Communism, being a criminal conspiracy, has no more right to legal status or its own schools, than has crime.
(2) If government, in action, is agnostic, then it has no business in a monopoly position in the field of education moulding our sons and daughters.
(3) Morality and ethics spring from and are rooted in religion, and without religion there ultimately could be no basis for Mr. Nicol's 'fair play.'
(4) In his Dec. 9/52 column, Mr. Nicol, referring to the Social Credit Party, said: "... a party philosophy that is Christian in the spheres of economics, politics and all social relationships is dangerously retrogressive."
Communist leaders refer to religion as the 'opiate of the people.'
Mr. Nicol finds it'dangerously retrogressive. It does not promote a 'reasonable attitude' towards communism. Could anyone guess what a "reasonable attitude' would be to Mr. Nicol!