The following are comments that were delivered by ARPA’s grassroots manager, Colin Postma, at a recent rally held outside Queen’s Park in Toronto, to oppose the sex-ed component of the province of Ontario’s new health curriculum.
Friends, we are here today because we care. Yet, the narrative I hear in the news is that we have a kind of head-in-the-sand attitude that ignores the fact that our teens are teeming with hormones that make them feel older than they really are. If that’s what they think, our politicians and the media aren’t actually listening to us. They think they know what we’re upset about – they think we are trying to ensure that our kids won’t hear about sex at all until they’re 20.
That’s not our message.
The problem is not that we don’t want our kids to know about sexuality, the problem is that this curriculum is sexual erotica being handed out to our kids by politicians. This curriculum fails to teach caution to kids, and fails to focus on the risks of unhealthy sexual activity. Instead, this radical curriculum focuses on experimentation at an age when children’s hormones lead the way, instead of their will and their reason. Instead of sexual erotica, we want our kids to be taught to make healthy choices, safe choices, and ensure they are well equipped to avoid risks.
Parents have every right to be upset – for the same reason that we would be upset if the government was telling our children to experiment with alcohol or tobacco. These are legal substances – adults can use them as they like, according to government regulations – and yet, we would be furious with an educational policy that advocated experimenting with these substances on our children. For some reason the government seems to see sex in some vacuum – where the normal precautions just don’t apply.
But does that mean you don’t teach children about alcohol or tobacco or sex, or you try to hide it from them, or hope they don’t ask questions? Of course not. As parents it is our duty to teach our kids before they get the wrong information about smoking and alcohol, and before they receive societal pressures to do the wrong and unhealthy thing just because it’s popular.
Our schools have access to very sensitive information about our children, and they’ve shown they’re willing to withhold that sensitive information from us if our kids want them to. So who’s raising these kids? The state? Or the parents? Parents have the natural right to have the first say. So I call on the government – listen to what we are saying about our OWN children!
The sex-ed curriculum is a top-down state-sponsored imposition of morality. What this government is saying is, “we like all your traditions when we can show up for the festivals, for the food, and for the photo-ops, but beyond that you need to leave your traditions and your worldviews at home. We don’t want your morality, and we don’t want your religious worldview.” This is intolerance at its very basic level. If we believe in a free and democratic society where different worldviews are supposed to come together and make society stronger through discourse – then why is this government so willing to shut down this discussion, and call us names with a sneering moral superiority complex?
Sadly, I don’t think the government cares about our kids as much as we do. The morality they are teaching our kids is basically, don’t kill yourself and don’t get thrown in jail. These are the two moral teachings of the secular state when it comes to, one ‘safe sex’ – don’t get a deadly disease, and two, obtain ‘consent’ so that you don’t get thrown in jail. Beyond that, they don’t care about the health or wellbeing of your child, and they certainly don’t care for the morals, ethics and virtue that you might hold dear.
I care about the children of our province, just like all of you who are here. I care because God cares about them and about us. They are each valuable in his sight, and I wouldn’t want to hear of any of them to be harmed, or wronged or encouraged to be confused about the way they see the world.
Parents are the primary authorities of their children. The state may not drive a wedge between parents and their children, or use children as pawns to advance a particular worldview in society. We have the obligation to remind the state that its role is particular and limited, and that mandating a particular form of sex education, devoid of proper moral teaching, falls far outside its authority.
We are not opposed to sex education per se. In fact, what Canada needs is more and better sex education – it just needs to happen in the right place, at the right time, by the right people, to the right degree, for the right purpose!
Thank-you for your attention.