Don’t Let Religious Bullies Intimidate You!

Ottawa used to be a haven of peace, civilization, and intelligence. These days, however, people everywhere are allowing themselves to be bullied by religious fundamentalists. This problem has now touched Ottawa, as well:

A trip for students from two Ottawa Catholic high schools to observe the U.S. presidential election has been cancelled because of an article on an anti-abortion website, leaving students and parents confused and disappointed. . . Scott Searle, a teacher at St. Peter, organized the trip to give them a first-hand glimpse of the American presidential election campaign and voting process as the campaign heads into its final days. . .

In an interview on the CBC Radio show Ottawa Morning on Friday, St. Peter principal Norma McDonald said the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s communications team had sent her an article about the trip on the anti-abortion website

It quotes an anonymous mother who said she’s incensed about the trip’s support for Obama, who is pro-choice. It also points out that Searle’s online LinkedIn profile lists him as an Obama volunteer.

McDonald said the multitude of increasingly negative and aggressive comments led her to cancel the trip.

Does this make any sense to you at all? Some “anonymous mother”, who can easily turn out to be no mother at all, posts a garbage comment on some idiotic website catering to woman-hating freakazoids, and a school trip gets cancelled as a result. Have you ever heard anything more ridiculous?

What is even more annoying is how the school’s principal explained the cancellation:

“At that point I had to reassess,” she said. “Certainly criticism and negativity is not something that you want to expose your staff and students to, and at that point I did make a decision — certainly in consultation with my teacher — that we would in fact cancel the trip.”

I have to ask where this idea that students should not be exposed to criticism and negativity comes from. Criticism and negativity are a part of a normal human experience. Is the school planning to raise tender hothouse flowers or citizens who will live in the real world and participate in the real political process? What is the message that Principal McDonald is trying to send to the students? That you should cancel your plans and stop learning if some anonymous jerk somewhere is unhappy with what you are doing? That we should all pee ourselves in terror the second some fanatic somewhere looks in our direction with disapproval?

How much longer will we allow idiots posing as “anonymous mothers” to dictate to us what we do?

The entire political process in the US has been hijacked by vociferous religious fanatics. Is this unfortunate trend now coming to Canada, too?

Enough is enough, people. Let’s stop letting these religious fanatics control our lives. Let’s oppose religious bullying.

28 thoughts on “Don’t Let Religious Bullies Intimidate You!

    1. To the extent they endorsed forcefully preventing the students who did not want to participate in the strike from entering the classrooms – yes they are bullies.


      1. I do not know about you V., but I would much rather build our future with organizers and members of student associations than with students who whined because they could not go to class, and felt “bullied.”

        What CEGEP and University students have in Quebec is precious and fragile. I applaud those students who are brave enough to protect the remnants of our decayed social democracy.

        And of course you do not remember how the Liberal party mishandled AND incentivize the conflict, right?

        Gosh… Universities are not shopping centres…


        1. I agree that the Liberal Party grievously mishandled the crisis. And they lost the election as a result. Maybe that will teach them a lesson, although I’m not wildly optimistic about that.

          I wasn’t in Quebec during the student protests, so it’s hard for me to judge what happened. All I know is that the idea to raise tuitions was egregiously wrong. I have no words to describe how offensive this idea is to me in the context of Quebec.

          The students fucked up, too, and quite a bit in the process of the protests. This is normal because they are kids and are just learning about political struggle. But I’m proud of them for resisting and not sitting there like little victims when something egregious is being done not only to them but to the entire province.


          1. Yesterday in class we were talking about the slogans used by the Indignados in Spain. One slogan made special sense to me. It said, “This is not a crisis. This is an excuse.” And that is precisely what happened in Quebec. The crisis – that didn’t even strike the province all that hard (comparatively) – was used as an excuse to deprive people of their basic right to higher education. And that is wrong.

            And people who kept repeating, “well, it’s just $300” annoy me more than I could say. When I first became a university student in Quebec, $300 was a huge amount of money to me. Huge. All I had in the world when I left my husband in 1998, was $300, one plate, one fork, one computer, and one teenage child. And I did get an amazing education in Quebec because it was financially accessible. So what are we saying? That bright, hard-working immigrants like my sister and I should not have access to higher education in Quebec? My sister now lives there, she has a business and is creating jobs and paying huge taxes. Who would have been better off if we hadn’t gotten a chance to acquire education in Quebec?

            I’m not arguing with anybody in this thread, I’m just venting my annoyance with the whole thing.


  1. The Québec Liberals had the electoral strategy to portray as “bullies” those students associations, with the goal to bully the voters and to hide the corruption scandals.


    1. So how exactly did the liberals were “bullying” me as a voter (I am not a citizen, so I am not a voter yet, but for the purpose of this discussion it is irrelevant)?


      1. They bully voters using this tactic consisting as portraiying their worst ennemi as violent bullies, like the Repubenrons do with their women-hating agenda and with the so-called “Socialist” Obama.


      2. “This must mean that I’m also a bully because I wrote a post about religious bullies.”

        It’s a feature of contemporary life that if you mention a term, you are immediately stuck with it as a definition applied to your identity. This means that nothing has meaning, anymore, in contemporary society. Reality is what you think it is — or what you can make stick.


      3. David,
        I value affordable education, so telling me that yielding to students’ demands will cost something is not really frightening. On the other hand, I also value freedom of choice. That’s where my distaste for class blocades comes from. When this particular shit started, my support for the students went down. Also, I work in one of Montreal’s universities, so I do not need either liberals or left-wing extremists to tell me what is going on. (In case it is not obvious – V is also me)


      4. @V You really think that without the class blocades student assocacionts would have been able to push forward their legitimate claims? Who likes class blocades, really? I have always hated them. Unfortunately sometimes they are necessary.

        I think that refusing to take sides and/or by allowing people to do whatever they want for the sake of freedom of choice make a weak society.

        Now I would have liked to hear more about the quality of education in Quebec during and afetr the strike, but that is another topic.


  2. “The entire political process in the US has been hijacked by vociferous religious fanatics.”

    So true. My favorite Jesusland state, Arizona, is about to consider a new bill, HB 2467 ,which disallows atheists from graduating. Text:

    Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

    Section 1. Title 15, chapter 7, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 15-701.03, to read:

    15-701.03. Graduation requirement; constitutional oath

    Beginning in the 2013‑2014 school year, In addition to fulfilling the course of study and assessment requirements prescribed in this chapter, before a pupil is allowed to graduate from a public high school in this state, the principal or head teacher of the school shall verify in writing that the pupil has recited the following oath:

    I, _________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.


  3. “Poor freaks have started to foam at the mouth. What is it with them? Is this some form of mass lead poisoning? Because this most recent thing seems to point to organic damage.”

    Actually I think that the Republicans have become unhinged by Obama’s re-election in November which they consider a stolen election due to the conspiracy of a liberal cabal. This probably accounts for their depiction of grieving parents during the Newtown massacre as “crisis actors” hired by the government to justify taking away their guns as well as House Speaker Mike O’Neal’s email to fellow Republicans last week in which he referenced a biblical verse, Psalm 109:8, “Let his days be few and brief; and let others step forward to replace him,” with respect to Obama. The next unstated verse, of course, is “May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.”


      1. I always thought many in Right (as in Left) were anti-Semitic, and the more one moves to fringes – the more anti-S. can be found.


  4. The Jesusland blogosphere is full of crazy people but unfortunately progressives don’t tread in the holy waters frequently enough to find out the truth. Another example is New Mexico State Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R – Carlsbad) who just introduced NM HB 206 that states, “Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.” In other words, if the victim of a rape gets pregnant as a consequence of that act then if the victim has abortion then she is guilty of tampering with the evidence which carries a third degree conviction that could be up to three years in jail and her doctor could be convicted under the same conditions.

    Click to access HB0206.pdf

    As I said in an earlier comment, all those Republicans have been unhinged by the last election.


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