18 February 2012

Why a mandatory religion course in Quebec is a good thing

It was reported today that the Supreme Court has ruled that Quebec students must take a mandatory religion/ethics course.

Why is this a good thing for atheists & humanists?

Here's where it gets interesting.  The case was brought before the Supreme Court by a family wanting their children to be exempt from the course.

I know what you're thinking: the kids' parents are non-religious and don't want their kids to be brainwashed with religious fairy tales.  Right?


You see, the religion/ethics course in question teaches about a number of different religions found among Quebecers, even including aboriginal religion.  One of its main themes is to convince people of different faiths to tolerate each others beliefs through understanding.

And the parents in question don't want their children to know about other religions.  From the CBC article linked above: "They claimed their children would suffer serious harm from contact with a series of beliefs that were mostly incompatible with those of the family."

Sorry - give me a minute; I think I wet myself laughing....

I think this decision by the Supreme Court is an excellent step in the right direction.  One of the biggest causes of the fractious relations between people of different (or no) faiths is bad information about the "other side."  If kids grew up knowing more about multiple religions, they'd be less likely to think along the lines of religious tribalism and moral brinksmanship.  Heck, it might even nudge a few more students towards secularism.

So, I guess the inbred, dumb-fuck parents who brought the case forward have a point.  They want to keep their children ignorant for the sake of keeping them in the fold of their own religion.  They should fear a course like this.  Education can be a terrible thing if you're deeply religious.


  1. Congratulations Quebec for such a great decision. In gives hope that understanding and tolerance may have a real chance.

  2. Such a mature and intelligent decision Quebec. A giant step to understanding and tolerance.

  3. "Education can be a terrible thing if you're deeply religious." Great sentence. I would hope that the class also discusses the choice of atheism as well though. It would be a shame if presumed that one must have a religion.

    1. Thanks.

      I don't think they deal with atheism in that course. It would be better if they did, but that's a sure way to get kicked out of political office.

      Still, it is a step in the right direction.