Faith-based school funding has been set up by the Liberals as a defining election issue. Liberals, humanists, secularists, leftists, feminists, progressives, etc. are steaming. The media is giving McGuinty a completely free ride on every other issue as he smiles his slimy way from school to school.
This should not come as a surprise. As I just wrote, I'm not in favour of the proposal to fund these schools myself, but that doesn't mean that the disgraceful and ugly politics the left is playing with it shouldn't be challenged.
Let's look at the McGuinty playbook, and consider the spin and substance:
No diversion of public education funds to special interest groups:
'Diversion'?? Excuse me, but the parents of the 53,000 students we're talking about are already paying for the public education they're not using. Don't insult them by suggesting that they're not entitled to that public education, that by sending their kids to a publicly funded school they would be somehow infringing on anyone else's education or getting something they're not entitled to. They've paid the money already, so how can it be 'diversion'?
The "They'll all teach Intolerance" defence:
The challenge when someone comes out with this crock should be to point to examples where well-run, respected faith-based schools have actually created social problems. If McGuinty doesn't think a faith-based school can teach tolerance and produce a decent citizen, what the hell is he doing as Premier after going through a Catholic education? What evidence is there that the 53,000 students currently in other faith-based schools are out there wreaking bigoted, racist havoc? None whatsoever. On the contrary, it would seem that McGuinty's beloved Toronto public school system has more to answer for.
This is a classic example of the left indulging in Freudian Projection. The left hates and fears Jews and Christians (and to a much lesser extent Muslims), but of course they like to feel themselves all warm, fuzzy and tolerant. So they take their nasty, prejudiced, bigoted views about people of faith and they project them onto the other side.
"If we let them have faith-based schools, they'll be intolerant," say the chattering classes and the media, without for a second appreciating how intolerant that is.
Let's All Laugh at a Christian today:
The media coverage on this story (admittedly aided by the creationism faux pas) has almost all been about Christianity. Gazillions of column inches about how terrible it might be to have creationism show its face in religion classes, but no complaints from the liberal media about the potential teaching of jihad or Sharia law in the schools in question. As we saw with Stockwell Day, and as the media tried to do with Stephen Harper, it's an almost instantaneous leap from talking about a real issue to just mocking, laughing and ridiculing Christians. And that mocking and ridicule is the fuel of the Liberal election campaign, make no mistake about it. That's what Kinsella and his troops are doing, that's what they're fostering and that's what will win them the election, if anything does.
It's Nothing to do with Education:
Following from the last point, the debate has largely left the actualities of education in the dust and is now just about sowing division, fear and prejudice. McGuinty might use the E-word but the spin of his campaign is about religion and race. Education gave the Liberals the hook but they're no longer really talking about education; they're too busy pitting people of different faiths and backgrounds against one another. It's subtle, clever, deliberate, cynical and utterly shameful. But it works.