And once again, church and state get entangled in awkward and uncomfortable ways:
Christian mission statement at Winkler public schools questioned
A public school division in Winkler, Man., will have to review its mission statement, following a request from the Manitoba Human Rights Commission to change its Christian-themed declaration.
The Garden Valley School Division's mission statement says schools operate "in partnership with the home, church and community" based on Christian principles, among other things.
In its letter of May 31, the commission said it was concerned with the division's statement of partnership with the church and its reference to education based on Christian principles.
OK, so there's a "mission statement" but it's not like there's anything religiously untoward happening, right?
"We don't have any religious instruction in our schools, either before or after school hours," he said.
See? Not an issue whatsoever. No religious instruction in the school. Not before. Not after. Case closed. End of discussion. Problem solved.
"We do have religious exercises at the request of parents, outside of the instruction of the day. They would take the form of three- to five-minute devotionals which would probably be a Bible reading and the Lord's Prayer."
Well ... alright, maybe just a teeny, weeny bit. But, as we all know, those Mennonites are busy folks, and sometimes it's tough to find 3 to 5 minutes of down time to do that sort of thing off of school property.
I have an idea, though. It occurs to me that all of this could be resolved if, somehow, the folks who wanted to be religious could, perhaps, arrange a location off of public property to hold their religious devotionals. Maybe somewhere they could meet on a regular basis that has nothing to do with the public school system, where they could worship as they wanted, free from any possible entanglement with a taxpayer-funded, educational system, and which would solve any potential conflicts between religion and government.
It's just a wild and crazy idea. I'm sure it'll never fly.