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Toronto Star Newspaper
Canada's largest newspaper

One school system should satisfy all


The Toronto Star, Feb. 2, 2005

Response letter to "Our kids deserve equality" opinion Jan. 31.

"Equalizing" the school system by awarding government funding to religious schools is as ridiculous as it is impractical. Such a policy is not only doomed to fail, it's just plain wrong. Where exactly would Archbishop Sotirios draw the line with regards to religious funding? How big does a religion have to be to receive government dollars? What of minor religions, super-cults, or non-religious secular humanists, who could all legitimately accuse the government of being marginalized?

Simply stating that this funding will not impact the public system does not make it so. Every dollar given to the Catholic school system is a dollar that could not be spent improving the public one.

The separation of church and state is a crucial corollary of the freedom of religion. It confounds me that many religionists fail to understand that it is this very concept that grants them the liberty to believe and preach what they will.

The writers of this piece got only one thing right, the title: Our kids deserve equality. And to be truly equal, we must be able to learn and co-exist in a secular environment where our rights and freedoms are protected. It is not the government's place to espouse any one religion, nor is it practical or even beneficial to support all belief systems. There should be only one educational system funded by the people, and that is the public one.

Mark Jaggassar, Toronto