Alberta, Canada, is often regarded as the most American-like province. I have never been to Alberta, so cannot speak about this in my personal experience. But if this is so, I found the following to be a troubling development. Under the revised Education Act of Alberta, all children will be “banned” from disrespecting people’s differences. The legislation requires that all schools “reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta, promote understanding and respect for others and honour and respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.”

According to press reports, Donna McColl, an official speaking on behalf of Alberta’s Education Minister, Thomas Lukaszuk, said “Whatever the nature of schooling—home school, private school, Catholic school—we do not tolerate disrespect for differences. You can affirm the family’s ideology in your family life, you just can’t do it as part of your educational study and instruction.” I think that it can be difficult to differentiate between family life and home schooling, and to understand the precise application of the word “disrespecting.” Doesn’t the mere act of disagreeing, or making statements that disagree with someone suggest disrespect for their views or acts?

But what is clear is that now in Alberta, homeschooling families will be forbidden from teaching that homosexual sex (or fornication, adultery, greed, idolatry, male prostitution, drunkenness, slander and financial dishonesty, as examples from I Corinthians 6:9) are sinful as part of the children’s schooling. Now, you might ask why that could be. The answer is that I am reasonably certain that at least several practitioners of each of the practices described above exist in Alberta.

Of course, it is understandable that the governmental leaders of Alberta would not want to permit any person in Alberta to “disrespect” anyone else, and the government’s intent should be not to make any sinner feel uncomfortable in the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta. But what if one were to disagree with the new revisions to the Education Act? Could that be taught in a curriculum, whether home-school or not, regarding personal responsibility and liberty in the context of an over-reaching government? Probably not. And perhaps the next target for government leaders in Alberta would be to issue laws and regulations for church sermons and Sunday school classes.

What if a priest or minister, or even a Sunday school teacher, would deign to suggest that the wages of sin is death, as St. Paul wrote. Obviously, this might make sinners feel uncomfortable. But perhaps before the government of Alberta issues any new laws regarding sermons or other school lessons, an important first step might be to change the name of Canada’s Charter of Rights and “Freedoms” to something far less Orwellian.