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Teacher Heckles Students for Opposing Pride

State of the Union: If you believed that a given behavior were moral, would you react like this if a sixth grader disagreed?


Elie Cantin-Nantel, a journalist with the Canadian media organization True North, obtained a 15 minute recording of a teacher at Ontario's Northwood Public School berating her Muslim students for having skipped the beginning of the school's annual Pride Month celebration.

The teacher called the students' abstention an "incredible show of hatred" that was "incredibly disgusting to have witnessed." The "whole staff," the board of education, and the superintendent were, she said, disappointed in their refusal to participate. Northwood's principal later denied that the teacher's views reflected the school's.


The recording contains several exchanges between the Muslim students and the teacher that are worth listening to in full. Here's a particularly revelatory one:

Student: "It's not that we're hating on [gay pride], it's just that we don't want to support it."

Teacher: "What would you think if I said, 'It's not that I hate Muslims, it's just that I won't support them.'"

Student: "But that's a religion."

Teacher: "This is the same thing."

I think the teacher meant that disapproving of a person's sexual behaviors is just as "bad" as disapproving of his religious beliefs. I don't think either is bad, frankly. But the plain-text reading of her remarks—"This is the same thing"—implies that gay pride, like Islam, is a religion. I think that's right, and I think you can tell it's right by the way people like this teacher insist on converting young children to their faith. As the teacher said:

"You have all voiced to me that you cannot change your religion in order to support LGBTQ. And that is wrong."

Notice that the teacher assumes, here, that Islam is not true. I agree that it's not, but that's not the point: She is begging the question. If Islam is true, and its teachings about sodomy are true, Islam can't be "changed" to "support LGBTQ" without changing Islam into something else. Once you say two plus two equals five, you're not doing math anymore.

One last thought. If you believed that a given behavior were moral, would you react the way this teacher did if a sixth grader disagreed?


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