There are many things to deplore about the lurid sexual education component of the new curriculum which the McGuinty has proposed for all Ontario primary schools. The ideologically-motivated attempt to pervert young children in the name of “sexual health” is, indeed, deplorable, but is also predictable: for years, social liberals have taken fringe psychoanalysts as their gurus—radicals who have exchanged the ancient medical maxim, “first, do no harm,” with their hoary ‘sixties slogan: “it is forbidden to forbid.”
Nor are we shocked by the surreptitious and duplicitous means by which the McGuinty government attempted to foist this radical and corrupting curriculum upon both public and separate school system: the premiers’ abysmal record on religious freedom is matched only by his equally disgraceful record on transparent government.
But what is most offensive about this sordid affair is the very idea itself, the implicit principle animating the curriculum that assumes that agents of the state have the prerogative to instruct children about the most sacred and delicate aspects of embodied human life. The intention of those who drafted the new curriculum is nothing less than a total usurpation of the sacred right of parents to inform their children according to their own values and religious traditions.
In 1967, Pierre Trudeau famously declared: “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” Forty years later, we now find the state in the bedroom’s of our children. Nor are these two moments unrelated. Indeed, Trudeau’s utopia for consenting adults requires such invasive indoctrination. Far from removing the state from the private sphere of individual life, Trudeau’s transformative social project requires the mobilization of the entire apparatus of the state to suppress the institutions which have created the status quo. Trudeau, thus, did not create a re-regulated forum for differing opinions about sexual mores, but instead, undermined religion as a valid source for social policy and moral truth. To create this new beginning, education had to become re-education; parents could not be trusted with toeing the party line. To reshape society to adhere to a progressive ideology, the liberal state must become involved in the indoctrination known as “sexual education.” Modern statist progressivism requires a deep disrespect for the role of parents and their sovereign right as primary educators.
In ancient Greece, Socrates was executed for the subversive activity of inspiring young Athenians to philosophize and ask questions about the nature of the Good; the authorities of his day accused Socrates of “corrupting the youth.” Today, a real corruption of our children is being proposed by the state, and seeking what is good has, again, become a suspect enterprise. Like Socrates, however, we must laugh at our would-be oppressors, and remind them of sacredness of the rights they would abrogate: for our children deserves better than being the victims of a social experiment that is already discredited. Thus, the reprehensible curriculum proposed by the McGuinty government is not only an example of the worst instincts of an overweening government, but it becomes an occasion for conscientious Canadians to recall the state to its senses.