The slick pamphlet which the Gideons claim to be merely a parents' consent form appears designed to capture a child's attention no less than candy bar wrappers, cigarette packages and energy drink labels.
Our schools should be a place where children develop sound reasoning abilities and critical thought, not superstition in any guise.
And the worse superstitions have to be the ones that are passed off as respectable truths.
Gideon was a mythical judge of Israel who orchestrated what could probably be the worse genocide to be found in those badly cobbled-together books collectively known as the Holy Bible. What a great way to provide 11-year-olds with examples of civil society.
Do the school board trustees really expect anyone to believe that this isn't blatant proselytizing? Perhaps they're hoping that if this flies well they may then proceed with teaching creationism/intelligent design alongside even in lieu of biology and evolution. The problem with accommodating religion of any stripe within a school curriculum is that religion is never satisfied with parity, it invariably seeks dominance.
And those who harp about the "Christian values" upon which our society is built might want to consider that the British North America Act was more an act of commerce than an act of God. True, we inherited the Church of England baggage along with the monarchy, but it has been through continual tweaking of our laws towards social justice that we have gradually made this country a better place and not through blind obedience to the regressive dogmas of the many Christian cults. The morals and ethics of Canadian society which make us a desirable place to immigrate have developed despite their gods, not because of them.
I applaud the efforts of Mr. Ajabu to hold the school board trustees accountable to the School Act. Although he may face an uphill battle in a town as rife with tax-exempt establishments (aka churches) as Chilliwack, his actions in bringing this issue into the open may at least remind the trustees that freedom of religion doesn't include freedom to inflict it on others especially when those others are a young captive audience deserving of an enlightened education.