The Semantic Game

Of minor note, there is a controversy in Alberta over Catholic Schools and their practice of asking Catholic teachers to sign ‘Catholicity’ Agreements as a condition of employment. The concern being that some LGBTQ teachers have expressed concerns that their employment may not be secure.[1] (Never mind that a religious school firing someone on the basis of sexual orientation was ruled illegal over 20 years ago.) Alberta Catholic schools insist they need to hire Catholic teachers. A “Catholic lifestyle” is a necessary and reasonable expectation, says the Catholic Schools, otherwise Catholic School’s existence is meaningless.*

This is a fine way to have a semantic battle, which you eventually will lose.

Some advice: do not play this semantic game. Referring to your religion as a “lifestyle”, as “Catholicity”, is playing the semantic game of the progressives. I get that you are trying to downplay any signs of oppression or intolerance, but softening your language looks like you are subordinating your faith in order to satisfy the Left. The Left’s strategy is always defect-defect, your capitulation is seen as weakness, and they will demand more, not leave you alone.

The Catholic faith is fundamental, being a connection to a higher power, providing moral guidance, and a close community. That’s not a ‘lifestyle’.  They should say so.

Señor Blanco

 

*This is a problem because Alberta (and Saskatchewan) are required to provide two school systems: one public, and one Catholic (mostly…it’s complicated). This was done on the Provinces’ creation, to make Québec happy: see section 17 of the Alberta Act, amending section 93 of the Constitution Act, 1867.

[1] This acronym seems to change on a daily basis. How long before it’s a hate crime to use the wrong version? Kafka laughs.

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