No Smudging in School, eh.


A mother in British Columbia has lodged a legal challenge against her local school district, alleging that an aboriginal ceremony at her children’s school infringed on the family’s right to religious freedom.

Candice Servatius, whose two children attend an elementary school in Port Alberni, a small city on Vancouver Island, is seeking to have the supreme court of British Columbia ban indigenous ceremonies – and all other expressions of religion – from the public school district.

Not being Canadian, or aboriginal for that matter, I don’t really know the law on the matter.  On the other hand, since kids are essentially forced to be at school, it seems unfair to push a particular religious ceremony on them.  

Court documents point to a letter to parents, sent home at the start of the 2015 school year, that explained that a member of Vancouver Island’s Nuu-chah-nulth indigenous community would visit the school and lead students in a traditional smudging ceremony.

During the ceremony students would hold a cedar branch while smoke from burning sage would be fanned over them, the letter explained. “This will be our opportunity to learn about Nuu-chah-nulth traditions and experience cleansing of energy from previous students in our classroom … and cleanse our own spirits to allow great new experiences to occur for all us.” Details on when the ceremony would be held were not included in the letter, but a contact was offered for any parents with questions.

I mean no disrespect toward Native Americans, but would anybody have suggested all the kids enjoy The Lord’s Supper in an assembly?  Only Native American mysticism can be considered appropriate in public for some odd reason.  I think it’s a backhanded insult.  This spiritual cleansing thing is just vague enough to appeal to folks who want spirituality without religion.  

What were they thinking?

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “No Smudging in School, eh.

  1. This Other Latin F*cker

    Only Native American mysticism can be considered appropriate in public for some odd reason.

    You forgot Islam there. The only other religion I know of where schools will build special prayer rooms for the express purpose of performing religious ceremonies on school property during school hours.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Dave Alexander (formerly ukuleledave) Post author

      You are right that the schools and institutions will bend to the will of Muslims. In some ways I’d have few objections to simple accommodations for religious folks — if only everybody was treated fairly.

      gm (see below) sees what I’m getting to. Jesus and God have no special status, but dang. Get a medicine man to burn herbs, and suddenly the left is ‘soooo spiritual.’

      Like

      Reply
      1. Canuckamuk (@canuckamuk)

        Yep. Canada was allowing special accommodations for Muslims, even when those accommodations violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by forcing the segregation of the sexes with the females at the back of the room.

        Like

  2. onwyrdsdream

    “This will be our opportunity to learn about Nuu-chah-nulth traditions and experience cleansing of energy from previous students in our classroom … and cleanse our own spirits to allow great new experiences to occur for all us.”

    This quote sounds like it comes from the onion, she? should be writing/saying it while clutching energy crystals and eating granola.

    To a certain degree this sounds like a “spiritual event” the speaker wanted to experience while at the same time getting someone else to pay for it.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s