London Separate Schools.

[...]These Separate Schools, so far as they stand connected with the common purse and receive legislative sanction, are wrong in principle, and will never fail to excite our condemnations. Looking beyond all cobwebs and smoke, we discover in them nothing more than the partial endowment of a religious sect with money collected from all denominations, and even from those who have sympathy with none of them. In our view, this is simple injustice; at once a perversion of national revenue and moral equity. If the thing were carried out to its legitimate consequences, how ludicrous it would even become. If we have Catholic Schools, why not Free Church ones, and Scotch Church ones, and Wesleyan ones, and Baptist ones, and U. Presbyterian ones, and Unitarian ones, and Congregational ones, and Mormon ones, and, infact, schools for every sect that is named, and provision for every set that in the lapse of years may be thrown up to view on the Canadian territory? What good for one is good for all; what is fair to one is fair to all. The equitable course seems to be this: if any Church wishes educational institutions of its own, let them support them with their own funds, or charge the pupils for the instructions of its own, let them support them with their own funds or charge the pupils for the instruction they receive. If we are to have rational education it cannot be sectarian: it must be general and necessarily what is called secular, or nearly so.

[...]It is splitting the country into sections, and nourishing the germs of future partizanship and hatred; and all this by the appointed guardians of the national development ad public tranquility. The diferent religious sections, escpecially extreme ones, will inevitibly cause enough of bitterness and confusion by their respective utterances, and the hurly-burly of their movements: but it is a violation of all sense, all reason and all propriety, to see a government fostering the discords that are too apt to spring up among the citizens. This Canadian legislative action mus therefore be reversed and we anticipate that step with certainty and hope. The plea which the Bishop assigned for the establishment of the Primary school, viz: that children are taught, but not educated at the public institutions, is we doubt not quite satisfactory to himself , allowing his conclusion to be perfectly sound: but it is not an apology at the bar of justice for the attending wrong, legalized though it be, viz, their accepting national funds for sectarian purposes. We intermeddle with his lordship’s arrangements, not because he is a Catholic, - as secular journalists we pay loyalty to no shibboleth but because he is a leader of a powerful denomination in the Province and we would as unhesitatingly for similar reasons denounce the Baptists or the Episcopalians were they initiating kindred measures.

Source: Unknown, "London Separate Schools," London Free Press, September 16, 1857.

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