Published On: Mon, Jun 26th, 2017

Canada: Christian school threatened to stop teaching ‘offensive’ scriptures: 1 Corinthians 6, Galatians 5

Earlier this month, there were reports that the Battle River School Division, located near Edmonton, Alberta, had asked the K-12 Cornerstone Christian Academy to cease using two “offensive” Bible verses in its school handbook and now Cornerstone Christian Academy teachers and administrators are being told they must “stop studying or reading any part of the Bible that could be considered offensive.”

Lauri Skori, the Battle River School Division chair, informed the chair of the Cornerstone Christian Academy, Deanna Margel, “any scripture that could be considered offensive to particular individuals should not be read or studied in school.”

photo John per wikimedia commons

“We’re talking about freedom of religion, but we’re (also) talking about freedom of expression,” said Margel. “We need every single word there to challenge us, to call us to greater understanding. It’s just so important.”

On June 15, the school and the board met to further discuss the issue. The National Post reports that 50 Cornerstone representatives were present.

Skori then accused Cornerstone of turning the “discussion into a public spectacle,” Cornerstone had “broken our trust” and was trying to “create controversy” by drawing attention to the issue.

Skori also said “any teachings that denigrate or vilify someone’s sexual orientation” should be banned.

“The actions of the Society have not only harmed our relationship, but have put our children, our staff, our school and our school division in harm’s way,” Skori said.

The two Bible passages that sparked the dispute were 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Galatians 5:19-21.

The 1 Corinthians passage states, in part, “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

The passage from Galatians reads, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”

The Cornerstone Christian Academy is listed as an “alternate school” and receives some government funding. Complying with the demand would result in removal from and losing the public funding.

Cornerstone has sought legal counsel with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom (JCCF).

JCCF president John Carpay sent the board an eight-page letter pointing out issues with the “unwarranted and unrealistic” ban on scripture and other language important to Cornerstone’s identity.

Eight hours after Carpay sent his letter, the board responded via email that they would maintain their position.

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