For Immediate Release from the Christian Legal Fellowship, May 17, 2011: OTTAWA – On May 18, the Christian Legal Fellowship (CLF) will make oral submissions before the Supreme Court of Canada in S.L., et al. v. Commission scolaire des Chênes, et al., a case originating in Quebec, which will decide parental rights with respect to religious instruction.
“This case, at its core, is about freedom of conscience and religion,” says Robert Reynolds, legal counsel for CLF. “More specifically, it is concerned with the freedom of conscience and religion of parents and protecting the rights of believing parents to pass on their religion to their children without interference from the State.”
The appeal arises from the case out of Drummondville, Quebec where Christian parents sought to have their children exempted from participation in the mandatory Ethics and Religious Culture Curriculum but were refused by their local school board. The course is mandated from grade 1 to grade 11 for all public and private schools. While the course has as its objective the promotion of tolerance and respect, the curriculum advances certain rights and values at the expense of others including the Appellants.
The CLF, which was granted intervenor status in the case, intends to argue that the rights of the Appellants as Christian parents includes the right to teach and disseminate their faith to their children, and to ensure that their children’s religious education is in conformity with their own convictions.
“For Christians, the right to teach and disseminate one’s faith begins with one’s children,” explains Ruth Ross, CLF Executive Director and General Legal Counsel. “Christians must be free to shield and protect their children from competing ideologies and teachings which are at odds with their own religious convictions.”
Other applications to intervene in the SCC appeal were granted to groups including the Canadian Catholic School Trustees Association, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Council of Christian Charities, Christian Group for Parental Rights in Education, Coalition for Liberty in Education, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and Association of Quebec School Boards.
To access documents submitted by CLF, click here
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Ruth Ross will be available for comment at the Supreme Court of Canada before the hearing and throughout the day. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
CHRISTIAN LEGAL FELLOWSHIP
Alliance des chrétiens en droit
The Christian Legal Fellowship is a national not-for-profit association of legal professionals in Canada. The association, among other functions, explores the complex interrelationships between the practice and theory of law and Christian faith. The Fellowship has some 500 active members from several dozen Christian denominations working together to integrate Christian faith with law.