In GOD’S NOT DEAD 2, Melissa Joan Hart’s character Grace, a school teacher, is forced to defend her right to say the name of Jesus in her public school classroom. The movie opens in theatres April 1 and challenges Christians to stand up for what we believe in.
Watch The Trailer Below
How are expressions of Christian faith treated in public school classrooms and lecture halls in Canada?
In an article in the National Post, Don Hutchinson, former Vice-President, General Legal Counsel with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada writes: “…Parents of Christian students in Ontario’s public schools have contacted me…about treatment of their children. One teenage girl was subjected to ridicule by a teacher and students in class, in the hallways (including notes left on and in her locker) and off school property because she objected to the depiction of Christianity in The Chrysalids…Another student’s parents were told by a school administrator that if they didn’t like what was going on in the school they should consider transferring their child to a private Christian school.”
In an article in Testimony Magazine, former University of Toronto student JJ McKenzie shared that his faith was often challenged in the classroom: “While doing my Undergrad at U of T there were a number of times where Christianity was openly mocked by students, and at least disrespected by professors.”
In that same Testimony article, David Wang a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo shared, “There is definitely a bias against Christians in universities. Yes, there is a prejudice against practicing Christians in the classroom, although it will be argued that a religious viewpoint is silly and antiquated, and should not be allowed in academia.”
We know these are not isolated cases or experiences. Some Christian school teachers are able to openly express aspects of their faith, and many Christian students are able to respectfully express their faith-based opinions in the classroom and lecture halls. Increasingly though, these environments are growing ever more secular.
In a November 2015 speech in England, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “Whenever, or wherever, a few seek to threaten those who look, or dress, or pray differently; many others stand up and say: ‘No. Not here. Not in our community, not to our neighbours.’
“Time after time, when intolerance rears its ugly head, Canadians rise up to reject it. We prove—clearly and unflinchingly—that we are better than that.” (source here)
As a student or teacher how far would you go – what would you risk – in order to keep the right to respectfully express or talk about your faith in a public classroom or lecture hall?