When the Church Gets it Really Wrong

In Canada there is renewed focus on the issue of residential schools. For those of you not up on Canadian history, residential schools were an attempt at aggressively assimilating first nations. The federal government snatched first nations children and put them church-run, government-funded schools. The consensus is that at best it was a cruel deprivation of children from their own language and culture, and at worst many of the schools were dens of sexual and physical abuse.

Those that came out of the schools were ill-prepared for modern, urban Canada and yet they felt alienated from their own people as well. Not having been a real part of a functioning family unit, they also lacked parenting skills and the like. What’s worst this persisted until 1996!

To their credit, the denominations involved have issued apologies and participated in compensation programs for those affected. What I hope is that this tragedy will serve as a sort of warning about how terribly far the church can stray from its mission.