I feel like there must be other news going on in the whole world other than the robo-calls scandal that is dominating so much of the Canadian media’s attention.
Jonas Himmelstrand, a soft-spoken Swede, has been forced into exile in Finland for homeschooling his children.
This was a real wake-up call/a shock for me this week. I’m used to hearing about persecution. I’m used to hearing about stupid government decisions. I’ve heard of Germans and Swedes being bureaucratically pushed around and persecuted for homeschooling. But there’s nothing like having a personal connection to drive the point home, and I had the honour of meeting Jonas Himmelstrand at my work’s conference last year.
There’s a very unfortunate mentality that can develop in people, even people like me, who were raised with a suspicion of government. (When your parents are forced to flee their own homeland because of the government, that pretty much seals the deal.)
Many Canadians still think that when someone is pushed around by government officials they may have actually done something wrong.
Lately, Canada has been giving me ample opportunity to rediscover that this isn’t true.
There was Derek Hoare in British Columbia whose daughter was taken away from him for no reason. There’s the Sansone family, where the father was arrested when his five-year-old daughter drew a picture of a gun. There’s Linda Gibbons, who has spent more time in jail than Karla Homolka for standing on a sidewalk with a sign. I could go on (and on).
Now Sweden is giving me more opportunity to rediscover why this isn’t true. I’m a little surprised there hasn’t been more attention paid to this.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
We need to be keenly aware of this.
You can learn more about Jonas Himmelstrand and his work by watching this clip from the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada’s conference last year. At the very end in the question and answer session, he explains how it is that he is able to homeschool in Sweden when it is illegal. There he says “You have to be prepared to leave the country on short notice,” which is what has subsequently happened to him.