This is what happens when a country fails to teach and remind its citizens of its history.

Canada, for those who don't know, was founded on two distinct cultural and religious divides: The Protestant, English-speaking and the Catholic, French speaking - each as an equal partner in the formation of a new nation.

From this unique history it shouldn't be surprising that one of the two - or both - of this exclusive club would at one time or another get some special treatment.

Catholic high schools in Ontario have been provincially funded since 1984, and the debate about the funding, although silent for a number of years, has been revisited after Conservative John Tory stepped up to say he would fund all religious schools if elected.

Since his announcement, opposition voices across the province have surfaced and had their prejudicial views printed regularly in various publications. Instead of attacking the actual funding of the Catholic schools, they attack the church's doctrine for what they perceive as discriminatory against women and gays - their attacks are out of ignorance.

A book was written four years ago: The New Anti Catholicism, The Last Acceptable Prejudice by Philip Jenkins and its premise is so true when applied to the GTA. Just imagine if any of the other religions in the province were to take the narrow-minded abuse absorbed by the Catholic Church.

There's a malicious faction out there that fails to recognize, either wilfully or through ignorance, the Catholic Church's significant historical presence in Canada and too many have difficulty accepting that it is the largest religion in Ontario and makes up 43 per cent of the nation's faith base.

This same group gives the impression to whoever will listen to them that public money goes flowing from provincial coffers into Catholic schools. Did they ever once think that Catholics also pay taxes? And since they are the majority, it's a pretty safe bet they're paying a substantial amount. In essence, Catholics are footing their own bill for education.

Here are some interesting numbers from the last census:

- Ontario's population: More than 12,000,000

- Catholic: Close to 4,000,000

- Protestant: Close to 4,000,000

- Muslim: 352,530

- Hindu: 217,555

- Jewish: 190,795

- Buddhist: 128,320

- Sikh: 104,785

The media in this province go out of their way to avoid offending all religions and races, but consistently forget about the Catholic Church. Whereas offences against Jews and Muslim are considered hate crimes, any knock against the church of Rome is considered fair game.

In this respect, the debate on funding religious schools should be kept to the balance sheet. The bigotry that overshadows it should be eliminated.