The winter holiday season can be especially awkward and difficult to navigate for people with secular values. The time of year that is supposed to be full of fun and connectedness can be isolating. It can even be hellish for people who are isolated and alone while others attend social gatherings and celebrate.

The Centre for Inquiry Canada (CFIC) brings people together to build a more just, secular and compassionate society. We build community around common secular and scientific values in a time when people who possess these values may feel isolated.

Do you want to be part of our community? Do you want to help people who may be feeling alone in their views? Are you already part of our community and want to show your support? Please help us by joining, volunteering
and donating.

Community is important because people do not thrive alone. People need intimacy and a sense of belonging throughout their lives. After our basic physiological and safety needs are met, we strive to fulfill our social needs. We need to feel a sense of belonging to a larger social group. We need to feel socially connected in relationships that provide mutual value and trust, and promote communication and collaboration toward common goals.

The benefits of these connections are many. They enhance our mental well-being. They are a source of support and relief in times of stress, such as holiday seasons. We need community around us to help carry us.

Social isolation has been recognized as a major risk factor for illness and death for more than 25 years. There are many studies that show social isolation is as strong a risk factor for as smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and high blood pressure. The chronic stress of social isolation can lead to higher risks of infections and chronic disease.

The benefits of joining a community are significant. Committing to a shared activity with the community expands your network and boosts social skills. The social contact with others helps relieve stress and may increase your overall happiness. A good community will also challenge you to become a better person.

CFIC is such a community. People can connect through the volunteer network or attend events such as our Living without Religion groups in Toronto and Ottawa, our discussion groups in several cities, and our public speaking events in some of the major Canadian centers. They can engage with others through Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our monthly newsletter Critical Links.

Meanwhile, here are some secular holidays we like to celebrate – join us!

  • 12/21: Winter Solstice
  • 12/25: Newtonmas (Isaac Newton’s birthday)
  • 1/1 New Year
  • 1/16: Religious Freedom Day
  • 2/12: Darwin Day

Please help us. Your donation ensures that we can continue to support the development of branches throughout Canada, to support improved scientific literacy, to help people to leave extreme religious sects and to think critically.