One of the serious problems that Secular Connexion Séculière (SCS) encounters in dealing with politicians is a lack of awareness of the secular humanist community. Simply put, we are not involved enough in politics. Every religion is. That means that most, if not all, MPs are religious — some of them fanatically, others moderately. Federal civil servants are also mostly religious, and SCS has complained to the Canada School of Public Service (yes, there is one) in Ottawa that some instructional sessions have been opened with prayers.
I happen to belong to a federal political party. That is mostly because the main rival to that party in our riding happens to be fundamentalist Christian and socially conservative. She wants to set back social progress. In addition, I see the candidate of the party I belong to as the best progressive person to represent us in Ottawa.
If you are not involved with a political party, you should consider getting involved with your secular humanist voice. Email every candidate in your riding and ask the following.
- Do you support ending the right for religious people to utter hate speech and publish hate literature?
- Do you think that Canada’s Less Complex Claims refugee policy should be changed to include atheists?
- Do you think that religions should be granted charitable status by the Charities Directorate merely for the self-serving exercise of promoting their religions (proselytizing) rather than being required, as secular humanist organizations are, to demonstrate charitable purposes that serve the community at large?
- Do you think that publicly funded institutions should be allowed to limit employment to people based on their religious belief, and allowed to limit services to those that conform to their religious constraints?
Getting an answer would be wonderful, but you probably won’t get one. The real point is that the candidate, or at least the campaigners, will learn that we exist.