The Journal covers the Iron Ring protest

The Edmonton Journal published an article yesterday about my open letter protesting the Iron Ring.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get any quotes from APEGGA, the Faculty, or the Council of Seven Wardens, but I think the article is well done, and hopefully it brings in a letter or two from those in charge.

Finally, the article also contains a number of comments, and prompted one person to write a thoughtful thank-you letter for my position. Here’s the highlights:


Maybe bushfield should be reminded that most of his educattion is paid by us dumb taxpayers. When he finaly starts to pay taxes , boy will his attitude change, typical coddle studets/ [sic]

Yeah, that’s called irony.


The Iron Ring ceremony is also sexist and cult-like (musn’t talk about it with outsiders and all that) and any reminder not to kill people – the original intent – has been lost since the ring is just an obnoxious status symbol and the ceremony is just an excuse to get drunk. If half the recipients there weren’t already drunk they’d probably be creeped out by the whole thing.


Over 30 years ago, I too resented having this ‘god’ inserted into my life. If someone individually wants to include some ‘god’ in their ceremony, or be convocated under the ageis of some god, that’s fine by me. Why do the rest of us have to do it too? It’s time to get rid of this, everywhere.


Christians beware. It is subtle “little” issues like this one, that will surely come to bite us, when people of Bushfield’s ilk, whine so much, that Christmas, Good Friday and Easter Sunday, will be a thing of the past. After they are gone, so will all other religious observances. Then we will all have to muddle through life with nothing to believe in except our own infinitely insignificant selves.


It’s obvious many of you have no idea what you’re talking about. I too wouldn’t sign the pledge form, and did not get a ring. I did watch the ceremony as a guest though. A couple things to clarify: the ring ceremony has no correlation to ones ability to be a professional engineer, it is an independant organization, and judging by the number of asians and other visible minorities I went to university with, I would guess there are a lot that don’t believe in this god. So, this means that people are agreeing to be ethical by a means that many others intentionaly lie about. Saying “[I will do the right thing so help me God]” when you don’t believe in god is instantly unethical. Knowingly joining this group even when you believe in god is also saying, “I will conform as necessary, to get what I want”. Also, tradition doesn’t make it right, slavery was a tradition. I have nothing really against the Iron Ring concept, although, as I pointed out, it is currently unethical in its practice. Either they should enforce the integrity of the words, or change the wording to regain the integrity.


I like how all the Christians posting comments here are so scared that somebody is stepping on their toes. Bravo, Michel ClĂ©roux – you are absolutely correct. As a member of the 24% (that’s no small minority), I’m tired of Christians who think that their beliefs are the right ones, and everybody else should shut their mouths. Whether you want to believe it or not, we don’t want to step on your toes in any way. We respect your right to believe what you want to believe. All we want is for your beliefs to not be thrust into our lives, whether it be in a convocation charge or a professional pledge. If you were forced to pray to Allah, you’d be pissed off. To us, this is no different.


To those that believe it is ok because it is a traditional ceremony representative of the time it was written – this is 2009. Time to change. Words do have meaning. And when you sign something, you are agreeing to that meaning. If you don’t, why bother? Good on Bushfield and Neil for not being a couple of mindless sheep.

2 thoughts on “The Journal covers the Iron Ring protest”

  1. where do these people come from, The iron ring symbolizes a persons commitment to create something to better MANKIND the fact that a christian wrote the ceremony so what it is a pledge to do your best for all man. And they call us red necks. GROW UP PEOPLE

    1. I want to pledge to humanity, however the formal obligation doesn’t provide that option.

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