It seems I started something with my little expose on the state of secularism in Canada, specifically targeted at CFI. Here’s the current list (roughly chronological) of the reactions:
- Joe thinks I overreacted, but has a unique photoshop of “Archbishop Trottier”
- Gordo goes a step further and compares Justin to Bill Donahue (now even I wouldn’t go there)
- Zak adds his two cents
- and finally, Katie Kish, president of the Freethought Association of Canada, writes a flaming indictment of Justin Trottier.
Of Katie’s more unsettling comments include stories of Justin turning down volunteer applicants who listed work with feminist organizations on their resume. These are actions that, ironically enough, could be pursued by human rights commissions (and to be fair, if a man had said they worked with men’s organizations and got turned down for a job, it also would be grounds for a HRC complaint).
Justin also published a new article on his blog, and the Facebook thread attracted over 130 comments (link will likely only work if you’ve friended Justin). Many voices came out against Justin in that thread, and a few supported his stances.
In the past week I’ve talked to many activists at varying levels from different regions across Canada. Most of them share these concerns and have been harbouring them for some time now.
Consider CFI Canada’s pursuit of charitable status. This is something that’s been achieved by both the Freethought Association of Canada and Humanist Canada. There is precedent and besides the (significant) paperwork should not be as slow coming as it is. Running through Canada Revenue’s charity checklists makes you wonder, what are they failing at?
It’s perhaps not as understood by some portions of management that local communities are suffering without access to the ability to grant tax receipts for donations (as churches and registered charities can). Without that flow of dollars, CFI is going to hit the mud soon. While Justin is a made employee (thanks to a few generous donations in Toronto), many activists in other communities cannot spare the time from their careers to build their centres.
Of course these are but a few of the concerns that are resonating across the country.
Likely, this is what has prompted the start of Canadians for Grassroots Secularism. A blog that seeks to unite those with these shared concerns. It hopes to either pressure CFI-Canada to reform or to seek alternative methods to promote secularism in Canada.
If you agree that changes are necessary in regards to these issues, I urge you to sign on to their cause.