Category Archives: BC

BC public schools continue to permit Christian Evangelism in classrooms

During my work with the BC Humanist Association last year, we managed to help raise awareness of how the longstanding tradition of Gideon’s distributing Bibles to grade 5 students continued unabated in the Chilliwack and Abbotsford School Districts. This process continued despite the BC School Act requiring all schools be “strictly secular” and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms being widely interpreted as protecting the freedom from religion.

Nevertheless, parents in the ironically named Godson Elementary School in Abbotsford were shocked by the distribution of Bibles to their children during class time. This violates the District’s own policy, which permits the distribution of religious propaganda following a consent form.

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BC Secularists who aren’t white men

Inspired by similar lists of diverse secular thinkers, I thought I’d put out there a compilation of some rising secularists – both thinkers and activists – who break the mould in British Columbia.

My criteria:

  • Alive
  • Does not identify as white (i.e. Caucasian/European) and male
  • Is either an active atheist/skeptic/humanist or their work demonstrates a commitment to human rights and secular values
  • Was born in, lived in, or presently lives in British Columbia

Feel free to add your own in the comments. Names are alphabetical by last name. Not all of the below are officially atheist/humanist but they do show a commitment to secular values.

If you see your name below and would rather not be on this list, please email me.

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Religion, Politics, and Rex Murphy

Tomorrow, the Canadian polysyllabic pontificator Rex Murphy will be in Vancouver recording a live episode of Cross Country Checkup on religion in public life..

The Checkup is a long-time Canadian radio talk show, designed to spark dialogue across the country.

To arrange my thoughts for the discussion, I sat down for a Google+ Hangout with Mavaddat and discussed some of the issues that might come up. You can watch the discussion below the fold.

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Support our Light the Night Walk

Grant LaFleche, writing for the St. Catherine’s Standard, wrote a column yesterday calling on atheists to be more charitable.

It’s a common trope that atheists and Humanists don’t give as much (or frequently) as the religious. Lacking formal structures and congregations, there’s less of a culture of philanthropy, both in terms of regular tithes or even to secular charities.

However, these trends are changing.

The Foundation Beyond Belief is working with freethought groups across North America to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk. As of this morning they have raised nearly $305,000 toward their goal of $500,000 – which will be matched by the Stiefel Foundation for a total gift of $1 million to fight blood cancer.

Here in Vancouver, the BC Humanist Association’s team has raised over $3,500 between our 15 team members (comprised of BCHA, Vancouver Skeptics, and UBC Freethinkers members).

Our walk is this Saturday, so if you can spare a few dollars, why not chip into my campaign. Remember that every dollar you donate is being matched and Canadian donations over $25 are eligible for a tax-receipt.

Every gift, big and small, is appreciated and helps highlight the compassion and charity we all have.

Radio Freethinker on Tuesday

Just a quick post tonight.

On Tuesday afternoon, I’ll be on CITR’s Radio Freethinker show talking about all the latest news from the BC Humanists.

The show runs for a full hour, so if you have ideas for what I should talk about, drop them below (obviously soon so that I can be somewhat prepared).

The show will be available as a podcast afterwards and I’ll link to it here when it’s online.