July 10, 2017 Newsletter

We had a great time introducing Humanism to so many eager people at Car Free Day on Commercial Drive again this year and were equally happy to talk to so many people who've followed us for many years.

For those who are newer to the organization, let me take a second to introduce us.

Since 1984 we've aimed to provide a community and a voice for the non-religious in BC.

Here in Vancouver, we offer weekly Sunday meetings on a variety of topics - and I strongly recommend listening to some of our fantastic recent speakers on our podcast. But we also know that over half our membership lives outside Vancouver, so we're looking to work with small and large groups across the province to build that community from Victoria to Fort St John.

As the largest voice for Humanism in Western Canada, we seek to advocate for progressive and secular values. We successfully ended the distribution of Gideon Bibles in BC public schools, we've spoken out for medical assistance in dyingagainst blasphemy laws, for secularism and the right to perform marriages. As part of those efforts, we've applied to intervene at the Supreme Court of Canada in the case over evangelical Trinity Western University's proposed law school.

All of this is funded entirely by individual members and donors. So consider joining the association, which gives you a vote at our AGM, setting up a monthly donation (thanks to the three people who did so in the past week!) and volunteering to help out.

In the news

Our letter appeared in the Times Columnist last week. We wrote to clarify findings from our polls on religion in schools and on the importance of secular voices at interfaith events.

Humanist Canada published a paper on secular weddings in Canada in the Journal of Secularism and Nonreligion, which references our report on Humanist marriage.

On our website

Upcoming Events

Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 05:00 PM
Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Sunday, July 30, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Sunday, August 6, 2017 at 11:00 AM

See all upcoming events.

Showing 2 reactions

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  • commented 2017-07-11 09:34:08 -0700
    Hi Jennifer, I’m sorry to hear of your experience with Freemasonry and that this announcement has caused you some distress.

    The talks we host at our Vancouver meetings – particularly this one which is framed as a question rather than an equivocation between the two – are not intended as an endorsement or definitive statement of what Humanism (or the BCHA) stands for. One of our members, Helio, offered to speak on the subject and he’ll be open to challenge during the Q&A at the meeting. If you have in mind a local expert on the subject who might provide another perspective, I’d be happy to consider extending an invitation at a later date (we’re always looking for new topic ideas).

    As for “Satanic and Ritualistic practices”, you might not remember but we had a representative from the Satanic Temple of Seattle speak to our Vancouver group a few months back. He highlighted how modern Satanism is actually atheistic but uses the ritual to build a community and also to push back on religious privilege in the USA by asking to put up Satanic monuments alongside Christian ones on government properties. I’m not suggesting the Freemasons take the same, almost satiric, approach to rituals but that we should be open to hearing perspectives that challenge and enrich the Humanist worldview (where they don’t undermine our core values or the dignity of our members).

    If you have more thoughts or concerns, feel free to email me at exdir@bchumanist.ca

    Ian Bushfield, Executive Director
  • commented 2017-07-11 07:23:05 -0700
    With regard to Freemasonry, you do get that there are and have been factions who have practiced the Bacchanalia and other forms of Satanic and Ritualistic beliefs and practices, right? This is so far away from Humanism as to defy belief. As a survivor of same I am appalled that for any reason, Masons would be anything Humanists would consider as something to do anything but condemn on ob so many levels. Not the least that it is a sexist and oppressive organization even to this day. Shame!

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