Recognize discrimination against nonreligious

The BC Humanist Association submitted a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage today as part of its study of Systemic Racism and Religious Discrimination.

In its brief, the BCHA highlights how religious privilege continues to marginalize the nonreligious and members of minority faith communities in Canada. It explores how the nonreligious in immigrant and indigenous communities are often unseen when the identities of diverse groups of people are reduced to the majority faith of the country they came from. Finally, it provides commentary on debates over terminology that have arisen in the context of this committee.

Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association:

This study on religious discrimination provides an important opening to raise the concerns of atheists, agnostics and Humanists. From symbolic issues like god in the anthem to the continued existence of separate Catholic school boards, our country's institutions regularly favour religion over nonreligion. This has major effects on atheists in small communities as well as non-Christians across Canada.

Much of the discussion over this committee has been taken up re-litigating motion M-103. While we share the concerns of many ex-Muslims about the problems with the word Islamophobia, it's important that we not miss this opportunity to raise the many broader issues faced by the nonreligious community.

Read the brief

The BCHA is also continuing to collect signatures for its petition to add nonreligion to the Human Rights Code of BC until November 15. That petition will be submitted as part of its brief to the Government of BC's consultation on re-establishing the Human Rights Commission in BC.



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