Support secularism in Chilliwack schools

Controversy has erupted in Chilliwack after Richard Ajabu protested his school board’s policy that explicitly permits the distribution of Gideon Bibles to Grade 5 children (with permission slips produced by the Gideons).

The Board recently reviewed the policy in a closed-door meeting and decided to uphold it.

I put on a press release yesterday evening, stating that the BC Humanists consider this policy to be discriminatory and it should be immediately revoked.

Gideon Bible pamphletSee the permission slip given to parents on the right (click to enlarge).

The Chilliwack Times published an unsigned editorial against the distribution of the Bibles and published one supportive letter (on the 23rd).

However, the Times has just published a wave of pro-Bible letters, some of which are quite antagonistic (and some quite racist comments that assume Richard is an immigrant and visible minority due to his surname Ajabu) toward Richard. See the following (there’s quite a few), with choice quotes.

What are we so afraid of?

Have to ban everything

let’s be fair, our children have almost been forced over the years to attend native Canadian ceremonies and religious incantations.

Live by our standards

[Muslims, Sikhs and other religious people] chose to come to this country. I don’t remember inviting them, but that is not what we’re talking about. When you come to another country you live by their standards, and if by chance you don’t happen to agree or like what is happening, well you have to live with that or go back to your own country.

Bible ban just stokes the fire

Go back to your original home

Why is this irritating Mr Ajabu’s mind? I must say, that Hindu, Muslim, etc. rituals are irritating Christian minds as well.

Christians developed this country, not Hindus, Muslims, etc.

Mr. Ajabu has only one honest solution: Go back to his home country, practice his religion over there.

Doesn’t sound like tolerance

I am happy that we are predominantly a Christian nation and that Gideon Bibles are still presented in some schools. This does not make me intolerant towards other faiths and cultures but rather reinforces the strength of our culture which has made room for them.

Richard is feeling justifiably discouraged by his community, so I’d encourage you to write him a personal letter of support (either leave it in the comments here or email me and I will forward it to him), and write to the Chilliwack Times (especially those of you who live in the Valley) at editorial@chilliwacktimes.com

Thanks for your support in this campaign. We stand united against Christian bigotry in favour of a secular, pluralistic society.

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