June 13, 2016 Newsletter

There are few words that I can add to what has already been said about the tragedy in Orlando.

I'll simply echo this comment from the British Humanist Association:

We must always stand up to hate. Whatever its motivations. And now more than ever, we have to think and reflect on everything we set out to achieve: a better world, informed by values of reason and empathy, love and kindness, and the courage to stand up to hate.

This summer, the BC Humanist Association, CFI Vancouver and members of the local skeptics community will once again be marching in the Vancouver Pride Parade to show our solidarity with the LGBTQ community. Everyone has the right to live free from hatred and persecution.

New BCHA poll: BC is 70% non-religious, opposes private school funding

We're very excited to announce the results of our latest poll, conducted by Insights West.

Since our previous poll in 2013, we've seen significant growth in the number of people who don't practice a religion and the number who don't believe in a higher power.

We also found strong opposition to religious tax exemptions, to public funds going to private schools and to public funds supporting discriminatory religious agencies. The Vancouver Sun has already picked up the story and Ian will be discussing the results on Roundhouse Radio 98.3 FM on Wednesday at 3:30 PM.

As an evidence-based organizations, we will be using all of these data - and the demographic data we are still analyzing - to inform our campaigns over the next year.

Finally, we can only commission research like this with your support. Please donate to our research fund to help us cover the cost of this poll and our analysis of the data - or better yet, make a general donation so we'll be able to direct the funds to where they're needed most.

Bill C-14 and medical assistance in dying

Last week we released the first result from that poll, which showed that 71% of BC opposes healthcare institutions being able to refuse to provide legal medical services on religious grounds. This is an important result as hospitals like St Paul's in Vancouver and St Joseph's in Comox want to dictate what choices patients and doctors at their facilities will have.

The Senate also began amending Bill C-14, the assisted dying law, last week. Already Senators have scrapped the requirement that a patient be at the end of their life. This week they are going to debate allowing individuals to make a request for an assisted death through an advance directive.

Simply put: This shows our efforts are working.

But the government is holding the line that its position is the only correct "balance" in this debate. Once the Senate has rewritten the bill, it will be sent back to the House of Commons.

So keep writing to your Senators and to your MP and ask them to stand up for the Charter and personal autonomy.

Non-religious alternatives to AA

At this past Sunday's meeting in Vancouver, we heard two powerful stories about the religious influence in Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-step program. While many atheists exist comfortably in AA, many are not.

For those looking for secular alternative recovery programs, look into any of the following resources or get in touch with us.

Please note that we haven't reviewed or endorsed these organizations and this is for informational purposes only.

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