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AGM Brainstorming

Last night was our Annual General Meeting. We had a good turnout and I want to thank everyone who came out and congratulate our new Board of Directors: Alan Byers, Crystal Catudal, Eric Damer, Mclean Edwards, Kathy Leavens, Heather McDonald, and myself.

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Profiling and political correctness

Neuroscientist and End of Faith author Sam Harris has set off a flurry of criticism over his recent essay, “in defense of profiling.”

In light of recent terrorist threats and attacks, Harris argues that “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it.”

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Premier calls on British Columbians to "reflect and renew faith"

I don’t want to get too political (and especially not partisan) on this blog, but I would be remiss if I didn’t post this story from a couple weeks ago.

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Should Humanists oppose sex-selective abortions?

Humanists in Canada have long fought for the right for women to control their own fertility.

However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that East Asian immigrants in Canada are having fewer than average baby girls, suggesting that some parents may be aborting foetuses based on their gender. This has even prompted the Canadian Medical Association Journal to call for doctors to withhold the sex of a foetus until 30 weeks into a pregnancy – past the point that most physicians in Canada would perform an abortion.*

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The growth of the nones

Two interesting polls came out in the past week, both documenting the growing strength of the non-religious in Canada and British Columbia.

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Words Engraved

As part of my electronic spring cleaning, I came across a number of emails that I meant to respond to or that merited more attention than I first gave them. Below are videos entitled “Words Engraved” that were designed to inspire humanist and enlightenment values.

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Quebec moves towards Dying With Dignity

About a week ago Quebec’s Dying With Dignity Committee released their final report on assisted suicide in the province.

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Progressive secularism

This past weekend while we enjoyed sunny blue skies in Vancouver, 20,000 atheists, humanists, and freethinkers gathered in Washington, DC for a rainy Reason Rally. The speaker’s list was a veritable who’s who of the New Atheist movement, with Richard Dawkins, Tim Minchin, and Adam Savage taking the stage.

But what interests me isn’t so much how successful the Rally itself was, but how we build off the success of this event and translate that momentum.

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Humanism and prostitution

The Ontario Court of Appeal today upheld an earlier ruling that the federal laws banning “bawdy houses” (brothels) is unconstitutional. They further ruled that the law against “living on the avails” of prostitution could only apply to exploitative relationships. Finally, they overturned an earlier ruling and upheld the ban on solicitation.

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Canada, a relatively irreligious place

The latest poll from Leger Marketing [pdf] asked the standard “who will you vote for” type questions, but then dug deeper to try to expose a difference between Quebec and the rest of Canada. One question in particular sparked my interest. They asked “Do you personally consider yourself as a person who is religious?” and showed that a mere 22% of Quebeckers agreed versus 36% of Canadians. I transcribed their data to a graph to better illustrate the regional breakdown of religiosity in this country.

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