As I mentioned in my special update on Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the decision by law societies to reject Trinity Western University's proposed law school was reasonable.
The religious right in Canada has, as one might expect, decried the decision as a "big loss" for religious freedom and even arguing that "faith is now banned from Canada's public spaces."
While the full ramifications of this ruling will take years to sort out through subsequent rulings, such a reaction seems disconnected from the decisions as they're written. In each decision the justices express a recognition for the rights of individual Canadians to practice (or not) their faith. Where there is some disagreement is when that practice comes into contact with the rights of others.
In other words, religious freedom in Canada is a bit like the freedom to swing your arms about in public: it's all fine until your hand connects with someone else's face.
Aside from the reaction of religious activists, there has been ample coverage of the result in the media. I'll share just a few that I found interesting:
- CBC spoke to three legal experts on the case
- Indi provides a thorough look at the case on Canadian Atheist
- North Shore News spoke to LGBTQ advocate Grace McDonell
- Elaine Craig wrote in The Globe & Mail about the importance of diversity in the legal profession
- Law professors Kathryn Chang and Gillian Calder write in the Times Colonist about how the case plays into the ongoing discussion of balancing religious freedom in Canada
Let me know if you find other illuminating or unique analyses.
On top of that, I spoke with one of our lawyers for the case earlier this afternoon and will hopefully have that conversation out as a special podcast later this week.
Nigerian Atheists Book Drive
As a reminder, Gail Miller, one of our members and President of Atheist Alliance International, will be accepting science and atheist books in person at the Sunday, June 24 meeting in Vancouver.
If you can't make the meeting or otherwise want to get books to Gail you can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New on our website
- Bernie Garrett - Alternative medicine regulation in BC: Facebook live video | SoundCloud audio
- Penny Gurstein - Community planning for the marginalized: YouTube video | SoundCloud audio
A note on our podcasts: We have a new volunteer (from Red Rabbit Studio) who's been helping us film some of our recent Sunday meetings to make available on our YouTube channel and live on Facebook. We're still working through some of the technical glitches with the video but we're hoping this increases the reach of the great speakers we've had in Vancouver recently.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 08:30 AM
- Secular Humanist Thinkers Cafe at Urban Fare Cafe Mission Park, Kelowna
Sunday, June 24, 2018 at 10:00 AM
- Vancouver Sunday Meeting: Samir Gandesha - Weaponizing words at Oakridge Seniors Centre, Vancouver
Monday, June 25, 2018 at 07:00 PM
- Skeptics in the Pub at Tonics Pub, Kelowna
Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 09:30 AM
- Online addiction issues at Quality Foods meeting room, Courtenay
Sunday, July 01, 2018 at 10:00 AM
- Vancouver Sunday Meeting: Open discussion (TBC) at Oakridge Seniors Centre, Vancouver