Secularism

The British Columbia Humanist Association supports a secular society that affirms:

  • the right of every individual to practice any religion or none, free from coercion by the government, private institutions or their community and
  • that the state has a duty of religious neutrality, meaning it must neither endorse nor prohibit any belief or non-belief.

Open secularism is the best way to fully guarantee the freedom of religion and conscience of all citizens in a plural society. Secularism is the principle that the government should not privilege or disadvantage any religious or non-religious belief over any other.

We oppose government funding being given preferentially to religious organizations and tax exemptions that only benefit the religious (for example, permissive exemptions for houses of worship or the Clergy Residence Deduction). We call on the federal government to remove "the supremacy of God" from the preamble of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and to create a secular national anthem.

Latest news


Humanists raise concern about Christian housing funding

Humanists and secularists are raising concerns about two projects announced as part of a slew of new affordable housing initiatives by the Government of BC. The BC Humanist Association is concerned that the projects, run by the Pentecostal Christian Life Assembly in Langley and Salvation Army in Vancouver, may exclude...

Say no to Operation Christmas Child

Every November, Operation Christmas Child asks parents and families to fill shoeboxes with toys and gifts to deliver to children in the developing world. While seemingly well-intentioned, these gifts are not freely given and are instead a tool to proselytize to a captive audience. The BC Humanist Association calls on...

TWU abandons mandatory covenant

In furtherance of our desire to maintain TWU as a thriving community of Christian believers that is inclusive of all students wishing to learn from a Christian viewpoint and underlying philosophy, the Community Covenant will no longer be mandatory as of the 2018-19 Academic year with respect to admission of...

A win for equality - Supreme Court rejects TWU law school

The BC Humanist Association is celebrating a pair of 7-2 decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada affirming the Ontario and BC law societies' decisions to reject Trinity Western University's proposed law school. The five-judge majority, writing in a united voice, argues that the law societies have a legitimate interest...

Secularism in court

Two court cases coming out of Alberta and one that reached the Supreme Court of the USA brought the legal aspects of secularism into focus this past week. Secularism, to the BCHA, is “the right of every individual to practice any religion or none, free from coercion by the government,...

Justice Minister rejects Humanist petition

The BC Humanist Association is expressing concerns about comments by the Minister of Justice made following a petition by another Humanist group. In September 2017, Doug Thomas of Secular Connexion Séculière launched a parliamentary e-petition calling on the government to hold a parliamentary committee to investigate “systemic discrimination against non-believers...

O Canada becomes more inclusive

The BC Humanist Association welcomes news that Canada's national anthem is now officially gender neutral. The Senate passed bill C-210 yesterday, officially changing the line "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command." The bill now awaits Royal Assent before becoming law.

Humanists support Canada Summer Job funding requirement

The BC Humanist Association has launched a petition in support of new application requirements for the Government of Canada's Canada Summer Jobs program. The program provides wage subsidies to employers to hire high school and post-secondary students. The new policy requires applicants to attest that neither the job nor the...

Humanists argue against religious law school at Supreme Court of Canada

On November 30 and December 1 the Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments over whether law societies must recognize evangelical Trinity Western University’s proposed law school. The BC Humanist Association was there. TWU's Community Covenant excludes sexual intimacy outside a heterosexual marriage. As such, the case has been framed as...

Tweets from the Supreme Court of Canada TWU hearings

On Thursday and Friday last week, the Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in the cases surrounding evangelical Trinity Western University's proposed law school. We were there as an intervenor and live-tweeted the hearings. If you missed those tweets, we've collected the highlights below.

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