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


BCHA applauds BC Supreme Court decision upholding privacy rights

The BC Humanist Association (BCHA) welcomes today's decision by Justice Wilson of the Supreme Court of British Columbia to dismiss a petition claiming the province's privacy act infringed the religious liberties of two Jehovah's Witnesses congregations.

Legislative Prayer Across Canada

The third edition of Legislative Prayer Across Canada includes the new inclusion of Indigenous Land Acknowledgements in Manitoba's Legislative Assembly, references to the new monarch and updated endnotes.

Write your mayor asking them to end prayers in inaugural council meetings

We're ramping up the pressure on the three municipalities that haven't committed to end prayers in future inaugural council meetings.

Three more municipalities commit to review Saguenay decision by 2026

West Kelowna, Colwood and Tumbler Ridge have all now responded to the BCHA's calls to end prayers in future inaugural council meetings.

New bill would end religious exemptions to hate speech laws

Bill C-367, tabled Tuesday, would eliminate religious exemptions from Canada's hate speech laws. As Humanists, we stand behind efforts that remove religious privileges and promote equality.

BCHA asks for confirmation that there will be no prayers in future BC council meetings

The BC Humanist Association (BCHA) has written to the seven municipalities it recently identified as including prayers in their 2022 inaugural council meetings, asking for confirmation that the practice will not occur again.

Vancouver among seven municipalities that included prayer in 2022 inaugural meetings, violating Supreme Court mandate

In a new report released today, the BC Humanist Association (BCHA) calls out Vancouver as one of seven municipalities for including prayers in its 2022 inaugural council meetings.


Chaplain General decision to pause inclusive policy discriminates against atheist veterans

Atheists and the non-religious are reacting with shock and disappointment to reports that the Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces has paused a policy that would require spiritual reflections by chaplains at public addresses be inclusive.

Military Chaplains modernize prayers policy

The BCHA is commending the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service for recognizing the importance of inclusivity and diversity in public military functions with its new direction on chaplain's spiritual reflections in public settings.

See more secularism posts.



Created with NationBuilder Creative Commons License