...that secular humanism is not a religious belief, despite its adherents' claims of neutrality. The recent kerfuffle in Quebec over changing its charter of human rights to prevent government employees from wearing what will be defined by that government as ostentatiously or blatantly religious jewellery or clothing, gives evidence of this. Who gives the government that right to decide seems somewhat nebulous in my opinion. It seems ludicrous to me that those who claim no religion have become self-appointed experts on what constitutes religious expression in the lives of others.
If secular humanists were actually neutral they would not care if someone else wore a hijab on her head or a large cross around his neck. It would not matter because it makes no difference to how a person does his or her job. Such things would pose no threat to people who are strong in their own beliefs and are actually as neutral as they claim to be.
This kind of fundamentalism among secular humanists is not only unattractive, it is frightening when one considers some of the initial edicts that came down during the formation of Nazi Germany, not that many decades ago. There are too many similarities for my peace of mind. Equally terrifying is the lack of substantial response from residents of the rest of Canada. Apathy is what breeds dictatorships and it seems we have become apathetic with a capital "A". In Quebec, many people who have religious beliefs other than secular humanism are starting to band together to protest this infringement on the basic human rights Canada's troops fought for in several wars around the world in past centuries. Even now we have troops in Afghanistan, for example, fighting for what the western world considers basic human rights for its people, while their own people are losing their right to freedom of religious expression...or even freedom to express their taste in simple jewellery.
The attitude I run into here in the west is that this whole issue is "Quebec's problem". Do people not see that once the door is open for arbitrary government policies on what is defined as "religious dress and ornamentation" and people are told by that definition what they can and cannot wear to their job sites, that door will swing ever wider and encompass more areas of the country? It won't stop with job sites either.
We are in a bad way in this country when secular humanist fundamentalists are so deluded as to believe they are actually neutral while they utilize their own freedom of religion to force people of other beliefs to submit to this kind of bullying.
Keep writing letters of protest to the governments of Quebec and Canada. March peacefully. Make phone calls. Write blogs and newspaper articles. Send letters to the editor. Let it be known that we in the rest of Canada will not stand for this loss of freedom to happen. Do it because if this happens in Quebec it is only a matter of time before the rest of us will fall victim to the same bullying tactics and will lose our freedom to express ourselves in the way we dress.
In other countries it is known as persecution and no, that is not too strong a word. The Muslims, Christians, Jews and other protesters in Quebec are working together to attempt to stop this travesty and the rest of us had better get on the bandwagon to help them and ourselves.