Doug Thomas
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Doug Thomas is an internationally published Humanist writer and a published novelist specializing in Canadian Historical Fiction. He publishes a blog called Canadian Secular Humanist.

Doug is currently president of Secular Connexion Séculaire, a national advocacy and networking organization for Canadian Humanists. Doug actively advocates for the rights of Humanists and for clear separation of Church and State in Canada through Open Secularism (the concept that all public institutions and buildings should be free of religious symbolism, but that individuals have the right to wear religious symbols).

Entries by Doug Thomas

It's My Right as a Canadian to Be Free From Religion

(41) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 8:56 AM

Canadian atheists are often confronted by misinformation about their right to freedom from religion. Usually, the perpetrators are religious people who claim that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not guarantee this. The most recent person of note to say this is the Honourable John Baird, Minister...

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17% of World's Nations Hate Non-Believers

(2) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 4:04 PM

Then International Humanist and Ethical Union has just released its Freedom of Thought Report for 2013. According to the Freedom of Thought Report for 2013 (FOT), approximately 8 per cent of sovereign countries around the world treat non-believers as free and equal, 17 per cent actively persecute non-believers...

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Completing Life With Dignity in Canada

(5) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 5:28 PM

On September 17, I had the honour of accompanying my friend, Henry Rempel, as he completed his life with dignity. This was the culmination of a long journey, medically, mentally, and physically for Henry.

Henry was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis more than thirty years ago. Even as his body betrayed...

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Quebec's Secularism Is Religious Control

(37) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 1:13 PM

The Québec government is flying a trial balloon that would ban some religious symbols and religious clothing form public service buildings in Québec, particularly on the persons of civil servants. There is a hint that the ban would include teachers and day care workers. This lead balloon is an objectionable...

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Now That the Fairy Dust Has Settled

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 4:33 PM

Well, we have had our annual dose of monarchy elation with the birth of Prince George, or more importantly, Will and Kate's baby. The only thing that the newshounds might have missed was the average number of yawns per hour by police officers on site and the length of cable...

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Can Attending Religious Services Really Prevent Depression?

(9) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 5:31 PM

Recently, Dr. Marilyn Baetz, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan, published a study that purports to support the notion that regular attendance at religious services reduces the chances of one suffering from depression. The study, while it is based on information from over 12,000 Canadians and has...

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Our National Anthem Does Not Represent Me

(60) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 5:30 PM

Imagine a country that requires 20 per cent of its population to be hypocrites to sing its national anthem. Imagine a country with a national anthem that insults half of its population. Imagine a country with a national anthem that excludes all people not born in the country from its...

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Can Atheists and Theists Get Along?

(40) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 5:13 PM

The Vatican, according to Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, will hold a dialogue with non-believers (atheists) in Mexico next month. This follows up on a 2009 comment by Pope Benedict XVI that "the Roman Catholic Church should hold such meetings so non-believers could get to know God."

That the RC...

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Harper and Baird Focus on Religious Rights Only

(4) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 5:52 PM

Secular Connexion Séculaire (SCS) and Centre for Inquiry Canada (CFI) have been tracking with dismay the Harper government's abandoning the defence of most human rights in order to focus exclusively on its concerns for the rights of religious minorities.

This government closed The International Centre For Human Rights...

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How Interfaith Services Exclude Non-Believers

(5) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 8:19 AM

Interfaith services and groups have become a fairly common part of our culture. As David Niose points out in Psychology Today, "it not only seems natural, but arguably even healthy, that various religious groups could come together in a time of crisis."

He goes further to...

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Harper's Smoke and Mirror Government

(6) Comments | Posted April 11, 2013 | 5:37 PM

The Harper government is a smoke and mirror government that confuses transparency with murkiness and should realize that such an approach usually results in the smoke smudging the mirror.

To begin with, the Conservatives managed to surf the system to a House of Commons majority with a minority of the...

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What Should Take Precedence, State or Church Law?

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 11:10 AM

When a country like Canada enshrines "freedom of conscience and religion" in its Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it gives itself a particular challenge. When that country seems determined to support multiculturalism, that challenge takes on further dimensions.

As a Secular Humanist, I am biased toward the...

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Where Do Atheists Belong in the Office of Religious Freedom?

(241) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 7:44 AM

Many comments regarding the appropriateness and potential effectiveness of the Canadian Office of Religious Freedom have been made; however, with the exception of a few reporters, no one has noted the exclusion of Secular Humanist or atheist organizations from whatever consultation that occurred.

The frosting on that cake...

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How Secular Humanists Develop Ethics

(47) Comments | Posted February 8, 2013 | 9:13 AM

How do Secular Humanists develop their ethics? This is the most consistently repeated question about Secular Humanism. Theists, in particular, have difficulty with the notion that ethics need not come from a set of rules laid down in an ancient book. Even Secular Humanists, put on the spot, have some...

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Church and State, It's About Time You Separated

(50) Comments | Posted February 4, 2013 | 8:52 AM

Some time ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper observed that separation of church and state is an American constitutional concept and does not apply to the Canadian constitution. He went on to say that separation of church and state in Canada has meant, traditionally, that the government will not...

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We Have One Life and One Legacy! So Go For It!

(1) Comments | Posted January 23, 2013 | 4:34 PM

After I spoke at the World Religions Conference last fall, someone asked me the following: "How can you get up in the morning knowing that this is all there, just this life and nothing more? Does this not leave you in a state of sadness and hopelessness?"

Au...

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Humanists Are Not Your Average Atheists

(35) Comments | Posted January 19, 2013 | 10:52 AM

Some people think that "humanist" is just the new word for "atheist." That is not quite true. Humanists, at least the secular variety, are all atheists, but not all atheists are humanists.

Humanism can trace its western roots back to Thales, an Ionian Greek (c. 624-546 BCE), who contradicted...

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Bicker No More -- Let's Talk Solutions

(10) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 10:46 AM

I was one of many who emailed Prime Minister Stephen Harper the other day and asked him to meet with aboriginal leaders to start the long path to correcting the problems with the relationship between the Canadian government and the aboriginal peoples. I might have said long, winding path, because...

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