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Doug Thomas

President, Secular Connexion Séculière, Canada's Humanist Rights Advocacy Group

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).
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17% of World's Nations Hate Non-Believers

When 17 per cent of the world's sovereign nations commit grave violations against human beings of any philosophy and only 8 per cent treat people of any philosophy as free and equal, we must speak out. Much of our commentary must be directed to our own imperfect record on this universal human rights issue.
12/12/2013 05:28 EST
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Completing Life With Dignity in Canada

In Canada, attending a suicide is legal; assisting a suicide is not. Suicide itself is legal in Canada, thus preventing the further injustice of charges against the many unassisted suicides that result in survival in some kind of reduced quality of life. We must legalize assisted suicide in Canada. There are two ways this can happen.
09/27/2013 05:28 EDT
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Québec Misinterprets Open Secularism

In the wake of yesterday's mind-boggling announcement out of Quebec, we must ask: Why is there the need to accommodate religion in this way? I have never quite figured out how someone else's attire affects my philosophy. Seeing a man wearing a kippa has never pressured me to consider Judaism as an option for my personal philosophy.
08/21/2013 01:13 EDT

Now That the Fairy Dust Has Settled

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 n...
07/30/2013 04:33 EDT
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Can Attending Religious Services Really Prevent Depression?

Christian publications are crowing that attendance at religious services has a beneficial effect. But while attendance at religious services may, as Dr. Baetz's research shows, reduce rates of depression, such results have not been shown, by the study, to be unique to religious services.
05/24/2013 05:31 EDT
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Our National Anthem Does Not Represent Me

Approximately 20 per cent of Canadians cannot sing the words to "O Canada" without being hypocrites. They are atheists; "O Canada"'s words are theist in both languages. The words to "O Canada" need updating in both languages. This should not be difficult if we accept the notion of separation of church and state.
05/24/2013 05:31 EDT

Can Atheists and Theists Get Along?

Most atheists have read much more of the holy books than theists think. They are surprised when an atheist is able to quote a passage from holy scripture. So, atheists thank them very much for their concern, already know about the gods, but just don't share their faith in those gods. Can atheists have a dialogue with theists, then? Yes, if theists can agree to remove two hurdles.
05/09/2013 05:24 EDT

Harper and Baird Focus on Religious Rights Only

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. Four of the six consultants to whom the government spoke were Christian and none were Muslim, Humanist.
04/26/2013 05:52 EDT
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How Interfaith Services Exclude Non-Believers

Interfaith services are problematic for non-believers because, by definition, they exclude people who do not share the faith of religious people. When politicians take part and these interfaith events are presented as public and all-inclusive, credibility is strained.
04/24/2013 08:19 EDT

Harper's Smoke and Mirror Government

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 wit...
04/12/2013 05:01 EDT

What Should Take Precedence, State or Church Law?

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 m...
03/10/2013 08:03 EDT
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Where Do Atheists Belong in the Office of Religious Freedom?

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 was the failure to invite representatives from any Secular Humanist organizations to the press conference formally announcing the creation of the office and the appointment of Dr. Andrew Bennett as its ambassador.
02/21/2013 05:29 EST

How Secular Humanists Develop Ethics

How do Secular Humanists develop their ethics? This is the most consistently repeated question about Secular Humanism. Secular Humanists actually develop ethics using three characteristics of human beings: a kind of ethical tripod, if you will.
02/08/2013 05:36 EST
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Church and State, It's About Time You Separated

The default condition in Canada is that religion is a part of normal government affairs. If we non-believers are to influence government or at least have a voice, we have to use our right to freedom from religion to clear Canadian laws and symbols of favoritism toward religion.
02/03/2013 11:52 EST

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

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...
01/24/2013 05:10 EST

Humanists Are Not Your Average Atheists

Some people think that "humanist" is just the new word for "atheist." It is a definable group with definable ethics and philosophies. Humanism is a philosophy that may be atheist based, but the word Humanist does not replace the term atheist.
01/21/2013 12:29 EST
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Bicker No More -- Let's Talk Solutions

Now that Prime Minister Harper is at least dragging his feet toward a January 11 meeting with aboriginal chiefs, we continue to see government and aboriginal leaders contradict each other about the effectiveness and sincerity of government efforts. The problem is a very complex one. Some of the complications result from imperfections in the performance of the aboriginal chiefs and some from imperfections in the performance of Canadian government chiefs. However, none will be resolved until both sides decide to talk openly and to trust one another. Did I mention that I am an idealist?
01/10/2013 12:12 EST