Religious Tolerance

A Politically Correct Nightmare: The School That Cancelled Halloween

Samantha Kemp-Jackson | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Living
Samantha Kemp-Jackson

Halloween celebrations are cancelled at one Ontario school. No candy, no costumes, no fun. The reasoning behind this puzzling decision is supposedly one of inclusiveness, according to school administrators. The decision of the school board to cave in to these demands is political correctness on steroids.

Political Signs and Religious Symbols: A Dangerous Analogy

Stephane Dion | Posted 12.06.2013 | Canada Politics
Stephane Dion

Our public servants are already subject to a code of ethics that requires them to not make decisions based on religious prejudice (as well as gender, race, or sexual orientation). The Marois government says it is not enough and wants government employees to hide their affiliation with a particular religion. This idea is not only flawed, but it lacks core empirical proof to justify its existence.

Canada's Hypocritical Blasphemy Law

Derek James From | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Derek James From

Most Canadians probably do not know what blasphemy is, let alone that publishing blasphemous materials is still a criminal offence in this country. But there is some irony here, because the Canadian government publicly defends the freedom to publish cartoons that mock a religious figure and looks abroad to protect religious minorities from oppression while at the same time punishing that at home.

50 Years After "I Have a Dream," Quebec Struggles With Civil Rights

Christopher Sands | Posted 10.28.2013 | Canada Politics
Christopher Sands

Fifty years ago today, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech. But today Dr. King's call to freedom and liberty might be considered inconsistent with "Quebec values." Quebec Premier Pauline Marois is an avowed separatist pursuing this agenda by unusual means: a series of xenophobic policies that is ostracizing Quebec from the 21st century mainstream. The civil rights struggle of our time is to insist that the only valid standard is the content of our own character, and not our religious clothing, celebration of particular holidays, or the language we speak at work and at home.

The PQ Wants to Force Religious Quebecers Into The Closet

Irwin Cotler | Posted 10.23.2013 | Canada Politics
Irwin Cotler

The so-called "charter of values" being contemplated by our provincial government would make a mockery of the free and open society that many of Quebec's nationalist leaders have been promoting for decades. It would force religious Quebecers "into the closet", and send the message that religious adherence is something to be ashamed of. Moreover, if religious symbols are barred from the public sphere, they and those who wear them will be rendered even more foreign and separate from the majority. Far from encouraging integration, therefore, such a ban would reinforce divisions based on religious affiliation.

The Turban Ban Doesn't Teach Kids to Play Fair

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 08.13.2013 | Canada
Danielle S. McLaughlin

If we want our own children to learn to be courageous defenders of rights, we must first engage them in thinking critically about those rights. While adults may feel uncomfortable talking to children about the place of religion in society, we can still teach our children that people whose beliefs and practices differ from their own are deserving of respect and understanding.

Can You Respect a Religion You Disagree With?

Rabbi Ben Hecht | Posted 06.28.2013 | Canada
Rabbi Ben Hecht

How can the adherent of any religion (or even the atheist) -- who believes that his faith (or lack thereof) defines the true reality and offers the correct perspective on what is ethically and morally correct -- even accept a value of freedom of religion when it permits behaviour that this person deems incorrect?

Edmonton Mosque Deserves Praise And Acknowledgement

Bill Haines | Posted 03.19.2013 | Canada Alberta
Bill Haines

Congratulations to the members of Al Rashid Mosque for their mailout of a beautiful brochure on Islam to all of Edmonton and area. I especially appreciate their renouncing of Jihad as bombing and terrorism. (If I could afford it I would send a copy of this brochure to every member of the current terrorist government of Iran who have publicly threatened to kill the people of Israel.)

Does Marriage Still Benefit Society?

Rabbi Ben Hecht | Posted 12.31.2012 | Canada Living
Rabbi Ben Hecht

It would seem that marriage is some form of societal construct that allows for two individuals to create some type of life partnership and, in a gestalt manner, to be legally recognized as such. The result is that in an array of legal matters -- from taxation to insurance to inheritance -- these individuals are now perceived within the rules of this partnership. The reality is that society saw in the marital unit a structure that was beneficial to society, for one reason or another, and so it responded accordingly. The fact is, though, that changes in society have made marriage irrelevant in regard to those original benefits to society.

Why I'm Against Same Sex Marriage

Rabbi Ben Hecht | Posted 12.17.2012 | Canada
Rabbi Ben Hecht

I was recently invited to debate Pastor Ted Haggard regarding whether a state should allow same-sex marriages or not. To me, the issue of same-sex marriage is not one of individual rights but, rather, involves the fine and detailed structure of society. The marital unit is the building block of society and its re-classification to include the same-sex couple is not just a matter of a simple change of definition.

Why I Love Canada: Here I Can Question My Own Faith

Farzana Hassan | Posted 08.28.2012 | Canada
Farzana Hassan

2012-06-26-canadaflag.png I am a Canadian Muslim woman and have had the privilege of calling Canada my home since 1984. I strongly believe that as a Muslim I have every right to question my faith, to arrive at my own unique understanding of it, and to practice it according to my very own sensibilities as a unique human being. For that I am grateful to my adoptive country, Canada.

Catholic Schools Banning Gay-Straight Alliances: The Buck Stops Here... Literally

Josh D. Scheinert | Posted 11.06.2011 | Canada
Josh D. Scheinert

The Catholic school boards take our taxpayer money and use that to create environments that disregard the rights and values that bind us together as a province and nation. As long as we're the ones footing the bill for your little 'God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve' sideshow, there is no debate.