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

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

Canadian atheists are often confronted by misinformation about their right to freedom from religion. To coerce someone to follow a religion is to deny that person freedom of religion. If that person is a non-believer, freedom of religion then means the right to not believe-freedom from religion.
05/20/2014 08:56 EDT
17% of World's Nations Hate

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
Completing Life With Dignity in

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
Québec Misinterprets Open

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
Can Attending Religious Services Really Prevent

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
Our National Anthem Does Not Represent

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

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

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
How Interfaith Services Exclude

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
Where Do Atheists Belong in the Office of Religious

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

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
Church and State, It's About Time You

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
Humanists Are Not Your Average

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
Bicker No More -- Let's Talk

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