September 25, 2007

Canada Infected With Theism Too

Thanks to the neocons currently running the American government and the constant stream of idiocy from their Christian extremist base, it is easy to understand how the international community views America. And yet, we are far from alone in the degree to which ancient religions exert an unwanted influence on modern politics. I'm looking at you, Canada.

In a recent column in HumanistNetworkNews, Doug Thomas suggests that Elections Canada, the governmental agency which oversees elections in Canada, is "'infected' with Theism." Thomas' column discusses how religious groups influence elections in Canada, drawing on the recent example of a decision not to require Muslim women to remove their veils when voting for the purpose of voter identification.

Was the exemption made in response to protests from the Muslim community? Apparently not.
Some Muslim leaders have pointed out that women who chose to keep their faces covered would have no objection to showing their face to a female election official. Indeed, one spokeswoman has pointed out that these women regularly remove their veils at banks and airports where visual identification is required.
Rather, it seems to be the result of Canada's obsessive need to "recognize minorities and accommodate needs that even the minorities do not deem necessary." In America, we are used to religious groups protesting anything and everything they dislike. In Canada, it seems that government officials attempt to correct problems before they even exist in the minds of the faithful.

Not surprisingly, Thomas notes that one minority group is largely ignored in spite of efforts to cater to most others. Can you guess which one?
Non-believers struggle to get the attention of our government in order to establish our right of freedom from religion. Does the government refrain from singing the theist national anthem? Has it even considered removing the theist statement on our coins?
Yes, it appears that the Christian privilege so widespread in America exists in Canada in a somewhat broader form, a sort of theistic privilege. It is nice to hear that Canadian atheists and humanists are beginning to speak out and are becoming increasingly active in the political arena.

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