Open letter to my Head of State

Well, just like I promised on my website, I have sent out a letter to every member of Parliament asking for the right to be an Ordained Secular Minister. If you’d like to contact your member of Parliament and encourage them to look into this issue, please go here.

This is my letter:

I must confess that I am in dismay .Canada considers itself free and progressive, but in many instances, we are not. Although we are not a religious nation, I find it alarming how significantly we are ignoring the atheist demographic in this country. Because atheism is not classified as a religion, we are being inadvertently discriminated against.

I speak specifically of the preferential treatment the religious are given in contrast to those that profess no significant belief in a deity. Does having no affiliation with a God make a person any less of a Canadian than a Christian, or a Buddhist?

My name is Jacob Fortin, and I am seeking to become an Ordained Secular Minister, in order to be legally allowed to perform rituals and ceremonies for the significant atheist population of Canada. As it stands, most Canadians are forced to either be married by a priest or a Justice of the Peace, without the opportunity to seek an alternative means of marriage.

In theUnited States of America, several secular organizations exist that allow individuals to become ordained and perform ceremonies without significant hassle. Spiritual Humanists, for instance, are a recognized religious institution, this despite the fact that they have no formal affiliation to any Deity. They simply believe that human beings are capable of solving their own problems using logic and science. This fusion of science and ritual allows individuals the freedom not to be forced into a religious setting to pursue their spiritual guidance.

This particular organization attempted to be recognized in this country, but unfortunately, our narrow definition of religion did not allow them to gain such a status. I find this a giant blemish on the freedoms and rights of the individuals in this country who do not subscribe to theistic creeds. I therefore ask your support in this matter.

I want this country to rectify the shamefully antiquated and narrow concept of religion, and to allow secularists the same rights as their sectarian counterparts.

I have sent this letter to every Member of Parliament, with the specific intent of getting your attention. I fully expect most of you to ignore my request, since the issue of atheism is still controversial to some, and unpleasant to others. However, my intent is not to try and force others not to believe in God. It is simply to have the same right to marry others that religions do. I do not believe that such a request is outrageous or inappropriate. Please help me, and others like me, have the same rights that my religious counterparts enjoy.

I have posted this open letter on my website, and I have issued the challenge on my popular podcast. I eagerly await your response.


Jacob Fortin

Comments (9)

  • avatar


    Good for you. Keep us updated on any responses you may get.

  • avatar

    clint notestine

    Awesome. I hope Spiritual Humanism will get recognized in Canada in case I ever flee America.

  • avatar


    I am very impressed. Good luck Jacob.

  • avatar


    Good effort, but you should get the media involved. MPs will do nothing. Many Conservatives will think they are getting mail from the devil.

    The media in Canada should be quite friendly since they are skeptical by nature.

    Build up a story of discrimination because you are an atheist. That is something the media will bite on. Better yet, get an MP to tell you to “Fuck of you godless heathen” and you will be off to the races. Find the most volatile, god-fearing conservative, taunt them into a comment and start a freedom of and from religion scandal. Get the debate into the public.

    Good start Jacob, I am cheering for you big time.

  • avatar

    Swedish guy

    Needless to say, I am too.

  • avatar


    “Build up a story of discrimination because you are an atheist. That is something the media will bite on….etc,etc”

    So just lie, taunt, and bait people? Probably not a good strategy 😉 The argument stands by itself, he shouldn’t need to ‘dress it up.’

    g/l jacob

  • avatar


    The argument stands by itself, but nobody cares about minority discrimination unless it becomes a media issue. There are politicians who are atheist to the core, but hide behind a religion so as not to become a lightning rod for religious fanatics. Do you think they want to address this – not a chance.

    With the media leading the public debate, reason will prevail and politicians will be moved – by public sentiment – into action. Nobody want to commit a ‘John Tory’ and be on the wrong side of the public.

  • avatar


    Good luck with this and I sincerely hope that you succeed.

    Much Love from a new listener.

  • avatar


    I had a horrible feeling you were going to sign off with a good old “Go f**k yourselves!” at the end.
    Seriously good luck with this.
    I got married in a hotel (a nice one mind) with a registrar and entirely humanist vows. Can you not do that in Canada?
    I’m now looking into the humanist and secular options for naming ceremonies for sprogs and funerals for when I cark it.

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