For Canada’s “Office of Religious Freedom”, non-believers don’t matter

For Canada’s “Office of Religious Freedom”, non-believers don’t matter

As much as we Canadians make fun of Americans (yes, I am a Canuck, people), the truth is that our own country isn’t really that much better when it comes to religious interference in government. With the Conservative party in power, it seems as though they are intent on copying the American model: in other words, they wish to turn this country into a mini-sectarian state in order to please their highly religious base. They’ve tried (rather unsuccessfully I might add) to re-open the abortion debate, until most Canadians flipped out and it was quietly dropped.

Still, it doesn’t mean the government is done trying to spend our valuable tax dollars spinning their wheels for the sake of religion. Enter the newly created “Office of Religious Freedom”, a kind of Orwellian sounding institution with a mandate so foggy, no one is actually sure what the fuck it’s actually supposed to do. Everyone seems to agree, however, that atheists are not invited to the freedom party:

A particularly bizarre media preoccupation was what the ORF would do for atheists. It is an interesting intellectual exercise — like how the minister of sport might serve the aggressively sedentary — but rather beside the point when actual mosques are bombed, or when Christians have to hold midnight Mass in the daytime where it is too dangerous to go to Mass after dark. People are being killed for their faith, Canada’s government is sounding the alarm, and the national media is preoccupied with questions only relevant in the highly secular circles that consider religious liberty akin to the freedom to choose one hobby over another.

In other words, he says if you aren’t into God, you can’t be part of his little reindeer games. Never mind that there are at least 7 countries in the world where being an atheist is a crime punishable by death: Mosques are being bombed, so obviously, non-believers don’t matter! It’s this kind of false dichotomy that makes my blood boil. It’s not as though any non-believers are denying the fact sectarian conflicts occur. In fact, we anticipate they will, given that religions are inherently incompatible with one another and tend to violently disagree about which imaginary friend is the real one.

There’s a pretty strange irony here, to say the least. While the ORF claims its aims are to help protect people who are being persecuted for their religious beliefs, no one seems to be motioning the fact that the persecution is being done primarily by OTHER BELIEVERS! It’s kind of an important point when the purpose of your organization is apparently so focused on religion. Hey, you know what helps people have their own beliefs? Not having the fucking state promoting one particular faith over another!

Religion is playing an increasingly important role in foreign affairs, and the defence of religious liberty will be a critical means for Canada to promote both pluralism and democracy abroad.

Even if that statement were true (which it isn’t), that’s not encouraging. Religion and politics are a dangerous mix, which is why we tend to push so hard to have them separated at all costs. You’ll notice countries where this has occurred have happier, safer citizens than in countries with state sanctioned religions.

Congratulations, Conservative Government, on showing us again why you’re so poorly suited to run this country. Now, if only we could convince all the old farts in this country to stop voting for these assholes, then we’d finally get somewhere…

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