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Dion suggests end is nigh for office of religious freedom

Lee Berthiaume, Ottawa Citizen

Published on: January 28, 2016 | Last Updated: January 28, 2016 5:41 PM EST

Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion has given his strongest indication yet that the writing is on the wall for Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom.

Speaking at a foreign policy conference Thursday, Dion said the Liberal government, like the Conservatives before them, will continue to champion religious freedom abroad. But he said religious freedom should not be “disconnected” from other human rights.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/dion-suggests-end-is-nigh-for-office-of-religious-freedom

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More and more of the former government's draconian legislation is being rolled back.

Standby for new ATIS message (aviation content). :icon_pray:

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Many of these churches, mosques, temples, etc, do good work for their communities.

Religion is still practiced by many. The pendulum is swinging in your direction. If you stifle the religious, you may cause a backlash and reverse that pendulum.

God Bless.

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Many of these churches, mosques, temples, etc, do good work for their communities.

Religion is still practiced by many. The pendulum is swinging in your direction. If you stifle the religious, you may cause a backlash and reverse that pendulum.

God Bless.

BS, they're free to do what they wish. I'm tired of paying for it.

Just out of curiosity, why does god always get credit for things that are good and gets a pass when it goes bad?

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The tax law allow for a tax deduction when you make a donation. It's now a question of which organization that have what % for administration fees. Your suggestion of removing this benefit from all, religious or not, would cause an interesting debate.

God is all love. Man, using his name, create the conditions that is either peace or war on the world.

Many are removing god from society and don't believe in him or want his help, yet blame him for all the natural events or strife created by man.

Our time on this earth is quite short, in the grand scheme of things, and one can either believe in moving on to the next stage or not. It's a choice.

Cheers.

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Carl Sagan advanced the principle that says; 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof' and so far, organized religion has not been able to produce even a smidgen of reliable proof of any kind in support of the existence of any supernatural god; religion is all about faith.

Sagan also advised that it isn't necessary at all for the atheist to disprove claims that gods of any sort exist. Instead, the responsibility to prove their contentions lie squarely at the feet of the believer.

Isn't it a little discomforting knowing humanity and more importantly that its leaders pray to invisible gods for guidance and the like based on beliefs proffered by ancient men?

Although I can say with absolute certainty that I don’t know anything for certain in respect of the big question, is there a God, the balance of probabilities make it impossible for me to accept stories of the supernatural literally, especially knowing they were crafted by men and before the time they were even capable enough to advance flat Earth theories?

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It's all a question of "Faith" and one can choose. If you don't wake after one dies, then it doesn't matter. But, what if there is something after this life? Interesting eh.

I don't agree with using God to cause pain. Today's example, what's going on in the middle east. Call it what it really is. A bunch of thugs using religion to kill and seek power. It occurred in the past with the Christians as well. This causes the current thinking of removing all religion from society. We are paying the price for that by the very nature of "Greed" and the lack of "civility" by many people today. It's all about me.

I guess there's two side to every coin.

Cheers.

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As an Agnostic I do believe that organized religion at least in the west has done more good than harm. The various religions have in the past served their parishioners and others quite well but it does appear, recently, that some have lost touch with their flocks.


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Boney

“It's all a question of "Faith" and one can choose. If you don't wake after one dies, then it doesn't matter. But, what if there is something after this life? Interesting eh”

If I wake up dead and find myself in the version of the afterlife my past faith would have me believe is real, I’m going to be some ticked-off if I’m to be judged based on the principles of Christianity. I mean, here’s this God that gives us a brain that separates us from the rest of the critters we’re busy trying to kill off, but then installs rules that severely limit its use; it’s the don’t investigate and discover, just be blindly faithful to men that would have you believe they have a direct connection & the ear of their invisible leader.

I think religious doctrine and faith does matter to us all Boney because of its many influences on any number of aspects of our real lives and in ways that often are not good. For example; Christian missionaries have been feeding, vaccinating and spreading their chosen faith around Africa for 60 + years now. This practice was and continues to be undertaken without regard for the flora & fauna of the Continent, which is suffering tremendously under the weight of humanity and many species will be lost forever as a result, especially the larger mammals. The environment is so poor over there now that the burgeoning population is pouring over the edges in search of more of the ‘free stuff’ they’ve been conditioned to expect. This mob of wretched humanity will soon overwhelm Europe and it’ll all be a consequence of well meaning, but misguided and naive Christians.

As an atheist I’m left to wonder what part of a non-secular and shared democracy grants privilege and provides the authority to a religiously motivated groups to earn points from their God for being good Christians by taking their Country into very dangerous territory without ever giving the slightest regard whatsoever to the sensibilities of their fellow Countrymen?

Malcolm

“As an Agnostic I do believe that organized religion at least in the west had done more good than harm. The various religions have in the past served their parishioners and others quite well but it does appear, recently, that some have lost touch with their flocks.”

If you were a victim of the priesthood you might have a different opinion?

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Boney

“It's all a question of "Faith" and one can choose. If you don't wake after one dies, then it doesn't matter. But, what if there is something after this life? Interesting eh”

If I wake up dead and find myself in the version of the afterlife my past faith would have me believe is real, I’m going to be some ticked-off if I’m to be judged based on the principles of Christianity. I mean, here’s this God that gives us a brain that separates us from the rest of the critters we’re busy trying to kill off, but then installs rules that severely limit its use; it’s the don’t investigate and discover, just be blindly faithful to men that would have you believe they have a direct connection & the ear of their invisible leader.

I think religious doctrine and faith does matter to us all Boney because of its many influences on any number of aspects of our real lives and in ways that often are not good. For example; Christian missionaries have been feeding, vaccinating and spreading their chosen faith around Africa for 60 + years now. This practice was and continues to be undertaken without regard for the flora & fauna of the Continent, which is suffering tremendously under the weight of humanity and many species will be lost forever as a result, especially the larger mammals. The environment is so poor over there now that the burgeoning population is pouring over the edges in search of more of the ‘free stuff’ they’ve been conditioned to expect. This mob of wretched humanity will soon overwhelm Europe and it’ll all be a consequence of well meaning, but misguided and naive Christians.

As an atheist I’m left to wonder what part of a non-secular and shared democracy grants privilege and provides the authority to a religiously motivated groups to earn points from their God for being good Christians by taking their Country into very dangerous territory without ever giving the slightest regard whatsoever to the sensibilities of their fellow Countrymen?

Malcolm

“As an Agnostic I do believe that organized religion at least in the west had done more good than harm. The various religions have in the past served their parishioners and others quite well but it does appear, recently, that some have lost touch with their flocks.”

If you were a victim of the priesthood you might have a different opinion?

And how about all of those (thousands) who did not harm anyone? Your position is very like those who condemn a whole group (nation, sex, colour, race, vocation etc) for the actions of a minority and that is just plain wrong!

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But what about those priests that did, do and will continue to cause harm; when does the source of all that's wrong, the faith itself, become a matter of public inquiry?

When it comes to the Islamic situation, the trouble making faction is often referred to as 'radical' Islam when in fact almost countless groups with weird handles have been emerging from the faith and doing tremendous harm to others for as long as it has existed. When do rational people get the chance to question the value of said faith in a non-secular & modern world?

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Regarding a "Modern World". The following article puts this into a perspective that may clarify the issue. THE BLOG

The Religious and the Secular in the Modern World
02/08/2012 10:32 am ET | Updated Apr 09, 2012
  • Arvind SharmaBirks Professor of Comparative Religion, McGill University

The modern world, in its self-awareness, is the product of the disengagement of the secular from the religious, which makes the discussion of this issue particularly fraught. The religious overshadowed the secular at one point in the history of the Western world. The secular realm then emerged from under the shadow of the religious, by liberating the political, the legal, and the educational dimensions of public life from religious dominance. We have now reached a point, when the secular overshadows the religious to such an extent, that it is the secular constitutions which guarantee religious freedom. In the heyday of secularism, right after the Second World War, the progressive secularization of the rest of the world, along the lines it had occurred in the West, especially Europe, was considered axiomatic. This belief was shared by the otherwise rival economic systems of capitalism and communism, and also by the rival political systems of liberal democracy and totalitarianism. Liberal democracy saw religion as ultimately turning into a purely private affair, like one's appreciation of art and music; Marxism foresaw not merely its retreat from public life but from life itself. Thus the general intellectual climate, in the middle of the last century, saw religion as on its way out of the public square, if not out of life altogether.

The Iranian Revolution of 1979, however, upset this eschatological apple cart, and, since then, the role of religion in public life the world over has been gaining in salience. Thus the question of the relationship of the religious and the secular, once taken as settled, is back on the table, with a new sense of relevance, in our modern world.

We might begin by looking at some lessons provided by history on the nature of their relationship, in order to assess their relationship in the modern world. And as soon as we cast such a didactic glance at history, it becomes apparent that we have enough historical evidence to indicate what happens when either of the two elements in the dyad gain virtual ascendancy over the other. The medieval times bear witness to what happens when religion comes to prevail over the secular, and the modern times, until very recently, bear witness to what happens when the secular comes to prevail over the religious.

The antithetical variation in the equation may contain many lessons, depending on the lens used to view them. Let us choose to look at them through the lens of human rights, as embodying the human aspiration for political and religious freedom.

A survey of the history of the Western world yields a curious coincidence of opposites, when viewed through this lens. In the medieval period, the religious supervened over the secular, so that the rights, even of kings in the political realm, were abridged, to say nothing of the common person. One might expect this to be the case but another consequence was unexpected -- that the religious freedom of the faithful was also abridged. Orthodoxy reigned supreme during this period and heresy-hunting remained the flavour of the times. In other words, the collapse of the two realms ironically resulted in the diminution of both political and religious freedoms. Modern times saw a role-reversal in this respect and the secular came to supervene over to the religious. The extreme example of this is provided by the communist countries. The collapse of the two realms in these countries, which came about with the dominance of the secular over the religious, also ironically resulted in the curtailment of both religious and political freedom in these countries. One would have expected the curtailment of religious freedom in a situation in which the secular realm supervened over the religious, but what ensued in the communist countries was the loss not only of religious but also political freedoms. It is important to recognize this point (namely, that in the event of one of the two realms -- the religious and the secular -- being overwhelmed by the other, a contraction of freedom in both the realms follows), as it is counter-intuitive. The parts of the world where such a development did not occur were those characterized by liberal democracies, which clearly provided for religious freedom as part of the secular dispensation. They were able to preserve both their political and religious freedoms.

The lesson from history then is clear. When the relationship between the religious and the secular is such as involves the complete dominance of one over the other, then it results in the curtailment of both religious and political freedoms. As noted earlier, this conclusion contains an element of expectation-dissonance, as one would expect religious freedom to flourish in the case of the dominance of the religious over the secular, and expect political freedom to flourish in the case of the dominance of the secular over the religious.

Any vision of utopia then must recognize that it will not be achieved by one of the two obliterating, or dominating over, the other. Attractive as such options might appear in the thoroughness of the erasure of the other, the obliteration or domination of one by the other is a recipe for dystopia. The sobering lesson which one derives from a study of history in respect to the relationship between the two is that both the realms must enjoy relative freedom; that if one of the two dyads prevails over the other, both lose their freedoms.

But how does this lesson apply to our times?

We need to revert now to the belief in the inevitability of the long-term secularization of the globe, to which such eminent thinkers as Peter Berger once subscribed along with many others. We must now recognize that this belief -- that the secular realm was destined to overwhelm the religious -- was entertained by both capitalist and communist countries, although encountered in its more virulent form in the communist countries. In other words, the state of affairs, which the communist countries were seeking to bring about by the use of drastic measures, was expected to come about on its own, through the operation of impersonal and also invisible forces, in the liberal capitalist democracies. The liberal capitalist democracies did not have to take recourse to such measures adopted by communist countries, as the churches would close down on their own, when people stopped attending them, as religion became a purely personal matter and retreated into the private square.

The events of the past few decades in the modern world have demonstrated that this covert triumphalism of the secular world view is as dangerous as the overt triumphalism of secular totalitarianism. And further, that each of the two realms -- the secular and the religious -- should recognize the inevitable presence of the other as an empirical fact, and the further recognize the historical fact that the complete dominance of one realm by the other ends up in the diminution of freedoms in both.

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Jesus basically broke down the 10 commandants to two basic rules to live by. "Love God & Love thy neighbour as yourself".

Live a good life. Respect all. If you don't believe in God but live and respect others, right on. I'd rather be with you vs being with some religious fanatic that intend to move away from the basic message of God.

My knowledge in this is limited to my own beliefs. I'm not a student in religion so I'm just trying to be as simplistic as possible as I don't have the tools to delve into this. I'm using the "KISS" method as simple works for me.

Cheers.

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Not a victim.

Then I guess my next question is how do you know what they think? I know a couple of people who were in the schools and they do not think they suffered (perhaps lucky ones) and have done well for themselves as adults. So I guess experiences are indeed individual.

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“Then I guess my next question is how do you know what they think?”

How would I know what victims think Malcolm and how is the answer to that query fundamental to the big picture question?

“So I guess experiences are indeed individual.”

As far as I know, personal experience has always been unique to the individual.

The basics of politics have remained unchanged for the most part throughout history. To be successful at the game every would be leader has always been required to gather a large & loyal following. He will do so by finding a technique by which he can inflate and direct the sensibilities of the masses. Going way back, I suspect men of the day carefully crafted faith based doctrines solely to control the people and serve their political purposes; Constantine and his role in the development of the Christian Bible as a for instance.

Middle eastern monotheistic religious doctrines of every flavour have at one time, or other been guilty of calling for the persecution of individuals, groups and even nations throughout religion’s long, dark and heavy history.

I question the relevance of religious doctrine in a modern world. For instance, I think it’s illogical to go to war, or kill others in the name of, or while claiming to be guided, or backed by supernatural beings and it’s especially troubling to watch while our so-called leaders pray for guidance & direction to a god who’s existence is entirely based on an apparently fictional story.

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BS, they're free to do what they wish. I'm tired of paying for it.

Just out of curiosity, why does god always get credit for things that are good and gets a pass when it goes bad?

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" . . . why does god always get credit for things that are good and gets a pass when it goes bad?" This from a guy who admits to playing golf?

:Grin-Nod:

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DEFCON: you said "For instance, I think it’s illogical to go to war, or kill others in the name of, or while claiming to be guided, or backed by supernatural beings and it’s especially troubling to watch while our so-called leaders pray for guidance & direction to a god who’s existence is entirely based on an apparently fictional story." and to that I agree but it is equally wrong to go to war for secular reasons. So I think we should blame human nature rather than religion.

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I see religion as a crutch intended to allay the peoples fear of their own mortality. If they need that sort of support, so be it, but in a modern world ANY aspect of an individual's religious belief and doctrine should be kept entirely to themselves and not used as a tool to motivate, justify, or otherwise entice people to do crazy Sheet in the name of ANY god.

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I see religion as a crutch intended to allay the peoples fear of their own mortality. If they need that sort of support, so be it, but in a modern world ANY aspect of an individual's religious belief and doctrine should be kept entirely to themselves and not used as a tool to motivate, justify, or otherwise entice people to do crazy Sheet in the name of ANY god.

Nor should anyone's non-belief be used as a tool to motivate, justify or blame all people just because some do crazy things.

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I'm sorry Malcolm, but I can't buy into the 'it's only a few religiously motivated trouble makers ... if the source of their delusions were removed there'd be no motivator.

DEFCON: there are always the old motivators used by many for causing trouble and harm to others. They remain Race, Politics, Colour, Gender etc etc etc.

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