It has been a while since the Charter of Quebec Values has been discussed on these pages. Each post on the topic prompted a flurry of comments for and against the “Charter.” David Rand, President, Atheist Freethinkers, opens the discussion again with an article, “Secularism Delayed,” posted on the Atheist Freethinkers website.
While the PQ suffered a “crushing defeat” in the last Quebec provincial election, and the “Charter it proposed is now a dead letter,” Rand and the Alliance for Secularism remain vigilant and determined, They are convinced that a charter of secularism is still necessary. They are correct because
The questions raised by the Charter remain current and of paramount importance for society, for our quality of life and for freedom. Any complete secular program must include a prohibition on religious symbols in public institutions, including those worn by public servants. This is not only feasible and reasonable, it is desirable and necessary to ensure the religious neutrality of the public service. We must continue to challenge the essentialism promoted by the multiculturalist ideology, i.e. the misconception that religious belief and affiliation are an essential and unchanging aspect of the individual, making each person a prisoner of the community in which he/she was raised and ignoring his/her freedom of conscience.
A secular program put in place by Canadian provincial and federal governments is important “for society, for our quality of life and for freedom.” It would eliminate the debates over publicly funded Catholic schools in Ontario, partially funded religious schools in other provinces and whether government meetings should begin with a prayer.
Yes, a charter of secularism is still necessary!