Separation of Church & State in Canada II

by | January 20, 2016

Diana MacPherson’s  May 2014 post “Separation of Church & State in Canada” continues to be a popular Canadian Atheist post, so it’s time to add to the discussion with an example of a blatant breach of the separation of church and state.

On December 23, Centre for Inquiry Canada posted a question on its website “Brad Wall’s Christmas Message: Should Saskatchewan Secularists Complain?” As you will see, on December 28, I contributed a comment to the post:

“Should Saskatchewan Secularists Complain?”

The question is not should but when?

Is there no one in Saskatchewan willing to take Brad Wall to task for this.

I see you mention Mouvement laïque québécois v. Saguenay and “applauded the initiatives of the many individuals and organizations who contributed this historic decision.”

Well the path to the SCC decision was not easy; it took a lot of work and perseverance for Alain Simoneau, the MLQ and other individuals. It was a long and for the MLQ especially, an expensive process.

Yes, Saskatchewan Secularists should complain and I’m waiting for them to get off their asses and do so.

Well despite promises that

The Regina CFI group has been discussing what our options are for a form of formal complaint to Brad Wall’s office and one of us will comment here when we have a plan figured out. This article, as well as Brad Wall’s history of ignoring his responsibility to anyone non Christian has spurred an sense of urgency to the local secular movement.

to my knowledge, The Regina CFI group has not issued a formal complaint.

According to “Freedom,” another commenter on the CFIC post,

Brad Wall has been issuing Christmas messages that are religious in nature since at least 2009.

The CFIC post asks,

Is it appropriate for Premier Wall to lump all Saskatchewan residents, or even all disaster evacuees, in with Christians through a forced metaphor from Christian mythology?

To what extent is Premier Wall’s forced metaphor factually and historically accurate?

How does Premier Wall’s Christmas message intersect with his policy as a government leader?

The Supreme Court’s decision in Mouvement laïque québécois v. Saguenay (City) on April 15, 2015 makes it very clear that Brad Wall’s 2015 Christmas Message is not appropriate and intersects with his policy as a government leader:

If the state adheres to a form of religious expression under the guise of cultural or historical reality or heritage, it breaches its duty of neutrality. . . . the state’s duty of neutrality means that a state authority cannot make use of its powers to promote or impose a religious belief.

Yes, Saskatchewan Secularists should complain; they should complain to Brad Wall and to Brad Wall’s “colleagues in the government of Saskatchewan” because Wall mentions them in his message, which implicates them as well.

2 thoughts on “Separation of Church & State in Canada II

  1. Tim Underwood

    Well you got me to listen to Brad Wall’s ‘Christmas message to the devout’. I can’t recall ever listing to anything Brad Wall has ever said all the way through. I don’t especially dislike the man, it’s just a lack of respect for him as a person.

    He has played the religious affiliation card throughout his political career. It’s hard to know how authentic his delusions actually are. I always thought of him as a an unapologetic populist.

    My memories of the fall harvesting, here in wheat country, includes the non-stop radio sermonizing by American Christian Scammers trying to convince us listeners, on truck and combine radios, that the genocides described in the Old Testament were so central to the Hebrew God’s divine plan.

    Wall knows his audience well. It is unfortunate that the otherwise very intelligent and self-sufficient people of this province have been so soaked in Abrahamic Myths.

    The NDP opposition has a similar record of religious story analogies. Tommy Douglas was surprisingly secular in his political parables.

    Saskatchewan is Canada’s Texas. Political leaders pander to the religious camp-followers, sort of like the Gratefully Dead pandering to their worshiping deadheads.

    Naturally, it should be the opposition who take Brad to task for his clumsy portrayal of forest fire evacuees as census participants in a pointless census that never actually took place.

    His audience greatly appreciate his blending of shamanistic tales with their own life experiences. This places them into their thought world of Christian Fantasy. They love it and they financially support it.

    Our task, should we decide to accept it, is to ease these fantasy fanciers into the spectacularly intriguing world of reality. This isn’t easy to do over the roar of truck engines and the thumping of threshing machinery.


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