The Opinion of the People

The Canadian public, though, by and large, religious in proclivities, remains skeptical as to the functional utility of religion throughout the nation. According to Crux Now in “Canadians think religion does more harm than good, latest poll says,” 51% of Canadians, even with the majority of the population as religious, viewed religion as a net negative on society (Din, 2017; Pew Research Center, 2013).

One possible interpretation seems to be the steady growth of a sentiment, or taste, for secularism: place of worship and government separation.

Tied to the growth in this taste comes the decrease in fervor, such as the removal of the last residential schools in 1996 (and so a lessening in the numerous crimes against the Indigenous population) and the reduction in self-reported church attendance, this points to the rise in the “Nones” or those without formal religious affiliation (Miller & Marshall, 2016; Lindsay, 2008).

Whether in the world, America, or Canada, the rate of growth for the non-religious is stark and the total numbers are over 1 billion in the world, the number is set to increase, too (Bullard, 2016; Lipka, 2015; Fiedler, 2016).

The world, as well as Canada, has a larger secular and “Nones” base, where even the religious across the country hold views in support of the notion, or at times explicitly empirically supported claim, that religion does more harm than good in society on net, which includes Canada. It’s the ‘Opinion of the People.’

References

Bullard, G. (2016, April 22). The World’s Newest Major Religion: No Religion. Retrieved from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160422-atheism-agnostic-secular-nones-rising-religion/.

Din, J.K. (2017, July 1). Canadians think religion does more harm than good, latest poll says. Retrieved from https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2017/07/01/canadians-think-religion-harm-good-latest-poll-says/.

Fiedler, M. (2016, October 3). The rise of the ‘nones’ or ‘nons’. Retrieved from https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/rise-nones-or-nons.

Lindsay, C. (2008, November 21). Canadians attend weekly religious services less than 20 years ago. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-630-x/2008001/article/10650-eng.htm.

Lipka, M. (2015, May 13). A closer look at America’s rapidly growing religious ‘nones’. Retrieved from http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/13/a-closer-look-at-americas-rapidly-growing-religious-nones/.

Miller, J.R. & Marshall, T. (2016, September 29). Residential Schools. Retrieved from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/residential-schools/.

Pew Research Center. (2013, June 27). Canada’s Changing Religious Landscape. Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/2013/06/27/canadas-changing-religious-landscape/.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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