Terahertz: A full response to Humanist Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation statement

Two weeks ago I began Tweeting my reactions to Humanist Canada’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report. I heavily criticized the organization for it’s response, which in my view used the opportunity to make an easy attack on religion while doing nothing on promoting reconciliation with Canada’s aboriginal peoples. I expanded upon my ...

Terahertz: Multiculturalism, interculturalism and secularism

I want to promise this won’t become a habit but sometimes it seems easier to just Tweet a bunch of random thoughts about an issue that I can collate and publish as a Storify. So here’s my latest. [View the story "Multiculturalism, interculturalism and Secularism" on Storify]

Terahertz: Humanists must engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Report

Earlier today I finally had some time to sit down and read parts of the Truth and Reconciliation report and set out why Humanist Canada’s response was woefully inadequate (at best). I Tweeted my responses and then built my first Storify. Hopefully this works. [View the story “Humanist Canada’s “response” to the Truth and Reconciliation ...

Terahertz: Humanists discuss political engagement

Last night, I attended a discussion hosted by the pan London Humanist group on what new opportunities there are for greater democratic engagement following the Scottish referendum on independence. It featured Ian Scott and Gary McLelland from the Humanist Society of Scotland (Ian is Acting Chief Executive and voted yes in the referendum, Gary is ...

Terahertz: Lib Dems call on PM to allow humanist marriages in the UK

Late in 2014, I wrote to my MP, Lynne Featherstone, following a call to action by the British Humanist Association. I’ve just received a response from my MP expressing her support for humanist marriages and a copy of a letter she wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron on our behalf. Good afternoon, Thank you for ...

Melissa Fong: “I’m speaking with you as a human being and you’re talking at me as a politician.”

"I'm speaking with you as a human being and you're talking at me as a politician."— Melissa Fong (@internationalmf) April 21, 2014   When you ask me to open up […]

Melissa Fong: Emotional Intelligence? Can you tell the expression just by their eyes? QUIZ!

It is remarkable how humans can understand emotions.  Many of you know that the way to tell a person’s emotions is within their eyes.  Forget the smile on their face- […]

Melissa Fong: Smile

It’s sometimes really difficult for me to come to terms with realizing that there are some really horrible people in the world.  Like, not just ignorant but just really hateful. […]

Terahertz: Is the Humanist brand dying?

It’s no secret that the term humanism (or secular humanism) have never really taken off. Simply ask a random sampling of people on the street and you’ll likely be met with blank stares. Now regardless of the utility of a word, I think it’s important for organizations to choose language that will be widely understood. ...

Terahertz: UK has “Systemic Discrimination” against freethinkers

Indi at Canadian Atheist brought the IHEU’s 2013 Freedom of Thought Report to my attention and has already done a brilliant summary of the issues facing Canada. Very shortly he’ll also be posting a commentary on the broader report. I encourage you to download and read the entire 244 page report online and support your ...

Politics and its Discontents: Pat Robertson Rarely Disappoints

Whenever I want a little theatre of the absurd, I turn to Pat Robertson. He rarely disappoints: Recommend this Post

Terahertz: A note on “Skepticism and Gypsy Stereotypes”

Hopefully you took the time to read the article I just posted entitled “Skepticism and Gypsy Stereotypes.” I want to give some backstory to this piece, separate from the article itself. After attending Imagine No Religion 3 this past spring, I had wanted to challenge the trope of Gypsy Fortune-Tellers that was tangentially brought up ...

Terahertz: Skepticism and Gypsy Stereotypes

By Ian Bushfield and Edwin Hodge At a recent skeptics conference and during a discussion of the sorts of charlatans and frauds that are best known for peddling woo, a couple of speakers drew upon the image of the ‘conniving Gypsy fortune-teller,’ a stereotype that has frequently been used to describe – and villainize – ...

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Review: The Silence of Animals

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars In 1961 Martin Luther King Jr. told an audience on the New York University campus: “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; … Continue reading →

Terahertz: An Inclusive Community

I just added my signature to Adam Lee’s petition to “The Leaders of Atheist, Skeptical and Secular Groups: Support Feminism and diversity in the secular community.” Here’s the note I left with it: In my view, it is important that Secular Humanist groups in Canada maintain their historic commitment to feminist values and human rights ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: An Atheist Celebrates a Secular Christmas in a Multicultural Canada

So why would a non-Christian celebrate Christmas. Well first of all from a religious point of view Jesus Christ is not just the Christian Messiah but also considered to be an important prophet amongst both Muslims and Jews so there is no reason they cannot celebrate his birth, while not recognizing him as the Messiah. ...

Terahertz: Support our Light the Night Walk

Grant LaFleche, writing for the St. Catherine’s Standard, wrote a column yesterday calling on atheists to be more charitable. It’s a common trope that atheists and Humanists don’t give as much (or frequently) as the religious. Lacking formal structures and congregations, there’s less of a culture of philanthropy, both in terms of regular tithes or ...

Five of Five: Motion to examine definition of human being defeated in Commons

Toronto Star: OTTAWA—A Conservative MP’s pro-life bid to have Parliament study the definition of a human being has gone down to defeat in the House of Commons. Stephen Woodworth’s motion was voted down 203-91. Eight cabinet ministers voted in favour of the motion, including Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose, government House leader Peter Van ...

Five of Five: Motion to examine definition of human being defeated in Commons

Toronto Star: OTTAWA—A Conservative MP’s pro-life bid to have Parliament study the definition of a human being has gone down to defeat in the House of Commons. Stephen Woodworth’s motion was voted down 203-91. Eight cabinet ministers voted in favour of the motion, including Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose, government House leader Peter Van ...

Terahertz: Why read when you can watch and listen?

A bunch of shameless self promotion. Back in August I was invited to join Don McLenaghen on Radio Freethinker, the skeptical podcast of CiTR radio (the UBC radio station). Ethan was away that week, so we spent the entire hour talking about Humanism. You can listen to that interview here (mp3). Last week, I took ...

Terahertz: Radio Freethinker on Tuesday

Just a quick post tonight. On Tuesday afternoon, I’ll be on CITR’s Radio Freethinker show talking about all the latest news from the BC Humanists. The show runs for a full hour, so if you have ideas for what I should talk about, drop them below (obviously soon so that I can be somewhat prepared). ...

Terahertz: Humanist Rituals

A few weeks ago, I was invited to give a talk in Kelowna on Humanist Rituals. The attendance was unfortunately rather low, so rather than give a formal speech, I worked it as more of a discussion about humanism, ceremonies, and interfaith involvement. The speech I intended to give is below though, adapted from a ...

Terahertz: Vancouver Secular Parenting Meetup

While I don’t have kids of my own (yet), I see the need for a larger secular parenting support within the freethought/humanist movement. This is why I’m excited to be working with some great parents to start a secular parenting meetup group in Vancouver through the BC Humanists. The group will kick-off after our Sunday, ...

ROAR!: Happy Darwin Day

Late in posting this…my bad.  Happy Darwin Day!

Canadian Progressive World: 30 Renowned Writers Speaking About God

In this 25-minute video, Jonathan Pararajasingham, a London-based neurosurgeon, presents 30 Renowned Writers Speaking About God. The writers offer both a literary homage to rationalism and humanism, and a not-so-generous critique of orthodox religious belief. …Read More