Who speaks for atheists in Quebec?

It seems to always be columnist Heather Mallick at the Toronto Star who gets the tough assignments. The other day she wrote, as an atheist, in opposition to the Quebec Charter of Values. That is one really tough assignment.

After all, who has the right to speak for atheists? Since, by definition, being an atheist is nothing more than a disbelief in the existence of God, it is hardly an organized group. There is little discussion of this disbelief in the study of comparative religions. Nobody gets a Ph.D. in atheism. There are no seminaries for atheists.

And nobody cares about agnostics either. An agnostic is just an atheist who wants to keep his or her options open in case of being wrong. Why they think they can opt in when standing in front of St. Peter, is a good question?

But frankly we should be concerned that there are no talking heads that the media can turn to when they need a meaningful quote from an atheist. And how should an atheist feel about the Quebec Charter of Values? Do we get to proselytize by wearing distinctive head gear or something easily identified as a cross or a star? No, we suffer the ignominy of looking just like everyone else. We are so boring.

Yet, Heather Mallick comes to our rescue. She is cynical about the silly advertisement by an Ontario hospital hoping to hire all these religiously identified staff that is expected to flee this new Quebec pogrom. She ridicules the hospital’s use of an attractive female in a head scarf as being as overly selective in their public relations as Premier Pauline Marois and the Quebec government appear careless.

Heather says that this mess of a charter is “a rat’s nest of manufactured offence.”  It is her opinion that the matter makes Canada’s most progressive province look bad.

It is and it does. All you have to be is Canadian to be outraged by the deliberate and blatant bigotry of the separatists in Quebec to come up with this offensive plan. Being an atheist is irrelevant.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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