Sep 122019
 

Recently, the topic of The Lord’s Prayer in public schools across Alberta has come back into public media discourse, after a St. Albert school sent a letter home to parents regarding their continued practice of allowing the prayer by segregating the students into prayer and non-prayer rooms each morning.

Along with this news, there has also been a lot of discussion surrounding government budgets for school systems, after the MacKinnon Report seemed to point towards major cuts to education and healthcare systems.    This has spurred a renewed interest in topics regarding public funding of duplicate systems in our province, and discussions about ending funding to Catholic Schools, including a resurgence of my OP Ed regarding the Catholic School funding issues from December of last year.  

In both these instances, the prayer issue and funding of Catholic schools issue, the media and readers miss the nuance within the arguments.  This leads to misinterpretation of the motivations behind these concerns, and people basically writing off the issues as attacks on religion, or as anti-theist in their nature due to what is seen as atheist bias.

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This is not the motivation at all and while most of us leading the charge on these issues are outspoken atheists, faith and religion aren’t really the point.    These issues could easily be swapped out for concerns regarding racism, or sexism. The concern that segregation is happening, and that one group seemingly has extra special privileges over the rest of us is what we are actually calling out, not the religion itself.

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 Posted by at 10:50 PM
Mar 222019
 

A few weekends ago I attended the ”Be Ready” Conference at the West Edmonton Christian Academy.   The organiser of the event had sent our page a message letting us know about a debate going on in Calgary as part of the weekend conference (which ran in both Calgary and Edmonton at the same time) because it included an atheist.   Unable to attend that, I looked at what was happening at the Edmonton event and noticed a talk entitled ”The Atheist Experience”


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 Posted by at 10:12 AM
Feb 072019
 

Recently our President, Karen, was part of a discussion on Human Rights without God at the University as part of the Relevant series put on by the Christian Student Union groups.   Here is a transcript of her presentation:

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In order to discuss the ideas of Human Rights we first have to break it down into sections to discuss:

  • Human Rights stem from ideas that humans are unique in our dignity, worth and value
  • Human Rights come from a sense of equality, which in turn comes from a sense of  justice and fairness
  • Justice and fairness require a method of morality;  how we come to know right from wrong while also requiring we care for others.

I hold an evolutionary viewpoint on morals, one which includes consequentialism and constructivism and what world leading primatologist, Frans De Waal has coined as  ‘’bottom-up morality’’. My arguments lie more in biology than they do in philosophy.  
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 Posted by at 9:54 AM
Feb 282018
 

In the spring of 2015 my son was enrolled at Sir George Simpson school in St. Albert, and we had an email message sent to all parents about sex education classes that would be offered.   At the time, I was already aware of the issues with the Pregnancy Care Centre providing abstinence-only based sex ed classes, due to the stories out of Edmonton, where they were banned from presenting.  I immediately contacted the Principal of the school to express my concerns and to withdraw my consent from my son participating. I made it quite clear that I was not withdrawing consent because I was not willing to allow him a proper sex education, but rather that this was NOT a proper sex education and that instead I would be teaching him at home.

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 Posted by at 5:16 PM
Feb 052018
 

UPCOMING EVENT OF INTEREST, hosted by the Centre for Constitutional Studies:
Debate:  Alberta Should Have One Public School System, Not Two

chicago-public-schools-lead.jpgFor the Motion: 
David King 
F
ormer Minister of Education and Executive Director of the Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta

Against the Motion:
JK Donlevy 
Professor, University of Calgary Werklund School of Education 

 

 

Thursday, February 8, 2018 
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
TELUS Centre – Auditorium (Rm 150)
University of Alberta (87 Ave & 111 St)

 


Join us for a spirited debate on whether Alberta should change its dual school system of public and separate schools to one public school system. What are the constitutional considerations?

This event is free and open to the public.

Register Here (to help us estimate attendance) 

CCS logo (small).jpg

 Posted by at 11:15 AM
Nov 232017
 

Join the SEA in supporting OURIDEA.CA’s upcoming event.


Why do a Former Education Minister, Parent advocate, and former Catholic School Trustee believe it is time for a referendum on separate Catholic schools? Join Former Education Minister David King, Former Catholic School Trustee Patricia Grell and Public Education Advocate Luke Fevin for an evening of discussion and debate around the question:

What is the future of Catholic School Boards in Alberta? Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:52 PM
Jun 042017
 


Ibrahim is an atheist blogger and activist in Bangladesh who has received repeated death threats because wrote about atheism, LGBTQ freedoms & Islamization.  He not only expressed his beliefs, but stands up courageously to uphold the principle of basic human rights. The penalty for doing so is death, often carried out by vigilante groups; the violence generally condoned by local governments.

Talking and writing about a humanist way of living is not tolerated in many parts of the world. Many of Ibrahim’s friends have been murdered by AL-Queda in Bangladesh, others have fled to escape brutal murder; he is one of those seeking safety for his family.

We won’t let them journey alone! Now you can help bring them to Canada.

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 Posted by at 10:40 PM
Jun 012017
 

Last night we had the pleasure of hearing Gail Miller, one of the directors of the Critical Thinking Project, speak to us about the project and what it’s goals are.

The focus is on developing nations, education quality and giving tools to deal with dogma, witchcraft and violence.  The underlying foundation is one of fairness and tolerance, using critical thinking skills to become less discriminatory.  Dr. Christopher DiCarlo started this as a sample program for high school students in Ontario and is now taking the project to developing nations.

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 Posted by at 1:31 PM