From: Ashu M. G. Solo
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2012 12:34 AM
To: Mayor's Office; Randy Donauer
Cc: Glen Penner; Pat Lorje; Ann Iwanchuk; Myles Heidt; Charlie Clark; Mairin Loewen; Glen Penner; Tiffany Paulsen; Bev Dubois; Darren Hill
Subject: Editorial Boards for The StarPhoenix and Verb Agree that Civic Events Must Be Secular
Don Atchison and Randy Donauer,
I saw today that the editorial board for Verb, a free Saskatoon newspaper, has come out with an editorial in favor of my position that civic events must be secular, as you can see here:
The StarPhoenix editorial board previously wrote an editorial in favor of my position that civic events must be secular:
It's my position and the position of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association that freedom of conscience in section 2a of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms includes freedom from religion, that the Charter forbids attempts to coerce, limit, or otherwise influence the choice of religious observance, and that section 27 of the Charter forbids conferring special privileges or benefits on any particular religion.
Separation of religion and government means government can't interfere with freedom to practice religion, but also means government can't promote any religion. This is to protect people of all religions including Christians. Separation of religion and government is a fundamental aspect of freedom of religion.
When Don Atchison and Randy Donauer have a Christian prayer at a municipal government event, it sends the message that there is a priority given to Christian values, it sends the message that Christians are more valued or welcome than others while marginalizing others, it sends the message that only Christians can serve on City Council because a non-Christian won’t have a Christian prayer, and it forces those who object to the prayer to make the choice of having to sit through the prayer against their religion, conscience, or will or face embarrassment from leaving the room. This is absolutely disgraceful.
We don’t live in the 1940s anymore. Get with the 21st century!
Ashu M. G. Solo