Research with the BC Humanists

Canadian Atheist, October 10, 2020

Ask Dr. P.B. – Religious Privilege in Practice in Canada: Municipal Prayers & Permissive Tax Exemptions

I talked to the Canadian Atheist Blog about the ongoing research work of the BC Humanist Association.

BCHA, October 5, 2020

The Arbiters of Faith: Prayer in the BC Legislature and Religious Entanglement

The BCHA's Research Coordinator Teale Phelps Bondaroff will take you through a deep dive of the ideas discussed in his and our Executive Director (on leave) Ian Bushfield's latest publication for Secularism and Nonreligion

BCHA, August 27, 2020

Legislative Prayer Across Canada

Canada is often viewed as a diverse and multicultural country. Multiculturalism and ‘freedom of conscience and religion’ are enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. From this, the Supreme Court of Canada has established that Canada is a secular country through what has been called the state’s duty of religious neutrality. Nevertheless, legislative assemblies across Canada continue to begin each day’s sitting with a prayer, which is most often Christian in nature.

The Friendly Atheist, May 25, 2020

BC Humanists Call for Land Acknowledgment to “Decolonize Legislative Prayers”

In an effort to make the standing orders still more inclusive and reflective of the reality of Canadian society, the BCHA has released a new report analyzing representation of British Columbia’s Indigenous people in the Legislature’s traditional prayers.

BCHA, May 20, 2020

Decolonizing Legislative Prayers

Building off the comprehensive House of Prayers report, the BC Humanist Association is releasing Decolonizing Legislative Prayers.

This new supplementary report investigates the use of Indigenous content - words, phrases and concepts - in the prayers said by BC MLAs during the daily prayers in the Legislature between 2003 and 2019.

Radio Victoria, May 7, 2020

Pourquoi tant de prières à l’Assemblée législative ? avec Dr Teale Phelps Bondaroff

Un rapport de l’Association BC Humanist nous offre un regard détaillé sur les prières qui ont été prononcées à l’Assemblée législative de la Colombie-Britannique depuis 2003 jusqu’en 2019.

Dr Teale Phelps Bondaroff, coordinateur de recherche pour BC Humanist était au micro de Bonjour Victoria !, pour nous en parler.

BCHA, April 24, 2020

From the Research Desk - Municipal Prayers

From the Research Desk is a regular check in with our research coordinator, Dr Teale Phelps Bondaroff, on some of the current projects that our campaigns teams are working on. This talk focused on the BCHA's ongoing work on municipal prayer and included the launch of a national-wide study of municipal council compliance with the Saguenay decision, which found the practice of beginning municipal council meetings with prayer to be unconstitutional. 

BCHA, February 7, 2020

BC Humanist Association Special Lecture: Inspecting the House of Prayers

Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff was the lead author on the BCHA House of Prayers Report, and will be visiting Vancouver from his home in Saanich to speak about the report, changes since the report and some of BCHA's ongoing work on these issues.

The Globe and Mail, December 22, 2019

Ontario legislature unlikely to stop saying Lord’s Prayer at the start of each day

Teale Phelps Bondaroff, the association’s research co-ordinator, says the country’s legislatures should eliminate daily prayers and replace them with either nothing, a moment of silence or an Indigenous land acknowledgement. He says starting with prayer wrongly privileges religion, and Christianity in particular, over other belief systems.

“The fact that you are starting a political meeting with a prayer might actually disrespect the prayer itself,” Dr. Phelps Bondaroff said. “It trivializes a sacred thing.”

RadioCanada, December 11, 2019

L’athéisme est-il une religion ?

La Cour d'appel du gouvernement fédéral a statué que l'Église d'athéisme du centre du Canada n'est pas une église.

Elle donne ainsi raison au ministère du Revenu national qui lui refusait le statut d'organisme de bienfaisance.

Selon Teale Phelps Bondaroff, coordonnateur de recherche pour British Columbia Humanist Association, c'est le système de taxation qui doit être modifié. Julie Landry lui a parlé.

News 1130, December 1, 2019

Group applauds shift to daily 'prayers and reflections' in B.C. Legislature

The BC Humanist Association has been campaigning for years to have "prayer" removed from the parliamentary procedures.

MLA's voted unanimously to change the Standing Orders to replace the opening "prayer" with "prayers and reflections."

Times Colonist, Nov. 30, 2019

Prayer routine adds non-religious reflection at legislature sittings

The B.C. government will continue to pray before the start of each sitting of the legislature, but it has changed the name of the practice to include non-religious reflections.

A group representing humanists, atheists, agnostics and non-religious people in B.C. called the updated terminology “a step forward,” but says it doesn’t go far enough.

Globe and Mail, Nov. 29, 2019

B.C. Legislature changes rules to allow secular ‘reflections’ to open proceedings

British Columbia’s Legislature has changed its rules to formally allow “reflections” to open proceedings each day, in addition to prayer, amid a debate about the place of religion in Canadian assemblies....

The formal change follows criticism from organizations such as the B.C. Humanist Association, that the practice of legislative prayer “discriminates against non-believers and violates the state’s duty of religious neutrality.”

Global News, Nov. 29, 2019

Thoughts and prayers: Religion stays in B.C. legislature, now joined by ‘reflections’

Members unanimously supported a motion by NDP House Leader Mike Farnworth on Thursday to change pre-siting “prayers” to “prayers and reflections.”

The change follows a drive by the BC Humanist Association, which wants to see the separation of church and state ratcheted up a notch.

CBC News, Nov. 29, 2019

Separating church and state: B.C. Legislative Assembly daily prayers receive minor tweak

Starting next year, members of the B.C. Legislative Assembly will begin each day with "prayers and reflections," rather than just "prayers."

The change to the long held custom was spearheaded by the B.C. Humanist Association, which launched a letter writing campaign arguing that setting aside time every day for a prayer was antiquated, discriminatory and should be eliminated altogether.

Vancouver Sun, Nov. 29, 2019

Prayers to continue at B.C. legislature, but now there will also be 'reflections'

The B.C. government will continue to pray before the start of each sitting of the legislature, but it has changed the name of the practice to include non-religious reflections.

A group representing humanists, atheists, agnostics and non-religious people in B.C. called the updated terminology “a step forward,” but says it doesn’t go far enough.

BC Humanist Association, Nov. 28, 2019

Prayers and reflections to begin every sitting of BC Legislature

Starting in 2020, the British Columbia Legislature will begin each day with "prayers and reflections" instead of "prayers."

The change comes after Members of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia unanimously supported a motion from Government House Leader Mike Farnworth to make the change in the Standing Orders.


© 2020. Authorized by Teale Phelps Bondaroff, 778-678-8325