* Humanist Perspectives: issue 170, Autumn 2009

Humanist Perspectives: issue 170, Autumn 2009

Issue 170, Autumn 2009

cover of issue 170


Introduction & Invitation by Yves Saint-Pierre
In this, his first editorial, incoming editor Yves Saint-Pierre introduces himself. He establishes his position as a humanist and sets some guidelines regarding his own editorial commitments. He argues for the elimination of religious dress and symbols for government personnel who deal directly with the public and presents the case for an altogether more secular society. Readers are invited to respond and contribute.

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Conkers by John K. Nixon
In this highly amusing piece, frequent contributor, John K. Nixon, makes a good case for using the old British schoolboy game of Conkers to solve the Middle-East crisis.

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Act of God by Dennis Bartels
This satirical piece takes the form of a letter sent to a Cardinal in Rome by the Secretary of the Archdiocese of Toronto, in 2015. It deals with the pettiness an foibles of officialdom and shows the absurdity of trying for a legal affirmation of the existence of God.

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A Poet’s Voice poems by John Barton
Read the biographical note, author’s statement and wonderful poems of this talented poet, whose most recent book, Hymn, from which these poems were drawn, was published last Fall by Brick Books

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Human Rights Commissions in Canada: A Case of Counter-Intuitive Controversies by Lucie Lamarche
Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals have been under attack on several fronts in the recent past. Dr. Lamarche, Gordon F. Henderson Human Rights Chair at the University of Ottawa and Academic Director of the University of Ottawa Human Rights Research and Education Centre, while recognizing the problems with which they are beset, makes a strong case in defense of the Tribunals.

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A Major Setback for Secularism in Quebec Schools by Marie-Michelle Poisson, translation by David Rand
In this probing piece, Marie-Michelle Poisson, president of the Mouvement laïque québécois, explores the controversy over the Ethics and Religious Culture course imposed on Quebec schools by the MELS, Quebec’s Ministry of Education, Sports and Leisure. She sees in it and in its administration a continued domination of the majority Catholic position and argues convincingly for a philosophically based ethics course, entirely free of religious content.

We also include documents prepared by and documenting the position of Loyola High School, a private Catholic High School in Montreal that, for its own reasons, challenged the course in the courts.

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Dismantling the Temple by William Greider
This piece, which originally appeared in the Nation, presents the well-informed view of frequent contributor to the Nation, William Greider, concerning a real and fundamental reform of the Federal Reserve Bank. The business and finance world of our neighbours to the South has a significant effect on us all, and the issue of the Fed and its future is of vital importance to the world. Greider’s understanding is sound and his recommendations enlightened.

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On the International Scene.
This section presents snippets of interesting news from the international scene, most of it from the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

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In addition, Humanist Perspectives, offers a lively "Letters-to-the-Editor" section as well as "Book Reviews", books available for review and snippets of international news of interest to humanists..