The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Wilfred Laurier Loves Jebus - Freethinkers, Not So Much

What the hell is wrong with Wilfred Laurier University? A group of students wanted to start a freethought group and were denied with this letter of explanation:
While the Campus Clubs department understands the goals and visions of your organization, they are not compatible with the guidelines of what may be approved and incorporated into our department. While the promotion of reason, science and freedom of inquiry are perfectly legitimate goals, what is most in question in regards to your club’s vision is the promotion of “a fulfilling life without religion and superstition“. While this university is indeed technically a secular institution, secular does not denote taking an active stance in opposition to the principles and status of religious beliefs and practices. To be clear, this is not meant to say that the promotion of science and reason are illegitimate goals. But due to the need to respect and tolerate the views of others, the Campus Clubs department is unable to approve a club of this nature at this time. If you wish to adjust and rethink your club’s application and vision, you may resubmit a revised proposal at any time.
I think someone needs to explain what "secular" means to this group because, apparently, dictionaries are in scant supply there.

A student named Tyler Handley, the president of the soon-to-be group, said in the comments over at The Frame Problem, "Our campus has 6 campus clubs of a religious nature." SIX groups that love Jebus or Muhammad or Buddha or some other fella of dubious paternity, existence, or distinction. You can bet your lunch money that those groups, "...respect and tolerate the views of others...." Especially atheists and agnostics. Religious folks are known for their tolerance.

A follow-up letter has been sent to the Laurier approval committee that you can read in its entirety here, but a nice excerpt I'd like to share is this:
Laurier, as you may be aware, is home to a plethora of religious groups – members of the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Sikh religions have multiple clubs where they can mingle among like-minded individuals and together strive to promote a truly multi-cultural campus atmosphere. Yet, if you look, there’s not a single club devoted to those of us who profess no religious affiliation or belief system while at the same time comprise sixteen percent of the Canadian population and have personal philosophies and insights that are no less inferior to the ones of our believing counterparts.
Nice. Diplomatic, yet puts it in their face the hypocrisy that is stuck to their faces like the yolk from this morning's sunny-side-up festival at Denny's. Let's hope the committee at Laurier gets its collective balls in a bag and realizes how lame and discriminatory they're being.

(Courtesy of Hemant Mehta at The Friendly Atheist, Ron Brown over at The Frame Problem, and Anatoly Venovcev at Cosmopolitian.)

2 Barbaric Yawps:

At 2/2/08 11:41 am, Blogger sketch element said...

Man, it really gets on my nerves, this idea that religious beliefs deserve some special respect by virtue of the fact that they are religious. It's wrong-headed and just stupid.

At 2/2/08 4:41 pm, Anonymous Chayanov said...

So they're "technically secular" only up to the point where they begin to privilege religion. Oooookay...


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