Nine times out of ten, the religious shenanigans that take place in the United States make Canadian non-theists look across the border, skeptical eyebrows cocked, and say, “For real, you guys?”
But every now and again, there will be a religious brouhaha here in Canada that keeps us Canucks aware of the need for vigilance against the encroachment of religion into governance.
Here’s an example:
Our House of Commons recently passed a bill declaring April 2 “Pope John Paul II Day.” (The date was chosen based on the anniversary of the pontiff’s death in 2005, and not for its proximity to April Fools’ Day.) It’s no joke; Canada’s parliament is serious about honoring this longtime leader of the Catholic Church.
The bill received support from all parties, with only 42 Members of Parliament voting against it, compared to 217 for it. (All 42 opponents were members of the New Democratic Party; you may wish to remember that come election time.) The bill was proposed by Wladislaw Lizon, MP for Mississauga East-Cooksville, who argued that the bill was not religious in nature, but aimed at recognizing all the good acts of the late pontiff:
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