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Hello from the Ontario Humanist Society

We are a group of Ontario-based Humanists with a passion for social justice, civil and human rights, and environmental action, who have established a provincially-based organization to complement the work of Humanist Canada and local Humanist groups.

If you are concerned with Human and Civil Rights issues in secular society, such as Pro-choice, One School System, Equal Marriage, Gender issues, Dying with Dignity, Environmental justice, Science education, Intellectual Freedom and other progressive issues, we may be able to connect you with other volunteers, speakers and organizations. See our WELCOME page for more information.  Here is our OHS Mission Statement.

We invite you to subscribe to our News blog  (box at the upper left of this page),  and to join our OHS Facebook Group and to  ‘like’  our HumanismHelps Facebook Page  Send news items to OHS web editor

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HAT Monthly Speaker: Catherine Rodd on “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission: A Personal Perspective”

The closing ceremonies of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission marked the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Catherine Rodd is a Toronto-based video producer. She covered the event for the United Church, one of the parties to the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. This is the single most important issue before all Canadians. Truth and Reconciliation may be our last chance to get it right. The time has come to fundamentally alter the role aboriginal people play in Canadian society.

Details:

Saturday, September 12, 1:30 – 3:00

OISE, 252 Bloor St. west, Room 4-414

Speaker: Catherine Rodd, Toronto-based video producer

Topic: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission: A Personal Perspective

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Weekly review of Canadian secularism – August 28

Shawn the Humanist provides a review of secular humanism in Canada every week. This week’s installment includes stories on hate speech laws, referrals on assisted suicide, and Christian pamphlets at schools.

The review is available here.

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Weekly Review of Canadian Secularism – August 21

Shawn the Humanist provides a review of secular humanism in Canada every week. This week’s installment includes stories on science in politics, hate speech, assisted suicide, sex education, and world blasphemy.

The review is available here.

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Weekly Review of Canadian Secularism – August 14

Shawn the Humanist provides a review of secular humanism in Canada every week. This week’s installment includes stories on homeopathic warnings, assisted suicide, sex education and another blogger killed in Bangladesh.

The review is available here.

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Weekly Review of Canadian Secularism: August 7

Assisted Suicide, Foodbank Bigotry, Transexual Equality, Anti-Abortion Flyers: This week’s headline roundup from the Secular Lynx feeds.

Weekly roundup provided courtesy of Shawn the Humanist.

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Enlightenment Issue 70 Now Available

The latest edition of Enlightenment, the newsletter of the Humanist Association of London and Area, is now available. This edition includes:

  • How I Became a Humanist – three stories
  • Religious Discussions in the London Free Press

You can download this edition of Enlightenment here. For previous issues, visit the HALA website.

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Enlightenment Issue 69 Now Available

The latest edition of Enlightenment, the newsletter of the Humanist Association of London and Area, is now available. This edition includes:

  • Sources of Ethics and Morality
  • Remarks from HALA president Rod Martin
  • More on the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

You can download this edition of Enlightenment here. For previous issues, visit the HALA website.

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OHS Newsletter – June 2015

Hello Humanists;

Welcome to Summer!

It’s been a busy few months at OHS since our last newsletter; here are a few highlights:

  • OHS AGM

Thanks to everyone who attended the AGM in April! We don’t get to meet face to face very often, and it was great to see everyone in person and finally meet some of our newer members. We selected Blue Mountain as the location of next year’s event, and hope to see even more people then!

  • Website Redesign

Thanks to everyone who responded to our website survey – we appreciate your input! Our new website is almost ready and we’ll let everyone know when it is launched.

  • Signing the Science Pledge

OHS has signed on as supporters of Evidence for Democracy’s Science Pledge. If you would like to see decisions made based on science rather than politics, you can sign the pledge and show your support too.

  • Supporting SOCH Nepal

After the devastating earthquake in Nepal, IHEU sent out an appeal for help from Society for Humanism (SOCH) Nepal.They had mobilized over 1000 volunteers across the country and needed financial aid to provide food and shelter to those in need. OHS was pleased to make a donation to SOCH and wishes them the best in their efforts. Below, you will find an interview with Uttam Niraula, of SOCH Nepal, who spoke to Cortney Pasternak about the earthquake and his organizations response.


FEATURE INTERVIEW

Uttam Niraula, SOCH Nepal

by Cortney Pasternak

Uttam Niraula isUttam Niraula one of the founders and is Executive Director of the Society for Humanism (SOCH), Nepal. He is also the Communications Officer for the International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organization (IHEYO). His family has been directly affected by the earthquake in April.

Uttam spoke with Cortney via email about his organization’s relief efforts, and what it’s like to be a Humanist in Nepal.

Read More…

 

 

 


Happy World Humanist Day!

Celebrated every year on June 21st, World Humanist Day is an opportunity to share and promote the values of Humanism around the world.

There is an ongoing campaign to persuade Google to mark the day with a Google Doodle, and you can show your support by joining their Facebook page.

However you chose to celebrate, OHS hopes everyone had a happy World Humanist Day.


OHS at Pride!

Pride Toronto

For the third year in a row, OHS Officiant and Board Member Arran Liddel represented OHS at Pride!

We’d like to say a big “Thank you!” to Arran and everyone else who has volunteered to help this weekend!

 

 

 

 


Officiants’ Notebook:

Tales From the Field

Here’s a great story, sent to us by Bryce Healey

– SURPRISE – You are getting Married!

It all started with an email from ‘Doug’ asking if I would be available for a surprise wedding. I’ve been a part of surprise weddings in the past where the guests do not know they are actually about to attend a wedding. But this wedding was to be a surprise for the Bride. Curious to find out more I confirmed my availability and set a time to meet with Doug.

As it turns out, Doug and ‘Mel’ had been engaged for many years and had known each other for many more. Due to a variety of calamities, the wedding date had been pushed back time and time again. Doug and Mel’s sister hatched a plan to make it happen. My exact words to Doug when we met were that he was either the bravest man I knew… or the dumbest. Either way a very romantic gesture.

Read More…


Humanist News

From Ontario and Beyond

Third Atheist Blogger Hacked to Death in Bangladesh This Year Ananta Bijoy Das was murdered, by four assailants, near his home.

All Going to Plan, Ireland Will Have Same-Sex Marriage by Christmas

Is the U.K. Still a Christian Country? Results of a recent Pew Research Center analysis show a major religious transformation.

Norway Finally Scraps Its Blasphemy Law

The Startling Humanism of Mad Max: Fury Road The debate over whether Mad Max is a feminist movie might be missing the point!

Albino Killings and Humanism in Malawi The small Humanist movement in Malawi is challenged by this horrific and superstitious practice.

Wanted: A Theology of Atheism The New York Times takes a look at Sunday Assemblies as an alternative to church.

 


From the OHS Social Media Files

The OHS Facebook group has grown to over 400 members and encourages posting and discussion of any topic of interest to Humanists. Take a look at some of these recent posts and join in the conversation:

Bolivia’s “Law of Mother Earth” Gives Rights to Our Planet as a Living System

It’s Now Illegal for France’s Grocery Stores to Throw Away Food

Review of Canadian Secularism for June 19 from Secular Lynx


Comics & Puzzles!

Take a break and enjoy a laugh with comics like this one holdfrom Jesus and Mo.Then test your puzzle-solving skills with our Humanist themed brainteasers!

Read More…

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OHS Signs Evidence for Democracy Pledge

EfD logoThe Ontario Humanist Society is now signatory to the Evidence for Democracy pledge to support evidence-based decision making in Canada.

The pledge reads:

We believe that all Canadians benefit when governments solicit, collect and use the evidence and expertise needed to make smart policy decisions that safeguard the health, safety and prosperity of Canadians. We will support actions that invest in public-interest science; ensure open, honest and timely communication of scientific information; and make public the evidence considered in government decisions.

The need for rational, evidence-based policy has never been so acute, and OHS strongly supports the Evidence for Democracy efforts to highlight science and smart decision-making.

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Enlightenment Issue 68 Now Available

The latest edition of Enlightenment, the newsletter of the Humanist Association of London and Area, is now available. This edition includes:

  • Book review: Living the Secular Life by Phil Zuckerman
  • Christianity 101
  • Poetry: “Life is a Stream Evolving”

You can download this edition of Enlightenment here.  For previous issues, visit the HALA website.

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