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Thread: Canadian Government cuts non-Christian prison chaplains

  1. #1
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Unhappy Canadian Government cuts non-Christian prison chaplains

    The federal government is cancelling the contracts of part-time prison chaplains, effectively eliminating non-Christian staff.

    Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has mandated that the federal prison system's 71 full-time chaplains, who are overwhelmingly Christian, will provide religious services to all inmates.

    Another 49 part-time chaplains – 18 of whom represent non-Christian faiths – will have their contracts cancelled.
    (...)
    In September, Mr. Toews's office nixed a proposal for a Wiccan priest to provide about 17 hours of service a month to inmates in British Columbia.

    Groups representing religious minorities called on the federal government to reverse course, saying that eliminating non-Christian chaplains is discriminatory.

    "We think that this is a contradiction of Canada's commitments on religious freedom and it runs completely contrary to promoting a pluralistic society," said Ihsaan Gardee, acting executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada.

    Shimon Fogel, chief executive officer of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said the move "is not consistent with Canadian values."
    See here for full article from G&M.

    If you are in Canada, please consider writing your MP about this.

  2. #2
    Just wow.

    Thanks for pointing this out Nindo, I will do so.

    Gassho
    Shohei

  3. #3
    Thanks Nindo, I just read this on CBC this morning ... sad.

    Gassho
    Michael
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  4. #4
    Thanks Nindo. Fogel said it. I will write as well.... but do not expect to be listened to. Our MP is Conservative John Carmicheal, who authored the infamous private member's bill called the National Flag of Canada Act. It would make it a criminal offence (fine and /or prison) for anyone to prevent a Canadian from flying the flag of Canada.

    Gassho, kojip
    大山

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Kojip,

    Perhaps I'm missing something, but why would you want to criminalize preventing someone from flying the Maple Leaf? Or, for that matter, why would someone prevent another from flying it? I don't get it, but then of course there are many thing I don't get.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Dosho View Post
    Kojip,

    Perhaps I'm missing something, but why would you want to criminalize preventing someone from flying the Maple Leaf? Or, for that matter, why would someone prevent another from flying it? I don't get it, but then of course there are many thing I don't get.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    ...

    I believe a retirement homeowners association told a member to remove a flag display from the exterior of his home, because it violated a policy about additions to the building exterior. It was a bit of local condo pettiness. This politician saw an issue and ran with it, responding with tub thumping nationalism..... “Canadians love and cherish their flag. The sea of red and white maple leaf flags we see every Canada Day is testimony to the patriotism and respect Canadians have for this important national symbol,”

    ....and a pointless, unnecessary, opportunistic, hot-button law that appeals to base jingoism. It is close to becoming law, if it isn't already.

    Gassho. ..... guess I'm not neutral on the subject, or current federal government policy...
    大山

  7. #7
    Hi. Canadian Treeleafers. Received this notice today from the Toronto Zen Center regarding the chaplaincy issue. There is a link for signing an online petition.

    Gassho, kojip.


    Dear Friends,
    As members and friends of the Toronto Zen Centre, we have seen how spiritual practice can transform lives and lead to true rehabilitation. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is cancelling the contracts of all part-time, non-Christian chaplains in federal penitentiaries, with the expectation that the religious guidance of prisoners of all faiths will be provided by full-time chaplains, who are predominantly Christian.


    This means that thousands of prisoners will be denied spiritual support that is grounded in their own faith and practices.


    Please consider signing this petition which calls on Vic Toews and Stephen Harper to reverse the decision and uphold the rights of those behind bars. By forwarding this petition to your social networks (email, Facebook, Twitter etc.) you will be helping to make this issue visible to many more who believe religious freedom to be a cornerstone of a democratic society.


    A petition on this matter has been created on the Avaaz.org website, and here is the link: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Fre...oners/?cdLZcab

    We appreciate your consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Toronto Zen Centre
    大山

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nindo's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this, Kojip.

    PS: Everybody can sign even if you are not in Canada. It's good to show that people in other countries are watching.
    Last edited by Nindo; 10-12-2012 at 02:19 AM.

  9. #9
    Thanks for this Kojip, I have signed it.

    Gassho
    Michael
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Kojip,

    My first reaction is some relief in knowing that such things occur in places other than the US. I don't think it was until I read a story in the NY Times over the weekend about how much the Canadian government is spending on celebrations related to the War of 1812 that I got the true sense of what's happening up there. Obama stopped some of that momentum here, but it reamins to be seen how that will play out after the election regardless of who wins. This patriotic grandstanding does no one any good.

    Gassho,
    Dosho

    Quote Originally Posted by Kojip View Post
    ...

    I believe a retirement homeowners association told a member to remove a flag display from the exterior of his home, because it violated a policy about additions to the building exterior. It was a bit of local condo pettiness. This politician saw an issue and ran with it, responding with tub thumping nationalism..... “Canadians love and cherish their flag. The sea of red and white maple leaf flags we see every Canada Day is testimony to the patriotism and respect Canadians have for this important national symbol,”

    ....and a pointless, unnecessary, opportunistic, hot-button law that appeals to base jingoism. It is close to becoming law, if it isn't already.

    Gassho. ..... guess I'm not neutral on the subject, or current federal government policy...
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  11. #11
    Senior Member pinoybuddhist's Avatar
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    Signed.



    Raf
    Quote Originally Posted by Nindo View Post
    Thanks for posting this, Kojip.

    PS: Everybody can sign even if you are not in Canada. It's good to show that people in other countries are watching.

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