Re: “Learning about other faiths can help build peace,” column, June 24.
Sheila Flood makes the important case that promoting understanding of people of different faiths, and no faith, is vital to creating a more tolerant and peaceful world.
She cites our 2013 poll that found 77 per cent of British Columbians support the idea, which was consistent with our 2016 findings. Importantly though, we also found that majorities reject the idea of the education system encouraging students to explore or practise a religion.
So it’s unsurprising to read that school board administrators would be fearful of their schools participating in a multifaith event at an explicitly religious school. While undoubtedly well-intentioned, the choice of venue and lack of secular or indigenous world views among those faiths present could be seen as evidence of bias.
Navigating these waters is difficult and as B.C., and Victoria in particular, becomes increasingly secular, advocates for multifaith education must be mindful that the religious world view is no longer the default. The inclusion of humanist or other secular viewpoints at multifaith events can no longer be an afterthought.
Ian Bushfield, executive director
British Columbia Humanist Association