Free to Think and Believe
From 2010 until 2019, I was privileged to work on issues of freedom of religion or religion or belief (FoRB) in the Canadian House of Commons and around the globe. The ideal that each person should have equal rights and opportunities runs head on into the reality that over ¾ of the world’s populations live with national restrictions on their freedom of religion and belief. The realization that this basic belief is denied to so many is what has inspired me to continue to fight for everyone’s right to believe as they choose.
We all believe, all have faith in something beyond ourselves. We all have reached conclusions beyond our personal experience about who we are, where we have come from and to where we are going. And, we all want the freedom to live out those beliefs, the freedom to change them if we wish, and the freedom to express them.
Aa William Wilburforce wrote, ‘I would suggest that faith is everyone's business. The advance or decline of faith is so intimately connected to the welfare of a society that it should be of particular interest to a politician.’ I would argue that this is too important a right to leave it in the hands of the politicians, but rather that each person must work to retain this right.
This area of freetobelieve.ca will focus on those many restrictions on the freedom to believe.
The vast majority of humans live with the reality that they cannot live our their faith as they choose – whether a faith that is based on a external reality or the choice not to hold a religious faith at all.