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CSA Member James L. Carpick, Barrister & Solicitor, Sends Letter to MP Joyce Murray: Delete God from the Charter

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: ”James Carpick” <jcarpick@owenbird.com>
To: <joyce.murray@parl.gc.ca>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 16:27:45 -0700
Subject: Constitutional Issue

I am a Vancouver Quadra constituent (since 1999).  I’ve been at trial lawyer for 25 years.  I use my office email here, but am writing in my personal capacity.
I’ve been reading a lot lately about secularism, and have come to feel strongly that our core Canadian, liberal values must be defended now more vigorously than ever.  Despite significant progress toward a 21st century enlightenment, those who would impair those values are on the march more stridently than I recall ever seeing before.  If you are interested and have time, I urge you to read Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and others like them, who, although rightly more with American issues, have much to say to Canadians.
It’s in that context that I bring to your attention, in case you are not aware of it, and commend to you an effort by the Canadian Secular Alliance to have altered in our Charter’s preamble the words “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law….”  See, for example, this web page: http://secularalliance.ca/policies/canadas-charter-of-rights/
The idea that I, as a Canadian citizen, am obligated to subscribe to the assertion that there is a God whose dictates are legally supreme — bearing in mind that His dictates are only revealed to those who claim religious vision! — is unacceptable.   It would be offensive to say that a person of sincere religious conviction is not allowed to believe in or worship the God of their choosing.  Most Canadians would instinctively understand that policy to be wrong; but if that is so, compelling our fellow citizens constitutionally to acknowledge the laws they choose to adopt are subject to whatever a deity has to say about them is at least as bad (and absurd).
If I were to use religious language, I might describe the current situation as an abomination.  That such language is inapposite in reasoned debate helps to demonstrate what’s wrong with saying we are subject to the rule of law while at the same time subject to the supremacy of a deity that no one can prove exists.  The supremacy of God clause panders to those who seek to promote religious agendas illegitimately with the aid of Parliament, the legislatures and the courts.  This history is known:  the God clause was inserted to garner political support ensuring the Charter‘s adoption — the cynicism that birthed it is as shameful as the clause’s implications are worrying.
May I please solicit your assurance that you will do everything possible to support the Canadian Secular Alliance’s efforts to amend our constitution to delete the God clause from the Charter’s preamble.
James Carpick
2668 West 20th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, V6L 1G8