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Friday, February 8, 2008

I Believe Something's Wrong Here

Athiest Eve
Image "borrowed" from The Athiest Community of Austin

PZ Myers at Pharyngula points us to a twist that the student adminstrators at Wilfrid Laurier University has gotten themselves into. It seems that a student group is just a bit too secular for this secular institution - they'd applied to start a group to "to promote science, freedom of inquiry, skepticism, and a good life without the need for superstition or religious belief."
While the Campus Clubs department understands the goals and visions of your organization, they are not compatible with the guidelines of what may be approved and incorporated into our department. While the promotion of reason, science and freedom of inquiry are perfectly legitimate goals, what is most in question in regards to your club's vision is the promotion of "a fulfilling life without religion and superstition". While this university is indeed technically a secular institution, secular does not denote taking an active stance in opposition to the principles and status of religious beliefs and practices. To be clear, this is not meant to say that the promotion of science and reason are illegitimate goals. But due to the need to respect and tolerate the views of others, the Campus Clubs department is unable to approve a club of this nature at this time. If you wish to adjust and rethink your club's application and vision, you may resubmit a revised proposal at any time.
Now, this doesn't require a whole lot of parsing here at Deconstructing The Manifest. The rejection and the reason for the rejection are manifestly absurd to the point that it boggles the mind that it survived a final edit for dispatch to those secular, secular kids.

I mention it only because I think it would quite easy to resubmit this in a sufficiently politically correct manner, with the redaction of a single word:
...to promote science, freedom of inquiry, skepticism, and a good life without the need for superstition or religious belief.
I would, personally, find this deliciously subversive as the statement would challenge the superstitious nature of belief, even amongst those who hold no religious beliefs.

See my thoughts on the utter pointlessness of belief in general here.

Oh, and be sure to link on over to PZ's post and have a peek at their discussion on this. They've got great commentors over there.

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