National Pro-Secular Organization Joins Call to Remove Saskatoon Government Prayers:
Centre for Inquiry Supports Human Rights Complaint if Necessary to Resolve Dispute
SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - April 30, 2012) - The Centre for Inquiry joins Ashu M. G. Solo in calling on the City of Saskatoon to end the recitation of Christian prayers at official city events and supports his intention to file a complaint tomorrow (May 1) with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
"I was extremely offended by the inclusion of a Christian prayer, which makes non-Christians feel like second-class citizens," said Mr. Solo. The prayer by Councillor Donauer opened an event hosted by the office of Mayor Atchison that was meant to thank all volunteers on Saskatoon civic committees and boards, but had the opposite effect for non-Christians.
"We always prefer cooperative approaches to legal ones," said Justin Trottier, CFI's National Communications Director. "Unfortunately, the Mayor has failed to respond to us."
"While CFI will continue to work for a cooperative resolution with Council, we support Mr. Solo's intention to bring this to the Human Rights Commission," said Trottier. "The Commission may be a necessary arbiter of the competing interests in this case."
The inclusion of a Christian prayer at a taxpayer funded event violates the separation of religion and government and gives undue primacy to one religion.
Ashu M. G. Solo
Centre for Inquiry Canada