HAAM is involved in community outreach and activism. We believe it is important that our organization has official, public positions on a number of issues.
Atheism and agnosticism are beliefs only about the existence of a god or gods. The beliefs of individual HAAM members on other issues may be diverse. These statements represent the official positions of this organization and may not represent the position of all HAAM members. Acceptance of these positions is not required for membership in HAAM.
Separation of Religion and Government
HAAM recognizes that Canada has no official separation of church and state. We support the removal the “supremacy of God” clause from the preamble of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
We believe that government should remain neutral on matters of religion and that no religion should receive preferential treatment over another religion, or the lack of religion.
We believe that government support for religious organizations or institutions, financial or otherwise, violates this principle of neutrality and should be eliminated.
We support the right of each person to believe or disbelieve as they choose. We support the right of people to practice their religious beliefs to the extent that such practice does not inhibit or infringe upon the rights and freedoms of others.
HAAM opposes legislation that seeks to discriminate against people on the basis of gender, race, age, mental or physical disability, religious belief or lack thereof, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We believe that laws and regulations that limit or deny freedoms and rights must have a valid, secular foundation.
Evolution and Earth Sciences
We recognize the authority of the scientific establishment and accept its conclusions regarding geology and biological evolution.
Creationism (also known as Intelligent Design) proponents claim that the explanation for the complexity of life on earth must include intervention by an intelligent entity. The general view among most advocates is that this entity is “God”. While we support the right of any person to hold this belief, it is unsupported by science.
As such, creationism constitutes promotion of religion and should not be taught in science class in any school that receives public funding.
HAAM believes that public education is absolutely essential to the future welfare of our country and the world. We support efforts to improve the quality of public education by
- Encouraging the development of critical thinking skills
- Instilling appreciation for the arts and humanities
- Maintaining the integrity of science
- Providing a safe, healthy, and productive learning environment
As a government institution that serves citizens of many different social, economic and religious backgrounds, public education must remain neutral regarding religion.
We believe that we must strive to provide all students with the equal opportunity to receive a robust and diverse education.
Sexuality and Reproductive Rights
HAAM holds that individual human rights necessarily include the premise of individual sovereignty over decisions that affect one’s person. On this basis, HAAM supports the following premises:
- The right of all consenting adults to responsibly manage their own sexual activities without unnecessary interference or restriction.
- Scientifically supported, age-appropriate, informative education regarding human sexuality, consensual relationships, birth control, family planning, sexually transmitted infections and their prevention, and pregnancy termination. HAAM strongly opposes “abstinence-only” sex education. Abstinence-only sex education is a naive concept that ignores the reality of human sexuality and fails to properly educate people, often resulting in increased rates of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
- A woman’s right to determine whether or not to continue a pregnancy. We believe that the decision to perform an induced abortion should be a medical one, made confidentially between the patient and her physician.
- Abortion should be uniformly accessible to all Canadian women in a safe, legal, and timely manner. We believe that the procedure itself and all related costs, including counselling, should remain insured.
HAAM strongly opposes any legislation or restrictions that seek to limit or provide preferential funding to health organizations based on the inclusion or exclusion of abortion services and abortion-related education in their programs.
HAAM supports improving people’s quality of dying and expanding Canadians’ end-of-life choices by promoting education about end-of-life options and the importance of advance care planning.
HAAM supports the right of people to make their own choices about the kind of care they wish to receive at the end of their lives, including support for those who wish to determine the nature and timing of their death.