Ashu Solo, of whom we've heard before, is threatening to make a human rights complaint due to Merry Christmas LED signs on Saskatoon city buses that first appeared in 2006.
Saskatoon could face human rights complaint after refusing to yank ‘Merry Christmas’ message from buses
The city of Saskatoon is facing the possibility of a human rights complaint after it refused to yank the “Merry Christmas” message from the top of its buses despite allegations of discrimination.
On Monday, local activist Ashu Solo vowed to take the matter to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, claiming the Christmas greetings violate his right to be free from religion.He goes on to say the signs constitute a forcible attempt at Christian indoctrination.
Really? I can understand not wanting the city endorsing a religious holiday (although, even that is dubious with Christmas) and I do support the Freedom from Religion Foundation in the States, the secularization of public schools in Ontario and the expulsion of the Gideons from our public schools, but is this perhaps a little bit of an exaggeration? Forcible attempt at Christian indoctrination? A bus sign?
I like Christmas - well, the secular one that most people celebrate... the whole Jesus thing is a myth, of course.
But this is coming from someone in Montreal Quebec - ground zero for Canadian secularism. This statement from Ward 4 Councillor Troy Davies makes me pause and think twice.
“My first reaction was this is not something that I’m going to support whatsoever. The term Merry Christmas is more than just a word, there’s a whole meaning behind it,” he said.The fact it means so much to this councillor tells me something. "Merry Christmas" perhaps means more in Ashu's city of Saskatoon than here in secular Montreal. And if the idea of the councillor is to somehow promote the whole meaning behind it with these bus signs then what we have here is the state foisting a single religion onto the public - plain and simple.
I wouldn't go as far as saying it's religious indoctrination - but the why didn't the city just change the sign to "Happy Holidays?" - the meaning behind Christmas, which one can only assume they are trying to somehow represent or promote using the signs.
The councillor said the activist has a reputation for filing frequent complaints.
He said he receives emails from Mr. Solo “every two or three days, for sure,” about “pretty much anything and everything.”
Many of these emails have been recorded by Mr. Solo himself on a blog.I suppose the idea is to try to paint him as a crank or a looney. Here is a Star Phoenix story which repeats this message and contains some of his letter to the city: Complaint filed over ‘Merry Christmas’ message on Saskatoon buses
Although Canada doesn't have the same official separation of church and state that the US has, I think it should. So I appreciate his goal.
Merry Christmas doesn't belong on city-funded public transit buses. Ashu, I wish you luck on this endeavour.
What do you think? Is this overreaction or should the city stop with the "Merry Christmas" signs?