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Canadians free to spend Easter however they choose

LETTER

Re; Easter Sunday should be sacred – not for shopping, Letters, Nov. 8

I am disappointed with Paul Kokoski’s letter lamenting the loss of sanctity of religious holidays.

I must remind Mr. Kokoski that we live in a pluralistic, secular democracy. There is no state religion as in the United Kingdom or Saudi Arabia.

That means that no one religion can impose its beliefs on the rest of the population. Under Canadian Labour laws and the Bill of Rights, accommodation must be given to people of various religious beliefs to be able to attend religious services and celebrations as long as it does not incur undue hardships on an employer.

So far, most employers have been able to accommodate various religious requests. Therefore, those that really want to not work on Easter Sunday should be able to find a way not to.

For Mr. Kokoski, Sunday may be his holy day. For Jews and Seventh Day Adventists, it is Saturday. Other religions may have other days they consider most holy. His religion does not take precedence over others although he gets Christmas and either Good Friday or Easter Monday as holidays.

The fastest growing group in Canada are people with no religious beliefs whatsoever. More than 23 per cent of Canadians claim no religious beliefs.

In the 18-24 year old age group, it is 70 per cent. There is hope for us yet.

Mr. Kokoski and other religious people should be joyful in celebrating the fact that they live in a secular society that allows them to practise their religion in peace without fearing the imposition of someone else’s beliefs upon them as would happen in a theocracy.

He is free to celebrate Easter any way he likes. And so is everyone else.

Bob Parker, Ancaster

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