Elizabeth May on Separation of Church and State


Elizabeth May on Separation of Church and State

Elizabeth-May_Green2SCS President asked Elizabeth May to clarify her remarks to an interfaith conference on March 25 and their implications regarding separation of Church and State and for an indication of her thoughts regarding the status of atheist rights in Canada.

Le président du SCS demanda Elizabeth May à clarifier ses propos à une conférence interreligieuse le 25 mars et leurs conséquences concernant la séparation de l’église et l’État et pour une indication de ses réflexions au sujet de la situation des droits de l’athée au Canada.

Ms. May replied:

Dear Mr. Thomas,

Thanks for writing. I speak at many conferences. In the past, I enjoyed speaking at a National Humanist conference in Ottawa. In late March, I spoke to a faith-based conference in Toronto. I shared with that group a brilliant analysis from Prof Peter Timmermann of York University (a practicing Buddhist). Prof Timmermann has observed that Canada is not, as most imagine, a secular society, but that we have a “state religion – econo-theism”. This of course means that we as a society and certainly the political class, worship the economy. The point is not a religious one – it is a deep concern for the blind pursuit of oil wealth at the expense of the environment.

I believe that atheist organizations should have the same tax benefits as religious organizations.

I hope that this has answered your questions and addressed your concerns. If there are any further concerns please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.


Elizabeth May, M.P., O.C
Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands
Leader of the Green Party of Canada