Nonreligion as a Substantial Category in Canadian Law
Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford
Keywords:nonreligion, nonreligious, law, Bedford, sex work, Canada
Since the 1960s there has been a considerable increase in the number of Canadians who identify as having “no religion”. The increase in the nonreligious notwithstanding, little is known about the beliefs, values, and practices of the nonreligious and what might generally entail a “worldview” commonly understood as nonreligion. Nonreligion therefore remains somewhat of a quagmire to sociologists of religion. This lack of understanding is particularly prevalent in the realm of law, particularly Canadian law as the Supreme Court of Canada has yet to define nonreligion as it has done religion. Drawing on the results of the discourse analysis of the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2013 Bedford decision this article seeks to explore the category of nonreligion as it is conceptualized in legal discourse about sex work. This article takes into consideration the changing religious and nonreligious diversity of Canadian society and argues that nonreligion is, like religion, framed as having its own positive content.
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