A few days ago columnist Mindelle Jacobs in the Edmonton Sun newspaper wrote about the polygamy issue in Bountiful, B.C. She quoted an Alberta human rights lawyer, Vaughan Marshall, who seems to think a 1994 Supreme Court of Canada decision expanding the notion of religion and declaring that ajudicating claims of dogma is not the purview of the courts is a problem. In that case, the court ruled that one did not have to exhibit an accepted dogma to successfully maintain the right to claim freedom in the practice of religion. The only two things that mattered were the sincerity of the religious person in the pursuit of his or her beliefs and whether or not they caused harm to others.
Mr. Vaughan thinks that one must apply a test of reasonableness to determine whether one is practising religion, i.e., the religious practice must be a reasonable one.
In what respect is religion reasonable? It is reasonable for people to believe something, whatever it might be, but there is no way in which reason, as we understand that term, could be applied to religion. The essence of religion is faith, and faith is belief in a truth for which there is no reasonable evidence supporting such belief. Faith is the antithesis of reason and to practice religion is to practice non reason.