Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .
 Great Quotes from the Bible for Pro-Choice Demonstrators
Abortion opponents use the language of science (badly); turnabout is fair play.
 Advocates of more choice in education unite to condemn school board chair’s call for more choice in education
In last week’s update I mentioned the idea floated by Michael Janz, chair of the Edmonton Public School Board, to offer Catholic “alternative programs” in Alberta’s secular school system. The idea is that by doing so, we take away most of the justification for a separate Catholic school system. Unsurprisingly the idea has Catholic school supporters flipping out. This article is one of the more amusing rundowns of their ridiculous arguments.
 Vote #194 on February 14th, 2017
In an astonishingly self-serving move, the Liberals used their undeserved majority to strike down a motion to recognize that the government misled Canadians when it promised 2015 would be the last first-past-the-post election.
 Liberal MP won’t remove Islamophobia reference from motion condemning discrimination
Liberal MP Iqra Khalid put a motion before the House to condemn islamophobia… and wouldn’t you know it, chaos ensued. Conservatives resisted just about every way they could, filing counter-motions without the term “islamophobia”, and another dropping mention of the petition. Liberals shot back, pointing out that the word is very well-defined and understood, and that just a few months ago, the same Conservatives now objecting unanimously supported the petition that also mentions islamophobia.
 Amsterdam Declaration now available in 6 UN languages – and a further 6!
The Amsterdam Declaration is now available in all six UN languages, plus German, Tagalog, Urdu, Brazilian Portuguese, and Nepali.
 What took Charles Taylor so long to reverse his position on Quebec’s religious restrictions? : Hébert
A decade ago, philosopher Charles Taylor was one half of the Bouchard–Taylor Commission on reasonable accommodation that made the controversial recommendation to ban the wearing of religious symbols for people in positions of government authority. Now Taylor has reversed his position, believing that the recommendation – which was supposed to be a compromise – has been twisted beyond recognition. However, Bouchard still thinks it’s a good idea.
h/t Ian Bushfield
 When Transphobia Trumps Statistics
C-16 is the bill that will add “gender identity or expression” to the Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, so that it will become of the protected grounds for discrimination and hate crimes. That’s literally all it does, but opponents – most notably Jordan Peterson – are claiming it creates some kind of Orwellian police state where you can be arrested for accidentally misgendering someone. O’Leary’s article is technically just pointing out that facts are being ignored in the debates around C-16, but it serves as an excellent overview of what’s been going on.
h/t PZ Myers
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“any more than I would speak to the Holocaust and not mention that the overwhelming majority of victims were six million followers of the Jewish faith”
It is true that heredity Christians and Muslims are, to an unhealthy extent, anti-Semitic. It is also true that Christians and Jew are to a fairly high extent Islamophobic.
As atheists we do not want to be grouped with any of these totalitarian leaning persuasions. It is also true that Majority Christian Germans and majority Christian Russians created totalitarian versions of both socialism and communism. These people came with fully developed totalitarian mindsets.
As atheists we are not obliged to condone supernaturalism in any of its forms. In any event, we have no reason to fear that people afflicted with religious delusions will somehow contaminate our children and our loved ones and condemn them to everlasting damnation and perpetual suffering. Our disapproval is not toxic or menacing, so don’t accept the label.
All those, only culturally monotheists, out there can also avoid the stigma of xenophobia by thinking this stuff through and joining with us atheists in our religious scepticism.
“opponents – most notably Jordan Peterson – are claiming it creates some kind of Orwellian police state where you can be arrested for accidentally misgendering someone”
He’s not wrong at all. C-16’s parent legislation in Ontario is going to do exactly that to Peterson. He’s already being punished, not even for doing that but for merely declaring his intent to do so. It’s a trick to claim that the legislation doesn’t punish people with prison for this, when it triggers OTHER legislation that does have that penalty.
Peterson is absolutely right that there is a difference between prohibiting speech (which I go further than Peterson, and oppose such prohibition) and requiring speech.
There are reasonable ways to protect trans people without requiring everyone they interact with to remember a bloated list of pronouns, or indeed any pronouns other than the usual. Given how some segments of the trans population want to force speech from people, the law should be crafted in such a way as to protect individual’s speech rights first. Without speech, there can be no other rights.