Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .
 Being LGBTQ is a choice, say parents who packed Langley school board meeting
Religion is explicitly mentioned as the reason why some groups of parents are resisting the initiative. Totally shocking, right? Happily, the board doesn’t seem like it’s going to back down.
 Why don’t Christian conservatives worry about climate change? God.
This isn’t really surprising news to anyone who cares about climate change; we’ve all heard the jaw-droppingly stupid justifications for doing nothing about it, because God. But when Trump is described as less reasonable than Reagan, that illustrates just how far off the rails he really is.
 Children of jailed Saudi blogger in emotional appeal to Trudeau
it will be five years since Raif Badawi was arrested, and we still haven’t seen any serious action from our government.
 Children of sin: Quebec and Irish orphans share stories of abuse under care of Catholic Church
This was a collusion between church and state that, as often happens, resulted in tragedy. Québec finally apologized in 2001, the Catholic Church has yet to apologize, and if you think the church-state collusion ended with Duplessis’s death, dig this: In order to get compensation money from the province, the survivors were forced to sign a waiver saying they would not sue the Catholic Church.
 Anti-Islam, anti-fascist groups clash at Calgary city hall
Believe it or not, they’re still fighting M-103, the toothless motion that passed overwhelmingly . By all honest accounts (that is, ignoring crapsack sources like Breitbart), whenever anti-Islam and anti-islamophobia groups have met, the latter have usually outnumbered the former, sometimes by orders of magnitude. From what I’ve heard, in this case there were roughly twice as many anti-Islam people because they are an organized travelling sideshow going cross-Canada (whereas the counter-protesters were more spontaneously organized locals), including some familiar “big names” in the movement, like Sandra Solomon, with the Soldiers of Odin providing “security”.
 Every country has terrorism fears, but Canada and Europe aren’t the same: expert
The crux here is that because Canada has been spared the same level of violence as many European countries, because we have been much better at welcoming and integrating immigrants.
 Libyan-Canadian cleric linked to Manchester bomber plans return to Canada to clear his name
Well, this is a bit of a mess. If Egwilla is to be believed, he is an Islamist militant… but not a terrorist. His group is fighting Daesh (or Daesh-affiliated groups) in Libya. Mind you, his group is also fighting secular groups… but let’s not assume that because they’re “secular” they’re they good guys. I’d love to see the record set straight on this mess, but I don’t see that as likely to happen. In any case, he’s willing to talk to security officials, which is a good thing; let him clear things up with them.
 Grassroots group plans legal challenge against separate school funding
A few years back, Reva Landau – who has written a book about Ontario’s separate school system – attempted a case against funding the Catholic separate school system. She was denied standing, which is basically a way of throwing out her challenge without actually considering its merits. Well, now she’s back, this time with a pair of defendants who clearly do have standing: a teacher who can’t get work at Catholic schools because she’s not Catholic, and a parent whose kids have to bus an hour each way every day because the school near them is Catholic. She’s also armed with a fresh set of damning data from FOI requests, including evidence that Catholic schools get $1,700 more per student from the province.
 Will Ontario Tories go with Brown’s big tent or Scheer and the social conservatives? Cohn
A very interesting piece by Martin Regg Cohn, contrasting the very different directions the federal Conservative Party, and the Ontario Progressive Conservatives are going in. When he was a federal Conservative, Brown was a staunch social conservative: he voted against same-sex marriage, transgender rights, and abortion. He danced the same dance when running for leadership of the Ontario PCs … but after winning, promptly flipped the bird at all his socon supporters in an attempt to create a softer, kinder, more tolerant PC party. He’s since embraced LGBT rights, refused to reopen the abortion debate, condemned the racist tactics of the federal party, and even acknowledges climate change. So while Scheer represents the same-old-same-old of the worst of the Conservative Party, shamelessly socon and subtly bigoted, Brown represents a conservative party that’s throwing out the trash. It remains to be seen which of the two paths will lead to power, if either.
 Note telling girls to ‘dress conservatively’ in school to avoid distracting boys sparks concern in Alberta village
From what I gather, the sequence of events is that a few of the female students started protesting the school’s dress code, saying it unfairly targeted girls rather than boys. Part of that protest included posting notes about the school that said something to the tune of “if you send a girl home for what she’s wearing, you are demonstrating you care more about ‘distractions’ for the boys than the girl’s education” (you can read all the notes’ content at the link). Seems like a fair point, I’d say. Some bravely anonymous person responded with notes telling the girls to “value the male education and dress conservatively”, and called them whores (indirectly, using slang).
 ‘This whole situation is very murky’: complaint launched against Anglican Parish of Shediac
Last week we had an item about Québec cracking down on churches using their tax-exempt properties for other purposes. This week, a very shady situation New Brunswick.
 How can Canada prevent ‘soft target’ terror attacks?
Expert consensus is clear: enhanced security isn’t as effective as counter-radicalization.
 ‘Antifa’ Knife Attack Claim By Anti-Muslim Internet Personality Challenged By Witnesses, Police
It’s a widely-known tactic of the far right to wade into a crowd of people protesting some injustice, provoke confrontation, then cry victim. This is basically the only reason The Rebel Media sends people to protests. This most recent case is fairly instructive as a cautionary tale to anyone who is thinking of going to a protest. Kevin J. Johnston is the islamophobic asshole who does Freedom Report.ca, and he went to a protest in Ottawa after making multiple posts announcing his intention to pick a fight. A fight happened, Johnston got roughed up, and four protesters were charged. Thing is… all of the witness testimony – except Johnston’s and his cameraman’s – stated that Johnston attacked a woman, and protesters reacted to get him off her. In fact, the protesters had walked away from Johnston, recognizing that he was a (to use their words) “provocateur”, and he followed them to harass them. Even more damning, Johnston’s story has changed multiple times: first he claimed it was a knife attack… then it wasn’t a knife attack, but knives had been pulled, and the police recovered them (which seems to be untrue)… then there weren’t any knives at all… he told police someone had a gun (which also seems to be untrue)… then later said it was a fake gun. The police have disputed Johnston’s claims (without giving any real details of the investigation in progress, of course), but they’ve hinted that they’re about fed up with him. Unfortunately, for all that, a couple of people were arrested, and possibly facing charges… and even if the police don’t follow through, Johnston has threatened to “doxx” them (which has apparently already started), which will surely result in harassment campaigns from alt-right goons. The moral of the story seems to be do not engage with alt-right media, at least not without dozens of cameras you trust recording the scene; even if you do everything right, you could still end up in heaps of trouble.
 The CSA applauds proposed legislation to repeal Canada’s blasphemy law
This is the big news this week, though you wouldn’t know it from mainstream media coverage, which has focused on duelling.
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“Being LGBTQ is a choice”
That is correct, for at least some people.
“we have been much better at welcoming and integrating immigrants”
No, it’s because we haven’t reached sufficient critical mass for their festering home-grown disagreements to explode over here.
But you can see it already. Witness the recent anti-Jewish rally held by Muslims, in broad daylight, in Mississauga.
I am impressed that the school dress code is not sex-segregated. Given that it was developed with students, if there is still a problem with people dressing in distracting ways, that can be amended.
“cracking down on churches using their tax-exempt properties for other purposes”
Perhaps they’re following the SPLC model, where you take your 501(c)(3) money, and hide it in offshore accounts. For. Reasons.
“enhanced security isn’t as effective as counter-radicalization”
And this is why SPLC-defamed Muslim moderates and ex-Muslims need to be brought to the forefront and honoured for their work in de-fundamentalization.