Weekly Update: to

by | November 18, 2017

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[A cartoon showing to characters, one on crutches with a leg in a cast. The character on crutches says: “I broke my leg.” The other character says: “Don’t worry, man. I’m sure it’s all part of God’s plan.”]

Even if it were true, I really don’t know how that fact could be helpful in any way.

  • [] Racist flyers found in Burnaby

    It’s less and less “news” these days that far right racist and anti-immigrant groups are getting bolder in Canada. But this is particularly bold, even by contemporary standards.

  • [] Muslim activists hack Isis mailing list hours after terrorists claimed it was unhackable

    Daesh is falling apart, but as a computer geek, for me this has to be one of the more amusing stories about their implosion.

  • [] The red and the white: the war of the poppies

    This is a gorgeous piece (translated from French; if you prefer, you can read the original). Remembrance Day presents a challenge for humanists. On the one hand, we are grateful for the people who sacrificed so much for our precious rights and freedoms. But on the other, it’s hard not to notice that that gratitude is too often spun up into the glorification of war. And of course, Remembrance Day activities are often flush with religion and religiously-infused hyper patriotism, making them that much more problematic. It takes a lot of courage to push back against all the social and peer pressure, and remind that the real goal in remembering the wars of past is not to turn soldiers into heroes, but to remember them as victims.

  • [] “Church Science” by Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

    One of my standard responses to anti-abortion folk is that if they were really serious about caring about the children, they would be putting their efforts into science that – for example – allows to-be-aborted fetuses to be preserved and transferred to willing hosts. Zach Weinersmith suggests that maybe I should keep bright ideas like that to myself.

  • [] Evan Balgord on Twitter

    Evan Balgord provides more evidence of white supremacists getting bolder.

  • [] More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries issue ‘warning to humanity’

    It blows my mind that this was news for all of one day, then more or less forgotten.

  • [] Pro-Nazi posters found on UBC campus on Remembrance Day

    I continue to marvel at the brazenness of the modern far right. Vague white supremacy couched in “white/European pride” or anti-immigrant rhetoric is bad enough, but outright Nazi propaganda? Wow.

  • [] “Flawed” by Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

    It turns out the solution to the problem of evil is obvious, once you realize you’re underestimating the level of evil.

  • [] Faith-based health care should end with Sask.’s health region amalgamation

    I sympathize with Watkinson’s position, obviously, but I have literally zero hope of Saskatchewan doing the right thing without a court decision forcing them to… but even then they’d probably just invoke the notwithstanding clause and let the discrimination continue anyway.

  • [] Parents’ convictions in son’s meningitis death upheld by Alberta Appeal Court

    While it’s good that their conviction was upheld, it’s not all good news here. One of the judges dissented, saying the original trial judge didn’t give the jury good instructions, and thus the appeal should have been granted. Because the decision wasn’t unanimous, the case automatically goes to the Supreme Court (if the appellants want that). So this may not be over.

  • [] United Church postpones hearing for atheist minister indefinitely

    Gretta Vosper’s battle to stay a minister of the United Church of Canada continues. But this delay may be the best thing that could happen for her. She has a sound argument, and if she has enough time to get enough people to hear it, she may be able to turn the tide of public opinion.

  • [] Quebec Jehovah’s Witnesses Died After Giving Birth, Coroner Says

    Two unnecessary tragedies last month. The laws can force kids or adults ruled not competent to get proper medical care, but it can’t force competent adults to not be fucking idiots. Even more tragically, one of the women did smarten up… just too late.

  • [] “God’s plan” by Dave McElfatrick (Cyanide and Happiness)

    I knew I wasn’t the only one who heard “it’s all part of God’s plan” as a threat.

  • [] Alberta’s gay-straight alliance bill passes with 42-23 vote

    I tip my hat to the Alberta NDP on getting this through. Of course, the whole thing was, at its core and right from the start, really just about sticking it to the Conservatives. But I really don’t have a problem with that.

  • [] 56 lawsuits against Catholic Church that allege sexual abuse are before N.B. courts

    I’m just going to quote the opening paragraph without comment: Almost every month for a year, lawsuits have been filed against the Catholic Church in New Brunswick by alleged victims seeking compensation for sexual abuse by priests. That’s just the beginning!

  • [] The Campaign Against Canada’s Largest Pro-Nazi Newspaper

    Prosecutors are growing bolder about laying hate crime charges – probably a response to the rising tide of hate in the Trump/alt-right era – but this may be the boldest charge yet. Not only have these guys been charged with hate crimes against Jews… they’ve been charged with hate crimes against women. That’s huge; there has never been a hate crime charge for over-the-top misogyny before. This has been a long time coming.

  • [] The Uncounted

    This is a… very difficult article to read, but one that I think everyone really needs to read. The revelations are absolutely horrifying. We’ve known from the start that there has been plenty of “collateral damage” in the war on terror. But apparently we’ve been very deceived about the amount of innocent civilians killed by the “good guys”. And that’s not even the worst of it: After an innocent person’s home is destroyed and their family killed by an errant bomb strike, they are then retroactively labelled Daesh supporters to justify the strike rather than the army admitting they just made a mistake… which, of course, being labelled a Daesh sympathizer only makes their lives that much worse.

  • [] There’s nothing progressive or feminist about Quebec’s Bill 62

    Toula Drimonis puts the fire to (what I thought was) the obvious lie that banning veils is “progressive” or “feminist”.

  • [] What does it mean to be spiritual?

    A worthwhile article, though I take issue with a lot of it.

  • [] Faith and Religion in Public Life: Canadians deeply divided over the role of faith in the public square

    The latest instalment in Angus Reid’s ongoing “Faith in Canada” series. Par for the course, the headline misrepresents the reality of the “division”. In reality, on a very tiny minority want more religion in public life, while the majority want none at all or “not much”.

  • [] Inside The Secret Facebook Group Of Quebec’s Far-Right “Wolf Pack”

    None of the revelations in this article are particularly surprising, not the fact that La Meute has dishonestly inflated their numbers, nor the fact that they’re really racist when they think no one’s looking.

  • [] “Québec’s Bill 62: Punching down in a white ethno state”(Audio: 28:06)

    An interesting discussion of the deeper social context behind Québec’s Bill 62.

  • [] Sask. Catholic school boards looking to fund appeal of Theodore decision

    Although Brad Wall invoked the notwithstanding clause to continue the discriminatory publicly-funded Catholic school system, the Catholic boards are nevertheless looking to have the court ruling overturned – after all the notwithstanding clause is only a temporary reprieve.

Canadian Atheist’s Weekly Update depends on the submissions of readers like you. If you see anything on the Internet that you think might be of interest to CA readers, please take a minute to make a submission.

10 thoughts on “Weekly Update: to

  1. Simple Hiker

    I would prefer to see these as they come in instead of as one big weekly post. If that’s possible. Usually when I see the weekly dump like this I skip right past it. It’s too much to take in all at once.

      1. Shawn the Humanist

        Well, that’s pretty good. Though I feel like breaking it up to two might be nice, as these are getting longer. Maybe one themed on religious content (JWs, priests, and atheist topics like the SMBC) and others more on social issues (bombing other countries, what women are allowed to wear… anything that, if you squint, you can pretend religion isn’t involved, even though it is and that’s why it’s on CA).

        But I certainly understand not posting each link individually as they roll in.

        1. Indi Post author

          That’s not a bad idea, but the truth is some weeks I have a hard time finding any religious content. When I started I stuck to only clearly religious content, and it was a struggle… that’s why I started widening the net. And in fact, I only really bother to link to webcomics because it’s so rare to find a religious item that has any interesting pictures associated with it.

          I’m also wary of segregating the social justice content away from the primarily religious content, because that feeds into the idea that that social justice stuff isn’t integral to being an atheist in Canada. While it may be technically true in the strictest semantic sense that you can be both atheist and racist, that’s not the target readership I’m aiming for. No, that’s putting it too mildly: I don’t want people like that to be Canadian Atheist readers. I want Canadian Atheist to represent an idea that atheists aspire to; I don’t just want it to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

    1. Indi Post author

      It’s in the cards! I’m using my own, personal instance as a test bed for the idea.

      But there are a lot of issues holding it back, like:

      Should I create an instance specifically for Canadian Atheist (I’ve already set aside social.canadianatheist.com), or should I create a user on an established host? The pros and cons of each are pretty obvious.

      GNU Social? Mastodon? Something else? I am even considering a Diaspora pod. I was leaning GNU Social because Mastodon doesn’t support groups, but it seems to have issues federating with Mastodon (don’t know if that’s GNU Social’s problem or Mastodon’s), and Mastodon instances are where all the cool kids are migrating to.

      And there’s still a lot of stuff I haven’t even had time to give even a cursory look at. Like XMPP.

      So it’s in the cards, but there’s still a lot of research to be done.

      1. Shawn the Humanst

        If you got a local Mastodon account I’d try it out. Any system that lets me connect to to both GNU Social and Mastodon would be key (so not Diaspora?) and then you could have a good local timeline of people sharing as a community. It would be smallish and topical, which would probably be great.

        Add, you could follow other people via the federation/social subscribing. That might generate more traffic and building up Canadian Atheist.

        So having a Social.CanadianAtheist.com account would be great. But it’s more work. But great branding.

        1. Indi Post author

          I’m not a federation expert, but I think it’s possible to federate between OStatus (GNU Social/Mastodon/etc.) and Diaspora, even if only in a limited way (like, you’d need two accounts, but you could arrange for posts to be replicated across both). There’s also Friendica, which – as far as I understand – federates with both the OStatus and Diaspora protocols.

          But really, we’d only need very limited interoperability. I don’t think CA needs to become a “social media personality”. If CA posts can be automatically republished via OStatus and Diaspora (and anything else) the same way they are via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ today, that would be good enough. People can then comment on those posts and reshare them or whatever on those networks. “CA” itself wouldn’t need to interact; CA editors and contributors could do so via their own accounts (as I do now on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+).

          The choice between getting an account on an existing Mastodon (for example) server and setting up our own instance is basically between “we don’t need that much, and we don’t need more work/hassle” versus “great branding, and nice to have direct control over our social identity”. I could really go either way right now, but I still have a lot more research to do.

          1. Shawn the Humanst

            Yes, I see what you mean. All good points. Though I want to be clear that it’s not so much about social branding, and making Canadian Atheist a destination with it’s own Mastodon instance. A place people can go and follow other people and communicate with each other on the local instance’s timeline without having to find other people to follow at all.

            There is value to having a local community. That’s what I was thinking.

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