Weekly Update: to

by | February 3, 2018

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[Two photos of young adults partying, including a few on the dance floor apparently simulating sex while fully clothed and surrounded by other people.]

Personally I’d consider this dancing “raunchy”, not “pornographic”. I think someone really needs to show Cambodian authorities what really pornographic dancing would look like. How about it, Internet?

  • [] Who made the alt-right?

    Kill All Normies is a fascinating book by Angela Nagle that documents the rise of the alt-right – I used it as a reference myself in an article I wrote. But while the book quite accurately plots the major events that metastasized into the alt-right, some of inferences it makes about the meaning of those events… smelled fishy. In particular Nagle blamed “Tumblr feminists” for the rise of the alt-right – basically the alt-right was born in reaction to “call-out culture”. That didn’t quite jibe with my own recollections of the period, but I lacked any hard data for a rebuttal. This review addresses that concern ably, pointing out that while “Tumblr feminists” were certainly guilty of some excesses, they were not the creators of the alt-right so much as they were masterfully exploited by those who were.

  • [] The Psychology of Child Torture

    This Psychology Today piece uses the terrible story of David and Louise Turpin to discuss the science behind torturing children. It probably won’t surprise readers that religion is commonly a factor.

  • [] Government, Catholic section ordered to pay $960,000 of Theodore case costs pending appeal

    The Theodore case just gets better and better. First the public school board wins an awesome ruling that the government cannot fund non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools… and now the judge found that the government has to pay the public school board’s legal costs. Buried in the story, though, are hints of shenanigans – apparently there was no need for a court case to begin with, but the government listened to some very bad advice from Catholic school supporters.

  • [] Evangelicals bucking trend of decline

    Many have noted that as most religious congregations in North America have declined (ignoring sporadic, short-term revivals fuelled by immigration), evangelicals have thrived – and even managed to become a potent political force. Two scientists – both very religious (one from Crandall, the other from Trinity Western) – decided to study what was going on, and they came to some intriguing conclusions… the most important of which may be that evangelicals’ free ride may be fast coming to an end, as the bubble their riding bursts.

  • [] Andrew Scheer and the anti-abortion movement in Canada

    This is an incredible piece that I cannot recommend highly enough. While it is ostensibly about Andrew Scheer’s transparent attempts to signal his anti-choice base, Schwarz takes her analysis all the way back to fricken’ Morgentaler in the late 1980s. She describes the changing tactics used by anti-abortion advocates over the years leading right up to the present day. It’s really awesome; like I said, I highly recommend.

  • [] Two Canadians held in Cambodia for ‘dancing pornographically’

    We’ve heard other stories of Cambodia’s religious crackdown on visitors – remember the people who were arrested for taking pictures of themselves naked near religious sites? But the crackdown appears to be getting worse. Now people are being arrested even without setting foot in the actual religious sites. These two Canadian women – along with either other foreigners – may be charged and imprisoned for up to a year for being the “ringleaders” in “pornographic dancing” due to some pics they took of some pretty raunchy moves on the dance floor. Up to 87 people in total, by some accounts, are at risk of being charged.

  • [] In GOOP Health: Wellness Panem style

    So Dr. Jen Gunter went to a Goop conference and got in. Yes, really. And her write-up on it is hilarious. There was far more woo there than I would have expected – and that’s saying something considering it’s a Goop conference. They even rolled out Eben Alexander – you know, Dr. “I was brain dead and was convinced I saw Heaven so yeah I’m probably still brain dead”.

  • [] The distinct dynamics of Islamophobia in Quebec

    This is the second awesome analysis piece by Ricochet this week (the other being Robyn Schwarz’s awesome piece on the anti-abortion movement in Canada). Lots of people, myself included, have noticed that Québec is the ground zero for islamophobia in Canada. But… why? This piece argues that it’s not by accident – and no, it’s not because Québécois are actually more racist than the rest of Canada (that hypothesis wouldn’t survive an hour in most rural areas of Ontario or the Prairies). Fleming has an interesting theory: that the Quiet Revolution has faltered and been overwhelmed by neoliberalism, but while Québécois recognize that something has gone… wrong… their legitimate albeit vague frustrations have been misdirected and exploited by agents of hate that have cleverly managed to disguise intolerance as the continuing project of the Quiet Revolution.

  • [] Racist Opposition To ‘Un-Canadian’ Mosques Is Nothing New

    Fascinating; I’d assumed targeted islamophobia was a relatively recent phenomenon. There’s a lot of interesting history in this piece.

  • [] Court of Appeal Upholds Finding that School Board Did Not Infringe Parent’s Freedom of Religion When Denying Accommodation Request

    This was a great week for court decisions!

  • [] Anti-abortion group loses court bid over summer jobs program

    The ban on federal funding for summer job programs for anti-abortion and anti-LGBT groups has survived its first court challenge.

  • [] Ruling in Ontario assisted dying case ‘a victory for patients’ rights,’ Dying With Dignity Canada says

    Excellent news from DWDC! The requirement for doctors who refuse to provide assisted dying themselves to provide an effective referral has survived its legal challenge.

  • [] The Jordan Peterson paradox: high intellect, or just another angry white guy?

    Another profile of Peterson that… well, it isn’t flattering. The last paragraph is amusing.

  • [] O Canada becomes more inclusive

    It didn’t go as far as we hoped it would, but it’s progress nonetheless. , the Senate finally approved the late Mauril Bélanger’s Bill C-210, which changes the words “in all thy sons” to “in all of us” in the national anthem. It’s not law yet; we still need Royal Assent, but that’ss really just a formality at this point.

  • [] Looking back on the Abbotsford creationism battles

    I haven’t had a chance to read through these yet myself, but it should be well worth it.

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