Weekly Update: to

by | March 10, 2018

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[A cartoon, with a woman praying in the first panel: “Dear science, if you’re so powerful and true, how come so many people don’t believe you?” In the second panel, “science” (as if a god) replies: “This life is a test of your devotion to empiricism. Beings who fail to believe in the scientific outlook are forced to lie out eternity in absurd afterlife scenarios, sitting out clouds, playing tiny harps FOREVER.”]

In addition to faith in empiricism, true believers must attend scientific conferences every Sunday, wear only synthetic fabrics, and eat nothing that has been deemed a “superfood”.

  • [] The unwelcome revival of ‘race science’

    Those who base their beliefs on science must never forget that science can be perverted, misrepresented, or straight-up faked to push ideological agendas. Scientific racism, in particular, has made some shocking and depressing impact within the contemporary “skeptic” movement.

  • [] In case you missed it, Parliament issued its M-103 Islamophobia report

    M-103 was the Canadian Atheist story of the year, largely because it blew up out of nothing. Well, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the whole thing started from nothing, and to nothing it has returned. The M-103 report was published, and caused barely a ripple… despite the fact that the problem it was all about – islamophobia – is getting even worse. This piece is one of a few pieces critical of the report and the response, and it’s loaded with links to context.

  • [] Why Canada divides children into separate schools

    This article does a couple of things very well. First, it gives a good historical background for separate schools in Canada. But also, and I think more importantly, it impresses the point that those of us who protest separate religious schools are missing half the problem. While it’s true that separate public denominational (Catholic/Protestant) school systems are problematic and should be abolished… separate public language (English/French) school systems are equally problematic. In other words, there should be one… and only one… public school system, and it should be secular, and it should be multilingual (in all official languages (which is fine for most provinces, but could be a problem for Nunavut and especially NWT)). Because it’s not just religion that divides us, it’s language.

  • [] Parliament’s M-103 Islamophobia Report Doesn’t Go Far Enough

    This is another of the pieces critical of the M-103 report. It makes the point that seems to be the general consensus (of all non-bigots at least): nothing the report recommends is bad or wrong, and all of it should be implemented… but the whole original purpose of the study – the thing that triggered it in the first place – was the issue of islamophobia… and that hasn’t been satisfactorily addressed. This piece does include some interesting data I haven’t seem raised elsewhere. Turns out that despite the bullshit pushed by the Conservatives who opposed it – claiming that the definition of “islamophobia” is “vague” or not well understood – the vast majority of Canadians are perfectly clear on what islamophobia is, and they agree it’s a serious problem.

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

    Zach Weinersmith is consistently good, but when he strikes gold, he tends to do so in batches. This comic is a brilliant parody of religion and a fun ribbing of science-based thinkers. And just two days before, there was also this funny jab at Darwin.

  • [] Charter rights violated for couple who refused to tell foster kids Easter Bunny is real

    , there was an item in Weekly Update about a Christian couple who had their foster kids stripped from them because they refused to lie and say that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus are real. To be clear, they were happy to tell the kids about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus myths, and they were happy to partake in the traditions (like an Easter egg hunt). They just refused to mislead the kids into believing that Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny are real… because lying to the kids would violate their Christian beliefs (I know, irony overload, but bear with me). At the time, I was incredulous – I couldn’t believe the whole case actually boiled down to just that; I assumed there had to be something else going on, and the couple were just bullshitting the media about the reason the foster kids were taken away. Well, I was wrong. As amazing as it sounds, that really does seem to be what it was all about: the kids really were taken away from the foster parents because the parents refused to say Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were real. The judge ruled that was a bullshit reason, thankfully.

  • [] The myth of the echo chamber

    We all “know” certain “facts” about modern discourse: we “know” that people like to stick in their political echo chambers, we “know” that conservatives only listen to conservative “news” and lefties only listen to leftie “news” and so on, we “know” that campuses are generally far left and students and faculty are intolerant of speech that they disagree with. But… does the data support what we “know”? No. No, it does not. Quite the contrary. This piece introduces some relevant research on the topic, but see also this unrolled Twitter thread which debunks several aspects of the myths and is chock full of data.

  • [] Eye on Hate: “Hijab Hoax” fuels alt-right protests

    Now that the M-103 report has come out and turned out to be (as predicted by sensible people) a whole lot of nothing, islamophobic bigots need a new banner to march under. That new banner appears to be yet another nothing story: the hijab attack hoax perpetrated by an 11 year-old girl.

  • [] Ontario YouTuber attempts troll of ‘left wing’ by bogusly announcing Regina date on speaking tour

    If you’ve forgotten who Kevin J. Johnston is, you’re lucky. I’m loathe to remind you, but he’s the asshole in charge of Freedom Report.ca who has been charged with hate speech for his videos offering a cash bounty to people who harass Muslim kids in schools, who is currently engaged in attempting to deny the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, and who appears to have filed a false police report about an attack by “antifa”. What’s he been up to now? Well, he put out promotional material about a national speaking tour he was doing, with stops in multiple major universities. Thing is… it was all bullshit; there is no speaking tour. But that’s not all. He also called a couple of those universities and made threats… at himself… while pretending to be a member of “antifa” and Black Lives Matter. Why? His “explanation” is that he was “testing” the influence the left has. The fuck does that even mean? I ’unno. What did it all accomplish? Absolutely nothing, as far as I can tell. But be on the lookout for bullshit fallout from this.

  • [] Actually, ‘freedom from religion’ is a human right, IHEU tells Vatican at the UN

    It’s really true: the Holy See (aka “the Vatican”) stood up in front of the United Nations and argued that “freedom from religion” doesn’t exist because those exact words aren’t in the fundamental human rights documents and treaties. The IHEU response is awesome, spelling out that while the exact wording isn’t present, the concept is unavoidable – it’s supported by no less than four different rights that are explicitly enumerated.

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One thought on “Weekly Update: to

  1. Jim Atherton

    Actually, ‘freedom from religion’ is a human right, IHEU tells Vatican at the UN

    The leader’s of the Christion religion have always been very good at distracting attention from the real issue which has always confronted them. That is how to continue to avoid paying taxes on all of the property around the world which they stole but continue to claim to own.

    A few weeks ago there was a story on Aljazeera News about the mayor of Jerusalem attempting to force the Christian Church to pay taxes on property they ‘own’ in Jerusalem. Sure enough the mayor gave up after only a couple of days.


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