Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .
-  Ontario Catholic Schools Still Won’t Let Qualified Non-Catholics Like Me Teach
This is an excellent piece about the blatantly unconstitutional injustice going on with regards to hiring in Ontario’s public Catholic school system. But there is one point in the piece that gets glossed over that I have to take issue with. While the Catholic school system itself is constitutionally protected… the discrimination in hiring is not. There is no constitutional justification for requiring a math teacher (for example) in the Catholic system to be a Catholic themselves.
-  Denial of systemic racism is dissociation from reality
Bluntly put but hard to argue, and the flat-Earth analogy is a nice touch.
-  “Cure light wounds” by Doug Bayne & Trudy Cooper (Oglaf)
A succinct but surprisingly accurate parable of religious health care, from Oglaf.
-  Quebec congregations rally as authorities consider closing numerous churches
The headline is a bit misleading, because the authorities that want to close all those churches are not the real, secular authorities… they’re the Church authorities. That’s right, it’s the Church that wants to dump all those churches, because they’re
technically bankrupt, due to
dwindling attendance and soaring maintenance. They want to dump all the expensive property, and consolidate their business of marketing God. And you know what?: good on them; I say that would be a wonderful thing. The church-on-every-corner helps fuel the myth that religion is still relevant in contemporary Canadian society. And as noted in the article, they are where the most pernicious recruitment operations happen due to the fact that churches are so tightly entangled with social programs. If the Church gets out of the street-corner business, secular services can step in to run the social programs, and they would not only run them better, they wouldn’t be trying to convert people who are their lowest ebb while doing so.
-  Vatican Arrests Priest With Ties To Windsor
Better late than never. Canadian authorities figured out this guy was guilty months ago (and possibly longer), but the Vatican has been sheltering him until now. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be extradited back to Canada to face charges here, but apparently he’s wanted in other countries, too.
-  Chilliwack pastor facing child pornography charges
Depressingly, this isn’t the only story about clergy and child pornography in this week’s Update. There are some skeevy details in here, like that the church was operating for almost three years knowing that someone in their midst was into child porn.
-  Woman who wears hijab sparks ire in her desire to run for political office
Let’s be clear about what’s happening here: none of the outrage thus far has anything to do with the woman’s political positions in any way. They literally do not give a fuck about what she believes or what she stands for – in fact, they even substitute their own opinions about what she believes and what she stands for, rather than listening to her. They call themselves “feminists” but don’t give a single fuck about the woman. All they see is the veil. And I can’t believe I’m even writing this, but this has prompted the Parti Québécois to start blustering about “Charter of Values 2.0”… showing they’ve learned absolutely nothing from the last election or the Bill 62 debacle, and likely never will.
-  Teach religion in public schools to combat discrimination and violence, say panellists
While I don’t disagree with the sentiment that religion should be studied in schools – studied… not “taught”d – I find these panelists particularly unimpressive. One of them said “secularism” is just
one of many beliefs systems. No, no it’s really not. Secularism is no more a “belief system” than parliamentary democracy itself it. Secularism is just a method by which a government can do its business. It’s not a religion in any sense, nor is it anti-religion. If these “experts” can’t figure that much out, then we clearly do have a problem of widespread ignorance about the role of religion in society.
-  A Sign For Jade Vagina Eggs Was Posted In An Alberta Hospital. Briefly.
To be clear, this was not an official posting – somebody put the sign up without permission. Still embarrassing, and disturbing.
-  Two Montreal Religious Groups Can Now Legally Import Ayahuasca
I know this will infuriate some readers, but this is actually a good thing. The Minister of Health has the freedom to allow any group exemptions for otherwise banned substances, for any reason. This reason, of course, is stupid. But if the Minister is willing to allow a concession in these cases, it will be hard-pressed to argue against concessions in other cases. And, at the very least, that will help research.
-  Naturopath Facing Controversy After Treating A Child With Rabid Dog Saliva
Ho. Lee. Shit. Read everything here, because the details are incredible. This idiot naturopath not only dosed a kid with a disease that is
nearly always fatal(according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only two people in all of recorded medical history survived it without treatment)… she posted about doing it! And her reasoning? The kid was
obviously in a dog state. Clearly a crazy quack, right? Nope! The College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia stood behind the treatment and defended the doctor! This is apparently a standard naturopathic treatment! Seriously, you must read everything in this story!
-  Quebec teen who wants to be police officer while wearing hijab reopens debate on religious rights
Seriously, what can one even say about Québec anymore. This is the second item this week about a freakout over a woman’s hijab when the hijab itself does nothing whatsoever to impede the woman from doing the job – first over a would-be MNA… and now over a teenager with a dream of serving the community. There’s nobody in Québec politics right now who doesn’t look embarrassingly bad. On the one hand you have Couillard making a smarmy attempt to spin this young woman’s willingness to make accommodations as supporting his idiotic veil ban bill. On the other you have PQ leader Jean-François Lisée having to take off his party pin in the legislature even though another MNA was allowed to wear a kippah… as part of a fucking Holocaust memorial event!
-  “Atheist Banned from Ken Ham Event (Paulogia Denied)” (Video: 8:54)
A while back there was a Weekly Update item about the Alberta Home Education Association inviting Ken Ham to speak at their conference; it wasn’t a good look for a home-schooling association to be featuring a creationist. Paul Ens, aka Paulogia, has been following this story (he was mentioned in the previous item’s article), and was planning to go to the conference to see for himself what was going on. Well, not anymore. At the last minute – literally within hours – the conference of “freedom of choice heroes” banned Ens from attending.
-  Quebec mosque shooter told police he was motivated by Canada’s immigration policies
Bissonnette pled guilty to avoid a trial, so we never got a full public airing of who Bissonnette was and why he did what he did. But videos of the shooting itself and the police interrogation in the immediate aftermath have been released (although the shooting video itself is not released, descriptions of its content have been). The shooting video, in particular, was horrifying: Bissonnette apparently acted
tacticlyduring the massacre, and coolly executed victims lying injured and helpless on the ground. Turns out, to nobody’s surprise, Bissonnette really was just a raging bigot whipped up into a killing frenzy by right-wing dog-whistles about the creeping threat of Muslim immigrants. The most telling part of the interview comes when Bissonnette reacts with outrage to the idea that his act – which literally fits the definition to a “T” – could be called “terrorism”. Apparently, in Bissonnette’s warped mind, “terrorism” is something only Muslims can do.
-  This Firebrand Atheist Was Just Fired After Allegations Of Financial Conflicts And Sexual Assault
The big news in movement atheism this week was the suspension of American Atheists president David Silverman. For a while, there was only rumour and speculation about why Silverman was suspended. news broke that American Atheists had fired Silverman… and the stories came out. And they’re… not good. As usual, there are multiple stories, all with plenty of corroboration. And this case may actually be worse than Krauss; Krauss seemed to have been more prolific, but he was primarily just really skeevy and pushy (though there were a few more troubling cases in the mix)… Silverman may have taken advantage of women he knew couldn’t consent, and actively used his power to reward and punish women for sex with positions in the atheist movement. This story is still unfolding, so expect details to emerge or change.
-  One issue is too hot for all Ontario parties, except the Greens — denominational schools
Ending the separate school system in Ontario is not on the table in the upcoming election. We already knew that. This article, however, illustrates how frustrating it can be dealing with a government that has dug in with an untenable position, and can only defend it with platitudes and misleading statements about constitutionality.
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.