Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[Screenshot from “Mythical Riddles” video, showing musicians James Fry (acoustic guitar, vocals), Anton Fierce (trumpet), Eli Bender (cello), and Dan Beer (drums) performing with stained glass windows as a backdrop at Christchurch Cathedral in Victoria, British Columbia.]

James Fry with backup musicians, performing “Mythical Riddles” at Christchurch Cathedral in Victoria, British Columbia.

  • [] Forcibly outing LGBT children to their parents is monstrous

    Jason Kenney’s batshit-crazy and dangerous idea is attracting international attention.

  • [] Trudeau Government’s Summer Jobs Program Attestation Has Canadians Split: Poll

    As usual with Angus Reid surveys, ignore the headlines and conclusions provided by ARI, and look at the data. Turns out that while Canadians are split on whether the attestation is a good idea if you just ask that question in a vacuum devoid of context, when they’re actually asked questions about the actual policy implementaion, they are overwhelmingly in support.

  • [] “Episode 44 – Misogyny & the Manosphere (part 1)”(Audio: 1:13:52)

    This two-part podcast (part 2 is here) was precipitated by the Toronto van attack, and is primarily focused on the “manosphere”, “incels”, and the like. But it’s worth listening to because it turns out that these people who were deep in the vile, misogynist hate of the “manosphere” started on that path via atheism.

  • [] Steven Pinker’s new book on the Enlightenment is a huge hit. Too bad it gets the Enlightenment wrong.

    The ultimate message of this piece is “can’t we all get along?”, but there is a valid critical concern with misrepresenting the reality of the Enlightenment to sell an ideology.

  • [] Appeal being launched over conscience rights decision on assisted suicide

    To be clear, this is a challenge to the Ontario assisted dying law, and specifically the part that requires physicians who don’t want to do it to provide an effective referral to one who will.

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

    God has a plan!

  • [] Secular shift

    This article is heavily skewed toward Christianity, so it can be a bit grating to read, but it’s worthwhile to see how Christians themselves are viewing and dealing with the undeniable decline in Christianity’s power in Canada.

  • [] “”Mythical Riddles”” (Video: 6:02)

    This is really cool! The song itself is not bad – really nice melody, though somewhat pugnacious lyrics (why does an “atheist anthem” have to be about attacking religion, rather than saying what’s good about atheism?) – and I liked the cheekiness of filming the video in a church.

  • [] Quebec III% Militia Record What Appears To Be Serious Crimes

    This is only the first of several… yes, several… cases that came out this week of far-right, anti-immigrant, and anti-Islam activists doing violent or threatening things, providing further evidence of the dangerous emboldening of hate groups. In this case you have bigots at an anti-refugee rally beating a woman who was filming them… filming the beating… then posting the video and boasting about it. All this while the far-right groups were being protected by the police.

  • [] Toronto’s Wali Ul Asr Muslim School Defaced With Anti-Muslim Graffiti During Ramadan

    So this week it’s Toronto’s turn to be the bigotry capital of Canada.

  • [] Girls Who Fear Forced Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation Advised To Tuck Spoon In Their Underwear

    Don’t let the absurd headline fool you, there’s a kernel of a good idea in here. There’s certainly some level of islamophobic hysteria behind it as presented, but there are people – particularly minors – who fear being taken out of the country for some nefarious purpose where Canadian law can’t protect them. This isn’t just about Muslims and Islam; there is an alarming number of people trafficked into, out of, and across Canada. This could be a very effective way to signal for help. Even general abuse victims could use it. I’d like to see this trick become common knowledge, and for authorities to be trained to recognize it.

  • [] Far-Right Group Atalante Visited VICE Offices in Montreal

    Atalante tried to downplay this as a “joke”, with clown noses and all, but what it really was was simply an intimidation tactic. VICE wrote a story about them they didn’t like, so they showed up at VICE’s headquarters and made a scene, just to show they could. These intimidation actions are getting more frequent, and more serious. Another example this week was Gavin McInnes siccing his idiot Proud Boy followers on reporters… and one of them actually went to a reporter’s home and threatened their family.

  • [] Canadians Divided on Physically Disciplining Children

    Depressing. The science is in on this; beating children is nothing more than abuse. It doesn’t work, and it causing lasting harms, and, no, “I turned out okay” is not evidence against those facts.

  • [] The Pope Told a Gay Guy He’s Alright! But Catholicism is still the Worst

    Once again, Pope Francis did/said something not entirely evil, and news media fell all over themselves to paint him as the greatest thing to happen to humanity since Jesus Christ himself. Once again, just like Jesus, it turned out the “good” in what Frank did may not actually be real. Rebecca Watson of Skepchick doesn’t swallow the hype.

  • [] Too Many Stayed Silent On Quebec’s Anti-Muslim Bill 62

    None of the criticisms of Bill 62 are new, and neither, really, are the condemnations of the politicians that are enabling anti-Muslim sentiment in Québec. But buried in this article is a pretty succinct demolition of the “exemption process”.

  • [] Why Canada’s white supremacists want Doug Ford to win

    People who really follow this stuff won’t be surprised that bigots, racists, and far right kooks are all behind Doug Ford. Ford has already had some publicity issues trying to swear off their support. This article digs into why the bigots like Ford, and what they’re doing to make sure he gets elected.

  • [] I was Jordan Peterson’s strongest supporter. Now I think he’s dangerous

    Frankly, I’m tired of hearing about Jordan Peterson – that he remains popular among atheists boggles my mind – and I figured I’d already shown plenty of evidence of why he’s a dangerous buffoon (though there’s always more, like this methodical dissection of Peterson’s recent comments on “enforced monogamy” and the existence of witches), so there wouldn’t be need to mention him again. But this article, which caused an incredible stir this week, is just impossible to ignore. Unlike so many other articles, it was written by a former Peterson champion – and not just any champion: the person responsible for Peterson getting his job. And Schiff’s criticisms are from an entirely different perspective than most; Schiff not only knew Peterson well, he’d lived with him. As if there hadn’t already been more than enough evidence that Peterson-mania really needs to end, this article should be enough to put the final stake in it.

  • [] Officer-cadet from Royal Military College Saint-Jean to be expelled for defiling Qur’an

    Oh, for fuck’s sake. Why would you even do this? Where is the intellectual argument in cumming on a Quran? Where even is the humour? “Oh, look, I can jizz on a book, and that will make a lot of people upset, hardy-har-har!” It’s just dumb, and these are people who we are supposed to giving the power to kill to – and officers, too, so the people who are supposed to have the responsibility to decide when and who to kill.

  • [] Halifax chiropractor investigated for anti-vaccination views

    You’re probably thinking: “Come on, Indi, you covered this story last week.” Nope, that was a guy, and it was in BC. “Oh… well, then maybe it was the week before?” Nope, that was a naturopath, not a chiropractor, and it was also in BC (and she’s actually part of another item this week). This is yet another anti-vax chiropractor. Quackery clumps, it seems.

  • [] Homeopathy for autism ‘certainly not based on science,’ B.C. health official says

    One of the three naturopaths in trouble is the same one who dosed a kid with rabies because she thought he was a werewolf.

  • [] The new gang of hyper-confident male atheists wants you to laugh at religion

    This is not an easy piece to read. On the one hand, I vocally support and even encourage the mockery of religion, and I think humour is one of the most powerful and effective ways for atheists to express themselves – especially in societies that are hostile to atheism. And the more religious people insist we can’t mock them or their beliefs, the more we should. One the other, I do recognize that too much atheist humour is mean-spirited, and intended more to draw tribalistic us-versus-them boundaries between us and religious people. Comedy is not easy, and the line between taking the piss out of power and pissing on those victimized by power can be delicate, fuzzy, and shifting.

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