Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[Justus Sustermans’s portrait of Galileo Galilei, 1636.]

He actually crossed out the word “false” in a bit about the Bible and replaced it with “looks different from the truth”… because his life probably depended on it.

  • [] Patti Bacchus: Unvaccinated kids are a danger to others

    BC does not require students to get vaccinations before attending school, and apparently anti-vax attitudes are well-entrenched there. This piece is punchy and blunt, but maybe that’s what it will take.

  • [] Not enough evidence to expel cadet after Qur’an desecration

    This doesn’t really come as much of a surprise, because when the story broke , we were told then that the recruits had already destroyed the evidence.

  • [] Toronto City Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti: ‘The Devil’ is Responsible for Youth Crime in Toronto

    What, you thought the Fords were the only whackjobs on Toronto city council? Mammoliti has generally been overshadowed by the antics of the Fords, but he’s cut from the same cloth they are.

  • [] The Religion of QAnon

    Watson’s primary target in this piece is – obviously – Q and the QAnon phenomenon. But there are some interesting observations in her piece about how mystically-flavoured bullshit can become full-fledged religions, even when their prophecies fall flat.

  • [] More Evidence Linking Faith Goldy’s Mayoral Campaign to Hate Groups ID Canada and Students For Western Civilization

    Let’s be clear that when ARC is saying “more” evidence, they’re not just blowing smoke. They have been absolutely piling on the evidence that Goldy is tied up with white supremacist, anti-immigration, and other hate groups. (For example, here.) What’s fascinating about this particular evidence dump is that it’s not just a matter of Goldy dogwhistling to rubbing shoulders with hate groups… it’s that ID Canada is literally making and selling her swag.

  • [] Cambridge chamber may axe candidate interview series

    This item was submitted by a reader, and it really raises some very interesting questions. The tl;dr is that as part of a series of interviews aimed at getting more information about candidates for the city and regional councils, the candidates were asked some… dodgy questions. Of the three examples given in the article, the question about previous marriages seems pretty unnecessary and inappropriate… but the other two – about religious beliefs – are in a much more grey area. Perhaps they could be worded differently – such as asking instead if or how the candidate’s religious beliefs will affect their decisions on council – because a person’s religious beliefs are technically their private business… if those beliefs aren’t going to be part of their decision-making process. What do readers think?

  • [] Stop putting unfit states on the Human Rights Council, coalition tells UN members

    This follows some high profile cases of bizarre appointments – like Saudi Arabia. I support the sentiment, but I don’t believe there’s any practical way of implementing it. As horrible as it sounds, there is no country with a decent record when it comes to human rights – you might want to argue for Canada, but our treatment of indigenous peoples alone should disqualify us, and that’s not even counting the numerous others condemnations of Canada that have been issued by the UN (for example, against our separate school systems). Sure, we’re better than Saudi Arabia by any sane measure, but to make that work in policy you’d need some kind of objective measure, and in this there’s nothing but varying shades of grey.

  • [] The dangers of not vaccinating are horrifying and graphic. Government warnings must show that

    I’m not really sure how much effect the gross images on cigarette packages had on reducing smoking – I remember people enthusiastically collecting them, actually. It seems to me that stigmatizing smoking generally – culturally transforming it from something the “cool kids” did into something only losers did – had more impact. That would seem to imply that we should stigmatize being unvaccinated… but that seems dangerous when you consider that some kids can’t vaccinate; you don’t want to turn kids with depressed immune systems into social outcasts. Maybe gross-out advertising is the way to go after all.

  • [] Why Canada needs a ‘Children’s Charter’

    It’s surprising how poorly Canada is doing on several measures of child welfare.

  • [] Government releases draft bill to lift restrictions on charities

    If there’s one thing the Trudeau government has demonstrated true master over, it’s disappointing progressives. Note that this is very different from the classic Harper technique of simply flipping off progressives; no, Trudeau has moved on issues that Harper was stubbornly dragging his heels on and refused to address, but somehow Trudeau has consistently managed to score “close but no cigar” in every case. Assisted dying, electoral reform, pot legalization; in every case, Trudeau brought us long-awaited focus on the issues… but always failed to meet expectations, eventually leaving both regressives and progressives unsatisfied alike. There’s always something good and badly needed offered… but always some very important stuff left broken. Even when the Liberals are literally handed a list of things that must change by judges, consultations, or experts on the topic, they never fail to cherry pick a few, and leave most of the most important issues unaddressed. Now it’s charity reform’s turn, and, true to form, the proposed reforms are yet another disappointment. Yes, the government is at least making the changes they are being forced to make after the Canada Without Poverty ruling. But that’s about all they’re changing in our 400 year-old charity laws.

  • [] Alberta UCP Nomination Candidate Admits He Offered to Help Fund an Instagram Group That Shares Nazi Memes

    In which Alberta’s UCP looks at the insanity of Ontario provincial politics and says: “hold my beer.” It’s worth mentioning that this may not even be the craziest UCP story this week, what with the federal government now forced to chase around India behind Jason Kenney to clarify to Indian politicians and industry leaders that Kenny isn’t actually part of any government.

  • [] Alberta education minister apologizes after test asks students about ‘positive effect’ of residential schools

    I really can’t help but wonder… what the fuck was the “correct” answer supposed to be?

  • [] 17-Year-Old Rayne Fisher-Quann Leads Student Walkout Over Ontario Sex-Ed Curriculum

    Once again, Canadian youth have impressed me. But you should read why this girl is standing up for this cause. It’s horrifying.

  • [] House Of Commons Unanimously Recognizes Rohingya Crisis As Genocide

    This doesn’t really come as much of a surprise given the evidence, but it’s refreshing to see that partisanship wasn’t a factor for a change.

  • [] Long-Lost Letter from Galileo Reveals Devastating New Details About His Battle with the Church’s Dogmatic Beliefs

    Okay, this is kind of cool. I love that the revelation is that Galileo was every bit as blunt and anti-Church as we’d ever thought, and that he’d actually been forced to tone down his criticisms.

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