Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[Screen capture from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, showing two main characters in the foreground with a large Baphomet statue behind them.]

Screencap from the new Sabrina series showing the Baphomet statue in the background … which does look quite a bit like the Satanic Temple design.

  • [] Paralyzed, terminally ill man had to sign assisted-dying papers in bus shelter

    Two weeks ago, an Update item told the story of Doreen Nowicki, a terminally-ill woman who was wheeled out into the street for a medical assessment because the faith-based Covenant Health facility wouldn’t allow a medical assistance in dying assessment – just an assessment – on their premises. At the time, Covenant Health claimed it was an “exceptional” situation, and they weren’t aware of any other “similar” cases. I called bullshit right in the item and… no surprises here… bullshit it was. The CBC investigation has turned up a second case.

  • [] To pray or not to pray? The place of God in the Sask. legislature

    This is a really nice article, especially for its coverage of the varying prayer practices at legislatures across the country.

  • [] Blasphemy case woman in Pakistan seeks Canadian assistance

    Every part of this story is tragic, and it’s a long and complicated story, so I’ll try to distill it down as much as I can. “Asia Bibi” is a poor, illiterate, Catholic woman who lived in the Punjab region of Pakistan; her family was the only non-Muslim family in her village. According to the agreed-upon facts, she was picking berries with other women, and used a cup she found lying around to drink some water from a well. One of the other women, who apparently had a long-running feud with Bibi’s family, freaked out – she told Bibi that Christians weren’t allowed to drink from the same cups as Muslims, that she was (basically) scum, and that she should convert to Islam. Bibi retorted that she didn’t see why she should be the one who had to convert, and that she was quite happy with Jesus. Not long after, a mob showed up at her house and beat her in front of her children, and she was arrested and accused of “insulting the Prophet”. She was eventually tried and sentenced to death for blasphemy. Hers was the case that Salmaan Taseer was murdered over, among others. Finally, just weeks ago, the Supreme Court acquitted her – in the ruling the judges noted that her accusers were bald-faced liars, but the key reason she was set free seems to be that she could be killed for insulting the Prophet because she’s Christian, not Muslim. Whatever, she’s no longer condemned. Except… this is Pakistan we’re talking about. Which means that even though she’s been legally acquitted (and her accusers have been shown to be lying sacks of shit), there’s still the angry mobs who want to murder her. It would seem the logical solution to that problem would simply be to let her leave … but no, the Pakistan government made a deal with the murderous mob’s ringleaders that prevents her from leaving the country (her lawyer, incidentally, has already left the country). And now this is where this becomes Canada’s business, because there is an all-party effort underway to get Bibi out of Pakistan and into Canada, where she will be granted asylum. This is a rapidly developing story so there may be news even by the time the Update gets published, but as it stands now, it seems Bibi is either hiding somewhere in Pakistan (or possibly en route to the Netherlands; we’re not sure), waiting for the Pakistan government to get its shit together so that Bibi can legally escape the murder mob.

  • [] Why can naturopaths mislead the public about their credentials? Because no one bothers to stop them

    There have been several Update items this year about naturopaths making bullshit “medical” claims (and there’s another later in thisUpdate!). In a few of those cases, provincial naturopath associations have stepped in to deal with the problem, but it is only in New Brunswick that a provincial medical association has done an investigation and is taking action. It turns out the reason naturopaths can get away with making bullshit “medical” claims in most provinces is that doctors – or at least their professional bodies – just don’t give a fuck.

  • [] Here’s what happens the day after the clocks change

    Every year we get a bunch of pieces like this, pointing out the inanity of “daylight saving time”, and advocating for its abolition. But apparently there’s an extra complication in whether to settle on “standard time (which would be UTC−05:00 in the Eastern Time Zone)” or “permanent daylight saving time (UTC−04:00)”.

  • [] Québec’s push to ban the hijab is ‘sexularism’

    It has been observed by numerous people that Québec’s religious accessories ban is primarily about Muslims, and primarily about Muslim women, and the other religious traditions that get impacted by it are just collateral damage. If that’s so, then what is the ban really about? What is the real aim, if one ignores the vague, handwavey stuff about how wearing a religious accessory is proselytizing or how important homogeneity is for society? This article and Scott’s “sexularism” article dig into the question.

  • [] Toronto-born Canadian is mystery man behind ISIL’s high-profile cyber attacks

    Well this is an interesting mystery. Turns out that one of Daesh’s top hackers may have been Canadian – and not just Canadian, but a white Canadian, who was young, came from a Toronto-based Christian family (that later converted to Islam), and “shy”… but experts don’t seem to know who the hell he actually was. (Note that intelligence officials probably know exactly who he was. It’s just journalists and independent researchers in the dark.)

  • [] Anti-Muslim blogger facing hate crime charge ran for mayor of Mississauga and came in second place

    There’s been a lot of news coverage about the failed mayoral campaign of hate-peddler Faith Goldy, and the subsequent implosion of her right-wing popularity now that she no longer serves a purpose for the cause. Good riddance to her, but there was a second hatemonger running for mayor in the GTA… and he did a whole lot better in his attempt. He placed a solid second, with 13.5% of the vote. What the hell? Well, it may not be as bad as it seems: Johnston seems to have managed to use name recognition to make himself the default “not Bonnie Crombie” vote, and it’s possible that most people didn’t really know what a shit-stain he is. (Daro’s piece will clarify that for you, if you had any doubt.)

  • [] Controversial naturopath gives up licence, says work ‘not going to change’

    Fuck. This. Quack. This is perhaps the most rage-inducing article of the year. This woman lost her licence to practice, but is still going to do exactly what she’s been doing all along. What the fuck was the point of the licence then? Literally the only thing that has changed is that now she’ll have to offer unregulated bullshit, rather than provincially-approved bullshit. Kinda makes one wonder what the purpose of the College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C. is, hm?

  • [] B.C.-filmed Chilling Adventures of Sabrina at centre of $50M lawsuit by Satanic Temple

    Fair warning in advance: I’m gonna have a hard time keeping a straight face on this one. Okay, so apparently there’s a show on Netflix called The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which is a dark and gritty reboot of… (gimme a second)… Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Now, a “dark and gritty reboot” of Sabrina would normally have struck me as hilariously absurd… except that there have been a number of “dark and gritty reboots” recently – everything from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers – and in fact Netflix is already running a “dark and gritty reboot” of … (oh, I’m gonna need another moment before I can type this)… Archie. Yes. Really. Archie, as in from the comics. It’s literally described as “Archie meets …(what the hell is wrong with the world?) … Twin Peaks. But wait, we’re just getting started, because we haven’t even got to the wacky part yet! Because it turns out the Satanic Temple – you know, those folks who regularly troll US lawmakers by insisting on Satanic invocations in legislatures and giant statues of Baphomet with kids next to Ten Commandments monuments on public property – the Satanic Temple is suingSabrina. Why? Well, apparently, the witches are really bad guys in the new series, and they have a statue of Baphomet prominently displayed in their building… and not just any statue of Baphomet: a rip-off of the Satanic Temple’s design. And using a statue’s image without permission can lead to heavy fines, as actually happened when the US Postal Service lost a case because they didn’t have the right to freely use an image of… (I shit you not, and the Satanic Temple pointed out this irony themselves)… this Statue of Liberty. Is this a smart lawsuit? Or has the Satanic Temple just Streisanded Sabrina?

  • [] We Thought We Knew Faith, Until We Didn’t

    I had intended not to write anything further about Faith Goldy, figuring that her ridiculous mayoral run had failed and now it would be best if she were just allowed to fade back into obscurity. But I just couldn’t ignore this piece. It is absolutely incredible. It is a deep dive into the psychology that drives one to extremism, and the contradictions one has to balance to exist there.

  • [] Canadian Forces suspend soldiers behind white supremacist web store

    Amazing. After shrugging off the problem repeatedly, it’s amazing how fast the Forces can get things done once there’s a media spotlight on them.

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