Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[In this comic, and man is praying: “Dear Jesus, please help me.” A voice from above answers: “Sorry, Jesus is doing volunteer work for an NGO in Africa. This is regular God.” The man says: “Oh… wow. Jeez, you know I’d be willing to wait for Jesus.” God replies: “Nah, I got this.”]

A moment later he admits this prayer was a booty call, and then things get awkward… sexy awkward.

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

    It seems Christians should be thankful that their prayers don’t get answered.

  • [] The Enlightenment was not the age of reason — here’s why

    The Enlightenment is mythologized and romanticized by many nonbelievers, and the difference between the myth and the reality is often startling. What those “facts don’t care about your feelings” assholes don’t get is there was really never a time when there was elevating reason over emotion was a popular idea, let alone abolishing emotion from thought or discourse. Feelings are facts, and facts depend as much on emotion as on empiricism – the very idea that you can completely empiricism from emotion is nonsense.

  • [] Ontario PC Party passes resolution to debate recognition of gender identity

    This was the other big bozo eruption coming out of the Ontario PC convention. It looks like this was a coup by the more radical (read that as: crazy) factions to pull the party even harder right. Since this happened, Doug Ford has come out and called the motion done, but that’s bullshit of course; this is far from “done”. Also bullshit is the talking point that this is non-binding; they’re just playing a shell game with technicalities there. In fact, while the motion is non-binding… on government policy… it does put the issue on the agenda for the next PC convention, where it could be voted into policy. And the bozos have shown with this motion that they can get shit voted in. Ford’s hinted he’s going to do everything to keep this nonsense buried in the party fringes, but we’ll see how much he can accomplish on that front. One thing about this whole mess that’s really amusing is the timing: this brain-dead motion was passed in the same week scientists went on a blitzkrieg in the popular media to make it absolutely clear that gender theory is very much science, and denying the existence of transgender or non-binary identities is unscientific.

  • [] Anti-Abortion Activists Want Doug Ford To Use Notwithstanding Clause On Sex Ed

    So the Ontario PC convention turned out to be one bozo eruption after another. The shaky coalition of batshit bigots and religious regressives that form the Conservatives’ base and put them in power predictably decided to exercise their hold over the party. This anti-abortion effort probably isn’t going to have any real impact, but it says a lot about how power much the party’s bozo base thinks they have over the leadership. Also, just take a look at the list of things they don’t want taught to kids. These people rely on ignorance, and want to perpetuate it, and the Ford government is helping that goal.

  • [] “Quebec Solidaire divided over question of religious symbols in public service”(Audio: 11:16)

    The summary is that Québec solidaire’s current position on religious accessories is that everyone should be allowed to wear them everywhere except people in positions of coercive power (judges, police officers, etc.), but they’re considering dropping that exception. The interview is worth a listen, because it gives some interesting insight into how the current policy came to be, and why it’s being reconsidered.

  • [] Neo-Nazis Are Organizing Secretive Paramilitary Training Across America

    This article could have been a perfect parody in The Beaverton, if this weren’t 2018. Instead, it’s deadly serious. The focus is on the US, but Mack Lamoureux is a Canadian journalist, and we’ve seen several items in recent Updates about the Canadian side of the modern Nazi movement, so don’t doubt for a second that this is very much a Canadian problem too. (Also, while they only talk about Nazis joining the US military to get their training, we’ve seen several Canadian Forces people implicated in the movement.) It all seems almost too ridiculous to be true, right down to the fact that they’re calling themselves “The Base” – which is the English translation of al-Qaeda. But again, there have already been killings associated with these people.

  • [] Study: It only takes a few seconds for bots to spread misinformation

    This article actually describes the data from a couple of studies, and there are a lot of really interesting numbers in there. But there are even more interesting implications when you combine the data from both studies. While bullshit travels six times faster than truth, it turns out that’s not due to the bots. The bots amplify truth and lies equally well – what makes bullshit fly faster is the human factor.

  • [] Rural Alberta leaders criticize NDP ministers, policies as attacking Christian faith

    So what is it that Alberta’s NDP ministers are doing that is attacking Christian faith? The answer: requiring schools to allow gay-straight alliances – student groups where queer people and allies can get together and discuss issues of concern. Yup, requiring schools which take public money to let students that are marginalized, harassed, and threatened to get together safely… is attacking Christianity. Not just that! Requiring that schools let these kids feel safe is such a vicious “attack” on Christianity, it literally scares these people.

  • [] Canada Can’t Put Proud Boys On Extremist List Because It Doesn’t Have One

    So the Proud Boys have had a hell of a week. For those who don’t know, the Proud Boys is an extremist misogynist group that peddles the kind of anti-feminist bullshit you’re sure to run into if you dig too deeply into popular YouTube atheists. Gavin McInnes, its founder, tried to distance the group from the racism of the alt-right, but the ties were always still pretty obvious, and the group was always big on violence – imagine if Fight Club were run by Thunderf00t. Well, now after some widely publicized acts of violence directly linked to the group – not to be confused with the many, many other acts of violence only indirectly linked to them and their philosophy – the FBI has classified the Proud Boys as an extremist group. McInnes responded by dropping the group like it was a hot potato, saying he isn’t affiliated and never really was. (I’ve seen quite a bit of speculation that McInnes’s rapid and frantic efforts to distance himself are about protecting his US citizenship process.) Following all this, someone asked the quite logical question: Will the Proud Boys be listed as an extremist group in Canada, too? And as it turns out, the answer is pitch-perfect unsatisfyingly Canadian.

  • [] Faith in the Public Square? A comprehensive study of the segments of Canadian society

    Angus Reid, as is their way, is trying so hard to spin this survey into evidence that Canadians just loooove religion so much. But the reality, as usual, is that’s not what the data actually shows. Indeed, what the survey seems to be tapping into is not any particular love for religion (as evidenced by the very lukewarm responses “how much influence” religious groups should have, whether they “strengthen Canadian values”, and their “overall contribution”), but rather a love for diversity, multiculturalism, and progressive values (as evidenced by the enthusiastic responses to the questions about freedom of religion making Canada better, and it being a “definite plus” to have diversity). That jibes with what we’ve seen in previous surveys: Canadians, broadly, don’t hate religion, and they don’t mind its presence in the public sphere. They are wary of it overstepping its bounds, though, and of its social benefits and relation to Canadian values.

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