Weekly Update: to

by | July 20, 2019

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] Humanists International calls attention to global rise of populist nationalism and minority-blaming

    I find it interesting what Humanists International chose to call out as the causes of the politics of division. Social inequality being a cause is a given, and lack of respect for human rights and global solidarity are both pretty obvious – you can see plenty of evidence of those when you talk to someone who supports populist demagoguery. The one I think is most interesting is “popular misconceptions about the nature of democracy”. Yeah, definitely – bigots really buy into the “might makes right” mob rule thing, and they rarely give it any deeper thought to realize how horrifically it can backfire.

  • [] Defence makes PTSD argument in fraud sentencing of priest

    Oof, this is a terrible story, on every level. A priest gambling away almost a million dollars of donated money… that’s bad. Where this goes from bad to abso-fucking-lutely nightmarish is that the money was supposed to be used to help refugees fleeing Iraq and Syria. To really hammer down how bad that is: once they figured out the fraud and tried to track down the people the money was supposed to help… they just couldn’t find some of them. They might even be dead. All that would be bad enough, but now the fucking creep who gambled all the money away is trying to use them as a defence.

  • [] Desire for Abortion Debate is Higher in the U.S. than in Canada

    I mean, it’s no surprise that Canada is less interested in reopening the abortion “debate” than the US, but these numbers are impressive nonetheless.

  • [] Anglican Church rejects same-sex marriage approvals in vote

    This week was a terrible week for the Anglican Church of Canada. First, the story of the item: after the laity and clergy of the ACC both voted more than 2⁄3 (80+% and 70+% respectively) to approve of same-sex marriages (I know, it’s 2019, but better late than never), the whole thing was shot down by the bishops, who only voted 62% in favour (they needed 2⁄3). I’ve seen estimates that only 14 assholes blocked it for the entire church and its 1.6 million Canadian members. As you can imagine, there was a massive outcry – some dioceses have been performing same-sex marriages since as early as 2002, and there was a boom in 2016 after the first round vote passed in favour. Everyone just assumed this would happen, and then 14 fucking assholes said “no”. The story doesn’t quite end there, though. Realizing they done fucked up, the bishops quickly issued a statement that gave official approval to dioceses deciding on their own to perform same-sex marriages… which, again, has been the status quo since at least 2002. But at least now it’s officially recognized.

  • [] Does the Oct. 21 federal election date trample on Orthodox Jewish rights? It’s now in a judge’s hands

    This story drew considerable outrage on social media, and I’m baffled as to why. Why the fixed date of elections such a big deal? Why can’t it be the fourth Monday in October rather than the third? Is this really something we need to be freaking out over and ranting about “bronze-age fantasies” and how religion ruins everything? If we can move the fixed date a week or two forward or back to make it easier for more people to vote… why the fuck not? Who even cares what the reasons are for wanting the date moved forward or back – if it can be done without undue burden, then why the fuck not? And if it can’t be done without undue burden (which, really? I mean… really?) then fine, it won’t be done. In either case, I don’t see the reason for the outrage.

  • [] The Guardian Paves The Way For Canadian Media To Be More Blunt About The Climate Crisis

    This is a pretty interesting shift. Not long ago, The Guardian decided to start using less wishy-washy (and more technically correct) terminology – they’re not using “climate change” anymore, they’re using “climate emergency, crisis, or breakdown”, and they not using “climate skeptic”, they’re using “climate (science) denier”. Interestingly, the CBC and other Canadian media have decided to follow suit. The experts cited in the item explain why the change matters, and why it’s a good thing.

  • [] Quebec’s religious symbols law passes 1st legal test as judge refuses injunction

    I’ve seen some confusion about this on social media, so let me try to clarify. No, a judge did not rule that Québec’s religious accessories ban is cool. (Quite the opposite, infact! But we’ll get to that shortly.) This ruling was only about an injunction. In plain English, hours after Bill 21 was passed, a bunch of people tried to get it put on hold pending a proper legal hearing. The request to have it put on hold failed… but the proper legal hearing is still going to happen. So the law is still in force for now, and it will probably remain in force until it gets its proper day in court. The reason the request to have it put on hold failed is because the judge ruled it wasn’t really hurting anybody… yet; there just hasn’t been enough time for it to have done any real harm thus far. Remember, the injunction request was filed hours after the bill was passed, and the students who are worried they won’t be able to get teaching jobs won’t be graduating until 2020. The bill might (and probably will) still do them harm… it just hasn’t done it yet, and until it does, there’s not enough justification to put it on hold. (Also, because the bill is protected by the notwithstanding clause, most of the usual arguments that would be enough to get an injunction couldn’t be used.) However, even while saying this, the judge noted that the bill has very serious problems. So while this ruling is a little bit a bummer, it’s not really that big a deal. The real legal test is yet to come. Also, on top of that, there’s still a (very good) possibility that the bill will do real harm to somebody – like costing them a job or something – and an injunction might be granted at that point. I can’t say much more about this ruling (because I don’t have it yet, so haven’t read it), but I’ll be looking into it.

  • [] Trudeau’s choices in the defence of Quebec’s religious symbols

    This is a really interesting piece that considers the question: Assuming that making the Québec government see reason is hopeless, what are the other alternatives for dealing with Bill 21? What, for example, can – and should – the federal government do? In reality, I don’t think things are quite that hopeless for Québec – for the CAQ, sure, forget about them, but Québécois are now facing the harsh reality of this law and what it says about them and their society… and it’s not pretty. There’s a chance they could decide to toss the CAQ in 2022, and replace them with a party that will decline to renew the notwithstanding clause… which will kill the law in an instant. But if not – if Québec really is as racist as it looks now – then at least there are other options.

  • [] Why Being An Outspoken Atheist Is The Hardest Work I’ve Ever Done

    Given the title, I was surprised at what Heard pointed to as the number one thing that makes it hard to be an atheist activist. But… I can’t really disagree. Here at Canadian Atheist, we get those kinds of messages all the time, and they are hard to read. What makes it even harder is there’s literally nothing we can do to help. CA is not an organization – we have no resources of any kind (you can look at the top right on the site to see we literally make ~27¢ a week… and that was just a test donation to make sure the system would work). I’ve even asked for help from people in the field – even just a name or organization we could direct people to… and got not a peep in response. It’s those days where you read someone’s story, and their plea for help, and all you can do is sit there and think… there’s nothing I can do to help (other than making the obvious suggestions that they’ve probably heard a million times)… those are the bad days to be an activist atheist.

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One thought on “Weekly Update: to

  1. Derek

    Sadly, pretty frequent messages from ex-muslims. It’s really the ONLY hard part of managing the facebook page…


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