Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[A cartoon depicting a man facing judgment in Hell by the Devil. The man says: “Hell?! But I was good my entire life!” The Devil replies: “Why didn’t you follow those ‘Prosperity Gospel’ preachers? The ones who make you rich for ‘catching the Holy Spirit’.” The man asks: “That works?” The Devil replies: “Sure. How do you think they all got private jets and mansions? Magic?”]
Pfft, obviously not magic; that would be silly! Clearly the sensibly answer is faith!
  • [] “Prosperity” by Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

    In fairness to the guy, it turns out that life really was a test… it just wasn’t testing what he thought it was.

  • [] Ford government defends grant to parade associated with premier’s friend

    It’s 2019, and government has become so corrupt that it’s almost impossible now to determine exactly which type of corruption we’re dealing with at any given moment. Case in point. Is this a case of cronyism between Ford and McVety? Or is this a violation of secularism? Both? Neither? Something else? Who can even tell anymore?

  • [] Jen Gunter Will Tell You the Truth About Your Vagina

    Dr. Jen Gunter was CA’s Person of the Year for last year, and every day I become more convinced of how much she deserved it. This piece serves as a very nice bio of Gunter, an introduction to her if you’re unfamiliar with her work, and a possibly superfluous third-party justification of the person of the year award. Incidentally, someone out there has to make this woman a “vaginal antichrist” T-shirt.

  • [] Elections Canada recommends keeping Oct. 21 election date

    Last week I described the challenge by Canadian Jews to change the election date because it conflicted with a major Jewish holiday… and the bizarre freak-out by Canadian atheists over the challenge. I couldn’t understand why people were so freaking outraged over a group of Canadians asking for an accommodation from the government to make things easier for them… especially when said accommodation was such a minor thing that probably didn’t harm any other group. And it all unfolded exactly as I said it would: The change turned out to be too big a hassle in too short of a time, so the request was denied. Simple as that. Maybe the fixed election date will be reconsidered in the future, maybe it won’t. In any case, it’s hardly something worthy of freaking out and jumping on Facebook to rant about “bronze age idiocy”.

  • [] Introducing the BC Queer Humanist Alliance

    This was really neat news that caught my by surprise this week. There has always been a very close bond between secularist/humanist/atheist groups and LGBTQ2S+ groups, largely because of the parallels in our struggles. It’s nice to see this relationship formalized, and strengthened via an explicit alliance. Also nice is the nature of this alliance: I like that the BCHA has opened itself up to criticism as part of the process. That takes courage—real courage—and I applaud the BCHA for so boldly demonstrating a desire to always improve.

  • [] Inventor of the gender reveal cake is very sorry

    These stories always break my heart: stories of well-meaning, ordinary people who started something only to see it completely run away from them and turn into something evil and hateful. On the other hand, they also warm my heart to see how those people have learned and grown… even if the people perpetuating their mistake haven’t. This story is particularly interesting and educational, because the subject of that first gender-reveal party… turns out to be gender-nonconforming.

  • [] Taxi company fires driver behind alleged anti-Semitic assault

    For a long time the narrative of atheist activism has been built around the idea that atheists were one of the most hated groups in Canada. For a long time, that narrative was the reality, with data to back it up. But they times they are a-changin’. Today, it’s minority religious groups that are the primary targets of hate, and—and this the most troubling part of it—atheism and related ideologies (such as secularism) are often leveraged as justification for this hate. Scenes like the one described in this item are becoming more common, and the perpetrators are increasingly likely to use “secularism”—albeit a tortuously mangled version thereof—both as the explanation, and as the weapon in the attack. While it’s true that none of this nasty stuff is directly tied to any actual atheist activism—it’s mostly just ignorant assholes parroting shit they heard equally ignorant politicians or media personalities say—it’s only a matter of time before people start imagining the connection. We need to do more to defy this trend.

  • [] Almost Two Thirds of Canadians OK with Same-Sex Marriage

    The legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada is a fascinating study in the relationship between government policy and public attitudes. Legalization came about because the issue was forced by the provinces and the courts; in 2005 the people were, at best, ambivalent—support and opposition were statistically tied at ~40%. But after the law was passed, and—despite the ravings of conservatives, the sky didn’t fall—Canadians’ attitudes shifted radically. Just one year after legalization, almost 2⁄3 of Canadians were happy with it. And ten years later, polls were routinely showing 3⁄4 in support. This poll raises my eyebrow, because it shows less than 2⁄3 support, and I wonder why it’s so low. It may be because it offers three options: legal marriage (the status quo), civil unions, and “just no”. Or it may be yet another sign of the current social backlash—the “rise of the far right”. I’d like to see more data.

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