Weekly Update: to

by | August 17, 2019

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] Canada’s marginal ‘Christian right’

    This was the big article this past week, as far as dialogue within the Canadian “atheosphere” goes. Canadian atheists have long intuitively known that our “Canadian religious right” is nowhere near as rabid or radical (or effective) as the corresponding American flavour. But we’ve also known they do exist, and they do try to flex their political muscle, and sometimes they succeed. Personally, I’m inclined to agree with Malloy’s assessment: the Canadian religious right is really only marginally influential, and their campaigns usually have a somewhat quixotic feel to them (and usually fail, though they always try to spin it as a win)… which is not to say we shouldn’t still stand up to them whenever they try to influence public policy in a regressive direction. Do you agree?

  • [] Montreal Pride says increase in hateful online comments a result of far-right discourse

    I’ve seen similar comments by the organizers of other Pride events this year. It really does seem to be true that recent politics have emboldened the bigots. While there doesn’t seem to be a corresponding rise in homophobic incidents to match the worsening rhetoric yet, history suggests that is inevitable if we don’t do something to stop the tide early.

  • [] When it comes to climate action, the public is ahead of our politics: Analysis of national climate poll

    If this week’s Update has a theme, it’s that the average Canadian is way ahead of our politicians and political dialogue when it comes to rational and progressive thinking. Another item this week talks about how the average Canadian evangelical – not to mention Christian – has no real interest in the regressive bullshit of the more American-style, politically-active Canadian religious right. Here we have evidence showing that the average Canadian’s position on climate change policy is years – possibly decades – ahead of what we’re seeing in Ottawa or any provincial government. There’s actually a lot of data in this poll, and it’s available and illustrated graphically for those who are interested.

  • [] “And occasionally, some devotion.” by Jessica Hagy (Indexed)

    Also, occasionally an inordinately intense interest in someone getting nailed.

  • [] Canadians Call for Holistic Approach to Deal with Drug Use

    Following this week’s theme of the public being way ahead of the politics….

  • [] The myth of Eurabia: how a far-right conspiracy theory went mainstream

    This is an absolutely fascinating article; well-researched and well-argued. While the focus is on Europe, you can clearly see the Canadian connections. Indeed, the international scope of the “Eurabia” myth and its fallout is astounding. There’s so much in this piece that struck me: the fluidity of the identity of the scapegoats used by the bigots (Jensen’s switch from blaming feminists to Muslims), the blatant and open racism of the AfD campaign (here in Canada, political racism is done more subtly, via dog whistles), the obviously hollow denials of the purveyors of the theory that those who killed in its name were their responsibility…. What I also found eyebrow-raising was the point made in the penultimate paragraph about how the myth has far outgrown its sources: I hear this conspiracy theory stupidity about the demographic threat of Muslims all the damn time from Canadian islamophobes, arguing for everything from the “threat” of M-103 to the need for Québec’s Bill 21.

  • [] Imagine Canada’s response if the B.C. murder suspects were Muslims

    I’ve heard this sentiment expressed often, not just for this particular incident, but just about every time a non-Muslim carries out an act of horrific act of mass violence… which is basically every time an act of horrific act of mass violence happens these days. Rarely have I seen it carried through to such depth. I was unaware of the issues with the burial of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, for example – I had no idea that Canadian Muslims were so terrified of being even peripherally associated with terrorism that they’d even refuse to bury someone. I guarantee you there is no Christian church in Canada that would refuse to bury Alexandre Bissonnette or Alex Minassian – or McLeod or Schmegelsky, for that matter – certainly not out of fear of being associated with their hateful beliefs. We really need to rethink our notions of “terrorism” and “extremism” in Canada, and the way we talk about violent extremists… and it’s our security forces that most urgently need to do this rethinking.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Update: to

  1. Ian Bushfield

    That first article (Canada’s marginal ‘Christian right’) really bugged me. Parts of it I fully agree with and are hard to argue with – the Christian right in Canada is objectively smaller and less influential than in the USA. However, this falls into the all-too-Canadian trap of always comparing ourselves to the USA and not taking a broader comparison.

    The other big issue is it downplays the role of fundamentalist Christianity in the Harper era because he happened to realize that legislating on abortion (domestically) was politically toxic. What he did do was implement severe restrictions on our foreign funding of maternal health if that possibly included abortions. It also meant a renewed Israel-or-bust approach to foreign policy that destroyed nuance because of the Christian Zionist fringe of the evangelical movement in Canada.

    Next, the article is entirely silent on the connection between shallow evangelical Christianity (ie it’s more of an identity than a deep and intellectual faith) and white supremacy. In the States this is really evident in the support of evangelicals for Trump, despite the fact that he’s a piss-poor Christian by almost any definition. What drives the connection is that both support a superficial white-Christian supremacist state. There’s a lot to be written about that same motivation in Canada.

    It’s also entirely silent on how Evangelicals in Canada have made common-cause with other conservative religious people, notably Catholics and Hindus. In both cases, while there are many moderate and even liberal-minded believers in both groups (Justin Trudeau is a Catholic, for example), there is a subset who share traditional views on gender and family roles. This is what helped take the anti-sex ed fight in Ontario from a fringe evangelical issue through a number of communities.

    And finally, while most of the claims made in the article are backed up by sources (which we could debate), this line was not:

    Few would support “dominionist” ideas of imposing a theological state.

    This really seems like a “I don’t want to believe it” rather than a “we know this isn’t true.”

    1. Tim Underwood

      “Israel-or-bust” Ha!
      I hope the positive legacy of Donald Trump’s mission is a sustained embarrassment experienced by the evangelical delusionals working in the American Jesus Industry. Their children will grow to disrespect them and when they will look in the mirror they will wonder how they ever got to be so stupid.


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