Weekly Update: to

by | August 31, 2019

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] A new poll shows what really interests ‘pro-lifers’: controlling women

    This is a really cool study. All they did was poll people on feminist issues – like “are men better leaders than women” or “should there be equality” – then split the respondents based on whether they’re pro- or anti-abortion… and what we’ve always known to be true emerged beautifully. We’ve always known anti-abortion advocacy is really anti-woman advocacy – we’ve always known the “pro-life” label was a joke. This article is awesome, in that it not only describes the survey, it dives into the history of the anti-abortion movement. It’s all about America, of course, but the Canadian anti-abortion movement tracks the American one almost perfectly.

  • [] Green Party telling its candidates to tread carefully on Bill 21

    There’s political cowardice, and then there’s political cowardice. A party whose leader wears a conspicuously-displayed religious symbol dodging the Québec Bill 21 debate has to be the height of political cowardice.

  • [] Alain Rayes, Scheer’s Quebec Lieutenant, Admits To Giving The Wrong Impression On Abortion

    Despite there being very little interest in the election, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer is already under fire for his duplicity on a number of topics. Last week it was his position on same sex marriage; this week it’s whether he would reopen the abortion debate. If you’re not sure about Scheer’s position on abortion, it’s simple: he’s anti-abortion. There, happy to clear that up for you. But if you’re not sure about whether Scheer would actually legislate his anti-abortion position… well, you’re not alone. His position has been as clear as mud. Not only has Scheer himself waffled on the topic, this item suggests that he’s been giving different messages to different parts of Canada. I suspect that if you were to try to parse all the conflicting messages down to the most likely common core, what you’d get is that Scheer won’t allow members of his cabinet to table any abortion bills… butbackbenchers would be allowed to – as would members of other parties, obviously – and if an abortion bill were tabled, everyone in his caucus would be allowed to “vote their conscience”. Which translates to it being more or less inevitable that if Scheer wins, there will be an anti-abortion bill or three tabled.

  • [] Edmonton one step closer to banning conversion therapy

    The feds showed a lack of spine on a conversion therapy ban, but a couple provinces – Manitoba and Ontario, last I checked – stepped up and banned it anyway. What’s really cool is that in those provinces that haven’t stepped up, municipalities have been taking up the slack. In Alberta, Edmonton, St. Albert, and Spruce Grove have all voted to ban conversion therapy – most of them unanimously. None of them have actually banned it yet – they still need to write the actual by-laws – but this should be a clear message to Ottawa.

  • [] “Science deniers embrace a double standard of evidence”

    Nice discussion about science denialism and the psychology of denialists.

  • [] Quebec won’t allow parents to pull their kids from class if teacher wears a religious symbol

    Well, we should have expected this would happen. Bill 21 is a bigoted law. In order to make it politically palatable, some of its bigotry was reined in: in particular, a grandfather clause was added to avoid mass firings of teachers who wear religious accessories. But of course, it’s still a bigoted law, and the bigots who wanted it, want to make the most of it. So bigots whose kids have a teacher taking advantage of the grandfather clause want to “opt out” of their kids’ teacher. It’s a stupid situation created by a stupid law.

  • [] Manitoba Army Reservist Allegedly Linked To Neo-Nazis Reported Missing

    While this story was mentioned in last week’s Update, it’s taken a dramatic turn. First, there was some scrutiny into how much the Canadian Armed Forces knew about Mathews’s association with The Base, and when, with the Forces giving conflicting answers when questioned. Turns out this may be a rare situation where nobody was technically lying – innocence by bureaucracy – because Mathews’s direct commander was apparently left out of the loop of the investigation being done by their superiors. Now it seems Mathews has gone on the run.

  • [] Twitter’s Favourite Gynecologist Blocked From Promoting Book About Vaginas

    Dr. Jen Gunter’s book, The Vagina Bible, has just been released, and it’s already having impact… hilarious impact. Her publishers found out that they were not allowed to promote the book on Twitter… because of the word “vagina”. Turns out that’s one of the verbotten naughty words on Twitter’s ad service (even though, ironically, Twitter seems to have no problem with the standard “seven dirty words”); though, in one of those absurdities that often arises with censorship, saying the book’s title was forbidden, but showing the book’s cover, with the word displayed in large, clear letters, is fine. As Gunter and several others pointed out, “vagina” is not a dirty word – it’s not a slur, it’s not slang, it’s literally a medical term. Who is offended by it? And as yet others have wryly noted, Twitter censors the word “vagina”… yet allows white supremacists to use their service – this same week they actually reversed the ban on two major white supremacists and apologized to them.

  • [] Here’s a surprising solution to the problem of empty churches

    The “surprising solution” the clickbait title is teasing is simply using churches to host other religions’ services. The ardent atheist in me rolls their eyes and groans: repurposing empty churches for other religious services doesn’t seem like it’s “fixing” anything, not least because all religions have declining membership, so this is less a solution than a stay of execution. I find the idea less objectionable when I step back and look at the bigger picture. Because the paired problems being addressed here are that 1) there are these huge, empty spaces in prime locations that no longer have as much use as they used to, and 2) there are groups in the community that need spaces where they can meet and carry out their operations. That some of those groups happen to be other religions… meh, irrelevant. But I think it’s a good thing if the people who own these churches are willing to open them up to groups that are quite openly in contradiction to the venue’s original religious principles. Put another way, if a Christian church is willing to allow Islamic or Buddhist groups to hold services… then why couldn’t an atheist group hold meetups there? It’s a better venue than a pub (because it doesn’t exclude minors or people who can’t go to pubs for various reasons, like recovering alcoholics), and it’s a little cheeky.

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