And now, a word from our sponsors…

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

In the work at Canadian Atheist, we have a series of “Links,” “Podcasts,” and “Organizations.” These, as far as I can discern, amount to associates – wonderful ones – of Canadian Atheist, who may not be known by some of the national freethought community. They’re listed along the left side of the website as resources to check out, so please do! We love them very much. But who runs them? What are they? Let’s learn some more about them, in order from top left to bottom left:

In the Links section, Godless Mom (Twitter) is a secular mom and funny commentator, Courtney Heard, who parents without God or gods. More recent writings can be found at Patheos. She states, “I am a well-traveled, well-read extreme left atheist mother, wife and writer. I have a little dude about 5, a stepdaughter about 11, a rescue pup about 13 and a husband who likes to play the drums. I was not born and raised anything in particular.” (Biography may be out of date.) Godless Mom has a number of talents to boot, including hand painting portraits of famous nonbelievers, and designing and selling t-shirts. There is a YouTube Channel, and valuable social commentary contributions on serious subject matter, e.g., prisons and inmates. And what would Godless Mom be, as a godless mom, without an Ask Mommy series? She runs a podcast, Common Heathens, with Mr. Oz Atheist, Donovan. If you want to contact Godless Mom, she says, “If you want to yell at me, send me death threats, try to convert me or just cheer me on, you can email me at mommy@godlessmom.com” (Before sending emails, see the FAQ.) Godless Mom is for hire and offers advertising space, and accepts qualified guest bloggers. Also, buy her a coffee!

Another entertaining and intelligent secular woman commentator, ‘Eiynah Mohammed-Smith,’ founded Nice Mangoes (Facebook and Twitter) who is Pakistani-Canadian and a former Muslim and freethinker with a focus on politics, religion, and sexuality in South Asia (emphasis on Pakistan in particular). She is working on a large number of interesting projects requiring a wide range interests, talents, and skills, including “creating [a] Podcast, Illustrations, Art, Children’s Books, Blogs, Articles.” Eiynah runs a SoundCloud program called Polite Conversations with Eiynah with the wondrously entertaining and direct tagline, “Polite As Fu@k.” She wrote the children’s book My Chacha (Uncle) is Gay. An IndieGoGo campaign helped fund the children’s book. Her work has been featured in Pakistan Today too. She accepts story submissions for consideration, nicemangosDOTblogATgmailDOTcom, and can be supported through Patreon (do it!).

Sandwalk was founded by Laurence A. Moran, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. Moran named Sandwalk because this was the name of “the path behind the home of Charles Darwin where he used to walk every day, thinking about science.” Moran is a longterm skeptical biochemist with a rich story of information and narratives, and research commentary, on the website. He authored or co-authored Principles of Biochemistry 5ht Edition, Principles of Biochemistry: International Edition, and Biochemistry 2nd Ed. (1994). He has a series of awesome quotes on the site, too, including one from Darwin as follows, “The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me to be so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man. There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows.” William Paley, an English Clergyman, wrote Natural Theology or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity (1802) with argument for a divine watchmaker for the creation of life. This may have been peak creationism before the countervailing winds of evolution via natural selection rocked the boat with On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life from 1859.

In the Podcasts section, Brainstorm Podcast (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) works within the values of compassion, reason, and skepticism. It opens with a quote by Mark Twain on the front of the website, saying, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Twain was a humorist, journalist, and novelist – and funny. They describe the purpose of the Brainstorm Podcast as “spread critical thinking, skepticism towards fringe ideas, acceptance of scientific consensus, and fact based information. Over the years it has grown into multiple shows covering a broad range of topics and a conference that brings speakers from across the spectrum of skeptical activism to Saskatchewan.” There are some sub-shows or series within the main YouTube channel entitled Hardcore Skeptic Examines and The Skeptic Studio. You can find more content in Skeptic Voices, Positively Skeptical, The Brainstorm Rectable, and Shift to Reason Radio. They have discussion group, a blog, memes and pics, a Discord server, a Libsyn listing of their episodes or on Spreaker. You can support them at Patreon by buying their merch!

Left at the Valley (Facebook and Twitter) is a Fraser Valley, British Columbia podcast. They state, “We are just regular (outspoken, opinionated, brash) Fraser Valley residents who wanted to offer news, profiles, and opinions that are outside the (corporate owned) mainstream media. We like to showcase other (awesome and not well-enough renowned) people who are making things better in our little slice of the world with their innovative ideas and actions.” You can find their most recent episodes on BlogTalkRadio. Archives are here. They were kind enough to host a series of other resources for other freethought people on the website. Also, they have a wonderful set of photos with some famous freethought people – lecture and speaker circuit secular folk – on the website too. On the main website, they have a wonderful series of books for discussion, and have published survey data about the listeners. They can be contacted via email at leftatvalley@outlook.com or in their contact form.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else (Facebook) “is a monthly show that delves into issues of science, critical thinking, and secular humanism.” They function through or out of Winnipeg Skeptics. Their two main producers are Ashlyn Noble and Gem Newman. The musical director is Ian James with regular panelists being Lauren Bailey and Laura Creek Newman. They are on Stitcher. They have had a wide variety guests and have produced a staggering 100+ episodes. They can be financially supported here, or here. They can be contacted via email: lueepodcast@winnipegskeptics.com and can be followed via the Winnipeg Skeptics newsletter. Their archives and area for Apple reviews are here.

The Reality Check (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram) is an extremely productive podcast with over 500 episodes: “a weekly Canadian show that explores a wide range of controversies and curiosities by probing popular myths and exposing the surprising truth behind them.” It is hosted and run by Darren “crash from Krypton” McKee, Adam “fighting evil by moonlight” Gardner, Cristina “JUNO and Platinum award winning music publicist” Roach, and “the engine that keeps TRC going” Producer Pat.  It has had millions of downloads and “has been featured on CBC RadioCFRA Radio and Guru Magazine.” You can donate or financially support them here, or on Patreon. They can be contacted via email info@trcpodcast.com or in their contact form.

In the Organizations section, Bad Science Watch (Facebook and Twitter) “is an independent non-profit consumer protection watchdog and science advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians by countering bad science.” They have been featured in the media and have a decent news section on the website. They’ve done a great job with building an advisory council, volunteer staff, a board of directors, and having an FAQ and Mission Statement. They have really good in working on a number of projects in the current period, NHP Monograph Consultations and The Marketing of Natural Health Products in Canada, and in the past, including Vanessa’s Law, Bill C-17, Ongoing Efforts Against EMF Pseudoscience, Investigation of Anti-WiFi Activism in Canada, and De-Registration of Homeopathic Nosodes. Bad Science Watch can be funded here. You can take action or volunteer skills for Bad Science Watch. They have a wide variety of needs at the moment, too. They can be contacted via email info@badsciencewatch.ca or in their contact form.

British Columbia Humanist Association (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and MeetUp) “has been providing a community and voice for Humanists, atheists, agnostics, and the non-religious of Metro Vancouver and British Columbia since 1982. We support the growth of Humanist communities across BC, provide Humanist ceremonies, and campaign for progressive and secular values.” It was originally formulated in one guise or another in the 1950s. It is among the most active and involved humanist groups in the country. With a staff and a board, and honorary members, they do a lot of great work. They have, systematically, put forth issues of concern, which makes their activities that much more coherent and effective. Their campaigns include medical assistance in dying, awareness of humanism, ending prayers in the legislature, freedom of expression, human rights, humanist action, humanist marriages, property tax exemptions, reproductive freedom, science, secularism, secular addictions recovery, and secular public schools. Not only a wide variety of campaigns, but a wide range of places for outreach, e.g., Comox Valley Humanists, Kelowna Atheists, Humanists & Skeptics Association, Langley-Maple Ridge Humanists, Sunshine Coast Secular Humanist Association, Vancouver Humanists, and Victoria Secular Humanist Association, as well as extensions with the Queer Humanist Alliance and Humanist Action. They have the BC Humanist Association Officiant Program, an Officiants listing, and a Humanist Chaplain listing too. For more information on their activities, please see their Latest, News, or Blog sections, or tune into their podcast, or read any of their books, member stories, reports, or submissions. They can be reached via email at info@bchumanist.ca, or contact Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, at exdir@bchumanist.ca. They have a members site, and accept donations (join here) and volunteers.

Dying With Dignity Canada (Facebook and Twitter) “is the national human-rights charity committed to improving quality of dying, protecting end-of-life rights, and helping Canadians avoid unwanted suffering.” It deals with one of the most profound topics of human life – its end. They are transparent with their annual reports and financial reports. They have a wonderful resource about how to find help at appropriate times. Dying With Dignity Canada has another great educational resource for interested individuals. Also, they focus on a wide variety of issues salient to those who consider the representation important. They have an patrons council, a board of directors, a clinicians advisory council, a disability advisory council, a first person witness council, and a staff. For those with an interested in keeping up to date with the activities, stories, and the like, of Dying With Dignity Canada, please make sure to read their blog or the newsletter, even attend a local event. For more information, email support@dyingwithdignity.ca. You can become involved through a chapter, an advisory council, or volunteering, even share your story.

Canadian Secular Alliance (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) “is a non-profit, public policy research and advocacy organization advancing church-state separation and the neutrality of government in matters of religion. We seek to represent all Canadians, religious and non-religious alike, who believe that the Canadian government should adopt public policies consistent with a secular state.” It is run by Bob Lent, Glen MacDonald, Greg Oliver, and Justin Trottier. They have a production of videos through Think Again! TV. They have a number of ways in which the public can become involved. You can donate to them. If you have some questions, please see the FAQ. They have a number of friends of the alliance. They have a number of policy positions and public statements too. Or if you want to become informed on relevant activities, you can see the news section, media section, or the events section. They can be contacted via email at info@secularalliance.ca.

Centre for Inquiry Canada (Twitter) “fosters a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. We do this through the application of critical thinking skills; promotion of good science; adoption of secular decision making and through building communities of like minded people. CFIC is a national, volunteer led, charitable organization with several local branches across the country.” They have a well-qualified board of directors. They are a strong advocate of critical thinking and scientific skepticism as seen in their “Is It Science?” campaign. They support secularism. They have an impact. They have an Election Campaign. They have another campaign for removing ideology from the 2019 election. You can become a member. You can volunteer, as it is a volunteer organization. You can donate, whether PayPal or Canada Helps. They are working to build community. They have done this with a number of Centre for Inquiry Canada branches. For more complete of an idea about the long-term strategic plans of Centre for Inquiry Canada, please see the Strategic Plan and the newsletter entitled Critical Links. Also, as is relatively normal practice, you can find more resources in the Partners and Allies portion of the page.

Kelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association “is a non-partisan body that seeks to foster a secular community guided by reason, science, freedom of inquiry and humanistic values. We are a community of freethinking people who put on events, workshops, conferences and work to promote critical thinking and evidence based reasoning in Kelowna and in the Okanagan for greater community and cooperation.” Even as a small and local organization, they have a full board of directors and support. They do something not normally, but happily, done, which is feature members and indicate the diverse nature of the nonbelievers. They have been part of picnics, the pride parade, a skeptic café, and more. They have a number of great programs including Critical Thinking Parents’ Group, Secular Humanist Thinkers Café, Skeptics in the Pub, and Living Without Religion Discussion Group. They do not necessarily endorse but list local charities, national & international charities, and environmental charities. Their education section (including defining skepticism), useful learning links, secular, humanist and freethought links, and video resources are good. They are part of the provincial call for the secularization of British Columbia. They have further involvement of the membership, as a great idea, with the reflections page. For more information, please see here, the science news page, the current news page. Events listed here. Also, check out their Winter Solstice Tree and sign up or even for their newsletter (or both)! You can join them here (another link). They can be contacted through their contact form.

Canadian Atheist Associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular AllianceCentre for Inquiry CanadaKelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association.

Other National/Local Resources: Association humaniste du QuébecAtheist FreethinkersCentral Ontario Humanist AssociationComox Valley HumanistsGrey Bruce HumanistsHalton-Peel Humanist CommunityHamilton HumanistsHumanist Association of LondonHumanist Association of OttawaHumanist Association of TorontoHumanists, Atheists and Agnostics of ManitobaOntario Humanist SocietySecular Connextions SeculaireSecular Humanists in CalgarySociety of Free Thinkers (Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph)Thunder Bay HumanistsToronto OasisVictoria Secular Humanist Association.

Other International/Outside Canada Resources: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an AgnostikerAmerican Atheists,American Humanist AssociationAssociação Brasileira de Ateus e AgnósticoséééBrazilian Association of Atheists and AgnosticsAtheist Alliance InternationalAtheist Alliance of AmericaAtheist CentreAtheist Foundation of AustraliaThe Brights MovementCenter for Inquiry (including Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), Atheist IrelandCamp Quest, Inc.Council for Secular HumanismDe Vrije GedachteEuropean Humanist FederationFederation of Indian Rationalist AssociationsFoundation Beyond BeliefFreedom From Religion FoundationHumanist Association of IrelandHumanist InternationalHumanist Association of GermanyHumanist Association of IrelandHumanist Society of ScotlandHumanists UKHumanisterna/Humanists SwedenInternet InfidelsInternational League of Non-Religious and AtheistsJames Randi Educational FoundationLeague of Militant AtheistsMilitary Association of Atheists and FreethinkersNational Secular SocietyRationalist InternationalRecovering From ReligionReligion News ServiceSecular Coalition for AmericaSecular Student AllianceThe Clergy ProjectThe Rational Response SquadThe Satanic TempleThe Sunday AssemblyUnited Coalition of ReasonUnion of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.

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