Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .
 3 “symptoms” of atheism, as described by a Christian minister
Let’s start this week’s Update with some comedy! (Note: The comedy isn’t the item, but rather the essay the item is about. The item actually does a good job, after indulging in some tounge-in-cheek fun, of seriously analyzing why such essays are a symptom of serious underlying issues.)
 An evangelical missionary has access to the locations of Brazil’s uncontacted tribes
On a surface level, this technically doesn’t really involve Canada. But this is a scandal that should attract international interest. Just a couple years ago, we had the case of John Allen Chau, who was killed by the Sentinelese after he ignored their threats – and international law – and tried to evangelize Christianity to them. What Brazil’s far-right government is trying to do now would make Chau’s behaviour “normal”, and very likely lead to the genocide of the majority of the world’s remaining uncontacted peoples. All because some assholes think they really need Jesus.
 Former students win class-action against Grenville Christian College
This is the “holy shit story” of the week. I admit I’m not really up on this story, since it broke before I joined Canadian Atheist (actually, it broke before Canadian Atheist existed). The ruling isn’t posted at CanLII yet, but the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case have posted a scanned version on their site. And what it reveals is horrifying. I thought I went to a terrible, regressive school, but Grenville Christian College was an absolute nightmare. Check out this list of punishments for alleged “sins”: being publicly shamed, forced to gain weight (presumably for looking too attractive), gruelling chores and physical activities (like swimming laps until exhaustion), slapped in the face, water thrown at them…. And now do you want to hear the really insane part? Those punishments I just listed? Those were just the ones inflicted on the teachers (and I didn’t even include having their kids taken away from them and sent to another family). The punishments the kids endured were so much worse. Students were regularly punished, usually with public humiliation as the cherry on top, often for infractions of rules that were apparently made up on the spot. Punishments often included brutal work detail, such as scrubbing out dumpsters with toothbrushes or cutting grass with scissors. The girls were routinely called whores and sluts. Even when students did well, they were punished for being “haughty”. Children were shown the school’s furnace so they would learn to fear the fires of Hell. Students were beaten with a paddle until they were black and blue, and sometimes bleeding – more than one ran away from the school after such a beating. It goes on and on. It’s not an easy read, so, if you want to get into it, you’ve been warned.
 Divisive debate erupts in Red Deer city council chambers over conversion therapy
It’s amazing how often people try to cover up their bigotry by feigning concern about free speech. It’s usually pretty transparent that their “concerns” are just a ploy. That’s especially true when there’s literally no relationship whatsoever between the thing they’re avoiding condemning, and the thing they’re feigning “concern” about. Like this case, for example, where councillors were “concerned” that a symbolic motion condemning conversion therapy would somehow impact the ability of religious leaders to spout homophobic opinions, as if some priest merely spoutin’ off about gay people is what conversion therapy is.
 Morley residential school survivor says rebuilding controversial church will revive pain
Valentina Fox actually has a brilliant idea here. We should take all former residential school properties from the perpetrators of the atrocities that were committed there… and hand them over to the victims. Let them do with them as they please – whether it be turning them into memorials or museums, or repurposing them for something new and positive. I am under no illusion that anything like this would ever happen, though; Canada doesn’t give land to indigenous peoples – that’s just not how we roll.
 ‘We’re called terrorists:’ HWDSB anti-bullying session hears from Muslim community
We have a very serious islamophobia problem in Canada, and what was revealed at this particular anti-bullying discussion session is only a small symptom of it. Naturally there are idiots who see a news story about kids saying they were bullied for being Muslim, and dismissing it by ignoring the larger context, and focusing on specific insults (like “smelly”; I lost count of how many dumbasses pooh-poohed the kids complaints away because one of them – who was probably 8 or 9 years old – mentioned that one of the ways she was bullied was by being told she was “smelly”… all while completely ignoring the many other reports of actual, physical assault). But there is a larger context here, and it is something we need to take very seriously. And even if you don’t give a fuck about the Muslim kids suffering – which would make you a complete piece of shit, but there seem to be plenty like that – this is still something you should be very seriously concerned about, and I can point to a quote in the article that explains why:
One child said what he learned to do, because no one was responding, was he hit back. And when he hit back, the kids stopped bullying him, which is sad … that’s the only answer they have that works.They talk about cycles of violence for a reason: if you don’t stop violence, it becomes more violence… and eventually it will become violence against you, or people you actually do give a fuck about.
 Nine out of 10 people found to be biased against women
I mean, nobody should really be surprised by this. Canada rolls in at #9 on the list of least mysogynist countries (those with the fewest people with at least one type of misogynist bias)… but that’s with more than half of the population holding at least one bias. Unfortunately Canada wasn’t included in the “trends” data, so we don’t know if or how much we’re improving. But apparently no country in the world is on track for gender equality by 2030.
 Humanists International welcomes UN report on religion and gender discrimination
Like Humanists International, I am duly impressed. I didn’t exactly have low expectations for Ahmed Shaheed, but still, he’s taken a pretty bold stand. The report hasn’t been published yet, but you can get a sneak preview if you’re interested.
 Walmart Attempts to Suppress Consumer Protection Lawsuit by Stoking Prejudice Against Secular Humanists
This is in the US, but Walmart is very much a thing in Canada too… and so is homeopathic bullshit.
 “Lent” by Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)
I love it when bullshit religious “logic” is turned back on itself. Also, don’t miss the hovertext!
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