Weekly Update: to

by | March 21, 2020

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[Chart showing the percentage of US adults who say that someone is the first person who comes to mind when you think of a religion, based on a Pew Research Center survey. For Buddhism: Buddha (55%), Dalai Lama (7%), Mahatma Ghandi (3%), family/friends/acquaintance (2%), net “other” (6%), net no-one/don’t know/refused (28%). For Catholicism: Pope (47%), Jesus (12%), family/friends/acquaintances/self (6%), Virgin Mary (5%), net “other” (16%), net no-one/don’t know/refused (13%). For Islam: Muhammad (26%), God/gods (8%), Osama bin Laden (5%), Muhammad Ali (4%), net “other” (20%), net no-one/don’t know/refused (37%). For Judaism: Jesus (21%), Moses (13%), Abraham (8%), family/friends/acquaintances/self (5%), net “other” (25%), net no-one/don’t know/refused (28%). For Evangelical Protestantism: Billy Graham (21%), Martin Luther (5%), Jesus (5%), family/friends/acquaintances (2%), net “other” (21%), net no-one/don’t know/refused (46%). For atheism: family/friends/acquaintances/self (10%), Satan (6%), Richard Dawkins (4%), Madalyn Murray O’Hair (4%), net “other” (26%), net no-one/don’t know/ refused (51%).]
Other names that came up for atheism include Barack Obama (?) and… Jesus. 🤷🏼
  • [] ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ at the Museum of the Bible are all forgeries

    A while back news broke that 5 of the 16 “Dead Sea Scroll fragments” owned by the Museum of the Bible – the “museum” owned by evangelical Steve Green, of Hobby Lobby fame – were fakes. (One of them, for example, appeared to have been copied verbatim from a 1930 Hebrew Bible… including a footnote marker.) Now the remaining pieces have been tested… they’re all fakes. This is wild, for a couple of reasons. First, the Museum of the Bible is already in a messy place – a couple years back it was fined millions of dollars and forced to return stolen artifacts. But more importantly, there is good reason to suspect that some of the money spent acquiring these fakes found their way into the hands of Daesh… indeed, Daesh itself or its supporters may have manufactured the fakes to begin with. The “museum” had hoped that at least one of its fragments was legit, intending to put on a display with a fake next to a real fragment, turning their embarrassment into a teaching opportunity. Looks like the lesson being taught here isn’t one the Museum of the Bible wanted.

  • [] Suspect’s alleged statements about ISIS led to terrorism charge over Toronto hammer attack: sources

    There’s so much here that begs questioning. The issue here isn’t whether this particular murder was a fan of Daesh, or whether the murder was done in the name of Daesh. The issue is how quickly and easily our authorities can manage to make a link to terrorism in some cases… but not others. Man randomly murders woman with no apparent motive rationally connected to anything, but because he made some online posts in favour of Daesh… yeah, we can totally call this terrorism. Man murders a half-dozen Muslims in a targeted attack – not just logically connected to the ideology of a well-defined hate movement, but specifically stated to be motivated by it by the perpetrator – and despite his online trail showing sympathy for and connections to the ideology… well, shit, we can’t say for sure this was a terrorist attack.

  • [] Churches, other non-profit organizations look for help as they prepare for COVID-19 donation crunch

    Oof, this is an infuriating article, because of the way it glibly conflates non-profits like food banks… with churches. Also, for fuck’s sake, one of the whiny takes comes from the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto… the Catholic Church is worth tens of billions (that we know of; that’s a conservative estimate). And unlike food banks and other non-profits that actually provide public services, Catholic churches don’t really provide any economic benefits; how would non-Catholic and particularly LGBTQ2+ Canadians benefit from any public cash pumped into the Catholic Church? Buried deep in the piece is actually a legitimate story about non-profits that provide real public benefits struggling, and a sensible suggestion about a policy to help them out. But that kernel is bracketed by bullshit about using public money to bail out churches, as argued by, of all people, Harperite toady Sean Speer.

  • [] When Americans think about a specific religion, here are some of the first people who come to mind

    This survey is American, which makes its absurdity and hilariousness unsurprising. Here’s the gist of it: Americans were asked to name the person they associated with a religion. So, for example, if someone said “Buddhism”, you might reply “Buddha” (natch). Or you might name some other big-name Buddhist, like the Dalai Lama. Or the first name to spring to mind might be someone non-famous that you know (or yourself). Naturally, one of the “religions” they asked about was atheism… and here’s where the hilarity comes in. Firstly, atheism was the only “religion” where a majority of people simply… didn’t (or couldn’t or wouldn’t) answer. It was also the only one where a plurality (not counting the non-responses) named a non-famous family, friend, or acquaintance (or themselves). But that’s not the hilarious part. The hilarious part is the name that came up as number one among those who did give a (well-known) answer. Yes, folks, according to Americans, the first name that pops into their head when they think of atheism is… Satan! I could not make this shit up. But it does raise an interesting question for me… what name would Canadians give? I mean, I seriously doubt they’d name Satan… but I also seriously doubt they’d name Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Dawkins would probably be #1, but what Canadian atheist would rank?

  • [] How Social Distancing Could Lead to a Spike in White Nationalism

    We’re in a pandemic, a crisis, so it’s inevitable that there will be people looking to take advantage of the situation for their own benefit. There have been dozens of stories of religious leaders trying to spin COVID-19 into donations or otherwise claiming it as somehow being no big issue – or a good thing, in some cases. (Virtually all of them are US stories, so we haven’t really had much cause to feature them on CA.) Last week we included a well-researched piece by Tim Caulfield about health fraud and quackery – mostly naturopaths and chiropractors. This week – and because this is 2020 this should come as no surprise – we need to talk about Nazis. Far right groups are trying to leverage the crisis and the panic to either edge more people toward their rhetoric and ideology or – in the case of the worst extremists – “accelerate” the supposed coming race war. The Rolling Stone piece quotes an expert saying they hadn’t seen a rise in rhetoric at the time, but the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Anti-Racist Canada, and numerous other anti-hate activists have documented numerous examples since.

  • [] Evangelical Group to Contact Indigenous Peoples in Amazon Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

    A couple weeks back, I included a Weekly Update about the evangelical Christian who had been given the responsibility for all of Brazil’s uncontacted peoples. At the time, all I had were concerns for what might happen. Now it’s time for alarm. An evangelical Christian group (connected to the person mentioned above, natch) with a long and disturbing track record of irresponsible harassment of uncontacted peoples (seriously, read the article; their record and past behaviour is appalling) has just acquired a helicopter, and is planning to go out and proselytize to Brazil’s uncontacted tribes. And they’re planning to do this… in the middle of a fucking global pandemic!!! It’s important to understand that it’s too late to fix this; we have lost this war forever now. I mean, we might be able to stop this particular group – at least temporarily – but the most important way Brazil’s uncontacted peoples were being protected was by keeping their locations a secret. Now Jair Bolsonaro has handed that information over to evangelicals… and we can’t take it back. From this point on, passive protection of these tribes won’t be good enough… we’ll have to be actively monitoring evangelicals’ attempts to go after them. And that doesn’t seem like something anyone is interested in committing any resources to.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Update: to

  1. rj

    My most famous Canadian atheist is you Indy. Then maybe councilman Joe Keithley AKA DOA’s Joey Shithead. Trudeau for catholic, Harper for protestant evangelical, Leonard Cohen for both Judaism and Buddhism,Dr. Shabir Ally of Let the Quran Speak for Muslim. Its funny that some Americans think Gandhi a Buddhist when he was obviously a Hindu. ps. Its a good thing the church is doing their part to stop the spread of COVID 19. Using their security stopping the homeless from congregating on their prime real estate in Vancouver.

  2. rj

    You Indy are my #1 Canadian atheist. Councilman Joe Keithley AKA DOA’s Joey Shithead second. Trudeau the Catholics, Harper the evangelical protestants, Leonard Cohen for the Buddhists and Judaism. Dr. Shabir Ally of Let the Quran Speak for the Muslims.Its funny some Americans think Gandhi is Buddhist when he was so obviously Hindu. On another topic. Its a good thing the church has been stopping the spread of COVID 19. Using their security to stop the homeless from congregating on their prime real estate for the past 30 years, sarc.


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