Weekly Update: to

by | May 2, 2020

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] LETTER: Activist affirmation only: Conversion therapy bylaw passed by city council

    Remember Pastor Brian Coldwell? I wouldn’t blame you for forgetting about this turd. Back in 2016/2017, he was involved in a squabble with then-Alberta-Education-Minister David Eggen over the province’s requirement that schools allow gay-straight alliances if students want to create one. Coldwell was the chair of a society that oversaw two schools that refused to comply. Eggen never backed down, but the NDP was voted out of power, and the UCP seems disinclined to stand up for LGBTQ+ kids, so the whole case seems to be in stasis right now. I’d been wondering what was going on with that situation, and lo, out of nowhere Coldwell has popped up on the radar again. And what’s he doing? Trick question; we all know the answer: he’s being a shit. Specifically, he’s writing editorials whining about conversion therapy bans.

  • [] We are all niqabis now: Coronavirus masks reveal hypocrisy of face covering bans

    One of the few mercies that came with the pandemic was that I was able to forget about Québec’s awful veil ban. It helps that I don’t live in Québec, and don’t wear any religious accessories. But of course, the law is still in force, thanks mostly to the notwithstanding clause shielding it from human rights challenges. And of course, it’s still a fucking terrible law that makes no real sense when you actually think seriously about it, and stop trying to pretend it isn’t really all about anti-Muslim bigotry and xenophobia. I wrote extensively about how the claims of its proponents really don’t stand up to scrutiny, and how society still seems to function just fine during the winter months when people cover their faces due to the cold – turns out we can still communicate without actually seeing flapping lips, folks! Well, the world is changing now; thanks to the pandemic, it is now not only socially acceptable to walk around with one’s face covered, it’s actually a practical necessity. And how is Bill 21 holding up in the face (pun intended) of this? Not well, folks, not well. As the article points out, right now in Québec, if you walk into a hospital with a face mask on, no problem… but if you walk in with a niqab, you could be forced to remove it and arrested if you refuse to comply… and if/when you do remove your niqab… you could then be forced to wear a face mask! Fucked up, eh? I love the point made by the Martha Nussbaum quote in the piece – it succinctly summarizes what I think should be painfully obvious about Bill 21: we, Canadians, have never had a problem with bulky clothing, or with accessories that obscure our faces… so despite all the bullshit bafflegab veil ban supporters use to cloud the issue, the problem with veils is obviously not the fact that they’re face-concealing accessories… it’s that they’re Muslim face-concealing accessories.

  • [] Fundamentalist Baptist father told not to teach hateful beliefs to children

    There were a couple of huge court victories this week. This was the first, out of the BC Provincial Court, has to do with a father who wanted to pass on his bigotry to his kids. Judge Mundstock said fuck no. I saw a lot of hand-wringing on social media about the balancing of parents’ rights and children’s rights, but there isn’t really much grey area here. Canadian law is generally crystal clear on the issue (note that I don’t know much about BC law, but the decision quotes that province’s Family Law Act at length, and it sure jibes with the general state of affairs across Canada), and, really, just thinking about it for a moment rather than fantasizing about legal quagmires brings one to the obvious conclusion anyway: it’s all about the kids’ best interests. While religious freedom gives individuals the rights to live their own lives according to whatever wacky things they may believe in, it does not and has never given them the right to fuck up the lives of other people. You believe drinking drain cleaner* is the path to spiritual enlightenment? Then chug away. You want to force others to do it? No, just no, and no one gives a fuck how sincere or deep your beliefs about it are. I don’t see why anything changes when the “others” are one’s children. (* Side note: I’ve used “drinking drain cleaner” as an example of a belief that is wacky and dangerous for many, many years, under the apparently naïve assumption that no one would ever actually seriously entertain that idea. Buuuut, it’s 2020.) As Mundstock points out, the bigot father straight-up admits that his nasty beliefs have made his life miserable (and I imagine he did so with a note of pride, because persecution – real or imagined – is Christian boner fuel)… so why allow him to make the kids’ lives miserable, too? How would that be in the kids’ best interests? This is, of course, a lower court decision, so it will almost certainly be appealed. We’ll probably be seeing this case trickle up to higher courts in coming months/years.

  • [] Supreme court denies Basilian Fathers appeal to sexual abuse lawsuit

    At long last, a full and complete victory for Rod MacLeod… and a precedent-setting ruling that probably has Catholic dioceses across Canada quivering as they clutch their money bags. This was a pretty clear case of the kind of moral failing that was the norm across Catholicism for decades: the Basilian Fathers totally know that the priest was a pederast, and let him play with kids anyway. (And after he left Sudbury, he went to Windsor, where they also knew he was a pederast, and still let him be a high school teacher. Naturally, he raped more kids there.) MacLeod didn’t settle, as most victims did; he went right for the fuckin’ jugular – he went after their money. This case was all about the Basilians whining about how it was too much money to pay for neglecting their duty of care and allowing multiple kids to be raped. Reading that last sentence should remove all sympathy for the Basilian Fathers of Toronto. Seriously, fuck them. The Supreme Court agreed with that sentiment; not only awarding MacLeod over $2 million in damages… but also a half-million in punitive damages. Which is the legal way of saying: “Look, you screwed up, so you have to pay compensation for that… but also, you’re fucking assholes.”

  • [] Combating coronavirus misinformation

    The first bit of this article is pretty BC-specific… but bear with it and it soon opens up into a very cool piece that’s universally applicable. Tim Caulfield’s been on fire during this entire crisis, really calling out the genteel tolerance our health authorities and science in general has shown for pseudoscientific quackery in the past. Turning a blind eye to the bullshit that comes out of “alternative medicine” circles has always put people at risk, but now that there’s an actual pandemic to shine a light on that, it’s really made it clear that it should never have been tolerated in the first place. If one good thing comes out of COVID-19, it would be the discrediting of bullshit quackery like chiropractic and homeopathy.

  • [] Trudeau announces ban on 1,500 types of ‘assault-style’ firearms — effective immediately

    Oh, hell yes. Look, long-time readers of Canadian Atheist know that I’m no fan of Justin Trudeau… but this week I’m giving him a slow clap in admiration? Why? Well, first of all, for actually showing he has a spine for a change, and doing something that really helps Canadians even though it will tick off some right-wingers. But the gun ban itself isn’t really the reason why he earns an item on Canadian Atheist. (Nor is doing something so damned obvious and broadly supported as banning military weapons.) No, what earns him my admiration is the following quote: [The] families [of the victims of mass shootings] deserve more than thoughts and prayers. Canadians deserve more than thoughts and prayers. Fuck. Yes. This is what I wish Trudeau could be like every day. On those rare occasions he proves himself to actually be a vertebrate… dammit, I actually kinda like him.

  • [] Peter MacKay Campaign Walks Back Calling Trans Rights Legislation A ‘Bathroom’ Bill

    Uh oh, looks like Peter MacKay failed to hide his power level and blew that dog whistle a little too loudly. You’d think by this point, having narrowed the field to only four candidates, most of the nutters would have been excised from the Conservative leadership race. Nope, not even close. In fact, I’d say the field is at least still 50% nutter at this point. I thought I could exclude MacKay – the presumptive winner, at this point – from that group… but it looks like he’s still trying to play footsie with the regressives.

  • [] Tarek Fatah and The Toronto Sun Ramp Up the Islamophobia

    Ugh, the Weekly Update is late this week because of the rabbit hole this item took me down. Where to even begin? For the entirety of the COVID-19 crisis, far-right, islamophobic wingnuts have been on the prowl – indeed, the worst among them have been hoping that this might finally be the trigger for that race war they’ve been having masturbatory fantasies about (and some of them have been actively trying to make that happen, for example, by stoking anti-lockdown protests). Hell, we had a bit of a break last week, but the previous twoUpdates at least have featured stories of bigots harassing mosques (over the flags they were flying, of all things)… and worse. So what’s new on the bigot’s plate? Welp, apparently Mississauga decided to allow mosques to play the adhan – the call to prayer – during Ramadan. Yeah, no, that’s it. You were expecting more? Nope, that’s all it takes. Let’s be clear, the city did not relax any of its physical distancing or other pandemic emergency measures. Literally all it did was relax the noise bylaws to allow the adhan… and even then, only temporarily – just for Ramadan (which goes from to this year)… and even then, they can only do one per day, in the evening, for no more than five minutes. Seems a pretty trivial, but nice thing to do, given that this is pretty much the biggest annual event for Muslims, yet it’s happening in the middle of the pandemic lockdown. (Can you imagine what it would be like if all this was going down during the Christmas holiday season?) But bigots are losing their shit over it. I mean, they were already stalking mosques trying to catch Muslims violating stay-at-home orders to go to prayers. The irony of their actions was lost on the bigots, of course; one of the ones mentioned in the article, after failing to catch any Muslims going to prayers, really stuck it to them by… eating a pork sandwich? So… checkmate, Muslims? 🤷🏼 Anyway, the focus of the piece is on the irresponsible rabble-rousing done by the usual suspects: Tarek Fatah, Faith Goldy, and other neo-Nazis and their ilk. But fucking hell, reading the comments – mostly Facebook comments – by supposedly average Canadians is sickening. Like: I don’t care what you call me I fucking served my Country I fucking hate those fucking scum monkeys Or: Get out your rifles and shoot those speakers Or: I’ll shoot the first goatfucker that wakes me up. Or: for sure,,,, blow the mosk [sic] up would be even better Wow. And every one of those comments got “likes”.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Update: to

  1. Tom

    Using “foul” words (shit, fuck, turd) fails to raise the weekly update above a rant.

  2. Indi Post author

    Minor update to the last item: the mosques are now apparently getting death threats, too.


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