Weekly Update: to

by | July 25, 2020

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] The long history of how Jesus came to resemble a white European

    This is a fascinating article. Some parts are pretty obvious: it’s no great shock that people used themselves as the model for Jesus – there’s that old quote that if triangles had a god, it would have three sides. But there’s a lot of other interesting historical facts in there, like that the earliest depictions of Jesus were based on Greek gods like Hermes and Apollo – which made him young, short-haired, and beardless – and the first ones to show him as bearded may have been based on Zeus.

  • [] Military Issues New Orders To Eradicate ‘Hateful Conduct’ In Ranks

    For years, I’ve been reporting Weekly Update items about members of the Armed Forces – several of them on active duty – involved in hate and bigotry, and not just against Muslims (although, yeah, that’s pretty common). Last year was a particularly wild year, with one service member in particular – Patrik Mathews – setting off a continent-wide manhunt that culminated in a dramatic arrest by American authorities on the eve of a major attack he’d planned with other neo-Nazis, amidst multiple swirling murder conspiracies. This is a good step, I suppose… but… I’m skeptical of how serious the Forces is about their commitment to stamping out hate in its ranks when the very same week this statement was made, we found out they quietly reinstated a (possibly former?) prolific neo-Nazi.

  • [] A Second Pride Parade Has Called Out the BC Liberals For Failing to Take Action on an Anti-LGBTQ MLA

    Well, well, when it rains, it pours. Now the Victoria Pride Society has joined the Vancouver Pride Society in saying the BC Liberals won’t be welcome at their Pride parade unless they back up their pretty words and take concrete action to prove they’re really serious about respecting LGBTQ2S+ rights. By the way, the Vancouver Pride threat is no longer just a threat: the parade’s deadline has passed with the BC Liberals failing to back up their bafflegab, so now the BC Liberals are straight-up banned from Vancouver Pride. The only question I have in all this is why it’s only happening now; I mean, it’s not like the BC Liberals were a shining light of tolerance last year or any time before. But hey, better now than never; it’s uplifting to see that a day has come where a group that was once as marginalized and outright despised as LGBTQ2S+ people now have enough clout that they can show their teeth, and not just beg for their rights, but even take a stand and flip the bird at an establishment group as powerful as the province’s second (or third) most powerful political party when their rights are not being respected.

  • [] This Ontario couple wanted their big day filmed. A company turned them down because it doesn’t do gay weddings

    This story went viral this past week, and damn, it’s a disheartening read. To be clear, the Hamstras did not specify that their reason for refusing to film gay weddings was religious… but the couple is connected with an evangelical church in Brantford. The blunt refusal to film gay weddings is all the more surprising given that it’s flat-out illegal in Ontario; clearly the Hamstras were unaware of that fact, or they would have manufactured some other excuse. Since the story went viral, Roberts and Arthur have since received offers from other videographers, so at least things are going to work out well for them. As for Caramount Pictures, they’re being absolutely destroyed on social media, and some of their other clients have dumped them; I feel no pity for them, though – even if it weren’t illegal, their bigotry is disgusting and unacceptable. If their religious beliefs won’t allow them to film perfectly legal weddings in Ontario, then they shouldn’t be in the business of filming weddings at all.

  • [] CSIS again caught flouting the rule of law

    The “revelation” in the title of the item isn’t the real story here. I mean, we’ve known CSIS is corrupt and essentially illegal since… like, ever. Every six months or so, a new story breaks about the shit they’ve been up to, and every time they promise it will never happen again. The real interesting story here is buried deep in the pages and pages of findings, and almost never commented on by any news outlets so far as I’ve seen. You see, for years CSIS has been waging a quixotic war against Islamic terrorism in Canada; the near complete lack of actual Islamic terrorism in Canada has turned out to be very little problem for them – when they really needed some, they just fabricated it. The actual threat to Canada during that period has been and still is far-right extremism – thus far in 2020, they’ve been responsible for 90% of all terrorist attacks in the US – but, hey, don’t let facts dissuade you from a firmly-established ideology. What we’re learning now, though, is that not only was CSIS chasing non-existent Muslim extremists and ignoring the real threat… at the same time they were actually providing financing to Islamic terror groups! Yes, seriously. Payments were made to alleged informants who were apparently playing both sides: actually facilitating and carrying out terrorist actions while at the same time getting some cash from the Canadian government for squealing on their comrades. I suppose you have to admire the business sense of it all: make your own market!

  • [] It’s time to bring little Amira back to Canada

    Whenever any item comes up about Canadians who went to fight with ISIS and other Islamist groups, our discussion spaces are inevitably flooded with angry and merciless comments by people raging about any gestures of civility or humanity shown to them. (Especially on Facebook, natch.) Even something as coldly dispassionate as bringing a citizen back to face justice in Canadian courts draws howls of outrage. And even people who weren’t the prime movers in these cases elicit no sympathy – women and children have been dragged to Syria by their jihadist husbands, who then wanted to return to Canada when the husband was captured or killed, but no, nuh-uh, they apparently don’t deserve even their basic rights under international law according to the ghouls. Well, I’m morbidly curious to hear their take on this case: a five year-old girl whose jihadists parents dragged her to Syria, then died (along with all her siblings). Can we possibly find empathy for a child who doesn’t even fucking know what “jihad” means, people?

  • [] Transgender pastor fired after coming out to her Mississauga church

    Oooh, shit, this story suddenly turned sour. This story was the subject of a Weekly Update item earlier this month, and at the time, it was all good news. Joplin had come out to her congregation, and received overwhelming support. From what Joplin (and, by extension, us) knew at the time, she had the majority approval of the congregation, and it was just a question of whether the Church leadership would rubber-stamp their acclamation. Only… no. Turns out that the bigots were simply too ashamed to be public about their disapproval, and instead only chose to express it secretly in the vote. A majority of the congregation voted to fire her… and thus it is so. Damn. In the previous item, I showered praise on the people of Lorne Park Baptist Church for showing that their religion doesn’t prevent them from having humanity. I take all that back now. Lorne Park Baptist Church is now tainted with the stink of bigotry, and everyone associated with that church carries that stink. Those decent people in the congregation – the ones who accepted Joplin and showed love, compassion, and tolerance… it’s time to leave. If the next news item on this story I read isn’t headlined “48% of congregation walks out of church”, then the die will be cast. If you stay, you will be deciding that the bigotry of your peers trumps that goodwill in your heart, and if that’s your choice… you will have to live with the consequences. And as for those in the 52%: you were right to be ashamed. You may have “won” the day, but you will forever after have to slink into your hate-house every Sunday with your heads held low, knowing that your true nature has been exposed. While I’m sorry Joplin had to go through this, I hope she has the strength to shake the dust from her sandals as she walks away from that place, leaving it to languish in its bigotry and ultimately die a slow, pathetic death from attrition as its backwards, intolerant fools die off. If she has warm memories of her time there, I won’t begrudge her that. But for the sake of the next transgender person the bigots at Lorne Park Baptist Church might hurt, let that place and those people from now on be known for the bigots they are, and let them wallow in the shame of it.

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