Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[A photo of the front of Masjid Toronto, showing the vandalism damage.]
What? Canada has an islamophobia problem? Goodness, whatever would make you think that? [/sarcasm]
  • [] ‘God will protect us’: Alberta prayer event now linked to at least 29 COVID-19 cases

    The headline really kinda tells the whole story; there’s not much left to say that many, many others haven’t said already. It should be mentioned, however, that the organizer was very much aware that what he was doing was stupid and dangerous, and he did it anyway. The thing that really blows my mind, though, is the way these people read “the signs” in what is always the most hilariously self-serving way. Like, if you’re wondering whether God wants your event to happen, the fact that he caused a fucking global pandemic seems like a pretty strong indicator that he doesn’t. Not to mention striking the organizer with the disease after the fact – how is that not a pretty clear sign that you done pissed God off? For fuck’s sake, the day before the event the organizer posted a note saying a goddamn tornado has passed through the area! How is that message not getting through?! I can’t help but picture God up on his cloud bashing his head against the clouds in frustration, and screaming: “Jesus fucking Christ, people! I sent a pandemic and a fucking tornado! What more do you need? Stay the fuck home!!!”

  • [] Pro-Trump Atheist Blames “Cancel Culture” for Drama Over His Anthology Foreword

    🤦🏼 Hooo-kay, the backstory: A few weeks back, there was an uproar about a new sword-and-sorcery anthology. The issue wasn’t any of the stories in the anthology, but rather the introduction. It had been penned by B-list atheist celebrity Robert M. Price… and it was batshit insane, ranting about feminism and false rape accusations and… geez, you can read it in full for yourself if you think you can make any sense out of it. The authors who had contributed stories to the anthology were aghast – they had no idea their works would be used to platform that kind of shit – and several asked to have their contributions pulled. Full credit to the publisher, they handled the shit-show magnificently, and the entire anthology has basically been pulled before it was published. Price, though… has doubled down on his douchebaggery, and tripled down on his insanity. You can probably guess who and what he’s blaming for everything – yup, it’s the usual boogiemonsters of the regressive bigot asshole: this is all the fault of “the left”, “the woke”, and “cancel culture”. Yup, it’s “the left’s” fault that a bunch of authors writing escapist fantasy fiction were upset at having their works co-opted by an idiot with a political axe to grind. Price has gone full nutter now, ranting about how we’re softening ourselves up for the… wait for it… coming Muslim invasion! All because we’re apparently the kinds of woke pussies who would actually believe women get raped quite a bit. I still haven’t heard anything from the Center for Inquiry about the whole affair. Are they standing by their boy? 🤷🏼

  • [] Islamic Organizations Call For Police Action After 6 Attacks On Mosques in 3 Months

    There are two really disturbing aspects to this story. The first is just the sheer amount of hate Muslims are dealing with in Canada. Can you imagine having your home or workplace attacked every other week… for months?! Basically every time you finish repairing the damage… you’re attacked again. Can you imagine how wearing that must be? The other aspect to the story is the authorities’ dogged refusal to recognize these attacks as hate crimes. There’s no excuse – I mean, you could maybe stretch justification for not investigating the break-ins or smashed windows as hate crimes, because maybe they were just done by a disgruntled member or random drunk passerby… but the incidents of racist graffiti…?! How can you possibly justify not recognizing that as a hate crime?

  • [] “Satan” by Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

    I mean, yeah, Billy has a point. If you buy the story that all of the evidence for evolution is fake, then you’re admitting that Satan is way smarter than God, because Satan’s managed to do a much better job of making his case than God is. Why would one choose to worship the incompetent God over the intelligent Satan, right? And that’s even before we note who has the better music. 🤘🏼

  • [] Prorogation kills bills to ban conversion therapy, reform MAID

    So you may have heard this week that Justin Trudeau asked the GG to prorogue Parliament, and she accepted. There are a lot of reasons to be suspicious of his motivations (right in the middle of the WE scandal!), but whatever the excuse, the prorogation is bad news for quite a bit of progressive legislation that was jammed in the pipes. The BCHA lists two particularly important bills that are dead now, and that we need to pressure MPs to re-table once they return to Parliament.

  • [] London Diocese takes child sexual abuse settlement challenge to Supreme Court

    We really didn’t need more evidence that the Catholic Church is rotten through-and-through, but… here we go again. Irene Deschenes was repeatedly raped by a Catholic priest, Charles Sylvestre, between 1970 and 1973. She was 10 when it began. She didn’t report the abuse until 1992, and eventually filed a lawsuit, which was settled in 2000. Six years later, Sylvestre was finally convicted of raping 47 girls between 1952 and 1986. He died in prison in 2007. That should have been the whole story. However… throughout the course of Deschenes’s settlement and the criminal trial, the Diocese of London, Ontario’s defence against wrongdoing was that it had no clue of what Sylvestre was up to until 1989, when a fellow priest first raised concerns about Sylvestre’s drinking. (That’s what the court documents say, but I can’t help but think there’s a little bit of euphemism going on there.) Deschenes’s settlement was predicated on there being no wrongdoing on the part of the Diocese. But a few months after the 2006 conviction, a priest going through old paperwork discovered that some damning documents had been misfiled with old accounting files. They were police reports by three 11 year-old girls in Sarnia, who complained about being raped by Sylvestre. The police did nothing; they took the girls’ statements, and then simply passed them on to the Diocese… who also did nothing. The law at work, folks. Anyway, the damning part of all this was that those reports had been made – and given to the Diocese – in 1962. Which changes everything. The Diocese knew a decade before Deschenes was raped that Sylvestre was a predator… and did nothing. Now, to be completely fair to the Diocese… at the time they were making their settlement with Deschenes and giving evidence for the criminal trial, they honestly didn’t know about these police reports. The Bishop who’d been given them had died a year later in 1963, and they were just lost. But the fact that the Diocese managed to bury the evidence so successfully they even managed to bury it from themselves is hardly a defence; the bottom line is that the Diocese knew that Sylvestre was a predator since at least 1962… yet did nothing. Had they acted like responsible adult human beings in 1962 (and let’s not leave cops off the hook here either), 10 year-old Deschenes would not have been raped in 1970… not to mention those dozens of other victims. So the case is now this: Deschenes wants to throw out the 2000 settlement, and file a brand new civil suit – one can imagine that, given the new evidence of their complicity and culpability, she can really hit the Diocese for a much larger sum. And of course, naturally, the Diocese isn’t going to do the right thing, and instead is going to fight the rape survivor tooth and nail, despite incontrovertible, hard evidence of their guilt. Yup, here we go again.

  • [] Paolo De Buono, 🌈 MSc, JD, OCT on Twitter

    I normally don’t like to link to tweets, but there is no better source for information on this story than Paolo De Buono. The backstory: Last year, the Ontario government required all schools – both in the secular and in the separate, Catholic systems – to update their codes of conduct to bring them in line with the Ontario Human Rights Code. (Why? That’s a complicated question. At the time… well, there’s no point in saying “at the time”, because the Ford government is always feuding with teachers. But the Code has been recently updated, so it’s not completely out of left field to ask everyone to get on board with it (though, why target schools specifically? again, it’s political).) You probably won’t be surprised to hear that some of the Catholic school boards balked at being required to include wording against discriminating on the basis of gender identity and expression. The Toronto Catholic District School Board in particular actually voted to tell the province to fuck off. Well, at first. After the backlash and several major donors pulling their support, they quickly changed their tune. The whole kerfuffle was stupid, because even if the TCDSB didn’t put the explicit wording in their code of conduct, they are legally required to not discriminate by gender identity or expression anyway… so what exactly is the point in not explaining that in their own rules? Anyway, in the middle of all this, trustee and perpetual shitbag Michael Del Grande decided to make a… “point?”… by adding his own motion alongside the motion to give protections based on gender identity and expression. Del Grande wanted to add protections for: bestiality, paedophilia, cannibalism, auto-erotic asphyxiation, and ‘auto-vampirism’. Yeah, really. Now, the TCDSB has a code of conduct for trustees, and Del Grande’s behaviour pretty clearly violates it. However… as De Buono reports, the board failed to pass a vote that would confirm that fact. Yup, 4 out of 7 people on the TCDSB board think that comparing transgender people to pedophiles, cannibals, and pig-fuckers does not violate the civility requirements of the Toronto Catholic District School Board. (They needed 2⁄3 to pass the vote, so they were one short.) Now, as De Buono points out, this vote proves that the TCDSB is not a safe place for transgender kids (or teachers). However, I think there’s an opportunity here! You see, the TCDSB themselves have made it clear that comparing people to pedophiles, cannibals, and hobknockers is not uncivil discourse, and perfectly acceptable in their board meetings. Soooo… who wants to show up to a TCDSB board meeting and propose a motion that if the board is willing to let someone like Michael Del Grande sit on it… then they clearly must be okay with allowing pedophiles, cannibals, and pig-fuckers on their illustrious board? Send me the video when you do!

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