Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

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

    I suppose it’s a good thing the angel didn’t mention acupuncture.

  • [] O’Toole’s ‘Lack Of Courage’ Against Bill 21 Frustrates Muslim And Sikh Groups

    Ugh, I always cringe when a new story about Bill 21 breaks, because it never fails to bring out the bigots. (And worse, always the same bigots, always saying the same things, that have been debunked repeatedly. So tiring.) But now we have a new Conservative leader, so of course we have to ask them about their stand on it. And can we count on Erin O’Toole to show a principled position. Pfft, ha, ha, ha, ha! It’s not just that O’Toole lack the backbone to simply condemn the racist, discriminatory law – like other party leaders he “personally” doesn’t like it, and would never implement it himself, but it’s totes cool if someone else does it, because then it won’t be his responsibility, and who really expects a leader to be willing to take responsibility, right? No, not only is he too craven to simply condemn the law, he can’t even manage to give a consistent position on it across both official languages.

  • [] Social Conservatives On Their Way To Becoming Most Of Party’s Base: MacKay

    On the one hand, it would be easy to write McKay’s comments off as sour grapes. But there’s no denying that O’Toole owes his victory to social conservatives. McKay had the most votes and points (like some of the provincial conservative parties, the CPC uses a wacky “points”-based system I can’t be arsed to fully understand) in the first round, and in the second round, while O’Toole had more points, Leslyn Lewis had more votes. O’Toole won because, as the hard-line so-con candidates Derek Sloan and Leslyn Lewis were eliminated, he was the second (or third) choice of their supporters. Notably, so-con support is also why Doug Ford won the leadership of Ontario’s conservative party (winning more points despite the fact that Christine Elliot had more votes), despite the more moderate Christine Elliot being far more popular among both conservatives and Ontarians in general. When so-cons become so vital to victory, we should be very concerned, because social conservatives are not friendly to atheists, or to things that most Canadian atheists care about. This is something we should monitor closely, because we’ve already seen what happens when a political party becomes beholden to the whims of the hard-line so-con constituency: just look at the Republican Party in the States.

  • [] Residential schools cast long shadow on LGBTQ2 community in northern Ontario

    The residential schools system is one of the most shameful parts of Canadian history, and it’s important for atheists to remember that while churches were undoubtedly one of biggest offenders among all the guilty parties… we all were responsible by way of the government’s involvement (and don’t forget that the program didn’t end until 1996). The government ended the program in the mid-1990s, and ultimately apologized for it in 2017, and most of the churches responsible have also issued apologies (notably, the Catholic Church has still not done so). But some churches don’t really seem to have gotten the memo. While they may have modernized their teachings in some ways – presumably they’re no longer telling kids they’re going to hell for speaking the language of their ancestors – they’re still very much in the business of belittling and tormenting indigenous kids.

  • [] Suspect In Fatal Stabbing Outside Toronto Mosque Appears To Follow Hitler-Worshipping Satanist Movement

    Wow, um, okay, normally I like to contextualize the stories I link to by providing the background story but… frankly… I’m just completely blindsided by this one. I’ll tell you what I know: Early this week, not long after last week’s Update, I got wind of the murder of a Muslim man in Ontario. Mohamed-Aslim Zafis was apparently just sitting outside the door of International Muslim Organization in Etobicoke for the sake of monitoring COVID restrictions compliance (limiting the number of people inside at a time, making sure masks were worn, and so on), when someone walked up, stabbed him, then left. Zafis was dead by the time medics arrived. At the time, there was no concrete evidence that this was a hate crime, and the mosque itself was asking people not to make that leap, so I just put in a pin in it, not intending to do an item about it unless more evidence of islamophobia came up (because islamophobic violence pretty much always has a religious component, though I live in dread of the day there’s an atheist attacker). However… the police were rather surprisingly quick to suggest that it was a hate crime, and even suggested a link to the nearby killing of a homeless man the Monday before – Rampreet (Peter) Singh – because both men are brown. Still, not enough for an item, I thought, unless something more concrete comes up. Well, just on Friday (the day Update items are written), police announced they’d charged someone for the crime (of murdering Zafis; so far there doesn’t appear to be any progress on the Singh murder), though they claimed the killing was “random”… but then the Canadian Anti-Hate Network did some digging and they’ve put together compelling evidence that the killer may have been an actual Nazi Satanist!!! Yeah, okay, that’s enough to make it worthy of an Update item, for damn sure. Now, to be clear, this is still a very much in-progress news story, and we’re not sure the accused is actually the same person the CAN has their eye on. But even if not… holy shit, I didn’t even know the Order of Nine Angles was a thing in Canada (I thought it was just a UK thing, with a smidgen of Nordic and Scandinavian activity). And if so… holy fucking shit… we have paganistic, human-sacrificing, pedophile, Nazi Satanists murdering people in Etobicoke! (I mean, I wouldn’t be as surprised if it were Hamilton, I guess.) I’ll be keeping on eye on this story as it unfolds, but damn… what the fuck, 2020?

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