Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] Say what? Conservative Alberta MP’s riding association buys pro-life transit ads in Vancouver

    Yeah, this is weird. I mean, the important issues here are where the funding for these anti-abortion ads came from (and, seriously, nobody believes the ads are not opposing abortion, but rather some shadowy and unspecified “population control” cabal – how stupid does Garnett Genuis think Canadians are?), and what, if anything O’Toole will say about it all. But yeah, it really is weird that an Alberta MP is running anti-abortion bus ads in Vancouver. And, yeah, the ad is really stupid. “How can there be too many flowers? That is like saying, ‘I’m struggling to make ends meet supporting my four flowers and getting them all to school especially the one special needs flower I have who demands so much of my time and resources and special care, and oh fuck, I just found out I’m pregnant with a fifth flower?! You know what? That’s too many fucking flowers!!!’” Anywho, there’s really no question what Erin O’Toole will say about all this: nothing. Because he’s a spineless shit who knows he’s the puppet of the far-right, socially conservative base of the party, and doesn’t dare do anything to alienate them lest he lose any hope of competing against Trudeau in the next election.

  • [] Leaked report finds TCDSB trustee’s homophobic comments violated code of conduct

    Wow, okay, if you didn’t think the Toronto Catholic District School Board trustees were a bunch of chuds, brace yourself. The backstory is that a year or so back, the Ontario government required all schools to update their codes of conduct to bring them in line with the Ontario Human Rights Code. (It was a little petty, just one of the many ways Ford was feuding with teachers, but technically the OHRC had been recently updated to include gender identity and expression.) As they always represent bottom-feeder level morality, it should be unsurprising that several of the Catholic districts balked. The TCDSB trustees actually voted to tell the province to fuck off… but then quickly adjusted course after a massive backlash, including several donors pulling funds. In the middle of this, trustee Michael Del Grande put on a little clown show of tabling a sibling bill to the bill that proposed adding gender identity and expression to the code of conduct. His bill proposed adding bestiality, paedophilia, cannibalism, auto-erotic asphyxiation, and ‘auto-vampirism’. (And I just learned that earlier in the same meeting he’d proposed adding polygamy, ménage a trois and group marriage as a response to wording about tolerating same-sex marriage. And it sounds like he even suggested adding rape.) Now, equating being transgender to paedophilia and bestiality clearly violates the code of conduct for trustees… yet the trustees themselves put it to a vote, and, wouldn’tcha know it, they decided that Del Grande didn’t violate the code of conduct when he compared transgender kids to, yanno, pig-fuckers. Well, now it turns out that there was a report that said that, yes, obviously he’d breached the code of conduct… a report that the board of trustees is keeping secret!

  • [] Catholic trustee candidate encourages chastity from LGBTQ2+ people, turn from ‘transgender inclinations’

    I wouldn’t blame people for not recognizing the name (I had to double check my own recollection), but Hudson Byblow is a bit of a celebrity. He’s one those “I used to be gay, but I got better” Christian rock stars who writes books and gives talks on how he managed to use prayer to make himself less interesting. He eventually won his election. So I guess we know what kind of “moral leadership” to expect from the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, hm?

  • [] Uphold religious symbol ban to spare children from being influenced by hijab, Quebec parents plead

    I’ve been half-heartedly adding updates about the trial in Québec challenging Bill 21, the religious accessory ban, mostly because it really doesn’t matter; this case is pretty assuredly going to eventually make it up to the Supreme Court. Last week, it was all about opponents of the Bill; this week, we hear from some supporters. I’m not going to bother to comment on their arguments… such as they are. Again, it was pretty inconsequential, because they really didn’t need to do anything. The Bill is already law; the burden is on the challengers to show that it shouldn’t be. If the challengers can’t make their case, the supporters don’t even need to show up. The only point of being there at all is to undermine whatever arguments the challengers make… which of course they don’t. But I’ll leave it to readers to study all the holes and non-sequiturs.

  • [] They reported their alleged abuser. He died. Now what?

    Welp, another week, another item about priests raping kids. Only this time… it’s a little different. Firstly, this time it’s not a Catholic priest, but rather an Anglican priest. So… yay for diversity? Secondly, and more importantly, the rapes didn’t happen in a church. Gordon Dominey was a prison chaplain in the Edmonton Youth Development Centre in the 1980s, during which time he allegedly raped 13 boys between the ages of 14 and 17. That makes this case unique in several ways. The fact that the boys were in juvie means they were doubly-victimized – they were raped by Dominey, then trapped with him, unable to leave or escape. And he threatened them to keep quiet, and you can imagine just how much weight those threats would have held. But what really makes this case noteworthy is that, because this happened in a detention centre, it’s not just the church that’s liable… the province is liable, too. Naturally, the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton is doing exactly what you’d expect in cases like this: deny, dissemble, delay. What’s horrible, though, is that the province is doing the same thing. In fact, the province seems to be actively undermining the judicial process: first they stopped the original court case before a verdict, so Dominey died unconvicted, and now they seem to be dicking the victims around in hopes that they run out of money before their class action lawsuit gets accepted. I expect this sort of behaviour from a church… but from the government?

  • [] RCMP on P.E.I. can now swear oaths using eagle feathers

    If one group gets to use its magical totem in the swearing-in ritual, then yeah, sure, why not let other groups use theirs? I can’t imagine how anyone could rationally object to that. Nor can I understand the (sadly, unsurprising) outrage about allowing any magical totems. This is hardly a situation where strict secularism is necessary; the whole thing is just a ceremonial performance, anyway, so let participants enjoy it whatever way they please. If someone feels more connected to the organization or more strongly about their oath by adding a Bible or an eagle feather… 🤷🏼. Whatever floats their boat.

  • [] B.C. judge blocks transgender teen’s gender-affirming surgery after disapproving mother sues

    Ugh, this is infuriating. But do bear in mind that the court didn’t really side with the mother here. I mean, yes, but, no. I can’t comment in detail because I don’t have a copy of the ruling, so I don’t know what the actual reasoning was, or whether there were other factors. But it sounds like the judge was just being conservative (small-c conservative, that is), and figuring that the surgery is irreversible (as opposed to, say, hormone therapy), so best to play it safe and give the mother every chance to make her case in court. Which is frustrating, but understandable. Everyone I’ve seen comment on the case has said that it’s pretty much a given that the courts will eventually side with the teenager, which I agree with.

  • [] Humanists International confronts far-right’s “gender ideology” narrative at OSCE

    Noice. I’m a big fan of Humanists International; this is one of those rare organizations with a backbone. It’s so satisfying to see them willing to take on right-wing bigotry directly. Especially since this particular brand of right-wing bigotry has found considerable traction among atheists. Ranting against “gender ideology” is what propelled Jordan Peterson to fame, for example, and he had a lot of atheists fans for a while. Even today, you’ll still find numerous big name atheists raging about “wokeism” and the like, often calling out “gender ideology” directly. I wasn’t even aware that their talking points originated from the Vatican. I’m not surprised, though.

  • [] Canadian NXIVM Survivor Explains How She Healed After Leaving Cult

    I’ll be honest, I haven’t really followed the whole NXIVM thing. I spent a lot of time studying Scientology in my early days of atheist activism, and NXIVM just smelled like more of the same, just with extra salaciousness with the whole sex slave thing. And I didn’t really think there was much of a Canadian connection – I was aware some Canadian millionaire heirs/heiresses were caught up in the charges, but meh. Turns out, though, that the woman who was really mainly responsible for ultimately bringing the whole thing down was a Canadian!

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