Weekly Update: to

by | November 28, 2020

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] Debate about Toronto Catholic District School Board is overdue

    Coren is too polite to really call Collins out for stepping in it, but step in it he did. This whole Toronto Catholic District School Board thing has been a glorious dumpster fire from the start. Absurdly, it all began with a “debate” that was completely unnecessary: the province required that all publicly-funded schools update their codes of conduct to take recent amendments to the Human Rights Code into account – specifically about gender identity and expression. There was nothing to “discuss”; the district had to update its code, end of story. (Even if they didn’t – which, again, they had to – they have to comply with the provincial Human Rights Code in any case.) But of course, the Board felt it necessary to give Catholic voices a “say” (that, again, wasn’t really a “say”, because the conclusion was already determined), and of course, they used it. Cardinal Collins would have been wise to keep his fucking mouth shut here, and just let the bigots on the TDSCB take the heat, and let the controversy inevitably burn itself out to the preordained conclusion. But nope, Collins wants to make sure most regressive, most bigoted viewpoints on the Board get their publicly-funded airing. Now I admit I don’t know off the top of my head what Catholic catechism says about transgender people, but the Bible says nothing about it (though you could read a couple stories of people defying traditional gender roles as being implicitly supportive of the idea), and the catechism at issue was about homosexual orientations… which is orthogonal to being transgender. So the comments Collins is defined were not just ignorant and bigoted, and not just pointless and irrelevant to the preordained conclusion, they were also actually a non sequitur. You may think I’m enraged by Collins’s ham-fisted meddling in this issue, but no, I’m actually okay with it. You see, I’ve been advocating for the abolition of the separate, Catholic school system in Ontario for around 20 years; I wholeheartedly welcome Collins’s efforts to aid in that goal! Please, Cardinal, tell us more of what you think about the province’s publicly-funded Catholic school system!

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

    If you think about it, of all the ridiculous elements of the Adam & Eve story – the talking snake, the unnecessary really-dangerous tree just a-sittin’ out there in the open without so much as a fence around it – one of the most ridiculous has to be the pair suddenly deciding that their genitals are a huge problem. I mean they’ve been walking around naked for some significant span of time – some theories say eons – so it’s not like Adam isn’t used to Eve seeing his junk, and vice versa. Even if they were suddenly cursed with the concept of “shame”, never having it before, why would it actually trigger? At most, seems like all it would do is make them think they should have been covered up… but, gee, too late for that now, eh? I mean, they’ve been seeing each other’s plumbing forever; covering up now seems a bit pointless. And of course, as Weinersmith points out, all of that ignores sexual attraction. Each may now be shy about their own nakedness… but dayam, the other’s nakedness is… not really a problem. I find it really amusing that a more logically and psychologically coherent telling of the story is really just a set-up to a porn. What an improvement that would have been to the Bible!

  • [] Ontario government to fast-track Charles McVety legislation amid public outcry

    I know I’m repeating this pretty much every week, but I keep being surprised at just how much bigger this scandal is getting. And I know I keep repeating that I expect Ford to defend McVety, even if it really stings politically, because Ford knows he can’t possibly win reelection without McVety’s support… but damn, actually seeing how much Ford is weathering for the sake of his bigot buddy is really impressing me (and not in a good way). I’m just gobsmacked by the naked hypocrisy and deceitfulness of Ford saying that the accreditation is in the hands of the non-partisan accreditation group, then straight-up going ahead and ramming it through Parliament anyway. It’s so blatantly crass and underhanded, that even his own party is falling apart over it. (Though, of course, the dissenters were too cowardly to actually commit to vote on the NDP motion to condemn McVety’s hate, and abstained instead.) And it’s become such a hot political issue, that it triggered a report about Christian hate mongers like McVety (see the item below). I still doubt it will have any real long-term impact – as horrible as it sounds, I don’t think Ontario voters care about ethics, or about their politicians being entangled with homophobic hate-mongers. If it doesn’t impact their wallets, Ontarians don’t really give a fuck.

  • [] Report blames top Montreal Church officials for ignoring complaints about priest who preyed on young boys

    I have a confession to make: I’ve been writing about various clerical rape scandals – mostly Catholic – for many years now… and it’s not easy. It really takes a toll. The shit these people do to their victims… the suffering the victims have to endure both during the attacks and for many, many years afterwards… the sick, callous, self-serving responses of the self-proclaimed moral leaders in the churches and from their lay supporters… it really does eat at you. As part of the defence you have to build up to keep reading and writing about this stuff, you kinda develop a sense of black humour – even if it is horrible shit you’re laughing at, sometimes you just need to laugh so you don’t have to cry. I say all this, because this story – as monstrous and disgusting as it is – almost made me fall out of my seat laughing; let me explain why. So Boucher was a monster – a complete piece of shit. He wasn’t just a rapist; he wasn’t just a pedophile; he was also a racist, a homophobe, a misogynist, and he was abusive – not just sexually, but also psychologically and physically – to the kids he had access to… and everyone knew it. Let me repeat that: everyone knew that he was racist, homophobic, misogynist, and abusive to the kids. Everyone, both in the Church, and in the community. Even the parents who sent their kids into his care knew he was abusive… and some of them even knew he was “inappropriate” with the young boys… and they sent their kids to him anyway. Why? Because he wore the cloak of righteousness that the Catholic Church claims for itself. And that apparently mattered more than the well-being of their own kids. This is not the part that makes me laugh; this is the part that makes me cry. This is the part that almost destroys me, and makes what I do so very hard to do some days. But then… this happens: So, Boucher is eventually charged, and eventually convicted, and everything comes out in the process about how everyone in the Church and community knew the man was a problem, but kept quiet about it, and let the abuse happen anyway. The Church’s response is: “Whaaaat?! There was a man we all knew was abusive to children, and we hid or ignored all the evidence of his abusing children, and gave him access to children. This man actually abused some children? Wha― how could this happen?! It’s a complete mystery!” And they actually hired an independent, former judge, and tasked him to do an investigation, and answer the following question: “How was this man allowed to abuse children for so many years?” I don’t know what response they were expecting, I really don’t. But I found it hilarious that the Judge’s report was exactly what you think it should be: a very slightly more polite version of: “You wanna know how he was allowed to abuse kids? You fucking ALLOWED him to abuse those kids, you fucking goblins! You gave him all the tools he needed, and covered up his crimes! You set up everything it needed to happen, facilitated it while it was happening, hushed it up so it could keep happening again and again, and then ask how it could happen? The fuck is wrong with you?!” And yeah, sure, maybe it’s just the coping strategy making me find it funny… but damn, isn’t it hilarious that the Catholic Church commissioned a report on what they could do to stop enabling and covering up child abuse, and the report’s conclusion is: “The way to stop enabling and covering up child abuse is to stop enabling and covering up child abuse, you gibbering shitheads.”

  • [] We Need To Talk About The Christian Anti-LGBTQ Movement In Canada

    Oh, indeed we do, Canadian Anti-Hate Network, indeed we do. Some of us has been at it for over a decade, but welcome aboard! This is a pretty okay 101-level introduction to Christian hate in Canada. I mean, they pick only easy, obvious targets, but that’s fine – they only have five or six entries, presumably to keep the article size manageable. I could give them a list of dozens and dozens more. They also ably cover some of the greatest hits of hate these tools have turned out, and even brought up a connection I was unaware of – I didn’t realize the JCCF was so cozy with neo-Nazi Paul Fromm. Buuuut, they do have some catching up to do to catch up to Canadian Atheist-level of journalism on the topic. (What?! C’mon, give me this little thing to gloat about. We’ve worked hard covering this shit for years!) For example, they claim that the CLC backed “David Sloan” for the Conservative leadership… it’s actually Derek Sloan. Still, not bad work there, rookies! ❤️

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10 thoughts on “Weekly Update: to

  1. Sima

    Thank you for the report. Yes, it is sad and funny at the same time how the Catholic Church enables and covers up child abuse. But then what can you expect of a bunch of celibate pedophiles put in charge of kids?

    1. Indi Post author

      Not just celibate priests in charge of kids, but the same backed up by a claim of moral perfection—or at least superiority—and given the “power” to terrorize and control those children via threats of eternal torment, both for themselves and their loved ones. One of Boucher’s key plays was to threaten to deny the kid’s confirmation if either the parents didn’t give him private access to the kid, or they reported anything.

      Yeah, I don’t expect much better from the Church or its priests. What breaks my heart is that the parents kept sending their kids to that monster… even though the fact that he was a monster was very well known. I don’t think there’s nearly enough criticism of the parents in these cases. Okay, sure, maybe not historically, because in the past, these kinds of abuses were unthinkable. (Well, yeah, it’s more complicated than that in that everyone knew that priestly abuse of kids wasn’t exactly rare, but there really was a belief, however misguided, that it would never actually happen “here”.) But Boucher was abusing kids as late as 2011; that’s not just post-Spotlight, by that point there were already class action lawsuits against Church that had been won, and multiple million-plus dollar judgments. And Boucher’s case was so obvious that even the fucking mayor of the town was trying to get the Church to do something about the guy.

      I’m honestly not sure what the right thing to do about all that is. On the one hand, I want to say that if any parent post, say, 2010, allows any cleric unsupervised access to their kids—especially if the cleric has a “reputation”, as the offenders almost always do—then the parents deserve every bit as much condemnation as the Church. On the other hand… I recognize that a lot of the time, the parents are just as much victims as the kids—their child was raped, after all—and quite often the parents are vulnerable, too. Boucher, for example, specifically selected victims from troubled families.

      So I’m not sure what to do. I mean, I’m inclined to put the blame on the parents anyway, vulnerable or not, because they have taken on the responsibility for caring for the kid. If their situation is so bad that they can’t do that, I don’t see that simply giving up and sending the child to the internationally renowned rape cabal is an acceptable choice. But at the same time, I don’t think we provide enough support for parents. A universal basic income, free child care… there are a lot of things our secular governments could and should be doing to make it so that parents don’t have to rely on the rape Church for support.

  2. Shane Newman

    I love how the religions work. 1st if someone criticizes them on a public forum it can be considered a hate crime…..or at the least a warning from the authorities, but it can, in the place of Islam, get you a death sentence. But boy do they pull out all the stops with regards to promoting anti- LGTBQ, and the real sick part is the promotion of pedophilic actions regarding young children.Both Christianity and Islam allow these actions to happen and either hide them or it is a part of their religion. There are also a lot of other crimes they get away with, like fraud. Once I had respect for religions but I have lost it, and further I have a intense fear and mistrust of their motives. All religions have a hidden agenda, and if anyone wishes to research alol you have to do is look at the Evangelical movement Their are parasites worming their way into governments, the legal systems and even education systems. Christianity is an apocalypse religion (or cult) that worship the end of the world. Prophesies are partially based on mans beliefs. I think that they want to create their version of the end of the world. They are waiting and wanting to be with their imaginary god, so I think they will do something horrible to get there. They go to their churches to worship, disregarding covid rules, and get infected, take it home and gladly infect others. They feel nothing towards others and obviously consider the rest of humanity as expendable, they are only concerned about themselves.

    1. rj

      Just imagine had their “law school” gone ahead. What would be their purpose other than to protect church’s privileges and their assets from liabilities. And carve out exemptions for themselves into secular law.

      1. Indi Post author

        That seems a bit conspiratorial, not to mention misdirected. They hardly need the law school to do any of that.

        I’m a big fan of the saying: “When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” It’s a form of Ockham’s Razor. Basically don’t assume grand conspiratorial plans when simple venal explanations work just as well. Why would Trinity Western want a Christian law school? Well maybe it’s part of a grand plan for a covert Christian takeover of our secular legal system… or maybe they just already had a school, and adding a law school to it would cost them effectively nothing, but earn them buckets of cash (law schools ain’t cheap for the students, after all).

        In other words, what purpose could there possibly be for a law school at Trinity Western? Why not simply making TWU and its leadership richer, while giving them even more credibility as a legit school? No need to assume they’re working for the “church” (I’m not even sure which church that would be), or lining up the pieces in some long-term game of 4D chess where they rewrite the nation’s laws.

        1. rj

          Conspiratorial or not this is already happening. This way they could keep their recruits inside the christian bubble instead of going out into the real world at a “liberal” university. Then encourage their politicians to institute biblical practices like in the states. Or go off to the developing world as missionaries and help architect things like a “kill the gays” bill. I guess I just doubled down. Oh well.

          1. Indi Post author

            If it’s “already happening” even though the law school doesn’t exist, then clearly the law school wasn’t really necessary for this evil plot, non? 🤷🏼

            Also… what would a law school have to do with missionaries?

            As I said, this really seems like conspiratorial thinking, in the “it’s all connected, man!” kinda way. I don’t doubt that the people in charge of Christian schools like TWU wish they were that well-organized and had a coherent, well-thought-out plan to (re-)Christianize the entire country. But if you follow them for long enough, you eventually realize that… they’re really just a bunch of fucking morons, who happen to have power and influence only by virtue of being rich and well-connected in “old boy’s clubs” that control most of society’s institutions simply by virtue of having been the ones who created them, and they’re still just hanging around like an old smell.

            They’re also just as greedy and self-serving as any rich old fucks. Take the Charles McVety stuff that’s been coming out in Ontario the last few weeks, for example. It would have been very easy, a month or two ago, to spin theories that McVety founded Canada Christian College—and wants it fully accredited—in order to use it to educate an army of Christian foot soldiers who would go out into the world and subtly twist Canada into a Christian theocracy. And maybe that’s even how McVety imagined it, in his fantasies. But look at the reality of the school (that’s been coming out over the past few weeks). It’s an incompetently managed bozo academy that couldn’t even to muster enough of a façade of academic integrity long enough to fool a panel of bureaucrats—and needed Ford to throw them a bone, at the cost of his own political reputation—and appears to exist primarily as a way for McVety and his family to launder money, and write off expenses like jet-skis.

            I don’t know about the details of TWU, and yeah, sure, maybe they’re secretly some well-oiled, carefully-managed apparatus designed and implemented for the express purpose of shaping the thin edge of the wedge that will tear our secular state apart. But if I had to bet money, I’d bet that they’re far more likely to be yet another incompetently-managed vanity project of a handful of rich, self-righteous assholes, with the only parts of it that function reliably being the parts the funnel money into the owners’ pockets.

            Or put another way: Why would TWU want a law school that bans its students from butt-sex? Simply because the chuds in charge of it get off on the power trip of inflicting their “moral superiority” on others, and churning out sycophantic drones who look up to them as their faith-daddies, and this would be something that does all that while also making them rich(er). I really don’t believe they have the mental capacity to plan much beyond that.

            That’s not to say we shouldn’t be vigilant, and fight them tooth and nail whenever they try to do anything that threatens rights and freedoms, or our country’s secular nature. But let’s not give them too much credit, and start spinning wild fantasies about them being hyper-competent conspiracy mongers. Because hyper-competent, they most definitely ain’t.

    2. Indi Post author

      Dude, you’re a bit of a nutter. You realize that, right?

      First of all, no, merely criticizing religion “on a public forum” will not be “considered a hate crime”. That’s actually a lie promoted by right-wing loons who want to undermine hate speech laws because they prevent people from slagging on minorities… including, surprise surprise, the LGBTQ people you pretend to care about. It’s a tragedy that so many atheists have become useful idiots for the bigots, and repeat that bullshit.

      Second… once again, you’re bringing up Islam out of the blue. Every item is about Christianity (which is hardly surprising in Canada). And, as usual, you’re not just bringing Islam up for no good reason, you’re doing so out of complete ignorance. No, Islam does not “get you a death sentence” merely for criticizing the religion. In fact, there are strong traditions of criticism within Islam.

      Conflating religions with governments is wilful stupidity. A government that prescribes a death sentence for blasphemy is not the same as a religion doing so… no, not even when that government claims the religion as the source of its legitimacy because—prepare for a shock—governments lie, and particularly regressive, tyrannical, authoritarian regimes.

      Besides, I’ve already pointed out to you that putative atheist regimes can and have been every bit as nasty as religious ones. Got no response for that, eh? If Islamic governments arresting, torturing, and killing people for “criticism” makes Islam guilty of being regressive and intolerant, why doesn’t atheist governments doing the same thing make atheism guilty, too? Seriously, if you’re going to be a hypocrite, at least try to make your double standard less obvious.


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