Weekly Update: to

by | January 16, 2021

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] No additional fines against Calgary church leader who refused to follow COVID-19 rules

    The classic question asks about pitting an unstoppable force against an immovable object, but what’s happening in Alberta is more like a noodle-armed nudge against a stubborn infant. The provincial government has, like the other provincial governments, attempted to put its foot down and implement some restrictions intended to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Like most of the provinces, Alberta’s restrictions are vague, incoherent, unlikely to be particularly effective at containing the pandemic, and largely unenforced. Despite all that, the government is still finding itself facing stiff, if idiotic, resistance, particularly from churches. Witness this incident. This church was not only holding in-person services way beyond the limits imposed by the province, they were doing so almost entirely unmasked. Even after they were hit with a $1,200 fine for doing it… they did it again, and they did it right in front of the police who had gathered there in an almost comically ineffective show of force and authority. And what were the consequences of defying the province’s health guidelines? Nothing. There was apparently some face-off in the parking lot… couple of heated words exchanged… and then nothing. No further charges or fines or anything. That’s right, this church defied the Alberta government… and the Alberta government backed down. How pathetic is that? And what happens now? Are they going to have services again this weekend? Will the provincial authorities do something this time?

  • [] Montreal Synagogue Vandalized With Swastikas In ‘Vile Assault’

    Unbelievable. A decade or so ago, I would have thought this kind of bullshit was ancient history, the kind of outrageous act of bigotry that one would only see caricatured in films set in the 1920s or 1930s. But somehow the early decades of the twenty-first century have made Kristallnacht great again, so here we are… telling stories of synagogues… defaced with swastikas. And of course there are going to people who mock me for taking this kind of thing seriously; “oh, it’s just trolling”, they always say. Fuck those people, because this guy was also carrying a can of gasoline. This shit is serious, and we have a responsibility to recognize the cultural zeitgeist that is giving rise to these acts of hate, and moderate our criticisms of Judaism—and all minority religions—so that bigots cannot either hide amongst us, or use us, our platforms, and our words to recruit more to their cause.

  • [] Dan Levy Slams Catholic School Board For Removing ‘Life-Saving Resource For Young People’

    Another happy story this week! Well, it started out kinda shitty, as a particularly regressive and anti-LGBTQ2S+ organization—it’s the Toronto Catholic District School Board, of course; if I say it’s a homophobic organization, that should be one of your first guesses—removed a link to the LGBT YouthLine from their website. Why? Basically, because they said it was a porn hotline. No, really. That’s pretty much what they said: That support line that’s been a staple for kids struggling with LGBTQ2S+ issues for over 25 years? It’s really a fuck-chat connection. Yes, I know it sounds painfully idiotic, but did you forget we’re talking about the TCDSB? This is pretty much their standard fare anti-gay bullshit. As usual, even though the board is a bunch of homophobic shitwads, the students, parents, and teachers showed mountains more understanding, acceptance, and leadership. And then… Dan fuckin’ Levy stepped in. And, oh boy, did he bring the music with him, and it was beautiful. Levy’s fans joined the public outcry, and brought along big names like Olivia Chow, Kathleen Wynne, and entire communities of support with them. And just one day after this story was published, the TCDSB backed off, and reinstated the link. Simply… awesome. I can’t help but feel this deserves a David Rose GIF.

  • [] Supreme Court of Canada rejects Catholic archdiocese appeal over Mount Cashel

    Finally, after two decades, we have finally reached the end of this case… and it’s a spectacular win! This one has been a rollercoaster, with most of the setbacks arising from the fact that the Catholic Church refused to take responsibility for what happened at Mount Cashel because it was run by the Christian Brothers… a Catholic organization, but not technically part of the Catholic Church. The victims first went after the Catholic Brothers, won, but then the Catholic Brothers went bankrupt (due to all the abuse settlements they had to pay), so they went after the Church. At first they lost at the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, because, again, the Christian Brothers were Catholic, but not part of the Church. But then, in a delightful surprise—one of the very few in 2020—the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeals overturned that ruling, and said, look, while the orphanage wasn’t run by the Church on paper, it absolutely was run by the Church as a matter of fact. Church officials gave direction on how to run the orphanage, provided material and general support, they literally went there to oversee how it was being run, they knew about all the abuse that was happening and they helped cover it up. “Technically it wasn’t us” just doesn’t cut it anymore, and that’s a huge deal, because there are hundreds of orphanages, schools, halfway houses, etc. that were run under the guidance, in accordance with the teachings, and with the support of the Church… but technically only run by Catholics… not the Catholic Church itself. That won’t matter anymore. Any abuse that happened in those places will now be legally recognized as the responsibility of the Church, which means no more stiffing survivors out of their settlement money due to this or that tiny order of monks or nuns closing up shop… now survivors can go after the real masterminds behind their victimization: the Church itself.

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

    I remember being told by missionaries that God answers every prayer with either “yes”, “no”, or “wait”. I am not at all surprised to learn that uproarious laughter is the fourth option.

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One thought on “Weekly Update: to

  1. shane newman

    It is good to see that the Catholic Church itself is being held accountable. The investigation should alos include the othe big religions as well.


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