Weekly Update: to

by | June 5, 2021

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

  • [] Ravi Zacharias’ daughter apologizes for ‘serious errors;’ brother says she doesn’t speak for family

    So I had a small amount of respect for the people at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries… for a little while. When first confronted with evidence of Zacharias’s sexual abuses, they did the usual thing: they refused to acknowledge it and tried to cover it up. But eventually they did the right thing; their own internal investigation pretty much proved that Zacharias was a piece of shit, so they publicly acknowledged the fact, issued apologies, and took steps to erase Zacharias from their brand. It would be nice to end the story there, but it turns out that while some of Zacharias’s children have at least a smidgen of decency, with others the rotten apple didn’t really fall far from the tree.

  • [] The Catholic Church must atone for its role in residential schools

    I mean, yeah. People have been bugging multiple Popes to take responsibility for their part in running the residential schools for decades now. But Coren is probably right about how the Vatican refuses to apologize: they’re terrified that it will open them up to legal, and particularly financial responsibilities to the survivors. And, I mean, sure, it might… but you’d think the institution that claims to be the arbiters of morality would do the right thing anyway.

  • [] A growing number of designers are providing contemporary, secular ways to remember the dead, including sustainable options

    Perhaps the biggest roadblock to phasing out religion in society is religion’s desperate grip on ceremonial recognition and celebration of shared culture, and important personal milestones. We really need to step up and do a better job of providing secular alternatives to coming-of-age ceremonies, celebrations of major events in our lives—like weddings—and so on. One area where we are ironically doing spectacularly well is in how we handle death and dying. It’s ironic because the classic claim goes that people cling to religion because it provides comfort in the face of mortality. Turns out that’s not true. In fact, there’s a growing sense that religiosity at a funeral gets in the way of the actual purpose: to remember the deceased. (And of course, religion generally makes the process of dying miserable and more difficult than it has to be, but that’s a point for another day.)

  • [] Conservative MP Sponsored Petition From Anti-LGBTQ Pastor Who is Calling For Civil Disobedience to Oppose Conversion Therapy Bill

    So this is just the first item this week about Conservative MPs and their regressive leanings. I just don’t get the mindset of these Christian groups. They bray on about how the only law is God’s law and how they don’t have to follow the “laws of men”… yet they still try to force their bullshit into laws. Meh, anyway, it’s not the Christian wackos that bother me, it’s the rather distressingly large number of Conservative MPs who are willing to take this fight right to the floor, even to the point of quoting Bible verses in Parliamentary debate. The conversion therapy ban is probably going to pass, but the sheer (Scheer?) amount of regressive lunacy coming from the Conservative benches should be concerning nonetheless.

  • [] Majority of Erin O’Toole’s Conservative caucus back bill seeking to ban sex-selective abortion

    So almost 70% of the Conservative caucus took the mask off the Erin O’Toole’s lie about the Conservative Party being pro-choice, feminist, or even remotely progressive. Cathay Wagantall’s ridiculous “sex selective abortion ban” bill has to be one of the most transparently underhanded attempts to weasel abortion restrictions back into Canadian criminal law since Morgentaler. Not only does it “solve” a problem that does not actually appear to exist in Canada, there doesn’t seem to be any way that it could actually be enforced (even assuming it could survive a Charter challenge, which seems unlikely). Despite all that—or perhaps because of it—it serves as a perfect dog whistle for social conservative assholes to signal their supporters… and damn, it sure looks like the Conservative Party is a whole lot more regressive than Erin O’Toole pretends.

  • [] Stuck Noah’s Ark sparks international incident as Government urged to aid rescue

    Okay, this isn’t really a Canadian story, but it’s so fucking hilarious I can’t help but feature it. The Ark in question is colloquially known as one of “Johan’s Arks”. Dutch creationist Johan Huibers actually built a full-size replica of Noah’s Ark, and it is, to my knowledge, the only Ark replica that is actually floating on water. (It’s not actually floating on its own. It is actually sitting on a steel barge structure. Despite this, it’s still not seaworthy, though it can be towed along rivers with no waves.) This Ark is not that Ark. This Ark is a roughly half-size version that Huibers made previously. It is also not seaworthy, but at least it is some closer to being seaworthy, and has been towed across the North Sea on multiple occasions. Well, it’s apparently a death trap. Who’d’a thunk it?

  • [] Winnipeg Police Agreed to Promote ‘Secretive and Strict’ Religious Sect, Internal Emails Show

    I don’t believe there is any nefarious entanglement between the Winnipeg Police and the Brethren. I think this is a more mundane case of laziness and incompetence on the part of the cops; they just assumed that there was nothing untoward about a Christian group wanting to do charity through the police. I think that scrubbing mention of the group from their public announcements was done out of the standard Canadian distaste for publicly flaunting religion, rather than a specific intent to hide who they were dealing with. That all being said, I think there’s a lesson to be learned here about assuming that if someone or some group is Christian, that means they’re “safe”.

  • [] Quebec appeals Superior Court’s decision to nix parts of secularism law

    The “secularism law” referred to here is Bill 21, which is not actually about secularism, but try getting that through the thick skulls of some CBC reporters. And the appeal comes as no surprise; the CAQ thought their religious accessories ban was ironclad, due to the notwithstanding clause protecting it from rational review, so they were caught flat-footed when the judge found a few areas where the notwithstanding clause just doesn’t cover. I don’t know what Jolin-Barrette’s actual play is here, if any. Could be he just wants to get Bill 21 before the Supreme Court, just to roll the cosmic dice there.

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