Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .
 This Alberta woman spent 26 years in a religious community. She now considers it a cult
There are a few high-profile cults in Canada that I suppose regular readers of Canadian Atheist could name, but I have to wonder how many other cults sail under the radar because no one has yet spoken up about what’s really going on inside them. Just look at the numbers in this case: Phipps estimates that 50 people have left the cult… but she is one of the few willing to talk publicly about it. And as the cult expert points out, while that is sometimes due to spiritual shame, sometimes it’s due to fear—sometimes of physical threats—and sometimes it’s because their family is being held hostage by the cult. The best we can help escapees, not to mention those still trapped in cults, is to share their stories, and shine a light on what’s going on.
 ‘Where is their soul?’: Inside the failed push to make Catholic Church pay for its residential school abuses
Wow. This is a hell of a piece. I’m surprised it came from the CBC. You really need to read all the way through it, because it unfolds in phases, each shocking on its own. It opens with the damning revelation that although the Catholic Church claims it can’t raise the $25 million it promised residential school survivors, it somehow managed to raise $28.5 million just for a single cathedral in Saskatoon. And then the article goes further, revealing that Canada’s 12 million Catholics raised roughly 30¢ each (on average) for residential school survivors. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: while it’s true the Catholic leadership is particularly horrible, that doesn’t mean Catholics in general are innocent; anyone still calling themselves a Catholic at this point is consciously declaring that they care more about the organization than the tens of thousands of children raped under its auspices… not to mention the victims of the residential schools genocide. But all the above is just the introduction to the article, which then dives into the real meat, describing how the Catholic Church used the threat of a looming Conservative government to cheat residential school survivors out of full compensation… and then failed to pay even that.
 Steinbach pastor says he’s been flooded with angry messages after being featured in vaccine campaign
I find this weird intersection of religiosity and vaccine denial fascinating, because it really exposes just how far the politicization of religion has gone. Because, let’s be clear, while I keep saying “religion”, we all know that I’m really only talking about a certain strain of evangelical Christianity here. There is no real theological basis for this opposition to vaccines, lockdowns, and the idea that COVID-19 is a real thing at all; oh, sure, they use religious language and try to squeeze in “logic” that somehow connects their faith to their political stance, but it’s pretty transparently all post-hoc. Mind you, the pastor in this article apparently has his head a bit up his ass. He says:
I was surprised that some people would call a stranger and say I’m going to hell.Really, Kyle? Really? Clearly you’ve never been a public atheist, or LGBTQ2S+, or… any number of things, really.
 Brothers of the Sacred Heart to pay $60 million in sex abuse settlement
This is a remarkable story that is, at long last, approaching its conclusion. It began with a single accusation of rape, albeit one that involved three to six incidents a week for two years, starting at age 13. But once the accusation was made public, more came forward. Many more. In the end—at least so far—more than 200 victims came forward, naming more 90 abusers at 26 establishments over 75 years. (And that’s just the second lawsuit. The first had over 70 accusers and 19 abusers, but I don’t know how much of that overlaps with the second case.) In a way, this is a microcosm of the whole Catholic sex abuse scandal. Even before it broke, everyone knew rape and molestation was rampant at Catholic schools, orphanages, and so on. But it took a small number of brave souls to actually step forward and fight for the truth, before the floodgates opened.
 Judge rules Ottawa unfairly rejected jobs grant request of Christian university that opposes gay relationships
Not sure how I feel about this ruling. I mean, I can’t dispute it; it does seem pretty plain that the Government just didn’t do their job properly, and dismissed the application without bothering to do the legwork to justify it. That was the decision: it wasn’t that the Government was wrong to say homophobic organizations shouldn’t get summer jobs grants, it was that they didn’t bother to properly justify that Redeemer University is a homophobic organization. Even if it’s true, you still have to show that it’s true to deny the grant; you can’t just assume it’s true, because that’s just prejudiced… and lazy. So the actual decision doesn’t bother me. The part that bothers me is the Judge’s ominous warning that if the Government had done their jobs, proved that Redeemer is bigoted, and then properly denied them the grant on those grounds… there might still be a Charter violation. I’m not sure what the Judge is actually getting at here; I’m not sure if he’s saying that there might have been a Charter violation because the Government didn’t properly show that they had considered Redeemer’s rights and concluded that this is a justified violation (which would have been okay; again, they just needed to actually do the work to show they considered everything)… or whether this is probably not a justified violation in any case. It seems to me the Government has a pretty rock solid case for why Redeemer’s rights can be overruled—it would be to protect the rights of the kids.
 Government, advocates express disappointment with Senate for not passing conversion therapy and broadcast bills
Ugh, this is infuriating. Unlike Raman-Wimns and Curry (and Trudeau), though, I’m not sure how much of this can be laid at the feet of the Conservatives. To be sure, the Conservatives are the only group that oppose the conversion therapy ban bill (here on Canadian Atheist, I don’t really care about the broadcast bill; off-the-record, I’ll say I’m not upset that that Bill has been stalled), but it’s not clear how much of the reason for this stall is due to opposition to the Bill, and how much is simply the petty stubbornness of bureaucrats flexing control over their domain of power. That is, I wonder if the main reason the Bill is being held up is simply because Senators are annoyed at the idea of being pressured to rush it. Whatever the reason, this stall could spell the end of this Bill, if an election gets called, and if the new government doesn’t have a majority of reasonable people (which seems unlikely; the only party opposing the Bill is the Conservatives, and they ain’t doin’ so hot in the polls).
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I’m a little imbarassed. Was almost dreading coming back. But it wasn’t as bad as I feared. In my defence it was sweltering in BC and I’d had a few.
But again you didn’t disappoint. Without you that CBC story would’ve flown under my radar. I think I’ll follow Mr Warick for a while and see what else he’s up to. There should be an app for that. Not that I have any apps.