Weekly Update: to

by | September 4, 2021

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[A cartoon depicting a man praying: “Dear Jesus, if e’er with wreathes I hung thy sacred fane, or fed the flames with fat of oxen slain; god of the silver bow! Thy shafts employ, avenge they servant, and―” God interrupts him, saying: “What are you doing?”]
Okay, if prayers usually sounded like this, I would much more pro-prayer.

This week’s items

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

I just love God’s comment in the fourth panel. Absolutely brilliant.

[] Erin O’Toole’s abortion stance serves neither physicians nor women

Full disclosure: I agree with O’Toole—well, not at first; I agree with the current position he’s flip-flopped to. I think requiring effective referral is a good balance between patient rights and doctor rights.

But Bergman makes a very strong argument that this compromise isn’t good enough. Her key point is that so long as abortion access isn’t universally easy, allowing doctors to opt-out of providing abortion services is unduly punishing women; that is, once one considers the extant context, it’s not a good balance of rights. And… I can’t argue that.

I also agree with her conclusion, that [t]he only way to truly protect the conscience rights of physicians to deny abortions is to make abortion more readily accessible to women who need and want it across Canada, so that accessing abortions is not contingent upon doctors who don’t want to perform them. Yeah. Nailed it.

[] Maybe You Missed It, but the Internet ‘Died’ Five Years Ago

I hadn’t heard this one before! Bet you didn’t know all the Canadian Atheist content you’ve been enjoying for years has actually been generated by an artificial intelligence I wrote back in 2015!

[] Do vaccine mandates violate Canadians’ charter rights?

I’ve seen multiple people claiming that vaccine mandates violate Canadians’ Charter rights, some of them even in Canadian Atheist social media spaces. No; wrong; false.

The claim is bullshit, and this article goes into some detail explaining why.

[] RCMP investigate after threatening, racist letter sent to Langley mosque

Wow, this is fucked up and terrifying. I mean, we get plenty of hate mail at Canadian Atheist, but never anything that looks like it came straight off the desk of a serial killer.

Whenever I hear about anti-Muslim hate, I always fear that it might be coming out of the atheist community. Luckily, in this case, it doesn’t seem likely. The last “sentence” includes the words D us vult… which is probably meant to be “Deus vult”… which is Latin for “God wills it”, a battle cry from the Crusades that is popular on the far right.

I really like that some of the response from the Muslim community has not been fear, but rather anger. Good. They should be angry. No-one should have to put up with this shit to begin with, and let’s face it, thus far the response by law enforcement and the government has been absolutely unacceptable.

[] Anti-Racism Advocates Call on Party Leaders to Help Kill Bill 21

I’m pleased to see anti-racism groups being more vocal about criticizing Bill 21… and disappointed (though not surprised) to see that the party leaders in the current election are demurring. But I was surprised to discover that Yves Francois-Blanchet, leader of the Bloc Québécois, not only supports Bill 21 (that part doesn’t surprise me)… but that he really supports it, to the point of thinking that no one should even be allowed to oppose it.

In my defence, I don’t really pay much attention to Francois-Blanchet or the Bloc. But… turns out he’s a piece of shit. Quelle surprise.

[] Why Religions Are Preoccupied With Sex

This piece is summarizing an article that attempts to answer this question by inverting it. Rather than asking what it is about religion that makes it focus on sex so much, it turns the lens around to the believers, and suggests that the reason religion focuses on sex is because that’s exactly what the believers want from it.

It’s a really interesting theory, and Moon sure runs with it. There are some parts of it I find convincing; others… not so much. What do you think?

[] Several people fall ill after attending religious festival, Kelowna pastor says

Oof, this is a disgusting story. I mean, it’s entirely predictable, but that doesn’t mean it’s anything to celebrate.

The article doesn’t clarify whether the “flu” is actually COVID-19… and of course, the Church itself won’t admit it. But at least one person has tested positive for COVID-19.

The worst part of the story may be how irresponsible and craven the Church leadership has been:

  • They ran the event even though many of our staff arrived not well to begin with, and others got sick part way through the event.
  • They’re trying to shirk their responsibility by denying they organized the event (but won’t say who did).
  • Flouting public health measures has been their shtick all along: they rant about how vaccine passports are socialism and draconian communism, and claim that restrictions on gatherings have been implemented to the possibility of stadiums and conference centres being filled for Jesus.
  • Even after all this, the pastor still intends to go on a preaching tour.

But of course, BC health authorities deserve a portion of the blame, too, for exempting religious gatherings from restrictions that apply to other indoor events.

[] Racist Calgary mayoral candidate Kevin J. Johnston pleads guilty to hate crime

Holy shit. I haven’t been keeping tabs on Johnston of late (was kinda glad when he left Mississauga to go plague Calgary), but I thought I was pretty hip on all the evil and hateful bullshit he’s got up to. Turns out, I didn’t even know the half of it. I didn’t know about his racist coffee. I didn’t know about him harassing the Alberta Heath Services employee, or posting pictures of her family online. I didn’t know about him making videos threatening to gun-up and go to the homes of health officials. (I may have known about the assault charge, if it has something to do with a parking lot altercation after a publicity stunt where he and his goons tried to enter a store unmasked.)

The article says there’s a real possibility that Johnston might actually be in jail when election day comes. I certainly hope so; I agree with the Judge that he’s dangerous and out of control.

[] Bodily autonomy and conspiracy theories: A look at the history of anti-vaccine beliefs

This is a really good brief summary of anti-vaccination ideas, going all the way back to the invention of vaccination; yeah, it’s not a new phenomenon that the Internet created.

There is a lot of fascinating information in there. I knew about Cotton Mather and his slave… I did not know about the fire-bombing of Mather’s home, nor about his waffling about whether vaccination (technically, inoculation) was theologically permitted. (And, to be clear, Cotton Mather was not a hero in any sense. For starters… I mean… he had a slave… and the process of inoculation was tested on other slaves. But he was also basically the architect of the Salem witch trials.)

The article also makes interesting points and observations about the nature of anti-vaccination “logic”. I love the point that it makes about the “bodily integrity” argument, where anti-vaxxers claim they object to putting “foreign substances” in their bodies, yet gleefully inject bleach and horse-dewormer.

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One thought on “Weekly Update: to

  1. Shawn the Humanist

    Looking better! I think there is too much space between the date and the paragraph text. With one line entries at the top it makes it really hard to figure out what’s going on. Like is the line separating the headline from the body text or separating items? If there was almost 0 space then it would be super clear.

    The site and the updates are both looking much better.

    The post widget seems unnecessary and is a hold-over from old blogging platforms and not needed in the context of this site, I don’t think.


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