Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .
This week’s items
 Alternative service for conscientious vaccine objectors?
Oh, ho, ho, this is a gutsy opinion piece.
It plays to an idea that is too often ignored—often deliberately—when people talk about religious “exemptions”: they’re not really exemptions, but rather compromises. The idea is that if someone has a truly, deeply held conviction—and, by the way, it doesn’t need to be religious; any deeply held conviction, regardless of its source, applies—that person should not be forced to violate that conviction without a damn good reason. If at all possible, they should be offered an alternative option. That option may allow them to avoid a requirement most other people have to comply with… but at the same time, it might—and probably will—put additional requirements on the person. In other words, it’s not just a free ride.
It’s hard not to conclude that the current anti-vaxxer fad is a profoundly selfish movement, made up of whiny little babies who can’t even muster enough empathy or social responsibility to wear a simple face mask to save other people’s lives. They could so easily prove us wrong by, as Longhurst describes, proposing some alternative way to show they accept the same social responsibility as those who wear masks. But they don’t.
 Places of worship granted mask exemption in new Alberta restrictions
But why? Why are places of worship exempt from mandatory masking? That’s the question the Alberta government won’t answer.
The closest I’ve seen them come is a passing mention to taking communion. Basically, the government says mandatory masking is only waived in situations where masks are impractical; you can’t force people to wear masks while eating a meal at a restaurant, for example. How do masks get in the way of religious services? Well, communion; you can’t eat the Jesus cracker with a mask on.
But that justification is absolutely ridiculous:
- First, the taking of communion is, like, a 30-second part of a 30-minute-plus service… no other part of which requires removing the mask.
- Second, Catholicism is just one religion; how does the communion argument justify not requiring masks at a, say, Muslim service?
 Iqaluit moves closer to removing property tax exemption
Good on Iqaluit! It’s looking like this is actually going to happen. I’ll have to remember to check after Tuesday to see if it actually goes through.
 “The Son” by Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)
Holy shit, this is hilarious. I can’t believe this idea never occurred to me.
This would be a perfect comic to pass around on Blasphemy Day (which, reminder, is coming up in a few weeks!).
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What a nice, clean look! I read down the whole thing before realizing I had made suggestions last week. I would love a border-top on h3, but it looks great. Thanks for your work!
No, thanks for your suggestions! I’m not really a UI guy (as if that weren’t already obvious), so your advice has been really helpful.
I’ll look into adding a top border on the
h3s ASAP. Once I’ve implemented that (hopefully before October’s first Update; I’m just swamped for the next bit), let me know if it looks good. An alternative to the top border I’m also considering is to just make the background of the
h3s grey, like how it is for the by-line and the sidebar section headers. A grey band between each item might give better visual separation, I’m thinking.
Actually, the background colour wold probably be better. Great idea.
The post title slug ID looks fine in the URL but have you noticed that the recent comments listing shows HTML and I guess XHTML or something in the time of the post and the link to it when it’s a Weekly Update?