Weekly Update: 12-Feb-2022 to 18-Feb-2022

by | February 20, 2022

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

This week’s items

[] For many inside the Freedom Convoy, faith fuels the resistance

My process for creating Weekly Update is to collect links to interesting stories throughout the week, and then go through the list—paring it down and removing duplicates—before creating the final Update What happens some weeks is a story is so big, or so multifaceted, that I end up with a half-dozen or more links all about the same basic story, but all with different pieces of the puzzle. It can be a challenge to distill all that complexity down to a single Update item.

That’s what happened this week, as the trucker convoys across Canada that have blockaded Ottawa and a number of other cities—and some strategic border crossings—got a more thorough scrutiny from the mainstream media than they had been given at first. Belatedly, the big news outlets discovered that, shock of shocks, this protest isn’t really a worker’s protest at all. (I know, right? You’d think the fact that not a single Canadian labour organization supports it—nor any left wing group at all—would be a sign.) They also finally noticed that there is a much bigger shadow underlying the whole affair—something not grassroots in the slightest—but they’ve been stumbling over themselves trying to figure out what it is. Naturally, their first guess is their favourite go-to bugaboo: US influence. The fact that the convoy was using a right-wing Christian, US-based crowdfunding website seemed to square with their theories.

But then something interesting happened. Unlike GoFundMe, GiveSendGo’s information security was… well, they’re a religious site, so… it was holy. (Sorry, horrible pun.) Hackers got the entire funding database for the convoy and… lo and behold… the donors are primarily Canadian. Oh, the media narrative didn’t change; they’re still trying hard to spin it as American influence. But look carefully at the data. ~40% more Americans donated—hardly a smoking gun, given their population is an order of magnitude larger than ours—but over 36,000 Canadians donated an average of more than $100 US each. Yes, Americans are interfering—that’s kinda their thing—but this is indisputably a Canadian phenomenon.

So what’s really going on? Well, the big news outlets noted that GiveSendGo is a US-based, Christian site, and they chose to focus on the “US-based” part. The real answer though… is in the “Christian” part.

Now, let me be clear. The protest isn’t completely and entirely a Christian thing. Like a pair of hip waders tromping through a cess pool, it’s picked up some shit along the way. All sorts of right-wing wackos and loonies have attached themselves to the convoy, everything from rabid anti-Trudeau types, to people who think Bill Gates is putting microchips in the vaccine to appease our lizard alien overlords. Yes, the protest is not about just one thing, nor is it made up of just one group. But there is a core holding the shambles together. There is a single, unified root that is keeping the whole thicket alive via funding and moral support. And the big news outlets have found it out; they just… refuse to admit what they’re seeing.

It’s religion. Specifically Christianity. And no, not specifically Evangelical Christianity. It’s a loose coalition of right-wing Christianity in general, encompassing Evangelicals, Baptists, and even “traditionalist Catholics”.

Their fingerprints are all over these protests. The CBC article describes them reenacting the fall of Jericho story, marching circles around Parliament Hill and blowing on ram’s horns (or, yanno, whatever they could get their hands on that approximates ram’s horns). Numerous outlets have noted the Bible verses everywhere at the protests. And those journalists that have bothered to follow the money and actually let the evidence speak for itself—rather than going in with a preconceived narrative about American influence—have discovered who’s really providing the material support.

If you want to frame this as an “attack on Canada”—a framing that I don’t entirely disagree with, despite the confusion inherent—then it is Christianity attacking Canada. This is an insurgency by a certain strain of far right Christianity. And that’s using their own rhetoric; this isn’t the language I would use, if it were up to me.

Keep in mind, though, this strain of Christianity is the crazy strain. The CBC article tries to give its subjects an air of credibility, but read on down and you’ll soon see they’re absolute nutters. The main subject ends up babbling about a shadow conspiracy using COVID-19 to bring about the end times from the Book of Revelations. It’s absolutely amazing that law enforcement didn’t have these people under observation long before this convoy stunt, and that they didn’t seem to have a clue what to do about them when they literally rolled into our capitol to occupy it. Hard to imagine law enforcement being so complacent if this had been an insurgency organized by Muslims, rather than Christians.

[] Saskatchewan First Nation says 54 potential graves found at two former residential schools

This story has been completely drowned out by the anti-mandate protests; it was actually hard to find a major source for it. But I think it’s important that we don’t forget that the revelations from the residential schools genocide are still coming. Still more dead, forgotten kids are being discovered. This is another 54, at two schools in Saskatchewan, both run by Catholics.

I urge you to read the article, because it’s just thick with ugly details that… I can’t even.

Like, of the two schools, they only expected to find bodies at one them… because the elders had kept up an oral history. They knew there had been headstones at the school many years ago. They don’t know who removed them or why.

The other school, however, was known for having a problem with sexual abuse of the kids. Nobody knew about the graves there, and when they found out, they were dismayed to realize they’d been walking all over them—even holding ceremonies over them—for decades.

And the worst part may be that they’re not even halfway done searching. The efforts had to be put on hold due to the snow, but when they resume… damn, man, how many more bodies will be discovered?

4 thoughts on “Weekly Update: 12-Feb-2022 to 18-Feb-2022

  1. rj

    I’d be interested in your take on last weeks news in BC ” churches let off fines for breaking covid rules”. Other guys, bars, fitness joints ect. weren’t so lucky. Is it because they pay taxes?

    Reply
    1. Indi Post author

      I wasn’t aware of this! I haven’t seen any articles about it. Can you give me a link?

      Without the story, the best take I can give you is a suspicion that what may be happening here is simply a consequence of legal matters being in flight. Unlike bars, gyms, etc., the churches are actually fighting court cases. I’m not aware of any active cases of bars, etc. fighting fines, but I could be wrong! If there are cases of bars, etc. fighting fines, they’re most likely being fought on specific grounds (“the fines are legal, but I don’t have to pay this fine because of [insert extenuating circumstances excuse here]”), rather than on constitutional principle (“the fines are illegal because of muh freedumb of relijun!”).

      So it may not be a case that the churches are being “let off” their fines, but rather they’re not being chased down to pay them… yet, pending the result of the court cases.

      But please do pass on the link so I can look into this!

      Reply
      1. rj

        I heard it discussed briefly on the radio. An article I did find was at CityNews by Martin MacMahon titled “BC drops more than two dozen COVID-19 tickets against religious groups since December”.
        Now they know they don’t have to follow the rules. And I’ll bet they were issued warnings first but chose to disobey orders.

        Reply
        1. Indi Post author

          Ah, I think I’ve got the sense of what’s going on here now.

          There were two things nagging at me about the story:

          1. how “strange” is it that 25 charges got dropped against churches; and
          2. why isn’t anyone talking about this?

          The reason the first question bothered me is that 25 charges dropped sounds like a lot… but… is it? Note that’s not charges against 25 churches, that’s 25 charges. It’s not uncommon for a single incident to result in like a half-dozen charges. Or for a single church to be charged multiple times for continuing to flout the rules Sunday after Sunday. There’s also the question of whether this is a situation were trivial, secondary tickets were dropped against major offenders, so the province could focus on the big-ticket charges currently being fought in court.

          On top of that, the fact that 25 charges were dropped might not be interesting at all, depending on the base rate. I obviously don’t know for the specific case of lockdown violation tickets, but I do know from activist friends that charges at protests are dropped at a rate of like 80–90%… and a lot of these anti-public-health-measure tickets are probably a result of misguided “protests”. But suppose 10% of all charges get dropped for whatever reason. If 25 charges represents significantly more than 10% of all the charges against religious groups… well, then that would be interesting. But if that’s roughly 10%—or, even more interestingly, less—then, meh, it’s a non-story.

          So, if 25 charges being dropped is interesting, then why is there only the one article about it? That suggests to me that when other journalists looking into the story checked, it’s actually not that interesting.

          So, if it really isn’t interesting, why did any journalist write about it? Well, now, that’s where I read between the lines about who the journalist’s source was.

          I think what happened here is a lazy journalist got baited into basically republishing a press release from John Carpay. Carpay has been fighting a losing battle against public health measures for quite a while now—he’s lost basically every court challenge they’ve tried—and all the while he’s been desperately trying to spin every tiny little “victory” as a huge deal. (Seriously, the JCCF’s public releases are just embarrassing when you see how hard they’re trying to hide the fact that they’re massive losers.)

          The press release that I suspect underlies this article was probably just Carpay braggin’ about the tiny, trivial “victory” of getting 25 charges dropped, even though the JCCF probably had nothing to do with any of it at all, just to have some “victory” to brag about. And the journalist who got the press release probably figured, what the fuck, the story’s already written, I’ma just pad it out and hope the lede is controversial enough to get me some eyeballs.

          I could be wrong, but I don’t think there’s anything more to it than that. But I’ll keep an eye out for more info. As COVID measures wind down, I expect we’ll start getting some concrete numbers of what all went down, so we can get a better sense of just how well/badly churches in particular were treated.

          Reply

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