Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

The Saturday comic is also worth checking out.

  • [] Can religious and non-religious Canadians learn to put faith in each other?

    We featured the Unholy play here back in November, and it was a smash success. Now writer Diane Flacks reflects on the play’s run, including the fact that the Québec mosque shooting happened midway through its run and how that impacted the actresses and performance.

  • [] Dreams of a gender-neutral O Canada are over — for now

    Before anyone flies off on a rant about an “unelected senate”, bear in mind that this is entirely the doing of the Harper appointees; the independent senators created by Trudeau’s reforms – the ones usually targeted by people complaining about senate activism – aren’t involved. It’s hard to say where things will go from here, but if the Senate really does manage to kill the bill, that might provoke the Commons to re-table it as a Government bill (as opposed to a private member’s bill), and send it right back to the Senate again with a “I fucking dare you” note attached. But there’s also a more serious concern about a power struggle between the entrenched Conservative Senators that might force Trudeau to do something more drastic… which could have the side effects of killing off a dozen other bills we really want to see go through, including the one repealing the blasphemy law. Long story short, this situation is a symptom of a much more serious problem, which we should all be concerned about.

  • [] Residential schools seen as ‘major black mark’ in Canadian religious history: poll

    While more Canadians think religion has been a positive force overall, except for the very religious, most think they’ve done a really shitty job dealing with indigenous communities.

  • [] Father upset by school district’s ties to university with ‘anti-LGBT’ message

    To be clear, the “ties” between the school district and Crandall University are fairly tenuous. The district wants its teachers to take advantage of a training program they have organized at Crandall… because Crandall is the only university in the area that has the relevant specialty. So on that count, it does pass the secular smell test. But still, this is a troubling entanglement. Can you imagine being a gay teacher and having to go to a place like Crandall to take professional courses? Kind of a slap in the face, really.

  • [] Alberta school board serves notice it will stop operating controversial Christian academy

    Finally they make the sensible decision.

  • [] How to sneeze like an atheist and speak like a Humanist

    We all know our day-to-day language is littered with religious baggage. Here are some interesting exceptions for getting rid of some of it.

  • [] United Church embraces startups as it updates its social mission to engage millennials

    It’s been a while since I read the New Testament, but yeah, sure, I totally remember that when Jesus found people doing business in the temple, he was totally cool with it!

  • [] “The Rise Of The Right”(Audio: 35:49)

    In their final show for the season, the Commons team present a short documentary on the rise of the right, followed by an interview and analysis. Sadly, this piece was released before the terrible CBC interview with McInnis.

  • [] Saudi ambassador tells Trudeau government to stop raising blogger Raif Badawi’s case

    Yeah, this actually happened.

  • [] Quebec safari park defends religious freedom following ‘hateful’ response to Muslim visit

    The zoo deserves a medal for how they handled this situation. Here’s what happened: A group of Muslims reserved an area of Parc Safari near Montréal to hold a celebration for both Canada and the end of Ramadan. They were provided with a small roped off area for their picnic and other festivities, and of course, access to the rest of the park. No problems there, but when it came time for evening prayers, they used a small PA system they had brought. They weren’t overly loud (which you could have seen if the video hadn’t been pulled – you could barely make out what was being said), and anyway most of the attendees were off elsewhere in the park when it happened… but nevertheless the mere existence of Muslims pissed some people off. Someone made a video of it – and you can hear people making bigoted statements in the video – and uploaded it to YouTube, saying it showed a serious lack of respect for Québec and Québecers. It went viral, and got picked up by the media. The Park responded with a beautiful Facebook post, saying: Safari Park is sorry that freedom of religion may offend people. Well played.

  • [] Fate of Quebec town’s proposed Muslim cemetery rests in the hands of a few

    People love to talk up democracy as if it were the greatest idea humans ever had, but democracy can and has gone horribly wrong in the past. Here we have a case where a Muslim group wants to buy a plot of land and use it to create a Muslim cemetery. They got approval every step of the way… but now the rezoning has to be put to a vote of residents surrounding the area. If this were a sane world, they would look at the rational arguments for and against the rezoning – environmental impacts and whatnot – listen to the positions of the experts, and make a measured and thoughtful decision. But of course, what’s happening instead is people are seeing the word “Muslim”, and freaking out.

  • [] Regina Catholic appealing to families to raise $30,000 for Theodore court appeal

    Yup, the world’s richest religion is crowdsourcing its fight against the Charter. At least they’re not wasting more public money. Oh, wait. They are.

  • [] “Honest Discussion” by Zach Weinersmith (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal)

    Be sure to check the hovertext in the comic!

  • [] Humanism Has Limits. Obviously.

    In this piece, James Croft responds to a “rebuttal” I hear quite often when people try to bring social justice issues into humanism. The thesis quote is: What prevents this from being dogmatic is that I can argue for and defend my position, using arguments and evidence which are, in principle, available to my critics to examine and attack.

  • [] The Power of Canada’s Apology to Omar Khadr

    The big news this week has been the Government’s apology and settlement to Omar Khadr for allowing – nay, causing – his torture and other injustices. The Internet has been afire with rage about how “unfair” it is that Khadr is going to be “made a millionaire” and various clueless takes on how he doesn’t “deserve” it. From where I’m sitting, it boils down to two simple facts. First, the only reason he’s getting this settlement in the first place is because the Conservative government was stupid enough to actually fight Khadr in court. His cases, which every legal expert I’ve heard chime in on agrees he was essentially guaranteed to win, would have won him several tens of millions of dollars (I’ve heard numbers in $50 million range). By making this settlement, Trudeau actually saved Canada tens of millions of dollars… which Conservative boneheads – including even Andrew Scheer – if they got their way, would have cost us. Second, the reason Khadr does deserve this settlement – and the apology – is that even if, as some morons assert, he wasn’t forced into fighting… even if he wasn’t a child soldiereven if he was a willing, joyful participant in murder, mayhem, terrorism, whatever else you want to accuse him of, and even if the evidence against him was perfectly sound and wasn’t tainted with torture and other injustices, and even if he can be held accountable as an adult for his actions… even if all of that is true, the inescapable bottom line is that Omar Khadr is a Canadian, and he, like all Canadians, has rights outlined in the Charter, and those rights were violated – that cannot be denied. Because his rights were violated, he has the right to seek restitution in the courts – just like all Canadians. End of discussion. The travesty of justice here is not that Omar Khadr is receiving a settlement for what the Government of Canada did to him; it is what the Government did.

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6 thoughts on “Weekly Update: to

  1. “Gesundheit”

    It’s bizarre that a non-religious person would feel a need to say any particular magic words upon someone else’s sneeze. If you say anything at all, which is not required in the least, you simply should offer a tissue.

  2. “They weren’t overly loud (which you could have seen if the video hadn’t been pulled…)”

    I see with my eyes, hear with my ears. But in any case, ain’t censorship grand? Even you should be on board with spurring the development of a new censor-proof internet, where if you link to something on Tuesday, it’s still there Wednesday morning. And next year. And decades into the future. Until we’re sure nobody wants it.

    One day, someone is going to decide this blog is unacceptable. (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition). Do you want them coming to your registrar to have the domain name pulled? Do you want them coming to your webhoster to have the site erased? Do you want them coming to your ISP to have the communications link cut? Support a new internet, that puts control back in your hands. And in mine.

  3. “democracy can and has gone horribly wrong in the past”

    Every condo ever.

  4. “Be sure to check the hovertext in the comic!”

    This of course leaves us curious… at what point do you concede you were the character on the right?

  5. I don’t regard James as a serious individual. In any case, I see no value in labeling oneself “humanist” as the term seems up for debate and seems mostly to be about group membership, with a smattering of political activity.

    But I’ve seen so-called social justice, and it is not just. It’s an oxymoron, and a lie, not even coming from the society. The longer it is permitted to fester, the more unjust it becomes. More than anything else, putting a stop to this cancer on our justice system drives my vote.

  6. “Because his rights were violated, he has the right to seek restitution in the courts – just like all Canadians. End of discussion.”

    Uh, no. The Charter does not write down how many millions this person or that should receive. There is quite a lot of room for discussion here.

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