On Canadian Atheist: Chevalier de la Barre Day

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Canadian Atheist

Most Canadians will be celebrating Canada on June 1st, but I will not. I will be raising a toast to the Chevalier de la Barre, a 19 year-old Frenchman who was legally tortured, beheaded, and burned in 1766, for failing to take his hat off for a religious procession. Remembering this 250 year-old tragedy becomes an imperative when you realize that Canada – today – still has a blasphemy law. For more details, check out the post on Canadian Atheist.

The CBC’s shitty year

2015 hasn’t been a good year for our national broadcaster. High-profile scandals among some of its biggest celebrities, and mounting frustration over its unbalanced journalistic practices have soured the once stellar reputation of the CBC. Read the rest of this entry

On Canadian Atheist: How do Canadians feel about removing prayer from government meetings, and God from the anthem?

The Supreme Court ruling in Mouvement laïque québécois v Saguenay changed the entire landscape of secularism in Canada. But how do Canadians feel about it? The Angus Reid Institute did a forum survey asking that question, along with other related questions about the separation of church and state in Canada. For more details, check out the post on Canadian Atheist.

Religious indoctrination and using children as weapons

It may not be obvious from my writing, but I am a very sanguine person. There are a lot of things that make me annoyed, or upset, and depressed, but there aren’t many that enrage me. Leave it to religious people to find just the right button to push to pull that off. Read the rest of this entry

Scott Vrooman for Senate

Following Canadian news can be a challenge and a half. Mainstream sources are easy to find, but about as reliable as a gauze condom. Alternative sources are a chore. Sometimes it takes a comedian to make sense of Canadian politics. Read the rest of this entry

On Canadian Atheist: What do Canadians think about publishing images of Muhammad?

Shortly after the murders of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, the Angus Reid Institute conducted a survey to see how Canadians felt about the balance between freedom of expression and religious sensitivity. The results were uplifting. Canada is often stereotyped as a country full of people who don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. It’s refreshing to see that we do recognize that some things are more important that protecting religious egos. For more details, check out the post on Canadian Atheist.

The stories we don’t hear: Michael Harris’s talk

I consider myself fairly non-partisan, politically. I’d vote for any party with a platform that was rational. There is no such thing in Canadian politics, of course, so I am forced to vote for the party with the least irrational platform, but I hold no strong attachment or animosity to any particular political party. All parties disappoint me to some degree or another. Nevertheless, it seems I am finding myself more and more viscerally disgusted with the Conservative Party of Canada – and in particular, Stephen Harper – the more information I discover about them. Read the rest of this entry

Voting for pizza: electoral reform illustrated

So electoral reform is on my mind again – no, not for that reason, but because the next federal election is coming up. Last year I wrote a post for Canadian Atheist about electoral reform, and I was shocked and horrified to discover how little most Canadians know about the issue. My goal this year is to shine a little more light on it. Read the rest of this entry

How right-wing bigots are ruining science fiction

I’m a huge science fiction fan – science fiction, please, hold the fantasy – and have been for as long as I can remember. One of the biggest events of the year for me is the Hugo Awards; for me, they’re bigger than the Oscars. I’m subscribed to get announcements of major Hugo Award news, and – as a kind of yearly tradition I have – I was thrilled to hear that the 2015 nominees were announced. But… there was something fishy about the nominations. Read the rest of this entry

On Canadian Atheist: Angus Reid survey on religious identity, beliefs, and attitudes in Canada

The Angus Reid Institute conducted a fairly comprehensive survey, commissioned by Reginald Bibby, of religious identification, beliefs, and attitudes in Canada. Much of the results won’t be surprising to anyone who reads atheist blogs, but the survey did suggest that while nonbelievers are not considered to be representative of mainstream Canada, mainstream Canada’s attitudes and opinions are more inline with nonbelievers than with believers. For more details, checo out the post on Canadian Atheist.