Things are going to change up by slowing down: I will be stopping my weekly reviews of Canadian secularism, and instead to be doing monthly reviews. That will at least be true until traffic picks up (justifying the extra work) or I get an editor who can help proof read my content. Preferably both. Look forward to the first monthly review roundup for July in the first week of August
I will continue posting news on the Facebook page, my Twitter account and on Google+ (though I’m considering getting a Google+ Page rather than using the account profile).
To all Canadians, who are religious, spiritual, generally non-religious or explicitly atheist: Stay secular!
Ontario:Court Upholds Decision Not to Grant Accreditation to Anti-Gay Christian Law School. My Secret Atheist Blog. Also discussed at the Friendly Atheist.
Canada: Humanist Canada responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, calling explicit attention to the role of Churches in sustaining the schools and their abuse after the abuses came to light over 100 years ago. Twitter user Ian Bushfield had a mixture of criticism and praise (but mostly criticism) over the response.
World: 16 Year Old Singaporean Atheist Blogger May Be Sentenced to Reeducation Camps & ‘Autism Treatment.’ My Secret Atheist Blog. Not Canadian news, but important none-the-less..
OHIP will not cover unscientific ‘conversion therapy’ that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. From the Toronto Star. Previously discussed in the National Post.
City Council Prayer
Over at Canadian Atheist, Veronica Abbass responds to an opinion piece about how to run a secular society with the Yes God vs No God divide.
A secular Canada means government based on reason and evidence. This week the Military’s top official, Chief of Defense Staff Tom Lawson said they are dealing sexual misconduct. However, he parted from proven science to say “it’s because [men are] biologically wired in a certain way and there will be those who believe it is a reasonable thing to press themselves and their desires on others. It’s not the way it should be.”
There is no scientific underpinning to the idea that men are programmed to harass people. We are not proverbial animals driven exclusively by emotion or instinct. The biggest problem is that the military does nothing about the problem.
Two great parodies I’d like to mention: Satirical news site The Beaverton ran with the headline “Report: Canadian General biologically wired to ignore sexual assault.” I also saw a tweet that parodied the idea that women are too emotional to be in the military. It said that if this hardwiring is the case, that men are too emotional or animalistic, perhaps men are not fit for military service.
Over at Canadian Atheist, they are looking for more questions we should be asking federal candidates in our ridings.
An earlier version of this article seemed to imply that humans were not animals, or that humans are not driven by emotion or instinct. It has been reworded to clarify the distinction between scientific animals, of which humans are, and proverbial animals which is most of the rest of the animal kingdom. It also has been clarified that emotions and instincts definitely play a part in our decision making process.
Here are the news bulletins for the last week of secularism news in Canada.
Canada: Poll shows most Canadians happy to have city councils get to work, even those uncomfortable with the supreme court ruling. Covered by My Secret Atheist Blog, Canadian Atheist and Friendly Atheist.
Ontario: Protesters claim to want choice. But they already can remove their child from sex ed. Is this really about controlling the children of others? Toronto Star.
City Council Prayer
Peterborough, ON: Councilors try to cram as much God in and around council meetings as possible. Covered by Canadian Atheist.
Zoning and Taxes
St-Laurent, QC: A church is growing so fast it needs a bigger building. But city won’t rezone areas specially for the church. Covered by My Secret Atheist Blog.
International Freedom of Speech
Saudi Arabia: Sadly, atheist blogger’s sentence has been upheld. Raif Badawis will continue to be lashed for saying unpopular things. Covered by My Secret Atheist Blog, Canadian Atheist, Friendly Atheist, and the Independent.
One city ends council prayer, another gets passive aggressive. Muslim soccer team makes opposing girls sit out. Sex-ed still causing men to get flushed in the face.
Cape Breton, NS: City council doesn’t have moment of silence as they said, but silent prayer instead. Also, they have crammed as much god as possible elsewhere in the agenda and before the meeting as disrespect to those who care about secularism and neutrality. One former councilor is taking legal action. Discussed on My Secret Atheist Blog.
Education and Religion
Ontario Sex Education: The Toronto Star reports that things got so heated after a Catholic school board voted to follow the curriculum that they are required to follow, that police were called in to manage the concerned parents.
Toronto, ON: Muslim school must play soccer against teams with girls on them, according to rules. Reported on by CTV, National Post, Toronto Star and elsewhere. Having religiously segregated schools and segregating students by sex does not prepare students for the real world, or a future where all people work together. The young women chose to sit out so their team could attempt to score enough goals that would allow them to qualify to advance in the tournament. Discussed at My Secret Atheist Blog and the Friendly Atheist.