CFI Canada’s mission is to provide education and training to the public in the application of skeptical, secular, rational and humanistic inquiry through conferences, symposia, lectures, published works and the maintenance of a library.
CFI Canada happily welcomes Catherine Dunphy to our National Office (55 Eglinton Ave E, Suite 307) on Wednesday, September 16th at 7:30pm to read from her book From Apostle to Apostate: The Story of the Clergy Project. It was published by New Atheist publishers, Pitchstone Publishing, in July of this year.
Copies of the book will be on offer and Ms. Dunphy will do a signing. If you’d like to reserve a copy, please go to CFIC Events Page and select a member/non-member option to pay ($15 CFIC members/$20 non-members). For admission, it is:
– FREE for CFI Canada members (present your membership card at the door)
– $5.00 for non-members (get a ticket at CFIC Events Page or at the door)
- Advocates of assisted suicide have secured another major victory after California lawmakers passed legislation that would allow terminally ill people to obtain prescription drugs to hasten their death.
“No longer should terminally ill individuals in California be forced to suffer needlessly in their final days when a more compassionate option is available.”
- Mecca crane collapse: Deadly accident at Grand Mosque ‘a blessing in disguise for those killed’; British Muslim leader says that dying while on the hajj is a ‘great honour from God’ for the 107 people who lost their lives
“I would like to congratulate those people who lost their lives for going straight to heaven without any question. This is great honour from God that every one wishes for but not many will be granted.”
Poorer nations suffering from extreme weather disasters, so much so that their citizens are seeking refuge in safer terrains outside their borders, want rich nations like the United States to pay for reparations and to relocate populations.
- Calgary Transit driver Jesse Rau fired over pride bus controversy; The Christian bus driver who said he would quit his job with Calgary Transit if forced to drive the city’s rainbow-coloured pride bus because of his religious beliefs, has been fired.
“To be clear you are entitled to your religious beliefs and to express them freely. However, you went beyond that and made false and misleading comments during various media interviews, which resulted in undue controversy and put the reputation of the city at risk.”
- Lee Rigby revenge attacker Zack Davies given life sentence; A neo-Nazi has been jailed for life for attempting to behead a Tesco shopper in a racially-motivated revenge attack for the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.
- Africa; ‘Bad’ children condemned as witches; Youngsters in Tanzania who are suffering from epilepsy or who are just ‘naughty’ face exorcisms, beatings and even death.
One boy was burnt with hot water and suffered first and second degree burns as a result, because he was thought to be a witch. He was then dumped on the streets. A girl had a nail driven into her head because she was believed to be a witch. This left her with a permanent mental disability. She was found living on the streets. Another girl was accused of witchcraft by a pastor. Her father then imprisoned her in a shed for several weeks with her legs tied to a stake.
- Sept 19th, Toronto: (Every third Saturday of the month) Come one, come all to CFI Ontario’s Cafe Skeptique, a fun and fascinating discussion group that focuses on a range of topics within the realm of skepticism such as pseudo-science, alternative medicine, conspiracy theories, etc. It’s open to the public and everyone is welcome to join in! See you all at Free Times Cafe, 320 College St. just west of Spadina Ave
- Sept 28th, Toronto: Every last Monday of the month, everyone is welcome to attend the Science & Philosophy Book Club, where we provide a friendly, free-thinking environment to discuss books that inspire rewarding conversation on subjects related to science and philosophy. This month we discuss “Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story” by Jim Holt
- Oct.9th, Toronto: (second Friday of each month), CFIC T.O. : Board Games Night! Join us for an evening of relaxing and thinking fun as we mostly play classic and strategy board games, and partake in trivia. Sometimes even charades, jai alai, Octopush – whatever strikes our fancy. Feel free to bring your own games to share. You could even just come and hang out on the comfy-chairs with like-minded folks for a little more conversation and a little less action. –
- Oct. 12th, Toronto: Every second Monday, CFIC T.O. – Living Without Religion– The group discusses past and present religious issues and looks at a positive life free of guilt, fear and shame. While the group is still dedicated to dealing with problems and issues revolving around religion, it is also a place for those interested in exploring larger issues in a non-judgmental welcoming atmosphere.
- Okanagan – Secular Social. Now every second and fourth Monday of the month! Come to the pub and hang out with other skeptics and freethinkers. Mission Tap House and Grill, 3110 Lakeshore Rd., Kelowna. If you don’t recognize anyone, look for the table with the CFI sign.
- September 19 & 20: River City Reasonfest in Manitoba October 17-18: Society of Edmonton Atheists is hosting a secular conference
- November 25-27: Canadian Science Policy Centre Conference
Karla’s Atheist Breast Cancer Support Facebook group is now available. It’s private so you have to ask to join. Say you are an atheist with breast cancer and Karla will approve your request.
Let us know if you have an activity you’d like to share!
Faith-Based Violence and Bigotry
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- In New York, a Win and a Loss on Health; The win: fast-food restaurants will be required to post warning labels next to the high-sodium items on their menus. The loss: ultra-Orthodox snip-and-suck procedures will not face any opposition from the health board, even though sucking blood from a newly cut penis with ones mouth has been linked to cases of herpes and at least two deaths.
- Africa; Pregnant women’s lives put at risk
“Treatment of problems is done with prayer and holy water. During labour there is no sterile equipment or infection control procedures that are followed”
- A pregnant woman wanted her tubes tied. Her Catholic hospital said no; Citing religious opposition to sterilization, Genesys Regional Medical Center is denying Jessica Mann a tubal ligation, even though her doctor has recommended it.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
The term ‘cult’ is oftentimes used to describe fringe, apocalyptic, counter-cultural groups that withdraw from society. But this is not always the case. Some mainstream religions, deemed harmless and law-abiding, are nothing more than cults, using tactics that lead to profound psychological distress among members.
- Pastor says building collapse victims responded to God’s call; Controversial pastor TB Joshua continues to claim he’s not liable for the deaths of 116 people at a church guest house in Lagos last year.
- Brooklyn Witches Are Doing Their Part to Defeat Donald Trump By Casting Hexes on Him; The magical menu included a hex to silence him, another to protect people of color from his evil and one that would make him mourn the loss of his infamous comb-over. That’s right—a hair loss curse.
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