October 2/2015 Critical Links
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.
On October 19, 2015, vote
- Sex-education protests give birth to new private schools in Toronto; Private schools in Ontario do not need to follow provincial curriculums and are not inspected in more depth unless they want to offer Ontario Secondary School Diploma credits.
- Alberta public elementary school debates the Lord’s Prayer in class; It’s an issue that continues to ripple across Alberta, where individual public school districts set their own policies on religion in the classroom. Some districts allow prayer with various restrictions, while others specifically prohibit the practice.
- Quebec legislature adopts motion condemning ‘Islamophobia’; Quebec’s legislature unanimously adopted a motion Thursday condemning “Islamophobia” — particularly toward Syrian refugees — in response to what some politicians say is a growing anti-Muslim climate in the province.
- RCMP may struggle to recreate the success of community groups in stopping extremism
“The evidence seems to be suggesting that unless the intervention is pretty damn early, it’s just not going to succeed”
- UK and Saudi Arabia ‘in secret deal’ over human rights council place; Britain conducted secret vote-trading deals with Saudi Arabia to ensure both states were elected to the UN human rights council (UNHRC), according to leaked diplomatic cables.
- Twelve UN agencies issue unprecedented joint statement on rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & intersex people
“This is the first time that so many members of the UN family have joined forces in defence of the basic rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. It’s both an expression of commitment on the part of UN agencies, and a powerful call to action for Governments around the world to do more to tackle homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination and abuses against intersex people.”
- 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.
- Oct.16th, 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 17th, 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
- October 19,Toronto: CFIC T.O. SOS Secular Organization for Sobriety meeting. Meet other local people who suffer from alcoholism and other addiction problems (ex: gambling, drug addiction, etc). Gather for support, companionship, and advice
- October 23, 2015 7:30 pm; Richard Carrier, visits Toronto and will speak on a topic related to his books Sense & Goodness Without God and On The Historicity of Jesus. This event will take place at OISE’s Auditorium. Get your tickets now at our CFIC Events Page.
- October 26th, 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 “Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible” by Jerry Coyne
- October 29 @ 7:30pm, Toronto. Wanda Morris Speaker Event, CFIC Office, 55 Eglinton Ave E, Suite 307; Wanda is the CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada and she will explain to our CFIC community why those in the Atheist/secular/humanist movement should be particularly concerned about this issue.
- October 4, 7:00 PM, Ottawa; James Street Pub, 390 Bank St. (corner Bank and James)
Maverick and secular humanist Logospilgrim, author of There’s a Hula Girl on my Dashboard: How I Left Faith Behind and Embraced Life, discusses the process that freed her from religious subordination and enabled her to acknowledge her own strength, celebrate her genderqueerness, and reclaim her human dignity.
- 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
- ‘Asking questions about Muhammad doesn’t defame Islam’, a blogger explains why freedom of speech is at stake in Bangladesh.
“Prophet Muhammad married a five-year-old girl when he was 50. Now, considering science and nature, I could say that it was a child marriage and ask a question like how could a leader of that level marry a five-year old girl? I don’t think asking such questions or organizing a Facebook event to discuss such issues defames Islam.”
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
Like skeptic, doubter implies a certain intellectual authenticity – a sense of validation where none should reasonably exist. The group this term seeks to describe is mostly made up of an array of pundits, politicians, and front group professionals – part of a systematic, well-funded, coordinated effort to confuse the public about the reality of climate change. Their mission is simple and, at its root, inherently anti-intellectual: confuse the issue to forestall action.
Her supporters, including several who served with her in prison, said the 47-year-old mother of three found faith behind bars and helped others resist despair and rehabilitate themselves. They argued Gissendaner should be spared for the good she had done and could do in prison.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- India minister backs ‘yogic’ farming to ’empower seeds’; The Indian agriculture minister has said his government is supporting “yogic” farming to “empower seeds with the help of positive thinking”.
- New details released about Polygamist sect leader, ‘seed bearers’
“It is the husband’s responsibility to hold the hands of their wives while the seed bearer ‘spreads his seed.’ In layman terms, the husband is required to sit in the room while the chosen seed bearer, or a couple of them, rape his wife or wives”
- Kids Say Polygamous Sect Made Them Harvest Pecans for Years; Children say they harvested pecans for years for a bishop in the polygamous sect led by Warren Jeffs.
- Christians Need to Stop Boycotting Stuff
Most of the time, when a Christian group organizes a boycott, it’s not over dangerous working conditions, child labor or environmental irresponsibility. It’s usually because of some perceived “attack” on a social value or religious belief.
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