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.
- State of emergency declared over suicide epidemic in Canadian First Nation community; A Canadian First Nation community of 2,000 people has declared a state of emergency after 11 of its members tried to take their own lives,
The parents of 19-month old Ezekiel Stephan are now on trial for failing to provide the necessaries of life after their son died of bacterial meningitis in 2012. David Stephan, 32, and his wife Collet Stephan, 35, who have pleaded not guilty, are accused of allowing their meningitis-infected toddler to die four years ago after they tried home remedies and naturopathy. The Crown told court the couple loved their son and are not accused of ignoring or killing him, but argues they should have sought medical help sooner. The case has prompted former naturopathic doctor Britt Marie Hermes to call for an immediate block on naturopathic pediatrics by governments.
- Brent Hawkes’ sex assault case goes to court; Toronto pastor who performed Canada’s first same sex marriage in 2001, has said he is innocent of allegations against him
- Norway’s dominant Lutheran Church approves gay marriage; Norway’s Lutheran Church voted on Monday in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, becoming the latest of a small but growing number of churches worldwide to do so.
- Corporations threaten to pull out of states over transgender bathroom law; In Georgia, the governor refused to sign law after Disney, AMC say they’ll walk. Also; Bruce Springsteen just canceled a concert in North Carolina because of its anti-LGBTQ law. Also, Bryan Adams cancels show to protest state’s anti-LGBT law
Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them.
Across Africa, many people believe mental illness is caused by curses, witchcraft or demons. In such places, traditional medicine has long remained the first line of treatment. But a novel program in Eastern Kenya is working to change those perceptions and help the mentally ill receive better care. The Africa Mental Health Foundation, a Nairobi-based nongovernmental organization, is partnering with a U.S. hospital and a Canadian government program to collect data on the mentally ill via an online platform that will allow traditional healers, clergy and community health workers to work together to direct mentally ill people to primary care centers.
- Bangladeshi al Qaeda wing declares war on atheists; Bangladeshi officials are investigating a claim of responsibility by al Qaeda’s wing in South Asia for the machete murder of a secular blogger in Dhaka.
- Tutul: the Survivor – An interview with the target of a Bangladesh machete attack; Following the murder of four atheist bloggers in Bangladesh throughout 2015, on October 31 two secular publishers were hit in a coordinated attack. At Jagriti publishing house, Faisal Arefin Dipon was killed. At Shuddashar publishers, the owner Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury, better known as Tutul, was struck with a machete and shot at. But Tutul survived. For Fritanke.no, Even Gran interviews a machete attack victim who lived.
- April 16th, Toronto: CFIC T.O. – Cafe Skeptique at Free Times Cafe. A 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! For the monthly topic please check at: meetup.com
- April 25th, Toronto: CFIC T.O. – Science & Philosophy Book Club. Hosted by CFI Canada member Christine Gagnon, the goal is to provide a friendly, free-thinking environment in which to discuss books that inspire rewarding conversation on subjects related to science and philosophy. This month’s selection: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter
- May 1st, Toronto: CFIC T.O. Atheists & Friends Sunday Meetup. CFIC Toronto Atheists & Friends Sunday Meetup is a fun discussion group focusing on a range of topics within the realm of Atheism. They’re open to the public and everyone is welcome to join in!
- Every Saturday, the Humanist Association of Toronto (HAT) meets to discuss a topic decided upon the previous week. These are topics of Humanist interest, from a Humanist perspective. Meet our diverse group, trade perspectives in a free and open forum and learn from others as they learn from you! Topics are posted in advance at: humanisttoronto.blogspot.ca
- CFI Ottawa Living without Religion; This support group meets on the 3rd Sunday of each month, 12:30 pm, at the Fox and Feather Pub
- CFI Ottawa UnSermon; Sunday afternoons (12:30 pm), meet and share your ideas with Atheists, Freethinkers, and Humanists from the Ottawa area.
- CFI Calgary Skeptics in The Pub: This group meets on the first Tuesday of every month. Join us for drinks, discussion, and debate about all science and skeptical topics
- 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.
Did you know the best place to find out about CFI Calgary events is on Meetup.com? It’s free to join and you will never miss hearing about a local Calgary event. Join over 1000 Calgarians who use Meetup to hear about, RSVP and comment on our events.
Let us know if you have an activity you’d like to share!
Faith-Based Violence and Bigotry
- Brussels terror cell ‘planned to attack Euro 2016 tournament’ The terror cell that carried out attacks in Paris and Brussels was reportedly planning to target the Euro 2016 football championships in France this summer.
- Shock as child suicide bombings increase tenfold; The number of children involved in the suicide bomb attacks by the Boko Haram sect has increased more than tenfold over the past year.
- ‘Kill Ahmadis’ leaflets found in UK mosque; Leaflets calling for the killing of a sect of Muslims have been found in a south London mosque
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- If goldfish grow to fit the size of their fishbowl, what happens when there is no bowl? Invasive species experts in Alberta are warning people against flushing live goldfish down the toilet, after several specimens the size of dinner plates were pulled from ponds in different areas of the province.
- ‘Superhero DNA’ keeps diseases at bay; Some people appear to be born with ‘superhero DNA’ that cancels out genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, say researchers.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- Brandenburg faces wrath of Flying Spaghetti Monster; The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in Brandenburg is suing the state over what they say is their right to post signs around town.
- The great 1980s Dungeons & Dragons panic; In an era of potent concern over internet pornography, cyber-bullying, and drugs, it is hard to imagine a game being controversial. But 30 years ago Dungeons & Dragons was the subject of a full-on moral panic
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.
Do whatever it takes to avoid fooling yourself into thinking something is true that is not, or that something is not true that is.- Neil deGrasse Tyson
Critical Links is published every Tuesday And Friday
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