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.
- Letting them die: parents refuse medical help for children in the name of Christ; The Followers of Christ is a religious sect that preaches faith healing in states such as Idaho, which offers a faith-based shield for felony crimes – despite alarming child mortality rates among these groups
- Iran bars female MP for ‘shaking hands with unrelated man’ A newly elected female MP in Iran is to be barred from entering the next parliament apparently because she is alleged to have shaken hands with an unrelated man during a trip abroad.
- Saudi Arabia limits powers of its religious police; Saudi Arabia’s official religious police were ordered to conduct their affairs with “gentleness and lenience” in a new directive issued in the capital, Riyadh, last week.
- Kuwait academic charged with blasphemy over TV interview; A prominent female academic and human rights activist in Kuwait has been charged with blasphemy.
- How To Lose Your Mind To ISIS And Then Fight To Get It Back; It’s far easier to join ISIS than to leave. Members of a hidden community of ISIS defectors recount how they were pulled into the grip of extremism — and their struggle to escape.
- The ISIS Files: What Leaked Documents Reveal About Terror Recruits; A trove of ISIS personnel records obtained by NBC News has now been analyzed by experts at West Point, who say it’s the largest and “most significant” document cache of its kind, providing new insight into the terror group’s grand ambitions and diverse recruits.
CFI Canada proudly presents A Talk From Dr. Ben Goldacre: Sunday May 15, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, The Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Ave (just south of Bloor). Ben is a best-selling author, broadcaster, campaigner, medical doctor and academic who specializes in unpicking the misuse of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, quacks, drug companies, and more.
The Studio at West Hill presents, Michael George in Concert; You are invited to join us for a special evening of music dedicated to the celebration of the right to freedom of expression. Michael George in a rare concert to raise funds for asylum seekers. May 7, 8pm at West Hill United This is a fundraising concert to benefit asylum seekers who fled their country where religious extremism threatened their lives.
- 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!
- May21st, 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
- 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
What if terrorists in Belgium had employed a crude nuclear or radiological device? Those who have followed news from the attacks know that the premise is not really that far-fetched. The two brothers alleged to have carried out the attacks are also thought to be the same men found surveilling a top Belgian nuclear official at his home in late 2015. While their intent isn’t fully understood, this incident and previous ones underscore that the threat of nuclear terrorism is alive and well.
- Muslim prison chaplains ‘distributed Islamist hate literature’, says leaked report; The material included homophobic and misogynistic sentiments and encouraged the murder of apostates – Muslims who leave or reject the religion.
CFIC continues to monitor, document and condemn faith based violence and bigotry around the world.
Science, Medicine, and Ethics News
- Google, NASA put big money on D-Wave’s quantum computer; Google. NASA. Lockheed Martin. Los Alamos National Laboratory. Big names in the worlds of big brains and cutting-edge technology are investing millions of dollars in the quantum computing technology of the Burnaby, B.C.-based company D-Wave. They say they’re starting to see promising results, despite criticism from some quantum physicists that the technology might never live up to its promise.
Wishful Thinking and Superstition/Religion
- New Zealand stages first Pastafarian wedding on pirate boat; Toby Ricketts and Marianna Fenn tied the “noodle knot” in the New Zealand South Island town of Akaroa. For better or worse, Pastafarians have arrived; A US court has ruled that the upstart religion is not a religion at all, but a wedding ceremony on the other side of the world suggests otherwise.
- Was it right to raise a child free of religion? Toronto writer Julie Green was raised a Catholic, and so was her husband. So when their son was born, it would be a natural to raise him Catholic as well. But, the couple decided to raise their son without religion. And now, Julie’s wondering if that was the right decision.
Mostly, I fear that skipping out on my son’s religious education makes me a selfish mother. In time, will he grow to resent the omission? Or maybe, in leaving the slate blank, we’ve given him the greatest gift of all… choice.
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.
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring- Carl Sagan
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