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Monthly Archive: March 2013

Mar 30 2013

Happy Easter!

Easter and the ‘Passion of Jesus’ is one of those things that makes way less sense the more you think about it. I remember being profoundly affected by the passion story as a child – a man making the ultimate sacrifice for the redemption of sins. It was a touching tale. Until I thought about …

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Mar 30 2013

We did it!

Thanks to your signups, your retweets, your Facebooking, and your general awesomeness, the “Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious” Kiva group has hit 25,000 members! This means that our group will get $10,000 in loan matching from a big-money donor to Kiva, allowing us to do twice the amount of loaning to …

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Mar 27 2013

Kiva update: only a few days remain!

Hey all, You’ve definitely noticed me flogging the latest push to get people signed up to the “Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious” Kiva lending group. This group is the all-time #1 lender on Kiva, and is just shy of 25,000 members. I received an e-mail from Kiva.org saying that if we …

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Mar 26 2013

New Required Reading: The Day I Taught Not to Rape

Part of my revulsion over the phrase “common sense” is because I am aware (acutely, in many cases) of the number of monstrous things that inform the background ideas that we don’t necessarily question. It is, for example, “common sense” that religion makes people more ethical. After all, if you’re aware that you’re being watched …

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Mar 26 2013

Come too far to turn back now

When I was in Chicago, I was (deservedly) upbraided by a member of the audience for referring to the #IdleNoMore aboriginal sovereignty movement in the past tense. Of course this movement is still ongoing, just as it was before the advent of the hashtag and the dramatic public demonstrations that accompanied it. The latest federal …

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Mar 25 2013

Online dating in the uncanny valley

There’s a concept in animation and robotics called “the uncanny valley” – the point where simulated humans are so close to realistic but not quite that they are disturbing. The theory is that people will become more comfortable with simulated humans as they become more like living things, up until a point right before full similarity …

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Mar 22 2013

Never a better time to join up with Kiva

Hey all, Many of you will remember that, thanks to the traffic you’ve brought to this site, we’ve been able to fund a number of microloans through Kiva.org. Today I got an e-mail from Kiva, with an exciting announcement: A lending team you’re a member of, “Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious” …

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Mar 21 2013

Canadian House of Commons passes trans anti-discrimination bill

A rare bit of good news coming from the Canadian Parliament yesterday: A bill that would make it illegal to discriminate against transgender Canadians was approved by the House of Commons on Wednesday. The Opposition private member’s legislation passed by a vote of 149-137, with the crucial support of 16 Conservatives, including four cabinet ministers. It was …

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Mar 21 2013

Reporting from the Ministry of Irony

One of my deepest not-at-all-guilty pleasures is irony. If I were a more supernaturally-inclined person, I would point to events like this as evidence that there must be a supreme being: British Columbia’s largest oil spill response vessel got stuck on a sandbar en route to a federal news conference where Monday about strengthening Canada’s oil spill defences. …

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Mar 21 2013

He who fears God…

When I was in Catholic school, right before we had our Confirmation (the Catholic equivalent of a bar mitzvah), we had specific instruction in Catholic dogma and catechism. Unlike the horror stories that I’ve heard from some others, all of the Catholic schools I attended were fairly secular, save for the mandatory religion class and …

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