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Sep 01 2011

Hello, Freethought Blogs readers!

My name’s Jason Thibeault. I’m a Canadian, an atheist, skeptic, feminist, video gamer, and Linux user. I’ve worked in the computer industry for ten years. You might remember me as “that guy whose girlfriend Jodi proposed to him via a Pharyngula ‘I Get Emails’ post“. Yes, I’m that Jason. And now I have the privilege of standing shoulder-and-shoulder with both PZ Myers and local blog-deity Stephanie Zvan of Almost Diamonds (AKA Our Lady of Perpetual Win), who originally helped Jodi organize the whole shebang and started the treasure hunt. Not to mention the dozen other big-fish in this pond with whom I now co-habitate! Thanks again, blog overlord Ed, for this opportunity. I truly hope that my frequent postings of Youtube videos about cats playing with tennis balls befits my new station.

I was raised a Catholic, and broke free of religion shortly after Confirmation, when I was made to promise to be a Catholic for the rest of my life. Such promises don’t sit well with me. I realized I didn’t believe in any of that God mumbo-jumbo at about the same time that I developed a penchant for reading my parents’ Funk and Wagnell’s Encyclopedia for fun. The Hardy Boys novels grew old around then, and I had a desperate thirst for knowledge. It wasn’t the greatest resource to use, but it was there, and it slaked that thirst for a little while. At least until the internet made it into my home via my first 9600 baud modem, anyway.

I became politically aware about the same time George W. Bush was elected for the first time — when I started to realize exactly what America was in for, I was motivated to learn all I could about politics in a very short time. American politics always seems like much more of a battleground than Canadian politics, so I was more often drawn to observe the US than I was my own local concerns.

I believe strongly in the separation of church and state. I don’t care that people have their beliefs, but where those beliefs intersect with public policy, I can’t help but speak up. For the most part, the wall that separates church and state is very intact here in Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is an evangelical Christian, but if he were to express his religious views, the secular voting environment that Canada espouses would backlash against him. Because America’s wall is crumbling, and politicians there are presently evidently engaged in a race to the bottom with more and more aggressive fundamentalists gaining power, I often find the American political scene engaging enough to forget my local politics. Thus, I am a Lousy Canuck indeed.

Bear in mind that I reserve a few rights on this blog. I don’t like to ban people, but I will, if they repeatedly flout direct requests or attempt to proselytize one-sidedly. And if you contact me via any of the services I subscribe to, I absolutely (as it says in my bio) reserve the right to post any such contact. I’ll probably only do it if I consider your contact to be hateful or ridiculous. Otherwise, please, feel free to engage me in discussion on whatever topic is at hand. Please try to keep it on topic though, even if tangentially.

Since I hate using so many “I’s” in a post, we should leave it at that. Please feel free to browse my archives, as I’ve ported them all over from my old blog. There’s several years worth of stuff there, and some of it is even worth reading! I’ll compile a proper list of “must reads” as soon as all the migration kinks are worked out. For now, here’s three of the religion-related posts I like best:

Religion as a Mental Parasite
Why Prayer is Nonsense (five-part series)
In defense of my “meaning of life”

And my most successful skeptical post, which won me an appearance on Minnesota Atheists Talk’s radio show (be sure to look at some of the pingbacks near the end of the comments for further discussion):

If it smells like Funk, it must be astrology

There are a few kinks with this migration to speak of — the Object embed tag is disabled, so any non-Youtube embedded videos are probably broken. And the image library imported properly, but the actual embedded copies of the images are pointing incorrectly due to differences in how this site stores the media. I’ll have to go through my old posts and update as time permits. I’ll of course hit the highlights first. Mind the mess, folks.

And, of course, welcome!

24 comments

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  1. 1
    Mike Haubrich

    Wow! All my bloggy friends are moving up in the world!

  2. 2
    Daniel Fincke

    It’s a pleasure to see you here, Jason! It will be fun being neighbors!

  3. 3
    Ania

    Yay a fellow Canuck to follow. This should be fun.

  4. 4
    Jason Thibeault

    I’m getting all verklempt!

    Daniel, I’ll be certain to throw links your way whenever I talk about any philosophical issues. I’m sure you remember I’m far less versed than I should be in philosophical history. I’m making an effort to change that, though!

  5. 5
    Paul Davidson

    Welcome to FTB! Will be reading avidly and sometimes provide buttoned downed comments in typical Canuckistanian manner :)

  6. 6
    lordshipmayhem

    Welcome to FTB from a fellow Canuck and Linux user.

  7. 7
    dean the bean

    Another fellow Canuck here. Nice to see some representation from the home country on FTB!

    Trust me, Jason, you aren’t the only Canadian that finds US politics to be more interesting than our own. Unfortunately it is in the same way that a train wreck is more interesting than fender bender!

  8. 8
    Tim DeLaney

    “I believe strongly in the separation of church and state.”

    That pressed one of my hot buttons. I do hope you’re not right in observing that it’s crumbling here south of the border.

    Glad to see you here. PZ is right: FtB will take over the world! (Well, the atheist blogosphere, anyway.)

  9. 9
    Tabby Lavalamp

    I do enjoy the fact that I live in a country where Stephen Harper had to drop “God bless Canada” from his speeches in order to make his party more electable.

  10. 10
    Jason Thibeault

    I’m glad to meet so many fellow Canucks! Keep me honest and in line with the hive mind groupthink. :D

  11. 11
    Dan J

    Love the new digs here, Jason! Happy to read your posts wherever they are.

  12. 12
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Another Canadian dropping in to say hi. Look forward to reading your stuff.

  13. 13
    Jason Thibeault

    Okay, I feel the need to point out that this is my 1337th post.

    That’s right. I’m 1337.

  14. 14
    mznblu

    OK, I’m in Canada BECAUSE of George W. Bush or, more precisely, because he was reelected. My fellow “Americans” can be forgiven (I guess) for screwing up once, but again? Anyway, happy to be in godless BC, still slavishly, though morosely, following US politics and have developed an interest in Canadian politics as well. They’re enough different to be educational and yet enough alike (with Harper & Co. rolling out the same arguments that US conservatives have used to hoodwink US voters) to be creepily familiar.

  15. 15
    Rick Albert

    A fine addition to an Awesome site. I found you because PZ moved.
    By the by, you’re not alone, I’m here in Toronto with my Atheist Wife and our undecided Daughter.

    Live long and Prosper

    Rick

  16. 16
    mznblu

    American Canadians unite!

  17. 17
    Daniel Fincke

    Daniel, I’ll be certain to throw links your way whenever I talk about any philosophical issues. I’m sure you remember I’m far less versed than I should be in philosophical history. I’m making an effort to change that, though!

    Hahaha, that’s okay, man. There’s no shame in not being an expert in something that’s not your field. Just don’t imply you hate philosophy while in the midst of doing it and I won’t get all apoplectic and melt down and sit in the corner crying and rocking myself (again).

    ;)

    We’ll have more fun and less acrimony this time, I promise :)

  18. 18
    sinned34

    Hello Jason. Nice to meet you. I look forward to reading some of your skeptical atheist writings to see if you can stimulate discussion. Then I will hurl insults until all discussion grinds to a halt. Thanks!

    mznblu,

    You must be living in the lower mainland of BC, because the rest of this goddamned province is thoroughly in the grips of the Reform/Alliance/Conservative party. Ugh.

  19. 19
    Jason Thibeault

    It is good to meet you, Sinned34, whom I have never met before in my life. Now that we have met, please commence with the insult-hurling.

  20. 20
    Crudely Wrott

    Welcome to your own self, Jason. I’m delighted to meet you.

    I’ve been reading Brayton’s blog ages and was in on FTB from the time of his first hints. The latest addition of your blog and those of familiar and unknown others is a real treat.

    To paraphrase Alice, “Interesinger and interesinger”.

  21. 21
    Crudely Wrott

    oops

    there should be a stinger in interestinger . . .

    I’ll venture that this site is a good place for the sting in interesting to be asserted.

  22. 22
    Jason Thibeault

    I’ll certainly try not to let you down.

  23. 23
    Mihir Mehta

    You probably should update your link to that Pharyngula “I get email” post – the link is dead and the post is at http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/06/27/i-get-email-37/ now.

  24. 24
    Jason Thibeault

    Thanks Mihir. I’ve updated the link.

  1. 25
    Greg’s Bloggy Newsletter | The X Blog

    [...] was considered to be a fairly strong slur and we were not told to use it. His inaugural post is here. Jason knows a lot about how to make computers work and stuff, so this is good that he is [...]

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