The Canadian Atheist
A Quarterly Newsletter
PUSH COMES TO SHOVE
For several weeks during the summer of 1994, in Kelowna, B.C.,
an event was held on a platform about 10 metres above the
ground on top of a construction scaffold. Groups of
young adults took turns on the platform 24 hours a day.
Huddled over their bibles, eyes tightly closed, they
mumbled prayers to an imaginary god.
A large banner on the platform informed those in the
heavy traffic flowing past that this was an exercise
called P.U.S.H., an acronym for Pray Until Something Happens.
Well, as a direct result of that silly religious display,
what happened was that this newsletter was born.
We admire and pay tribute to Anton Notdurft of Chemainus,
BC. Anton worked alone for more than five years editing a
newsletter for atheists in Canada. Having chosen a new direction
for his creative energy, Anton has passed his address list to us and
we are expanding it. He has promised to send articles and letters from
time to time and we look forward to his contributions. We urge other
readers to do the same. Please forward names and addresses of anyone
you think may be interested (or outraged).
The goal of this publication is to place the concerns of the atheist c
ommunity onto the public and political agenda.
We will push back the intrusion of religious nonsense into our secular society.
GOD KEEP OUR LAND?
Reference to a god did not appear in any constitution-type document
in this country until 1982. Then the phrase “Canada is founded upon
principles that recognize the supremacy of God” was arbitrarily inserted.
On June 27, 1980, the National Anthem was mysteriously transformed into a
prayer with the addition of the phrase “god keep our land. . .”
Article XIX of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
holds that “Everyone has a right to freedom of opinion and expression;
this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference. . .
It is certainly interference to use the force of law to compel several
million Canadian atheists to join in religious exercises or thoughts
through the inclusion of the god references in documents meant for all Canadians.
A letter to Justice Minister Alan Rock results in a reply that includes the
following: “the Charter applies equally to everyone in Canada and does not
advantage or disadvantage anyone on the basis of their religious beliefs.”
Mr. Rock apparently excludes about 3 million Canadians who hold no religious
beliefs, from the group “everyone”. He does not answer the question as to how
atheists should respond to the singing of the National Anthem(prayer), Sit
in embarrassed silence? Wait in the hall?
QUOTES WITHOUT COMMENT
“. . . a U.S. study showed 97% of journalists in the mainstream media believe
abortion is a good thing.”
Ron Gray, Trinity Western Bible College official at a
conference urging Christians to seek media jobs to push
their evangelical “values”
“You see, this is how we fight abortion and contraception in Calcutta.”
“Mother” Teresa, during a tour of an orphanage in India.
“It will never make Movie of the Week. It’s just about a stick-in-the-mud male
chauvinist in a pope-mobile”
CBC TV’s Rex Murphy commenting on the pope’s $9 million
doorstop “Crossing the Threshold of Hope.”
‘There is no such thing as a just war -- never was, never will be.”
Erwin Knoll, 1931-1994
(Note page numbers)
“SCIENTISTS SAY BOAT BURIED HIGH ON MOUNTAIN IS NOAH’S ARK.”
Page A1 - Vancouver Sun, 01/18/94
“BIBLICAL SCHOLAR TORPEDOES NOAH’S ARK DISCOVERY. . .”
Page A17 - Vancouver Sun. 01/27/94
THE ILLUSIVE MOUNTAIN BOAT
Readers of Revelstoke, BC’s two local papers look
forward to regular letters from our contributing editor Laurence Wayman.
Whenever the town’s preachers and prayers raise their irrational
bible baloney, Laurie responds with a hilarious, articulate,
and meticulously researched missive from the atheist bunker.
He wrote the following in response to an announcement from the
local ministerial society. They proposed to construct a parade
float in the form of the mythological Noah’s ark and to enter it in
parades in Revelstoke and Calgary:(Slightly edited for length.)
Once upon a time, God decided he’d send a flood to drown
everyone on earth. . . Men, women, children, animals and all
living creatures (Genesis 6:13) he singled out one 600 year old
guy named Noah to be saved, in spite of Noah’s fondness for the
bottle and a penchant for running around in the nude - - both
unforgivable sins in the eyes of god-fearing folk (Genesis
9:20-25).... along with three sons and four women.
To this paragon of moral rectitude and company, he assigned
the task of building a boat from which to escape the flood.
But, this boat was to be the Mother Of All Boats since
its capacity had to be large enough to hold seven pairs of all
“clean beasts” and two pairs of all “unclean beasts.” Oh, yes . . .
they were also assigned the task of collecting these creatures...
kangaroos from what is now Australia, polar bears from the
Arctic, penguins from Antarctica, mammoths, elephants, sabre
toothed tigers...and herding them into the ark.
These hearty eight people said “No problem”, and built
themselves a beaut! Without the help of labourers (skilled or unskilled),
engineers or power tools, they produced a floating edifice that was 500 ft.
long, 83 ft. wide and 50 ft. high. and tarred it with 17,731 gallons of pitch
to cover approximately 6˝ acres (roof, bottom and sides) assuming a
thickness of 1/100th of a foot --the manufacture, conveyancing and
application of which would be mind boggling..
Then probably as an afterthought, they installed one door
and a 20” window for ventilation purposes -- not a bad idea for a structure
which was to house (and store feed for) hundreds of thousands of defecating
animals, insects and birds, etc. (wheweeeeee!)
And so the flood came and they all happily floated around in
their gigantic floating barn until the waters subsided. (I say floated
around because there was apparently no means of propulsion or steering
in the design... nary an oar!) The End.
Now, as a citizen of Revelstoke, such a ridiculous float representing
my town and appearing anywhere outside of the city limits would be a source
of great embarrassment to me and I would be most unhappy to see any of our
elected officials formally participating in this sectarian project.
If church members and their friends want to use their energies building
a parade float that would truly depict “a place of safety and a place where
people are supported”, why not join with “Habitat for Humanity” and show a
display of homes for the homeless. Then you would attract intelligent people
to your project and at the same time you would be demonstrating that
Revelstokians are concerned with what is relevant in today’s society.
Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without
knowledge, of things without parallel.
THE FOLLOWING IS A PARTIAL LIST OF PEOPLE MURDERED BY THE CHRISTIAN GOD
DIRECTLY OR THROUGH HIS COMMAND, ACCORDING TO THEIR BIBLE.
The bible is the most genocidal book in our canon Noam Chomsky
- The entire population of the earth except for eight survivors (Genesis 7:23).
- _Every inhabitant of Sodom and Gomorrah except for one family (Genesis 19:24).
- _Every first born of Egypt (Exodus 12:29).
- _All the hosts of the Pharaoh, including the captains of 600 chariots
- (Exodus 14:27,28).
- _Amalek and his people (Exodus 17:11,16).
- _3,000 Israelites (Exodus 32:27).
- _250 Levite princes who had challenged the leadership of Moses (Numbers 16:140).
- _14,700 Jews in a plague who had rebelled against Moses following the
killing of the princes (Numbers 16:4149).
- _All the people of Bashan, including the king Og (Numbers 21:32-36).
- _24,000 Israelites who lived with Moabite women (Numbers 25:4,9).
- _All the males, kings, and nonvirgin females of the Midianites. (Numbers 31:7-18).
- _The Ammonites (Deuteronomy 2:1921).
- _The Horims (Deuteronomy 2:22).
- _All the citizens of Jericho, except for a prostitute and her family (Joshua 6:17-25).
- _12,000 citizens of Ai. (Joshua 8: 25)
- _Joshua hung the king on a tree. (Joshua 8: 29).
- _All the people of Makkedah (Joshua 10:28).
- _All the people of Libnah (Joshua 10:29,30)
- _All the people of Gezer (Joshua 10:33).
- _All the people of Lachish (Joshua 10:32).
- _All the people of Eglon (Joshua 10:34, 35).
- _All the people of Hebron (Joshua 10:36, 37).
- _50,000 men for looking into a forbidden “ark” (1 Sam. 6:19)
- _42 children killed by bears for teasing a bald guy. (2 Kings 2: 23)
- _70,000 Israelites by pestilence. (1Chron. 21:14)
- _120,000 Judeans (II Chronicles 28).
- _75,000 Persians (Esther 9:16).
- _Discriminate slaughter. (Ezekial 9: 6)
- Isn’t he just a swell guy?
The diabolical status given the genocidal Catholic church at the Cairo
population conference is impossible to accept. The Vatican bosses accused
the UN of engaging in “cultural imperialism” by suggesting that developing
countries give women the option of controlling their own bodies. After 2000
years of sending out missionaries, forcing “conversions” under penalty of
torture, burning “witches”, several massive Inquisitions, and insisting that
the whole world worship the white-god-and-his-only-begotten-son, the murderous
RC’s should be the last ones to accuse anyone else of cultural imperialism!
Reacting to this pronouncement by a conclave of Cardinals of the RC
church, Sally Ethelston, of Population Action International, said,
“Women should not die or suffer irreparable physical harm as a result
of unsafe abortions because of a group of 114 celibate men.”
KNOWN BY THE COMPANY WE KEEP
In March 1994, New York’s Cardinal O’Connor signed a deal with Pat Robertson
and a bunch of other Christian wackos, agreeing to work together to “save
the family”, promote sexual abstinence before marriage, return prayer to public
schools, stop the promotion of homosexuality as a “valid lifestyle”,
eradicate sex education in public schools, ban high school health clinics from
providing reproductive information, and other righteous bullshit.
A November 26/94 Christopher Hitchens article in The Vancouver Sun
(originating in The Guardian of London), firmly links “mother” Teresa
to a bunch of societal monsters including the Duvalier family of Haiti,
the Lebanese Phalange party, US bank robber Charles Keating, big time swindler
Robert Maxwell among others. The article originally appeared in the April 13,
1992 issue of The Nation in which Hitchens accurately referred
to her as a “dangerous, sinister person”, “the ghoul of Calcutta” and “the hell bat.”
On August 8, 1994, the pope bestowed a knighthood on ex-Nazi
Kurt Waldheim. Reminds us of another pope, Pius XII who never thought to
condemn the Nazi genocide. On August 21, Elizabeth Waldheim, wife of Nazi
Kurt was honoured by the Vatican for setting an example for Christians throughout
C.B.C. T.V. News
Box 4600 Vancouver, BC
The keynote speaker at the annual banquet of the Christian Info News?
Chief BC news reader for Canada’s public broadcasting network, Kevin Evans.
In a follow-up story, the all-religion rag reports that Kevin got a
standing O when he gave witness to his Christian faith. He told the
congregation that, “... the purpose of all the newsroom hustle and bustle
is ultimately to serve ‘Him’.” We don’t think so. Letters to CBC and the
CRTC are in order. _
Alan J. Darling
BORN AGAIN AND HEAVEN BOUND?
Mass killer and eater of young folks, the late Jeffery Daumer. Hallelujah!
Mass pedobutcher Clifford Olsen. Hosanna!
THAT GOOD OL’ TIME RELIGION
In Bangladesh, Taslima Nasrin, a writer who often focuses on
issues connected to women’s rights, has been forced into hiding
by radical Muslim fundamentalists who want to see her punished for
alleged comments against Islam. The Bangladesh law she allegedly violated
outlaws language “intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class
by insulting its religion or religious believers.” Ms. Nasrin purportedly
violated this law when she said that “the Koran should be thoroughly revised.”
Ms. Nasrin denied that she said this and clarified her views by saying that,
“we have to move beyond these ancient texts if
we want progress.” She has also argued for greater sexual freedom for women
and for a woman’s right to have as many husbands as men are allowed wives.
She faces two years in jail and has been the object of demonstrations and
large scale strikes calling for her execution. Support for Ms. Nasrin has been
thin. Even Bangladesh liberals waffle in their attitudes toward her. One
western-educated government official reportedly said, “I don’t think for
a moment that she set out to create a situation like this, but what she has
said has given a handle to people who have not hesitated to use it for mischievous
New York Times, 13 July 1994, P. A3 _
Douglas Todd, religion writer at The Vancouver Sun recently did a
piece on a row of assorted churches being built on a stretch of Southeast
Marine Drive. One posh prayer palace, he said, was “assessed for tax purposes
at $1.7 million.” What he did not say was that no taxes will be paid on the
joint. It would be an enlightening exercise for atheists to determine from
their local property tax office, the value of tax exempt church property in
the community and the amount of taxes that should be paid by the righteous
There is not a church in Canada that pays taxes...not on the building
itself nor on their incomes. They are exempt from advalorem taxes
on their properties, from sales tax, from inheritance tax and
from taxes on the money they make from stocks and bonds. (It is widely
known that churches and religious institutions heavily invest their money
in the stock markets.) Those innocuous little collection baskets alone pull
in millions of tax-free dollars per year.
Church holdings include vast amounts of privately owned land.
Because they take that untaxable land out of the land base, our taxes
are higher. Each year municipal councils pass resolutions to exempt the
religious institutions from paying property tax. Not a single taxpayer,
theist or atheist, is consulted.
Theology is only the ignorance of science, reduced to a system
BOY, ARE WE CHICKEN!
We would like to aim more of our satire at the Jews and Muslims
and we will. However, we must admit that we fear the wrath of
the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, which specializes in defamation,
and the Muslims might hunt us down and kill us. Oh well.
According to the October 22/94 New Scientist, homosexual
acts are not limited to humans, despite what certain smegheads
in the religio/political community insist. Two male deep sea
octopuses were observed in a hot and horny exchange of bodily
fluids. Marine biologist Richard Lutz of Rutgers University caught
16 minutes of pornographic material on film at a depth of 2500
CHRISTIANITY THE “REAL” THING?
Christianity has survived over most of the other
religions of antiquity because its whole history has been
one of violence and bloodshed. Christianity came to the Americas by men
in dresses carrying crosses followed by conquistadors who destroyed, plundered
and slaughtered the great Aztec, Incan and Mayan civilizations. The Christian
church systematically obliterated their history and their cultures.
The First to the Fourth Crusades went to North Africa
and Asia Minor (ed: god says:”love thy neighbour, unless they’re Turks..
then slaughter the buggers!”) and carried out a genocidal bloodbath.
The Age of Faith was an age of holy massacre that let loose a torrent
of hate that took millions of lives in a dozen different “holy” wars.
The following is just one of thousands of recorded writings. It is by
the Christian chronicler Raymond of Aguifers: “...wonderful things were seen.
In the temple of Solomon our horses waded in blood up to their knees,
nay, up to their bridles. It was a just and marvellous judgement of god,
that this place (Jerusalem) should be filled with the blood of unbelievers
Under the ancient Ionian-Epicurean philosophy, pagan
Rome had a million people living with an advanced water and
sewage system, superb flora and architecture. This all deteriorated
later under Pope Gregory (A.D. 590-604) and what remained of that
was 40,000 miserable, stinking and plague-ridden Christians.
The destruction of the great ancient Egyptian Library
of Alexandria under the reign of Ptolemy with its estimated
millions of books and manuscripts was a horrendous crime against
all civilization. The burning and looting was organised by monk-led
mobs of Christians in the year AD 389. The foremost librarian and s
cientist, Hypatia was dragged out of the library, stripped and torn
apart by the Christian mobs armed with jagged seashells.
Love and compassion? Not exactly.
Late nights on the Blaine, WA, Christian Radio station
there is a program that assists Christians with their financial
difficulties. They take economic wisdom from the bible and twist
it to fit real life situations. On the night we were listening
the theme was guilt, specifically guilt concerning the act of one
couple who had written to ask for moral guidance.
This woman had given birth to a terminally-ill child who
had spent the few months of its life in hospital, incurring
enormous bills. The local religious community had banded together
to raise a large sum of money.
Fearing that they would not receive financial help from
MedicAid, after tithing 10% of the money to their church, the
couple gave the money to a friend to hide it from the government.
When the baby died, MedicAid paid for all but $600 of
the hospital expenses. The couple then used the church money to pay
the $600 not covered by MedicAid, their baby’s funeral expenses,
and their mortgage. “What should we do?” the letter exclaims, “we
The advice? Those morally superior Christian men of economics
suggested that she not worry about the MedicAid bit, but she
should probably repay the church. Perhaps even take out a new
mortgage on the house to do so.
So, what can we learn from this? It’s O.K. to steal
from the government (the public) but don’t ever steal from
LOVE ‘EM TO DEATH
Every now and then, the hatred that boils beneath the surface of all
religions bubbles to the top. An item in the Oct./94 issue of New Woman
Magazine, quotes Anglican “vicar”, Anthony
Kennedy. Responding to a question as to his thoughts on whether or not
women should be ordained as priests, he said, “Priestesses should be
burned at the stake because they are assuming powers they have
no right to. In the medieval world that was called sorcery . . .
it’s illegal now, but if I had my way, that is what would happen to them.
I would burn the bloody bitches.”
There is not one word in the bible in praise of intelligence.
THE U.S. RELIGIOUS BRUSHFIRE
God works in mysterious ways, according to a post-election
autopsy conducted by People for the American Way. 60% of the nearly
600 candidates in local, state and national races who were aligned with
or supported by the religious right were elected to office.
To make it on the group’s list of Christian-backed candidates,
the office seekers had to meet one of three criteria. They had to be a member,
a leader or have publicly supported a Christian right organization. They had
to have received campaign funding from the Christian right. Or, they must have
publicly endorsed Christian right issues, including prayer in public schools,
opposition to abortion, the teaching of creationism, anti-gay legislation, etc.
In gubernatorial races, the Christian right contested 14 governorships,
and captured 9, for a 64% success rate. In the Senate, Christian right candidates
ran for 22 seats and won 16, for a 73% success rate. In the House,
Christian right candidates ran in 244 congressional races and
won in 190, or 78%. To put it another way, candidates aligned with the
Christian right now occupy 44% of all House seats.
Joel Bleifuss, In These Times, 11/28/94
The horrific religious/cultural practice of female genital mutilation
which is carried out on young girls in Africa and the Middle East received
a good amount of attention at the World Population Conference in Cairo in
September of 1994.
Female genital mutilation is not exactly coffee-klatch chit-chat
yet, but when it comes more to the forefront in discussion, we will be hearing
the argument put forth loud and clear: Sure, if you want to look at it out of
context, it is torture and butchery. But since it’s part of a religious ritual,
it must be okay . . . right?
If such an atrocity were merely a piece of the history of the
Dark Ages, we would probably find the advancement of this religious-relativist
defense understandable considering the times. Well, it is going on now and
there is no place for relativism here. The barbaric practice of female genital
mutilation is indefensible!
NO TIME FOR COMPLACENCY
Unlike sexual orientation, atheism is a chosen path. We choose
logic over dogma. We choose action by deliberation, not movement by rote.
We choose not to be bound by any set of moral rules other than those of
our own making. This is heavy stuff and a big responsibility. Fortunately,
we are living in a country where we have the freedom to embrace this lifestyle
or any other world-view of our choosing. At the moment.
We are living in dangerous times. South of our border we can hear
the rumblings of the political religious right amassing their troops.
They are a voracious lot whose food of preference seems to be human rights.
They promise great rewards of eternal paradise and all they ask in return
is slobbering mindlessness and total obedience. Apparently, by the growth of
their following, this is not too much to ask.
Our battle fronts are many. No one freedom exists on its own.
It is merely a thread in our social fabric and we all know what
can happen to a fabric beginning with a single broken thread.
If there was ever a time for vigilance and jealous guardianship
of our individual and collective rights and freedoms, it is now.
The world will not be free until the last
king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
The Canadian Atheist
The Canadian Atheist Society
Editor: Ray Blessin
London Place P.O.
P.O. Box 41613
923 12th Street
New Westminster, BC
Canada V3M 6L1
Email : Ray Blessin
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