The Canadian Atheist Issue 2


We have been told that our first Canadian Atheist Quarterly was "an excellent piece of work", "interesting", "hilarious", "dynamite" and "of questionable journalistic integrity". . . but we are often asked "why bother"? Fair enough.

We have decided that we need to organize atheists to become at least as belligerent as our religious counterparts. Let's not allow the religious right of Canada to get as strong a foothold as the religious right of the U.S.

Liberal MP Roseanne Skoke attacks a group of people for something they have no control over, simply because her particular religion claims that homosexuality is a bad thing. She sees a "homosexualist" conspiracy and feels she has to use her position in our government to wipe it out. She claims "homosexuals are engaged in a war against the family..." But Rosy! Aren't homosexuals members of families? Aren't they our brothers and sisters? Our sons and daughters?

Heather Stilwell, of the "Family" Coalition Party, thinks that she has the divine right to be the one who decides what books public schools should use, simply because her religion says that all other religions are bad. Why stop at Wiccan books Heather? We are sure you can find all sorts of books you don't think children should be reading. Like perhaps those science books that claim that the world is 4.9 billion years old, or the ones that describe what Darwin said. Or even that nasty old bible with it's dreadful stories of rape, murder, war, sex, and torture. Why not let children read as much as they can get their hands on and decide for themselves? If your religion is correct they should be able to figure that out for themselves.

Some religious folk even think that they should have the final say over what happens to a woman's body! Some of these people are so intent on having their own way that they have decided that harassing women and murdering doctors is OK.

And what about those who think that people, regardless of circumstance, should be forced to suffer painful incurable illnesses without the option of euthanasia? What we do with our own bodies is our own business! Those of us who reject religion demand the right to control the way we live and die.

"Pastor" Charles Scott of the Church of Christ in Israel (appropriately located in BC's bible belt), teaches that Aryans are his god's chosen people.

Fundamentalist Christians want their version of creation "science" taught in high school biology classes! They want children to believe that the world is about 6000 years old, and that a global flood, 15 "cubits" (about 8.25 metres) deep, occurred that killed every animal save those herded into some drunk's ark. This is Christian "science"! Why not teach Velikovskyism or astrology as well?

Then we have R.E.A.L. women, the Christian Heritage Party, Christian Heritage Front, the Campus Crusade for Christ, and the Aryan Nations preaching hatred for women, atheists, gays, and societal minorities.

And after all of the spewing of irrational hatred for imagined sins that their silly mythology claims are bad, religionists typically have the gall to say: "Oh, we don't hate the sinner! We hate the sin!".

As atheists, we don't hate the stupid. We hate the stupidity. That's why we bother. The Editors


An example of twisted logic tells us all we need to know about the folks who produce the Christian Info News. The headline framing the lead front page article in the March/95 issue reads: "RCMP targets residential schools". At first glance, we thought that maybe the national police were planning an armed attack on the long-abandoned residential school system. Of course the real attack was carried out by the Catholic, Anglican and United churches. Writer Frank Bucholtz defines the psychological and physical atrocities committed by the churches against the Native Canadian communities as "problems that are now acknowledged to have occurred". No big deal. Like the weather, eh? The religious outfits responsible for the monstrous cultural "mistake" are apparently now in charge of "healing". Sort of like sending Jim Keegstra back into the junior high school classroom to do re-education.


. A one-line book review was tucked into Douglas Todd's Mar. 04/95 Vancouver Sun promotional article on Okanagan religious book publisher Wood Lake Books. Wood Lake's co-founder Ralph Milton has written and pumped out 10,000 copies of a book titled Living God's Way. The book contains "Milton's retelling of bible stories for children, without violence, racism or sexism". Religious adults are apparently unable to recognize the gross hypocrisy and dishonesty they exercise when they present make-believe as if it were true in their relentless campaign of indoctrination of young children. If all the violence, racism and sexism were excised from the bible, it would leave only a few shreds of incoherent babble.

In January, the Supreme Court of Canada sent down a unanimous verdict dealing with a case where some religionists wanted to let a child die rather than allow a blood transfusion. The Court decision touched on a child's right to freedom of conscience, which is guaranteed. The Court said that freedom of conscience "arguably includes the right to live long enough to make one's own reasoned choice about the religion one wishes to follow as well as the right not to hold a religious belief." Children who are sent or taken to Sunday School and subjected to religious indoctrination by adults certainly are denied the freedom of conscience and are virtually not allowed to consider that the god is make-believe. We think this decision renders "Sunday Schools" illegal.

Source: Vancouver Sun Jan. 31/95


A young friend of ours tells of an encounter with religious door knockers. They told him their god was coming back and was going to take over the world. He replied that, as far as he knew, ours was a democratic country and asked if we would we be allowed to vote on this take-over. They said they would get back to him on that.


Dr. Israel Shahak, is a retired professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a survivor of Bergen-Belsen and a tireless fighter for human rights in Israel. He writes that racism and discrimination against non-Jews is standard Israeli practice, "if applied in another state against the Jews. . . it would instantly and justifiably be labelled anti-Semitism and would no doubt spark massive public protests. When applied by Israel as part of its 'Jewish Ideology', they are usually studiously ignored or excused when rarely mentioned". Discrimination in residency is based on the fact that 92% of Israel's land is the property of the state and . . . anyone who is not Jewish is denied the right to reside, to open a business and often to work. Shahak points out numerous offensive statements in the Hebrew version of the Talmud concerning Christianity and Christ. Christ is to be punished in hell by being immersed in boiling excrement. Jews are instructed to burn any copies of the new testament that come into their hands (hundreds of copies were publicly burned in Jerusalem on March 23, 1980, by a Jewish religious organization funded by the state). We think organizations which promote cooperation between Christians and Jews should read each other's "holy" books. Source: Edward Herman-Lies of our Times July/Aug./94

Most people are aware of the edict or "fatwa" issued by the Iranian Ayatollah calling for the death of Salmon Rushdie. His crime was putting words on paper. Another fatwa, not so well known but carrying equal weight is the one issued by Sheik Abdel-Aziz Ibn Baaz, the boss of all the religionists in Saudi Arabia. It goes: "The earth is flat. Whoever claims it is round is an atheist deserving of punishment." These insanities are not to be considered humorous or harmless.

Source: New York Times - Feb. 12/95

Religious radio loudmouth Bob Larson is on an inter-cult tirade against the Mormons. He "accuses" some of the Mormon leadership of homosexuality and says that their religion is a cult unlike his cult, the Christ cult, which is not a cult. "Bobby E." offers to "heal" the homosexuals if only they would come and ask. Donations are also welcome. Larson has needs. We have a report that puts his 1990 personal take at $497,753.


Suppose you had never heard of Christianity, and that next Sunday morning a stranger standing in a pulpit told you about a book whose authors could not be authenticated and whose contents, written hundreds of years ago, included blood-curdling legends of slaughter and intrigue and fables about unnatural happenings such as virgin births, devils that inhabit bodies and talk, people rising from the dead and ascending live into the clouds, and suns that stand still. Suppose he then asked you to believe that an uneducated man described in that book was a god who could get you into an eternal fantasy-place called heaven, when you die. Would you as an intelligent rational person even bother to read such nonsense, let alone pattern your entire life upon it?

A Born Again Skeptics Guide to the Bible - Ruth Green


We like to sardonically refer to Trinity Western University as a bible college. One response is that the school is an "internationally-recognized, degree-granting university teaching liberal arts and sciences and is recognized as such by its secular peers." All libraries have a section of university "calendars" which offer a profile of each school. Trinity Western's calendar tenders the following:

TWU was founded by the Evangelical Free Church, to which it remains accountable for doctrine and lifestyle.

A belief that an education with deep roots in the bible . . . will prepare graduates to serve Christ.

TWU is a place to prepare for a life that will count for the Lord Jesus Christ. A mission to develop graduates to become godly Christian leaders who glorify God as they serve Him.

The scriptures are without error . . . and are the final authority for all Christian faith and life.

It is impossible to believe that an outfit like this has any relevance to rational thought or science let alone credible academic degrees.


Darling of Evangelical Christians everywhere, mass murderer Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, is poised to return to power in Guatemala. The general enjoys enthusiastic support from Evangelical big-shots Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and many Christian political leaders. Montt was thrown out by a different bunch of thugs in 1983, just after the U.S. House and Senate approved $100 million in "security assistance" to help him continue butchering his country's rural population. In August 1994 he made a comeback as leader of the Guatemalan Republican Front and will run for president this year. Rios Montt is a member of Church of the Word which was founded by California-based Gospel Outreach. We think Gen. Montt would probably be welcome as a keynote speaker on Central American politics at Trinity Western.

"We helped elect the candidates God wants in office."

Chuck Gosnell - U.S. Christian Coalition


In Quebec, a Muslim man was sentenced to a lenient 23 months in the slammer for repeatedly sodomizing his stepdaughter. Montreal Judge Raymonde Verreault actually commended the man for at least preserving his daughter's virginity, which "seems to be a very important value in their religion." Another example of the kind of moral guidance only religion can provide.


The very wise Molly Ivins in the 12/94 issue of The Progressive commented on the November mid-term elections for the Senate and House of Representatives. She said "Ollie North, perhaps the country's best known liar, ran on the bible." (He lost.) "In California, Michael Huffington, a low affect personality, announced that God was on his side." (He lost too.) But perhaps part of the malaise that affected the 61% of the American electorate who were no-shows on voting day was reflected in Alabama where, Ivans reports, "they forgot about politics entirely after several people sighted the Virgin Mary. Their bumper stickers read "Eat, Drink, And See Mary". (Sigh)


We have noticed an irritating whine coming from our TV sets. It comes from about seven different stations (at last count) on the dial every weekday morning and the cacophony is led by "men of the cloth" (usually gabardine by Armani). The wails are accompanied by much breast beating and enough tears to rust a Rolex. But, for the finale they manage to pull themselves together for just one more song. These finely-crafted performances, as we know, are all part of the age old Christian Persecution Complex. Back in the 16th century it was the "witches" who got the blame for trying to undermine them, and we know how they handled that little annoyance. Nowadays it's the illegal "aliens", the baby killers, the queers, and the godless (that's us!) who are bedevilling them in, which they are wont to call, this "Post Christian Society". Well Post-Schmost! In truth, Christian fundamentalists are revelling in what anyone who's awake would agree, are their salad days. These mega-mouths are just the front men for the vast corporate fortunes, tax-free prime real estate and for media and political puppet ownership. But that old persecution ploy has its purpose: it keeps their activists active while maintaining a blissful state of self-righteousness.

Perhaps that whine should be a signal for us now to not merely adjust our sets, but to turn them off and get active ourselves.


The Christian right in the U.S. has burped up yet another movement for miserable men, this one called Promise Keepers. P.K. was established in 1990 by a University of Colorado football coach who dedicated himself to turning the men of America into sexually self-loathing, bathroom-cleaning obsessed, misogynistic Jesus-freaks. The followers (as in sheep) are told "Surrender your sexuality to God so that he can sanctify it and give it back to you in all its glory and purity." Sort of a One-Hour Martinizing for libidos?

Wives of Promise Keepers are taught early that their lives can have no real meaning unless they are lived totally for and through their husbands.


In the Scandinavian countries, only about 2% of the population attend church services on a regular basis. This lack of religious fervour has not prevented the Scandinavians from taking the lead in per capita contributions to international relief organizations and other humanitarian activities. The moral is that morality is not rooted in religion.


Ridicule is the one thing religion cannot abide.

Chapman Cohen

What if the god was real, and she was Chinese? Would she ever be ticked off at the Christians!


So, Charlton Heston was speakin' to us one day:

Gen. 7:17 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. Uh Huh. . .

Gen. 7:18 And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. Okay. . .

Gen. 7:19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Sure, Chuck. . .

Gen. 7:20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. Fifteen cubits? A cubit is roughly 55 centimetres. So the waters rose to (15 * 55cm =) 8.25 m

8.25 metres and the mountains were covered? Perhaps they mean 8.25m above the mountains... OK. It has to have at least covered Mt. Ararat which is 5121m high.

Assuming a spherical earth (some biblical scholars may argue this as the bible infers a flat one), of radius 6370 km, we can calculate the volume of water required to accomplish this feat:

Vw = Volume of water required to cover the Earth with water to a height of 5.1 km =?

Vw+e = Volume of the flood waters and the Earth

Ve = Volume of the Earth

re = radius of the Earth (assuming spherical) = 6370 km

hw= height of the water = 5.1 km

Vw = Ve+w - Ve
     = (4/3)   re+w3 - (4/3)  re3
     = (4/3) ((re + hw)3-(re)3)
     = (4/3)  ( (6370 km + 5.1 km)3 - (6370 km)3)
Vw = 2.6 * 1023 l
That's 260,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 litres of extra water.

WHOA! Where the heck did that come from?

And where did it go?


We don't know where all that water came from, but we think we know where the story came from. The story of the great flood, by which Noah gained his fame, was a rerun of the Babylonian account written thousands of years earlier. According to this account, "Tamzi" built a ship at the command of the god "Hea" and put into it his family and all the beasts of the field. He pitched it inside and out with bitumen. The rain destroyed all life. On the seventh day the ship became stranded on the mountain called "Nazir". After seven more days "Tamzi" let out a dove and later a swallow. They both returned. Then he let out a raven which did not return. He realized that the waters had gone, so he left the ship. The god "Hea" interceded with the god "Bel" so that the earth would never be covered with water again.

Source: The Perils of Faith - Martin Baird


We have received a letter from Ron Gray, an official at Trinity Western University. Here are excerpts from his letter, followed by our responses:

RG: [...]At present, Christian perspectives are virtually censored out of the major mass media and public education.

CA: This is not true. There is hardly a television or radio station that does not daily carry evangelical Christians spouting their biblical dogma and rhetoric. This includes our own CBC, CTV and Community stations, not to mention Vision TV. Each weekend the Vancouver Sun's Saturday Review offers its own in house religion columnist. All libraries have row after row of religious books and tracts but almost nothing on atheism.

CA: On our assertion that Trinity Western is a "Bible college.":

RG: Your opinion needs to be adjusted to fit the facts. For the sake of intellectual integrity, your editorial policy needs to separate fact from opinion. You [...] should recognize that elevating your opinions to the level of fact is merely religious dogma[...]

CA: Here you demonstrate a basic ignorance of atheism vs. theism. No matter what spin you care to throw on it, it is an accepted fact that dogma is a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a religion. We stand by our assertion. Would non-Christian students be allowed to attend your "university"? See the article on page 3 of this issue for more on this.

RG: There is another serious misrepresentation of fact in the item headed God Keep Our Land?: You assert that there was no reference to god "in any constitution-type document in this country until 1982. That opinion overlooks the foundation stones of the Parliament buildings[...]

CA: Foundation stones are constitutional documents? That's a bit of a stretch isn't it?

RG: The 1982 statement that "Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law" is historically accurate; any attempt to deny Canada's Christian roots would be intellectually dishonest.

CA: We object to this. To say this is to discriminate against millions of Canadian atheists, not to mention millions of Canadians who hold non-Christian beliefs.

RG: You cite the "freedom to hold opinions" asserted in the UN Declaration; but shouldn't that right also protect Christians against atheist attempts to expunge from public discourse any expression of Christian opinions?

CA: We have never proposed this. We reject the suggestion that we did. By the way, you're not impressing us by twisting the context of the UN Declaration. You should have included the next two words as well: "freedom to hold opinions without interference". Please re-read the article in question.

RG: Your closing diatribe about strangling the last king with the entrails of the last priest hardly seems consistent with you [sic] alleged espousal of freedom of opinion! And it's not very loving or liberal -- but perhaps atheists aren't expected to live by the standards they demand of others.

CA: It is very much consistent with the defense of freedom of opinion. One need not be a history major to know who held the reins of tyranny throughout the ages. For 2000 years bible "scientists" on behalf of kings and priests have waged war on conventional scientists with such potent arguments as the rack, the rope and burning stakes. Because we state this truth, you say we are not very "loving or liberal". Well, we don't claim to hold the same monopoly on love and kindness that can be found in Christianity:

I Kings 2:25,28,34 - Solomon (one of god's favourites) had a contract put out on his elder brother Adonijah and had him murdered.

II Kings 9:9 & 10:1-11 - Your god ordered the beheading of 70 children and placed their heads in baskets.

II Kings 6:28-29 - A woman boils her son and then eats him.

Great stuff, this Christianity.

RG: Finally, your boxed aphorism asserting that "There is not one word in the bible in praise of intelligence." is flatly untrue. How about Deut 4:6; 34:9; I Kings 4:29-31; 10:4-9; Psalm 37:30... I could go on. But perhaps more important for you and your readers is Psalm 14:1. Solomon was right:"There is nothing new under the sun."

CA: We stand by our quotation. "There is not one word in the bible in praise of intelligence". It is true. The tracts you have suggested refer to the "wisdom" these people had for choosing to follow this Christian god's rule. This has nothing to do with intelligence, or wisdom for that matter.

In conclusion, Mr. Gray, atheists are going to fight vigorously to ensure that we provide intelligent people with alternatives to the ridiculous ideas and stories disseminated by biblical charlatans. The Christian Right has brought about a fundamental change to the political and social fabric in the U.S., a new wave of mean mindedness and intolerance swarms like locusts and now they hover over our borders in the hope of infesting Canada too. We will fight against this contamination as we continue to strive for freedom from religion.


A copy of this news letter has been mailed to every community newspaper in B.C. Several copies have been sent to each of 65 libraries from Bowen Island to Boston Bar, B.C., and to many religious institutions. Please let us know if your library has made it available or if your local paper has made mention.

Some of our readers have asked if we will accept contributions to help cover costs of production and postage. We will. We thank those who have already helped.

The Canadian Atheist
Published by
The Canadian Atheist Society

Editor: Ray Blessin
Fax: (604)525-4911

Contributing Editors:
Fern Wayman
Richard Nistuk
Laurence Wayman