Jun 152016
 
by Luke Fevin  (You can follow Luke on Twitter @According2Luke, or on Facebook )

 

The terrible events of Orlando, followed immediately by the detention of a heavily armed James Howell en route to the LA Pride celebration have once again catapulted the discussion of homophobia and it’s origins to the fore.
Two key questions appear to be;
Does homophobia occur naturally?
What role if any, does religion have to play?

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 9:33 AM
Jun 042016
 

atheist pride cover
Why would atheists march in the Pride Parade?  

Most of the reasons for being against equality are rooted in religious doctrine and dogmas.  No Gods, No Dogmas, No Problems!

Thanks to everyone that came out and marched with us today, helped at the booth, or stopped by the booth to say hello.  We’d also like to send a big thank you to the Edmonton Pride Center and Pride Parade teams for all their organizing.     Happy Pride everyone!

 Posted by at 8:09 PM
May 302016
 

Hey NDP government!!

The Society of Edmonton Atheists would like to make you aware that we do not agree with the provincial decision to allow an entire health care facility to speak on behalf of all it’s doctors and staff.

The news from the province today is that Covenant Health will not have to follow the ruling of the Supreme Court. We understand and support an individual right to conscientious refusal, however when we allow an entire publicly funded organization that right, it is an overstep.

Covenant Health own 90% of the palliative care beds in Edmonton and those patients are the most likely to ask for assisted death. You do not have a choice of which palliative care bed you are placed into, so this seems a rather cruel decision. Moving a patient in a fragile medical state is an insensitive suggestion, why not allow for the doctors and nurses that are willing to help come to them, regardless of where they are placed?

Shanaaz Gokool, the CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada in a news release today stated: ”Though physicians, as individuals, have a right to conscientious refusal, taxpayer-funded institutions have no such right. Instead, they have a duty to provide a full range of compassionate healthcare options for patients at end of life.”

We fully agree with Dying With Dignity’s statement and hope the wants of the entire Canadian population (not just the Catholic demographic) will be taken into consideration.

 Posted by at 10:46 PM
May 262016
 

Society of Edmonton Atheists: ‘We’re interested in having a booth at your expo. We feel it’s a fun atmosphere where sci-fi fans (which for some reason have a crossover with atheism) can find out about our group, therefore we’re applying under your non-profit section’

Reply: NO – you violate our policy of promoting religious doctrine
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Society of Edmonton Atheists: ‘We’re interested in joining the displays at City Hall that are aimed at celebrating the diversity of faith groups in our city and making everyone feel like they belong’

Reply: You might not qualify under the guidelines as you aren’t considered religious
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Continue reading »

 Posted by at 12:20 PM
May 112016
 

For those of you who know me, you know I’m a huge Doctor Who and Star Trek fan. So much so that I have spent a small fortune to attend both the Calgary and Edmonton Expos over the years to get photos and autographs of my favourite celebrity stars. Just this past month I was down in Calgary for my usual pilgrimage to have a Doctor Who related photo taken. Along with the celebrity signings and photo ops, there is a large presence of comic books, sci-fi and general geek products for sale at every turn, along with some non-profit booths encouraging you to help rescued pets or buy girl guide cookies.

During my travels through the non-profit area of the expo this year I stumbled across gamechurch, who cleverly had a picture of Jesus with a video game controller in his hands. Gamechurch are an evangelical group, who use entertainment expos as a way to spread the word of Jesus, and hand out bibles and stickers along the way.
Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:49 AM
May 042016
 

If you don’t drive, but have items you want to donate, please email Karen, our current SEA president, and she’ll arrange to pick them up. Email Karen at president@edmontonatheists.ca

Items that the Edmonton Emergency Relief Services are asking for are as follows:

– diapers
– baby wipes
– feminine hygiene products
– soap
– shampoo
– NEW towels
– NEW Underwear and socks
– NEW pillows
– toothbrushes and toothpaste

While not listed, unopened cat and dog food have been mentioned online as items they would accept, so if you want you can also donate those.

We took cash donations during the Aron Ra event on Tuesday evening and have donated $300 to the Red Cross on behalf of the Society of Edmonton Atheists.


donation

 Posted by at 1:56 PM
Apr 092016
 

Aron Ra Banner

The Society of Edmonton Atheists are happy to announce that Aron Ra will be spending the evening with us on Tuesday May 3rd.  Held at the University of Alberta, we will be in the Education building in room 129

Aron Ra is one of the “YouTube atheists” and an advocate for rationalism in science classrooms. He grew up in an exclusively creationist environment where he felt like a lonely outcast just for understanding evolution, let alone accepting it. Being raised in a mostly-Mormon family encouraged him to explore other denominations and eventually non-Abrahamic spiritualism before rejecting faith-based beliefs altogether. He was drawn into activism when the Religious Right dominated his state’s Board of Education, and began undermining education in history, health, science, and social studies. His videos often focus on evolution and the evidence indicating an interrelated tree of life. His series summarizing the ‘Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism’ and his subsequent series, ‘Falsifying Phylogeny’ (including the Phylogeny Challenge’) have been mirrored, featured, referenced, and recommended by many professional scientists, secularists, and educators, and has attracted more than 100,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER8cq1JO3Y8.

TICKETS available now: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-aron-ra-tickets-24247307349
(Aron incurs some costs, venue hire, flight, hotel and food, so the SEA would appreciate a $20 donation as ticket price. If you can’t afford this price please contact president@edmontonatheists.ca to discuss.)
**You may also donate towards a ticket at a SEA event via one of the board members.  Valid email address required. **

13087590_455469597989390_8057539542848832416_n

UPDATE

We have added a special VIP dinner event on May 2nd.  Event details can be found here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pastafarian-night-with-aron-ra-sea-members-only-tickets-24247451781

 Posted by at 10:49 PM
Apr 072016
 

Hello everyone!

Our Annual General Meeting was Tuesday night, and although the attendance was down a bit from usual, we still met quorum requirements. Annual General meetings are a requirement for us to remain a non-profit group so I would encourage you all to get involved next year, we do spend a bit of time talking about the focus of the Society and what kind of events you are interested in, so all input is greatly appreciated.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 6:27 PM
Mar 042016
 

Many of our members have followed the Dying with Dignity movement for awhile now, and all seemed victorious when last year the Supreme Court gave a 1 year notice of Physician Assisted Dying becoming legal.   The legislation was meant to commence on February 6th this year, but our last federal government didn’t do enough to gather information from various groups in order to enact it in time, so when the new Liberal government took over they requested an extension.  It was granted and the time frame extended to June 6th, 2016.   As of June 6th, PAD will become legal, regardless of what legislation is in place.

In Alberta we have a slight problem though.  The vast majority of people who request PAD are already in palliative care, at the end of their lives.  The majority of palliative care beds in Alberta are owned and run by the publicly funded Catholic Covenant Health group.   The church has stated that Physician Assisted Dying is against their Catholic teachings and will not be provided at their hospital.    Here’s the issue though…you don’t get to pick which bed you are given so you can’t request a non-catholic bed, you are just assigned.

The Catholic Bishops of Alberta released this statement:

We want to be clear that, from a Catholic perspective, the intentional, willful act of killing oneself or another human being is morally wrong. Therefore, no Catholic may advocate for, or participate in any way, whether by act or omission, in the intentional killing of another human being either by assisted suicide or euthanasia.

Just this past week a Calgary woman was granted an exemption to the June 6th date but she had to travel to Vancouver to finally end her life.  This raises the issue of access to the right to die with dignity in Alberta.  
Dying With Dignity
So what can we do to help?  
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta currently have two campaigns where you can leave your feedback and views on PAD.    Help shape these policies!   Informed Consent and Conscientious Objection are available to be filled out until March 7th.   Dying with Dignity Canada have some recommendations in their toolkit to help you fill out these forms.

Alberta Health is also looking for your feedback, you can fill out their form until March 31st.

You can also write to your MLA and lend your support to the movement.

 Posted by at 2:32 PM