Friday, October 1, 2010

French People Are Everywhere!

Ah, Montreal! What a wonderful city. I’m not saying that I would want to live here, but it has been a nice change of pace. Perhaps I need to explain the hiatus and what has brought me to this fine city.

First off, this semester of school has been particularly trying. There has been quite a few assignments in pretty much all of my classes. This has taken up quite a bit of my time since I am torn between my wife and daughter, a full time job (which is part of this story), school, and this blog, along with various side projects. It is taking me a bit to find the balance between all of these projects, but everything is finally coming together.

Second, my job is starting to affect my health, and not in a good way (as if any job as ever made someone healthier). I am going to write a separate post about the trials and tribulations involved in my job. It has everything to do with atheism and my involvement therein.

Third, I am in Montreal with my lovely wife for a vacation and the Atheist Alliance International Convention 2010. The convention has been pretty fun so far. It started this afternoon with a workshop with Jeremy Patrick titled “The Curious Persistence of Blasphemy Laws and Their Modern-Day Counterparts.” This was just a basic rundown of the structure of laws in places like Ireland, UK, Australia, US, Canada, and Pakistan. Nothing noteworthy, but interesting none-the-less. Then came “Intelligent Design vs Scientific Theory” by Christine Shellska, who is a Ph. D student at the University of Calgary. What a snooze! This could have been a great workshop, but it ended up being a goddamned reading of a doctoral thesis. Flat, unengaging, and not interesting at all. Then we saw Justin Trottier who spoke about Atheist Activism. I will just link to his site because he was too interesting to summarize.

Then we get to Chris diCarlo. He gave the plenary speech titled “The Veneer of Tolerance” in which he talks about discrimination against non-believers and how acceptable it is. He made some good points and was entertaining, but overall he was very namby-pamby in his treatment of the issue of religion. He trotted out the old line of “well, that’s not a very Christian-like thing to do” at which point he got shut down by a lady in the crowd who politely told him that he needed to look at the history of Christianity and see that Christians being assholes is actually the Christian thing to do. Well said.

I must bid you all farewell. It is time to sleep, for tomorrow is a full day!


  1. we dont have blasphemy laws in the UK...we took it off the books back in 2008. Scotland does have it still...but they have a separate legal system from England and Wales.

    we do have some pretty whacky stuff still on the books mind....including a statute that says you can still arrest anyone within the boundaries of the City of London for being French....its an old statute from the Napoleonic Wars we havent yet got round to repealing.

    we only repealed the Witchcraft Act in the 1950s.

    sorry to hear it sounds like you are getting grief at work bro. Chin up and dont let em grind you down.

  2. Thank you for your feedback, both at the conference and here, and good luck with your studies. Christine Shellska