Yesterday, an atheist writer was gunned down on the courthouse steps in the capital of Jordan.
He was set to stand trial for offending Islam by sharing a comic satirizing Mohammed on his Facebook page. The suspected shooter, a local imam and extremist, was allegedly motivated by anger over the blasphemous cartoon.
Meanwhile, a new film by atheist Louis Theroux critical of Scientology will not be shown in Ireland because publishers are afraid they'll be sued under the country's new libel laws that include "blasphemous matter."
It is also why it was so encouraging to learn last week that the City of Victoria had agreed to proclaim International Blasphemy Rights Day. Although that proclamation only came after some debate, further highlighting how precarious our right to free speech is, even here in Canada.
While we don't have any festivities planned for either event this year, I do strongly encourage you to sign the e-petition calling on the federal government to repeal Canada's blasphemy law and to make sure you share that with as many people as you can.
Ujjal Dosanjh at our next Sunday meeting
At our next Sunday meeting in Vancouver, the 33rd Premier of BC and former federal Minister of Health, Ujjal Dosanjh will be speaking about his views and experiences on the separation of church and state. Dosanjh was born in India and has long spoken out against Sikh extremism in the Southeast Asian community in Metro Vancouver.
It promises to be a fascinating event and Dosanjh is open to a long discussion period.
As always, we will be meeting at the Oakridge Seniors' Centre with doors at 10 AM and the presentation will start at 10:30 AM. Our events are free and all are welcome (though we do ask for donations to cover our costs).
New on our website
• Doctors have no right to refuse medical assistance in dying, abortion or contraception by Julian Savulescu and Udo Schuklenk
Sunday, October 02, 2016 at 10:00 AM
- Sunday Meeting - Ujjal Dosanjh at Oakridge Seniors Centre, Vancouver
Tuesday, October 04, 2016 at 07:00 PM
- Book Club - Life Ascending by Nick Lane at Goldis' Home, Vancouver
Sunday, October 09, 2016 at 10:00 AM
- Sunday Meeting: Steve Thompson on Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology at Oakridge Seniors Centre, Vancouver
Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 10:00 AM
- Sunday Meeting: Matt Barber - Give me sex, Jesus at Oakridge Seniors Centre, Vancouver
Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 10:00 AM
- Sunday Meeting: David Simpson - Morality without god at Oakridge Seniors Centre, Vancouver