Weekend Highlights

Back from Canada! Toronto was a blast :) Thanks to the University of Toronto and University of Guelph secular student groups and the Center for Inquiry for putting together a terrific event. Can’t wait to go back.

Random highlights:

Some students advertised my talk (“Viewing Faith Through an Atheist’s Eyes”) by putting fliers around campus. Maybe it was the word “atheist,” but many of the posters were ripped down. Who would do such a thing…?

ripped.jpg

Apparently viewing faith pays cash.

Or I’m hot.

Also entertaining? Going to Toronto during gay pride festivities.

(Mine eyes… they burn.)

I’ll spare you the not-so-family-friendly shots. Needless to say, I now know what assless chaps look like.

At one end of the pride parade was a large TV screen where text messages (sent for free) could be displayed for all to see… you figure this could be a good or bad thing…:

text.jpg

And does anyone else have second thoughts about what are they selling at this booth…:

roastedco.jpg

Anyway, Katie has more thoughts on the actual talk.

It went well, I thought. I met some great people. It’s nice to know non-religious groups are alive and thriving in Canada — and under excellent leadership.

I’m hoping to get video of the entire talk up online soon.


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://bluelinchpin.wordpress.com Blue Linchpin

    You’d think Canadians would be better than Americans about atheism, sheesh!

    I want to go to a gay pride festival now. :3

    Welcome back!

    ~Lurker

  • http://canuctude.blogspot.com/ Bruce

    I don’t know if us Canucks are better about Atheism, we still have our fair share of bitter apologists around here. It’s a hot topic sometimes in this country because gay marriage is legal and some people see that and Atheism as an erosion of their faith.

    We don’t even have the same free speech laws here. Our laws are designed to encourage diversity, so there is no legal right to express or encourage hate. I can be gay and nobody has the right to put me down for it. There’s the difference, but it also makes people realize that the world won’t come to an end because of diversity, and just might benefit from the knowledge our differences can bring to the table.

    I’m glad you had a good Time Hemant, come back soon.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com/ NYCatheist

    No True Christian™ (or True Atheist) would do such a thing.
    ;-)

  • EKM

    Bruce said

    I don’t know if us Canucks are better about Atheism, we still have our fair share of bitter apologists around here. It’s a hot topic sometimes in this country because gay marriage is legal and some people see that and Atheism as an erosion of their faith.

    Why do religious people always feel threated by the idea that somebody, somewhere does not believe their religion?

  • http://canuctude.blogspot.com/ Bruce

    Why do religious people always feel threated by the idea that somebody, somewhere does not believe their religion?

    I suppose that’s because religion is confused with faith. There’s nothing wrong with faith if that’s what you want to do. But so many people seem equate that into an empirical absolute these days. That’s impossible.

    For many people religion is nothing more than taught self-confirmation that has been delivered by rote, and they don’t understand they could ever think beyond it because they have been told they are not capable.

    We really need to work on this.

  • theShaggy

    Hemant, thanks for the awesome speech. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to come introduce myself afterwards (I wanted to get my book signed, too), but at least I got in my question about Ray Comfort’s blog. Next time, I guess :-)

    Pride was awesome this year. The crowd was a bit small where I was, but the floats were awesome (including the Canadian Forces officially marching for the first time – biggest applause of the parade). After seeing the Jews, the United Church, the Anglicans, and Unitarian Universalists march, I think we need an atheist/Pastafarian float next year. I can see it now: the FSM held aloft, each noodle a different colour of the rainbow, and us all holding signs which say “‘Moral Relativity’ = Absolute Love” or something. Would be awesome.

  • Steven

    It was definitely worth it for me to venture downtown to hear Mr.Mehta’s talk. I knew that it would be interesting, but I didn’t expect it to be so funny! What a terrific way to blast away negative stereotypes of the “angry atheist” and foster some dialogue between theists and atheists.
    I’m glad that Toronto was able to show off one of it’s interesting sides (even if it was it’s backside!). It’s good that the city has the annual gay pride parade, and it will be even better when acceptance is such it isn’t needed anymore (and a bit of a relief to my wife who really can’t get over those backless chaps).

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