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Sometimes the weasels win.

What I am talking about is this particularly disturbing occurrence that just passed through(not unlike stool) Winnipeg’s City Council.

The CBC reports: “A Christian group is hoping to build a multimillion-dollar, non-denominational recreation centre for youth in the heart of one of Winnipeg’s most hardscrabble areas.

Currently, Youth for Christ operates more than a dozen small rec centres in the city.

But on Wednesday, a handful of councillors on city hall’s executive policy committee gave the green light to contribute land at the corner of Higgins Avenue and Main Street toward the project, as well as approve a $2.5 million loan to the organization.”

More mana from heaven!

“Courtney said the federal government has agreed to provide $3 million of the project’s $11-million total cost. A fundraising campaign is also about to begin, he added.”

To understand how repugnant this is, a little historical context is in order.   Here in Canada we have the shameful legacy of sponsoring via the church attempted cultural genocide of the peoples of the First Nations.  The vehicle of choice was, along with institutional racism and discrimination, the Residential School System.  I cannot adequately describe the level of injustice, or the suffering or the psychic trauma we inflicted upon Native Canadians in the name of bringing God and Civilization (which, unsurprisingly, also happened to coincide with kidnapping, segregation, indoctrination, torture and rape) to them, but when your PM apologizes in the House of Commons for our dark malfeasance, it speaks to the magnitude of the crime.

So what is going on over there in Winnipeg?  Well apparently the proposal for this recreation centre magically appeared on the city councilors agenda, with scant details and none of the extensive research required for large publicly funded projects of this magnitude necessary to begin or even properly analyze.

“Gerbasi and fellow Coun. Dan Vandal have also expressed concern about the lack of information being provided on the project, which they believe is getting rushed through council.

“This money is all going into capital to build this massive new facility that has not been scrutinized,” Gerbasi said.

“There was a one page piece of paper with a motion on it that was walked onto an agenda [Wednesday] and the decision has to be made next week by council with virtually no information provide to members of council who have to make this decision.

“That’s not a way to run a city.” [apparently it is if you are ‘doing it for Christ’ TM]

Okay, so there is this huge push to get funding passed for this supposedly “needed” recreational center.  It certainly has nothing to do with the people who will be privately running an publicly funded operation.  It is not like the money could have been used elsewhere.  Oh wait:

“Kemlin Nembhard executive director of the Daniel McIntyre-St. Matthews Community Association, is also angry about the deal being given Youth for Christ.

She runs youth programs in the community on a shoestring budget and was stunned when she heard the news.

“Given that we’re constantly told that the city has no money, [that] they’re constantly amalgamating and closing centers, and then they all of a sudden turn around and find $2.6 million to give to a group to run programming that won’t be available to a broad range of youth?”

So, how this spins out is that the public (on two different levels of government) has been duped into paying for a privately run institution whose goals include civilizing the natives proselytizing for Christ and creating future misanthropically deluded Christian leaders.   From the Youth for Christ Website:

Our Mission

“Youth for Christ, Canada exists to impact every young person in Canada with the person, work and teachings of Jesus Christ and discipling them into the Church.”

Contrast this with what their spokesperson John Courtney has to say:

“Proselytizing is one of those words that’s attached to the radical side of religion,” Courtney told council on Wednesday.

“Do we think it’s a good thing for any young person to embrace the Christian faith? Of course we do. Do we reject any services from kids that don’t want to take that journey? Absolutely not.”

Did you hear the shlluuuuuurp? That was the sound your irony meter imploding as it just suffered a suppurating chest wound courtesy of John Courtney’s christian mendacity.

Huh.  Its like our mission is to proselytize, but like,  we won’t do it if you don’t want us to.  Utter horsepucky.

It gets better!  Our boy John Courtney simply dismisses the residential school connotation with this gem:

He [J.Courney] also called it unfair to put his agency in the same category as the church-run, government-funded residential schools that took native children from their homes to assimilate them into white society.

You know what, what happened there wasn’t Christian. Christians did it but it wasn’t Christian,” he said. “And to compare that with who we are, with our track record of 60 years in this community, I think that’s an unfair shot.

Will the No True Scotsman representative please come to the front and take a bow.

Damn, it is unfair to think that you’re trying to target and assimilate at-risk Native Canadians into your church of holy bullshit.  Unfair but true, you pusillanimous douche-nozzle.   That publicly funded recreation facility will be an epicenter for your vilely delusuional coercion machine, your weasel words cannot hide that fact.

The Native Canadians know about your Damon Johnston speaks against christian duplicity:

“Damon Johnston, head of the Aboriginal Centre of Winnipeg, vowed the centre would be relentlessly picketed if it goes ahead.

“This is not 1876. You will not get away with this, let me assure you,” he said, eliciting applause”

There should be more public outcry about this, but I believe Damon Johnston’s words are prescient.  In the 21st century we will not let religion off the hook for their past crimes, there will be no small mea culpla and then business as usual.  This outrage will not stand.

America has great founding principles, I just wish they would remember and take to heart some of the great points about their culture and body politic.  Evid3nce makes a brief but poignant video about what the US has potential to be.

Enjoy.

I have found, through my travels, that many people cannot understand Christians, Muslims, Jews, or any religious people at all. I confess, initially, I could not comprehend how anyone could belong to any faith either. After much study, I think I’ve come up with some answers and I put them all in this diagram. I hope it helps.

Parts that make up a religious believer

From the CBC:

“Emergency crews have found a second body in the wreckage where a small plane smashed into an Austin, Texas, office building that houses a U.S. Internal Revenue Service office.”

Okay, flying a plane into a building.  We’ve seen that before.  But what is different this time?  It seems that it is taking awhile to classify the act itself.  Would there be as much confusion if the pilot was of Arabic descent or had a Arabic surname?  That is the question ‘Big man” poses at the blog ‘Stuff White People do“.

Big Man says:

“I’m watching the coverage of this plane crash in Austin. The one where a dude flew a plane into the IRS building after burning his house.

And everybody is falling all over themselves not to call this cat a “terrorist.”

It’s “possible terrorist-related activity” but it’s not terrorism and he’s not a terrorist. What the hell?

How can you fly a plane into a building out of spite, and have folks call it “suicide by plane?” That’s like calling it “suicide by portable chest bomb.”

We often think of racism is a in your face type of action.  Overt discrimination, the name calling, the hiring practices but here we have a possible example of the more subtle systematic nature of racism and what that entails.  Patriarchy sneaks up on one like this as well.

I tend to agree with BigMan that the story would have been framed quite differently if the pilot was not Caucasian.

I have found, through my travels, that many people just cannot understand Christians, Muslims, Jews, or any religious people at all. I confess, initially, I could not comprehend how anyone could belong to any faith either. After much study, however, I think I’ve come up with some answers and I put them all in this diagram. I hope it helps.

For those who want to print this off, lets give this a try. I’ve put up the poster at picturepush.com and it can be found here at

http://www5.picturepush.com/photo/a/3004133/img/My-Work/TheBelieverPrintPeg.jpg

The Science and technology section has saved me many times when I begin to run dry for blogging ideas.  Yet once again the CBC rides to the rescue.

“The website, PleaseRobMe.com, was created in just four hours and is based on publicly posted Twitter messages, according to its founders. The site pulls in Twitter feeds that feature FourSquare, an online game where people mention their current location.

Boy Van Amstel, one of the site’s Dutch developers, said he and two friends set up PleaseRobMe to illustrate just how foolish some people are with the amount of personal information they share online.”

I felt kinda silly when I asked my partner to remove my picture off of a photo sharing site because of my concerns about internet privacy.  I value my privacy a great deal and being searchable just seemed like a bad idea to me.  But as the article says, with a program hacked together in 4 hours, people can find out if you are home or not, if you put too much personal information on the web (in this case via twitter).

I just googled my name and remain, at least to the casual search, anonymous.  Thank heavens.

I do not think I am being unreasonable in my question for anonymity when it comes to the internet.  My quotidian nature and lack of desire to be in the public eye contribute to my unremarkable presence here on the web.

Is it just me?  Am I being unreasonable?  Tell me what you think of online privacy and how you deal with the interwebs.

Peter Goldring certainly does not typify the entire conservative party of Canada.  Just most of it.  Unaware of historical nuance, blindly obedient to power and happy in his role as one of Harper’s many courtiers.  Am I wrong?  Well let us see how Mr.Goldring frames a sensitive historical period of Canadian History.  The CBC writes:

“In the newsletter, titled The Truth About Louis Riel, Goldring calls the former Métis leader a “villain” who has blood on his hands from leading the Northwest and Red River rebellions.

Goldring said Riel doesn’t deserve a statue on Parliament Hill and that such a tribute would condone his “civil disobedience.”

Well, take that.  I am surprised he did not call Riel a terrorist.  Then, instead of hanging him, we would just detain him indefinitely without rights or recourse.

“Winnipeg Liberal MP Anita Neville said the Conservative party should apologize to the Métis for what she calls a “smear campaign” against the founder of Manitoba.

Although he was hanged as a traitor, Riel is regarded as a folk hero by many for his defence of Métis rights and culture.”

Of course, alternative narratives and the aforementioned concept of nuance escape Mr.Goldring as does such unnecessary ideas like oh say, ‘diplomacy’.

It should be interesting to see how this plays out as Goldring seems to be fond of taking ‘conservative positions’ on controversial issues.

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