Sep 082017
 

The Society of Edmonton Atheists has submitted a letter of support to review and amend the current Bill C-14 legislation on your behalf.  We would urge anyone that feels strongly that advanced directives, severe mental illness, or mature minors who would fulfill the requirements for MAID if they were older, should be included under this legislation, to also submit personal stories of support.

From the Dying With Dignity website:

Dying With Dignity Canada has called for the CCA to consult Canadians directly about how the current assisted dying framework affects their right to choice. Unfortunately, the CCA has opted only to consult “groups and organizations affected by, or involved in MAID.” Submissions may only be 1,000 words long, which is not enough space to detail how the federal assisted dying rules unfairly discriminate against particular groups of suffering Canadians.

However, there is no limit on the amount of “evidence” (such as academic research, historical documents, traditional knowledge and court decisions) that can be included as attachments. This got us thinking: Don’t the personal stories of our supporters count as evidence? Of course they do. In fact, the experiences of individuals who have cared for someone who was denied choice, or who fear they may be denied their right to choice themselves, should be at the heart of any major policy discussion about the future of assisted dying in Canada.

Voice Your Choice by Sept. 15!   Submit it by email to consultation@dyingwithdignity.ca.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 8:57 AM
Sep 072017
 

It’s back to school time and we cleared out all my kids closets to find a few bags worth of clothes they have outgrown.  I’m offering to collect that old shirt that you have meaning to donate or that pair of jeans that don’t fit anymore and you want to give away on Sunday night at our Coffee Night event.  Coffee Night is usually the 2nd Sunday of the month, at the Second Cup at Oliver Square from 7pm – 9pmish (sometimes 10pm).  Come when you can, you don’t have to be there right at 7pm.

Where will you be donating the clothing?
I’ll be taking our donations to Big Sisters and Big Brothers of Edmonton


So, why Big Sisters/Big Brothers? 
This non-profit has always been a favourite of mine, their mentoring program really can change the lives of the youth involved.   At 16 years old I called to volunteer, to be told I had to wait until I was older. Literally, on my 18th birthday, I called back and went through all their mentor training, and was matched up with a lovely young girl who shared interests in singing and acting with me.  We were matched up for 7 years until she finally became too old to be a ”little” anymore.   To this day we are still friends and in 2010 I attended her wedding!

Does it have to be kids clothes?
Nope, I believe they use what they require for lower-income families in their own organization, but the rest is sold to thrift stores at a set price per weight, so all sizes of clothing are fine.  You can even donate items in good condition like shoes, drapes, linen, toys, books and games!

 Posted by at 10:54 AM
Jun 222017
 

Sadly, a founding member of the SEA (member 001!), our friend, Michael Vester passed away on Sunday, June 18th. Michael was instrumental in starting the group, getting it incorporated as a non-profit, was the very first SEA President, and was the driving force behind our first few years marching and having a booth at the Edmonton Pride Parade.   In 2010 he was voted in as the first lifetime member due to this involvement in creating the group and he was always a strong supporter of the group both financially and with his time.

If you were new to the group, when you met Michael you were sure to hear the story of how he was raised an atheist but was taken to Sunday School as a child (the nuns ensured he was thoroughly turned away from religion) and that he was a ”third generation atheist”.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:33 PM
Jun 012017
 

Last night we had the pleasure of hearing Gail Miller, one of the directors of the Critical Thinking Project, speak to us about the project and what it’s goals are.

The focus is on developing nations, education quality and giving tools to deal with dogma, witchcraft and violence.  The underlying foundation is one of fairness and tolerance, using critical thinking skills to become less discriminatory.  Dr. Christopher DiCarlo started this as a sample program for high school students in Ontario and is now taking the project to developing nations.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 1:31 PM
May 262017
 

This event was a few weeks ago now, however I wanted to wait for the video to be uploaded in case anyone wanted to watch it.   This was an event sponsored by the Institute for Christian Studies and Society at the University of Concordia.  Rabbi Daniel Friedman (Beth Israel Synagogue), Reverend Jim Gimbel (President, Concordia Lutheran Seminary), and Dr. Doris Kieser (St. Joseph’s College) were the guest speakers and the event was public and announced via facebook.

A friend invited me, so I decided to go.

Before the presentation even started a lady sitting in front of us was handing out some pamphlets from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.  The pamphlet, Caring Not Killing, can be viewed on their website.  With close to 60 people in attendance, I suddenly was very aware my friend and I would be alone in our views that PAD was a human right, should remain legal and was the compassionate way to allow people to end their lives if they so chose to.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:06 AM
Jan 252017
 

It’s that time of year again, membership renewals are due.    If you bought your membership in the last few months of last year (carries over into 2017) or if you have an automatic 3 year renewal via paypal you will be listed as a current member with us, otherwise your membership needs to be renewed.

2017 membership card

Purchasing or renewing a membership is easy.  You can update your membership at any event with one of our board members.   Or you can purchase/renew your membership online.

Memberships are $30 for the entire year, and allow you access to VIP members only events, give you discounts to events like the AB Secular Conference, access to our book library and shows your support for our organization.   We have just received our new membership cards this week and will be handing them out at events (or mailing them if you can’t regularly attend)  so you can be a ”card carrying atheist”!

If you purchase or renew your membership by February 22nd (so that’s four weeks from today) you’ll be entered to win a copy of ‘Flim Flam’  signed by James Randi himself!   Any current 2017 members (purchased since the end of 2016/lifetime members/automatically renewing on paypal) will be automatically entered into this draw.  If you are unsure if you are up to date with your membership drop us a line at info@edmontonatheists.ca and we’ll check for you.

Thanks for your continued support of the Society of Edmonton Atheists!

Flim Flam book

 Posted by at 12:44 PM
Jan 252017
 

As many of you remember we were very concerned when we found out that Deepak Chopra would be a keynote speaker at the Children’s Autism Conference being held in Edmonton today.   In spite of media attention calling them out for this poor choice, as well as petitions and letters sent to their director they did not remove him from the scheduling, but instead offered a small justification that he was coming to talk about ”wellness”, which affects everyone.
Deepak
Regularly we are found demonstrating at these types of pseudoscience events to promote critical thinking.    We have information leaflets at the ready for those interested in learning more about our position and it is always peaceful and non-confrontational.  We have had many interesting conversations as a result.   We have demonstrated in front of events for the Long Island Medium, James Van Praagh and David Avocado Wolfe.   At the end of April we intend on demonstrating at the Jon Edwards event in the same way.

Unfortunately, as this particular event is being held at the River Cree Casino, we are unable to demonstrate in front of the building as they also own the parking lot area, which is a large lot.   The nearest street is a busy road connecting people to the casino but also to Costco.   It has no sidewalk.    For these reasons we feel it is unsafe for our members to be demonstrating this event, especially since the possibility of conversation and handing out information is also removed as there will be no one walking into the event from this route.

Instead, we encourage you to send your concerns to the conference organizers, in the hopes that they will not consider inviting any speakers who offer only pseudoscience, and only invite those who offer evidence based information at any of their future events.   Their email address is info@childrensautism.ca

 Posted by at 12:09 PM
Sep 092016
 

Dying With Dignity Edmonton are hosting an event of interest to many of our members, with discussions surrounding the new legislation and how there is still work to be done.  Join us there!
Dying With Dignity
Medical Assistance in Dying: An Alberta Perspective
An informative discussion on the implementation, challenges and future implications of Canada’s new assisted dying law.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Presentation and Q & A: 7 p.m. to 9 pm.

**Strathcona Community Centre, 401 Festival Lane, Sherwood Park**
RSVP (preferred) to Val at valwhitehead@shaw.ca 780-458-9208. Suggested donation of $10 at the door.

Speakers will include:

Dr. Michael Caffaro,  Assistant Registrar (Professional Conduct),
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta

Shanaaz Gokool, CEO, Dying With Diginity Canada

Dr. Own Heisler Vice President (Medicine), Covenant Health

The Hon. Brandy Payne, Alberta’s Associate Minister of Health

Lisa Peters-Schmidt Edmonton Chapter Member, Dying With Dignity Canada

Dr. James Silvius,   Medical Director of Community, Seniors, Addictions and Mental Health, Alberta Health Services

Moderator: Rev. Brian Kiely

 Posted by at 9:32 AM
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 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