Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Defection Saga Continues

Here is the letter that I sent to the offices of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg:

February 23, 2010

Catholic Centre
1495 Pembina Highway
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3T 2C6

To Whom it May Concern,

This letter is a formal declaration of my defection from the Roman Catholic Church. I was born in 1987, baptized at St. Vital and received First Communion at St. Ignatius. I have not attended a church service in many years and am an avowed atheist. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience allow myself to remain counted among the congregation of the Catholic Church and thus I respectfully request that you amend the baptismal register and any other church records to reflect this wish.

I would be grateful if you could respond to this letter once these changes have been made. I also request a copy of the amended certificate of baptism. I am more than willing to send a subsequent letter if you require any additional information from me in order to complete the process.



I have also attached a form of defection: Actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia catholica

I used this site to aid in the construction of the letter:

Additional information about leaving your church of choice:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Social Democrats Fuck Off

I used to be one, so don't feel too bad. I've learned enough in these last few years to know that reforming the system using existing "legitimate" means is futile.

"A practical scheme, says Oscar Wilde, is either one already in existence, or a scheme that could be carried out under the existing conditions; but it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to, and any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish. The true criterion of the practical, therefore, is not whether the latter can keep intact the wrong or foolish; rather is it whether the scheme has vitality enough to leave the stagnant waters of the old, and build, as well as sustain, new life. In the light of this conception, Anarchism is indeed practical. More than any other idea, it is helping to do away with the wrong and foolish; more than any other idea, it is building and sustaining new life."
-Emma Goldman

How to Defect from the Roman Catholic Church

As an outspoken anti-theist, I think about issues relating to metaphysics and organized religion with some frequency. I read atheistic and skeptical blogs, I subscribe to atheistic youtube channels, and enjoy reading literature from an atheistic perspective. However, I was never really really doing anything in the interest of curtailing religious ignorance.

I feel that it is completely neglectful and immoral for non-believers to passively sit on the sidelines as religion continues to corrupt public institutions and influence humanity in an overwhelmingly negative way. Yes, I am owning up to being both neglectful and immoral in the past by not actively participating in the religion vs rationality dialogue. That is now going to change drastically. I recently became an active member of the University of Winnipeg Atheist Students Association. That in itself isn't much of a feat and required little effort. I hope that I will be able to assist the group in the interest of de-stigmatizing the word "atheist", reducing the influence of religion on the world, and convincing a few non-practicing-on-the-fence types to officially declare themselves lacking belief in supernatural superstitious nonsense.

I have recently taken three small religion-related actions that I am quite proud of. Firstly, on Friday I walked to Pat Martin's office and congratulated him for his stance against public funding for Youth for Christ's proposed recreation complex. Secondly, yesterday I contacted my city counselor's office to let him know that I disapproved of any public funding for religion based initiatives. Thirdly, I contacted the Arch-Diocese of Winnipeg and obtained instructions on how to officially defect from the Roman Catholic Church and expunge myself from their records. By doing so, I will no longer be counted amongst the 155,000 Catholics in Winnipeg.

Here's how to do it:
-Write a letter stating your desire to defect.
-Include your name, where you were baptized and what sacraments you have received.
-Send the letter to:
Catholic Centre
1495 Pembina Highway
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3T 2C6

That was easy, wasn't it? I'll post a blog when I get a response.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Watching the Detectives

Involving myself with Winnipeg Copwatch is one of the ways that I am taking practical steps toward changing society for the better. Copwatch is an organization that attempts to keep the police accountable for their actions and deter abuse by monitoring and videotaping them. The Winnipeg chapter was established in 2006 and is quite effective and active in promoting their cause. In my humble opinion, their most important function is holding Know Your Rights workshops which teach citizens about the rights possess vis-a-vis the police.

Join the Winnipeg Copwatch facebook group
Read more about Copwatch

I have been aware of Copwatch for a number of years and thought periodically about becoming involved or attending a rights workshop but I always made excuses about not having enough time or energy. A beautiful aspect of The Plan is that I am now free to jump head-long into appealing projects. I've decided that only after participating to my fullest potential for a period of time will I make the determination of whether or not I wish to continue participating. The opportunity for involvement arose when Copwatch sent out a mass email asking for people/non-profits to aid in organizing events for International Day Against Police Brutality. At this point I have attended several meetings and see no reason to quit any time soon. The next meeting is being held at 7:00pm on February 25th at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre. I encourage everyone reading this who is interested in the work of Copwatch to attend the meeting and offer to assist in the planning and doing of the IDAPB event.

Link to IDAPB facebook event

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Tools of the Trade

These were collected during an afternoon at the Millenium Library. The purpose of reading these tomes is to educate myself in both the practical and philosophical aspects of activism. Of course, I'm not restricting myself to a purely textual second-hand eductation. My current activities will be discussed in a forthcoming post.

1. We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism - Notes from Nowhere

2. An Action a Day: Keeps Global Capitalism Away - Mike Hudema

3. Enough is Enough: The Hellraiser's Guide to Community Activism - Diane MacEachem

4. Activism!: Direct Action, Hacktivism and the Future of Society - Tim Jordan

5. Be the Difference: A Beginner's Guide to Changing the World - Danny Seo

6. Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change - Cynthia Kaufman

7. The Art of the Possible: A Handbook for Political Activism - Amanda Sussman

8. Adbusters (3 Year Subscription, Black Spot boots and +10 to my hipster cred)

What is..."The Plan"?

The Plan is what happens when a couple of radical pinkos decide that people should be able to live their convictions. The Plan is a reaction to the conventional conception of a "legitimate" career. The Plan is the result of growing out of and attempting to break away from the privileged, white, patriarchal, upper middle class, neoliberal fairytales that I have been force-fed since birth.

This blog will be an impermanent record of the trials, tribulations and triumphs that I will inevitably experience in my search for meaning and purpose in this desperately apathetic world of ours. The results are quite unpredictable. Will I develop into the firebrand activist superhero that I've always (for the past month or so) envisioned? Will I quickly become disillusioned and overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the forces that I am attempting to oppose? Will the earth become an uninhabitable dirt clod due to
global thermo-nuclear war or catastrophic climate change before I can even begin my undertaking in earnest? Stay tuned for the thrilling tale of...