There are many Muslims who feel the need to remain in the closet when they stop believing. Apostasy in Islam is a taboo with serious consequences. We are pleased to have with us to day Canadian representatives of EXMNA (http://www NULL.exmna NULL.org/) (Ex-Muslims of North America), a group dedicated to supporting and helping ex-Muslims through outreach and advocacy. Nas Ishmael (a pseudonym) is Director of Media Relations at the Ex-Muslims of North America. Sadaf, a local Torontonian, became an ex-Muslim in 2009. Sadaf is the Director of Community Development for EXMNA. Out of their and others’ desire for a safe space for those leaving Islam, Sadaf and Nas Ishmael (among others) founded EXMNA and join Christine, Haysn, Nate and Randy from Toronto for a discussion of the issues involving Islam in North America, and share their stories of how they left the faith.
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Joyce Arthur is a founding member of FIRST, a national feminist sex worker advocacy organization based in Vancouver that lobbies for the decriminalization of prostitution in Canada. Joyce works as a technical writer and pro-choice activist, and is the founder and Executive Director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, a national pro-choice group in Canada. She has written articles for numerous publications and has regularly made many television appearances on Canadian news networks. As a badge of honor, Lifesite (or rather, LIEsite) News has called Joyce an embarrassment to feminism.
Joyce spoke with us from Vancouver on a number of topics including the recent victory in the Supreme Court (http://www NULL.theglobeandmail NULL.com/news/national/supreme-court-rules-on-prostitution-laws/article16067485/), striking down a number of prostitution laws in favor of safety, several Ottawa physicians who refuse to prescribe contraceptives (http://www NULL.ottawacitizen NULL.com/news/Some+Ottawa+doctors+refuse+prescribe+birth+control+pills/9450917/story NULL.html) or even refer patients to other doctors who will, and the tactics of anti-choice weasels.
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Welcome to episode 97 of the Legion of Reason, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world. It’s February 23rd and Kris, Haysn, Twylla and I discuss the report of a potential 500% or so increase in minor tremors in the state of Oklahoma due to fracking (http://www NULL.msnbc NULL.com/rachel-maddow-show/fracking-caused-quakes-oklahoma) and dissention (http://energyindepth NULL.org/national/wastewater-seismic-activity-and-fracking/) with that report. Local bishop Fred Henry earns my ire yet again (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/health/Henry+Unclear+language+clouds+push+euthanasia/9505745/story NULL.html) in his quest to vilify dying with dignity as murder in a letter to the Calgary Herald. Finally, Haysn has a report on a recent debate between physicist/cosmologist Sean Carroll and Christian apologist William Lane Craig (http://www NULL.preposterousuniverse NULL.com/blog/2014/02/20/god-and-cosmology-debate-with-w-l-craig/). But first, we discuss Pope Francis, fresh off the spanking he got from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/world/vatican-slammed-by-un-human-rights-committee-over-sex-abuse-1 NULL.2523737), and his busy week in the Vatican (https://www NULL.google NULL.ca/search?q=vatican+survey&oq=vatican+survey&aqs=chrome NULL. NULL.69i57j0l5 NULL.8898j0j4&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8#q=vatican+survey+ctv&tbm=nws) with keeping their financial institutions from laundering money and what to do about the sudden realization that Catholics no longer follow their teachings, a situation that everyone else knew about decades ago.
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Later on in the podcast, Kris takes us through a bit of satire from the Borowitz Report (http://www NULL.newyorker NULL.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2014/01/stephen-hawkings-blunder-on-black-holes-shows-danger-of-listening-to-scientists-says-bachmann NULL.html) in the New Yorker that she didn’t find funny, but first we take up where we left off in episode 95a (hence the super-intelligent choice of ‘95b’ for this release) with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child kicking the Vatican right in the doctrine (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/world/vatican-slammed-by-un-human-rights-committee-over-sex-abuse-1 NULL.2523737) where it hurts.
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Welcome once again to the Legion of Reason, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world! Later on in the podcast, Kris, Twylla, Haysn and I discuss a recent New York Times interview of philosopher and theologian Alvin Plantinga titled “Is Atheism Rational?”, but we prefer the title “Is Plantinga rational? (http://opinionator NULL.blogs NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2014/02/09/is-atheism-irrational/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0)“. And finally we voice our opinions on The Atlantic’s article about one of a number of universities around the world that has a department dedicated to investigating the paranormal (http://www NULL.theatlantic NULL.com/health/archive/2014/02/there-is-a-paranormal-activity-lab-at-the-university-of-virginia/283584/). But first, we invited Amy Davis Roth (http://skepchick NULL.org/author/amy/) and Rebecca Watson (http://skepchick NULL.org/author/rebecca/) onto the podcast to have an energetic discussion of skeptical activism.
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We are very pleased to have with us today particle physicist Victor Stenger, who received his PhD in that arena from UCLA and whose research was focused on gluons, quarks and neutrinos. Even though he was a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii till his retirement in 2000 (where he is still Emeritus Professor), he lives in Colorado where he is Adjunct Professor of Philosophy. He has authored a dozen books for lay audiences on physics, quantum mechanics, cosmology, religion and atheism, and pseudoscience, and their intersection and have greatly influenced my own thinking. “God The Failed Hypothesis” had the most impact on me, getting me to realize that the absence of evidence of the existence of god IS evidence of absence if one has looked for the evidence and removing a blind spot that I think is prevalent. “The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason” showed me that atheism is no longer limited to the realm of philosophy. And his most recent book “God and the Atom: From Democritus to the Higgs Boson” demonstrated something I had not realized, that atomism is an inherently atheistic concept, and was the subject of his talk at last year’s Imagine No Religion conference in Kamloops.
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Welcome to episode 93 of the Legion of Reason, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world. Later in this instalment Kris, Twylla, Haysn and yours truly Randy discuss the premiere of an infomercial- I mean, documentary, of local street minister Artur Pawlowski that three of your co-hosts were involved in to supply an opposing viewpoint, Calgary city councillor Sean Chu’s climate change denial tweets (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-councillor-stands-by-global-warming-alarmist-tweet-1 NULL.2484828), a modern ghost story in Gary (http://ux NULL.indystar NULL.com/story/news/2014/01/25/the-disposession-of-latoya-ammons/4892553/), Indiana, exorcism using 21st century technology (http://www NULL.vocativ NULL.com/01-2014/skype-exorcisms-worthless-say-full-time-exorcists/), and our favorite kicking bag Bishop Fred Henry and the manifestation of his twisted sense of morality in the destruction of a historical landmark in Calgary (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/news/calgary/City+urged+heritage+home+save+from+wrecking+ball/9437116/story NULL.html). But first, I attended the media ‘scrum’ at the unveiling of the latest Centre for Inquiry’s billboard promoting atheism (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/calgary/atheist-billboard-ad-hopes-to-get-calgarians-thinking-1 NULL.2519561) in a positive light and challenging widely-held beliefs about the efficacy of prayer.
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It’s Sunday, January 26th, 2014, and in this, episode 92, we talk about an Edmonton church’s plan to have city hall buy their building and renting it back for $1/year (http://www NULL.edmontonjournal NULL.com/Church+wants+city+take+over+multimillion+dollar+repair+costs/9409823/story NULL.html), sticking a potential $12M in repairs onto the citizens of that city regardless of their religion. A Texas judge has ordered a brain-dead woman forced by the state to serve as an incubator for what doctors agree is an nonviable fetus off life support (http://ktla NULL.com/2014/01/26/brain-dead-pregnant-texas-woman-taken-off-ventilator/#axzz2rYzd8Yfy). This is what happens when anti-choice lawmakers are allowed to pass legislation are based on ridiculous and unethical presuppositions that violate bodily autonomy rights. Speaking at a Republican dinner Mike Huckabee (http://www NULL.washingtonpost NULL.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/01/24/mike-huckabee-and-why-republicans-have-trouble-talking-to-and-about-women/) proves yet again that the party he represents is the enemy of women. According to him, the Democrats insult women by offering them reproductive choice in their health insurance all the while implying that women who opt to use birth control medication can’t control their libidos. And finally, a Salvadorean nun in Italy gives birth (https://trove NULL.com/me/content/1C42x?chid=69578&_p=trending&utm_source=wp&utm_medium=Widgets&utm_campaign=wpsrTrendingExternal-1-opt) claiming it was not possible because of her profession. It may have worked once before, but I don’t think the ‘immaculate conception’ excuse is ever going to fly again. But first, some great news for one of your co-hosts and Richmond BC will have the dubious distinction of being the site of Canada’s first publicly-funded school of traditional Chinese medicine (http://news NULL.xinhuanet NULL.com/english/culture/2014-01/25/c_133072863 NULL.htm).
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Welcome to episode 91 of the Legion of Reason! Peter Boghossian, author of A Manual for Creating Atheists (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.ca/Manual-Creating-Atheists-Peter-Boghossian/dp/1939578094/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390328594&sr=8-1&keywords=peter+boghossian) and previous guest on LoR, was in Calgary this weekend to talk about his book and how to convince people who come to knowledge through faith that they do not know what they think they know. Twylla, Kris, Haysn and I discuss his talk, as well as the Vatican finally handing over information on the defrocking of priests (http://news NULL.msn NULL.com/world/pope-defrocks-400-priests-in-2-years-for-sex-abuse) by Pope Benedict aka Pope Palpatine to a United Nations panel and why it’s a bad idea that Bill Nye the Science Guy will be debating creationist Ken Ham on February 4th (http://www NULL.patheos NULL.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/01/02/hey-bill-nye-why-the-hell-would-you-agree-to-debate-a-creationist/). But first, Alberta@Noon, a local CBC radio program, recently invited Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/albertaatnoon/episode/2014/01/14/tuesday-january-14-2014/), co-authors of Toxin Toxout, to present an unbalanced and frankly completely biased and ill-informed view of the benefits of organic produce.
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The Legion of Reason: Listener Public Service Announcement | Canadian Atheist (http://canadianatheist NULL.com/2013/10/06/the-legion-of-reason-listener-public-service-announcement/) on About The Legion of Reason Podcast