Episode 56 – Parenting Beyond Belief with Dale McGowan

In this episode we have a guest co-host in Dale McGowan (http://www NULL.parentingbeyondbelief NULL.com/), author of a number of books on raising children in a godless manner, including Parenting Beyond Belief (http://www NULL.parentingbeyondbelief NULL.com/) and Raising Freethinkers (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Raising-Freethinkers-Practical-Parenting-Beyond/dp/0814410960/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363581624&sr=8-1&keywords=dale+mcgowan). Our panel of Helen, Kris, Haysn and I ask about raising nonbelieving children. Afterwards, we engage in a new game called “Who Said Dat?” where I give quotes relating to the theme of the day and my cohosts have to guess who it is attributed to from amongst a number of choices. In this episode, the theme is the recently popified cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. We had fun with this one!

George Hrab, fab musician and host of the Geologic Podcast, will be in town Tuesday, April 30! You can get your tickets for this event at Eventbrite (http://www NULL.eventbrite NULL.ca/event/5780263925/efblike#). Prices for general admission are $17 and $12 for CFI members. You can also donate a ticket to a starving University of Calgary Freethinking for $8. But wait! There’s more! By entering the exclusive promo code that can only be found listening to the Legion of Reason podcast you can shave $2 off of what is already a great deal for a fantastic night of music and skepticism!

Episode 55 – Potpourri

Welcome to yet another episode of the Legion of Reason! In this installment, Kris, Haysn and I discuss a myriad of topics: Muslim nurses in the UK are allowed to compromise hygiene in favor of ‘modesty’ (http://www NULL.telegraph NULL.co NULL.uk/health/healthnews/7576357/Muslim-staff-escape-NHS-hygiene-rule NULL.html), Lawrence Krauss (who we interviewed in Episode 8) nearly walks out of debate with Muslims at University College London because of gender segregated seating (http://www NULL.examiner NULL.com/article/lawrence-krauss-nearly-walks-out-of-islam-debate-over-segregation), William Lame Craig’s visit to the University of Calgary (http://www NULL.faithbeyondbelief NULL.ca/events/2013_be_ready/overview NULL.html), Christopher Hitchens’ painting of Mother Teresa as less than a saint is vindicated in a new journal article examining the PR surrounding her (http://sir NULL.sagepub NULL.com/content/early/2013/01/15/0008429812469894), “dirty dozen” list of cardinals (http://www NULL.vaticancrimes NULL.us/2013/03/snaps-dirty-dozen-list-papabile-who NULL.html) with dubious involvement in the ongoing child molestation claims is released by a victims’ advocate group, an antivaccination group is presenting a ‘conference’ on the campus of Simon Fraser University (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/health/b-c-university-criticized-for-hosting-anti-vaccine-summit-1 NULL.1193586) and the Vatican joins forces with Iran to fight a UN resolution denouncing violence against women (http://www NULL.theglobeandmail NULL.com/news/world/vatican-joins-iran-resists-un-effort-to-fight-violence-against-women/article9281726/). But first, it would have been Douglas Adams’ 61st birthday this week, and I’d like to start with the reading of a quote from him given by Richard Dawkins at his eulogy:

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. We all know that at some point in the future the Universe will come to an end and at some other point, considerably in advance from that but still not immediately pressing, the sun will explode. We feel there’s plenty of time to worry about that, but on the other hand that’s a very dangerous thing to say.

Eat that, William Lame Craig.

Ode to Change

T’was the night before conclave
And in a small part of Rome
The cardinals were busy
Deciding who’d call it ‘home’.

The chimney was built
on the roof with great care
In the hopes that white smoke
would soon appear there.

With the cardinals locked in
The voting began.
Black smoke upon black smoke,
Out the chimney it ran.

The crowd was despondent,
Sad and dejected,
‘Cause for none save other Catholics
Is this choice respected.

For the rest it was moot,
All choices were bad-
Twelfth century thinking,
With none sane to be had.

But Lo! There’s white smoke-
A choice has been made!
The crowd outside rejoiced,
No longer afraid!

But the new pope was diff’rent,
Admits all is wrong
And urges the faithful
To sing a new song.

“The sexes are equal!”,
The new pope decreed.
“To think not but else,
T’is folly indeed!”

“The priests that harmed children,
Their sins stand for all time,
Will face trial with the bishops
Who shielded such crime.”

“Condoms and AIDS,
We were wrong with that trope.
Safe sex just makes sense,
That last pope was a dope!”

“And who the hell cares
If gay couples be wed-
Love is what matters,
Not who’s who in the bed!”

“Finally, faith lacking evidence
Is silly for certain!
We should all be like Dorothy
And draw back that curtain!”

But this fancy must end,
As all fancies do.
Back to reality
And the harm popes accrue.

It’s sad and depressing
This is but a fictional scene,
And that in the real world
We can but hope, wish and dream.

— Randy Tyson

Episode 54 – David Diskin and Camp Quest

Welcome to the Legion of Reason! I apologize for my tardiness in getting this episode out. In the first segue of this episode we discuss comments made at the University of Lethbridge by Tom Flanagan, a now former University of Calgary political science professor who was also an advisor to the right-wing Alberta Wild Rose Party, conservative commentator for one of the major television networks and former advisor to the Office of the Prime Minister. We look at the political scrambling by everyone associated with him following his comment that perhaps people who view child porn should not be jailed simply on the basis of their poor taste (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/video?clipId=875244). He said it, not me. In another story, the Supreme Court of Canada finally came out with their decision in the Bill Whatcott case in which Whatcott was charged with violating Saskatchewan human rights codes by distributing anti-gay propoganda (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/video?clipId=874309). And in the last segment, we talk to David Diskin of Camp Quest (http://www NULL.campquest NULL.org/). We explore what it would take to start a Camp Quest here in Calgary and we hope that some of our listeners would be interested in starting one.

But first, the world has seen a new pope this day. And two episodes further down I’m sure there will be comments on Pope Francis and his “conservative” (read: bigoted) views. I wrote a poem in celebration of the event. It’s kind of Dr. Seuss meets “T’was the Night Before Christmas” meets, well, me. It represents my hopes (barring dissolution of the Roman Catholic Church) that real change can happen. And pigs will fly.