Welcome to episode 102 of The Legion of Reason, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world! In this installment, Kris, Twylla, Haysn and I take a look at Answers in Genesis’ Ken Ham’s complaint that creationism isn’t getting equal time on the reboot of Cosmos (http://www NULL.rawstory NULL.com/rs/2014/03/21/creationists-demand-equal-airtime-on-neil-degrasse-tysons-cosmos-to-provide-balance/). Waaaaaaa! There has been a spate of movies based in Christianity lately. “Son of God” has been royally panned, “Noah” angered the faithful because it wasn’t historically accurate (irony!) and now “God’s Not Dead” (http://godsnotdeadthemovie NULL.com/) raises every pejorative atheist stereotype like a necromancer on Halloween to create two-dimensional characters that no one could care less about. We have a look into the mind of star Kevin Sorbo and his fear of us (http://www NULL.breathecast NULL.com/articles/god-s-not-dead-movie-cast-interview-former-hercules-actor-kevin-sorbo-14628/). And finally I give our first book review. In honor of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Cosmos I review the book, The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.ca/Cosmos-Astronomy-New-Millennium/dp/110768756X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395708562&sr=8-1&keywords=the+cosmos+astronomy+in+the+new+millennium). But first, Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps passed away last week (http://www NULL.huffingtonpost NULL.com/2014/03/20/fred-phelps-dead_n_5000577 NULL.html) the night before his estranged son Nate’s autobiographical talk titled “Leaving Hate Behind” (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=gecHgApB48A) here in Calgary. We discuss the effect the WBC has had on the perception of the LGBT movement in a lively and entertaining discussion.
In this instalment, we discuss one of the primary reasons for a recent outbreak of measles in the Fraser Valley (http://www NULL.vancouversun NULL.com/touch/news/metro/Chilliwack+pastor+tells+congregation+vaccines+interfere+with/9620133/story NULL.html?rel=813152) of beautiful British Columbia, the attempts by the ultra-fundamentalist Jewish community called Lev Tahor (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/fifth/episodes/2012-2013/rabbi-of-the-pure-hearts-inside-lev-tahor) to play a game of keep away with government child protection services and of course the requisite talk about Seth McFarlane and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s reboot of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (http://www NULL.cosmosontv NULL.com/). But first we learned of something making the rounds of the atheist movement (http://www NULL.thestar NULL.com/news/world/2014/03/16/antigay_westboro_baptist_church_founder_fred_phelps_on_the_edge_of_death NULL.html) that greatly affects a good friend of ours, Nate Phelps (http://natephelps NULL.com/).
Welcome to episode 100 of the Legion of Reason, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world. We have with us to help celebrate the 100th installment is Jake Farr-Wharton, host of the very entertaining Imaginary Friends Show (http://imaginaryfriendsshow NULL.com/) and author of Letters To Christian Leaders: Hollow Be Thy Claims (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.ca/Letters-Christian-Leaders-Hollow-Claims/dp/0956427642). Bryce, Christine and I talk with Jake on how he came to atheism and to engage with the atheist world through his podcasting, and Jake sticks around to discuss various subjects du jour. Faisal Al-Mutar joins us later on in the podcast as well. I had my own small victory in the fight against pseuodoscience when I noticed an ad for a dubious pain relief product with what looked to be an endorsement by Health Canada. Health Canada was not amused. Bryce shares with us a sad story of credulity and the real harm that pseudoscience can inflict. And finally, the Pope came out defending the Vatican over the child abuse scandal (http://www NULL.corriere NULL.it/cronache/14_marzo_04/vi-racconto-mio-primo-anno-papa-90f8a1c4-a3eb-11e3-b352-9ec6f8a34ecc NULL.shtml), saying that because molestation occurs in other places people shouldn’t be criticizing them over it. Seriously.
Extra credit reading: Victor Stenger’s piece on debating creationists (http://m NULL.huffpost NULL.com/us/entry/4876997).
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.