We continue with further developments following the story of Chantal Barry (http://news NULL.nationalpost NULL.com/2014/06/26/doctor-on-duty-will-not-prescribe-the-birth-control-pill-reads-sign-at-calgary-walk-in-clinic/), a Calgary walk-in clinic physician who refuses to prescribe birth control. Later, before we discuss This Week in the Vatican (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/world/vatican-formally-recognizes-international-group-of-exorcists-1 NULL.1897357), we find out that Bishop Fred “You-know-who” Henry predictably weighs in (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/life/Pill+health+care/9995705/story NULL.html) on the kerfuffle and continues his amazing streak of getting it all wrong… Very wrong. CBC Radio One’s weekly program The Sixth Day (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/day6/podcasts/) discussed the situation in a more general sense with guests Arthur Schafer and Margaret Somerville, two medical ethicists with greatly differing opinions on the matter. Indeed, I scoff at the description of Somerville as a “medical ethicist”. I think it more accurate to describe her as “Catholic apologist”. She certainly makes no more sense than Henry. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is revisiting the ethical guidelines regarding conscience rights and looking for public input. You have until August 5th to fill out their survey (http://policyconsult NULL.cpso NULL.on NULL.ca/?page_id=3403), and I urge everyone who cares about this to do so. I think President Obama said it best, paraphrasing what we’ve been saying all along: “No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom’. If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.” While he was talking about the Hobby Lobby case, this sentiment applies just as much to Chantal Barry and her unprofessional ilk. But first, I get a response from the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons to an email I sent in requesting answers to a number of questions I had regarding this situation.
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I’ve been a very bad podcast host not getting an episode out for a while. Excuses include “It’s summer”, “I’m starting in a new position” and “I’m just plain lazy.” The latter is likely the closest to the truth. Well, anyway, we’re back, and I had to get this episode out because the next when is the follow-up to some of the discussion in this one. When we first started recording only Kris was available (Haysn joined us later), and I really like having at least a third. So I desperately searched the intertubes and found one Darrel Ray (http://recoveringfromreligion NULL.org/board-of-directors/). We met Darrel in Kamloops and had a great time with him at the after-conference get-togethers. Darrel is a psychologist and the author of two books, The God Virus: How Religion Affects Our Lives and Culture (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/The-God-Virus-religion-infects/dp/0970950519/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371851386&sr=8-1&keywords=God+Virus) and Sex and Secularism: What Happens When You Leave Religion? (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Sex-God-Religion-Distorts-Sexuality/dp/0970950543/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371851448&sr=8-1&keywords=sex+and+god+how+religion+distorts+sexuality), and an excellent choice for the topic du jour.
When Joan Chand’oiseau went to a Calgary walk-in medical clinic she was gob-smacked to see a prominently-posted sign that said, highlighted in bright yellow, that Chantal Barry, the physician on duty, “WILL NOT prescribe the birth control pill.” (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/health/Calgary+doctor+refuses+prescribe+birth+control+over+moral+beliefs/9978442/story NULL.html) Appalled at this, Chand’oiseau posted a picture of the sign on her Facebook page and it quickly went viral around Calgary. Considering that one in five Calgarians are without a family doctor and that prescribing birth control is one of the most common services provided by clinics, this has serious implications. Along with Darrel, Kris, Haysn and I discuss the what is permitted by ethical guidelines and the ethics of this action.
After Darrel left us, we continued on to discuss provincial Progressive Conservative party hopeful Rick McIver and his association with the demonstrably-bigoted March for Jesus group headed by street preacher Artur Pawlowski. The predictable fallout from this (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/news/crime/McIver+regrets+March+Jesus+calls+anti+remarks+ugly+nasty+video/9954879/story NULL.html) (well, predictable to everyone other than Rick) caused his leadership significant damage and to disassociate himself from Artur’s group. This led us to finish off with a request from our listeners to provide me with a non-gender slur which is at least as good as the word “dick”.
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Well, it’s been a few weeks since our last episode. A couple of weeks ago Twyla, Kris and I were in Kamloops for Imagine No Religion, while Haysn was in Virginia attending Women in Secularism. As for last week I did a very early photo shoot, volunteering as an even photographer for the Calgary MS Walk and Run and was just way too tired to speak intelligibly that night. So this is our first post-INR episode and we have with us two special guests in this instalment, brothers Gus and Luke Holwerda. These indie film producers had the onerous task of following Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss all over the world, and not in a stalkish kind of way. The resulting film is called The Unbelievers (http://unbelieversmovie NULL.com/), and is now available at the time of this podcast release on iTunes, and will be available later from other distributors such as Netflix. Gus and Luke discuss with us their impression of INR and share behind-the-scenes stories with us. It was great having them on!
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This is the last episode before we pack up and head off to Imagine No Religion (http://imaginenoreligion NULL.ca/) in Kamloops sans Haysn, who will be at Women in Secularism (http://www NULL.womeninsecularism NULL.org/) down south. So we’ll have a lot to report in the next instalment. But first things first. In this episode we discuss an upcoming debate in the Vatica (http://www NULL.latimes NULL.com/world/europe/la-fg-vatican-family-20140430-story NULL.html#page=1)n on its teachings on divorce, birth control and same-sex marriage. Will Randy have to cough up a bottle of whiskey to Kris? The use of herbs is increasingly becoming a major cause of liver damage (http://www NULL.medpagetoday NULL.com/MeetingCoverage/AASLD/42744) according to medical experts. But first, more anti-vaccine nonsense from naturopaths and chiropractors, with Rob Schneider lending his voice to a video (http://www NULL.huffingtonpost NULL.ca/2014/05/02/measles-alberta-naturopaths-anti-vaccine_n_5150252 NULL.html) going around on their websites. Yes, the comedian who brought you such fine films as Deuce Bigalow and The Animal is selling anti-vaccine crap, which is about as funny as his comedy.
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This week Twylla, Haysn, Kris and a hoarse Randy take on Calgary Herald writer Kevin Brooker who looks fondly upon his youth when measles “wasn’t so bad” (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/touch/story NULL.html?id=9735786&fb_action_ids=10152349436137453&fb_action_types=og NULL.comments&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B855148241168713%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og NULL.comments%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D) despite the many, including Twylla (who predictably became quite feisty on the topic), who bear the permanent scars of the disease; another author in the Herald who defends public funding of sectarian charter schools (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/opinion/op-ed/Carpay+lose+faith+religious+schools/9776623/story NULL.html) that demand adherence to bigoted values under the guise of religious freedom; accreditation of Trinity University law school has been rejected by law societies in Ontario and Nova Scotia (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/trinity-western-blasts-n-s-ontario-law-societies-1 NULL.2622913) because the school violates discrimination laws by demanding that students and staff adhere to their sexual morays. But first, we couldn’t ignore the big event Sunday (http://www NULL.theglobeandmail NULL.com/news/world/unprecedented-canonization-ceremony-has-distinctly-polish-feel/article18287456/) that none of us watched when magic words make demi-gods of ex-popes John XXIII and John Paul II.
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Bill Ligertwood joins us in this instalment to talk about the upcoming Imagine No Religion (http://imaginenoreligion NULL.ca/) conference in Kamloops on the May long weekend that most of us will be attending. Afterwards, we as Bill to stick around to help discuss a variety of topics that came up this past week, including calls in Australia to remove homeopathic products from pharmacies (http://www NULL.smh NULL.com NULL.au/national/health/call-to-get-homeopathic-remedies-off-pharmacy-shelves-20140419-36xlk NULL.html), the recent wedding of Nate Phelps to his fiancée Cindi, the upholding of charges against street preacher Artur Pawlowski (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/news/calgary/High+court+upholds+noise+traffic+convictions+street/9741095/story NULL.html) for violating city noise by-laws, the public funding of charter schools (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/calgary/publicly-funded-school-with-anti-gay-policy-spurs-alberta-review-1 NULL.2610122) which violate human rights legislation under the guise of freedom of religion, and the strange compulsion of the media to ask the most irrelevant people for answers (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/news/calgary/Bringing+light+dark+night+Calgary+soul/9749934/story NULL.html) to horrific events just because they are religious authorities (http://www NULL.calgarysun NULL.com/2014/04/18/no-answers-bishop-says-of-deadly-stabbings-of-five-in-calgarys-worst-mass-murder). In this case, the recent mass murder of five university students at a quiet party here in Calgary.
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In this, the 105th instalment, Twylla, Kris, Haysn and I discuss a decision by the Alberta government to not pass legislation mandating the formation gay-straight alliances (http://www NULL.theglobeandmail NULL.com/news/national/gay-straight-alliance-bill-for-schools-voted-down-in-alberta/article17871798/) should students wish it, the consequences of provincial governments that do not value reproductive rights manifest themselves in the closing of the last private abortion clinic in the Maritime (http://www NULL.theglobeandmail NULL.com/news/national/frederictons-morgentaler-abortion-clinic-closes-citing-public-funding-gap/article17912762/)s; more on the bigotry convention in Weyburn (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/peter-labarbera-anti-gay-u-s-activist-allowed-into-canada-1 NULL.2606727), Saskatchewan; why homeopaths shouldn’t promote homeopathy awareness week; (http://www NULL.theguardian NULL.com/science/2014/apr/11/world-homeopathy-awareness-week-homeopathic-preparations) and chiropractors in Calgary have a new toy (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/life/Electrotherapy+treatment+used+speed+healing+process/9722949/story NULL.html) – they don’t just want to ‘manipulate’ your spine anymore, they want to zap you with electricity. But first, Michael Enright hosted a CBC town hall discussion on religion in the public sphere (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/thesundayedition/2014/04/08/the-public-god---a-sunday-edition-public-forum/). We have our own take on the questions posed to the panel.
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Welcome to the Legion of Region, podcasting a critical eye on a sometimes less-than-critical world. I have with me this week Twylla and Kris to discuss a variety of topics. As the number of cases of measles and pertussis rise, so do the calls for mandatory vaccination (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-measles-cases-spark-vaccination-discussion-1 NULL.2598160) – Calgary and area is no different in this regard; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in an effort to protect the freedoms of speech and thought, equates the freedom to not believe part with terrorism (http://www NULL.ibtimes NULL.co NULL.uk/saudi-arabia-new-law-sees-atheism-terrorism-1442819); as church attendance goes down, the question of what to do with the empties is on the rise – first reduce, then reuse and recycle (http://www NULL.businessinsider NULL.com/churches-in-england-are-being-converted-to-bars-photos-2014-3); is the internet responsible for the rise of the nones? We look at a study which says, “yes” (http://www NULL.technologyreview NULL.com/view/526111/how-the-internet-is-taking-away-americas-religion/?utm_campaign=socialsync&utm_medium=social-post&utm_source=facebook), and then from there digress into a discussion on beaver butt juice (http://www NULL.businessinsider NULL.com/castoreum-used-in-food-and-perfume-2013-10#ixzz2yAkKKUzM). Don’t ask, just listen. But first, an anti-choice organization is having a convention in Saskatchewan with the likes of Bill Whatcott and Peter LaBarbera (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/anti-gay-speaker-from-u-s-vows-to-speak-in-saskatchewan-1 NULL.2595034). We’ve talked about Bill Whatcott before, so this time we focus on the latter of the two anti-gay schmucks.
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In this instalment of The Legion of Reason, we discuss a freedom of speech issue where someone who, while we vehemently disagree with, feel has had his rights violated by a local university (http://www2 NULL.canada NULL.com/calgaryherald/news/opinion/story NULL.html?id=4fc1828a-9562-4426-9746-7c533c2e367b), more anti-vaccination nonsense in BC (http://bc NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/b-c-vaccination-rates-drop-amid-misinformation-campaign-1 NULL.1744379) that’s contributing to the current outbreak of measles in that province, the city of Saskatoon is taking a closer look at how untaxed churches are using their property (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/saskatoon-churches-coming-under-tax-review-microscope-1 NULL.2584022) to generate income, a couple (http://www NULL.patheos NULL.com/blogs/camelswithhammers/2014/03/a-philosophy-professor-analyzes-gods-not-deads-case-for-god/) of stories (http://www NULL.rawstory NULL.com/rs/2014/03/26/nj-bank-wont-notarize-american-atheist-documents-for-personal-reasons/) that maybe Kevin Sorbo should read before saying how nice the religious are compared to us atheists, and finally someone who yearns for the good ol’ days (http://www NULL.examiner NULL.com/article/tristan-emmanuel-bill-maher-should-be-publicly-whipped-for-blasephemy) where free speech against God should be met with torture rather than itself met with free speech. But first – horror of horrors! – homeopathic remedies are being recalled (http://www NULL.independent NULL.co NULL.uk/news/world/americas/homeopathy-product-recalled-over-fears-it-may-contain-actual-medicine-9217206 NULL.html) because they might have bioactive compounds in them that aren’t diluted into oblivion.
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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.
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