Episode 191 – Interview: Dr. Edzard Ernst

Welcome to our first interview of 2017! Our guest Dr Edzard Ernst (http://edzardernst NULL.com/) trained as a physician in Germany in the late 1970s, as well as in acupuncture, autogenic training, herbalism, homoeopathy, massage therapy and spinal manipulation. After occupying professorships at the Hannover Medical School and University of Vienna, he became became the Chair in Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter in 1993. He founded and is editor-in-chief of two medical journals, written more than 1000 peer-reviewed journal articles awarded 14 scientific prizes. In 2008 he joined forces with Simon Singh to write Trick or Treatment, a book well-known in the skeptic community, and in 2015 wrote the autobiographic A Scientist in Wonderland. His latest book, which came out this past October, is titled Homeopathy – The Undiluted Facts: Including a Comprehensive A-Z Lexicon.

Later we look at the surprise resignation of Bishop Fred Henry and a couple of recent comments on the Facebook page – one bad, one good.

Episode 160 – Religion DOES poison everything (audio version)

We are now doing videocasts, which allows us to include awesome production values. We will keep doing the audio versions, but know that there is another option available for you to be entertained and informed by us. Subscribe to our YouTube channel (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/channel/UCkUHBVvz-82qWFoeO74Yu5Q) today! The video version of this podcast episode can be viewed here (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=zvr0aV69LIA).

What do we have for your listening pleasure this time? We have more on attempts by the Catholic Church to interfere with physician-assisted dying legislation, and one person outside of Quebec has availed herself of the option, with another in Toronto requesting an exemption from the current law. Catholic care givers in Vancouver and Edmonton have already revealed their intentions to refuse to comply with any request for assistance in dying should they arise. And that is despite the public funding of these sectarian institutions. In Australia, Cardinal Pell says that tales of a predatory priest was a sad story and not of much interest to him. Bishop Fred Henry is back. He can’t seem to stop writing about the new guidelines for dealing with non-traditional gender identities in Alberta schools and is stuck with the biological definition and Catholic teaching. CTV peddles nonsense yet again featuring holistic nutritionalist Julie Cove who says to heal you need to alkalinize your body. And finally, we have blasphemy stories from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Russia and Germany. But first, the so-called “Long Island Medium” Theresa Caputo is on a Canadian tour, including places of interest to two of my co-hosts.

Episode 153, Part 1 – He’s BAAAAAAAaaaaaaaack!

In this, the 153rd instalment of this humble periodical Feisty Twyla, Da Prez Kris and yours truly, the Supreme Irreverend Doctor Randy Tyson take you on a sonic voyage. Our first stop is the land of assisted dying, where the Supreme Court of Canada has shown its diminishing patience over the Government of Canada’s lack of pace in creating guidelines for the procedure. From there we move on to the city of same-sex marriage inequality where the world body of the Anglican church has suspended the United States chapters and put the Canadian one’s on notice. Next we enter the land of confusion where an Anglican minister is fighting for her job after self-describing as an atheist and wonders what the fuss is all about. And from there we travel the highway of righteous indignation as a Moose Jaw Saskatchewan mother takes her children’s public school to the province’s human rights commission over school-led morning prayer. And our journey ends in statistical fashion with a new Angus Reid poll giving us insight into the views on morality of Canadians. But first…. FIRST! He’s BAAAAAaaaaaack! It’s been a long while, but the sudden cold chill down my spine can only mean the return of Bishop Fred Fucking Henry! The NDP government, only seven months old has drawn the ire of the good bishop with its new guidelines on the treatment of LGBT students that apply not only to the public, but also to the Catholic school system! Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

Episode 145 – A Potpourri Episode

In this episode, Da Prez Kris and yours truly, the Supreme Irreverend Doctor Randy Tyson, discuss a variety of pressing issues:

  1. Warwick University student union cancels a talk by invited speaker Maryam Namazie, citing butt-hurtedness. We propose a Golden Hemorrhoid Cushion Award be given in response.
  2. Bishop Fred “You-know-what” Henry writes on physician-assisted suicide and, as usual, gets everything wrong, while a BC bishop thinks abstinence is what will keep women from contracting HPV.
  3. Recently-unemployed bus driver Jesse Rau tries to cash in on his self-induced martyrdom by running for public office in the next federal election (any takers on how many votes he’ll get?).
  4. As we approach the Halloween season the Calgary Journal has an interview with a local paranormal ‘research’ group.

Episode 130 – Just Say “No” To Blasphemy Laws

Later on in this installment we discuss the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision striking down the ban on doctor-assisted suicide and you can bet our favorite kicking horse Bishop Fred Henry (http://www NULL.calgarydiocese NULL.ca/news-a-events/54-health-care-apostolate/1254-bishop-henry-on-the-supreme-court-decision-regarding-assisted-suicide NULL.html) and other alarmists (http://www NULL.thespec NULL.com/news-story/5327821-supreme-court-strikes-down-assisted-suicide-ban/) crank up the hyperbole in their collective belief that Soylent Green was a documentary; Henry makes a second appearance in this episode to tell us why he is NOT Charlie Hebdo (http://www NULL.calgarydiocese NULL.ca/messages-from-the-bishop/1252-we-are-not-all-charlie NULL.html); and a new poll on Albertans’ views on vaccines (http://calgary NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/poll-shows-surprising-views-on-vaccinations-in-alberta-1 NULL.2223504) has been released. But first, while our very own Christine is in New York addressing the United Nations, the ever-feisty Twyla and yours truly, the Very Irreverend Doctor Randy Tyson, look at a new international initiative to eradicate the world of blasphemy laws (http://end-blasphemy-laws NULL.org/).

Episode 112 – More Chantal Barry Fallout

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.

Episode 106 – With Guest Bill Ligertwood

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.

Episode 97 – Pope Reform, Fracking Oklahoma, Bishop Henry At It Again and Another High Profile Debate

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.

Episode 93 – Are YOU Bob the Builder?

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.

Episode 73 – Wherein We Talk About Stuff….

Episode 73 (recorded August 25) is the result of a marathon recording session that was even longer, in which Kris, Twylla, Haysn and I discuss the Parti Québécois government in Quebec’s plan to enact legislation that would prohibit the wearing of religious symbols by public employees (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/canada/proposed-ban-on-religious-symbols-in-quebec-a-violation-of-freedom-of-religion-1 NULL.1420848). Is it too far? Would it apply to gratuitous symbol wearing like crucifix necklaces? Would it apply to Sikh turbans? The Calgary Herald posted a story full of sophistry and nonsense about how people turn to faith in times of tragedy (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/news/calgary/People+turn+questions+faith+times+tragedy/8571486/story NULL.html), vis-à-vis the recent floods here in Calgary. There may be listeners who feel we are unnecessarily mocking the religious, but some of this sophistic nonsense is actually downright offensive in its implications, and it needs pointing out. And where’s that infamous journalistic ‘balance’? Maybe the author should have taken five minutes to talk to a NONBELIEVER, too. Why is it always just believers, particularly when over 40% of Calgarians are nones? And my favorite person opens his mouth yet again. Bishop Fred Henry weighs in on the repressive anti-gay laws in Russia (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/life/Bigger+fish/8809483/story NULL.html), and doesn’t disappoint! Once again, Henry demonstrates that if you are doing it in opposition to what Catholic authorities tell you, you’re doing it right.