Join us for this installment of our humble podcast I, your Supreme Irreverend Doctor Randy Tyson, am joined by Kris and Twyla in another one of our potpourri episodes. Tonight we talk about the death of Nahed Hattar, murdered in front of the courthouse in which he had been defending himself against accusations of blasphemy for posting a cartoon – yes, a cartoon! – on Facebook; this is a few months old now, but earlier this year a commentary was published claiming that the drab appearance of the females of numerous animal species is to avoid – wait for it! – sexual harassment by the males of said species; to celebrate the Islamic holy feast of Eid, self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits a mosque that isn’t quite as feminist as he is; Ken Ham may have some competition, if a Chinese businessman has any say – he has proposed building a Christian theme park in the city of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan complete with its own Ark; In Catholic Watch, bishops in Alberta and the North West Territories have issued guidelines for the treatment of those who choose to participate in the graaaaave sin of assisted dying; Alberta education minister David Eggen is not amused with the response he received from the Independent Baptist Education Society following the request for policy development on how LGBT students will be treated; polygamist fugitive Lyle Jeffs may not be on the run from the law – he might be Raptured, claims his lawyer!
Later on in this podcast, more blurry video evidence expected to be taken as a slam-dunk for the existence ghosts at a police station (http://m NULL.huffpost NULL.com/us/entry/5884520) in New Mexico; apparently, there are two types of exorcism, regular and irregular, and the Vatican wants to maintain its brand and expect the rest of us to believe The Exorcist to be a documentary; continuing on with Catholic nonsense, the Calgary Catholic School Board has given parents a letter (http://news NULL.nationalpost NULL.com/2014/09/21/debate-over-hpv-vaccine-flares-up-in-alberta-after-catholic-leaders-warn-shots-encourage-pre-marital-sex/) from Church authorities on the evils of the HPV vaccine (here we go again!); in more Catholic news, lest people get the idea that we bash everything Catholic, the papal nuncio to the DR recalled last year for (surprise!) acts of pedophilia has been arrested (http://www NULL.addictinginfo NULL.org/2014/09/24/archbishop-arrested/) and will go on trial, and a bishop in Paraguay has been removed from his post (http://mobile NULL.reuters NULL.com/article/idUSKCN0HK1E820140925?irpc=932) for concealing pedophilia by a priest in his diocese. Good news, indeed, but could still have done better. I wish the Vatican would stop pretending to statehood. Lastly, we have Da Prez makes an announcement about the podcast that we think is pretty cool. But first, uppity Orthodox Jews (http://www NULL.telegraph NULL.co NULL.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11121519/Ultra-Orthodox-Jews-cause-chaos-on-flight-to-Israel NULL.html) expect everybody else not only to respect their beliefs, but accommodate themselves to them. That’s gonna happen.
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.
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.
Twylla, Haysn and I have another discussion on Jamy Ian Swiss’ narrow definition of skepticism (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=iyLULErf_6E). How can anyone forget Carl Sagan’s parable (http://rationalwiki NULL.org/wiki/The_Dragon_in_My_Garage) of the fire-breathing dragon living in the garage? Sorry Jamy, any version of skepticism that serves to legitimize the burden of proof fallacy isn’t our idea of skepticism. Alberta Health announces a return to funding chiropractic treatment (http://www NULL.nationalpost NULL.com/m/wp/news/blog NULL.html?b=news NULL.nationalpost NULL.com%2F2012%2F06%2F06%2Falberta-to-revive-controversial-chiropractic-treatment-subsidies-for-seniors), at least for seniors. We also speculate on the potential consequences between Health Canada’s licensing of untested homeopathic vaccine substitutes (http://www NULL.bcmj NULL.org/council-health-promotion/health-canada-licenses-homeopathic-vaccines) (nosodes) and Ottawa public school boards’ decision to suspend students without proof of vaccination (http://www NULL.nationalpost NULL.com/m/wp/news/canada/blog NULL.html?b=news NULL.nationalpost NULL.com%2F2013%2F05%2F03%2Fna0504-th-vaccines). But first we talk about the increasing numbers of nonbelievers in Canada (http://www NULL.torontosun NULL.com/2013/05/08/2011-census-nearly-one-in-five-canadians-are-visible-minorities-statscan-reports) as shown in the latest census and evidence that the number of practicing Catholics in Calgary is decreasing (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/life/Calgary+Roman+Catholic+churches+merge/8367713/story NULL.html).
Well, as you might guess, the one topic this week that we explore is the abdication and legacy of Pope Benedict XVI. Not a good one, I fear. From the policy of obfuscating justice for child victims of sexual assault to the continuation of harmful doctrine, we explore Ratzinger’s tenure in the Vatican and discuss why there may be another reason other than the official one for ending his papacy before death do him part. It will be very interesting to see what the next few weeks reveals on the matter.
Intervening in punishmet of predatory priests:
Ratzinger refuses to allow defrocking of Father Lawrence Murphy for 200 incidents of sex crimes (http://www NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2010/03/25/world/europe/25vatican NULL.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)
Ratzinger accepts resignation of Father Marcial Maciel rather than allow prosecution for sex crimes (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Marcial_Maciel)
Ratzinger dismissed requests to laicize Father Stephen Kiesle after sexually abusing 11 year old (http://www NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2010/04/10/world/europe/10pope NULL.html?pagewanted=all)
Father Joseph Henn escapes house arrest in Vatican just before being extradicted to the US to face sex crime charges (http://ncronline NULL.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/priest-disappears)
Interference in sound public health policies to fight AIDS epidemic in Africa (http://news NULL.bbc NULL.co NULL.uk/2/hi/7967173 NULL.stm)
Ratzinger continued in the proud Catholic tradition of anti-gay bigotry (http://www NULL.cbsnews NULL.com/8301-202_162-57560487/pope-gay-rights-an-attack-on-traditional-family/)
Apparently, rape is not as serious a crime to the Catholic Church as abortion is (http://www NULL.time NULL.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00 NULL.html)
No change in contraception policy (http://archive NULL.lifenews NULL.com/int947 NULL.html) even though 82% of Catholics in US have no problem with it (http://www NULL.huffingtonpost NULL.com/2012/06/07/birth-control-morally-acceptable_n_1575446 NULL.html)
Defrocking of priest shows Vatican holds rape to a lower standard than not towing the line when it comes to the ordination of women (http://www NULL.huffingtonpost NULL.com/michele-somerville/light-action-sacrifice-th_b_844038 NULL.html)
Vatican Bank scandals:
Banco Ambrosiano fiasco of 1982 (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Banco_Ambrosiano)
Money laundering allegations in 2012 (http://www NULL.spiegel NULL.de/international/europe/a-growing-vatican-bank-scandal-threatens-catholic-church-image-a-842140 NULL.html)
Pope to spend his remaining days hiding out in the Vatican to avoid prosecution (http://www NULL.examiner NULL.com/article/pope-will-remain-vatican-to-avoid-prosecution-for-child-sex-abuse)
2010 Indictment of Ratzinger for “crimes against humanity by the Center for Constitutional Rights (http://news NULL.yahoo NULL.com/abuse-victims-seek-intl-court-case-against-pope-100135627 NULL.html)
2011 Indictment of Ratzinger for “crimes against humanity” (http://www NULL.scribd NULL.com/doc/50317284/Pope-Lawsuit-2011-The-Pope-Has-Been-Indicted-In-The-International-Criminal-Court)
Scandalous popes in history (http://freetruth NULL.50webs NULL.org/C2b NULL.htm)
Christine, Graham and Randy discuss some good news in the fight for a secular education “alternative” in the town of Morinville, Alberta. Listeners will remember from a few episodes ago that in Morinville – a town just north of Edmonton with a population of 8,500 – has four schools, all of them Catholic despite the fact that only 40% of its inhabitants are Catholic. Sticking on the subject of religion and schooling, we go through the recent Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on mandatory ethics and religion program in Quebec. Parents uninterested in having their children exposed to the reality of the existence of different faiths wanted to “turn on, tune in, and opt out”. The Quebec government said no, and the highest court in the land agreed.