In this episode, join Kris, Twyla and yours truly, the Supreme Irreverend Doctor Randy, as we talk about the Trumpocalypse and the various levels of hysteria which has gone on in the aftermath. Before we get to that, however, we have a look at a new Charter of Rights and Freedoms court challenge in BC as Port Alberni public school students were made to take part in a First Nations “smudging ceremony”; Bill C-16, which adds requirements to federal human rights legislation that individuals be addressed by their preferred gender pronoun, is under protest by U of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson; and Unionen, Sweden’s largest union, has created a hotline for women whenever they feel mansplained to.
Later on in this installment, Christine, Twyla and yours truly, the Very Irreverend Dr Randy Tyson give kudos to CBC Marketplace (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/marketplace/episodes/2014-2015/drugstore-remedies-licence-to-deceive) demonstrates how ridiculously easy it is to obtain a license from Health Canada to sell a natural remedy; yet another Conservative MP comes out of the creationist closet (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/player/News/TV+Shows/ID/2656936485/?page=3) and we get to listen to former leader of the Canadian Reform Alliance Party (which, by the way, in Freudian manner spells out ‘CRAP’) confuses the right to hold a belief with demanding respect for beliefs; Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the House of Commons calls the niqab “anti-women” (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/politics/harper-says-overwhelming-majority-agrees-with-tories-on-niqabs-1 NULL.2990439); and finally while Islam needs its Voltaire, the town of Taber, Alberta needs its Kevin Bacon (http://www NULL.taber NULL.ca/DocumentCenter/View/1006, http://www NULL.calgarysun NULL.com/2015/03/10/town-of-taber-alberta-moves-to-ban-swearing) to Footloose away the anti-swearing and anti-assembly provision of its “Community Standards” bylaw. But first, our very own Christine Shellska read a statement to the Commission for Social Development (https://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=Eok1jRSsBtc&feature=youtu NULL.be) promoting secular values (as well as some unfinished business involving a bottle of Johnny Walker).
Welcome once again legionnaries! Once more into the breech! Woo on the left of us, religious nonsense to the right of us… Ours is but to do and evaluate claims based on evidence. In this episode Twylla and I discuss recent changes to the Alberta Education Act removing references to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/thecurrent/episode/2012/11/14/the-exclusion-of-the-charter-and-human-rights-in-the-new-alberta-education-act/) that contain nasty ideas of tolerance and opposing discrimiation, and by doing so advance education into the 19th century. We discuss these events with a few exerpts from a panel discussion on CBC Radio’s The Current (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/thecurrent/episode/2012/11/14/the-exclusion-of-the-charter-and-human-rights-in-the-new-alberta-education-act/). But we start off with a discussion of the unfortunate case of 31-year old dentist Savita Halappanavar (http://www NULL.bbc NULL.co NULL.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20321741) who died in late October from septicaemia. According to her husband Praveen doctors at the University Hospital Galway in Dublin, Ireland would not terminate her miscarrying fetus because, they told him, Ireland was a “Catholic country” and that they couldn’t terminate the the pregnancy while the fetus was alive, the fact that the Halappanavars are Hindu notwithstanding. We look at an assessment by MD blogger Jen Gunter (http://drjengunter NULL.wordpress NULL.com/) based on what information is available and her conclusions on the level of care Savita received. We also look at some anti-choice newspaper comments (http://www NULL.independent NULL.ie/opinion/analysis/eils-mulroy-prochoice-side-must-not-hijack-this-terrible-event-3294723 NULL.html) pleading that Savita’s death should not be ‘exploited’ (http://www NULL.catholicherald NULL.co NULL.uk/commentandblogs/2012/11/15/the-tragic-death-of-savita-halappanavar-should-not-be-exploited-to-sweep-away-irish-abortion-law-under-which-she-could-legally-have-been-saved/) to end the draconian and backwards abortion laws of Ireland. That’s like saying we shouldn’t exploit burn victims to create laws banning flammable children’s clothing.
On a lighter note, I’d like to do an episode segment on what to give your secular and/or atheist friends, family, husband, wife, life partner, significant other, you name them for Christmas. Yeah, that’s right, I said CHRISTMAS! The holiday is secular and in no way requires us to be religious to celebrate it regardless of the etymology of the word, so bite me Pat Robertson. Some of us happen to think it’s a good idea to give gifts external to religous reasons, so there! But I’m rather unimaginative when it comes to this kind of thing, opting for giving books, and I’m sure our listeners have far better ideas than that. We’d love to hear your suggestions, so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Speaking of books, I mentioned two on “free will” in the episode that I think are very important to any discussion on the subject. The first, and the one that had the most influence on me, is Alex Rosenberg’s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/The-Atheists-Guide-Reality-Illusions/dp/0393344118/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353713529&sr=8-1&keywords=alex+rosenberg). The second is Sam Harris’ essay
Also, one correction NULL. I mention the scandal in Saskatchewan with the Grant Devine Conservative government there which resulted in the disbanding of the PC party there NULL. Thirteen MLAs were charged and at least six were found guilty of fraud NULL. I said 15 were found guilty and subject to prison time NULL. That’s memory for you NULL.
This was a busy week again as we take a look at a Nova Scotia high school student suspended for heinous infraction of wearing a t-shirt proclaiming that ‘life is wasted without Jesus’. While we’re not a fan of the message (Hitchens comes to mind here -“We are created sick and commanded to be well.” When will the religious take off the blinders and actually examine atheists’ lives rather than asserting our existence is meaningless?), we take an even dimmer view of the school board’s action. Morning prayer in an Alberta public school (!) is back by popular demand, as if that trumps the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Haysn gave a listen to a CBC radio program series entitled “After Atheism”. I gotta say, there aren’t any more stations along that track for me. And Bryce joins us to discuss how every personality is defined by a nine-pointed star-like construct. Except when they aren’t half the time. Talk about hedging bets.