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.
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.
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/).
It is indeed episode 69, recorded July 28, 2013. Later on in the podcast we take a look at Canadian radio and television personality Rex Murphy’s take on secular chaplaincy in the US military (http://fullcomment NULL.nationalpost NULL.com/2013/07/27/rex-murphy-the-angry-athiest/), demonstrating a disgusting level of anti-atheist bigotry in a whiny attempt at preserving an aspect of religious privilege that the religious shouldn’t have in the first place. Particularly astounding is the claim that human rights are god-given! We also take a look at a credulous article describing a blessing for those in need of healing that took place last week at Alberta’s very own Lourdes, Lac Ste. Anne (http://www NULL.edmontonjournal NULL.com/life/Mystical+Alberta+lake+draws+people+from+around+world/8689489/story NULL.html). We also have a look at a new study taking advantage of the difference between the availability of the HPV vaccine in Calgary public and Catholic schools (http://www NULL.calgaryherald NULL.com/health/Girls+poor+neighbourhoods+less+likely+vaccine+public+clinics+study+finds/8689629/story NULL.html) which demonstrate a socioeconomic effect of vaccination rates. First, though, we look at the recent outbreaks of measles in several Canadian provinces (http://calgary NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/measles-show-up-in-several-provinces-1 NULL.1370949). Is there a lower form of life than the anti-vaccination crowd?