Tyler Legare from our friends at the So You Think You’re a Skeptic podcast joins us to talk about his project and help us with a number of recent events, including a prediction for the date of World War III; Quebec passes Bill 62, which requires faces to be uncovered for those receiving any public services; Laura Penny believes the clear and present danger to free speech on college campuses is a figment of the far right’s collective imagination; a British judge has ruled that gender segregation in an Islamic school is discriminatory; In Catholic Watch, Pope Francis turns comedian when he says – and I kid you not – Putting God first doesn’t mean avoiding reality; and finally, tomorrow is the start this year’s flu shot season and this year’s flu is promising to be a nasty one, so get vaccinated!
In the 199th episode Feisty Twyla, Incorrigible Kris and yours truly, the Supreme Irreverend Doctor Randy Tyson bring you another potpourri of religious absurdity and even some science. First, researchers at the University of British Columbia put another nail in the coffin of liberation therapy for MS; Singaporean Amos Yee is granted asylum in the United States; In Catholic Watch, forget Ghostbusters! When there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Exorcists! At least according to the Pope. More papal poppycock, this time Frank begs forgiveness yet again, this time for the Church’s involvement in the Rwandan genocide; forget the others that died in a natural disaster in Peru… the Catholic Register declares the survival of one woman a miracle! Staying with the Catholic Register, we give you their best headline of the year so far. And in Islam Inquiry, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei claims feminism is a Zionist plot. Of course it is. All those orthodox Jews are really empowering women by refusing to sit next to them on flights. In Pakistan, more atheist bloggers are arrested for blasphemy. And finally, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson’s invited speech at McMaster University was disrupted by regressive leftists, and we all know where we’ll find that – in the Regressive Left Files…
Feisty Twyla and Da Prez Kris join me, the Supreme Irreverend Doctor Randy Tyson to discuss how Malaysian gods causing earthquakes can be appeased for the price of a few hundred bucks; the sentence of blogger Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes and ten years in prison for the crime of exercising free speech has been upheld by a Saudi court, while the Quebec government gives Badawi an immigration selection certificate; Pope Frank forms a tribunal to deal with bishops who hid incidents of priestly pedophilia – is there hope for the one and only Church which believes Jesus is made of wafers and wine? Don’t hold your breath; The Truth and Reconciliation report has been released in the hopes that the mistake of Canada’s residential school system never happens again; and finally, yet more on the Taber Alberta prayer in public school nonsense. But first, Kris and I were present at Imagine No Religion 5 and we give you a short review of the event.
In this installment, Kris, Twyla, Dean and yours truly the Very Reverend Doctor Randy Tyson explore fascinating topics including the landing of the Philae spacecraft on a comet after a ten year journey; From the “what’s the harm?” files, clients of an acupuncture clinic in Abbotsford BC have been warned (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/health/abbotsford-acupuncture-clinic-patients-advised-to-get-tested-for-hiv-1 NULL.2113107) to be tested for HIV and Hepatitis; and finally, two First Nations children have been allowed to reject life-saving chemotherapy for leukemia (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/thecurrent/episode/2014/11/13/first-nations-girls-treatmnent-leukemia/) in favor shall we say, dubious, treatments. We talk about the Hippocrates Health Institute (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/aboriginal/doctor-treating-first-nations-girls-says-cancer-patients-can-heal-themselves-1 NULL.2832760) and some views opposing this judicial decision (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/aboriginal/first-nations-children-not-well-served-by-chemotherapy-ruling-arthur-schafer-1 NULL.2836141).
But first I think we’ll discuss the impending doom Kris is feeling as she realizes that a bottle of whiskey will be mine in February as infallible Pope Francis tells us that euthanasia is a ‘sin’ against God (http://www NULL.telegraph NULL.co NULL.uk/news/worldnews/the-pope/11233347/Pope-Francis-denounces-euthanasia-as-sin-against-God NULL.html)…
While not necessarily a bad thing, choosing the anti-choice Christian group the Edmonton Pregnancy Care Centre wasn’t exactly a stellar decision. Eighteen-year-old Emily Dawson and her mother Kathy have filed a human rights complaint (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-school-board-drops-abstinence-based-sex-ed-after-complaint-1 NULL.2704291) as a result. But in true Canadian fashion, the school board has temporarily suspended it’s reliance on this clearly inappropriate group rather quickly. But we wonder why this group was chosen by a PUBLIC school board in the first place? Imitating some of the lunacy south of the 49th parallel, Kelowna mayoral candidate Kelly Row wants to run on the Jeebuz ticket (http://www NULL.castanet NULL.net/news/Kelowna/119082/Mayoralty-bid-God-s-calling). Kelownans, both east and west varieties, let’s create a new parable and teach him the error of his ways when it comes time to vote. Pope Frank makes our podcast yet again in his recurring role of religious immoralist. Frank claims that 2% of priests are of the pedophelia bent (http://www NULL.abc NULL.net NULL.au/news/2014-07-13/pope-promises-solutions-to-priestly-celibacy-report-says/5593408), but other members of his organization dispute that number and think he has vastly low-balled it (http://www NULL.abc NULL.net NULL.au/news/2014-07-14/church-body-says-4pc-of-clergy-have-been-paedophiles/5596540). Kris gives us a report of her experiences at The Amaz!ng Meeting in Las Vegas and the panel she was a part of there. Gordon Klingenschmitt thinks atheists need to be exorcised if they feel uncomfortable in a church. And finally, Ken Ham sees no point in looking for extraterrestrial life (http://www NULL.salon NULL.com/2014/07/21/ken_ham_wants_to_end_the_u_s_space_program_because_aliens_can%E2%80%99t_have_salvation/) because, well, “he has a book.” But first, I want to remind people that the deadline for having your say to the College of Physician and Surgeons of Ontario (http://policyconsult NULL.cpso NULL.on NULL.ca/?page_id=3403) on the ethics of physicians refusals to provide or even discuss legal and often necessary therapeutic choices with their patients is rapidly approaching, and I urge everyone to provide why they feel this is (or isn’t, as the case may be) an ethical provision of their guidelines on conduct. I’ve given them my 2 cents’ worth and I urge our listeners to chime in themselves.
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.
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.
Later on in the podcast, Kris takes us through a bit of satire from the Borowitz Report (http://www NULL.newyorker NULL.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2014/01/stephen-hawkings-blunder-on-black-holes-shows-danger-of-listening-to-scientists-says-bachmann NULL.html) in the New Yorker that she didn’t find funny, but first we take up where we left off in episode 95a (hence the super-intelligent choice of ‘95b’ for this release) with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child kicking the Vatican right in the doctrine (http://www NULL.cbc NULL.ca/news/world/vatican-slammed-by-un-human-rights-committee-over-sex-abuse-1 NULL.2523737) where it hurts.
In this is the first release of the year we look back to the world of 2013 as it might have been if psychics could accurately predict anything (http://www NULL.relativelyinteresting NULL.com/2013-failed-forgotten-psychic-predictions/) and look forward to 2014 (http://www NULL.torontosun NULL.com/2013/12/25/psychics-predict-mayor-rob-fords-2014) and the things that we can be pretty sure won’t happen. And since we can make stuff up too, we give our own predictions for the coming year. But first, some news about the three of us on the big screen in February and Pope Frank entreats us all to join him in desiring world peace. We give our own take on the matter.
It’s September 22, the first episode of the fall of 2013! Twylla and Kris join me for a busy episode. Later, we wonder yet again where the Muslim community of Canada is in the face of horrific sectarian acts of violence (http://www NULL.ctvnews NULL.ca/world/kenyan-soldiers-battle-militants-after-deadly-mall-shooting-1 NULL.1466182). Aren’t these missed opportunities to demonstrate to the public that there is indeed a segment of Islam which deplores violence? I don’t get it. Child abuse in the form of pediatric chiropractic is on the rise in Saskatchewan (http://www NULL.thestarphoenix NULL.com/bridges/Sask+sees+upswing+chiropractics+infants/8923903/story NULL.html), according to an article in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix’s Bridge publication. We look at the most common reason mothers take their babies to a chiropractor and why the claim that this form of alternative-to-medicine therapy can help with colic is bunk (http://welladjustedbabies NULL.com/effective-ways-to-relieve-colic/) despite the publication in bottom feeder journals that it is highly effective. In that discussion, we discover a metric we can use to measure the feistiness off Twylla, as you can hear the rate of popped P’s increase during episodes of feistiness. We discuss Richard Dawkins’ recent faux-pas (http://www NULL.richarddawkins NULL.net/news_articles/2013/9/7/the-world-according-to-richard-dawkins-the-times#) claiming that decades-old crimes of pedophilia shouldn’t be judged using a modern value set. Really, Richard? What the hell? The kinder-and-gentler Vatican presents itself with Pope Frank making gestures to the atheist/agnostic community (http://www NULL.rawstory NULL.com/rs/2013/09/11/pope-francis-to-atheists-agnostics-god-forgives-those-who-obey-their-conscience/) and toning down the “same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception are evil” rhetoric (http://www NULL.nytimes NULL.com/2013/09/20/world/europe/pope-bluntly-faults-churchs-focus-on-gays-and-abortion NULL.html?smid=fb-share&_r=3&) while still believing that same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception are evil. So what’s changed, and why are people falling all over this new pope, some atheists included? This is like spraying the bathroom with Febreeze the morning after attending a chili cook-off. All you can smell are faeces-covered flowers. And last, but not least, I go off on a rant about something the guys at Cognitive Dissonance said that I can’t agree with and goes against every fibre of my being. But first, I make a clarification in response to a blogger’s post on a previous rant (http://scawalrus NULL.wordpress NULL.com/2013/09/21/sketicism-vs-atheism-discussion-comments/) of mine on skepticism, atheism and the JREF. I figure if one person heard us say one thing we would never posit, others might have heard it too and so want to make it clear that we don’t believe The Secret is anything other than a work of fiction.