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J. Paul Grayson, a sociology professor at York University, received a student request  to be excused from some course work. The student making the request didn’t want to interact with females on religious grounds. Dr. Grayson denied the request.

But he was over-ruled by York University administration and told to accommodate the students religion-based request. York’s Rhonda Lenton affirmed the university’s commitment to “gender equity, inclusivity and diversity” but stood by the decision in the name of “religious accommodation”. This only affirms Christopher Hitchens observation that you can get away with the most extraordinary offences if you can just get  yourself called pastor. Religious accommodation of this sort is nothing more than sanctioning religious bigotry. Read the rest of this entry »

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On January 10, 2014, CBC’s  The National with Peter Mansbridge, reported the story of pulsar PSR B1509-58.  A new image of nebula surrounding near this pulsar looks like a X-ray of a human hand.  The pulsar is rotating 7 times every second, ejecting particles interacting with nearby magnetic fields producing the x-ray glow. It’s a fascinating and beautiful image.

But that isn’t enough for the public broadcaster. In presenting the image, anchor Peter Mansbridge comes out with the following:

handofgodYou might also be seeing something else. What some people are calling the hand of god. Scientists say they don’t know if the ejected material actually assumes the shape of a hand or if it’s just an optical illusion.” Read the rest of this entry »

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On Christmas, Pope Francis, called on believers of all religions to pray for “a homemade peace” that can spread across the world.  He included non-believers in his invitation saying: “I invite even non-believers to desire peace. (Join us) with your desire, a desire that widens the heart. Let us all unite, either with prayer or with desire, but everyone, for peace.”

Even non-believers? What a pompous and pretentious ass. What makes the Pope think atheists don’t desire peace? Ooops. Pope and think in the same sentence. What makes the Pope believe atheists don’t desire peace? Read the rest of this entry »

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Calgary police have charged Tamara Sophia Lovett, 44, with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life  in the death of her 7-year-old son, Ryan. Ms. Lovett was arrested at home Friday Nov. 22, 2013, after police consulted medical experts and the Crown prosecutor’s office. An autopsy revealed that Ryan died as a result of an easily treated Group A Streptococcus infection. Police allege his mother treated him exclusively with with holistic remedies rather than mainstream medicine.

Calgary Police Service Staff Sergeant, Michael Cavilla, is quoted as saying, “It should absolutely serve as a warning to other parents. The message is quite simple: If your child is sick, take them to see a doctor.Read the rest of this entry »

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On Sunday, November 17, Michael Enright of CBC’s Sunday Edition broadcast an interview with Dr. Sunita Vohra,  a pediatrician and professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Alberta. Like the CBC, Dr.Vohra is a well known promoter of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). She is also the recent winner of the Dr. Rogers Prize in Alternative and Complimentary Medicine. The prize comes with a $250,000 award.

Dr. Rogers was appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the province’s highest honor, for his pioneering work in Cam-based cancer care. In other words, BC awarded him the provinces highest honor for selling worthless cures to desperate cancer victims. There was a time when, good intentions notwithstanding, we threw snake oil salesmen in jail. Now we give them the Order of British Columbia. I’m sure that was worth some votes to somebody. The Dr. Rogers Prize in Alternative and Complimentary Medicine has nothing to do with research or achievement in medicine beyond marketing. Best snake oil salesman wins. More on Dr. Rogers prize here <http://askepticrtn.com/?p=518>. Read the rest of this entry »

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Every morning, children at Dr. Hamman Elementary School stand and recite a prayer thanking the Great Father for all they have received.  The prayer is simultaneously broadcast over loudspeakers ensuring everyone hears and participates.  Children obediently chant in unison, pledging submission to the Great Father, and his son, the Great Leader.

Oh sure, there are occasional dissidents. Recently, one little boy refused to stand and thank either the Great Father or Great Leader for all they had done. A teacher went over to the little boy and grabbed him by the shoulder so that he should stand and surrender himself to the will of the Great Father. The boy was humiliated and returned home crying. But as a community resident said in the National Post: “It’s very important that kids learn, from when they’re little, that there is someone greater than us and that we are submissive of Him.” Indeed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Health Canada, the people promoting worthless remedies that diminish the health of the nation, have decided to do their job and actually do some good. No, just kidding.  They are pretending to do some good by announcing new guidelines for nosode licensing, saying packaging must include a warning: “This product is not intended to be an alternative to vaccination.”

This is a cowards version of a warning label. The product is not intended to be an alternative to a condom either. Why not say that on the label? How about, “This product is not intended to be an alternative for anything.” ? Read the rest of this entry »

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Monday, September 30 is International Blasphemy Rights Day–an initiative to support the rights of people to criticize religion.

Blasphemy Rights Day was created to commemorate the 2005 publication of cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad that prompted riots among believers. AskepticRTN published these cartoons in a piece entitled They Kill People for This?.

The right to criticize religion is one everyone should get behind. I haven’t met a preacher or pastor that hasn’t said they want to encourage discussion and debate. Great. So let’s recognize and defend the right to have that debate. I’ll be waiting breathlessly to hear the collective support of leaders of Calgary’s faith community.

Meanwhile, the Center for Inquiry has some events planned, including interviews with atheists that have been persecuted for their exercising the right to criticize.

 

 

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Yes, that’s right. The old Calgary Herald (Canada’s largest Christian daily) is back!

On August 27, 2013 the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruled that atheism is a “creed” deserving of the same religious protections as Christianity, Judism, and  Islam, and other faiths.

The ruling was in response to a complaint by Rene Chouinard, who opposed the District School Board of Niagara’s policy regarding the distribution of Gideon bibles. The Gideons offer free Bibles to Grade 5 students provided the students first obtain parental consent. In a protest move, Mr. Choinard, a father of two, offered to distribute the Atheist text “Just Pretend: A Freethought Book for Children” with similar parental consent. When the school board rejected his offer, he took his case to the Human Rights Tribunal, alleging that the school district had “discriminated against them … because of creed.”

The Human Rights Tribunal agreed. Mr. Chouinard claims he never had any intention to distribute the atheist text, but only wanted to highlight that the “Public School system is not the place for people with a religious agenda.” Well amen to that. Read the rest of this entry »

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McMaster University researchers announced today that the controversial “liberation therapy” to treat multiple sclerosis doesn’t work because its based on a bogus scientific theory. Specifically, there is no evidence of correlation between having MS and impaired blood flow or blockage in the veins of the neck or head.

Lead investigator Ian Rodger said: “This is the first Canadian study to provide compelling evidence against the involvement of CCSVI in MS. . . . Our findings bring a much needed perspective to the debate surrounding venous angioplasty for MS patients.”

Well, whatever. As ASkepticRTN pointed out years ago, there never was any real chance of a causal link between CCSVI and MS. The research being done in Canada to find such a link is all politically motivated nonsense designed to pump up politicians polling numbers rather than do anything to help those suffering from MS.

 

 

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