Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quote of the Week

Pictured- Very smart dude

"Live a good life. 
If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by.
If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them.
If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

 -Marcus Aurelius
Smart guy that Mr Aurelius.  Now if we could just start getting out to theists that the measure of what is just and unjust is not found in their bible, or their koran, or their torah. 

It is found in the hearts of men who wish to see equity and empathy for everyone.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Beyond Belief News -Toronto Police Enforce Sharia Law (or -"Shame on you Toronto PD!")

Out of respect for Islam, all Muslims have been photoshopped out.

This is my second post in a row about religious nonsense in Canada. 
This one is about a local writer, David Menzies, and his experience with the local ninjabi's and city photography.

How can the mixture of two such innocent topics make for a good article you ask?

PLEASE ask! (pretty sure the gun is a cigarette lighter..)

Mr Menzies was busily having a great afternoon with his son, eating pizza, drinking bubble tea, taking photographs of the downtown area, when he was surprised by an angry mob of Muslims led by two Ninjabis.  (Can't call them that you say?  Read on...)

What malfeasance mobilized this mob of miffed and maddened Muslims?

A woman speaking her mind?  No, not this time.

They were offended because they had been caught in a random picture that he took of the downtown area.

Pictured- Free Muslim.

“We are Muslim! You do not take pictures of us!”

When he responded that he was free to take pictures of whomever he pleased in an open and free democracy, he was met with the only rational response left to a law abiding citizen.

POW!! Right in your rationality.

She punched him in the face. 


That was her answer to having her picture taken in public.  He was hit so hard that he almost dropped his camera.  It was at this point that he felt he and his son might be in danger as the mob closed in and the din of them yelling at him demanding to have his camera grew to untolerable levels.

This is where the situation goes beyond belief. 

He saw a policeman.


Once he broke through the mob to his law enforcing savior, he discovered how far "religious tolerance" actually takes us.

The policeman dismissed his complaint despite the fact that an arabic speaking couple offered their witness to the event as he told it.

Apparently assault means something different if it comes from a religious motivation.  At least the Toronto Police think so. 

Does Sharia law hold sway with our law enforcement?

Have our protectors decided that protecting a belief is now more important than protecting it's citizens?

The policeman on the scene said that it was his opinion that the woman was only trying to break his camera, and not trying to punch him.


How is this any better? 
It is still assault to lay your hands on another person with intent to destroy their personal property under Canadian law and now she has admitted attempted theft as a motivation for this assault!

What was the result?

No charges, no report filed, no protection from physical assault offered.

Why am I letting her punch you?  Because Fuck You is why.

Do we now have Sharia masters who sit in the background ensuring that we all covertly adhere to our new god and religion?

Do we now find ourselves slaves to the beliefs of others as enforced by the belief police?

Or do we now have a police force who is too cowardly to get involved in a "situation" that will result in bad press by getting Muslims (or any religious folk) up in arms?

We can't protect you if you offend our true masters.  (pssst, it's the News)

All I know is that for the second day in a row, I am shocked and dismayed by my own countrymen. 

Shame on you Toronto Regional Police. 

Shame on you.

In a city so full of diversity, it is even more important that you represent the law and not let one minority's needs hold sway over anyone else's rights. 

No matter what they believe,
No matter what they want,
No matter how many hours they must spend praying to atone,

taking pictures is in a public area is NOT illegal. (just ask the Toronto Police, who have videocameras set up in that very area)

And assault is.

You are not there in uniform to make decisions based on your own moral compass or opinions about how to respect other religions wants and desires.  We have no desire to have an official or unofficial observation of any blasphemy laws in our country. 

Sharia law only applies to the countries that observe this immoral code, and those who decide to live by it.

And those people are Muslim men and their slaves, I mean loving wives.

We are free in Canada and expect to be treated as such.

You are there to enforce the law and to protect the citizens, not to avoid bad press.

This time, you failed on both counts.

And put forward a pretty ugly precedent in the process.

The Stupid, it Burns in Canada too!

Earlier this week a friend messaged me with a story to tell about his trip to the Canadian Maritime provinces.  He was dismayed by a sign that he saw posted on a church billboard outside a New Brunswick area church, and felt that he had to vent by writing about it.

I too, am now dismayed and feel that I have to write about it.

I won't leave you in suspense for too long, but this blogpost isn't really about what the board said.  (nor is this board the actual board (it is merely the same message).  I wasn't able to obtain a picture, but I will get the name and post it in an update)

If this sign came from stupid, why is there still stupid?


Science denial? 

Here in Canada?

This is what bothers me more than the actual billboard. 

I was pretty confident in my "Not here" pride about Canada's attitude towards skepticism and freedom from religious science denial, and now that confidence has been shaken.  We live in a country that never raged over the "Teach the Controversy" nonsense, and although religion is allowed in our schools, it never really plays a significant part (even in science class). I am saddened to know that fellow Canadians have fallen to this depth of willful ignorance but am renewed in my dedication to speaking out about about these attitudes.


Because they are harmful to our children in the way that it steals opportunity for understanding the world around them.  It degrades our critical thinking skills, and what is most important to me, it sets a very low standard for accountability for determining what is true.

You see, what is true is important to me, and to a lot of people that I know.  Words hold an iron to them, and if we allow unsupported claims to be made publically we give silent consent to them being placed on equal status with evidence based opinions and claims. 

Imagine someone at a dinner party saying;

"Gravity is not real, but just a construct of our conciousness, and you too could escape it's oppressive force if you only had an open mind."

Would you nod politely and validate his "theory" by not opposing him?  Of course not!  Any claim so ridiculously made would be met by ill concealed laughter. 

And rightly so.

Isn't it?
What about someone who was convinced that Elvis lived next door to him, and that he was obsessed by exposing it?

Would you stay silent?

Unless that IS actually the King buying groceries.  Hmmmmm

Here is the issue. 

Bad ideas have their own societal filter.  People react when they hear them, and usually not well, especially when they are demonstrably false or exceptionally silly.

That is all bad ideas and opinions except for religious ones.  No one seems to question them.  They get a level of forgiveness from this societal peer review. 

They get a pass.

NO, sir, shhhh.  The Pope is allowed to do that...
As a matter of fact, people get offended when their religious ideas are challenged.

But I digress into ranting.

The point is that I am disappointed in you Canada.  I actually thought that I lived in a country that believed as I do.

That one mans ignorance does not hold equal standing with educated fact. 

Let's not allow the terrible practice of allowing it to hold such a position take hold in our, or any, land.

On a side note....ARGH!!!!!  (I am very frustrated by this)

My thanks to Craig White for frustrating me to such lengths.  You have him to thank for my undirected and ill written rant.

Thanks Craig!

PS- I will deal with the claim made in the billboard in my next "Rational Response" post

Atheist Haiku of the Month- Science Edition

Some people still ARE monkeys

Man came from monkeys?!?
Dumb question. Man didn't, but...
Neither did monkeys.