Moose Jaw Seance Back From The Dead

In the last issue, we reported on a seance the Western Development Museum was planning as a Halloween fundraiser and how religious groups in the community were up in arms and got it shut down.

Well, tomorrow, the Victory Church of Moose Jaw — one of the main agitators against the seance — will be holding a banquet to help support the museum. The event is at 6pm, in the Victory Church (637 Main St N) and will cost $15 per person.  There will be live entertainment (presumably of the non-non-corporeal sort) and the meal is being catered by Charlotte’s Catering. For more information contact the VCMJ at 691-5051.

In other news, plans for a seance fundraiser have been resurrected. On October 30, the mentalist and maybe-medium we interviewed last issue, Jeff Richards, will be trying to contact the other side — and perhaps visiting doom upon all of us — at the Hopkins Dining Parlour in Moose Jaw. This event is being co-organized with the WDM and tickets cost $25. For more information call 631-9508.

Seeing as I’m still striking out on getting an interview with Pastor Larry Gerow of the Victory Church of Moose Jaw — the main seance opponent — I thought I would run the complete, mostly-unedited interview I conducted with mentalist Jeff Richards. It comes up after the jump. This version shows more clearly how I went into the interview thinking I’d be talking to a stage magician who might tip his hand to the fact that seances are all stagecraft and psychology and nothing supernatural. As the interview went on, I couldn’t tell if he was spinning me a line when he claimed he might contact the spirit world with a ouija board or if he was a true believer. Ultimately, I decided to just go along with it and see where we’d end up. Made for a much more interesting interview….

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Pick of the Day: Luther Lecture

Going to go the academic route with this pick. Tonight at Luther College Auditorium at the University of Regina Dr. Roland Miller will present the annual Luther Lecture on the subject Daring to Be Global Citizens: De-Radicalizing Christian-Muslim Relations.

Between 1976-93 Miller served as a professor of Religious Studies and Dean at Luther College. Before that, he spent over 20 years as an ordained missionary of the Lutheran Church in India, residing in the Muslim-majority community of Malappuram (pictured). Thanks to that experience, he’s regarded as an international expert on Christian-Muslim relations. So he should have some interesting things to say.

The lecture is free, and begins at  7:30 p.m. For more info call 585-5444.

How the New York State Lottery Commemorates 9/11

Good grief. (The Rude Pundit). And people complain about a mosque? from the story:

Yesterday, the Rude Pundit was walking down near Ground Zero, New York City, as one must sometimes do in the course of day-to-day activities, when heard someone over a megaphone say, “Never forget. Never forget,” repeatedly, flatly, almost mournfully. This was on the corner of Broadway and Fulton, across the street from St. Paul’s Chapel, one block from the former World Trade Center twin towers. He turned to see what this was, thinking perhaps another protest.

Instead, he saw four figures. Two men, one with a voice that sounded like a megaphone and a sign that read, “Support Our Heroes,” the other with an American flag. And two people wearing what seemed to be brightly smiling ping-pong ball outfits. And, oh, dear, kind readers, the Rude Pundit is not lying to you when he says that one of the ping-pong balls had a “9” emblazoned on it and the other had an “11.” They also wore caps.

Here’s the video … (YouTube) Annnd the video’s been pulled.

The Fun Kind of Hate

You know what God really hates? Probably nothing because if there is some sort of unfathomable higher power, it probably wouldn’t waste its divine intelligence on such petty human emotions as hate and love. Instead it would probably be all thinking “Galaxy” and there would be one and we’d all be “Dude, I can’t comprehend this.”

Seriously, he drowned all but two cats in the Old Testament.

That said, I doubt even God could resist loving Comic-Con, where nerds of all genders, colours, creeds, and orientations have banded together to mock the Westboro Baptist Church and their hate speech by forming a sarcastic, yet somehow genuine, rainbow of hilarity.

Godspeed, you wonderful nerds. Godspeed.

Monday Mailbag: Nooooooo!!! Save Teh Babies!!!

Here’s a letter we received today addressed to Carle Steel, who made me open it because she thought the thickly-stuffed thing was more likely a subpoena than a bundle of cash. Actually this letter was the surprise behind door number three: a three-page essay dismissing the opinions of people who find the awful, fear-mongering, guilt-tripping anti-abortion ads on Regina buses to be shitty, mean and stupid.

An excerpt:

“The thing that you said in your article was that [Advertising Standards Canada] was interested in TRUTh in advertising. Please explain why, when the TRUTh is spoken or displayed in graphic images, the pro-abortion folks want to discredit, call names, even lie or tell half-truths to try and hide the TRUTh. Why? Why do you want silence in the public square? Why do you want legal silence? Why do you want political silence on this issue?”

That’s a lot of questions for a busy guy with dozens of articles to assign and edit but I’ll take a stab at it.

Continue reading “Monday Mailbag: Nooooooo!!! Save Teh Babies!!!”

Pick of the Day: Living Together In Baghdad: Muslim/Christian Relations

See actor Peter Graves died a couple of months ago. One interesting tidbit I learned in reading about his passing was that he and James Arness (of Gunsmoke fame) were brothers. As Johnny Carson (or at least Dana Carvey in his famous SNL impression of him) was fond of saying “I did not know that.”

In the obits I read, he was usually lauded for his role as creepy Captain Clarence Oveur in Airplane. It’s probably just a generational thing, but for me Graves’ definitive role was as Jim Phelps in the popular espionage show Mission Impossible that ran on CBS from 1966-73. Other featured actors who appeared on the show as Phelps’ crack team of secret agents who deployed all sorts of gizmos (my favourite was the rubber masks that they’d pull off after they’d defied the odds and completed the mission) included Barbara Bain, Martin Landau, Greg Morris, Leonard Nimoy, Lesley Anne Warren and Lee Meriweather.

I mention all this now because of the subject of this lecture by Sydney Griffith at the University of Regina (Rm 207, Luther College). At this point in history, unfortunately, getting Christians and Muslims to live together in harmony in Baghdad, or anywhere else in the Middle East for that matter, truly does seem like Mission Impossible.

That’s at 2:30 p.m. Then at 7 p.m., Tracy Hamon is launching her new poetry collection Interuptions In Glass at Aegean Coast (1901 Hamilton). April, by the way, is National Poetry Month.

I know you want it, so here is. (YouTube)

And geez, is it long. It clocks in at two freaking minutes and 32 seconds. Life sure moved at a slower pace back then.

Blasphemy Is Fun: Easter Weekend Edition

Here’s one for my fellow unbelievers and anyone who likes mean, funny, snotty writing. It’s an e-mail exchange between a smartass atheist and a youth pastor who takes Australian schoolchildren on field trips for Christian brainwashing.

Here’s how it starts:

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 10 March 2010 7.12pm
To: Darryl Robinson
Subject: Permission Slip

Dear Darryl, I have received your permission slip featuring what I can only assume is a levitating rabbit about to drop an egg on Jesus. Thank you for pre-ticking the permission box as this has saved me not only from having to make a choice, but also from having to make my own forty five degree downward stroke followed by a twenty percent longer forty five degree upward stroke. Without your guidance, I may have drawn a picture of a cactus wearing a hat by mistake. As I trust my offspring’s ability to separate fact from fantasy, I am happy for him to participate in your indoctrination process on the proviso that all references to ‘Jesus’ are replaced with the term ‘Purportedly Magic Jew.’

Regards, David.

Darryl, a self-described school pastor (the legal term is apparently “Christian volunteer”) makes the mistake of getting into an e-mail exchange with our smartass narrator and things rocket straight to hell from there. Very funny stuff for people who like their humour savage and sarcastic.

Read the full story here.

The website 27b/6 collects the articles of humourist David Thorne and sells his book The Internet Is A Playground which collects the articles you could just as easily read for free on his website. There are also T-shirts and coffee mugs. If you go to his website and buy stuff from him that’s okay by prairie dog. Happy Easter!

Let’s Talk About How Bad Abortion Is While We Eat Delicious Spaghetti

The Saskatchewan anti choice Pro-Life Association’s website has a poster (pictured) for an anti-abortion spaghetti dinner with Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz. Yum.

Nobody, but nobody, can cook-up posters with unintended irony quite like rural Saskatchewan’s political event planners. (Wonkette)

Unfortunately we missed the Friday dinner, which was organized by the Potashville Pro-Life Association at St. Joseph’s Catholic church in Langenburg. A shame. I would’ve loved to hear Breitkreuz — an opponent of gun control and gay marriage who apparently tried to get a bill passed in 2001 defining fetuses as persons — talk about the need for closer ties between church and state. Maybe next year.

News Alert: Some American Religious Groups Aren’t Totally F’ing Insane!

A group of pro-life Catholics and Evangelical Christians has launched a letter campaign in support of health care reform that essentially asks Congress to not let itself be baffled by bullshit when it comes to abortion coverage. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (!) says health care is too important to too many people to let it fall apart over abortion funding. Hallelujah, I say. (National Catholic Reporter)