Paging Richard Dawkins...

I followed this controversy surrounding the awarding of the Atheist Alliance International’s Richard Dawkins Award to pundit Bill Maher with interest. As much as a number of people appreciate Maher’s lampooning of religious wingnuts in his movie Religulous (and, trust me, some of them do need to be lampooned), some are upset that an award that “advocates increased scientific knowledge”, was offered to an individual who had wacky ideas of his own on vaccination, cancer and the connection between HIV and AIDS.

I am not an atheist, of course, and so the Atheist Alliance International is unlikely to care about my own opinion of who it should give an award to or not. However, it seems to me that the offering of the Richard Dawkins Award — an award designed to promote rational thought — to a individual like Bill Maher, and Mr. Dawkins’ tepid response to questions regarding Maher’s more irrational positions, suggest that both Mr. Dawkins and the Atheist Alliance International are more interested in ridiculing people for their religious beliefs than they are in promoting rational thought around the world — despite the fact that there are plenty of religious people out there who, excepting their faith in an unquantifiable god, share these atheists’ desire for a more rational world. It isn’t the case that you just want to ridicule people who choose think differently than you do, is it?

Just as it is inaccurate to say that an atheist cannot hold a moral position, it is equally inaccurate to say that a religious person cannot hold a rational one. Don’t become the closed-off, closed-minded individuals you like to lampoon, okay?


Everybody! Into the Choppa!

Chopper Pilot Can Has Cheezburger Now!

It might be a slow news week, but the CBC still put a smile on my face relating a surprising visit by a Canadian military officer to a local A&W

“He ordered four papa burgers with cheese combos and two papa burgers on the side,” server Stacey Hawes told CBC News on Thursday.

The pilot was nice and polite, and made it seem as if he was just driving a regular car, she added.

Laura Madison was in her house in Kenora when she heard the whirring noise of the helicopter blades just down the street. When she looked out her window, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“It’s a huge double-door … helicopter, which you don’t see landing in the middle of town every day,” Madison said. “He went in and got some A&W takeout and took off. So we’re laughing because it was the strangest drive-thru we’ve ever seen.”

(link)

She called it a drive-thru, but in reality the chopper pilot landed his helicopter on a nearby baseball diamond and walked over to the corner where the restaurant was. It would have been much more impressive if the chopper pilot actually had been able to take his chopper past the drive-thru window, but oh, well.

And I have to say, no hand-wringing about military vehicles setting down in town and disturbing the peace? No “oh, think of the children who could be playing in the baseball field”? No. Just a smile, a chuckle and a wave. Is that not Canadian or what?

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