There’s a reason why Canada’s Sun TV News is commonly nicknamed “Fox News North”, and it appears that it even has its own version of Bill O’Reilly in the form of Brian Lilley, who hosts a program called Byline. Having never watched anything on that channel, I didn’t know this – and I’ve also just learned that the same anti-atheist talking points found south of the border are apparently equally as pervasive here:
Holy Spot-the-Fallacy fodder, Batman! I implore that no-one make this into a drinking game for the sake of innocent bystanders and hospital ER staffs everywhere. Here’s just a small list of the usual canards that jumped out at me:
“Militant secularists” want to end religious rights and traditions! – Myth A13
Atheists want to silence people of faith! Except – no, they don’t. They just want Christians to stop pretending they have a monopoly on social policy, or else that their privileged religious status grants them immunity from ever being offended or criticised.
Christian NationTM! I guess this revisionist silliness isn’t limited to the U.S., either. The Crommunist Manifesto explains in detail why Canada is not, in fact, a “Christian” nation.
Stalin and Mao! – Myth A17
And of course, strawmanning at a 12th-grade level. No, “militant” atheists don’t want to crush your balls just because you want to pray or celebrate any religious holiday of your choice. Actually, I dare anyone to find even one atheist who gets genuinely personally offended if they hear “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter”. Seriously. One.
To top it all off, our O’Reilly wannabe then interviews Justin Trottier of the Canadian Center for Inquiry, who does his best to remain cool and poised as the canards go whizzing by like bullets of ignorance. Lilley actually ends the exchange by congratulating Trottier for allowing him to have a “reasoned discussion” – not minutes after shooting off enough dimwitted lies about atheists and the secular movement to make any Christian fundamentalist blush.
You know, I really wish the U.S. model of cable news punditry would stay there.
(via My Secret Atheist Blog)