Two kinda cool things happened recently.
First, remember that sex show in Abbottsford that got canceled a while back?
I mean really, I almost feel lazy writing about this story because it requires so little effort on my part. What could I possibly add to this story? Abbotsford was going to actually have some fun, until the religious folks caught wind of it, and like the proverbial dog in the manger, decided to uphold their reputation as the town from Footloose. Because, you know, drinking leads to touching, and touching leads to those funny feelings that the priest told me was the influence of Satan, possessing your wee-wee. And won’t somebody think of the children?
Yeah, I had a good time with that one. Well guess what – the show is back on!
Spurred by hundreds of requests from the public, the principals of the annual Taboo Naughty but Nice Show will bring back the recently cancelled show to Abbotsford’s Tradex from May 11 to May 13, Canwest Productions vice-president Sean Libin confirmed Thursday. In a press conference held at Tradex, Libin said that after his Feb. 10 announcement that he’s canceling the trade show’s March dates, the company was inundated with feedback from supporters of the event.
“The community has spoken, (and) we’ve listened,” said Libin, who was accompanied by supportive exhibitors and past attendees at the press conference. “We’ve heard from both sides of this issue and it’s clear to us, and it should be clear to everyone in the Fraser Valley, that there are more people who welcome our show into the community than those who oppose it.”
Well all right Abbottsford! I will happily retract my characterization of your town as being full reactionary dickheads. It is clear that I spoke too soon. The dickheads are just the loud and noisy ones. Side question – why can’t people be stupid quietly? Be mired in the detritus of history, just don’t advertise. That’s all I ask. Anyway, after hearing about the fact that the wishes of a handful of throwbacks was going to ruin everyone’s fun, the community rallied:
Canwest heard from people in the Fraser Valley who “welcomed us with open us with open arms,” he said, and even from who had no intention of going to the event but who “recognized the rights of those who did want to go.”
There is so much awesome about this story I have a hard time putting it to words. This should serve as a reminder to secular activists that you can get results by appealing to decency in human beings and agitating. Just because the god-botherers get there first, doesn’t mean they get there best.
Hey look! More good news!
Volunteers from a global evangelical group are no longer welcome in Delta public schools. That message was delivered recently by school superintendent Dianne Turner after The Vancouver Sun published a story about the Pais Project and its success in placing young missionaries in two schools — South Delta secondary and University Hill secondary in Vancouver.
“The Delta school district is strictly secular, operating on non-sectarian principles, and therefore promotion of religious views is prohibited in our schools,” Turner stated in a letter to parents, some of whom had complained after reading the Sun story. “We take this regulation of the School Act, Section 76, very seriously.”
The emphasis is mine. THE EMPHASIS IS AWESOME*.
Even more awesome about this story is that nobody had to fight. The school board kicked these jokers to the curb when they promised to just help paint sets, but then started creeping around looking to proselytize. Let’s be clear about this: for all the claims that religious organizations make about wanting to help their fellow human beings, they have an agenda. This particular group was apparently comfortable enough with their agenda that they were willing to lie to the school administration to go through with it. I’m not the only one who thinks so:
Donald Grayston, an Anglican priest who taught religious studies at Simon Fraser University before his retirement, said the assumption that the young evangelicals are not proselytizing is naive. “If they are not attempting to convert, they would be unfaithful to their mandate.”
They’re there for your kids. They’re not helping purely out of the goodness of their hearts (although I’m sure they see ‘helping with fingerpaints’ and ‘converting to Bronze Age war god’ as being two examples of ‘helping’). Luckily, the board knew what was what and issued a strong, pro-secular statement. Not a milquetoast “Out of sensitivity to those who felt blah blah blah” but a “do not fuck with us”.
Sometimes, not often but sometimes, I am proud of my province. Today’s one of those times.
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*Therefore, by the transitive property, Ray Charles is god.