Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-The Adventures of Online Discussion

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-The Adventures of Online Discussion

Steven Britton, Agatha Symkot and I discuss the adventures of this week.

Topics include.
The adventures of Jodie and Calgary Housing. The response from Calgary politics on the issue as well as expectations
If you missed the story, read here

An invitation to Evan Woolley and Sean Chu to come on the Podcast.

A clarification on a controversial post this week that was since deleted. And the reaction around it.

A discussion around Online behaviour. Not only on my posts, but others as well. Is it fair to expect change on behaviour?

This Podcast is the most…..raw….I felt.

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Be Kind to each other. Online and off.


I’d like to tell you a story about Calgary Housing.

There has been a lot of ideas, conversation, and talking in Calgary involving the less fortunate.

As an example, there is The Plan to End Homelessness. Their are several agencies that are talking about it

Notice,I said  talking. Notice, I did not say help. There is a reason for that.

To explain the reason, I need to tell you a story.

The story involves Calgary Housing.

But first ,I’d like to introduce you to Jodie.

Jodie is a single mom who has been clean for 4 years. She has 2 kids and a job. She is trying to do what she can to put one foot in front of the other. To get ahead.

Because of where Jodie has been, which was homeless, she found herself in Calgary Housing. A great opportunity to live in a reasonable house with affordable rent.

Now, with this affordable rent comes some expectations.  They include a clean house, clean yard, no live in roommates, updates on income changes, and no pets.

Let’s talk about pets. Also, let’s talk about rules.

Jodie’s job shifts vary. They could start as early as 5:30. They could go late into the evening. With two small children, a job like this is not easy to plan around.
Fortunately, she has a babysitter. Not only a babysitter, a free babysitter. How many of you with kids could have used a free babysitter? Obviously, a blessing. Particularly with no daycare open at 5:30 AM. As well as $1,000 a month cost for a daycare.

The one thing with the babysitter is she has epilepsy. Because of that, she has a dog. A dog that she is required to be with her should certain health issues arise. This certainly would be understandable right?

Apparently, not for Calgary Housing.

We will move the scene to Tuesday May 20. Jodie comes home and checks her mail. In it she finds something shocking.

She is given an eviction notice.

Now the amazing thing about this eviction notice is Calgary Housing gave her until May 31 to leave. The notice is dated on May 2, and she got it May 20. I have lived in Calgary all my life and I have never seen any mail coming from Calgary take 18 days to get too me.

Now when Jodie approached the house manager about why, she got an interesting response. She was told she had a dog.

According to the Calgary Housing website, pets are allowed in some premises. You must ask for permission. She didn’t ask for permission because, first of all,it’s not her dog and the dog does not live there. Secondly, as I learned from another source that lives in Calgary Housing, there are many tenants who own cats and dogs. And have not got permission for them. Jodie has seen cats and dogs in her property. Many tenants will hide their pets during routine inspections.

Others have too.

The situation gets worse . Jodie explained her situation to the manager. She explained  about her job hours as well as her babysitter’s health, this is the response she got.

“It’s not my problem”.

When her babysitter was on the premise, she got confronted by an older gentleman who guards the premise. She was walking her dog when she was confronted by this gentleman, she explained her situation. This is the response she got.

“You don’t belong here”

Now, perhaps you think this is an isolated incident. It’s not. Another source who lives in Calgary Housing me that is a common way the tenants are treated.  Particularly those that are “difficult or bad”.

“They put the fear of homelessness into you if you don’t comply and believe me when you are on a fixed or low income and get evicted from housing it is very defeating” My source said.

Too be clear, Jodie is not looking for a handout. Jodie is willing to move and overall thinks it would be better if she did. What she wants is more time.

“It’s not easy to come up with 3,000 for a place.”$1,500 for rent and $1,500 for damage deposit.”Jodie said

As you can imagine, Jodie is frustrated. She has never missed her rent. She’s a good tenant who is trying hard to take the right steps in life.

“Life is supposed to improve once you work. I refuse to go back to where I was” she said

I’m also frustrated, I’m frustrated by the fact that an organization that is suppose to be a support for families feels they can belittle their tenants. There is a lack of compassion, heart, and quite frankly any reason to treat people like this. People that are overcoming so much to move and stay ahead.

If you combine this story with the stories Tim Barber shared on my Podcast. As well as the recent issues with the Mustard Seed’s parking stalls, I think,it’s time to ask this question.

Is Calgary saying they want to help the needy? Or does Calgary actually want to help the needy?

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Woman are becoming stronger leaders



You probably know these 2 people. If not, let me introduce you.

This is Melissa Macky and Melissa Sterling. They are two influential woman who are showing leadership. We discuss how women are becoming stronger leaders.

Melissa Mckay is @IgniteMeNow on Twitter. She works with women of all ages in leadership.

Melissa Stirling is @Stirlingize on Twitter. She focuses on healthy lifestyles for people of all ages.

Together they are doing videos titled Are You Jacked?  These videos are about different experiences in their life. Today we discuss if women are becoming stronger leaders?

Topics include,
Are woman becoming stronger leaders?
The positive impact on culture
Has concepts of leadership changed over the years?
The definition of leadership
The impact this has had on relationships.
The #sprinklekindness tour that Melissa and Melissa are inviting you to participate in.

Listen here

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Agree or Disagree: If God exists, God is male.


This is apparently, a picture of God. I say apparently because the reality is no one has seen God. However, in many monolithic religions the idea of God is male. For most anyway.

Some have challenged the idea of God being exclusively male. People like Rachel Held Evans back in 2012. She wrote this post asking this very question of God being a man.  You can read that here.

Now, this openminded doesn’t sit well with everyone. One angry person is Owen Strachan. Strachan is the president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood declared this heresy on Twitter.
“Let’s stop pretending like all’s okay. @rachelheldevans called God a she:”God Herself” This is heresy, straight up.
At this point, let’s all put our hands on our mouths in utter shock!
You done? Good!
Because while I’m not sure I’m “all ok” with a Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, or sure what the purpose of this really is, I do think the question is fair.
While Scripture addresses God as a male, there are clearly  seems to male and female traits of God.
Here is a post that gives some examples.
So, the question I ask is do you believe that God is exclusively male? Or, if you aren’t sure God exists, could God be male?
The other question I have is this. Are we as a society more comfortable with a male image of God?




Agree or Disagree: There is a right way to talk to teens about sex.


There comes a time when this has to happen. If you are a parent, you have had this happen. The all important question, some kids ask you as a parent.

“Mom, Dad, where do babies come from?”

For someone younger, this is an easy answer. You can say, the stork, the mall, or something else simplistic.

However, there will be a time where this will not be easy. Why?

Because they will be teenagers.

And as you doubt are aware, being a teenager and the topic of sex is complex.

The  fact is 48% of teenagers will be sexually active before the age of 16. The other fact is that if they are NOT active, they are thinking about it. Because we at one time or another, we all think about sex.

So, from personal perspective , or if you are a parent of a teenager, is there a right way or a wrong way to deal with the topic of teenagers and sex? Is there any topic you should avoid with teenagers?


Sorry Matt Walsh, but you are wrong. There is no double standard against Christians.

 don’t have much. I have a small apartment. I don’t own a vehicle. But, I considered myself privileged.




 First of all,Because I’m a Christian.


As a Christian, I get to experience some special things.


I can pray and read the Bible in public.


I can wear a shirt with a Bible verse on it.


My “Christian” holidays are honoured.


I’m also not hired or fired based on my faith.


I’m also privileged because I’m a heterosexual male.




Because I can get married anywhere at anytime.


I can hold hands with my girlfriend or wife if I had one.


I have benefits if I want I can support my wife and family. I never have to fight for it. They are given too me if I’m married.


If I choose, I can adopt children.


I’m not rejected because of my sexuality.


Speaking of sexuality, let’s talk about that. Actually, let’s start by talking about Matt Walsh. You know, the Matt Walsh who thinks he’s funny. The Matt Walsh who’s a hipster. The Matt Walsh that apparently speaks for the conservative movement. The Matt Walsh who is a Christian. The Matt Walsh that thinks he is always right.


Well, he’s wrong.


What about?


Well, for this we need to have a conversation about sexuality, religion and football.

For this we need to tell the story of Michael Sam.


For those who do not know who Michael Sam is, he is a Defensive Lineman. He attended the University of Missouri. He’s big and tough. He’s talented. He was good enough to be the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. If you know anything about college football. you know that is the best College Football in the United States.


As an aside, he’s gay. He announced it on ESPN on February 9. While there was many who supported him, there was the usual cast of opponents. Westboro Baptist Church and other organizations expressed their opposition. To both Sam and the University of Missouri.


Last weekend Michael Sam had a special moment. The moment many football players dream of all their life. He got drafted in the NFL. Now, he was the second last player picked in the draft, but he was picked in the draft.


Why is this a landmark moment? Because he is the first openly gay football drafted in the NFL. This got coverage everywhere. Including a video of the call that he was drafted. When he was drafted, there was video of him crying. His boyfriend shared a kiss on national TV.  A kiss where most of us heterosexual can share with no issue. But a kiss that got a reaction.


 Now, Sam has got some attention and has been embraced. He received an endorsement deal. He is also getting a reality show on the Oprah network. He is a celebrity and in general has received some acceptance. He is being praised by some for his courage.


I said some. Because now we bring in a CFL Player named Maurice Price. He is a Christian and he tweeted this.


My faith won’t allow me to ACCEPT what took place over the weekend #AdamandEve #NotAdamandAdam


Now we bring this to Matt Walsh.


Matt Walsh has expressed a concern there is a double standard. See Matt thinks that while we are celebrating Michael Sam for his expression, a man named Tim Tebow, who is Christian was being marginalized for expressing his.


For those who don’t remember Tebow. He was the guy that had Bible Verses on his face while he played football. He was extremely vocal about his faith.


Now, this would be the point that I would link you to Matt”s blog so you can read. But this time, I won’t do it. Why? 

Well, Matt said any time you click on his blog that he is going to donate money to what he calls “pro traditional family organizations”. Smarty pants Matt, you forgot others could read. If you want to find the blog, it’s not hard to find.


I’ll summarize it this way. He reminds that football players wished Tebow would “shut up about Jesus”.


See, Matt says. We can talk about people’s sexuality, but not religion. Proof there is a double standard. Right?




While we privileged heterosexual Christian males are enjoying our freedoms, here are the some of the battles people like Michael Sam have been battling.



Public rejection.


Criticism of public expression and who they love


Hiding who they love


Hiding who they kiss


Identity issues


The right to have spousal benefits


The right to  adopt children


The right for employment based on ability.


That’s right. Matt must have forgot what happened with World Vision. How a group of Christians expressed their anger over a Christian organization hiring people who are in a same sex marriage. We also discussed earlier this week a Christian University being under scrutiny for they way they handle that.



Matt also must have forgot the protests, the signs, the reminders some Christians have told the LGBT community that they will not be accepted. We forget the specific references  and policies we have on if we will hire ands based on their sexual or relationship preferences. We call it biblical values. We forget the verses about gossip, slander and others. We don’t have a specific policy on that. 


Matt  forgot the fact that we have a position of power. We have been put in a position to in a sense, control someone’s fate. A fate that has led  people to silence because of a fear of reprisal. A fate that has lead for many, much worse.


The reason people celebrate people like Michael Sam, Ellen Page and others that come out are being praised for their courage is because it  IS courageous. The reason it’s discussed is because someone, somewhere may be able to share where they are at.


In order to be a double standard Matt, there needs to be an equal standard.


A standard where all are equal.


Clearly that’s not happening.


So you are wrong. 

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-A view on the homeless from the homeless

If you missed the last Agree or Disagree: The Podcast, Cory Chapdeline, Kali Readwin and I discussed if homelessness and unemployment was a choice.

If you missed that listen here.

Now we introduce you to Tim Barber. He was until recently, homeless.  In this podcast, Tim shares his perspective  on being homeless for the last 10 years. He has been homeless in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto

His current situation.
His perspective on how people treat the homeless.
His perspective on the homeless shelters in Calgary.
How these shelters handle those who use alcohol and drugs. Is it fair and realistic?
Should you give change to the homeless or the agencies?
Tim’s take on the 10 year plan on homelessness.
The plan behind Timmy’s Only and how you can order.

Listen here

A challenge from Tim and if you do it, Tim will buy you a coffee and I will put you on this podcast.

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Agree or Disagree: Faith based schools should lose their accreditation because of policy on homosexuality

  You might have heard what has happened at Trinity Western University. Perhaps, like me, you know some people who have attended there. 

You also might have heard some good things about the school. In Christianity, they have a really strong reputation.

Unfortunately, they are in some current trouble. I fear that the impact of this decision could impact future faith based schools.

You see, Trinity Western University is planning to open a law school in 2016. The problem? Because of their stance on homosexuality, provinces like Ontario and Nova Scotia do not want to give TWU students accreditation.


Their stance? Well, like many conservative Christians,  marriage is between a man and a woman. 

What is their stance? Well, actually it’s not just about homosexuality. They have their 3,600 students sign a covenant that they will not participate in ANY sexual activity until they are married. 

Now there a couple of things that are really clear to me.  The first thing is, I’m guessing a high majority of the students that have been or go to TWU are aware of their policies. Many in the Christian community that attend publicly agree with them. I say publicly because it is possible that some… violated the covenant. That is a separate topic. But the students made a choice to better themselves with an education at Trinity Western University. To better their education and their faith.

The second thing is this. Trinity Western University is not the only institution in the world that has this policy. There are many. Too many to count. If you are going to threaten or challenge accreditation, how many more will you challenge?

The third thing is this. I know I said two, but there is an important point.  The stances that TWU represent are not only in TWU or in a Christian University. It would be anywhere. How this “policy” is challenged going forward will be interesting.

Now, it’s that I agree fully with TWU’s policies. However, I do respect the freedom for them to have them. If they are providing a quality education for students, why should they have their accreditation challenged?

I leave that for you to Agree or Disagree with.



Agree or Disagree: Monogamy is unnatural.

Agree or Disagree: Monogamy is unnatural.

A while back ago, we discussed if  open relationships work.

You might be surprised to realize that was pretty even. While some did say it was not possible, many did think they can work.

Now, I present the above link. She argues that monogamy is unnatural.

Would you agree with that?