Agree or Disagree: This Calgary Cab Driver should be fired.


You heard about this story. A Calgary Cab Driver has been suspended because he kicked two men out of his cab for kissing.

You can read the story here.

Now for some, this is not enough. This is such an inexcusable behaviour that he should be fired.

But his perspective, which we haven’t heard until today, is interesting. This is a quote from a story in the Calgary Sun.

People try to have sex in my cab all the time. I tell anyone who is in my cab acting like that, and if they act like that I tell them to stop, and most times people co-operate and they even make fun over it,” the cabbie told the Sun.

“I’m not against people who practice gay sex or who are homosexual, because I’m not a homophobic person — I just ask them not to. There is copy of the video in my car and if you go back a week or two, you’ll come across a man and woman who I told, please don’t do it.

“Two guys come into my cab and they’re making out and so I tell them please stop until I get you to where you are going. People have started out like that, and they end up undressing themselves, until they are naked and about to have sex, and so I have to stop this kind of thing before it gets to that,” he said.

“I only told them to stop until I get them to where they are going.”

Now, I have to ask this. If you were a cab driver or in a situation like this, what would be your threshold? If you are driving over Stampede, or late at night, you may see some things you don’t want too. Yes, the person is the “customer” and some say the “customer” is always right. But, not to get too graphic here, but if A leads to B which leads to C…….there could be some cleanup needed to be done in the cab.Who pays for that? Likely the driver.

My perspective is if it was simply kicking someone out because they kissed, then yes they should be fired. However, we haven’t heard the cab drivers side of the story.And it sounds like from his perspective, he wasn’t sure what was going to happen. We heard on Facebook, “I got kicked out of a cab because we kissed”. We got outraged. But did we hear the other side of the story?

But what do you think? Do you Agree or Disagree should the Cab Driver be fired? Or, should we hear from him first?

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Agree or Disagree: Removing Gender from Birth Certificates


A group of nine activists, including the The Trans Alliance Society, have filed a human rights complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

They are requesting that remove gender from birth certificates. The reason? They feel that it is discriminatory towards transgender people.

You can read the article here. However, I would like to give you a portion of this for you to consider.

People who are legally assigned one gender, but identify with another, face a range of discrimination, the complainants argue. They say legally assigning gender at birth also hurts intersex children and people who don’t conform to male or female gender norms.

“Having a misgendered birth certificate guarantees that trans or intersex or gender nonconforming children will suffer grief when they go to school, humiliation when they apply for a driver’s license, and discrimination and danger in every other circumstance where someone wants them to ‘prove’ their gender,” according to a statement from the group.

Now, there will be some that will instantly disagree and resist this. So, I would like to ask this question.

Why would something like this be important? As a straight man, I admit when I first saw this, I was surprised. I never really thought about it helping. How would something like this be beneficial?

And do you Agree or Disagree that removing gender from birth certificates would prevent discrimination from transgendered people?

I’ll be honest: I’m tired of this repeated, irrelevant behaviour from Christianity. But,there’s hope.


rob-bell

I have never met Rob and Kristin Bell. I have enjoyed some of his books and his videos. I find Rob’s approach to Christianity refreshing He likes to question, challenge and make people think.  Not only that, he strikes me that he has an optimistic view on live. I imagine Kristin is the same.

I imagine that it was this behaviour that led him and Kristin’s interview to reflect these statements in their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

One of the oldest aches in the bones of humanity is loneliness. Loneliness is not good for the world. Whoever you are, gay or straight, it is totally normal, natural and healthy to want someone to go through life with. It’s central to our humanity. We want someone to go on the journey with.”

Rob Bell

Oprah Winfrey asked, “When is the Church going to get that?”

Rob Bell said: “Lots of people are already there. We think it’s inevitable and we’re moments away from the church accepting it.””I think culture is already there and the Church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbours, and they love each other and just want to go through life with someone.”

With that, the internet exploded.

Perhaps it was Kristin’s pragmatism that had her state this.

“I think there are a lot of people who as they see culture moving, their response is to dig in deeper and hold their ground.”

Was she ever right.

In one of many articles from the Christian newspaper world, Christianity was, quite frankly, disappointingly predictably, up in arms by the above comments from Rob and Kristin Bell. That the church is “moments” way from embracing the idea of same sex marriages.

Click here for one example.

Christians over the internet have proclaiming the end is near with this statement. They have proclaimed their place and reminded you who belongs and who does not in their church. And reminded you again that if you are one of “those”, you will not be included in God’s church. There may be some that accepts “them”. But they are not really one of “us”. They aren’t the “Biblical” church.

Biblical. Interesting word.

Here are some of the “Biblical” tweets and Facebook comments I have read today.  Read them, and take a moment to read some Biblical responses to them.

“Why don’t Christians realize that Rob Bell walked away from Christianity a long time ago and thus it doesn’t matter what he says to Oprah?”

Judge not, lest you be judged Jesus said

Former “Pastor” Rob Bell Goes Full Blown Apostasy – Says the Church Should Embrace What God Calls An Abomination.

“Love your neighbours” Jesus said

Rob Bell, village idiot, global false teacher.

“Love your enemies” Jesus said.

And as a reminder, who can forget when certain Christian leaders, subtly or blatantly, depending on your perspective, encouraged  people to stop feeding children in third world because World Vision was willing to hire people in same sex marriage. One even bid them “farewell”. They cancelled sponsorships in droves.

“Feed my sheep” Jesus said

“Truly, I tell you whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me” Jesus said.

You can attempt to translate and twist them however way you want. But the response from Jesus is straight forward.

Meanwhile, while you continue to scream “abomination” from your moral superior  and privileged porch, it is noticed that you refuse to align with “them’. You refuse to bake cakes for “them”. You ignore homeless, bullied and even suicidal kids that you refuse and reject from your church.

It is noticed that you think that you are better than “them”

Your catcalls, insults,and condescending behaviour is becoming irrelevant. Your us vs them approach is irrelevant

What is relevant is what has been relevant all along. People.  People of all shapes and perspectives working together to strengthen our village. Our community.  Realizing we don’t have all the answers, but questions on how everything works in this world. Instead of us vs them, it’s simply us.

Working together to fix the oldest ache in humanity’s bones. Loneliness.

Agree or Disagree: Bill 10.


The last week, there was a big controversy and discussion about Bill 202.

If you are not sure what Bill 202 is, you can read it here.

Many people are actually quite supportive of the concepts of Gay-Straight Alliances. However, this bill is not universally supported. There were two major concerns of this specific Bill. One concern has been from religious schools. They feel that Gay-Straight Alliances are contradictory to their religious conviction. (I’m just sharing the facts, not giving a specific opinion here). The other was from some parents. Some parents felt that these alliances were infringing on how parents speak to their children.

Enter Bill 10.

Today, the PC Party tabled this Bill. You can read Bill 10 here.

Now, I can see from Social Media that this is going to go a particular way. However,let’s try to be constructive. With that, I’ll ask some questions.

What works with this Bill? (If you say  nothing, at least back it up)

What doesn’t work with this Bill? (I imagine this will be obvious)

However, perhaps this is the tougher question going forward

Is there an actual way to get religious schools, parents, and the LGBT community on the same page on this issue? I’m on record that I support Gay-Straight Alliances.It is very clear that these are supportive.  I think Bill 202 is the right step.I’m quite confused and perplexed as to why this can’t go forward. But obviously, we can’t . There are still concerns.

How can we actually deal with these issues?

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Interview with Terry Lo aka @calgarydreamer


terrance-lo

Steven Britton and I interview Terry about his recent decision to resign from his position within the WRP.

One of the advantages of doing a podcast is we can spend more time discussing an issue more in depth. It allows us to get a full perspective on what happened.

The story of Terry’s resignation took a life of it’s own. As such, there were some issues that may have been missed. We cover these topics. Because of the nature and length of this conversation, we decided to break this up in 2 parts.

Click  here for Part 1 covers.

Terry’s background. Converting from Catholicism to Atheism. His previous views on LGBT.

His relationship with his son.

His reasons for joining the Wildrose Party.

Some conversations he had with some of the members of the Wildrose Party about “The Lake of Fire”

His reaction to the decision made at the Wildrose AGM.

Why the wording of the Wildrose Policy is important.

The importance of Gay Straight Alliances. The concern about the idea of religious exemptions.

Click here for Part 2 of the interview. In this portion, we focus on the fallout from his decision to resign. Topics include;

The process of his resignation.

The decision to go public.

How his blog post went viral and the media response to it.

His current relationship with friends of the Wildrose Party.

His current perspective of the Wildrose Party.

If he could do anything different, would he?

His advice to parents of LGBT children.

Normally, we would advertise Twitter/Facebook/Blogs. However, because of the nature of this conversation, I decided to leave that out. Let’s leave it in a reflective place.

Agree or Disagree: @calgarydreamer’s decision.


As I have been writing this, it has been 11 days since my last post. This is due to travel and illness.

But I’m back. It’s good too be back. And, it appears we have some catching up too do.

Now, last week, you may have seen this face on your newspaper, or your newsfeed.

terrance-lo

This is Terry Lo, or @calgarydreamer. He tweets a lot on the yyc food scene. He organized YYC Burger Week and YYC Pizza Week. You also heard him on Agree or Disagree: The Podcast.

Last week, he made some waves this week with this post. He resigned his position as VP Communications for the Calgary Glenmore Wildrose Constituency Association.   Here is a portion of his post that I would like to highlight.

This past weekend at the AGM, the party, either in the misguided misunderstanding that nothing LESS than the statement of equality would do after the Lake of Fire event, or out of genuine desire to swing far right, actually BACKTRACKED and voted out the 2013 statement that affirmed and protected HUMAN RIGHTS.

In that moment, the party actually went against their leader and the recommendation of the MLAs, and basically said “screw you” to groups that have never felt included, or protected adequately compared to the white, christian majority. And the sad part, the membership seems to be falling on the argument that the more generic “ALL” statement supported is more than adequate. It’s far from that. In an ideal world, where peace reigns and harmony rises upon the streets, then it would be. But not a single member can comprehend ever the fear of a LGBT or minority kid who’s been beat up by another kid who belongs to that majority. As this vote proves to many outside of the party, “All” in the context of a Wild “Lake of Fire” Rose means the same as the famous statement in Orwell’s Animal Farm: ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.’

This vote confirmed to me that the misguided angry beliefs of a minority of the rank and file holds actual sway in party policy. I’ve since spoken to another notable ethnic member who confirmed a similar experience as well over years. Ideologically, I believe now that the party is swinging far right again on social issues, and as such, totally in opposition to my own beliefs. And ANY party that visibly does not protect my son, is one that has lost my support, and in fact, earned my opposition.

To specify what happened, and I imagine you know this part, the Wildrose Party voted 148-109 against adopting as policy a statement approved last year that affirmed the rights for everyone regardless of race, religion, and sexual orientation.

This led to a wave of criticism towards the Wildrose Party. Some of course questioned the leadership of Danielle Smith. Some wondered who’s voices are being listened too within the party. Some used terms like bigot and homophobic.

Today, things got worse for the Wildrose. Two MLAS, Kerry Towie and Ian Donovan announced they have crossed the floor to the PC Party. This, along with Joe Anglin who left earlier this month, knocks them down to 14 seats in the Alberta  Legislature. With rumours of more planning to cross the floor.

Now, I wasn’t at the convention or voted on this policy. I don’t know the debate or the discussion those that were at this convention had. What we do have however is a perspective from someone who was there.  But first, let’s read the statement up for discussion.

Wildrose will defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to freedom of belief, public expression, practice, and association. These rights and freedoms shall be protected, regardless of race, religious belief, colour, gender, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation of that person or class of persons.”

This is the perspective of Jane Morgan who’s blog is called Up Close and Personal. You can read her perspective here.

Now, Terry will be coming on the Podcast to discuss his perspective. It is fair to say that while Terry has received tremendous support for his decision, he has faced some criticism too.  Some have questioned his motivations. Was this his so called 15 minutes of fame? Was he really a member of the Wildrose Party? We will talk to Terry about both.

Of course, we will welcome you into the conversation as well. What questions do you have for Terry? Do you Agree or Disagree with his decisions? Do you admire his decision? Or, do you question his motivation?

Normally I post an Agree or Disagree at this point….But this is a must read.


I typically post a an Agree or Disagree at this point.
However, we have debated and discussed forever about the relationship between Christians and LGBT. We have criticized many Christians behaviour and actions.
However, this is some kudos. Read this response from a Christian Pastor if he found out his kids were gay.

And of course, discuss.

Read here.