I have to admit that my knowledge of our Friendly Neighbors to the North is pretty much on a par with that of other Yanks: i.e., very little. So when a reader called my attention to a vicious and ignorant column by one Rex Murphy, I didn’t know who the man was. Wikipedia has now enlightened me, and I see that he’s a widely published Canadian columnist and broadcaster with some outré views:
He is a vocal in his denial of climate change and proposed policy responses for it, such as the Green Shift. On September 29, 2011, Murphy hosted “Climate Change 101″ at the University of Calgary. The event was sponsored by W. Brett Wilson, a Canadian entrepreneur and a former employee of Imperial Oil.
But of course that’s irrelevant to his latest column, “The angry atheist“, published three days ago in The National Post. It is a vicious diatribe about a fracas in the U.S. about nonbelievers wanting “humanist chaplains” in the military. (Many religious denominations have their own chaplains.) This week the U. S. House of Representatives passed a bill preventing the appointment of humanist chaplains in the military. That seems unfair, because although “chaplain” has the connotation of “religion”, there are nonreligious humanist chaplains (Harvard has one); because unbelievers can get counseling for such people if they need it, just as believers do from religious chaplains; and because if Christians can turn to a like-minded person for solace, why not atheists? It also seems to me like a violation of the First Amendment.