I’m frustrated right now. I choked on an interview with 660 AM Calgary. It’s no big deal since I’ve done a dozen or so now and really could care less what listeners to the station think, but it’s still frustrating.

So here’s the thing that I hit a mind block on (and I’ve been asked it before): What about the people who will get offended by removing the charge?

You know what a great answer would have been?

What about them? They don’t have any right to impose their neolithic beliefs on the rest of the graduation class. There’s no clause in the Charter or event the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that says Christianity gets to trump all other beliefs. So as one responder so succinctly put it to me: “Shut the fuck up.”

That’s not to mean I’m trying to impose any view over any other, I just want to attend a school that’s not biased to one overly-entitled segment of society.

And I’m tired of getting the crap that I could have gone elsewhere.

First, the U of A is a publicly funded institution. This means tax dollars support it’s operation. I think it’s preposterous for public money to favour any one belief system over any other. I don’t understand why people can’t understand this point!

Second, the U of A doesn’t advertise itself as a religious institution (because it’s not). If I wanted God and crosses in my convocation, I’d have gone to Kings or Concordia and had a theological ball. Instead, I wanted a public, secular institution of higher learning.

The final thing I feel like bitching about is that this is not my personal crusade. The Calgary Sun titled The Canadian Press Article “Student plans to fight God.” This isn’t Ian and the Goliath. I’m not Rocky and there’s no huge battle here. A better title would have been “Student group attempting to end discrimination,” but hell will freeze over (ironic cliche intended) before an atheist gets more fair or neutral press from the likes of the Sun (this goes for most cities). This campaign is about students, faculty, alumni, and rational members of the public who are tired of the undeserved place that Christian beliefs have in our society.

So my conclusion and advice: Don’t try to give the umpteenth interview immediately after getting home after writing a midterm. Also, blog writing and complaining can be very cathartic.

I’m going to keep up the fight, and hopefully I can have a few days break before anyone else calls too late, I was just interviewed for the Charlaton from Carleton University (this one went much better).

6 thoughts on “Choked”

  1. I’d have said something like:

    The absence of a reference to god does not impose a non-theist practice on god believers or theists. An absence of something cannot be an imposition.

    The inclusion of a reference to god, however, does impose a theist ritual on all participants, whether they are believers or not.

    1. Thanks. Basically on the interview I left 5 seconds of dead air on a question I’ve had to answer repeatedly before. They’re not all going to be perfect though, so I’m not too worried.

  2. It’s about respecting all diverse views and not placing one – Christianity above any other.

  3. Choking is not uncommon even with people very experienced in being interviewed. I’d suggest making a list of the common points and responses – even if they seem obvious. That’ll serve as a safety net the next time it happens. Also have several different ways of conveying the message – that makes you sound less like a broken record (note that I haven’t heard your interviews, so I’m not commenting on your style!)

    Finally, allow yourself to make a point that isn’t in response to a direct question – usually done at the end. Something brief and to the point that would do to summarize the main talking points.

    1. Thanks for the tips! I’ll be sure to pass them on as other people who start clubs like mine may end up in the same situation some day.

      For a plus, I’ll be on the Dave Rutherford show on AM 770 in Calgary, but with Rob Breakenridge interviewing (who I’ve met in friendly terms). So it should go well.

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