I Thought About Thinking

On Sunday, Oct. 20, I took the son and daughter, and we headed to downtown Kitchener for the monthly Free Thinkers luncheon.  This was the last day of Oktoberfest, so most of the tourist drunkaholics were either on their way home, or still in holding cells.

The first thing I learned about hotels on that first trip to Detroit was that they change names all the time.  We arose the next morning and went looking for the big hotel where the knife show was.  I drove past the place four times, from each direction, before pulling into a gas station, and asking for directions.  “Oh, it’s that one right over there.  They just got bought by a different chain last month.”

Thirty years old, our Kitchener Hotel (and Convention Center) is on its 6th name, and that one is just a placeholder till they complete renovations and hang out yet another shingle.  During my period of   un(der)employment, 25 years ago, I worked as a security guard there for a year.  Back before either the wife or daughter became mobility-impaired, I didn’t notice its access shortcomings.

The front entrance has a drive-through area, and elevators are just inside.  However, if you go up the small hill, to get to the parking structure entrance off the side street, that level brings you to a spot where you must either climb up a stairway, to a door which is often locked, or down a stairway, out and down a step, across an alley, and back up 8 steps.  Not really any more accessible than the current choice.

As the group started arriving at the room we had been promised, we found that the booking clerk hadn’t told the floor manager that we were coming.  Already busy with hotel guests and walk-ins, he had to quickly unlock the room, get tables and chairs arranged, brew and deliver coffee, provide sugar, creamers, cups, spoons, water pitchers, glasses, etc.  Not a propitious beginning.

No a-la-carte was available.  $10 got you a self-serve Continental Breakfast of three cold cereals, juice and fruit.  $12.50 also let you go to the hot(?) table with bacon, sausage, potato patties, scrambled eggs with cheese, oatmeal, and toast.  There was a little pizza-oven type toaster.  Feed bread in, let it wend its merry way, and it slid out the bottom, almost-brown.  I put my two pieces back in for a second run to darken it, and stepped over to get some eggs.  When I got back, some hotel guest had taken my toast.

One of the members is an unmarried young male trucker.  He’s eaten in a lot of establishments.  He complained of a cold breakfast at another restaurant, and the manager ripped up his bill.  When he complained to this maitre d’, the man held his hand over the lukewarm food, insisted that it wasn’t cold and claimed that no-one else had complained.

One table for eight was full when we arrived, so we sat at another.  Since we’re not members, when the rest arrived, they all sat at different tables, and talked among themselves.  Finally, toward the end, we convinced a couple of folk to join us.  Both the group, and the son, are willing to give it one more chance.

I recently published some uncomplimentary “religious thoughts.”  This was probably, at least in part, a reaction to some of the, “We don’t care about the laws, or your rights!  We’re Good Christians!” stories I heard at the meeting.

The Atheist parents of a GRADE THREE girl in Niagara Falls, not only would not sign the release form for her to be given a Gideons’ Bible, they refused to allow her to hand them out to the rest of her class.  The school called them in for a meeting, and the teacher, the principal, and a rep from the local school board interrogated them, as to why not.

They submitted a request that this school district cease passing out Bibles, to the exclusion of any other belief system, and, of course, were turned down.  They took it to mediation, and the government official ruled that the board either had to cease distributing Bibles, or allow other printed matter to be handed out.

The Board refused to stop the supply of Bibles.  With the help of the Humanist Association, they delivered a pile of Good Without God pamphlets, but the board refused to distribute them.  They have now instituted a lawsuit to force the board to obey, one way or the other.

A Humanist woman in the city of Peterborough, requested that the council not begin each session with a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. Having filed her form, she contacted our local chapter president, and asked if she should proceed through mediation, or legal arbitration.  His answer was that, she might win at mediation, but, like above, it didn’t set a legal precedent.

She emailed him back the next day, saying that the matter was taken out of her hands when the city lawyer filed for arbitration.  My cynical old (lack of) soul says that, in both cases, the bureaucrats know what the law is, and what the final result will be, but are holding out till the last minute to look good to the Christian majority.

Like the removal of the Lord’s Prayer (only) from schools, because they wouldn’t play nicely with others, and share, they’ll be able to point to the Godless government and the Atheists, and say, “It’s all their fault.  We were forced into it.”