Atheism and comedy have gone hand in hand since the first religious person made their first ridiculous claim, and that tradition is still strong with today’s stand-up comedians; many of the biggest comedians in modern history are openly atheist, some even include it in their act. And Canada is known for its comedic tradition; a disproportionate number of today’s biggest comedians are Canadian. But here’s a challenge: Can you name any Canadian atheist comedians? Well here’s a name you may want to remember: John Sheehan.
John Sheehan is a comedian from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, who somewhat stumbled into stand-up comedy, but he quickly earned acclaim as a hot new talent on the Canadian comedy scene after a show-stealing performance at the 2008 St. John’s Comedy festival. For the last decade he’s been developing his act, opening for Louis CK, touring with Yuk Yuk’s, working with Caroline Rhea, Gerry, Dee, and Glen “That Canadian Guy” Foster, doing comedy festivals, and performing for corporate clients. All this, and the man is a firefighter, too.
Sheehan has always been an atheist (as explained to CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show (9:36)), but it’s never really been part of his act in the past. However, a few years back, Sheehan had a personal crisis. Struggling with depression, he was diagnosed with adult attention deficit disorder – he found he’d probably had ADD since his early teens.
That led to a period of personal reflection, but rather than letting ADD get in the way of his life, Sheehan decided to leverage his diagnosis – which he doesn’t consider a disorder – and make use of it. He chose to aim the hyper-focus that comes with ADD at religion and its absurdities. And the result of that is his upcoming show: Blasphemyth.
Of course, part of creating a show about your lack of religion is coming out to the world about it. For Sheehan, than in itself has been a hell of a journey. While some of the response he’s gotten has been
vile, most of it has apparently been quite supportive. You can hear him talking about the journey on CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show (9:36) last week, and he was featured on The Wayward Atheists podcast (1:06:35).
Blasphemyth is already making waves, and if you want a preview of what’s to come, Sheehan has recently announced he will be doing a bit from the show at Imagine no Religion 7 in Toronto, on . As if you didn’t already have reason enough to check out INR7, this could be the cherry on top.
As for Blasphemyth itself, Sheehan is currently in the fundraising stage, with a trending campaign on GoFundMe. A donation as low as $20 will get you opening night tickets, and if you can chip in $50, you get a “Mike… listen….”… though a friend of mine suggested that if you ask really nicely, and if shirtless firefighter calendars are your thing, maybe you can convince Sheehan to make a substitution.
So if you can, let’s help Sheehan make Blasphemyth a reality.
CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:
Now if that isn’t a joke I don’t know what would be!
Yeah!!…I finally found a blog that I want to read. I honestly thought Canada was to hush hush about religion. But here you all are The smart ones. We are too nice to say how we feel? Well I just wrote a book that talks about my feelings on religion, ALL religions. It’s fully referenced with quotes from the likes of Pierre Berton and Edward de Bono. I draw heavily from Fedirici’s Caliban and the Witch also, which is a hard academic read (fully referenced) that I highly recommend if you really want to know how christianity forced Capitalism on us and removed us from the comfort of tribes. My book discusses how religion has taken away our ability to know ourselves and how this translates into the poverty, abuse and dis-ease we see today. And religions, being the capitalistic institutions that they are, stand back, collect money, and shoulder none of the blame for the abuse they have imposed on us. Above All Take Care of Self is available on Kobo and Amazon, if interested. If not, please honour the natural world and Above All Take Care of Self so you can take care of the ones you love. Cheers Char Abbot
‘Above All Take Care of Self’ certainly sounds like the title of a book that actually has something valuable to say. I’ll definitely be looking for it in my local library and on Amazon.
I think the real reason for religions success is their tax free status. It has always made them a perfect investment for tax cheats (in the past read Royalty and in the present day read corporate leaders). We tend to think of religions as something separate from everyday life and forget that just coincidentally in the past members of Royalty and now corporate leaders almost always have religious memberships. I don’t really believe this is coincidental at all, I actually believe the primary reason for their success is the fact that they have access to such a magnificent tax dodge. The money just keeps piling up for ever and ever and nothing ever stops it. The only real problem is were to stash all of it since there is no way the crooks can spend it fast enough just on themselves.
Currently they are running the very successful red herring about off shore tax haven, and everyone is going for it, running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to catch them in something illegal. In the mean time no one can see what has been plastered all over their eyeballs since the day they were born, CHURCHES HAVE NEVER PAID ANY TAXES! This is the most gross form of tax evasion imaginable always right out in plain site and no one can stop it.
Of course there’s a very good reason why no one can stop it. If your one of the crooks you share in the benefits of all that’s stolen from society. However, if you don’t join your one of the criminal societies victims. If you join a tax free religious group it’s like everyone of your dollars is worth $1.10 and if you don’t its like everyone of your dollars is worth $0.90. In effect you just keep working harder and harder and keep falling farther and farther behind. No wonder religious people have such a self satisfies smirk on their dirty little crooked faces.
Atheist have always been those truly honest people in society who understand that everyone must contribute for society to function. There can’t be special privilege for a special few, which is all religions really are. Hence we always end up with the least scrupulous at the top and the most fair and honest at the bottom. How much harder do non-religious people really have to work to support the religious criminals who are already the dregs of society who would cost the most and contribute the least. Twice as hard for half as much? 10 times as hard for 1/10 as much? What is the real answer, not a very pretty one for sure.
Of course what the religious people are really hoping is that the atheist will start calling themselves a religion in order to get the same benefits as the other tax evaders. Of course then all they will really have done is sold out to the crooks and will no longer really be any better than them. I’m sure there are many crooks trying right now to infiltrate atheism and get the word recognized along with Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. as a religion, so that they will really no longer be any more honest and better. And of course to be successful doing this they always act like it’s just a big joke, hey look, it’s easy, we can do it to!
So the actual solution to a lot of societies problems in one stroke is to force religious organizations to pay taxes just like everyone else. The problem of course is how to do that.