A parody on Canadian television highlights the divisiveness of religion

Diana MacPherson sent these two videos, one of which is a real commercial and the other a parody. As she says:

 I hope you can view these. It’s for “This Hour Has 22 Minutes“, a political and satirical comedy show in Canada. Here they make fun of religion as divisive based on an Ancestry.ca commercial about finding out about your DNA.

The show Diana refers to appears on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a government entity.

First we have the legit commercial—the one parodied by the satire below. It’s tribalistic and way over the top, but that’s how they’re sellling ancestry tests in Canada. (I wonder, as an atheist Jew who has ancestors in Galway, if I’d be greeted so warmly!):

And here’s the “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” parody:  [JAC: be sure to watch to the end.]

Can you imagine this being shown on any television station in the U.S., much less one run by the government? Ceiling Cat bless Canada!

It reminds me of this joke related by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion:

A journalist, researching for an article on the complex political situation in Northern Ireland, was in a pub in a war-torn area of Belfast. One of his potential informants leaned over his pint of Guinness and suspiciously cross-examined the journalist: “Are you a Catholic or a Protestant?” the Irishman asked.”Neither,” replied the journalist; “I’m an atheist.”

The Irishman, not content with this answer, put a further question: “Ah, but are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?”

42 Comments

  1. Barry Lyons
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Great!

  2. Ed Collins
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    People want to get rid of the CBC. What fools they are. As Jerry says – where else can you see neat stuff like this?

    • Posted April 10, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      I suspect that’s one reason why people *do* want to get rid of the CBC.

      Amazing, though – lack of humour if that’s the case.

      I still remember I gained a tiny bit of respect for Preston Manning when he appeared as himself on Air Farce, with the guy who used to play him on their parodies. (“Hi, I’m Preston Manning!” “Hi, I’m Preston Manning!”)

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 10, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        I like the This Hour Has 22 Minutes episodes where Mark Critch meets with Trudeau and calls him “Trudy” all the time. A lot of the commercial parodies are funny, especially the truck ones.

  3. Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    All I know is that Jamesons is Catholic whiskey and Bushmills is Protestant, and you’d better know which is which when you go in the pub.

    • Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      …And I guess by now Johnnie Walker is atheist!

    • John Conoboy
      Posted April 9, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      You can however, drink Guinness everywhere.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted April 10, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Except mixed in with IPA.
        (India Pale Ale, not iso-propyl alcohol. But that’s a no-no too.)

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      “Talisker.”
      [pin drops]

  4. BobTerrace
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    “Ah, but are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?”

    That’s hilarious said the Jewish Atheist.

  5. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    (I wonder, as a Jew who has ancestors in Galway, if I’d be greeted so warmly!)

    As Yogi Berra said when a Jew was elected mayor of Dublin: only in America.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Dublin Ohio, or Dublin California?

  6. alexander
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Haha! When I lived in the US we had an Irish neighbour. Her son was a Catholic priest who owned an airplane and a Cadillac, which he got stolen in Atlantic City, where he went gambling. He refused one appointment by the local bishop because it was in a less affluent area, he would only play in posh areas. But the mother was known for continuously ask for rides from the neighbours. So when it was my turn she asked me in the car: what are you? Catholic, Protestant? I answered, “No religion.” She never asked me again.

    • Richard
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 4:40 am | Permalink

      I once really shocked an Irish friend of mine.

      Mary (imagine an accent like Ian Paisley’s): “Richarrrd, are you a proddestant?”

      Me: “No, I’m an atheist.”

      Mary (horrified): “That’s worrrsse!”

  7. Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    That Dawkins joke actually happened to me when I was a kid.

    I have family from both sides of Belfast’s sectarian divide. They often come over for the Grand National and one relative asked me the same questions.

    I’m not sure how serious they were though…

    • Posted April 9, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Completely serious, I’m guessing. Northern Ireland is still deeply divided along religious lines.

  8. Cate Plys
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I just spent my whole lunch watching clips from that show. It is incredible. I literally did two spit-takes.

  9. glen1davidson
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m a catholic atheist. I’ll forgo any and all gods, hence I’m catholic in spurning all of the gods.

    Should go without saying, though.

    Glen Davidson

  10. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    They continue to run the FFRF commercial here in the U.S. with Ron Reagan, but only on certain channels. I see it on MSNBC often. The one where he ends with – Not afraid of burning in hell.

  11. Posted April 9, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if Evangelical Atheists walk around with coffee and guitars.

  12. Merilee
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  13. Peter
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Best line in the YouTube comment: we’re all 1/8th moose.

  14. GBJames
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    This is brilliant!

  15. Laurance
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    The Dawkins joke happened for real. My dad was a math professor at Penn State years ago. He related how one day the profs got to talking about religion, and one of them asked another what religion he was. The other said, “I’m nothing.” And the first prof asked, “Yes, but a Christian nothing or a Jewish nothing?”

    It was not meant as a joke. These guys were aware of the cultural issues that come along with religion.

    • alexander
      Posted April 9, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Colbert calls himself a Catholic. But I don’t think he is a believer. So does he view himself as a cultural Catholic?

  16. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    sub

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted April 9, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Good find Diana! 🙂

    • Diane G.
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 3:28 am | Permalink

      + 2!

  17. Anastasia Cheetham
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Just to clarify: The CBC is a crown corporation, which means it is owned by the government. It is our national public broadcaster. However, it operates very much at arm’s length from the government. It is NOT “run by the government”.

    If you like “This hour has 22 minutes”, you might like “The Beaverton”, a TV show and website. For example, here’s an article titled “Declining attendance leads Catholic Church to perform ‘ambush baptisms’”

    https://www.thebeaverton.com/2018/03/declining-attendance-leads-catholic-church-perform-ambush-baptisms/

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Hmmm, Chicago is 400-odd km from the nearest bit of Canukistan. Do broadcast TV signals reach that far?

      • Posted April 11, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        Perhaps, early in the morning.

        But there is also CBC International which I think one can get with satellite. No idea what shows it has though.

        (I had an American colleague at CMU who told me that CBC International struck him as less propagandistic than Voice of America and he watched it as a kid because he was the only one of his friends without cable TV.)

  18. BJ
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    For my money, the best show to parody television news is still The Day Today. I know that this Canadian show isn’t really of the same genre, but I’ll take any opportunity to mention a gem that isn’t known by nearly enough people.

    Here’s the first episode:

  19. harrync
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    For another great “religion divides us” joke, just google “die heretic joke”.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      I get this one – with a selection of others worth filing under “offensive”.

  20. dale
    Posted April 9, 2018 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    • dale
      Posted April 9, 2018 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      Apologies, this is not the one I wanted

      instead search for

      22 minutes – Win, lose or draw Muhammad

  21. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted April 10, 2018 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    I found that original ad in extremely bad taste. IMO the bullshit quotient is high in that one. It’s just so saccharine sweet and over-the-top phony warm-fuzzies it makes me want to barf.

    And it’s promising results that, 99% of the time, are just never going to happen, not least because the chances of neighbours having the same origin are small.

    If I can’t stand the next door neighbour, finding he comes from somewhere near me is not a recommendation.

    cr

    • Diane G.
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 3:31 am | Permalink

      “I found that original ad in extremely bad taste. IMO the bullshit quotient is high in that one. It’s just so saccharine sweet and over-the-top phony warm-fuzzies it makes me want to barf.”

      My sentiments exactly!

      (But that’s how I feel about so much advertising…)

      • alexander
        Posted April 10, 2018 at 3:40 am | Permalink

        And this is why it got spoofed!

    • GBJames
      Posted April 10, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      OK! I’ll get off your lawn!

  22. improbable
    Posted April 10, 2018 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    There’s an Indian relative of the Catholic Atheist story, I think in one of William Dalrymple’s books.

    He’s interviewing the matriarch of an old Goan family, Christians all the way back to da Gama’s time, and proud of it. At some point he asks whether she knows if she has any Portuguese blood, and she’s deeply offended: “My family have always been Brahmins!”

  23. Posted April 10, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Ancestors in Galway, is it?
    Well, dont be mentioning that down near the real capital of Ireland…
    https://www.tangible.ie/2017/04/06/corknot-cork-or-new-york-new-york/


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