Annals of Christian Soul Battling

The new “Christian” radio station set to debut shortly in Charlottetown is operated by an organization called “International Harvesters for Christ Evangelistic Association.”

Apparently this group is not affiliated with International Truck and Engine Corporation, formerly International Harvester, but is rather a religious group that, they say, “exists to win souls for Christ… through supporting pastors and their families.”

It’s not completely clear from whom or what the souls are being won. It’s possible the devil may be involved somehow. But be prepared for shows like Prophesy For Today, Love Worth Finding and The Gospel 30 to grace the Charlottetown airwaves shortly.

(Interestingly, the new station’s call letters, CIOG, are also used by the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana. Stranger still is CIOG Proposal for the PEI, a document that is not, as you might expect, concerned with Prince Edward Island.)

One of the conditions of the new station’s license from the CRTC is that it “broadcast a minimum of two hours and 30 minutes per week of balance programming.” The CRTC defines “balance programming” as:

For the purpose of this condition of licence, “balance programming” is defined as programming devoted to providing differing views on issues and events presented during the station’s primary programming, and includes the presentation of different religions.

This would seem to imply that at least some of their weekly programming should be concerned with the option of not winning souls for Christ, but rather leaving them be to consort as they wish. It will be interesting to hear how they do this.


Wayne's picture
Wayne on September 13, 2008 - 01:05 Permalink

A weak dismissal of faith-based people.

I expected better from you.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 14, 2008 - 16:02 Permalink

Part of your freedom to believe is my freedom to make fun of you for believing it.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on September 14, 2008 - 19:44 Permalink

Part of your freedom to make fun of my freedom to believe, is my freedom to point out (unless you deny it to me) the meanness and intolerance of your nature and your repeated, excessive, extreme and disproportionate, bordering on fascination use of the words “annals” and “kudos”.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 14, 2008 - 20:31 Permalink

I plead guilty on the “annals” and “kudos” charge — it’s an unshakeable affectation.

Alan's picture
Alan on September 14, 2008 - 21:18 Permalink

Does the same apply for other forms of freedoms? Are we also free to mock the disabled seeking, say, equal access to services? I suppose we are — but it more clearly illustrates the quality of exercising any freedom to mock the personal characteristics of others. A more useful exercise of the balanced programming requirement might be an ecumenical review of something or other.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 14, 2008 - 22:05 Permalink

There would appear to be an irreconcilable incompatibility between a worldview in which faith in some higher being, etc. is “a fundamental part of who we are” and my worldview, in which faith is analagous to a “fairy story we choose to take seriously.”

If faith is inextricably linked with your sense of who you are and how you exist, then snickering from non-believers like me probably does feel like intolerance — like making fun of you for something you can’t change, like your hair colour or the shape of your ears.

Similarly, it’s probably completely impossible for the faithful to fully grasp how absolutely and completely absurd it all seems to those of us on the outside.

Given that the faithful worldview is the indisputable winner in terms of marketing, public relations, education, real estate, etc. I think it’s probably, on balance, more incumbent on the faithful to put up with snide suggestions of silliness than it is incumbent on me to refrain from pointing out the apparent absurdity of it all.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on September 14, 2008 - 23:15 Permalink

If I may use some of your words, there would appear to be an irreconcilable incompatibility between a worldview in which faith in some higher being, etc. is “a fundamental part of who we are”


the worldview that you share with some others in which the fundamental understanding of life is “since I am the most important being and none other can rival me, they must be fools.”

It would, however, seem presumptuous on your part to presume how incapable “We, the faithful” may or may not be to comprehend that worldview you hold.

We do have common ground, however, in that we both see your unwarranted attacks as snide silliness.

Charles's picture
Charles on September 15, 2008 - 00:32 Permalink

I always find it strange that religious people seem to think it’s okay to insult and scorn those who disagree with their views; say about birth control, abortion, or “finding forgiveness in our hearts” for child molesting priests; but don’t seem to think the rest of the world has a right to disagree with their points of view…

Andrew MacPherson's picture
Andrew MacPherson on September 15, 2008 - 22:43 Permalink

Perhaps you should go them with a proposal for a daily half hour radio show…to help them fulfill their CRTC mandate of course…LOL

Lou Quillio's picture
Lou Quillio on September 19, 2008 - 05:24 Permalink

Take a look here:…

Nothing truly new, just a tight acknowledgment that there’s a big and durable human “type” that requires formal social hierarchy, and really needs you to accept the fact … and that in pure cases it’s an altruistic impulse.

Now, I reckon that any such hierarchy is a human construct, will be exploited by tyrants (if it’s not designed for that purpose), and is nothing I want my peeps in thrall to. The best we can do is something that works like high school? I don’t think so.

But I also think it won’t go away, so a smart guy doesn’t lament it. Rather, he steers it.


anonymous Islander's picture
anonymous Islander on September 25, 2008 - 18:31 Permalink

It is disappointing to read such bigotry in your blog. I have followed it for several years but I must say that in “making fun” of religious beliefs is definitely not in keeping with good taste.

Do you feel the same about Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Tagalog, etc.? Will you be as strident in your “making fun” of these religions? Or do you subscribe to what is fashionable in your circle — bash Christians.

Would you do the same “making fun” or “deriding” someone because of their skin colour or a physical or mental disability? Are you that shallow a human being?

You certainly subscribe to a perverted interpretation of “freedom”.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 25, 2008 - 19:42 Permalink

I think people who believe Star Trek is real are weird too. But I don’t think that anyone who believes anything should be prevented from doing so.

Although I do consider it a little absurd that a group of people would go to the trouble of setting up a radio station to “harvest souls.” If you can’t see the humour in that well, maybe you’re in the wrong place ‘cause it seems sorta weird to me.

But more power to them as long as they stay away from my children and don’t try to legislate my affairs with their beliefs.

And can we stop it with the “if you make fun of Christians you probably push people out of their wheelchairs too, don’t you” canard? However powerful and genuine your beliefs may feel to you, however inseparable from your innermostness they might feel, they’re just things you choose to believe, and they are different from your skin colour, your mental and physical abilities, your country of origin, and other things you actually can’t influence even if you wanted to.

The Charter affords us all “freedom of conscience and religion” and “equal benefit of the law without discrimination.” That means that I can’t refuse to rent an apartment to someone just because they’re a Christian (and that’s a good thing), not that I have to place any particular importance on Christianity, nor that I need to refrain from pointing out, seriously or with humour, why Christianity strikes me as being, well, odd.

One of the lovely things about my perverted interpretation of freedom is that you are free to ignore it. Or make fun of it. But you still have to rent me an apartment.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 25, 2008 - 21:23 Permalink

By the way, I also happen to believe that loving thy neighbour, shying away from adultery, not stealing or murdering, and being kind to animals are all good things. In my case I happen to believe these things, “just because,” although I credit the original policy development probably is due a debt to various religions.