28 January 2008

More Toronto Stupidity

Officials of the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant had better watch out or they could find themselves carrying a curse - and not just the curse of ignorance, bigotry, and religious intolerance that Karen Murray, Miss Toronto Tourism pageant director shamefully displays. As The Star reports today, Stephanie Conover, winner of the Miss Canada Plus Pageant last year, was first invited and then uninvited as a judge of this year's pageant. The reason? Over to you, Ms. Murray: "We just got her bio a week ago and we don't agree with it," said Karen Murray, Miss Toronto Tourism pageant director. "We want someone down to earth, not someone into the dark side or the occult. We need a judge who has an upright reputation and we would be proud to introduce to the audience," noted a Jan. 24 letter to the Miss Canada Plus group from Murray and another official with the Miss Toronto Tourism pageant.

"Our board of directors has eliminated her as a judge as tarot card reading and reiki are the occult and is not acceptable by God, Jews, Muslims or Christians. Tarot card reading is witchcraft and is used by witches, spiritists and mediums to consult the dark world."

The letter went on to quote a couple of passages from the Bible, including one from the book of Leviticus that warns, "Do not turn to mediums or seek out spirits for you will be defiled by them. We hope that Stephanie Conover will turn from these belief systems and will repent from her practice of them," the letter reads.

Turn from these belief systems? Repent? Repent?!!

Since when did Toronto turn into the Bible Belt? Since when is it the place for Toronto officials an independent group representing themselves as promoting Toronto tourism (Update: according to Torontoist, this group has no affiliation with any Toronto officials) to pass judgement on someone else's belief system (besides which, doesn't their good book claim that judgement belongs exclusively to the Lord? Look it up, Ms. Murray).

Ignoring, for the moment, the fact that Wicca is as valid a belief system as any of the Abrahamic religions, Tarot cards are a relatively harmless practice right up there with reading one's horoscope in the paper, or attributing personal traits according to the annual Chinese association with various animals. And reiki? Give me a break.

As much as beauty pageants are somewhat retrogressive, and don't quite rank with garbage as an issue, this bonehead move by Karen Murray, or any group claiming to promote Toronto tourism, is not only unacceptable, it is shameful, and brings ridicule and disrepute to Toronto. Mayor Miller, if you have a few minutes to spare after bringing down your first balanced budget (congratulations, by the way), please help Ms. Murray see the light, as it were. Anyone else is free to encourage Ms. Murray and her cabal to... ummm... repent for their own evil intolerance. And contacting their sponsors isn't a bad idea, either. And do the charities that this group claims to support really want to be affiliated with such intolerance?

After all, let she who is without fault cast the first stone.

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Unknown said...

A) Contact all of the would-be sponsors of Miss tourism and ask them if they support this recent decision.

B) Contact all the charities that Miss Tourism plans on giving money too and ask them if they support them.

Remember, most people do not write letters, one letter is considered to be 1000 votes.... one person write the letter and the other 999 were thinking about it!

Anonymous said...

I'm also rather curious to know if their contestants are going to be disqualified for wearing anything with a cotton-lycra blend. After all, Leviticus 19:19 clearly states "Keep my decrees. Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material."

Surely they're not so hypocritical as to pick and choose which of God's commandments they think are important. ;)

Mark Federman said...

Or, in the inimitable words of Ned Flanders: "I've done everything the Bible says - even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!"

Anonymous said...

Hi, there. This is someone from Brazil. I hardly could believe that persons like Karen Murray, Miss Toronto Tourism pageant director (director???) are being educated (?) or produced in a country like Canada. Is this the actual way of thinking in the so called "first world countries"??? In the twenty first century? Well, I see only one "democratic" alternative: Show us, please, Ms. Murray profile and let's see what is on it to "explain" such a weird way of thinking. To say that Tarot and Reiki are something from the devil is a proof of unquestionable and superb misinformed and distorted mind. She has no idea on what she is talking about; she does not deserve to be in her position. I feel sorry for the Canadians. By the other hand, thank you very much Ms.Murray for bringing this subject to the world's attention. The truth will come to light and all of us will learn a lesson. Thanks to you, Karen. God bless!