Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pastor Sentenced to 32 years

Can you guess his crimes?  Let's see, he's a pastor... Stephen Pentecost is now a former pastor and convicted child molester.

Pentecost had admitted the molestation and had considered an insanity defense before entering a guilty plea agreement in July, court records show.

Under terms of the agreement, charges of attempted criminal deviate conduct, performance harmful to a minor and voyeurism were dropped, along with three counts of sexual misconduct.

He pleaded guilty to one count of sexual misconduct and two counts of child molesting. The crimes occurred between August 2004 and April 2005.

He had asked for psychological counseling.

In sentencing Friday, Judge Dan Pfleging imposed a 16-year prison term for sexual misconduct with a minor and consecutive terms of eight years each for child molesting.

Source: Former Pastor from Hamilton County sentenced for child molesting. by James A. Gillaspy.

I rarely have anything good to say about pedophiles. Yet Pentecost did something rare by admitting his guilt and asking for psychological counseling. I cannot remember a case I have reported on where a pastor has stepped up. He will have 32 years to think about his crimes. Damn - that's a long time to be a prison bitch.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blogroll Update: Atheist Armaments

We are now a community of  463 blogs. Our newest member is Atheist Armaments:

Why Atheist Armaments? The religious right is unified, they are mobilized, and contrary to what some think, they are not stupid. A man is no island, and it is our duty as Atheists to unify ourselves and strike back. We have reason and rationality on our side, and it’s our duty to not let fast-talking pundits snow us (and others) over by muddling the issues.

The armaments are those of knowledge; Arming yourself for the moments when you defend your beliefs. Arming yourself, preparing yourself, to know what arguments will be brought to the table, and how you can counter those arguments.

According to Sun Tzu, the most important things in waging a battle are planning and intelligence. We need to know our opponent, know what they say, what their strategies are, and how they are mobilizing. The Religious Right is a force to be reckoned with, and if we are going to win this battle, to succeed in not being wiped out, to assert our freedom from religion, we too must unite.

I welcome your arguments, your input, and your criticisms. Only through open discussion, challenges, and conflict will we forge ourselves into a formidable opposition.

As with all blogs kind enough to provide an introduction, I encourage other blogroll members to drop in and say hi.

I am not Hellbound - yet

I am not sure if Republican Faith  is a site poking fun at Christians, or a site made by the kind of nutballs I love to make fun of here on Deep Thoughts. Either way, it made me laugh. It is not as funny as Objective Ministries, but it comes close.

I was saddened to see that I did not make the list of people going to hell. A sample luminary.

Britney Spears is definitely going to HELL.  Britney Spears no panties, Britney Spears no underwear, Britney Spears Commando, Britney Spears with panties, Britney Spears in Mormon underwear, Britney Spears in a mink coat - its all the same.  She’s going to HELL, HELL, HELL!

(If you got here by typing “Britny Spear” into a search engine, you are a moron.  Her name is spelled

“B-r-i-t-n-E-y  S-p-e-a-r-S”  You Nitwits.)

Landover Baptist watch out.

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Bunky to open a school for witches

Elwood "Bunky" Barlet must of read the Harry Potter series. The Wiccan celebrity wants to open his own Hogwarts.

Wiccan high priest Elwood "Bunky" Bartlett, who won an estimated $49 million in the Maryland lottery last month, intends to use his money to set up a school for witches -- a real-life Hogwarts.

Bartlett, who formerly operated a bookkeeping service, says the winning ticket came to him after he promised "the powers that be" that he would use his winnings to quit his job and teach full-time.

He told the Associated Press that his school will teach not just about Wicca but also about multiple spiritual traditions, as well as offering training in practical skills like financial management.

It is an odd story reported without commentary. A lottery winner wants to teach about Witchcraft and financial management. One does not need formal training to become a Wiccan high priest, nor does one need a specialized degree to teach people how to pick lotto numbers. As P.T. Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute".

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Pedophiles deserve noose?

A Canadian Judge says what many of us think.

Trois-Rivières, Que. -- A Quebec court judge has suggested that pedophiles deserve to be hanged. Judge Claude Pinard made the comments while sentencing a 20-year-old man last week to more than eight years in prison for distributing child pornography and luring young children over the Internet. In handing down the sentence, the judge said that if the death penalty were ever reinstated in Canada, he would support it being applied to those who abuse children as young as 4 and 5. "I think these people, we should hang them high and low," Judge Pinard said.

Source: Pedophiles deserve noose, sentencing judge says

Now, where is this magical place called "Canada"?

Sometimes I get the chills

The text below is a comment left on a post I wrote a few months ago called Baptist Pedophile in Lubbock Texas. The comment is number 264 near the bottom of the thread.

My roommate's brother is a violent pedophile who sexually abused her from the ages of 3-5 (he is 13 years older than she is). Now he works for the Southern Baptist church. She is too afraid of him to come forward and she thinks the church will not listen. He's made a lot of threats but is smart enough to stay just inside the law. He has a blog (connected with the church) where he writes some very strange things-often attacking his parents for the most peculiar imagined offences (like saying they were in conspiricies (sic) or hate groups)His blog is so very weird I'd think the Baptists would notice he had problems.

Anybody have any ideas how she could inform the Church without having her brother come and kill her?

I read this when I woke up this morning. I don't know how to help. Does anyone have any ideas?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pastor claims ignorance

Pastor William Procanick appeared in a pretrial hearing to protest confessing to molesting a seven-year-old girl. Procanick confessed to Sgt. Denise Luker by saying that he had rubbed the girl “in a way that I shouldn’t.”

The basis of his argument was that if he knew how serious the situation was, he would never have confessed. Duh... But I have to ask the good pastor, if you confessed, why change your story?

I have this sense of right and wrong that suggests that if one is a pastor who confesses to a crime, one should show their superior Christian morality by standing by their confession. I know this is too much to expect from the likes of Procanick. He will deny molesting the girl until after he is released from prison.

There is good news. Judge Michael L. Dwyer saw through Procanick's story. He will stand trial with the confession as evidence.

I've posted about Procanick before: Clinton pastor charged with sex abuse.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good for a laugh

This guy is dead on. I love the warning at the end of the video.
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Baptist youth pastor charged with sex offense

When is a resignation not good enough? When you call from the FBI lockup to resign your position as youth pastor. That's Donald Brent Page did, he called in his resignation after being arrested for.... do I need to say it?

According to the Shelby County Reporter, Page, a 33-year-old husband and father, was arrested at a Memphis apartment after arranging a sexual encounter with who he thought was a 13-year-old girl. Page actually had been corresponding with a member of the Memphis FBI Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Source: Montevallo youth pastor charged with sex offense-

Pastor Todd Burr accepted Page's resignation. He should have rejected it and then fired his sorry ass. What the hell is a youth pastor doing arranging for a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl anyway? Burr's indignation is comical.

"Many of the unchurched in the community have been encouraged by the stand we have taken, and we are bound and determined to do something about it," Burr said. "It has got to stop, and it's going to take our churches rising up and having a voice again and saying we are not going to tolerate this."

What stand is that? Is it the one where you hired an alleged pedophile to prey on your youth group or is it the stand you took when you accepted his resignation. I don't see a stand buddy, I see spin.

The Bible says nothing about Halloween

The bible says nothing about have sex with a chicken either. Yet common sense tells you that sex with a chicken is icky and Halloween is harmless fun. Hot Tip Christians: use your common sense. Stick your kids is a costume and mingle with the neighbors - without trying to sell your religion. We'll like you better and tease you less.

I really loath "the bible says this or that" kind of reasoning, especially when it comes to Halloween. Yet every year Christian struggle with the great moral issue of whether or not to allow their adolescent children to participate in this kid friendly secular holiday.

I appreciate the sensitivity the authors display in dealing with what is a difficult topic. It is my conviction that this is, in many ways, an issue of conscience. I do not believe there is absolute right and wrong here—we can’t be too dogmatic about it. Each person (and, in particular, I believe, each father) must examine the Bible and his conscience to see where that leads him. It may lead him to any of these options, each of which can be legitimate.

Source: Halloween - Trick or Retreat?

I guess women don't understand Halloween, or maybe he's referring to women not understanding the bible? I dunno, it seems inane.

I remember the fundies from when I was a child. They ran it two camps. Either they turned the lights out and lied about being home, or the handed out candy along with bible tracks. I loved the bible tracks. They were just the right size to rap around a firecracker,dip in wax, and use as exploding fire bombs. Of course, my favorite trick was the good old flaming bag-o-crap!

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It's called a cheat

...or so my son tells me.  Convicted sex offender Robert Pannier knows this. The first time he was busted as a fake teacher, the second time he was busted as a fake pastor, the third time is still a few months in the future. My bet is Pannier will take the easy route and open another church. After all, there are no standards for leading a church.

But in March, officials discovered Pannier was claiming he was an ordained minister, and was hosting and organizing Saturday services. He also went into private homes where children were present without reporting it to the Department of Corrections, and spent unsupervised time with children.

Source: Sex offender's pending release prompts Prior Lake town meeting

I don't know Robert Pannier. I don't want to. Injecting Pannier into a community will cause pandemonium. Especially if the community is small like Prior Lake. My home has three convicted sex offenders living within two miles. I also have about ten thousand people living within those same two miles. We don't notice the sex offenders because they hide in the crowd. A small town is different. When an unrepentant pedophile returns to a small town, they have no place to hide. I'll have to watch this case. My bet is he will offend again.

about those fires

I had a few inquires about how I am surviving the firestorms here in LA. I am touched by the concern. Let me assure you that I am in no danger whatsoever, nor is my extended family. Los Angeles is a big city. I know there are fires. I see the smoke everywhere.  Last night's sunset was blood red. It was amazing.

I am not close enough to the action to see the actual fires or even the crews who are working hard to extinguish the flames. I suppose if I jumped in my car, I could get close to the action in about an hour. Fire scares me... so no.

I do not want to downplay the severity of the situation. The fires have displaced hundreds of thousands of people. many families have lost their homes. I have rarely seen anything like this fire season, and its only a week or two old.

I've had trouble posting these last few days in some small way because of the fires. My allergies are acting up. Between the headaches, watery eyes, and antihistamines, I find it difficult to concentrate long enough to post.

The fires bring out the absurd in our local religious community. A Muslim mosque in Garden Grove will offer special prayers tonight to call for rain. While another Muslim claims the fires are God's retribution on infidels. I don't think the two groups talked to each other. They need to get their story straight.

Praying for rain, whatever.

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Anti-Atheist bias at BlogRush?

Fellow atheist blogger and Atheist Blogroll member Riker of Prose Justice was rejected by Blogrush because of objectionable content.

We regret to inform you that your BlogRush Account has been made INACTIVE because your blog did not pass our Quality Review criteria. You will find instructions below for making your account active again.
We determined that your blog did not meet our strict quality guidelines. Please do not take this personally but realize that we must abide by a very strict set of quality guidelines. (They are listed below.)
The primary reason(s) your blog(s) did not meet our guidelines: Inappropriate Content Or Advertising: Hate Speech or Anti-Racial

I am on the fence regarding blogrush. To date, no rush of traffic has resulted from their service, and now they discriminate against my friends. They are beginning to piss me off.

Riker is seeking to have his rejection overturned, so for now I wait. After all, it could be an honest mistake.... Right?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I wonder if Jesus would live in a 1.4 million house?

Sergio Alvarizares lives in a big house, drives fancy cars, and is alleged to have raped at least 8 woman. Can you guess what his job is? That's right, he's a pastor.

On Monday, Portland Police Bureau detectives arrested Sergio Alvarizares Sr., 38, at his home in Ridgefield, Wash., on suspicion of committing rape, attempted rape and sexual abuse, according to police. The allegations were leveled by eight women in all.

Source: Arrest divides church

I first heard of the case when it hit the press a week ago. I waited to post until more information surfaced. The key to this story is Alvarizares's alleged exploitation of older immigrant women. They are a class of people with few options. It is easy for a sexual predator to take advantage of women in a situation like this. Alvarizares seems to have used his position of authority as a pastor to pressure women into having sex while picking their pockets to support his lavish lifestyle. He sounds like a real "man of god" to me.

It is comments on this story that are most interesting. Some tell a story of incomprehensible blind faith.

Anita is a representative of the blind faithful. Her pastor can do no wrong.

When the truth comes out, God will lift him up to the highest place and he will be glorified. God does every single thing for a purpose even though we may not understand it.

Martinez chronicles Ten Commandments violations.

Looks like just another case of a greedy man dipping into the church's money, buying himself a fancy life with that loot, and then feeling free to dip into the church's women. There's big commandements (sic) against coveting (#9 & 10), that's five so far.

15 year old Vanessa likes all caps while offering this bit of wisdom.


And finally there is mentally ill Jose

I gave all my money to the church. Now I am homeless and beg on the streets. But dont worry, I will be getting a little each day. I will also give this to the church. If it will help our pastor fight these charges, yes I will do this

I don't know if Sergio Alvarizares is guilty or innocent. Fortunately, God has nothing to do with determining his guilt. Alvarizares is in the hands of the State now. He fellow Americans will determine if he spends the rest of his life in Jail.

Wicked Garden

I was alone in the park near sunrise this morning playing my usual round of disc golf. On the 17th hole, I happened upon a great blue heron standing among the trees near the hole. Since nobody was playing behind me, I opted to watch this majestic bird for a few minutes. Eventually my mind started to wander, thoughts of work and other projects intruded. I remember thinking I should start carrying my camera. It is not very often that a four foot tall bird presents itself for pictures.

Did I mention my mind wandered? Because it did. I became aware of my surroundings again when an old lady touched my arm. She asked me, "Son, are you alright?". I hid my embarrassment by smiling. I told her I was fine. She gave me a long hard look. I could see she was skeptical. To her, I was just a big sweaty man staring at a tree.

Stone Temple Pilots was playing Wicked Garden.I pulled out an earbud to talk to the old woman. She was walking her corgies. She told me she walked the dogs with her husband every morning. A tear rolled down her cheek. It was my turn to ask. "are you ok?". She told me her husband had passed two months ago. She was lonely.

Can you see just like a child?
Can you see just what I want?
Can I bring you back to life?
Are you scared of life?

I learned a little about her life, about her children and grandchildren, and about her dogs. She called them corgies, although they looked more like fuglies. She cried when she talked about her husband. Apparently, they walked the dogs on Sundays before church. She had not been able to attend since he passed. It hurt to much.

I'm a good listener. I think that is why I attract so many interesting people. The truth is, I like people. Even this lonely old lady. I felt compelled to listen, so I did.

The old lady eventually asked me to pray with her. The Atheist in me wanted to say no, the human being in me said something entirely different. "Sorry Ma'am, I am not a Christian, but I would be happy to keep you company while you pray." She bowed her head. 30 seconds of silence passed between us. She eventually looked up. I could tell she was more at ease. She asked if she could walk the rest of the course. I was on the 17th hole, I figured what the hell.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Child porn costs ex-pastor 5 years

I missed this one (there are so many). Richard Sweat was sentenced to five years in federal prison for having child pornography videos on his computer. He claimed his wife or father-in-law planted the videos because his marriage was about to end. What a jerk.

What bothers me about this story are the character witnesses. A parade of supporter stood by his side to claim Sweat was a good man and could not have committed the crime he was committed for. It is what I've come to believe is a knee-jerk reaction among some religious types. The circle their wagons around a man of God while closing their minds to logic and reason. For instance, Sweat made an allegation that his wife had planted the videos, yet he provided no evidence to prove his claim. Other pastors should have seen this for what it was, cowardice.
Sweat's character witnesses included a lawyer, two ministers, a business vice president and a teen from his youth ministry. They described a life of good deeds, from working with Boy Scouts to letting a homeless man live in his garage and interrupting a restaurant dinner with his boss to counsel a couple fighting at a nearby table.
Source: Metro: Story: Child porn costs ex-pastor 5 years
Great. Sweat is a swell guy. I get it. But he likes child porn too.

15 years to life

That's a hell of a thing to hear when you are a man of God. I guess Pastor Frederick Deshawn Dew should have considered his punishment before molesting a 13-year-old boy in a public library.

Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny sentenced Frederick Deshawn Dew on Friday to 15 years to life in prison for aggravated sexual assault. Dew was also given a separate seven-year sentence on a molestation charge.

Source: Sacramento Pastor Sentenced to prison for molesting boy.

I've written about Dew before:

It was some other pastor, I swear!

Pastor convicted of molesting teen boy

Now his story ends.

Blogroll Update: Homo Economicus's weblog

Homo Economicus is the newsiest member of the Atheist Blogroll. In small world of Atheism, the author is somewhat of a celebrity. (actually, I count anybody I know of before they join as a celebrity). His introduction...

The blog is an extension of my secular activism, brought about by having been indoctrinated as a child in the Jehovah's Witnesses and inspired by The God Delusion.

I am a moderator on (Homo economicus) and a volunteer for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. On my blog you will find out about my take on atheist issues, though a little bit of commentary on other things thrown in. For a good laugh at my expense do read the blog when the police stopped us in our "A" shirts on the way to the Atheist Alliance International Conference 2007

A typical quote:
"Our focus is on defending reason and science, the separation of church and state, and the removal of faith as having a special significance in the policy making process. Lets not make the struggle any more difficult by leaving people on the way side that could otherwise help us in these goals."

Welcome to the team!

Blogroll Update - Exercise in Futility

The Atheist Blogroll just passed the 450 members mark. One of our newest blogs is Exercise in Futility.  The author has  provided an introduction.

Exercise in Futility is primarily an atheist themed blog.  Since I have a strong interest in history, I often critique religious claims from a historical perspective.  One of my favorite posts was a look at the so called Fatima Miracles, wherein I pointed out the absurdity of the Virgin Mary speaking to some kids in the Portuguese countryside while tens of thousands of men were being slaughtered on the battlefield in Belgium.  If the real Virgin Mary were going to appear to people, wouldn't it have made more sense to appear to the political and military leaders of the countries fighting each other in World War One to get them to stop the carnage?

But I don't think it is enough to just criticize examples of religious bigotry or absurdity.  I believe in using my blog to highlight worthwhile causes and to promote altruistic activities such as donating blood or events such as International Coastal Cleanup Day.  Exercise in Futility is also a place where I make barbed or humorous observations about life, such as my Pet Peeve of the Day series.  Lastly, I want my blog to be a place where people can also be entertained.  Every Friday I have a Friday Funnies post that features one or more humorous clips from movies or television, along with a weekly medley of music videos for songs that I like.  Exercise in Futility has been around for over a year now, and it has evolved a lot since I first started it.  As I become more tech savvy, Exercise in Futility will only become better and better.  I am excited about the possibilities in store for it and hope you will accompany me on the journey.

Drop in and say hi!

Bad Religion - Stranger than fiction

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Stranger Than Fiction

I play an early morning game of disc golf each weekend. I like to get out about sunrise and tromp through the wet grass. Sometimes I play with a friend, sometimes alone. I always have an ipod filled with an album or two. Today I played alone with Bad Religion as my musical guest.

I cleared the front nine without talking to another human. The squirrels and egrets were my only distractions. As I started in on the back nine I was disturbed by a man who wanted to join me. His name was Terry. He asked me what I was listening too, I handed him an ear bud. He screamed out these lyrics.

cockroach naps and rattling traps,
how many devils can you fit upon a match head?,
caringosity killed the Kerouac cat,
sometimes truth is stranger than fiction

Terry plays guitar in a band. He covers songs by Bad Religion and a wide variety of other bands. He makes a living from music. When he's not playing, he repairs guitars or acts as an extra in movies.

My new friend spent the rest of our game talking about his recovery from heroin addiction; he has been on methadone maintenance for 10 years, apparently with no hope of kicking the cure. During our game, I helped him count his throws. He could not seem to count past 2. He played poorly, but took great joy in the simplest improvements. I laughed a lot.

He talked in a stream of consciousness way about his life. In the end, I knew more about his life then I wanted to, but I was entertained. Addicts can be interesting people to spend time with.

Terry asked my name about ever 10 minutes. He got it right in the end. I handed him two discs as a gift because he had been plying with a borrowed disc. I know that giving anything of value to an addict is wrong, but a man should have his own discs. I am not so sure I will ever see him again. I hope I do.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

here's a surprise

A former Baptist youth pastor was busted for trying to have sex with an underaged girl. It all sounds so.... familiar.

A former Green County youth pastor is behind bars after police say he drove to Madison County to meet an underage girl he'd been chatting with on the internet. Timothy Richerson, 39, a former youth minister at Freedom Baptist Church in Campbellsville, was arrested Friday by Kentucky State Police and charged with prohibited use of electronics to procure a minor. Richmond police allege that Richerson travelled from Greensburg to Richmond, where he had sexual contact with the girl.

Source: LEX18 - Lexington, KY - News, Weather, Sports - Former Youth Pastor Arrested

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I have little compassion for thieves

A priest convicted of stealing from his church wants to delay sentencing because he has cancer. My gut reaction is unsympathetic. Let him spend his last days in a prison hospital.

The Rev. Michael Jude Fay faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 4 after he pleaded guilty last month to a federal fraud charge. He resigned last year as pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Darien.

He has asked to have his sentencing delayed until April, after he undergoes chemotherapy treatment for prostate cancer which has spread to his bones and lymph nodes and become resistant to traditional chemotherapy.

I vote for sending him to prison. You?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Meme: Your Daily Principles

Olly at without hyphens has launched a new Meme: Your Daily Principles. I love these things about as much as I hate these things. What the hell...

It’s meme time for me again, this one coming straight out of my own brain! I got to thinking recently about the idea that all of us, as humans, have principles we live by daily. These aren’t your over-arching beliefs neccessarily, but rather the things that you do daily as a part of those beliefs. So, for example, it’s not that I’m an anarchist, but things I do daily in line with that. I’ve kept it to 5 on my own, but there’s no hard rules on this meme; name as few or as many as you’d like! Likewise, no limits on how few or how many (if any) people you tag… do whatever is comfortable!

Mojoey's daily principles:

Observe the world around me: I try hard to see beauty in the world around me. I look for it wherever I am. I drive to work via different routes everyday just so I can see something new. I often take pictures while doing this. I call it photodriving. It is sure to be the cause of my next accident.

Learn something new every day: I work in IT. The need to keep abreast of technology has instilled this principle. Today it was learning how to manipulate the size of bar code fonts on an impact printer, tomorrow I will be picking apart an algorithm for calculating net margin on forecasted products. Learning is fun.

Tell the truth: I do not like to be lied to, so I try not to lie. It is not always easy. I'm not too concerned about the social niceties kind of lie, I'm more concerned with finding the truth in situations. To do this, you must be honest with yourself as well as with others.  This is not easy to do. It takes concentration and a desire for clarity which many people avoid.

Don't be a dick: This one is where I stumble the most. I am sarcastic by nature. Sometimes it gets the better of me. I try to be a nice guy. I succeed most days.

Connect with my family: This is last on my list but first in my heart. I reinforce my love for my family every day. There is no greater pleasure for me than the strength, security, and love that my family shares. Telling them how much I appreciate it is part of my daily ritual.

I'm tagging the blogroll newbies:

Izzworld dot net

Tales of an ordinary girl

Humans: The other white meat

Infinite Monkeys, infinite keyboards

Much ado about nothing

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Leading the blind

Sometimes I act without thinking. It is as if I know the right thing to do without thinking about it. This innate ability rests within me for some reason,. I do the right thing despite the consequences. I can firmly say it is not because I learned it from the bible.

Last Saturday I risked my life to save a man from being hit by a car. The story is a little convoluted so bear with me.

I met a blind man at a service station in Carson near where I work. He was trying to use the bathroom, but was told it was unavailable.  I knew the real story. I few months earlier,  two employees were executed by high school aged gang members during a robber. The new employees have little trust. I remember thinking how sad it was that ramifications from two murders were still felt in the community and even extended to affect innocent blind pedestrians who just needed a place to pee. I resolved to help the man find a toilette. However, when I finished my transaction, he was gone.

It took a few minutes and a painful $65 dollars to fill my tank. As I finished, I caught sight of the blind man standing at the curb, white cane in hand, 100 feet from the corner crosswalk. I jumped in my truck to pull around the pumps toward where he was standing only to find that he was gone. I spotted him up the street another 50 feet flailing away at the center divider while standing in the north bound lanes of Avalon blvd. I saw him trip on the curb and fall toward the grass in the divider, as he tried to stand, he stumbled and fall toward oncoming traffic. I jumped from my truck and ran in front of the oncoming cars with my arms waving; breaks squealed, I nearly peed my pants, nobody hit me or the blind man.  I walked over to him and offered assistance, he asked to be taken to the 7/11 across the street. An awkward moment passed between us as he reached for my arm and we ended up holding hands. A few minutes later I was back in my truck. I knew I had done the right thing, I did not know why.

As I sit writing this post the thing that bothers me is the inaction of the drivers from the 20 other cars stopped in the south bound lanes.  As I walked the across the street with my new friend, one of the drivers even honked when he accidentally bumped into his car. I mean, what the hell?

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Something for Catholics to be proud of

When religion and the state become one, death follows.  

Father Christian von Wernich, 69, was accused of being one of the members of the Church who took sides with the then-ruling military junta, the Buenos Aires Provincial Police Force, from 1976 to 1983. The reverend was found guilty of his involvement in "seven murders, 31 cases of torture and 42 kidnappings," says the New York Times.

Source: Argentine Priest Sentenced to Life for Crimes Against Humanity

Father Christian von Wernich joins the infamous ranks of those who have committed crimes against humanity. Of course, the Vatican disavows all knowledge of this rouge priest who acted completely on his own.  And... no rational person believes this.

Pastor sentenced for molesting young girl

Stephen Kerr, the former pastor of Gig Harbor Church of the Nazarene was sentenced to 11 years in prison for molesting a 7-year-old girl. While convicted pedophile Kerr apologized while his lawyer asked sex offender sentencing alterative SOSA and home monitoring.

They are most serious and destructive, bringing pain, ruin and infliction to those I love the most. Including the victims as well as my extending family and friends and those I served in my community... I am truly sorry

Source: Pastor sentenced for molesting young girl

All this after Kerr admitted to molesting a second 2-year-old girl. I'm sure Kerr's lawyer played the god card in his attempts to win the scumbag a lenient sentence.

I first posted on Kerr back in May. I am happy to see he will be spending the prime of his life as a prison bitch. He sure deserves it.

Pastor Arrested After Setting Bronx Home Fire

Via the Gothamist - Abraham Serrano, who claims to be a pastor, set fire to his high-rise apartment in an effort to rid his wife of the "devil".

A couple trapped in their burning apartment at the Bronxdale houses was rescued by firefighters. And it turns out the husband was the one who started the fire.

Fifty-two-year-old Abraham Serrano confessed that he and his wife had gotten into a fight, so he lit a piece of paper on fire and then set many other objects in a bedroom on fire. Neighbors called 911, and firefighters responded. Seven people, including Serrano's wife, were injured; firefighters also reportedly had trouble getting Serrano out. Needless to say, neighbors are pissed as well.

A neighbor told WABC 7 that Serrano claimed to be a pastor, too, "He had candles all over the house and he trapped her in the room. He set fire to the curtains and stuff like that and said, he wanted to get rid of the devil from the apartment. The devil seemed to be him."

Source: Gothamist: Man Arrested After Setting Bronx Home Fire

Candles, marital disputes, and the devil.... sounds like a good reason for a pastor to attempt murdering his wife and all the other people in his apartment complex.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blogroll Update: Deutschland über Elvis

Deutschland über Elvis has joined the Atheist Blogroll. We all know Headbang8 as the long time blogroll member responsible for High Maintenance Hags. He moved to a new city, thus a new blog.  Enjoy!

Stateless, rootless and godless, headbang8 started life in the theocracy we call Western Pennsylvania, Catholic Church branch.  Escaped to Australia as a teen, and lost faith amid the abundant evidence for evolution one finds there.  Lived in Japan for several years, where religion and superstition are routinely recognized to be synonymous.  Lived in New York for several years, where such clarity on the role of the church is absent.  Finds himself posted to god-fearing Bavaria, which is more secular than it lets on. A law-school dropout, he now works as a global advertising strategy wanker.  Oh, and he's gay, so maybe he should join the clergy.

Minister wants to withdraw plea in sex case

Clifford Jones has had enough. As a pastor he finds it inconvenient to wear the title of registered sex offender. 11 years have passed, now he wants to change his plea. Let's not forget he was convicted of having oral sex with a 15 year old girl.  I hope the judge says no.

NORWALK, Ohio (AP) - The attorney for a minister convicted of a child sex charge 11 years ago says he wants to withdraw his plea. Clifton Jones Senior, a registered sex offender and bishop of Agape Love Ministries in Sandusky, entered an Alford plea, which means he did not admit committing a crime but conceded prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him. The case against 51-year-old involved a 1995 incident in which a 15-year-old girl told police she had consensual oral sex with the pastor in a Norwalk hotel room. He was convicted of attempted corruption of a minor. But a motion filed Friday in Huron County Common Please Court says there were problems with the case, including prosecutors who failed to present the court with a sworn statement by the girl.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

light posting

I appreciate the emails regarding concern over my light posting these last few weeks. From time to time unplanned events interrupt my normal schedule.  If shifted from a normal 40 hour weeks to working almost every every waking moment. What time is  spent with my family.  What can I say, work pays the bills.

On a more sober note I can also add that my desire to post has been affected by an event I witnessed last week on my drive to work. I saw a young girl hit by a car as she was using a crosswalk to reach her her elementary school. I heard the squeal of breaks and a thud. As I turned my head towards the sound, I saw a body flying through the air. I understand she passed away. When I try to write, my mind plays back the images. I find I cannot write  my normal subject matter. The words do not come.

It's weird, but I can remember what I was listening too at the time of the accident; Nine Inch Nails, The Day the World Went Away.

I'd listen to the words he'd say
but in his voice I heard decay
the plastic face forced to portray
all the insides left cold and gray
there is a place that still remains
it eats the fear it eats the pain
the sweetest price he'll have to pay
the day the whole world went away

Weird right?

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Pastor arrested on sex charges

Caught another one! Pastor Justin Ray Peterson of River of Life church in Lutz admits molesting an 8 year old girl before he became a pastor.

The bad memories of a little girl have returned, 14 years later, to ensnare a church youth pastor.

Justin Ray Peterson, 31, of Wesley Chapel was arrested Thursday at River of Life Church in Lutz on two counts of sexual battery of a relative he babysat in the 1990s. A detective arrested Peterson after he admitted the allegations to his accuser in a recorded telephone call, which the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office helped arrange, records show.

Source: St. Petersburgh Times, Pastor arrested on sex charges, by Bill Coats. 

What draws some people to service as a youth pastor? Could it be that he like kids? At least he was honorable enough to admit his actions. I bet he pleads innocent.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Agape Fellowship may sell land to pay claims

I would normally pass on blogging this story. Pastor Terry Hornbuckle is convicted of sexual misconduct, looses his job, and ends up in prison. After the pastor heads to prison, membership falls, bills pile up, and the eventually the victim sues for damages.

Agape Christian Fellowship, faced with lawsuits and owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to creditors and women who sued the church and its pastor for sexual misconduct, could satisfy its creditors by selling land for $1 million.

Source: Star-Telegram - Agape Fellowship may sell land to pay claims. By Nathaniel Jones.

Agape Christian Fellowship owes a million dollars to its creditors. What caught my eye? The new pastor, Renee Hornbuckle, is paid $15K per month to lead the church. That's $180K to lead a church. Wow - I am in the wrong profession.

Renee, the new pastor,  is the wife of convicted rapist and former pastor,  Terry Hornbuckle. Terry was fired a few days after his conviction. Together the Hornbuckles earned a fortune at the helm of the former mega-church.  Sex, drugs, and sexual misconduct brought it all to and end. Except for the continued payment of $15K to Mrs "Bishop". What a scam.

I did some light research on Terry Hornbuckle. I found an enlightening article titled The Reverend Freak by Andrea Grimes and Stephanie Morris. Let's just say Terry Hornbuckle is the worst type of mega-church prosperity preaching jackass Christian sexual predator on the planet. Read it if you can.

Pedophile pastor headed for prison

Justice is served. Another pedophile pastor is heading for prison.

District Judge Kim Cudney sentenced the Rev. Bryan Sprung, 49, to 241 months in prison for aggravated criminal sodomy, 59 months for each of two counts of aggravated indecent liberties and six months for making a criminal threat.

Source: Former Miltonvale pastor sentenced to more than 20 years in prison. By Sharon Montague

Former Pastor Sprung was not on my radar. His case follows a patter of abuse that I know find common. A man in a position of power find himself alone with a young child - abuse follows. In this case leaving an innocent ten-year-old girl to deal her abuse for the rest of her life.

The problem is trust. People trust pastors. They make bad decisions based on trust. Take this case, the mother of the abused child knew of the abuse, but did not believe her daughter. Co-workers knew of the abuse, and another person witnessed inappropriate behavior, but did not act. All because of misplaced trust. The most common reason for trust - the abuser is a pastor.

She testified that her daughter had been attending Friend’s Club, a youth group program at the Wesleyan Church in Miltonvale. Sprung was a pastor in the church at that time. She said there were numerous times when Sprung would pick her daughter up–and bring her home– from Friend’s Club.

Walsh asked her if Sprung had ever requested access to their home, to which she replied that he had asked for a key on more than one occasion. She said he wanted to be able to wake up the girl to take her to church on Sundays.

Source: Blade-Empire - Sprung makes appearance in district court, by Jessica LeDuc

If any other person requested unsupervised access to a ten year old girl and the parents granted the access, the police would be justified in hauling the parents into court. In retrospect, it seems colossally irresponsible to allow a man to enter your home to wake your daughter and take her to his office for "special attention". What were the parents thinking?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dominionism on Wikipedia

Dominionism is the tendency amount conservative politically-active Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action. Wikipedia's article on Dominionism has grown from a mere entry in January of 2005 to a enlightening summary of one of the most significant threats to our liberty.

The terms Hard Dominionism or Theocratic Dominionism, are used by some to describe forms of Dominionism which evidently envision, and work toward, a future (prior to the Second coming of Christ) in which all the institutions of society will be governed by the principles of their form of Christian faith.

It my black and white world, dominionist are the enemy.

Monday, October 01, 2007

McCain wants a Christian nation

Well, not really. To quote presidential hopeful John McCain "personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith". His statement is no different than my desire to see a president who does not place his faith (or lack there of) above the needs of our country. No more Bush or McCain  for America please.

Of course McCain also thinks America was founded on Christian principles but that he would vote for a Muslim under certain conditions.

"I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values."

Source: McCain" I'd prefer Christian President

My bullshit detector flashed full on when I read this. I translate it to mean McCain would vote for a Muslim only if he or she where the last person in thepresidential race.

The Atheist blogroll covered this one at length over the last 24 hours. Atheist Revolution hit the nail on the head:

McCain is clearly desperate to remain relevant as the primaries approach. His campaign has been a disaster, and he is probably having a difficult time realizing that he hasn't been part of the first tier for some time. Now it seems that he's made a strategic decision to engage in the worst kind of pandering to boost his dismal numbers.

Christian rap and other crap

I love music. There are a few genres I do not care for. Contemporary country does not appeal to me, nor does Christian rock. With these two exceptions everything else is far game.

I once heard a Christian band cover Sublime's What I got. They did a decent job, that is right up until the changed the lyrics to remove the profanity. Then the song became a joke.

I got a dalmation
I can still get high
I can play the guitar
Like a motherfuckin’ riot

In general, I listen to all kinds of music. My wife knows this, that's why she picked up a copy of Christian rap artist Thadius's new Never Say Never CD when she ran into him pimping his CD's in the parking lot of our neighborhood grocery store. It sounds odd, but that's what Christians do, they pimp records to unsuspecting atheists in parking lots.

It was $10 well spent. Never Say Never is outstanding. It's a little Christian hokey mind you, but essentially good music, even if it is God music.

Thadius does it all himself. He can be contacted at:

Thadius Butler: (artist & producer)
Phone: 714.5538162
Links: [bio] []

On another note - I am officially an old fart. Apparently there is a teenage phenomenon sweeping Youtube called Crank That- Soulja Boy. My 12-year-old introduced me to the WINII DA POOH version, I went on to watch a dozen user contributed teen videos all doing the dance. Yep, I'm old.

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Blogroll Update: Mere Skepticism

Stacy and Jared co-author Mere Skepticism. In my brief visit to verify that they were suitably atheistic (we all know my loose standards), I ended up reading every post plus a dozen or so from Stacy's other blog. I also love their blog's title. I think it might be a play on Mere Christianity.

 Stacy wrote a brief introduction - enjoy.   

Mere Skepticism, authored by me (Stacy) and Jared (and looking for contributors!), began recently as an offshoot of Stacy, Interrupted . Stacy, Interrupted has been my blog for a long time, and when I finally decided to publicly profess my atheism, it seemed my religious posts got a lot of hits and a lot of discussion. We decided to branch off and keep the religious talk at the new site. We live in the Dallas area, and are relatively new to the atheist "community." Jared and I are both 30, and were both raised in Christian households. Jared recently told me he's irked by feeling slighted his whole life--atheism has been around in the form of intellectual arguments, and it was always forbidden to us as "work of the devil" or something trying to "lead us astray." We're now "astray" because of the intellect of many before us; it has encouraged us to use our own and shown us that things once considered taboo are part of our rights as humans and as Americans. I am proud to be an atheist and I hope you will enjoy our blog as it grows.

Here are some sample posts from Stacy, Interrupted:

and from Mere Skepticism:

Welcome to the team!

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