Monday, April 28, 2008

Blogroll Update: Atheist Stories

The Atheist Blogroll continues to grow. We reached 680 blogs over the weekend with four more bloggers waiting to join. One of our newest members in Atheist Stories & Testimonials. The author has been kind enough to write an introduction.

In his own words:

Hi! My name is James Tracy.

I am the creator of I am an atheist. Are you an atheist or an agnostic? Can you just plain not bring yourself to believe in a god or any religious creed? If yes, then great! Not only are you not alone, but there are many of us out there and we all come from a diverse set of backgrounds. If not, then that's okay, too. Maybe you are on the fence. Or maybe you simply cannot understand why anyone would be an atheist, agnostic, or unbeliever in the first place!

Whatever the case may be, I have created this website to allow anyone that identifies as an atheist (or an agnostic or an unbeliever) to share with the rest of the world his or her story of unbelief.

If this sounds interesting to you, please read more and learn how to contribute on the Share page.

Or, you can read a sample testimonial posted by one of our contributors.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

What if Conway were an Atheist?

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is writing a letter of clemency on behalf of Phillip Miles. Graham thinks the hapless pastor should get a pass for smuggling ammunition into Russia.  I wonder, if Miles were an Atheist, would Graham care? Would anyone care? My guess is no.  Senator Graham would not care, nor would the press, nor would anyone else. If Miles had been an Atheist this issue would not make the press at all.

Why is this issue in the press? Because Phillip Miles is a Christian pastor and we all know, pastors can do no wrong. Except, they do plenty of wrong, and we all know that too. So why does everyone seem to care for what befalls this man?

Those of us who travel know the rules, leave your weapons, explosives, ammunition, and pornography at home. Countries like Russian and China (ask me about the fun I had in China with a hand held GPS a few years ago), have little or no tolerance for violating their laws. Miles should have known better.

Does Miles deserve special treatment? No! He should serve his time like a man, or his family should pay the appropriate bribe to secure his release, or his family should allow the State Department to work out some deal with Russia. Who knows, maybe he could serve his time back in the USA?

I am curious, what do my fellow Atheist think on this issue?

How many years for Artis Caver?

I know this is another Bad Baptist post, but I wanted to treat Artis Caver differently. his crimes were not against innocent young teens. No, his crimes were against his fellow Baptists and involved money, so the penalty will severe.

Caver was found guilty Thursday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on 25 counts of money laundering, perjury and theft stemming from accusations he stole nearly $400,000 from the church's bank account

Source: Harvest Missionary Baptist Pastor Artis Caver convicted of money laundering, theft-

How many years will Artis Caver be sentenced to when he goes back to court on Wednesday? He could face 120 years in prison. My guess is that his sentence will be 70 years. Please post your guess in the comments.

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Bad Baptists

My goodness, what are the Baptists drinking these days? They seem to be going nuts, or at least their leadership is going nuts.

James L Walls Jr., mayor of District Heights and associate pastor at Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church was busted for soliciting sex from an undercover male police officer. I guess Walls was after some of that down-low quickie action. Or, maybe he's just gay? Can you be gay and a Baptist pastor? Maybe Baptists don't consider oral sex to be "real sex". I know you can be gay and the mayor of any town in the USA (except maybe for towns in Texas).

Walls has a Wiki entry. I am sure this seemed like a good idea when he was a rising star in the Democratic party. He might want to reconsider his wiki resume strategy. With his future in question, it may well document his decline.

James L. Walls Jr., 30, was arrested at 12:30 a.m. at Sixth and F streets NW, near Verizon Center. He was charged with solicitation for lewd and immoral purposes, police said. He was issued a citation and released.

Walls, who is single, was known as a rising star among young Democrats in Prince George's County. He was the youngest person elected mayor of District Heights -- a community inside the Beltway with a population of about 6,000. He was elected mayor in May 2006; his term runs until 2010.

Source: District Heights Mayor Arrested in Sting -

Jon Moore is creepy. He is an assistant to the pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Colorado Springs. Jon was arrested for sexually assaulting a teenaged girl.

Moore had been a member of the church for nearly four years.  Carroll says he didn't see the need for a background check.  NEWSCHANNEL 13 checked and the sexual assault offense was the only one to come up in the state of Colorado.  Carroll says now, the church is being much more cautious about who it hires.  Moore's next court date is May 19.

Source: Pastor Assistant Charged in Sexual Assault Case

The Moore case has it all. Shock and disbelief, stand by your pastor, and not doing background checks. My guess is that Moore is in for a little prison time.

And finally, convicted sex offender and former Baptist pastor Edward E. Greene's name was in the press this week. His victim filed a civil suit alleging members of Marquette Manor Baptist Church knew of the abuse but did nothing to protect her.

"The leadership of the church knew things were going on, knew they had people engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with minors, but didn't call police," said the woman's attorney, Marc Pearlman. "Instead, they handled it 'internally,' which solved nothing."

Source: Downers Grove church sued in sex assault case

Get your wallets out boys, this one is going to hurt.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nutball alert: Teacher John Freshwater

If you are a Christian science teacher, placing your personal bible on your desk for all to see can be written off as eccentric. When you preach from that same bible, you cross from eccentric into nutball land. When you place the ten commandments in your classroom and preach from the bible while asking your students to convert to Christianity, you become a dangerous nutball. When you add branding your students with a cross, you become a fucking fundie nutball (the highest level on the nutball scale).

John Freshwater - you are a fucking fundie nutball.

According to a parent complaint, John Freshwater used an electrostatic device to burn crosses onto students' arms. One of the students said the pain was so severe it prevented him from sleeping at night.

Source: Mt. Vernon officials to investigate teacher allegations

The Bad Science Blog  has a good write up on the wacko.

Pharyngula has a great post on this issue - Fire John Freshwater... for the right reason.

I've added Pass the Salt Ministries to my fundie watch list. "Coach Dave" is John Freshwaters primary supporter. He has organized at least one demonstration outside of the school where John Freshwater still teaches. I am sure he will continue to use Freshwater's antics to draw attention to his asinine cause.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Darryl Adams pleads guilty

Another "youth pastor" admits his crimes.

The Boardman man charged with raping a young boy three times between June 2002 and June 2004 and filing false tax returns has pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor offenses in the rape case.

Darryl L. Adams, 44, of Glenwood Avenue, pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, and two counts of assault Monday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. His victim was 14 when the offenses began

Source: Youth pastor pleads guilty to offenses against teen

A sinister minister

It appears he is a serious dumbass too. By now, who does not know that law enforcement is  just dying to bust the wayward pastor?

A minister at a Prospect Heights church was charged with indecent solicitation of a child after he allegedly arranged to have sex with who he thought was an underage girl he met on the Internet, authorities said Wednesday.

It turned out that Young S. Yoo was, in fact, in contact with an undercover officer from the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who was posing as a 14-year-old girl, authorities said.

Source: Prospect Heights minister charged with solicitation of a child --

At least Yoo did the honorable thing and confessed to his crime. Of course he had a hotel key and transcripts of his illicit conversation on him at the time. What a Dumbass.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This explains the disturbing stain on my diploma

The founder of a Christian school is recorded trying to trade sex for a diploma.

At graduation ceremonies he talks about God, but you'll hear the founder of a Houston-area Christian school not only talk about sex, but ask for it on tape.

It's the middle of the day when a white pickup truck pulls into the back of a motel on 1960. Then it goes to the very back to park for a long while. We already know who the driver is. His name is LaVern Jordan and he runs Parkway Christian School.

Title borrowed from youtube's gobee53

Blogroll Update: Thought Room

Every few months a blog comes along that I actually take the time to ready. The Thought Room is one. The author has been kind enough to provide an introduction.

I was a work-a-holic animator,(and loving it) who suddenly became a stay at home mom. This blog is just an escape from picture books full of dinosaurs and cars. This blog does not have baby anecdotes, or cooking recipes. I hate cooking, and not because I am dieting. My cooking interest just stayed back with my chemistry lab This blog is just to get my mind out of the insanity of my life style, to the insanity within me. I am yet new to the world of blogging, and hope to add more of my interests to this page as and when my skills improve." This is my blog page. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pastor denies abuse

Pastor Rodney McGill denies hitting his daughter with an extension cord despite the linear bruising and blood blisters found on her body by investigators. Nope - his daughter must have walked into a door or maybe a cat 0' nine tails.

Rodney McGill runs a successful real estate business with a name to match the flash of the cars in his lot.  He calls it the "Young Millionaires Group."

That’s located next door to his other business, the New Hope Outreach Church near Jensen Beach, where he serves as pastor.

He also has his own radio show and he’s an outspoken community activist, most recently railing against high power bills in Fort Pierce.

But for the moment, McGill’s biggest cause is mounting his own criminal defense against a charge of child abuse.

"My daughter’s 16-and-a-half years old.  There’s not a history of me spanking my daughter," he says.

McGill’s daughter told police last month after she was suspended from school her father “came out of no where and began to strike her with a white extension cord.”

Source: Pastor denies abuse - WPTV NewsChannel 5

I try to find the the police report for the crimes I report on. I've read so many that they start to run together into one epic story of abuse. Rodey McGill is just the latest Pastor to fall. You can read the arrest report here.


I publish a lot of stories about pastors gone bad and people who choose to sexually abuse children. Once in a while I find a good story to report. Like this one about removing the shame of a having ones name one a sex offenders website.

Joshua Tomlin was convicted of have sex with his 15 year old girlfriend when he was the tender age of 19.  I would have broke his neck if it had been my daughter, even if she was a runaway who lied about her age, which appears to be the case here. There is a difference between sexual predication and teenaged trysts.  Why is it that our legal system pursues both with such vigor?

With his name included on a popular state Web site that lists those convicted of having sex with underage girls along with rapists and pedophiles, he knows that volunteering as a coach for his 6-year-old daughter's soccer team is not even an option.

Two apartment complexes asked his family to leave after they found out about his conviction, and he worries that his daughter and 3-year-old son will start to wonder why a North Port police officer stops by their home to check on him once a month.

So when he found out about a new law giving him a chance to have his name stricken from the state's registry of sex offenders, he planned to use his income tax return to get a lawyer.


I've never been comfortable with the heavy hand used by the justice system when it comes to sex crimes. People like Tomlin are often caught in a net designed for more heinous offenders.

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Troy Deal on trial

Tory Deal's trial is progressing in Calhoun County Michigan. Jurors heard graphic testimony about his alleged depravity.

For several hours, Calhoun County Circuit Court jurors heard explicit testimony from transcripts which prosecutors allege were from conversations between Deal, 35, of Battle Creek, and people he believed were 14-year-old girls.

The girls were actually undercover officers from the Office of the Michigan Attorney General and the Wayne County Sheriff Department.

Over several months before he was arrested in July, Deal allegedly used his computer to suggest performing various acts with the young girls, including threesome sex, bondage and submission.

Source: Jury hears graphic testimoney in B.C. youth pastor sex solicitation case

So the allegation is that after talking to 14-year-old girls about threesomes and sexual bondage, Troy Deal would go to his church and talk to 14-year-old girls about Jesus. It's kind of freaky.

More on Deal:

Troy liked them young

And still they support him

Volunteer pastor arraigned on sexual abuse charges

Another Pastor falls... This time up in the great state of Alaska.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A volunteer youth pastor from Kenai arrested for sexually abusing a boy was arraigned in court Saturday.

Investigators say they found child pornographic images on a computer in the home of 46-year-old Richard Wagner.

As the investigation progressed they learned two boys had spent the night at his house unsupervised and one of them said Wagner had abused him.

Pastor Vance Wonser of the Kenai Bible Church says the congregation is shocked and that the accusations do not fit the character of the man they've come to know in the last few years.

He adds Wagner was never alone with children while at the church.

Source: Kenai volunteer pastor arraigned on sexual abuse charges

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A time to unwind

I spent the weekend up at Berkeley visiting with my son and his fiancee.  After a solid six hour drive home, I opened a bottle of Tanduay premium aged rum to unwind. I am normally a scotch man, but I must admit, Tanduay rum is an outstanding substitute. I did not know that the Philippines exported rum. It is just as good as the premium rum brands I try from time to time. I give it my "one glass up" salute.

For you drinkers out there.... enjoy.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

filling in the blank spaces

I took a drive down into Oxnard tonight. The last time I had ventured down Oxnard blvd was 1994. I remember a nasty area of cheap hotels, used car lots, adult bookstores, and dive bars. They are all gone. In fact, the area where they were is now a blank space. there is nothing left. The buildings were removed and replaced with grass and single family homes. An empty stretch of open parkland parallels the train tracks where the worst of the stores were located. The only thing that survived was a small thrift store.

The rest of Oxnard blvd looks like a patchwork of corporate America. If I did not know I was in Oxnard, I would guess I was in a section of homogenized Orange County. I was hunting good food, but Jack in the Box was the norm. I wanted to stop for a street taco but could only find two taco trucks operating. Since nobody was on line for a taco, I passed (this is the rule: no line, no taco.) I remember dozens of taco trucks serving a migrant work force. I would wait for tres tacos de linqua and then smile as I ate them with a horchata (or a beer from my ice chest). They were so good. All gone now... except I still have the ice chest.

It feels like Oxnard has lost its soul. I drove its streets with my camera but I could not take a picture. Who wants a picture of something we all see everyday. Such a shame.

Things that piss me off - No wireless

I am staying at a hotel in Camerillo for a few days. They don't have wireless access. I have to sit at a desk to read my email while the nasty/noisy air conditioner blows on my back. What kind of hotel chain does not offer wireless these days? (A Marriott) I mean, come on!

On the other hand, I am managing four IM conversations at once without screwing up. I guess I should be proud.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Christian defends friendship with Atheist

I watched the whole damn thing... and I liked it.

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Icon - The Nature of Worship in Contemporary Culture

Icon debuts at DCA, Saturday, April 19, 2008 with a opening reception from 6pm-9pm, and continues through May 17, 2008. Exhibit hours are by appointment.

I plan on catching this show. I'll miss the opening because of another engagement. The whole "by appointment" thing is intimidating. I hope they are not trying to sell me something. The last thing I need is a velvet Jesus.

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The War on Porn

Why is it that people actually care enough about what other people do in the privacy of their hotel rooms that they feel the need to block access to pay per view porn? I mean, what the hell?

Several conservative groups, including the American Family Association, are asking Marriott International Inc. to stop giving hotel guests the option of ordering pay-per-view movies with strong sexual content.

AFA, based in Tupelo, said 47 "pro-family leaders" have signed a letter asking chain's chief executive, J.W. Marriott Jr., for a meeting to discuss their concerns.

Marriott was told that stopping "porn movies" would be in keeping with the corporation's position of "promoting the well-being of children and families," AFA said in a news release.

Source: Conservative groups ask Marriott to stop offering hotel guests option of adult movies - International Herald Tribune

These people are going to wake up one day and realize they wasted their entire lives. If the concern is children viewing porn, try this. When you check in at your next hotel  in "please blog the adult content". I've done it when traveling with my children. Problem solved.

I have  a suggestion for Marriott hotels, add "block adult content" as an option on your customer profile database. I doubt fundies will use it. How else can they tell if the movies need to be blocked? Somebody must take one for the team (I write about this stuff all the time, so don't try to deny it!)

Of course, this is just another example of James Dobson trying to legislate our national morality. I've got news for you Dobson - this issue is none of your business. And given the profits involved here, you have no hope.

A funny side note. The last time I stayed in a hotel was last Wednesday night. It happened to be a Marriott. Instead of watching TV in my off hours. I powered up my Mac and updated the obituary posts I keep ready for a few key Christian luminaries. I don't want to go into how anal I am here. Suffice it to say my friends often shake their heads with an odd look on their face when they learn of some of my odd habits. In this case, I read a book on writing that suggested writing obituaries for famous people as a months long exercise in editing. I've been doing it for about a year now. So... my James Dobson obituary post was updated Wednesday night instead of even thinking about watching cheesy hotel porn.

Washed in the blood of Jesus

Washed in the blood of Jesus (and Latrese Curtis). These words will forever be linked in my mind to Pastor Robert Reeves, who allegedly stopped at his church to wash the blood of Latrese Curtis off after stabbing  her to death.

Robert Reaves, 43, pastor of Cedar International Ministry in Durham, was arrested a few days after the body of Latrese Curtis, 21, was found Jan. 30 near I-540. Few details were released about the crime or the suspect until a hearing Wednesday, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

During the hearing, Wake County Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings said Curtis was stabbed 40 times.

Source: Details released in killing of Student

Apparently stabbing an innocent girl 40 times results in a lot of blood. I am sure the members of his church are proud.

San Jose preacher arrested

Care to guess the charge? Wait for it.... molesting a 14-year-old member of his church. 

A longtime preacher of a San Jose church was arrested on suspicion of molesting a 12-year-old churchgoer, officer Enrigue Garcia said today.

Gustavo Antonio Lanzas, 64, of Sunnyvale, was arrested on suspicion he committed lewd acts on a minor under 14-years-old on Friday.

He has been the only pastor at Iglesia Cristiana Luz y Verdad for about 20 years, Garcia said.

Source: San Jose preacher arrested on charges of molesting a child - San Jose Mercury News

I have received a few emails from haters. They seem concerned that I do not properly highlight the "heinous act" of homosexual abuse. I figure now is as good a time as any to say this. I don't care.

Whenever a pastor molests a child I report it. I do not care if the crime is of a homosexual or heterosexual in nature. It is a crime against a child. For you haters with a political agenda, save your pestering emails for others - I do not even read them anymore.

So this pastor exposes his willy

I swear, I do not make this stuff up.

Polk County, NC -- A busy mountain highway in North Carolina provided some different scenery this weekend.

Deputies arrested a Baptist minister for parading around the road, wearing nothing but socks.

Source: NC Pastor Says He Made A "Mistake" For Exposing Himself - Entertainment - Augusta, GA

I can't wait to hear the real story on this one. I cannot imagine what it will be.

Do any of my readers know this nutballs name? I could not find it in the press.

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Is murder worse than rape?

The U.S Supreme Court is considering it we should allow the death penalty when the crime is child rape.  Since I'm not a supporter of the death penalty for any crime, considering expanding its use for child rape seems wrong. 

The U.S. Supreme Court this week hears arguments about whether the death penalty can be imposed for child rape, taking up for the first time in more than 30 years whether a crime other than murder can be punished by execution.

The nation's highest court has set arguments on Wednesday on whether the death penalty for the crime of raping a child represents unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.

Source: Court to consider death penalty for child rape | U.S. | Reuters

A long hard prison sentence in the general population is the answer.

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Bureaucracy at every turn

On of my life's goals is to confront bureaucracy every chance I can. Sometimes it is through direct action, sometimes it is through subversive aggressive passive... well, you don't want to know. Suffice to say, bureaucracy and the bureaucrats who find comfort in the mindless machine, really piss me off.

This story has a bureaucrat at its root. Maybe two or three.

A Texas sergeant and his son recently found themselves separated not only by an eight-hour time difference, several bodies of water, hundreds of miles and a war, but by a high school official who suspended the boy for answering his dad's call during class.

Cove High School in Texas, where half the students have at least one parent deployed, justified the punishment against Brandon Hill by saying he had violated the no-cell-phone policy when he took the call from his father, who is serving in Iraq.

Source: - Texas School Suspends Student for Answering Call in Class From Dad in Iraq - Local News

It makes me proud to be an American.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Urban Landscape Project

I found another interesting photography site, the Urban Landscape Project. It is my kinds of photography.

The Urban Landscape... what is it, and why do we find it so interesting? 

Well for starters, it is right outside many peoples front door. If you live in a city or town, it's probably there.  It's the unique and beautiful urban scenery that almost everyone takes for granted and overlooks each and everyday. There is startling beauty to be found in the most unlikely urban settings. 

Many web sites attempt to document pure "urban exploration", that is the conquest of places where one should not be. We like to think of urban exploration as a means to an end... a way to get us close enough to photograph the remarkable scenes of The Urban Landscape.

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Black and Missing

I found Black and Missing because of this post.

On February 7, 2007, Adrian Estrada, a 23-year-old San Antonio youth pastor received the death penalty for choking and stabbing 17-year-old Stephanie Sanchez to death and leaving her to bleed to death on her kitchen floor. Prosecutors said he was angry because the teenager, who told him she had been in love with him, had become pregnant with his child.

Source: Murdered Pregnant Women: The Racial Divide

I found the premise for the blog fascinating and its mission worth supporting. I've reprinted part of the the About section below:

Black and Missing but not Forgotten was found in July 2007 in effort to raise more awareness to missing black women, children and men. It originally started because of missing woman, Stepha Henry. Stepha Henry went missing May of last year and by the time I heard of her, it had already been a month since her disappearance. So I went off to do a little research about her. I was surprised to only find a couple of articles on her and an outdated America’s Most Wanted profile. But what really set me off was this quote from Miami Herald’s Crime Scene blog:

“I’m livid. I agreed to conduct a last-minute interview with MSNBC about the case of missing Stepha Henry, the 22-year-old college grad who went missing May 29 from Miami-Dade. I rushed to MSNBC’s studio but a few minutes before the interview, I was told that it was off—Paris Hilton coverage was more important.”

I could not believe that Stepha’s story was being pushed to the side to cover an heiress’s trip to jail. I was furious but instead of complaining about it, I decided to take action and create my own media. While I was doing my research in the beginning, I noticed that it was extremely hard to find an article on a missing black person...


The real gem is the reporting. I could not stop reading. I've never considered race in my relentless documentation of religions hypocrisy. The basic premise of Black and Missing is that when black people go missing, not body gives a damn. After reading the blog, I think the author has a point.

I'm adding Black and Missing to my recommended blogs. it seems appropriate.

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Blogroll Update: 666 - The Atheist Camel

Yes! The Atheist Blogroll now has 666 members. The Atheist Camel won the honor. Please drop in and congratulate our newest member.

I've never understood the Christian fixation with the number 666. Even when they try to explain the whole Mark of the Beast thing to me my brain just starts flashing "nutball fairytale". Revelations is such apocalyptic crap, yet so many people eat it up.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Reverend James Bevel found guilty

I posted on this hero of the civil rights movement before. It turns out he's just another friggen religious nutter. It's so sad.

A jury in Virginia has convicted an iconic figure in the civil rights movement of incest for having sex with his teenage daughter 15 years ago.

The Rev. James L. Bevel was a top lieutenant to Martin Luther King Jr. He also is credited with helping conceive and organize the Million Man March. Bevel faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Source: MLK confidant convicted of incest with teenage daughter -

Let's rewrite the tag line for Reverend Bevel. He helped organize the Million Man March and molested his two daughters. It makes me proud to be an American.

One other thing... I got lots of hate mail from my first post on this jackass. If you read this and believe he did not ritually abuse his poor daughters, keep it to yourself. And please don't send any more hate mail.

Pastor of The Church goes down for 25 years

Remember Pastor Robbin Leeroy Harper? No - don't worry, he will soon be forgotten.

A former Southworth-area pastor faces 26 1/2 years in prison for rape and child molesting.

Defense lawyers and Kitsap County prosecutors had recommended 23 1/4 years for 60-year-old Robbin Leeroy Harper. Instead, Superior Court Judge Jay B. Roof chose the maximum under the standard sentencing range Wednesday.

Harbor was pastor of The Church, a nondenominational congregation with about 60 members in South Colby, when he was arrested in November. Ten women and girls 7 to 24 years old said he molested or raped them. The church is now defunct.

Harper pleaded guilty in February to seven felony counts and a misdemeanor.

Before being sentenced, he said he was ashamed and wanted to plead guilty from the outset.

Source: Local News | Southworth-area ex-pastor gets 25 years for rape, child molesting | Seattle Times Newspaper

Another pastor falls

Will the next pedophile pastor please step forward.

A church pastor at Iglesia Cristiana Luz y Verdad in San Jose was arrested Friday afternoon for allegedly committing lewd or lascivious acts on a child who was 12-years-old at the time, police announced today.

Gustavo Antonio Lanzas, 64, was arrested in San Jose around 1:30 p.m. and booked in Santa Clara County Jail after police arrested him with a warrant stemming from an allegation. Lanzas was charged with lewd acts on a child under 14 years of age and showing harmful matter to a child.

Source: - Local Wire

A 12 years old child? God damn it - what is wrong with these people?

Blogroll Update: 666

Our next milestone on the road to building a blogroll of 1000 atheist and agnostic bloggers is the number 666. (For some reason Christians just find this number adorable.)

Here is how it breaks down. We are at 640 blogs now. Once I fix a screw up or two, we should be at about 642. There are over 30 applicants pending my review, therefore it is theoretically possible to reach the magic number once I finish my next update. History tells me that about 15% of the blogs will not qualify on the first pass. So... we are damn close. I request the blogroll members beat the bushes for a few new members. A small post highlighting our growth to 666 members would be a great.

For those of you in the queue for my review. I process applications  in the order they are received. I've got a good idea who could be number 666, but I will not know for sure until I work through the backlog.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Former minister sentenced on rape charges

Terrence Passmore escaped my notice. I will need to amend my news filters to include the words Minister and Rape. Silly me. I thought my various iterations of the search words ~Pastor and ~Convicted would cover most situations.

LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) A former Livingston minister has been sentenced to 45 years with the Montana Department of Corrections for the sexual assault and rape of two young sisters.

In December, a jury convicted 49-year-old Terrence Passmore of one count of sexual intercourse without consent and three counts of sexual assault, for events that happened in 1998 when the sisters were 12 and 14.

Source: Former minister sentenced on rape, sexual assault charges... | North Dakota News

Passmore raped three young girls while a Pastor at Livingston Church of God. For his crime, he will serve 30 years in prison.

I don't want to go into the factual basis for Passmore's conviction. Let's just say he is a bastard.

Now this is just cool

I was browsing the web for photography sites this morning when I found this site. Go ahead, you know you want to follow the link.

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Bible park is wrong on so many levels

Let's face it, theme parks are risky propositions. It does not matter if the park is bible based or based on the latest cartoon series. Theme parks fall into the "high risk" business category. High risk is rarely in the public interest. Conservative investments serve the public, high risk investments often hurt the very communities who pander to them.

A bible park in Rutherford County (think Ten Commandments) is a Christian political statement funded by the public.

The Industrial Development Board passed without any recommendation a plan to create an economic impact zone around the park allowing property taxes from that area to help fund the $150 million to $200 million development.

Source: Murfreesboro and Rutherford County news from The Daily News Journal - - Murfreesboro, Tenn.

This simple act allows public money to flow into the proposed bible park development. The Industrial Development Board also passed a plan to forgo $27.9 million dollars in property tax income to help fund the park. So, public money will flow into the park in form of tax dollars, and the public will be denied funds, in the form of tax breaks. All for an openly religious institution. Rutherford County might as well be funding a church. The county hopes to receive $122 million in income from its investment. Of course, they believe the developers growth projections...

Those figures are based on the developers' projection that at least 1.5 million visitors will come to the park annually after it is open for five years, and that the number of visitors will grow to about 2.5 million annually after 20 years

The developers estimates are optimistic, especially given the failure rate of small regional amusement parks, not to mention parks dedicated to a narrow demographic. I wonder if the developer ever heard of Dinosaur Adventure Land.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Remember Jeremy Hall?

Jeremy Hall is the Atheist suing the military over religions harassment. It seems that he is still catching hell for his lawsuit.

Spc. Jeremy Hall filed a formal statement Wednesday with the Army. He says he overheard a conversation between two sergeants in his platoon and one wanted to "bust Hall in the mouth."

Hall says he faces the animosity because he is an atheist and is suing the Department of Defense. He alleges it permits a culture that pushes fundamentalist Christianity.

Source: Fort Riley soldier alleges new threats over lawsuit

Of course, Hall could just be asking for it. You know how those sneaky Atheist can be. Let's just frag him get it over with.

It is a very real possibility.

In reason we trust?

The University of Wisconsin's Campus paper, The Daily Cardinal, has a positive story about Atheism in a story called In reason we trust?

As an organizing member of AHA, the UW-Madison organization for Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics, Nick Jikomes hears arguments against atheism all the time. One of the most common is that atheism requires belief and is therefore a religion.

Jikomes, however, has an answer. “There’s a common witticism that saying atheism is a religion is like saying bald is a hair color,” he said. “What people often mean by that is that atheism requires faith, which is just not the case. Atheists believe in reasoned arguments, and evidence is our basis for establishing whether something exists.”

Jikomes, a second-year genetics major, regularly organizes meetings and lectures on atheism-related topics. “I can’t be 100 percent sure that God doesn’t exist—to say so would be absurd, because you can’t disprove anything with absolute certainty,” he said. “I can’t disprove the Christian, Muslim or Hindu gods. I can’t disprove the Roman or Greek gods, or even the Smurfs. But it doesn’t take a leap of faith to deny the existence of such things.”

Be fruitful and multiply


Man gets 25 years for microwaving baby

Least we forget - Joshua Mauldin was a Christian Fundamentalist looking for work as a youth pastor at the time he committed this unspeakable act. His excuse at the time was that Satan made him do it. Or course, his story changed during the trial.

Prosecutors said Mauldin hurt his daughter because he was angry that he was in a loveless marriage and he didn't want to take care of the infant. They also said Mauldin had a history of violence and of lying about being mentally ill to get out of trouble.

Source: Man gets 25 years for microwaving baby -

Joshua Mauldin is eligible for parole in 12.5 years. Perhaps by then his prison therapy, also known as "bitch therapy", will have changed his outlook on life.  Maybe then he can get some counseling to deal with the trauma he is about to endure.

What ever happened to "cook a child, get the chair"? Galveston is in Texas, right?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Internet + Music Director = busted

These stories hit my inbox so often I have to search my blog to make sure I have not double posted.  Another "church official" has fallen, this time it's a choir director. Go figure.

Jack Aldrich was the director of musical ministries at First United Methodist Church. The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office says the 46-year-old was arrested at his Lake Mary home Monday.

Source: Church official accused of soliciting sex from teen | WINK News - Southwest Florida | Top Stories

Tip to pastors and music directors who prowl the Internet for our children. They will catch you - and when they do, it's going to cost you everything.

Blogroll Update: SAMIZDAT

Our news blogroll member, SAMIZDAT is number 634 on our race to 666 Atheist bloggers. Tell your friends that now is the time to join. I might even lower my standards - I have actually rejected 1 blog since the start of the new year! That makes two overall!

Samizdat has been kind enough to offer an introduction:

The focus of Samizdat is more often than not religion-related news and views, but tends to be more to do with the logic behind Atheism, my personal grappling with the subject, whether an argument can eventually be produced which will instantly convert any theist, and generally the theoretical side of things. I also occasionally deplore the twisted morals and hypocrisy of the World's Richest Man Mr. Ratzinger (whom you may know as 'the pope'). I am also a climate change sceptic (undecided, but sceptical) and I enjoy spouting about the occasional ridiculous law/ministerial wage/QuaNGO etc. My prose style is often not as hilarious as I would wish, but I've produced a few 'humdingers' as one would say...

Drop in and greet our newest member.

A new feature - Asshats

I started a new feature here on Deep Thoughts. I will be highlighting obnoxious Christian blogs as part of a regular post called Asshats. My first asshats blog is  Atheism Special. Any One [sic] May Respond. You Are Welcome. What a mouth full.

Here is the offending post: Atheist have no norms to live by

Atheists not only do not know why they are alive, but also they do not know how to live as they do not have any norms to live by.  So each one decides for himself/herself how to live! (If you are an atheist it will be very refreshing to read Ps.14 in the Bible.  Read also my exchanges with an atheist guru reproduced in the blog here.)

I smell a fundie teenager.

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Blogroll Update: Conclusions Worth Jumping To

We passed 625 blogroll members with the addition of Conclusions Worth Jumping To. The author was kind enough to provide an introduction.

Humanity is caught up in short term strategies to survive and meet the status quo.  The methods that we use to teach, how we design and build, what our dreams are made of have become just like our technology ... disposable.  I am constantly asking myself, why are we here and WTF are we doing?  We need to look as far into the possible future as possible and design and live our lives as if humanity actually depended upon our efforts.  It does!

I don't often write about religion or atheism, but I'm convinced that religion and faith-based belief is to blame for part of our problems.  Even a short term solution over a person's lifetime is better than one that serves an implausible afterlife.  I am very interested in extremely long-term solutions and perspectives regarding modern challenges.  It is likely that the next millennia will either result in our self-termination or a new expansion.   I'd like to do what I can as an engineer and scientist to ensure the latter and writing is currently the best method that I have.

Please drop in and greet our newest member.

Jesus was a pirate


My French is rusty, but I gather the thinking is that the miracle where he fed the masses with copies of bread and fish, is like the modern day pirates that copy software (and tee-shirts).

I've got to have one. Jesus looks like a Zen baker - I love my bread!

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61% of Historians Rate the Bush Presidency Worst

“As far as history goes and all of these quotes about people trying to guess what the history of the Bush administration is going to be, you know, I take great comfort in knowing that they don’t know what they are talking about, because history takes a long time for us to reach.”— George W. Bush, Fox News Sunday, Feb10, 2008

Sorry President Bush, I've made my mind up already. You are  the worst president ever. America will make up its mind very soon. And then you can join this list of distinguished failures.

There are indications the Bush will be denied his much desired favorable legacy. Historians already think his presidency is the worst in history.

A Pew Research Center poll released last week found that the share of the American public that approves of President George W. Bush has dropped to a new low of 28 percent.

An unscientific poll of professional historians completed the same week produced results far worse for a president clinging to the hope that history will someday take a kinder view of his presidency than does contemporary public opinion.

Source: HNN Poll: 61% of Historians Rate the Bush Presidency Worst

I have this feeling that we are only seeming the tip of the iceberg when it comes to The Bush administration's incompetence. History will be unkind.

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U.S. Funded Health Search Engine Blocks 'Abortion'

Our Christian big brother of a president is helping us to think like a fundie again. If the information is unavailable, it must not exist.

A U.S. government-funded medical information site that bills itself as the world's largest database on reproductive health has quietly begun to block searches on the word "abortion," concealing nearly 25,000 search results.

Called Popline, the search site is run by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland. It's funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, the federal office in charge of providing foreign aid, including health care funding, to developing nations.

Source: U.S. Funded Health Search Engine Blocks 'Abortion' | Threat Level from

I am counting the months until Bush is out of office.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Indecent liberties

Geez... my inbox is full of bad pastor crap. It is like digging through the garbage. 

The Rev. Robert Yurgel, 43, was taken into custody in New Jersey. He was wanted on five counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor and two counts of statutory sex offense in connection with a 1999 incident in Charlotte. The alleged victim recently reported the matter to Charlotte-Mecklenburg detectives, police said.

Source: Charlotte Observer | 04/02/2008 | Former Charlotte priest arrested on sex charge

Oh well. Another name for Hypocrisy Watch.

A pastor with a criminal past

shot the hell out of his ex-wife's husband's care. I guess the whole serving Jesus thing did not rub off on Edward Lavant.

Edward Lavant, 30, a minister and youth pastor at Greater St. Marks Missionary Baptist Church, was charged with firing at a vehicle.

Police said Lavant went to the victim's home off Cherbourg Avenue South and shot three times at an SUV owned by a man married to Lavant's ex-wife.

Police said a bullet lodged in that vehicle was matched with a gun found in Lavant's car.

Source: Pastor Accused Of Firing Shots Into SUV - Jacksonville News Story - WJXT Jacksonville

I'm laughing on the inside here. What kind of loser pastor does a drive-by simply because he is jealous?

Wait... it gets better. Lavant was last in jail only two years ago for attempted murder. How does one become a pastor when they are in prison? I'm betting our trigger happy youth pastor never walked through the doors of a university.

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Markus McDowell: Trial date set

Markus McDowell, a local pastor accused three girls, has a trial date set for June 30. I plan on blogging his trial.

Hat tip to my anonymous tipsters. Keep them coming!

wonderful man had sex with a kid

Via: Onanite:

Mount Carmel Parishioners Stunned By Accusations Against Father Robert Yurgel

PASSAIC, N.J. (CBS) ― The federal marshals walked up to the Mount Carmel Catholic Church rectory on Wednesday with a warrant and the most unbelievable news.

Father Robert Yurgel, a well-liked bear of a man, was arrested on out-of-state charges of sexual contact with a minor.

Read More: Onanite Online: Beloved N.J. Priest Arrested On Child Sex Charges

What can I say. I don't normally do Catholics.

Pastor arrested on rape charges

Bad news, although not unexpected. Another pastor has been arrested for the alleged  rape of a 15 year old boy.

Tyrone Forbes, 49, of Worcester faces seven counts of rape of a child after police accused him of having a sexual relationship with the boy that dated back to last November, police said in a release.

Source: Pastor arrested on rape charges -

Apparently, the arresting officers determined Forbes has a sexual relationship with the young boy and arrested him. He has been charged with seven counts of rape.

Tyrone Forbes is the youth pastor at Mount Sinai Church of God in Christ in Worcester.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A melancholy day on the freeway

ST BridgeI can waste my time on my daily commute, or I can look at the world around me. Sometimes the most amazing things reveal themselves. I was listening to Radiohead while sitting on the 101 freeway near downtown Los Angeles when I came across this amazing play of light, concrete and graffiti. My photo does not do it justice.

My day was difficult. A blinding headache lingered from last night through this morning. I had difficulty focusing. I was important that I do so because today my work was under scrutiny by my customers, team, and peers. I got through it all right. I even enjoyed a nice dinner at Holgren's in Newbury Park. Yet I am strangely melancholy. Something's still bothering me. I need to work it out.  Perhaps a few more pictures will help.

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