Saturday, May 31, 2008

Christian Asshat Award for May

Today is the last day for nominations for our first monthly Christian Asshat Awards. I will put up the final ist tonight. I would like to include Mr. Kieffe & his sons from the ongoing saga of christian disrespect via The Underground Unbeliever.

You can read more on the Christian Asshat Awards here. The nominees so far are:
Add additional nominiees to the comment thread on this post or send me an email.

Like I said - I'll take nominations on this up until about 8:00 PM tonight. Tomorrow I'll put the final list up for a vote. Everyone gets three votes to spread around among the candidates. The judges and I will choose from the top three. You can vote now if you like - just post to the comment thread.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Youth pastor's teen sex charges

Introducing Rodney Jackson. Christian school teacher, youth pastor, and alleged pedophile.

Rodney A. Jackson Jr., 29, of Patchogue, was arraigned before First District Court Judge John Iliou in Central Islip on charges of third-degree criminal sexual act and endangering the welfare of a minor, according to Suffolk prosecutors.

Source: Youth pastor's teen sex charges -- Sexual Assault, Central Islip

Jackson pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of criminal sexual act in the third degree, six counts of third degree rape and one charge of endangering the welfare of a child, according to police.

Source: Former youth pastor indicted for alleged sexual relationships with teen

Jackson has had little to say for himself. I mean, who would?

Is this wrong?

I don't get it. Why would anyone care if somebody bartered for a blow job? Oh wait. The perp is a pastor. So it's at least a moral problem. But why should the cops care?
Police said Otis Durham Jr., pastor of Sandy Ridge United Methodist Church, asked a woman he was communicating with via e-mail to perform oral sex on him in exchange for a legal act.

Poor dumb bastard - I wonder if a good blow job is worth ruining your reputation for?

Pastor Arrested For Child Molestation

I've seen this headline a few times now. John Chastain was a pastor in the Salvation Army. Now he stands accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl... for years.
He's accused of luring a teenager to perform sexual acts from the time she was 13 years old until she turned 16

Source: Former Pastor Arrested For Child Molestation - Central Florida News 13

I guess when his victim turned 16 she was kicked loose as a used goods - what an ass. I am sure his family is proud. I'd be inclined to kick his ass.

75 and frisky

via The Jacknut Chronicles: “I pleaded not guilty, but I might as well have pleaded guilty. They said they had the evidence and there was no other way out, so what am I supposed to do?” - Reverend Calvin Perry of Huntington, West Virginia.

Perry was arrested for soliciting an undercover policie officer (female) for sex. At 75 - all I can say is god bless the horny old fella. You can see him on video here.

My grandfather gave me some sage advice once. "Joe" he says, "If you are going to use a hooker, be careful because some of those women are actually men, and some of those men are actually cops". He did not mention that some of those women were cops - I figured that part out on my own. Apparently nobody ever gave old pastor Perry the same advice.

Here are a few of my favorite comments from this articles comments thread:
The clueless:
Posted by: Anonymous on May 30, 2008 at 08:14 AM

I dont know any of these men, but I too am wondering why they singled him out? Who cares if he is a preacher. Hes human and we all make mistakes.
The irrational:
Posted by: DONNA on May 30, 2008 at 02:13 AM

This is to AJ: Did you hear the alleged recording of him asking for sex? Don't think so! I have been a friend of the Perry family for 30 years and I believe I know them a whole lot better than you do! And I am saying AGAIN--HE IS INNOCENT--NOT GUILTY! Who are you to judge?

The blind:
Posted by: Amanda on May 30, 2008 at 01:00 AM

Proud to be Calvin Perry's granddaughter. I don't appreciate the hurtful things that everyone is saying about him. I know He is not guilty of these false accusations against him. Who are any of you to judge? There is only 1 judge - GOD! If you are so sure of your opinions, why do you not list your name? As for tiths, He has never misused any church money. All of his family and friends stand behind him 100% because we know that he is INNOCENT. It's pretty sad that some people have to put others down to make themself feel better. People should think before they hurt others with their words.

Amanda - Grandpa just wanted a little anonymous sex. He got caught - all that god stuff does not stand in the way the truth. It's time to grow up.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Teacher lets students vote out classmate

I have a close friend who is learning all about autism. Her adorable young son was diagnosed with a mild form of autism just a few weeks ago. I put a news filter in to help learn a little about the subject. So far it has been a horrifying experience. First I leaned of a young autistic boy being banned from Church. Now it seems a teacher allowed her kindergarten class to vote a newly diagnosed autistic young boy out of the class.

After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn't like about Barton's 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.

By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted Alex — who is in the process of being diagnosed with autism — out of the class.

Source: Teacher lets Morningside students vote out classmate

I normally reserve my moral wrath for fudies and wayward pastors. But this one ticked me off. I'm willing to bet there is a fundie involved here too. She is either a fundie or a woman completely devoid of human decency. It is the same thing right?

You can tell Wendy Portillo what you think by emailing her at the address below. Be nice.

Ms. Wendy Portillo

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Pastor Norman Brooks accused of touching young girl

And so the sad story continues as another youth pastor stands accused of yet another heinous crime against an innocent child.
Prosecutors say 61-year-old Norman Brooks was a youth group leader at Carmel Presbyterian Church in Glenside when he had inappropriate contact with a 13-year-old church member over the last few months.

Source: Youth Group Leader Accused of Inappropriate Contact with Minor

The reaction from members of the Church is disappointing.

Members of the Carmel Presbyterian Church found it difficult to believe an employee there was arrested.

"I'm surprised, a little disappointed if it is true," Denise Bottinger, a church member, said.

Source: Church Youth Leader Accused Of Touching Girl, 13

A "little disappointed"? Where is the moral outrage? Where is the disgust? I don't understand these people. A "little disappointed" my ass. I'd be furious. Can you imagine?

Video of Joe Barron's arrest

A reader sent me a link to video of Pastor Joe Barron's arrest. I get the feeling from watching it that Barron may be heading to prison for a long time.

While watching the video I picked up something I did not realize. Joe Barron claims to have driven 200 miles because he wanted to buy a 13-year-old girl a coke. The condoms in his possession were going to be used for what? To stir her drink?

Related posts:

Update: I found more info here.

Feed The Muse: Jamie Livingston's Polaroid-A-Day

I found this site via Mental Floss and Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn. The picture above is from the day I  married my wonderful wife (A very long time ago). I found myself flipping through the years looking for significant days in my life. I wanted to see what Jamie was doing in his life.

Jamie Livingston (1956-1997) took a Polaroid every day for 18 years, including the day he died in 1997.

Few things affect me in quite the way Jamie Livingston's Polaroid-A-Day project does. It is one of those special places on the web that I would like to see preserved.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Blogroll Update: The Atheism Tapes

I wanted to plug a new DVD series called The Atheism Tapes which came to my attention via our new Atheist blogroll member Secular Philosophy. They have been kind enough to send me a review copy. I'll post a review soon.  Until then, NoGodBlog has posted a review.

This via an email exchange: There is some exciting news this weekend.

If you are inspired, we are really trying to push our wonderful promotion with the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers and would appreciate a mention this weekend. There is a huge 20% discount on the DVD for customers and a $3 donation to the MAAF.

Here is more info and a few clips.

I would also like to introduce Secular Philosophy to the Atheist Blogrolling community:

Secular Philosophy is a site dedicated to the exchange of ideas and debate relating to all things secular with an emphasis on philosophy. Here you will find exclusive films, books and blogs by Daniel Dennett, Colin McGinn and Massimo Pigliucci and Mark Rowlands, as well as the Center for Inquiry’s Point of Inquiry podcast every Friday evening. Secular Philosophy is part of Alive Mind, which distributes the ground-breaking documentary “The Atheism Tapes”.

Blogroll Update: Pink Triangle

It is always interesting to see what our atheist/humanist friends across the pond have to say. We have about a dozen or so Atheist bloggers in in Europe already. With the addition of Pink Triangle, our community continues to grow in new and exciting ways.

In the authors own words:

Pink Triangle is the blog of an UK charity called the Pink Triangle Trust. You might say it's the mouthy part of the charity's dealings with the world, the attitude. And just occasionally, when we're talking about the extremes of religious fervour, we can get pretty darn attitudinal!

The charity itself was set up in 1992, so it's getting on a bit. It's part educational and part grant-funding, and is aimed squarely at dealing with humanism, secularism, freethought and so on from an LGB perspective, although most of the posts don't deal with sexuality at all: they just have a healthy dig at religion.

I look in on American religious and antireligious sites quite often, and sometimes feature posts about stories that happen in several countries; but, as you'd expect, we're mostly UK-centric, with issues that really affect us all: Brits, Americans, Ozzies and little green Martians.

So I'd welcome seeing you on the blog now and again, perhaps leaving us a comment to make us feel we're being read. Your comments don't have to agree with the post in question. Lively debate is welcomed.

Cheers from this side of the Pond

Andy Armitage

Friday, May 23, 2008

25 Ways to Help a Fellow Human Being

I read Zen Habits every day. Today's read was a jewel. I thought I would share.

So strike back against the selfishness and greed of our modern world, and help out a fellow human being today. Not next month, but today.

Helping a fellow human being, while it can be inconvenient, has a few humble advantages:

  1. It makes you feel better about yourself;
  2. It connects you with another person, at least for a moment, if not for life;
  3. It improves the life of another, at least a little;
  4. It makes the world a better place, one little step at a time;
  5. And if that kindness is passed on, it can multiply, and multipy.


My favorite is number 10.

Buy food for a homeless person. Cash is often a bad idea if it’s going to be used for drugs, but buying a sandwich and chips or something like that is a good gesture. Be respectful and friendly.

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Weezer - Pork and Beans

IMHO - This is the best video of the year.

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Top Ten Hagee-isms

Via Katie Halper on 23/6

Number 1

"God says in Jeremiah 16 - 'Behold I will bring them the Jewish people again unto their land that I gave unto their fathers' - that would be Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - 'Behold I will send for many fishers and after will I send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt them' - that will be the Jews - 'from every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks.' If that doesn't describe what Hitler did in the Holocaust... you can't see that. So think about this - I will send fishers and I will send hunters."

- Pastor John Hagee in a sermon

This guy is scary and crazy. Read the rest of the list here.

Face of Jesus appears on cider bottle

This one looks so fake.

"When I saw it I got goose pimples," 35-year-old Mr Cartwright said yesterday. "I have no doubt it is the face of Jesus. You can even see his beard and hair."

Mr Cartwright, a taxi driver from Darlington, noticed the extraordinary image while drinking with a group of friends at his local, the Tanners Hall.

"As the barmaid removed the cap to the cider I suddenly realised what was staring back at me," he added.

One of Mr Cartwright's friends took a photograph. It was only the following morning that he realised how clear the image was. But by then it was too late to retrieve the bottle.

"It ended up getting collected by a barmaid when no one was paying attention and thrown away," said Mr Cartwright.

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Israelis take out the trash

A few days ago the Christian press was full stories about Israelis burning bibles. The act even prompted an official apology from a deputy mayor. Now it seems some Israelis are arguing that the unsolicited bibles and evangelical pamphlets are in fact trash and should be burned like any other piece of garbage. 

The people who burned these books and pamphlets broke no law. Despite the allusions being made to the burning of Jewish holy books during the times of the inquisition or the holocaust, there is absolutely no comparison here. The New Testaments and evangelistic leaflets had been basically thrown out -- they were unsolicited garbage, and there is no law against incinerating garbage, even by religious Jews, even in public.

Source: israelinsider: Views: Harrassed by Christian missionaries, Israelis take out the trash

One man's trash is another man's holy book. By now everyone should understand this. If it is ok to burn the bible in Israel, then it is ok to shoot the Koran in Iraq. In this case, the Israelis are simply saying STOP trying to convert our citizens to your nutball religion.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Youth Pastor Gets Jail

And lifetime probation...

Peter Kim, 40, will also be on lifetime probation, meaning he must stay away from his three children -- and all children under 18 -- for the rest of his life, according to a report in Thursday's Boulder Daily Camera.

Source: Youth Pastor Gets Jail, Lifetime Probation For Sex With Teen - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver

I've watched Peter Kim from the very start of his ordeal. He's a bad man who has been slapped down hard. He deserves it too. I've posted on him four time already. And if I ever get off my ass and write a book about pedophile pastors, Peter Kim will be a headliner.

And least we forget - this man was a youth pastor.

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Drake to be SBC president nominee

This can only be bad news.

Wiley Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the SBC's June 10-11 annual meeting in Indianapolis...

Source: Wiley Drake to be SBC president nominee

Drake is a local nutball. I've posted on him before: He's the pastor who called for Imprecatory Prayer - As in God should kill his political opponents.

Drake's church is a mile or so down the road from where I live. He packs in a few dozen people each Sunday for his particular brand of hate. He's known around these parts for turning his church into a boarding house for the homeless. You would think this is a good thing - but it is a complete disaster.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Many High School Biology Teachers Still Teach Creationism

Wired Science has an interesting article called School Biology Teachers Still Teach Creationism.
One in eight U.S. high school teachers presents creationism as a valid alternative to evolution, says a poll published in the Public Library of Science Biology.

Of more than 900 teachers who responded to a poll conducted by Penn State University political scientist Michael Berkman and colleagues, 32 percent agreed that creationism and intelligent design should be taught as scientifically unsound. Forty percent said such explanations are religiously valid but inappropriate for science class.

However, 25 percent said they devoted classroom time to creationism or intelligent design. Of these, about one-half -- 12 percent of all teachers -- called creationism a "valid scientific alternative to Darwinian explanations for the origin of species," and the same number said that "many reputable scientists view these as valid alternatives to Darwinian theory." (The full study makes for interesting reading: Evolution and Creationism in America’s Classrooms: A National Portrait.


People ask me why I care. It seem obvious, no?

Dream in Doubt

PBS will air the Independent Lens documentary "A Dream in Doubt" on May 30. The documentary is about a surge in hate crimes following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In particular it explores the death of Balbir Singh Sodhi a Sikh who was mistaken for a Middle Eastern Muslim. And killed for it.
The film cuts between interviews and footage of Rana Sodhi and his family and news headlines and audio of 911 calls that recall the racially charged atmosphere in the months after Sept. 11. The result is a portrait of a hardworking family man attempting to live his own American dream amid extraordinary chaos.

At the time, Balbir Sodhi's shooting in the parking lot of his Mesa gas station sparked sympathy and outrage worldwide. In his native India, the prime minister put in a call to President Bush. Nearly 3,000 people of all different backgrounds mourned him at a public service in Phoenix. Some called Sodhi the final victim of Sept. 11.

I remember this incident. It made me feel ashamed to be an American. At about this the time local Sikhs were trying to open a temple near my home in Buena Park. I had a conversation with a neighbor about the new temple building when he mentioned we should "Run those Muslim bastards out of town". I mentioned the Sodhi murder as I explained that not only were Sikhs not Muslims, but that they were traditionally enemies. The point was lost on my redneck neighbor.

A Dream in Doubt looks promising. I'll post a review after I watch it.

Autistic boy banned from church

Apparently God does not like Autistic children, even if he created them that way.

The mother of a 13-year-old autistic boy says she wanted to take him to Mass on Sunday despite a court order that bans him from her church. Carol Race ended up attending a different church - after the Todd County sheriff stopped her and said she'd be arrested if she brought Adam to the Church of St. Joseph in Bertha.

Source: Mom told she'd be arrested if autistic son went to church

It seem odd that a court order is required. I mean - he needs to attend mass right? Or are there rules against giving autistic children access to God? I don't understand. There must be more to the story.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Baptist Pastor resigns

You knew this one was coming. Joe Barron has resigned.

The Rev. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, said during services Saturday that the church accepted Joe Barron's resignation, effective immediately.

Barron was charged Friday with online solicitation of a minor. Undercover officers posing as a 13-year-old girl communicated with the 52-year-old minister for about two weeks. The online conversations were sexual in nature, police said.

Source: minister arrested in sex sting resigned

I wrote about him here. I hope they have him on a suicide watch.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

U.S. soldier uses Quran for target practice

Koran, Bible or Book of Mormon - they are all just books. Shooting one, burning one, or even eating one should not make a bit of difference. Yet it does.

A soldier used the Quran -- Islam's holy book -- for target practice, forcing the chief U.S. commander in Baghdad to issue a formal apology on Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, flanked by leaders from Radhwaniya in the western outskirts of Baghdad, apologized for the staff sergeant who was a sniper section leader assigned to the headquarters of the 64th Armored Regiment. He also read a letter of apology by the shooter.

Source: U.S. soldier uses Quran for target practice; military apologizes -

I am not saying that staff sergeant dumb ass was right or that his actions are somehow justified. We are fighting a war. Some level of cultural sensitivity is required. Shooting a Koran was dumb. So is raping 14-year-old girls. But kissing the friggen Koran - I mean - oh come on!

The apology went well - or maybe not.

Sheikh Hamadi al-Qirtani, in a speech on behalf of all tribal sheiks of Radhwaniya, called the incident "aggression against the entire Islamic world."

At least nobody was killed over this nonsense.

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Forgiveness - really?

Because a person has committed a crime -- for the rest of their lives they will never be able to live down their crime," he said. But, he said, even those guilty of their sins are deserving of forgiveness.

- Pastor Ron Matheney

What if these words fell from the sugared lips of a man who had been charged with beating his wife, raping her, violating her with a foreign object, and then prevented her from seeking aid for her injuries? Would his words ring true or would he sound like a hypocrite?

And whose forgiveness are we talking about? God? His wife? His congregation? Or is he just trying to protect his job?

In an unexpected move, Matheney plead guilty to one count of misdemeanor battery.

He entered an Alford plea, under which a defendant admits no wrongdoing, but concedes they would be convicted by a jury if the case went to trial.

An Alford plea? No wrongdoing? Right - it was all about keeping his job or maintaining his status in the community.

Matheny maintained his innocence until the end - that is until he was found guilty. In one interview he raised the specter of politics driving his prosecution, but then admitted to punching his wife. How does one go from "They are just trying to bring me down" to I punched my wife... but she hit me first.

He acknowledges that they fought and that he twice punched her...

Why does anyone go to this man's church? I wonder what the sermon was today?

There is no hiding from Wikileaks

I was reading Mormons, Scientologists face uphill battle against Wikileaks on ars technica. The article lead me to Mormon handbook of instructions. I spent the next hour browsing a pdf and laughing my ass off. I knew the Mormons had rules for everything. I just did not realize they had rules for everything.

Like baptism for criminals:

Persons who have been convicted of crimes and seek baptism for the first time or baptism for readmission into the Church are not baptized until they complete their terms of imprisonment, parole, or probation resulting from their convictions (unless the First Presidency has granted an exception). They are encouraged to work closely with local priesthood leaders and to do everything they can to become worthy of baptism.

No wonder fundies do so well recruiting in prison. They don't have any competition.

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Blogroll Update: cognitive dissident

I love the design aesthetic of cognitive dissident. I going to steal his template. The author has been kind enough to provide an introduction.

In his own words:

The blog is written from the general viewpoint of skepticism, which in my case is a strongly atheistic humanism. I have little love for the unholy trinity of preachers, pundits, and politicians, as their nearly-uniform support of the status quo stifles those of us who think and live differently. My blog tackles a variety of subjects, as mentioned in my FAQ.

"A brief glance at my list of topics will indicate that my primary subjects are politics, current affairs, media criticism, and an occasional foray into the arts. […] Although neither a historian nor a political philosopher by trade, I am a voracious reader of those subjects (as well as current affairs, privacy issues, and church/state matters). I am an iconoclast who believes that sacred cows make the best hamburgers, and who examines the conventional wisdom from a critical perspective."

Having a category about George W. Bush called Worst. President. Ever. —among many other offenses against the herd—means that I am blogging anonymously…at least for now. Whether you agree or disagree with my opinions, I hope that you find my blog interesting and thought-provoking enough to say so!

Graffiti on a tattoo parlor

Graffiti I am amazed at the level of fear a piece of art can generate. I turned and saw this out of the corner of my eye while walking down a street in Berkeley. I jumped.

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155,000 and 1

roadside death

What is the significance of one death when the world loses 155,000 people each day? People die all the time. I see these roadside memorials along the highway. They are called descansos. Sometimes they are small, sometimes they are enormous. They all mark a place where someone lost their life.

I don't know Xavier Arriaga, but I know how me died.

LA MIRADA, Calif. - A man who was working near train tracks at a La Mirada intersection was struck and killed by an Amtrak train Wednesday while trying to move a piece of equipment out of the train's path, officials said.

I saw this descansos as I drove home from an early morning disc gold game at La Mirada park. The level crossing here is nasty. Drivers slow down to a near stop when crossing. I came to stop in front of this memorial while waiting to cross the tracks. A large black crow flew up from near the candles. It gave me a chill.

I went back later in the day to take a picture and learn more about the man who died. If it were important enough for his friends and family to memorialize the place of his death, the least I could do is find out how he died.

I think on a subliminal level I suspected a train. You see, I am sure that when I die it will because a train nailed me. I've had this morbid fear of level crossing all my life. Arriaga's death by train simply reinforces my deeply held neurosis.

R.I.P. Xavier Arriaga.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Foodgasm: Cafe Hiro

My wife and I visited Cafe Hiro in Cypress this evening. I found this amazing restaurant on Yelp a few weeks back. It has been on my list since I first read it's reviews. It did not disappoint.

Let's set the stage. Cafe Hiro is in a strip mall and shares a parking lot with Chilis. The strip mall is located on the edge of an industrial zone populated by various large employers. I would not have known this restaurant was there even if I had been looking for it. It simply blends in with the boring urban landscape.

We arrived late and found all the tables taken. The host offered us two seats at the counter. We watched as the three person wait staff ran an efficient operation. At the same time we were offered a glimpse of the kitchen staff working to prepare our meals. We felt like we were sitting at the chief's table.

We ordered from the menu and the specials board. I've posted our selections below. Our foodgasm started with the Spring Roll.


Peking Pork

Crispy Sea Bass Spring Roll

Main Course

Chinese Chicken Salad

Beef Tongue Stew


Banana Millefeuille

Walnut Crème Brûlée

We ate slowly. The appetizer were both delicious. I preferred the Peking Pork. They were juicy little cuts of flavorful pork served like Peking Duck. They exploded with flavor. I ate two, my wife ate the other two. I wanted 30 more.

I think my wife regretted ordering the Chinese Chicken Salad. She assumed the appetizers would be chili sized. Instead the were torture you with taste sized. My Beef Tongue Stew took me back to France. I savored every bite.

My wife watched the dinner plates as they returned from the tables. She commented that they all came back empty. I know why. The food is good to the last drop.

The true test of a restaurant is how they handle Crème Brûlée. Um... it was perfect. I'll be back another go. My wife's Banana Millefeuille was a new taste experience for both of us (I managed a small taste or two). It is a bled of banana custard and chocolate sauce. The dessert managed a perfect balance of two tastes. Yummy!

Our dinner lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes. Service was at a leisurely pace, but attentive. Our dinner costs just of $60 with tip. We did not have alcohol.

What are you waiting for? Go eat.

Baptist Pastor robs Dollar General

I cannot make this stuff up. Hobert Wayne Bryant is the long time pastor at Rocky Branch  Baptist Church and allegedly an armed robber too. 

Hobert Wayne Bryant, 55, of North Marye Lane, Luray, entered the Dollar General store in the Woodstock Shopping Center wearing a blue coat, dark knit hat and sunglasses on the day of the robbery, according to police. He approached a store clerk, police said, displayed a gun and demanded the contents of the cash register. As he fled the scene, witnesses were able to note the description of the suspects vehicle.

Source: Local Pastor Arrested For Armed Robbery

What the heck was this guy thinking? Armed robbery for a couple of hundred dollars? If you are willing to take the risk - go big.

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Cute cutout in Berkeley


I found this walking around the campus a couple of weeks ago. I like stencil/sticker art.

Former assistant pastor set for sentencing on rape charges

I missed this one. Gerald Klever is 76. Apparently he raped young girls from his youth group way back in the late 70s.

MEDIA, Pa. - A former assistant pastor of a southeastern Pennsylvania church faces sentencing on charges that he sexually assaulted young girls nearly three decades ago...

...Authorities say Klever raped and sexually assaulted girls in his youth group while an assistant pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield between 1977 and 1983. One woman says he raped her one time at a pool party and another time after tying her to a bed at a church retreat.

Source: Former assistant pastor set for sentencing on rape charges

Klever is 76. It is a little late for justice. I hope his victims have managed to move on. I doubt it. This is the kind of thing that sticks around for years and years.

It looks like Klever was a serial rapist. At least 12 women came forward with allegations of sexual abuse when the case fist hit the press.

Police in Springfield say 12 women have contacted First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, where Klever was assistant pastor between 1977 and 1983, to report sexual misconduct by Klever. The current charges, however, apply to two women who were 16 and 17 when the incidents occurred, said Kovach, explaining that due to the statute of limitations, Klever cannot be prosecuted for misconduct alleged to have occurred before July 12, 1980.

Source: Former pastor, freed on bail in rape case, returns to Tucson

It is a shame I missed this one. Klever appears to one of the worst Pedophile pastors to come to justice in a few years.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Texas minister caught in Internet sex sting

Another Baptist pastor goes down in flames. This time Joe Barron though he was setting up a little meet & screw with a 13-year-old girl. It turned out to be a cop. Barron happens to be a pastor at the largest Baptist church in the country.

A minister at a Dallas-area megachurch was charged with online solicitation of a minor after police said Friday he was caught in an Internet sex sting...

...Barron is a minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the country with 26,000 members and 40 ministers.

Source:  Police say Texas minister caught in Internet sex sting | - Houston Chronicle

The official story is that Prestonwood did not realize Barron had any kind of problem. One would hope they did a good background check.

District Heights Mayor Pleads Not Guilty To Solicitation

I'm counting down to the day James Walls comes out of the closet. I give him another two weeks. Until then I'm tracking the progress of this hypocrite as the one time pastor and current mayor of District heights, Md., deals with being caught in the act of buying a male prostitute's services.

The mayor of District Heights, Md., pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of soliciting a male prostitute. James L. Walls Jr., 30, was arrested on April 24 at Sixth and F streets in D.C. Sources said he allegedly solicited a male prostitute who was actually an undercover officer.

Source: District Heights Mayor Pleads Not Guilty To Solicitation - News Story - WRC | Washington

How does turning to a gay prostitute mesh with your Christian morality? Or better yet, how does it feel to be a total Hypocrite?

I've posted on Walls before.

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Former Lubbock pastor goes to prison

Pastor James Cornell Clark is a bad man. He stole food from the mouths of needy children and pocketed the money for his own gain. Now he is going away to prison for almost 20 years.

Prosecutors say Clark created the businesses to receive funds for the Summer Food Program, created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide nutritious meals for children when school is closed.

Source: Former Lubbock pastor sentenced in summer food scam | - Houston Chronicle

But wait... there is more. Clark was also convicted of importation of an alien for immoral purposes. I'll translate: He brought a exchange student over and user her as a sex slave.

Big news in California

Same Sex Marriage is legal in California. you can read all about it at The Gaytheist Agenda.  Congratulations to my gay and lesbian friends!  Now quick - go get married before they change their mind.

If your looking for someplace to celebrate and you are in Long Beach this weekend. Try the Lesbian and gay pride festival. It's a hoot.

Titillating Slutbucks

OK - just so I'm clear on this. This is dumb.

Seems that one person's smut is another person's morning latte.

A Christian group based in San Diego found grounds for outrage over the new retro-style logo for Starbucks Coffee.

The Resistance says the new image "has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute," Mark Dice, founder of the group, said in a news release. "Need I say more? It's extremely poor taste, and the company might as well call themselves Slutbucks."

Source: Logos: Christian Group Calls For Boycott Over Titillating New Starbucks Logo

The "Christian Group" is called The Resistance (Warning - plays a video on load) It's run by Mark Dice. And, he is a nutball. How does a man who is a known fringe conspiracy nutball suddenly become a spokesman for Christian values?   He's quoted in newspapers across the English speaking world. Are there no standards?

What is Mark Dice complaining about? He thinks this is porn.


You can read about the Starbucks logo at the Deadprogrammer's Cafe. Somehow I don't think it's about sex at all.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A cool video by BLU

MUTO  - is a wall-painted animation by BLU. My son turned me on to this amazing animation painted on public walls in Buenos Aires and in Baden. Take five minutes and give yourself an art break.

Check out or the blu blog for more information.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Youth pastor pleads guilty in sexual assault of teen boy

A 40-year-old former youth minister plead guilty yesterday to charges of deviate sexual intercourse and corrupting the morals of a 15-year-old boy.

James Wilkerson, who also uses the name James Haynes, was then sentenced as a result of a negotiated plea to a mandatory minimum of five to 10 years in state prison, followed by three years of probation.

Wilkerson was a youth minister at the Summerfield-Siloam United Methodist Church in Kensington when he improperly touched the boy from November 2006 to May 2007.

Assistant District Attorney Richard DeSipio said in court yesterday that Wilkerson told the teen that "in order to ensure spiritual and physical perfection," he had to engage in physical activity with Wilkerson.

The teen knew Wilkerson from attending his prayer services and karate classes at the church.

Source: Ex-youth pastor pleads guilty in sexual assault of teen boy | Philadelphia Daily News | 05/10/2008

I first posted on James Wilkerson back in August of 2007. The wheels of justice turn slowly if they turn at all.

Black Atheist Series: Henry Hubert Harrison

Zee Harrison at Black Woman Thinks is hosting a new series called the Black Atheist Series. Her first post is about Henry Huber Harrison. I have never heard of him (my loss).

I have taken the liberty to include in this category freethinkers, skeptics, humanists, scientific naturalists and anyone else who debunks the supernatural or promotes rational thinking.

To be any of the above categories in many black communities around the world can invite ridicule, censorship, ostracisation or even worse. I invite you to search the net for 'black atheist' and you may discover how few black atheists are 'out'.

To have someone brave enough to challenge irrational thinking at a time when people were victims (and still are to a great extent) of traditional myths, who stands up and promotes the idea of thinking for oneself, is truly admirable.


I've struggled with the same issue, only in the wider American population. We do not know enough about those who have come before us. Their stories need to be told. Henry Hubert Harrison is a great start.

Feed the Muse: Banksy, Barely Legal

It is not what you think. Banksy is an artist. Barely Legal was  a show he put on in various cities, including Los Angeles.

I'm a fan of stencil art, which makes me a fan of Bansky. Take a few minutes to browse Bansky's outdoor installments. They are sardonic masterpieces.

Stencil art is subversive by nature. One finds it posted in out-of-the-way places like freeway underpasses, light fixtures, and on the back of street signs. Once you start to look for it you will find it all over.

My favorite Banksy works are from Palestine.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Gone But Not Forgotten

This is interesting in an odd sort of way. It is a list of singers who have died since 1969. Check it out. Gone But Not Forgotten.

They forgot Bradley Nowell of Sublime. How can that be?

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The Evangelical Manifesto

EvangelicalManifesto.comThe times are changing and so are Evangelical politics. The new thinking is to move away from single issue politics. No more focusing on Anti-abortion or Family Values. The Manifesto also calls for and end to Anti-Intellectualism. How refreshing.

An Evangelical Manifesto is an open declaration of who Evangelicals are and what they stand for. It has been drafted and published by a representative group of Evangelical leaders who do not claim to speak for all Evangelicals, but who invite all other Evangelicals to stand with them and help clarify what Evangelical means in light of “confusions within and the consternation without” the movement. As the Manifesto states, the signers are not out to attack or exclude anyone, but to rally and to call for reform.

As an open declaration, An Evangelical Manifesto addresses not only Evangelicals and other Christians but other American citizens and people of all other faiths in America, including those who say they have no faith. It therefore stands as an example of how different faith communities may address each other in public life, without any compromise of their own faith but with a clear commitment to the common good of the societies in which we all live together.

For those who are Evangelicals, the deepest purpose of the Manifesto is a serious call to reform—an urgent challenge to reaffirm Evangelical identity, to reform Evangelical behavior, to reposition Evangelicals in public life, and so rededicate ourselves to the high calling of being Evangelical followers of Jesus Christ.

My litmus test is James Dobson. if he apposes the manifesto then it is moving in the right direction.

James Dobson, founder of the conservative group Focus on the Family, reviewed the document and was asked to sign it, Dobson spokesman Gary Schneeberger said.  Dobson reportedly consulted the group’s board of directors but did not sign it “due to myriad concerns about the effort,” according to Schneeberger.

Source: Evangelical group issues political manifesto against "single-issue" politics

For the record - Dobson refused to support this. Yes! Our decade of hate is coming to a close.

Principal arrested for molesting his students

This is a case of a Christian Principal molesting  Christian children at a Christian school.

Citrus County sheriff's spokesperson Gail Tierney says it happened on several occasions, She's a 15-year-old girl and he's a 38-year-old man and given the relationship between school and students this obviously is a criminal offense.

Source: Principal arrested for molesting and exposing himself to student in Citrus County - Tampa Bays Local News

Derek Vanderheyden admitted to his crimes when interviewed by police. He was the principle of St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School. The school taught K through 8th grade. Sex education was by appointment only.

Fugitive pastor arrested in Texas

Jack Clark is a pastor convicted of sodomy by force and statutory rape. His victim was a 12-year-old girl from his own congregation. Clark skipped bail and has been on the run since 1997.

Clark is a classic pedophile. He cultivated his relationship with a helpless 12-year-old girl, and then used her for his pleasure. Now Jack Clark is going to jail for a very long time.

Investigators say Jack began earning the girl's trust by allowing her to watch movies -- something strictly forbidden by the church -- after his wife went to sleep. Gradually, cops believe Clark began touching the young girl inappropriately, and his actions eventually escalated.

Source: | Jack Clark - Fugitive

This is my first America's Most Wanted case. I'm going to include them in my newsreader for now on. They are a good source of information on criminal activity. And they do not forget.

Pastor Stanley Daniel is Guilty

Pastor Stanley Daniel is heading to the big house.

The Rev. Stanley Daniel pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy and two counts of distribution of obscene material Thursday morning in front of Fifth Judicial Circuit Judge Tom Young, who sentenced him to 20 years each on the first two charges and 12 months each on the second two.

Source: The Randolph Leader: News

What did Daniel's do? He ran a program for at risk youth, and then he raped one of them.

Jones told the judge he would expect the evidence to show at trial that Daniel was in charge of a program for troubled youths when he engaged in sexual intercourse, sodomy and oral sex with one of the youths in the program.

Hate Crimes and Hispanics

It is hard for me to imagine hate crimes against Hispanics. Living in Los Angeles as I do, Hispanics are an integrated part of the fabric of my community. Why would I hate my next door neighbor, childhood friend, or co-worker? My brain just does not think this way. Yet in Tennessee, hate crimes against Hispanics are on the rise.

Hate crimes rose dramatically in Tennessee last year, especially crimes against Hispanics and the disabled.

According to a new Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report, hate crimes rose 28 percent overall between 2006 and 2007. But hate crimes against Hispanics more than doubled...

Source: Tennessee sees huge 1-year increase in hate crimes

My initial reaction is that this increase in hate crimes is a result the Bush administration's targeting of illegal immigrants as part of his War on Terrorism. In the name of keeping our borders safe, the Bush administration has painted a target on the backs of our Hispanic population. Opportunistic red-necked bottom feeders abound in the south. With Tennessee arguably the birthplace of the KKK, I'm starting to see a connection.

The article postulates that poor economic conditions drive non-Hispanic residents to attach Hispanics. I don't buy it. The government sends signal when they round up a bus load of hard working people. It does not take much thinking to understand that this is a tacit signal of approval.

Are there 250,000 Atheists here?

Facebook is a neat place - I participate in several Atheist groups. The most ambitious is Are there 250,000 Atheists here? I wanted to give them a plug. If you are on the blogroll and would like to participate in this facebook group, please log in and join.

I've included a recent email from one of the 800 Atheists who have joined so far.

Bigger than any "dissent"

Today, the group "Are there 250,000 Atheists here?", is nearly at eight hundred members. This is amazing in less than two months time, with as little public advertising as we've gotten.

What's more amazing is that we've officially destroyed "A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism", who stand at over seven hundred signatures as of early 2008.

While we've got a long way to go to really show that there are plenty of us out there in contrast with the religious majority (look at all the religious groups!), we're advancing at a good enough clip. I'm really proud of all the effort put into the group so far by the other administrators of the group, and all of the effort put forth by you, the members, so far.

Good work, and keep it up guys! We're almost 1/250 of the way to our goal, we can't slow down now! Tell your friends and your friends' friends!

Email: theDOTmotleyDOTcrueATgmailDOTcom

Website: The Seeker (not a blogroll member)

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Blogroll Update: Fed up with religion

I am pleased to present one of our newest Atheist Blogroll members, Fed Up with Religion.

In the author's own words:

The whole of my, thus far, short life was spent studying religion, until recently. I finally figured out that it's false and immoral. Fed Up with Religion is focused on exposing the falsity and wickedness of religion and showing that life without god or religion can be true, meaningful, and good.

Welcome to the team!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Blogroll Update: Close but no cigar

We stand at 692 active blogs on the Atheist Blogroll. Just 8 more until we reach our next milestone.

We shrink:

We change:

We grow:

A special thanks to Religion is man-made. Keep sending those dead links my way.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Thought life - or yes, I am going to hell

The more I learn about fundamentalist Christians, the more I despair. They are nuts.

Case in point. I listened to This American Life's the 10 commandments today while driving to work. One of the segments was on the fundamentalist Christian concept of managing one's thought life.

Commandment Seven. You Shall Not Commit Adultery.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus says that looking lustfully at a woman is like committing adultery in your heart. Contributor David Dickerson was raised as an evangelical Christian, and for many years tried not to have a single lustful thought. (9 minutes)

I thought it odd that anyone would spend their time worrying about what they think. But some fundies do. There is a whole array of material aimed at closing the young male mind to any impure thoughts. They treat any impure thought as a sin.
Some ask why God should care about thoughts and actions that affect no one else. The truth is that there are few thoughts or actions that do not affect others, either immediately or in some future circumstance. God is more interested in what we do with the thoughts that pop into our minds than in the thoughts themselves. We have not sinned when we are tempted by an impure thought that flashes into mind, but we are responsible, and do sin, if we harbor and linger on the evil thought. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can quickly discern each thought that tempts us, dispel it, and consciously change our thoughts towards what is pure. With His help even our thought life can be holy.
The thoughts the rattle around in my head affect very few people. It is only when I take action on a thought that I affect others. I don't and cannot live a life burned by the random craziness that exists between the lucid focused thoughts. For instance, I am listening to The Truth is Marching In by Albert Ayler while I write this post. It is a repetitive live jazz recording that I find amazing. My random crazy thoughts range from thinking about using Ayler's music as mood music on my next date night with the wife to wishing I could play the sax (with all the musician sex god fantasies which that entails). None of these thoughts, or the thousands of others which crowd my mind each day, have any meaning unless I act on them. Guarding against them is a complete waste of time. Feeling guilty over one's thought life is pointless.

I practice some measure of self control when it comes to my professional life. The constant refrain "concentrate" insures that about a third of each minute is focused on the task at hand. It is the best I can do.

Bored in Westlake Village

Down where I live in Northern Orange County I am free to leave my home late in the evening for a meal. 9:00 PM is not a deal breaker. The are Hundreds restaurants go choose from. That's not the case in Los Angeles in Westlake Village. I'm stuck in a place that turns the light off by 9:00 PM. The place is a ghost town.

I ventured out to eat at Brent's Deli. It is a highly rated restaurant within walking distance of my hotel. They flipped the closed sign over as I walked up. The place was empty. I'm not complaining, they are only open until 9:00 PM. It says so right on the door. What I'm pissed about is being turned away at two other restaurants because it was too late to serve me.

I ended up driving north on Thousdand Oaks blvd only to find every suitable eating establishment closed or closing. I ended up at Los dos Amigos where I walked into an empty restaurant. The staff was not pleased that I had showed up after the mopping had started, but they insisted I stay and eat. I wanted soup. They obliged. I was happy until a man walked through the door looking for a late nigh bite too eat. He carried a bible.

The inevatable questions started soon after James introduced himself. You know the one. "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?" My answer was "I can't say I've ever met this fictional charater". My comment started James talking. He did not shut up for 15 minutes. Which was just enough time for me to finish my soup, pay the bill, and then scurry out the door. I drove to my hotel on the empty streets of this strange city. The only people I saw were restaurant employees heading home for the night.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Painted Turtle

The Painted Turtle is a non-religious charitable organization dedicated to creating a life-changing environment for seriously ill children in California. The Painted Turtle camp allows sick kids to enjoy camping and related activities in a low risk environment. The camps's efforts have a profound impact on the children they serve. I am impressed with what they do, and all with no religious overtones too.

No child or family pays a dime for their time at the Painted Turtle. There are many ways to help. They accept donations, gifts in kind, lap quilts, and wish list  items needed to help run the camp.

Please help if you can.