Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pastor Lawrence Brown Arrested

LawrenceBrown Associate minister Lawrence Brown was arrested for trying to pay an underage girl for sex.

Lawrence Brown allegedly offered a 15-year-old girl $100 to perform a sexual act, Slidell Police Capt. Kevin Swann said. The girl declined, Swann said.

Brown is an associate minister of Starlight Missionary Baptist Church at 2100 Second St., Slidell.

Prostitution, sex with minors, I don’t think this is normal behavior for a pastor. It is becoming more common.

Juanita’s Taco Shop in Encinitas

IMG_0044 Jaunita’s Taco Shop on Hwy 101 in Encinitas is one of those hole-in-the wall taco shops I’ve returned to over and over again since I first found it in the early 80s. Now on almost every trip to San Diego, I make a stop.

I visited on Thursday with a friend. We were in San Diego to speak at a technical conference. Once the stress of the day was over, we unwound with a drive up the coast to Juanita’s. There is nothing quite like a sunset drive up the San Diego coastline. Except for maybe a delicious carnitas burrito. Seriously, I’d rather have the burrito.

The best way to visit is to jump off the 5 freeway at the Leucadia Blvd exit and head toward the ocean. Turn left at Hwy 101. Jaunita’s will be on your right after about a mile. Bring cash.

Don’t be put off by the bland facade or the poor quality of the seating. As you can see from the the window above, the place was localized a long time ago. Order your tacos and sit on the benches alongside the road. You might have to share a table with a local, but don’t worry, they don’t bite. They eat.
Jaunita’s on Yelp.

Enjoy your foodgasm.

Friday, July 30, 2010

OK Anne, now take the next step

Anne Rice Anne Rice quit calling herself a Christian. I like her thinking but I would also like to encourage her to take the next step and reject believe also. You know… join our camp.

From her Facebook Page:

"Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity." Rice pointed to doctrinal issue she did not agree with as her reason for renouncing Christians, calling them a 'quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group."

I’ve never understood the hostility and hate present in the evangelical right. I guess Anne Rice is taking Gandhi's quote to heart.

I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

Gandhi’s criticism was about materialism. Christians must not have such haters back in the day.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rape, Islam and the US Justice system

The Secular Daily News reports the a New York family judge ruled in favor of an Islamic man who claimed that marital rape and corporal punishment were his right under Islam. That’s right, a man was raping his wife and beating her too. The victim sought protection through the legal system as part of a divorce action. The judge recognized the rape and abuse, but failed to execute the order of protection because of the religious claim. An appeals court judge corrected the error.

It makes you want to scratch your head, and then call for the head of the family court judge. If the judge is that wrong, perhaps he or she should find another job.
I find SDN to be a fine resource for stories. Do you follow them?

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Just say no to Jinwright

AnthonyJinwright Bishop Anthony Jinwright faces up to 50 years in prison. He’s a tax cheat who live like a King off of unreported income from his church. His wife Harriet faces prison time on the same charges. Bishop Jinwright wants to be released on bond pending his sentencing. The judge said no.
The Jinwrights were indicted on charges that they failed to report more than $1.8 million in income on their federal tax returns between 2001 and 2007. That number eventually was increased to $2.3 million.
During those same years, prosecutors alleged, the couple received more than $5 million in compensation from the west Charlotte church. Prosecutors estimated that the Jinwrights owed the federal government nearly $700,000.
Read more: Judge denies Jinwright's bond request
I don’t think the judge trusts Bishop Jinwright. Would you?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Violence against the helpless

violenceI happened across this act of vandalism while walking in Golden Gate Park over he weekend. I saw it as violence, and as a visual metaphor for crimes against those to young or weak to protect themselves. It made me angry. I don’t know why things like this affect me so, but they do.

My wife tied it to a news story we watched earlier that day. After she mentioned it, I looked around. I had thought it a single tree. There were at least 8 other trees in the same condition. It was a little grove of violence full of oblivious hipsters.

San Francisco is offering a reward for information.

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Death by baptism

A six-week-old baby drowned after a being baptized. The priest is being investigated for manslaughter. I think Father Valentin has some explaining to do. He allegedly did not hold the baby’s mouth and nose closed during the three dunks necessary to induct the boy into whatever faith the pointless ritual represented. It’s all good though because the baptism was completed, and the boy got his spot in heaven. I don’t understand why mom and dad are so pissed. Heaven is a better place. Right? Perhaps their anger is misplaced? They could have prevented their son’s death.

"He couldn't inhale, his face turned blue and he was foaming at the mouth. He [the priest] said we should not interrupt this their ritual," he said.

Or perhaps they understand that they needlessly endangered the life of their son and now want to hold somebody else accountable?

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Few things get under my skin like hipsters, Berkeley hippies, and of course, pedophile pastors. I saw this group of hipsters in Golden Gate Park. I wanted to boo.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

A foodgasm at Butterfly


I was up in the San Francisco area over the weekend visiting family. On Saturday we saw the Birth of Impressionism at the de Young Museum. I experienced parking hell that day. I will rant it in another post.

After the museum, we drove down to Pier 33 to try a restaurant called Butterfly. We arrived half an hour late for our 4:00 pm reservation because of the traffic. Our seating was in between lunch and dinner so the full dinner menu was not yet offered. We tried 6 different appetizers.

  • Duck Confit Spring Rolls ($9)
  • Fire Fried Calamari ($11)
  • Kalua Pig with Butter Lettuce cups ($11)
  • Wok Seared Shanghai Garlic Noodles ($9)
  • Hosin Glazed BBQ Baby Back Ribs ($16)
  • Caramelized Shrimp and Green Papaya Salad ($12)

They were a little pricy, but given the view and the location, I think they were priced well. We ate in joyous silence while watching the view of San Francisco Bay behind our table. The food was sublime. However, I had come to pass judgment on the Sizzling Angus Cowboy Steak ($39). It was billed as 22 ounces and  best when served medium rare. I was celebrating a long-awaited promotion. I wanted my steak. I had earned my steak. I ordered and was not disappointed.


The 22 oz monster was served perfectly medium rare and cut into strips, which surprised me. The steak hissed and steamed. The foie gras butter oozed and melted into every piece. The smell was corrupting. My table sat in stunned silence while I had visions of replacing Adam on Man vs Food. I was going to win.

The steak was tender and flavorful. I relished every bite. Near the end our server asked my opinion, I let out the coveted Homer Simpson gasp that signified a full on foodgasm. I was in heaven, but it got better.  The steak was resting on a bed of roasted chorizo sausage and charred tomatoes, a delicious meal in itself. I ate till I could take no more. Food won.

I did not try the desserts. I have no problem with meat, but sugar drives me crazy. My family tried the melting cake and loved it. The coffee flavored ice cream that accompanied it was delicious (I tried a taste).

Chef Robert Lam visited our table. He explained the elaborate presentation of the steak, almost apologizing for its complexity in a city with a tradition of premium unadorned steaks. I would have none of it. I gave him high praise. His food is amazing.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pastor Campoverde convicted

Jose Campoverde1Pastor Jose Rama Campoverde, a pastor from a church just down the road in Anaheim, was convicted of molesting four young girls after pleading guilty. He was sentenced to prison for 6 years.

Campoverde was accused of touching the four girls, who were as young as 13, between April 2007 and September 2009, prosecutors said.

Campoverde was a pastor at Ministerio Cristo Vive, a small Anaheim congregation whose members worshiped in a few suites behind a 99 Cents Only store in a strip mall on South Euclid Street, police said last year.

For more on Campoverde read a post from September 2008 – In my backyard?

Things I used to do

VildaWedding-25 When I was a young man I worked as a part-time wedding photographer. I enjoyed the work, but found it difficult to do while holding down a full-time job and trying to raise a family. I eventually stopped altogether, choosing instead to spend more time with my son. Last week I had an opportunity to shoot some candid shots at a family wedding. My cousin Vincent married his sweetheart Cindy in a small family event followed by a reception prior to his deployment with the Navy. Money was tight so there was no official photographer. The family pitched in to record the event, myself included. I’m sure they have more pictures than they could ever have hopped for. I enjoyed the experience immensely. It brought back memories of a simpler time when the pressure of a “real job” did not complicate my life too much. I miss those days, but I don’t miss being poor.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

I should listen to the lyrics

This is a fan made video of Perfect Circle’s Judith with an overlay of the lyrics. I had to watch it twice. I had no idea they lyrics were so powerful or even what they were about. The band’s official video is here.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pastor Charles Moore arrested

CharlesMoore Baptist pastor Charles Moore was arrested for aggravated criminal sexual abuse of and 8-year-old girl. Trust, once lost, is so almost impossible to regain.

The father, who is not being identified to protect the identity of the child, said he was devastated when he learned what happened to his daughter by a man who is a pastor, charged with saving souls and teaching wayward individuals what it takes to please the higher power.

Moore’s wife operates a kinder care from their home. I hope there are no other victims. Moore is the pastor at United Faith Baptist Church in East St. Louis.

Jebar2 offers this bit of wisdom in the comment thread.

…I was specifically speaking of all those individuals that claim to be clergy that are sexually abusing children. I was not speaking of the tens of thousands of clergy that are doing Gods will.

Jebar2 thinks that pastors who abuse children are not really Christians. They’re just faking it to get to the children.

Another poster, FatherDonaldWeeksOSB, gives credit to God for the mother’s clear headed reaction to her daughter’s showing signs of abuse.

But God in His Almighty Power is able to place thoughts in the minds of people. God put forth in the mother's mind the thought to ask the child if someone abused her.

This kind of theological mumbo-jumbo drives me nuts. If God can put thoughts in her head after the abuse, why not before? What kind of God lets a child be abused and then steps in to help clean up the mess?

My collection of bad pastors

Bad Pastors-1

With each story of clergy hypocrisy I collect a  new picture. This is only small sample from my most recent posts. I intend to make a poster when I’ve put all the faces together.

oops – I had Tolkien in the mix. How did that happen?

What kind of a man molests a child?

BillVandergraph Pastor Bill Vandergraph is apparently that kind of man. He faced his first court appearance on charges he sexually assaulted a four-year-old girl.

Pastor Vandergraph has been the pastor at Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in Alto Pass for almost 50 years.

"Any time there are accusations of moral failures against anyone, it's shocking," Pastor Steve McKeown said. "When that individual is a member of the clergy, it's even more shocking."

Moral failures? Hell yes, but lets call it by its real name. Pastor Vandergraph is an alleged pedophile. There are degrees to hypocrisy. Molesting a four-year-old… you can’t just call it moral failure and get on about your day.

Way to go Pastor Vandergraph. I’m sure your family and church are proud. Look at what you pissed away. I wonder if they will let you build giant pointless crosses in prison? Wait. 72 and a pedophile in prison… that does not bode well. I would not plan any big projects.

The iPhone 4 is Bam Bam

I recently switched from a Blackberry to a new iPhone 4. Contrary to the bad press, my phone works fine. I have a problem though, it’s too easy to buy music. I heard Bam Bam by Sister Nancy while eating dinner the other night. I used Shazam to identify the song and then bought it at the iTunes store. I listened to it in my truck a few minutes later. It’s addicting. My music spend will go through the roof if I don’t watch out.

For those of you who don’t know this reggae classic, listen and enjoy.

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Rev. Patrick Umberger arrested

PatrickUmberger Patrick Umberger is a Catholic priest working at St. Patrick’s Parish in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Umberger is suspected of possessing child pornography and may have been stalking children.

A family and two Noah’s Ark Water Park employees reported seeing Umberger repeatedly follow boys into the bathroom near a children’s pool area, according to the Lake Delton police report.

Umberger was found standing next to a 10-year-old using a urinal, the report stated. Umberger denied intentionally following the boys and told an officer he had prostate problems and had to urinate often, according to the DOJ report.

And he’s a pedophile.

Umberger told a state agent Wednesday he is sexually attracted to boys and young men and searched the Internet for pictures of boys 12 to 15 years old, according to the complaint.

Of course, the faithful are shocked.

“Everyone I talked to that is a member there is shocked,” said a church member who asked not to be named. “I mean, he’s our priest.”

So, because he’s “our priest” that makes his somehow incapable of committing horrible crimes against children? Wake up sheeple.

Another can man

CanManII Over the years I’ve shot a dozen photos of people carrying their cans to the recycling center. I shot my first in Carson a few years ago.  It seems to becoming more prevalent.

I shot this fellow in Garden Grove while was on a short photo-driving run. I did not see him pop in front of my truck. I came very close to hitting him. He was meandering along so slowly that he blended in with the background, and then he was suddenly in front of me.  I shot this photo while yelling at him. Angry photos are the best kind.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

When you fail to live your values…

The Lutheran bishop of Hamburg, Maria Jespen, resigned because she failed to live her values. She is alleged to have known about abuse allegations concerning Gert Dietrich K, and took no action..

According to media reports, the bishop only began to investigate the case this year after the abused woman, now 46, contacted her directly in March.

Bishop Jepsen said she had not known about the case earlier, but the young woman signed an affidavit this week that she had informed the bishop through a local minister in 1999.

Well, you live or die by your values when you are in the public eye. Maria Jespen’s life work is forever tainted by the stain of neglecting her duties. I don’t know how she can bear it.

Almost a hole-in-one

My buddy Al and I played a round of disc golf at La Mirada regional park today. I picked up a rare birdie on hole 9. It’s the only hole on the course where I have a chance for a hole-in-one. I’ve bounced off the hole once, and landed past the hole a couple of times. Today I was short of the hole by 40 feet but nailed the birdie putt. I did the happy dance.

Al had a chance at a hole-in-one on 17. He came close enough that it looked like a real possibility. I’m proud of him. He overcame the yips to nail his 10 foot birdie putt.

I posted a 60, Al posted a 64 (Scorecard). It was not my best round, but much better than my last round.

We played at 6:45 am. When we finished at 8:00 am, it was already too hot to play again. It’s been brutal here the last few days, and much too hot to play in the afternoons. I’ll play again tomorrow morning though.

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I have bees


I’m not sure who I pissed off, but somebody gave me the gift of a bee swarm above my front door. Ok, perhaps nobody sent a curse my way, but bees?  They’ve been camped in the same spot for 3 days. I plan to give them until Sunday, and then it’s the power washer with soap!

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Goodbye Magic Jeff

JeffWasley Youth pastor Jeff Wasley was sentenced to 20-years in federal prison for videotaping children in public restrooms. Know as “Magic Jeff” because of his love for performance magic and his volunteer work at schools and hospitals, he opted for a plea instead of risking a much longer sentence. Let’s face it, who wants a magician/youth pastor chasing children around in the restroom. He would have went away for life. Magic Jeff is a freak.

Prosecutors said Wasley waited in the restrooms for children who came in without an adult and offered to help them.

When law enforcement agents searched his home, they found more than 17,000 images of child pornography on his computers, including six of boys using restrooms at four different stores -- either a Target or Walmart.

Magic Jeff worked at Calvary Jesus Church in Kennesaw. The church has removed its website. My guess is that will rise again under a new name and conveniently forget its past.

Previous posts

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pastor Delbert Thigpen arrested

Can  you really be arrested for giving a teen a backrub? I think the answer is yes under certain conditions. There must be more to this story.

Police say a 15 year old girl claimed 76 year old Delbert Thigpen, touched her inappropriately. Thigpen is the pastor of St. George Pentecostal Holiness Church.

Pastor Thigpen admitted to the crime.

"After she massaged my back I figured I would massage her back.  He told me that," she said. (She being an unnamed witness)

Pastor Thigpen is 76. I’m guessing his preaching days are over. He is the pastor for St. George Pentecostal Holiness Church. I wonder how long that will last?

Pastor Kenneth Kleckner arrested

KenKleckner I love it when the cops pull a potential sexual predator off the streets. The get bonus points when it’s a pastor. Pastor Kenneth Kleckner of Ocala West United Methodist Church was arrested for soliciting a minor.

Pastor Kleckner should know not to use the internet to find underage sexual partners. There’s always a chance it’s going to be officer Fred posing as 14-year-old Sally. How many more pastors will fall to this temptation?

Investigators from SOS said Kleckner had an online relationship for the last month with a person he believed was a juvenile girl. That “girl” was actually an SOS detective.

"He stated that, I guess you could say, quote, that he got caught up in it. He started engaging in the chat and it just started to lead that way to him," said Detective Philip Graves, Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Pastor Kleckner has a wife and four kids. Did you hear that toilet flush? It was your life slipping into the sewer…

Monday, July 12, 2010

Introducing Praying to Pesci

My Please join me in welcoming the newest member of the Atheist Blogroll, Praying to Pesci

The goal for this site Praying to Pesci is to have a humorous look at the world of religion and disbelief from an atheist's perspective. Please take a gander - I think it is good for a laugh or two.

I was raised Catholic although we seemed to fall into the Christmas-Easter variety (we went to Church twice a year) I attended Sunday School through my first communion. While I was attending these brainwashing sessions I was told that my parents were at mass. On one fine Sunday class was cut short so I waited in the lobby for ma and pa. A couple of minutes later I see them getting out of their car in the parking lot. They had been at breakfast!. Well that was enough for me - I wasn't getting up early to sit through this crap if they weren't. The funny thing is that they were no different than all of the other church-goers that I knew - everyone just went through the motions without thinking about what they were really doing.

I muddled into my adult years without paying much attention to religion. I sometimes regarded myself as a Catholic even though I never, ever went to Church. I just regurgitated something that I had heard someone else say - I just assumed that while it wasn't for me that it kept a lot of people on the straight and narrow. Even though I wasn't religious I wasn't above spewing crap like that without thinking about what the words meant.

At some point in my late 20's I started a self-examination to find out who I was and what principles I believed in. I began to realize that there was a lot of BS in the world and rational thought was more or less an afterthought. That's the great thing about seeking truths without having any kind of bias or agenda - you let the facts point you in the right direction.

So why atheism? It has been said that nobody is ever converted to atheism - it is just something that you find on your own. I completely agree with that statement and I think it says a lot about a-theism. After all, nobody ever finds _______ (insert messiah) on their own. Someone has to introduce them. I wasn't out to be different nor did I even know any other professed atheists (although I did later find out that the unbelievers are all around us). Atheism was just another stop on the road of rational thought.

My goal in writing this blog is not just to stop the silly belief in superstition. I write it it to combat the evils that superstition brings on the world - slavery, misogyny, bigotry are the main offenders. You see the effects of religion all around us. For crying out loud, my kid can't even be a boy scout. My goal here is to promote humanity and liberty (and no, not that jingoistic patriotism that seems to be permeating our society). If I toss a deity or two under the bus while I'm at it, so be it. Who knows - if you believe this stuff, maybe the deity made me so that I could throw him under the bus. As Carlin said, it is all very confusing.

Are you interested in becoming a member? Visit the Atheist Blogroll resource blog for more information.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Pastor Kevin Gray arrested

kevin_gray Pastor Kevin Gray is a priest at Sacred Heart Church. He’s accused of stealing money from the church to pay for male prostitutes, hotel stays, restaurants, and clothing. Did I mention male prostitutes? WTF?

Police said when they confronted Gray, he told them he was unhappy with his church assignments and said, "He began taking money because he felt the church owed it to him."

Gray was suspended last month by the Archdiocese of Hartford from all of his priestly duties and can no longer function as a priest in Connecticut or anywhere in the country, according to officials.

I don’t have a problem with prostitution. I don’t have a problem with a person’s sexual preference. Heck, I don’t have a problem with gay men working as catholic priests. I have a problem with thieves, liars, and hypocrites. Quit telling me I’m unethical because I’m an atheist and I’ll quit making posts about hypocritical priests.

Introducing The Spiritual Life of An Atheist

Please join me in welcoming the newest member of the Atheist Blogroll, the The Spiritual Life of An Atheist

I started my blog, "The Spiritual Life of An Atheist," just a couple of months ago to explore deeply felt spirituality and commitment to transcendent values absent a belief in god. There is a culture war on, and we cannot concede the domain of values and meaning to religious fundamentalists. Awe, inspiration and aspiration are all possible within a secular, rationalist framework. Atheism is not a denial of the human spirit but a paradigm that can open one's eyes to its full measure.

Are you interested in becoming a member? Visit the Atheist Blogroll resource blog for more information.

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Monday, July 05, 2010

More charges for pastor Settlemoir

Pastor Christopher Settlemoir, already facing charges for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old boy, now faces charges that he molested two other children.

According to today’s news release, Settlemoir was arraigned on the new charges after his preliminary examination on the original charges was adjourned. Police said he’ll be back in court July 22 for a preliminary examination on all of the charges.

Settlemoir remains in jail. His bail is set at one million dollars.

Technorati Tags: Clergy Sexual Abuse,Baptists,Pedophiles

How sick is this?

It blows my mind how much the Vatican covered up for Fr. Marciel.  It’s simply disgusting.

Hat tip Atheist Media Blog.

Not so Faithful and True part II

The stories of alleged abuse keep coming from Linda and Shelly Hall. They ran the Faithful and True Ministries in Groveland. Shelly Hall has already been arrested once for stalking a woman staying at his ministries' homeless shelter. His wife Linda Hall was arrested for stalking the current director of Faithful and True Ministries, Vincent Noffleo. Now, new charges were filed against Linda Hall, this time for fraud. She allegedly stole money from 80-year-old shelter resident Tony Yanak.

Sheriff's officials say Hall continually told Yanak that she would kick him out of the shelter if he did not give her his bank card and PIN. Hall is accused of using Yanak's ATM card and the PIN to withdraw an undisclosed amount of cash from his bank account, sheriff's officials said.

Yanak, 80, suffers from multiple sclerosis and hypertension, the affidavit says. He receives $694 per month from Social Security and the U.S. Navy. All but a few dollars of that money would be gone each month, the affidavit says.

It appears Linda Hall is a bit of a racist too.

The charges also involved the Halls allegedly following Noffleo and yelling at him outside a store, saying, "Your days are numbered, you're going down, God will strike you dead, you white devil," according to the warrant.

The Halls are fast becoming the very definition of Christian Hypocrites. They need some jail time or perhaps even hard labor to straighten their lives out.

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

How to tell right from wrong


I drove by this sign yesterday. My son looked at me with a strange expression on his face as I laughed out loud. Do we need a pastor to tell right from wrong? As adults, don’t most of us know the answer to this simple question already? We learn it as children. It’s reinforced as we grow and mature, and besides, most of us know the answer intuitively.

I sign like this pushes me away. Why don’t they see that?

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Pastor arrested for crimes against humanity

Jean_bosco Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi has finally been arrested. He stands accused of conspiracy to commit genocide and extermination for his efforts in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Uwinkindi was a Pentecostal pastor.

According to a copy of his indictment, Uwinkindi, 59, was a pastor at a church near Kigali during the genocide, and allegedly collaborated with an extremist political organisation that professed hatred for the Tutsi ethnic group.

In early April 1994, Uwinkindi is accused of helping to organise and instruct groups of Hutus to kill Tutsis, and after allowing Tutsi women and children to seek refuge in his church, he ordered their execution, according to the indictment.

First he murdered the Hutu men, and then he herded their wives and children into his church under the guise of safety, and then he slaughtered them. I don’t see how this fits in with the fundamental message of Christ. Are Pentecostals taught to kill thy neighbor?

Art is cool – Kinetic Sculpture

KineticI love this video clip of a kinetic sculpture at the BMW Museum in Munich. I could watch it for hours.

The Kinetic Sculpture is a metaphorical translation of the process of form-finding in art and design. 714 metal spheres, hanging from thin steel wires attached to individually-controlled stepper motors and covering the area of six square meters, animate a seven minute long mechatronic narrative.

I wonder how much a trip to Germany would cost?

Art, Sculpture

Friday, July 02, 2010

Pastor Edward Bradfield arrested

It looks like we have another pastor with impulse control issues. Assistant pastor Edward Bradfield was arrested in the act of receiving oral sex from a women while parked in his car (video).

Bradfield works for the Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton.

The woman involved says that was performing oral sex for free. I wonder if Bradfield asked for the clergy discount?

Note to pastor Bradfield – I’m pretty sure accepting free oral sex from a prostitute still makes you a hypocrite.

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Introducing the Social I.Q. Lady

Please join me in welcoming the newest member of the Atheist Blogroll, the Social I.Q. Lady

Hi! I'm Andrea Griffith, also known as the Social I.Q. Lady. My blog is an Atheist's Guide to Successful Social Interaction. As atheists, we face an uphill battle when it comes to working with and interacting with religionists. Life is difficult enough and with so many differing views it can sometimes be tough to rise above it all. I welcome your questions regarding relationships, philosophy, and political issues surrounding moral values. Please stop by and visit. I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading.

Are you interested in becoming a member? Visit the Atheist Blogroll resource blog for more information.

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Youth Pastor Bradley Boda sentenced

BradleyBoda-1Youth Pastor Bradley Boda pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Bradley Boda pleaded guilty in April to sexual assault on a child with a pattern of abuse and sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. His deal stipulates that a judge may sentence him to between 10 and 20 years in prison, followed by lifetime probation. Prosecutors dismissed 11 other felony counts.

Boda was a pedophile who victimized young boys.

In November 2008, Longmont police began investigating reports from men who said Boda used his position with the church to develop sexual relationships with them when they were as young as 11. He was either a church volunteer or a youth director from 1991 to 2004. Boda was arrested in September at his Berthoud home after he failed to show up for his counseling job at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins. No cases turned up in Fort Collins.

Boda was the youth pastor at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Longmont, CO. The church has a statement on its website.

The leadership of Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church is pleased that justice has now been served in this case. The Judge thoughtfully and professionally sentenced Mr. Boda after considering testimony of victims and their families as well as statements from family and friends of Mr. Boda during the sentencing hearing.

It reads like the police and church worked to bring Boda to justice. I applaud their efforts.

There is a good profile on Boda at the Coloradoan. The comments are interesting.

Youth pastor Lee Porter arrested

WilliamPorter An Indiana youth pastor named William Lee Porter was arrested for the sexual assault a teen girl from his youth group. Porter was the youth pastor at Elmwood Church of Christ when the assaults allegedly took place.

The victims tells a horrible story:

…the victim said that on an occasion in July 2009, Porter shoved her onto a couch and performed oral sex on her against her will.

Porter’s former church has a statement on it’s website. I’ve reprinted it here to recognize the Elmwood Church of Christ’s good behavior. It is rare for a church to acknowledge an incident let alone make a public statement about it.

We are saddened by the charges facing Lee Porter, who served the Elmwood church of Christ as youth minister for almost 12 years.

Lee submitted his resignation the day after his initial arrest in November of last year. We accepted this resignation with regret, recognizing Lee’s need to work through his personal challenges and his desire to prevent the consequences of his problems from affecting the youth at Elmwood.

In the week following the initial arrest, we met with the parents of youth group members to discuss the situation.  In addition, professional counseling was made available to the parties involved, and church members were informed of Lee’s resignation by announcement and by letter.

Two of our members are serving as interim youth leaders while a search committee is being formed for a new youth minister.  Youth activities such as Bible classes, Winterfest in Gatlinburg, Leadership Training for Christ, involvement with Cincinnati Urban Ministry, and summer church camp will continue.  One positive outcome of this situation is that new people have been able to use their gifts in serving our young people.

We are confident that God can bring good even out of awful circumstances.

We continue to pray for the Porter family and everyone involved in this case.

The Shepherds of the Elmwood church of Christ
July 1, 2010

July 5, 2010 – corrected. Porter is alleged to have molested one girl, not two. Also, added a picture of Porter.

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Pastor Shelly Hall arrested again

Pastor Shelly Hall was arrested in June for stalking a homeless woman and her daughter. Now he’s been arrested for stalking a board member for the homeless shelter.

Pastor Linda Hall and her husband Shelly Hall are accused of sending over 120 text messages to Vincent Noffleo.

Noffleo said they threatened him and also followed him around Groveland.

This case keeps getting stranger. I don’t see any Jesus like behavior going on there.

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Pastor Travis Gandy arrested

I missed this one. I’m sure I missed a few others too.

Travis Gandy Pastor Travis Gandy, 27, from Sheboygan, Wis, was arrested for exposing a child to harmful materials. He allegedly sent a picture of his wee naught bits to 15-year-old boy.

The investigation began after the boy’s mother contacted the Sheriff’s Department after discovering one of the photos. 

How embarrassing. More importantly, when is the last time you checked your child’s phone?

One day after he was released, he was rearrested for the sexual assault of a different child.

Gandy was arrested Monday night after the mother of a 15 year old boy told police Gandy sent her son inappropriate text messages.  The boy told police Gandy also "made out" with him in the attic of the church.

Travis Gandy worked as a music pastor at Praise Fellowship Church in Sheboygan. The church website has no information about Gandy. I did not expect it to.

Charges dropped against pastor Jimmy Hughes

Charges have been dropped against the pastor charged in the 1981 Octopus murders. Pastor Jimmy Hughes is a free man.

"We conducted an exhaustive review of the evidence provided by the Sheriff's Department, re-interviewed key witnesses and uncovered additional evidence tied to the case," said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown. "This process and the new information our office discovered materially changed our assessment of the nature and quality of the evidence."

I wrote about Jimmy Hughes in October of 2009.

Pastor Hughes, my policy states that any pastor I write about who is cleared of charges or found innocent is eligible for a guest post here at Deep Thoughts. You can post on any topic you like. If you would like to take me up on the offer, send me an email.

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My dad’s 46 Ford

46 FordMany of you asked about my dad’s hot rod. He drove a a clean 46 Ford. His car club, the Outcast’s” brought their rides to his memorial service. We had one last car show in his honor. It was pretty damn cool.

My son took this photo.

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An annoying start to my day

DSC_7110 The Christians where picketing the corner of Bloomfield and South Street in Cerritos this morning. I snapped a few pictures but vowed to keep their ugly faces off my blog.

Their message:

Jesus died for our sins.
Trust in Jesus.
Be reconciled to God.
No person is righteous.

Their message is banal, routine, and annoying. Why they would waste their time like this? It makes no sense. Will somebody really see a sign and think, “Wow, I better trust in Jesus?”

It’s time for a few Atheists to counter picket these nutballs. I wonder if I could get a few people from Think Atheist to join me? I’ll have the “Trust in Bacon” placard.

No crucifixion for Jesus?

Bible scholar Gunnar Samuelsson thinks there is little or no evidence for the crucifixion of Jesus. Instead, he thinks Jesus may have been impaled.

Samuelsson bases his claim on studying 900 years' worth of ancient texts in the original languages - Hebrew, Latin and Greek, which is the language of the New Testament.

He spent three years reading for 12 hours a day, he says, and he noticed that the critical word normally translated as "crucify" doesn't necessarily mean that.

Jesus, was impaled for our sins” does not have the same ring to it. I don’t think the guys in marketing will like it. He’s bucking 2000 years of tradition and ignorance. My guess is that Samuelsson is about to be crucified by the establishment.

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