Friday, April 29, 2011

Photo - Woman on bike


I’ve been working in Sylmar for the last two months. I’ve had almost no time for photography. I shot this woman while waiting to get on the freeway. She’s got a few hard years on her already. She sure had and attitude.

I’m off today and home prepping for a fun photo assignment tonight. I’m the official party photographer at my nieces 18th birthday. I’m not whining either. I love doing this kind of thing. Now ask me to fix your computer…

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Blogroll update - New members

We had 18 new blogs join the blogroll this month. Please take a few minutes to visit these blogs and welcome our newest members. The Atheist Blogroll contains listing for 1,392 atheist, agnostic, and secular blogs. Enjoy.
  1. "truth" under the razor
  2. Atheist in Africa
  3. Atheist Universe
  4. Blonde Nonbeliever
  5. Freethinking for Dummies
  6. George Clavel Gould
  7. Help me, Obi-Mom Kenobi! You're my only hope
  8. julie and the silvermans
  9. Lone Atheist, Lone Star State
  10. Sacrofagia
  11. Science and Atheism
  12. Secular Musings and Musical Choosings
  13. Susi's Soap Box
  14. Thank God For Atheism
  15. The Cranky Atheist
  16. The Grumpy Anti-theist
  17. The Secular Gospel According to Jess
  18. thebiblicalatheist
  19. Απελευθέρωση απο τα δεσμά.
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grand Jury report on Catholic clergy sexual abuse

I trusted tipster sent me a link to the Grand Jury reporting on the clergy sexual abuse scandal at the Philadelphia Archdiocese. The first 6 pagers are hard to read and it gets no better the deeper you go into the document. The report has case studies. Read about Father Nicholas V. Cudemo on page 125. The man was sick and the documents clearly point to the Catholic church as corrupt and responsible for his actions.

  • Father Stanley Gana, 79
  • Father Raymond Leneweaver, 101
  • Father Joseph Gausch, 117
  • Father Nicholas Cudemo, 125
  • Father Peter Dunne, 157
  • Father James Brzyski, 177
  • Father David Sicoli, 197
  • Father John Connor, 223
  • Father Gerard Chambers, 233
  • Father Michael McCarthy, 243
  • Father Albert Kostelnick, 255
  • Father Edward DePaoli, 261
  • Monsignor David Walls, 277
  • Father Francis Rogers, 289
  • Father Francis Trauger, 303
  • Father John Schmeer, 313
  • Monsignor Francis Giliberti, 321
  • Father John Mulholland, 327
  • Monsignor John Gillespie, 339
  • Monsignor Leonard Furmanski, 347
  • Father John Delli Carpini, 359
  • Father Thomas Wisniewski, 365
  • Father Thomas Smith, 373
  • Father Francis Gallagher, 381
  • Father Thomas Shea, 387
  • Father John Cannon, 393
  • Father Michael Bolesta, 397
  • Father Robert Brennan, 405

We were all virgins until we were not

Whenever I hear Christian stories of chastity, abstinence, and born again virginity, I laugh to myself. We were all virgins until we were not. It was a club most of us were desperate to get out of. I want my children to abstain sex until they are mature enough to handle the responsibilities that come with sex. Hoping that they will remain virgins until marriage is a fool’s hope. Hormones, peer pressure, and… teen love are a recipe for breaking ironclad pledges – even one sealed by a chastity ring. In the heat of the moment, in that moment when we don’t think but instead desperately dream, we are all left with our own awkward memories. To deny this is to deny reality. I choose to educate my kids instead. and are two websites that cater to the Christian pipe dream of chastity. Of course, it’s a dream with a silver lining. is a place where virgin singles can meet other virgin singles online., the sister website, caters to virgin and non-virgin (or "born-again virgin") singles who are abstaining until marriage. The sites not only provide a safe environment for abstainers to meet one another, they also invite others to abstain from sex until marriage. Its Second Life virtual reality site hosts 11 Abstinence Parks and five Virgin Parks, with 3D chat service open only to Silver and Platinum members.

Call me jaded, but this is a counter productive scam. I wonder how many young man (and old men) sign up just for access to unlimited virgins?

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Priest convicted for feeding his habits

Pastor, cleric, rabbi, shaman, priest – they are just people with the same problems as the general population. They lie, cheat, rape, murder, and steal to cover their base habits. Like Rev. Kevin Gray – he was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing more than $1 million from Scared Heart/Sagrado Corazon Parish. He used the money to pay for male escorts and a lifestyle well beyond his means.

The Dioceses of Hartford did not request that the money be returned, so Gray is off the hook for restitution. Of course, it is easy to be generous with other people’s money. All they need do is put out their donation bucket. The faithful will empty their wallets to make up the difference. They always do.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pastor Nicholas Minerva commits suicide

Baptist pastor Nicholas William Minerva was being served with a search warrant when he ran back inside his church and shot himself in the head. Minerva has been engaged in a ongoing conversation with an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl. The chats had originally started with a real teen. Minderva is alleged to have shown his willy to the undercover officer among other unsavory actions.

The chats, that were with a teen and then unknowingly with detectives after police had been alerted, had been going on since last July.

Authorites say he had 'inappropriate conversations' with the 'girl' and once showed his genitalia via a webcam.

That’s a hell of a way to go out. He had a wife and four children. It’s all so sad.

Minerva was the pastor at Trinity Baptist Fellowship church.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Introducing Atheist in Africa

Please join me in welcoming one of the newest members of the Atheist Blogroll, Atheist in Africa.

My blog was created partly as therapy ( there are not many Welsh atheists in South Africa) and mainly looking at the funny, factual and couldn't-make-it-up irony and hypocrisy I encounter on a daily basis that I can't keep in anymore! Current events in news- local and global that are applicable and also links to useful/ funny videos and images. I post as beLIEve.

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

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Pedophile priest pleads guilty

Catholic priest Alejandro Jose Castillo pleaded guilty to one count of committing a lewd act on a child. He will face one year in prison. He made the plea to escape a possible 20 year prison sentence. I’m happy to see this conviction. He supporters are vocal, aggressive and abusive. It’s about time they shut up and pay attention to the victim. 

His plea Monday at West Valley Superior Court is part of a plea agreement with prosecutors that carries a sentence of a year in county jail and requires that he register as a sex offender.

Castillo had been charged with eight felony counts of committing lewd or lascivious acts two years ago with a 12-year-old boy. Prosecutors dropped seven of the charges as part of the agreement.

The former pastor, who has also served as a priest in Rialto and San Bernardino, will be back in court June 16 for his sentencing. He is expected to begin serving his year-long jail sentence following his court appearance.

Original Posts: Rally round the pedopriest & Accused pedophile pastor bailed out

Pastor Jason Phillips convicted

Canton youth pastor Jason Phillips was convicted of criminal sexual assault. HIs victim was a 15-year-old girl. The jury took less than an hour in it’s deliberations. Phillips faces 15 years in prison. I should note that his pastor, Kevin Van Tine, was a firm supporter. Van Tine was sure the charges were fabricated. How sure are you now?
Original post: Life is a gamble. Right pastor Jason Phillips?
Technorati Tags: Clergy Sexual Abuse,Sexual Assault

Accused priest kills himself

Monsignor Michael Smith killed himself rather than face charges he molested a young boy. Smith apparently took an overdose of drugs.

Monsignor Smith, who was also responsible for St Peter's Chapel in Hadlow, was arrested on December 7 last year on suspicion of sexual assault "concerning a young person" and immediately stood down from his post at the Lyons Crescent church.

Kent Police said this week the investigation into the alleged crime was still ongoing.

Det Insp Rob Chitham said: "Inquiries are continuing with a number of people who have spoken to detectives in connection with the investigation.

Suicide is rarely satisfying. His victim will never be able to face his accuser. It’s all so sad, and pointless. Suicide is the cowards path, but then again, so is molesting a child.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Homeless and hungry in Cerritos

I was off on Good Friday. I made good use of my free time by playing disc golf, donating to Good Will, and running a dozen errands. One side trip took me to the beautiful city of Cerritos for a visit to a pharmacy and a quick stop at a grocery store for some fresh vegetables. While walking into the pharmacy I noticed an old woman on the ground laying in the fetal position. She was being cared from by two indigent people, and old man and a young girl. I did nothing.

When I left the pharmacy 20 minutes later, they were still there. I walked past them without a second look. When I was 20 feet past, I heard the young girl ask a couple of women for spare change. She had not asked me for anything. I tend to scare people. I’ve mentioned before that I am the size of a small bear and that small children often cry simply because I smile at them. My guess it that they took one look at me and decided to pretend that I did not exist. I’m used to it.

In the grocery store I realized that I had stepped around an old woman who was laying on the ground and had ignored two people who were obviously in need of attention. My internal dialog was not something I can repeat here. Suffice it to say I felt like a jackass for not staying true to my core values. I resolved to do something.

They were there when I left the store. I stepped into subway and bought them lunch. I dropped sandwiches, sodas, and chips off a few minutes later. They were hungry and grateful. I asked after the lady on the sidewalk. She was sleeping off a night on the bottle. I asked if hey needed help, and the pointed them in the direction of the nearest homeless shelter.

As I walked away a woman stopped me in the parking lot. She was my age and pretty. She asked why I had helped them. I asked her what she meant. She said, “When you feed them they will never go away.” I looked at her without speaking for a few seconds, she added, “I’m calling the police”. She walked away in a huff. The thing I remember the most is a small silver cross hanging between her breasts.

Cerritos is a city without homeless people. It’s a wealthy city with great services and nice parks. Its policed by the LA County Sheriffs. The city has a zero tolerance policy for the homeless and they offer no services for them. I live just over the border in Buena Park. We have lots of homeless people here. The distance between the two cities is only a few hundred yards. I’ll never understand how the wealthy and religious (lots of churches in Cerritos) cannot see past their own borders.

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Guest Post: My Christian Friend - A Positive Testimony

I recently sent out a call for uplifting stories because my blog tends to be negative with story after story of miscreants and child abusers. Yet in my personal life, many of the people I know are wonderful examples of tolerance, love and service - and most of these people happen to be Christians. It’s time I passed on a few good stories. I consider them a balance of sorts against my endless hypocrisy watch posts. If you would like to submit a guest post, please see the guides.

This guest post is by a real world friend named Brad Hightower. He writes the blog 21st Century Reformation.

My Christian Friend - A Positive Testimony
By Brad Hightower

Let me begin by saying that Joe is a good friend of mine. I admire his capacity to have a solidly evangelical friend like myself. He is truly a great friend, but this post is about another friend of mine, Dan. I was going to write a post that covered three of my best friends but I realize that in the world of blogging most folk do not have the time to read a lengthy post, so I decided to limit this to one friend instead of three.

I met Dan in 1999. He is the pastor of a local church in Bellflower, CA. Nineteen years ago he came to Bellflower from Michigan for a job interview at our church. He said to the council, “if you want someone to cater to the current culture of the church. You are looking at the wrong man. My vision is to build a multi-ethnic church that displays in a tangible way God’s love for all people and be a symbol in this city of community in the midst of diversity.” Nineteen years later, Dan has made good on his promise.

If you know anything about organizations, resisting the status quo and attempting to implement change on principle without regard to politics is a difficult and courageous act. Men and women who take this path are heroes. These people are those who suffer real loses and endure real hardship and real heartache for the sake of their principles. In light of recent American history, building bridges between cultures and amongst diverse people is the great task of our generation. Men and women like Dan developed vision for this work to build beautiful community in their youth in the 1970’s, and some, like Dan, had the wisdom, patience, and conviction to bring their vision to fruition.

I would not betray Dan’s friendship, but I know he has shed countless tears as his passions and convictions have been misunderstood through the years. Being an agent of change is lonely work, but it is worth the difficult times in light of the internal witness that you are on the right side of history. Just last year,I remember at an all nations service representatives from over 20 nations from the congregation stood up on stage and spoke a word of blessing over the congregation in their native tongue.

Personally, my friend Dan has been a source of comfort for me in some of my deepest trials. He has believed in me when it seems like only my wife and my very closest friends stood by me. Even greater, my friend has let me encourage him and stand by him in his times of need. Though in many ways, Dan is my superior, he has humbled himself and been a peer to me and shared the journey, as a friend.

I am not saying that only Christians can be friends like Dan is to me or that only Christians labor to make the world a better place, but throughout the world many, many Christians labor to build beautiful communities and those of us who participate in these communities find ourselves deeply indebted to the witness to ‘all that is good’ that these communities communicate to ourselves and our families. All of us, likewise, owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women that labor to build the institutional church in order that this witness will abide for future generations.

peace, brad

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Introducing Atheist Universe

Please join me in welcoming one of the newest members of the Atheist Blogroll, Atheist Universe.

My name is Neal, and I am one of the founders of Atheist Universe. Atheist Universe is a social network primarily for atheists, though we welcome everyone who wishes to discuss or debate issues that are important to the secular community.

The network is for those who want the freedom to express their thoughts that are not popular in many parts of the world. In some areas, religion is so deeply entrenched that announcing yourself to your neighbors could, if not be actually dangerous, at least be a formidable event.

We offer a safe haven for those who just want to talk to someone who understands.

If you feel the need to rant, or want advice from other atheists who may have experiences similar to yours, or you're just a science junkie looking for a fix; we can help.

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

Technorati Tags: Atheism,The Atheist Blogroll

Youth pastor Carloe Estigo arrested

CarloeEstigoYouth pastor Carloe Estigo was arrested for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old girl. The charges include sexual penetration with a foreign object, so we are looking at another case of a youth pastor raping a 14-year-old girl. I think we’ve identified the official danger zone for youth pastors.

Estigo faces felony charges of lewd acts upon a child between 14 and 15 years old and sexual penetration of a minor under 16 years old with a foreign object, said Teresa Drenick, Alameda County deputy district attorney.

Estigo pleaded not guilty.

Estigo was a volunteer youth pastor at Castro Valley Church of the Nazarene. In a bizarre move, the church password protected their website. What are they trying to hide?

An adult male who volunteers to be an unpaid youth pastor should raise a red flag. Right?

Pastor Stephen Berry arrested (again)

stephenBerryPastor Stephen Berry was arrested the first time back in March. This new arrest is for a second allegation of abuse against a 13-year-old girl he is alleged to have molested he was driving a church bus.

…and charged with lewd act on a child under the age of 16 by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. According to the warrant, Berry is accused of rubbing a 13-year-old girl’s upper thighs while transporting her from New Life Baptist Church to her home in the summer of 2008.

Berry is a Baptist. He was an associate pastor at New Life Baptist Church in Union. The church does not acknowledge the abuse on it’s website, which is typical for a Baptist church. It would be nice to see a change here. It would actually help a lot of people to simply acknowledge the abuse and get on with the business of helping victims heal.

Music pastor Kenneth Campbell arrested

KennethCampbellKenneth Campbell, a public school teacher at Spencer Bibbs Elementary School, was arrested for allegedly inappropriately touching a 10-year-old girl. Campbell is also the music minister at Woodbine Baptist Church, which is why he making an appearance here at Deep Thoughts.

I have a problem with this case. It looks like Campbell was arrested based on the testimony of a single victim. There is no mention of physical evidence connecting him to a crime. He was charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior. The school placed him on administrative leave.

Campbell has other restrictions:

Williams told Campbell that if he is freed on bond, he can't go on the Spencer Bibbs property. He also must wear a tracking monitor and is prohibited from contact with all children, except his 11-year-old daughter.

All from a single allegation. I know the data suggests Campbell will be found guilty, but I still have a problem in a case where it is the victims word against the accuser. Of course, I am jaded by years of experience writing about these types of cases. It begs the question, should I handle these types of cases differently? One thing is certain, I must be less judgmental. It’s way to easy to assume guilt when a child is involved. However, if this guy is innocent, we must consider the damage to his career and reputation.

The victims story is typical:

The girl told her mother the inappropriate contact began a few weeks ago in the music room at Spencer Bibbs Elementary School. She said Campbell rubbed her shoulders in class, and fondled her breasts. The girl also said he threatened to kill her family and hurt her if she told anyone.

When I do the math I get a result that says be very careful. Baptist + pastor + private access to children = big trouble. I’ve followed over a thousand cases so far, two have come back as not guilty. The odds do not look good here.

Woodbine Baptist has nothing on its homepage and it’s staff page is not functioning. It looks like Woodbine Baptist is using the “bury your head” approach to the problem. It’s so typical.

Pastor Jody Lusk convicted (again)

JodyLuskFormer pastor Jody Dewain Lusk was convicted on federal child molestation charges. Lusk is already in prison on related charges. The federal conviction adds ten years to his 30 year sentence.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Louisville says Jody Dewain Lusk pleaded guilty to the charge as part of a plea agreement that includes a 10-year sentence. Lusk is already serving a 20-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in Logan County to six counts of second-degree rape and second-degree sodomy.

Lusk blamed his kidnapping and rape of a 13-year-old girl on the devil.

Lusk is the former pastor at Auburn Church of Christ,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Introducing Soul Sprawl

Please join me in welcoming one of the newest members of the Atheist Blogroll, Soul Sprawl.

My name is Matt DeStefano and I'm the creator of Like many of you, I'm an ex-Christian who after nearly two decades of being heavily involved in the church, renounced my faith and became an atheist. I'm a student of Philosophy, and I think the inconsistencies of any modern conception of god(s) are philosophically interesting. My blog primarily deals with logical inconsistencies, exploring the lack of evidence, and sometimes delving into the modern philosophical debates concerning various conceptions of god.

I'd appreciate any feedback or constructive criticism, and am open to receiving guest posts and commentary. You can visit my site and find out more information on how to contact or contribute.

A big thank-you to Mojoey for this opportunity.

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

Technorati Tags: Atheism,The Atheist Blogroll

Monday, April 18, 2011

Youth pastor Brian Brijbag arrested for threesome

brian_brijbagYouth pastor Brian Brijbag was arrested for an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and – and another 18-year-old teen girl. Yep – pastor Brijbag had a threesome in his office at church. Brijbag (pronounced SCUMBAG) is 35, married and the father of three children.
On that occasion, Brijbag and the girl were not alone, according to a Brooksville Police investigation. They were engaged in a three-way sexual encounter with an 18-year-old female church member, police Chief George Turner said.
"The witness was also a participant," Turner said.
The 18-year-old was not arrested. It is not illegal in Florida for someone up to age 24 to have consensual sex with someone older than 16.
Florida is an interesting place with lots of fundie three-way action going on behind those locked doors. Sheesh.

Brijbag missed the cutoff for prosecutions by three months. The 17-year-old turns 18 soon. I bet he’s regretting that decision now.

It should come as no surprise that Brijbag is a Baptist. He was the youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Brooksville.
"He was very particular about not allowing females in his office alone," said Darrell Jordan, a 23-year-old Spring Hill resident who served as an intern for about a year. "If I was there and a girl walked in, I couldn't leave."
Apparently this rule did not apply if two girls walked into his office.

***Update 5/12/2012Brijbag pleads no contest

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Pastor Efrain Umana convicted

Pastor Efrain Umana was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison on three sexual assault charges.

Efrain Umana was convicted by a Pottawattamie County jury in January. He was sentenced on Wednesday for second-degree sexual abuse, third-degree sexual abuse and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

One more predator off the streets!

All doors must have windows

I spoke with a co-worker about clergy sexual abuse today. She is a Sunday school teacher in her private life, but at work is a smart woman with opinions that I respect. She told me of her church’s approach to preventing sexual abuse. It starts with a background check, and then training, and then refresher training every year. It’s encouraging to hear her church takes preventing sexual misconduct so seriously.

I asked if she thought there was anything else that could be done. She suggested that all doors must have windows so that the assumption of privacy is disrupted. It creates a “no safe place for sexual abuse” environment. I like the suggestion and I will incorporate it as a recommendation in my clergy sexual abuse PowerPoint lecture deck.

We also talked about the need for one-on-one sessions between a youth pastor and a child or teen. I benefited from this type of relationship as a child, I can see why others would too. I explained my preference for counseling in a room with a privacy mirror or window that opens on a common wall with another room where observers can watch. A youth pastor can be alone with a child while at the same time being monitored by a parent or chaperone. She suggested an alternative. It’s brilliant. Use Starbucks. A youth pastor can meet with a child (or more likely a young teen) over tea. A chaperone can monitor the meeting from another part of the coffee shop. The child and youth pastor should arrive by separate cars too, and leave the same way. This applies to pastor/adult counseling as well. There is no need for a private office meeting with the pastor on a Thursday afternoon back at the church. Go to Starbucks instead.

It’s easy to protect our children from abuse, but it requires some dedicated hard work. The church must be willing to take a few small steps in the right direction. Make the church a low risk environment for abuse in the same way a business will meticulously remove risks to employee safety. For example, confined spaces are known risks in a manufacturing business. People die in confined spaces all the time. Businesses spend millions of dollars removing confined space risks, often through construction, equipment change outs, and lock out procedures. They also invest time training employees about the dangers of confined spaces. If a church were to consider a private office a high risk space enabling sexual abuse, and then invest in eliminating this risk, one whole contributing factor to clergy sexual abuse can be eliminated. It’s something to think about.

By the way – I’ve started accepting invitations to speak at local churches on the subject of preventing clergy sexual abuse. More on this later.

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Texas - why are you the special state?

I read this headline from The Texas Tribune today. Texans: Dinosaurs, Humans Walked the Earth at Same Time. The headline drew me in. I predisposed to believe any odd story about Texas, but I did not think ignorance on this scale was possible outside of the third world. The poll was developed by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune. It suggests that a third of the people in Texas believe that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together and that a third don’t know. That’s over eight million people or 16 million if you count the dummies. How can this be possible?

The question was simple: Did humans live at the same time as the dinosaurs? Three in ten Texas voters agree with that statement; 41 percent disagree, and 30 percent don't know.

I love the closing paragraph:

Prindle says the results recall a line from comedian Lewis Black. "He did a standup routine a few years back in which he said that a significant proportion of the American people think that the 'The Flintstones' is a documentary," Prindle says. "Turns out he was right. Thirty percent of Texans agree that humans and dinosaurs lived on the earth at the same time."

I have friends who live in Texas. They home school and are skeptical, so I have some hope.

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Everybody clap now

The Youtube video is a good healthy discussion about belief with an unexpected realization on the part of a believer at the end. It’s worth listening to all 16 minutes just to get to the last minute of the show. Well done Matt Dillahunty and Jen Peeples. Ref: The Atheist Experience #705 (post-show).

I’m a huge fan of the Atheist Experience. I listen to each episode as a podcast while driving.

Accused pastor found dead

The search is over for alleged pedophile youth pastor Daniel Fischer was found dead in a canal near his home. The cause of death is pending, but… well we all know how this one will end. It’s a shame too. I would much rather see Fischer face his accusers and be judged by a jury of his peers then end up dead in ditch. Life is too precious to throw away, even his life.

Introducing George Clavel Gould

Please join me in welcoming one of the newest members of the Atheist Blogroll, George Clavel Gould.

Hi! My name is George Gould.I am the creator of George Clavel Gould, the blog. I am a devoutly agnostic and thoroughly disagreeable old atheist dedicated to keeping the Christianists' hands off the levers of power.

My blog is dedicated to fighting the Theoplutocracy, which is a word I made up combining Theocracy (rule by God) and Plutocracy (rule by the wealthy). The Theoplutocracy is the nexus of Christianism and Conservatism, two foul-smelling and pernicious movements resident in the Republican Party.

The first of these movements, of course, is Fundamentalist Christianity (or Christianism, as I prefer to call it, because of its affinity to its soul mate, Islamism) which advocates establishment of a  theocracy, or rule by their god’s laws.  The other movement is conservatism, which seeks to preserve the status quo, the plutocracy, or rule of the wealthy.

My ultimate goal is to take religion and money out of our politics.

If you agree with me, come and feel free to put in your two cents. If you disagree with me, come and show me why I’m wrong. If you’re not sure where you stand, come and enjoy yourself, and maybe discover yourself.

WARNING: I’m not politically correct in any way, shape, or form; and I swear like a drill sergeant. If that offends you, tough. They’re just words, and my bark is worse than my bite. So get a grip.

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

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why do I post on pedopastors?

Why do I post of pedopastors? I get this question all the time. I do it for one reason. This reason: Hat tip – God Discussion – Four reasons why Christians should not date or be friends with atheists.

  1. Romans 1:25 – Atheism is a mental drug for the morally corrupt.  Crimes like rape, murder and blasphemy are acceptable to atheists.
  2. John 4:16 – God is love.  Atheists say romantic love is nothing but a chemical reaction.  When an atheist says he loves you, he is planning on raping you.  Atheists practice compassion only to get something, like sex or money.
  3. Psalms 53:1 – Atheists are fools.  Atheists are nice only for their own gain.
  4. Corinthians 6:14 – Christians should not be yoked with unbelievers.

If you think I am likely to murder, rape or eat babies, I can only say bullshit. I have a list of over 1,000 degenerate pastors who clearly show that being a Christian does not offer one protection from committing rape, murder and blasphemy.


This is only is only a little over 1/4 of the pastors who have been accused of some form of misconduct. My bad Atheist list has two names. Neither was a rapist. Do you feel safe?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wanted: Youth pastor Daniel Fischer


Have you seen this alleged pedophile youth pastor? He is a wanted fugitive.

"[On Wednesday] we had warrants for both Fischer and his wife," said Lincoln County Sheriff Jerome Kramer. "She was arrested, but we were unable to locate him. His vehicle and cell phone were both on the premises, but he was not located and has not yet been located."

If the stories of what this man of god did are true…

Nichols’ affidavit indicated that there are currently five known victims between the ages of seven and 15. Interviews with the alleged victims showed a common theme, Nichols wrote: Fischer would hire them to help him irrigate corn in the summers. During these times, Fischer would shower the alleged victims with money, dinners, and gifts, Nichols wrote. Fischer would then find time to be alone with the alleged victims, either at his residence or in a corn field, and sexually assault them with penile or digital penetration, the affidavit said.

I would start looking for turkey buzzards circling above corn fields.

They arrested his wife too. Apparently, Deanna Fischer took video and photos of the abuse. What the hell?

Pastor Ricardo Maffey sentenced

RicardoMaffeyPastor Ricardo Maffey was sentenced to 365 days in county jail and 5 years probation. He must also register as a sex offender. I am disappointed in the sentence. The judge involved, Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals, let Maffey off with a light sentence while saying that “…the former pastor had exercised "horrendous judgment" but that he didn't think this was a state-prison case. Goethals could have sent Maffey to prison for up to six years.”

Maffey will serve his time and while in jail I am sure he will repent for his crime. And he will return to the pulpit. The stage will be set for the next act in his sorry life. Will he continue to abuse children? I think there is a good chance. He was slapped on the wrist for a serious crime. Where is the deterrent?

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Priest accused of bestiality

I don’t even know how to write this headline. Father Eric Dejaeger, who already had 22 charges pending for abuse of Inuit children, had six additional counts added. One included bestiality for acts with a child and dog. “Almost all the counts are sex offences allegedly committed against boys and girls in the remote Nunavut community of Igloolik between 1979 and 1982.

Totally friggen gross.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Mayor Allan Fung needs to be educated

I like a good cause and the separation of church and state is one of them.

Allan Fung, Mayor needs to be educated

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Catholic abuse news

My inbox is overflowing with news related to the clergy sexual abuse story in the Catholic Church. I don’t normally post on Catholics, but I felt compelled to provide a summary.

Father Philip DeRea (priest to celebrities race drivers) is being sued for his alleged relationship with an 11-year-old boy. DeRea tried to buy the victim off earlier in the process.

Father Edward Fitz-Henery denies claims that he abused a boy at the San Juan Bautista Mission in Monterey County. He denies ever having any inappropriate contact with the victim. Of course, a priest definition of inappropriate and the legal definition are two different things.

The Archdiocese of Dublin is taking steps to close the barn door after the cows escaped. “Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said there could be no room for complacency regarding the protection of children”.This comes after 93 allegations were made against priests.

The Little Rock Catholic diocese is being sued over claims that father Joseph Ross abused children while serving as a priest. Ross was convicted of molesting an 11-year-old but still lives in the community.

The Vatican is being sued by St. Paul  attorney Jeff Anderson. “…The lawsuit claims Pope Benedict and two other top Vatican officials knew about allegations of sexual abuse at St. John's School for the Deaf outside Milwaukee, and called off internal punishment of the accused priest, the late Rev. Lawrence Murphy.”

Defrocked priest Edward V. Avery and 4 others to plead not guilty when they appear in court on charges that they molested alter boys or allowed the molestation to happen. Among the four others is Monsignor William J. Lynn who was the secretary for clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He’s charged with allowing it all to happen.

The former Bishop of Bruges Roger Vangheluwe appear on TV and appeared to play down the seriousness of the years of child sex abuse. Vangheluwe says:

“I don't in the slightest have any sense I am a paedophile. I don't get the impression my nephew was opposed, quite the contrary,” he claimed, before acknowledging, “I knew it wasn’t good. I confessed it several times.”

He raped his nephew, I’m pretty sure that he qualifies as a pedophile.

There were 683 cases in the United states where people reported clergy sexual abuse in 2010. Catholics are trying to spin this as an improvement over previous years. It’s a self-generated and unaudited report that others claim is inaccurate. I tend to agree.

Bill Donohou of the CAtholic League for Religions and Civil Rights thinks we are being to hard on the Catholic Church over clergy sexual abuse. He took out an add in the N.Y. Times to make his point. Donohou is an abuse denier.

“Lets get it straight — they weren’t children and they weren’t raped,” Donohue alleged.  “We know from the John Jay study that most of the victims have been adolescents, and that the most common abuse has been inappropriate touching (inexcusable though this is, it is not rape).

I have his name in a special news filter… I call it the the hate filter.

A Florida man is suing the Catholic church over charges that a nun sexual abused him 30 years ago in Miami.

"Sister Joah Marie would stand behind John and rub against him with her body, touching him all over with her hands," the suit alleges. "She then pretended to tuck in his shirt and while doing so, rubbed John's genitals under his clothing and fondled him."

I’m skeptical on this one. 30 years later and no evidence usually means no jury award. I smell money.

I could go on. There are a lot more stories.

Clergy Sexual Abuse, Catholics

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Youth leader Eric Caverly arrested for sexual assault

EricCaverlyYouth leader Eric Caverly has the sex drive of a man in his early 20s if his boast of having sex with a teenaged girl up to 400 times is to be believed. The affair started when the girl…. wait a second here… the rapes started when the girl was 16. She was his babysitter.

The sexual relationship continued for most of the next three years, the documents show. The alleged victim would spend nights at the Caverly home, even a week or more at a time. The girl, who is now a 19-year-old woman, told investigators that most of the sexual encounters happened in the basement of Caverly's home.

The woman told investigators that the relationship with Caverly ended in October 2010 due to fighting between the two and Caverly's jealousy. The affidavit says she was forced to file a police report after revealing the sexual encounters to her parents and to her therapist.

I’ve learned that churches call a youth pastor a “lay youth leader” when they want to distance themselves from their former pastor’s crimes. Was Caverly a youth pastor? I’m betting that by most definitions the answer would be yes.

The babysitter angle is a new one. I’ll have to add that to the list of abuse vectors. I’m sure he will claim it was love.

Caverly worked at Springs Community Church in Colorado Springs. A check of their website shows no acknowledgement of the arrest or comments on the story. Check out their website. It raises all of my hackles. It’s hip. It’s fresh. It’s about building a relationship with the big guy upstairs. Oh, and pay no attention to the predator in our youth ministry.

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Catholic + Philippines = endless nutballs

I have a news filter running that searches for the words “Catholic” and “Philippines”. The results are often hilarious and completely crazy. Take the case of the Catholic priest and exorcist Father Jose Francisco Syquia. He has an office staffed with eight people who are dedicated to casting out demons in a poverty stricken Filipino city. He thinks that he is serving god while fighting Satan. Of course, what he is really doing, is allowing his religious delusions to prevent people with legitimate mental illnesses from receiving medical treatment. Like this lady…

Syquia recalled an accomplished female doctor who said she was befriended by demons that had appeared to her as benign dwarves that showered her with good luck in the form of financial rewards.

Right – possessed. let’s have an exorcism.

It’s interesting to note the Syquia grew up as a privileged upper-class Filipino before becoming a practicing nutball. I’m sure this is where he was exposed to films like The Exorcist and Ghostbusters. Somebody should have told him they were fiction.

Syquia clams, …”a conspiracy of silence had permeated the church in the past, with its leaders wary of being branded as mediaeval as modern science tended to classify possessions as medical conditions.” It is criminal to mistreat the sick with voodoo religious practices. Catholics hide this because the rest of the civilized world recognizes this practice as wrong. Why do these nutballs attempt to paint themselves as martyrs?

This quote caught my attention, ”Syquia sought guidance from the the local bishop, who promptly granted him the authority to carry out an exorcism guided by his knowledge of psychology.” So his degree in psychology from a catholic university prepared him for the difficult task of exorcism… how exactly?

Why do people believe this stuff? How come the press treats Syquia respectfully when skepticism is required? And please, when claiming that possessed people levitate, proof is required or it did not happen.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pastor Eddie Prince arrested for child porn

Eddie_PrinceBaptist pastor Eddie Prince stands accused of using a public library computer to download and view child pornography. Prince is the pastor at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Hernando, Mississippi. HIs wife and family are standing behind him.

"I've been married to Eddie for 42 years as a pastor's wife," said Brenda Prince. "I've always supported and stood beside him in his ministry and do not plan to turn away now."

It must be horrible to wake up one day after 42 years of marriage to find that your husband has a thing for children. I’m not sure standing behind the accused pedophile and epic hypocrite is the right thing to do. Touting his godliness in light of the alleged crime is is hypocrisy.

More charges are expected as the police are still looking at his computer hard drives. With this in mind, hIs attorney is trying to reach a plea deal. Which is a good idea when you look at the facts. They have witnesses.who saw him viewing objectionable content at the library. They have physical evidence from the library computer system. And, they will get additional physical evidence from the unfortunate pastor’s hard drive. A plea deal is necessary or else Price will find himself in prison for a long time.

His family keeps referring to him as a godly man and a man of God, yet his alleged behavior is that of a base degenerate. What kind of testimony does his live give if he dedicated his life to Christ but end his career as a pedophile? His life is a lie. How did his life matter at all? How is his life an example for others to follow? How is his version of morality something to be proud of – something to tout as the Christian moral advantage? It’s not. Being a Christian, reading the bible, having god in your corner, it’s all meaningless babble if a life long pastor falls for kiddie porn. There is no advantage.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A despondent reader posts on killing self

An anonymous person left a comment on one of my posts today that rocked my tired day. He (or she) discussed the possibility of committing suicide. He described a life of misery after surviving abuse at the hands of a cult and one failed suicide attempt.The author said, “ My last attempt to kill myself failed, but my next won't. I'm going to leave this world of hate and disappointment behind”.

The comment has been removed for moderation by a concerned reader. I called the police in Warren, Michigan to make a report. At least one person had proceeded me. The officer I talked to was aware of the case, but could not tell me what was being done. Thank you kind stranger. I feel better knowing other people care.

I wrote the person an email. I offered to talk or listen. It’s a small thing I know, but the alternative is nothing. We are what we do, and not what we say.

I hope…

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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Pastor Tommy Pitts arrested on child rape charges

TommyPittsPastor Tommy Pitts of the Midway Assembly of God Church, was arrested after his wife of 31 years turned him in to the police. Pitts faces 70 charges related to the rape and sexual abuse of three children.

Police said Pitts was arrested on 15 counts of first-degree rape, 15 counts of rape by instrumentation, 20 counts of lewd or indecent acts with children under 16 and 20 counts of forcible sodomy. He is on suicide watch, police said.

Pastor Pitts may qualify for the worst of the worst if these charges are proven. The victims were his own adopted daughters. Pitts tried to kill himself when the abuse became public.

Help support The Bicycle City

I’m on the lookout for good stores and good causes. The documentary film The Bicycle City is a good story about a good cause – Pedals for Progress. The documentary is telling the story of the great work done by a secular charity. Both efforts need our help. The filmmaker needs funds to finish the project, Pedals for Progress needs our old bikes.

From The Bicycle City

Over the past 20 years, more than 20,000 bicycles have been brought into Rivas, a city on Nicaragua's Pacific coast, by the non-profit Pedals for Progress, which collects donated bicycles in the United States and distributes them in impoverished communities worldwide. Since the first was unloaded in Rivas in 1991, the bicycle has become an integral part of daily life.

Told from the vantage points of Julia, the street vendor; Xiomara, the young mother; Joaquin, the entrepreneur; and David, the unlikely philanthropist, The Bicycle City is the story of how an idealistic experiment has helped the war-ravaged city of Rivas find its own path to recovery and normalcy through the introduction of cheap, reliable transportation in the form of the bicycle.

Help if you can or pass on the story.

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Atheist Blogroll update - New members

I added 14 new blogs to the Atheist Blogroll today. We have 1,373 members. Want add your blog to the list?
  1. A is for Atheist
  2. A Million Gods
  3. Def shepherd
  4. Divided Under God
  5. Fundamental Theory Of Existence
  6. Get your religion out of my freedom
  7. Jewelry Week
  8. K. Syrah Online
  9. My marriage… to god
  10. Philosopher's Haze
  11. Sendiulino (godless gal)
  12. The Analyzed Atheist
  13. The Cupcake Atheist
  14. Who moved my rice?

Luck and a good person

towI came close to a having a bad car accident recently. I drive on freeways in Los Angeles four days a week for upwards of 100 miles or more a day. In most cases I drive at rush hour. Earlier this week a 7 car accident happened around me while I escaped unharmed. A red car in the left lane ahead of me was hit by a car on its left, the red car lost control and spun across my lane into the lane on my right. She hit two cars. I jerked the wheel to the left without breaking and steered through the mess. The cars behind me were not so lucky. I was being tailgated by a panel truck. He drove into one of the two cars hit by the lady in the red car. The panel truck was hit from behind too. In the end there were seven cars involved, with the lady driving the red car suffering serious injuries. There were a host of smaller injuries. I stopped long enough to help the injured and give a statement to the Highway Patrol.

I told a coworker about my close call. She immediately associated it with God watching over me because I am a “good person.” She does not know I am an atheist, and as is my custom, I do not interrupt her with my version of reality. There are many reasons for this, politeness is a consideration, so is propriety, plus, I am just developing a business relationship with her.

Later, when I had time to think about it, my internal script went something like this:

I’m sure glad I took that defensive driving course back in the military. And driving with four or five car lengths open in front of me sure helped. I need to remember to do that as often as possible. Paying attention helped too. If I had been texting, wow that would have been bad. I’m sure glad I was not speeding. 50 mph is still too fast for heavy traffic.

There was no luck, no blind chance, and no god involved in my near miss. No nothing other than a series of decisions and experience leading to a successful result. I’ve happy to have survived without injury or damage.

Later that same day I met a man named Don while buying my lunch. Don was reading his Kindle while waiting in line. I was doing the same thing while standing right behind him. We compared notes on the Kindle and our love for the device. He invited me to join him at lunch. One does not say no to an invitation at El Pollo Loco.

He bought two 12 piece meals with all the sides plus a smaller three piece meal. I bought my normal meal. We ate together and talked. He owns a small garage in Sylmar and specializes in electrical repairs. I asked about the extra food. He said it was a donation for the local homeless population. When I asked why Don explained that he was a Christian. He buys extra food whenever he can afford to do so and drops it off for the homeless and hungry at a local park. He believes it is his duty to take care of others. He does not go to church. He simply interprets the Christian message as a directive to serve others. How cool is that?

I provided the deserts. I was happy to be alive. Churros for everyone!

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Thar be racist Christian nutballs

I recently followed a link to a Facebook page that I though was sympathetic to my clergy sexual abuse posts. But when following a link back to his blog I found a flaming racist. I give you über nutball crazy racist blogger Phinehas fury. Read it and laugh, then weep. This nutball Christian thinks that marrying outside ones own race is against god’s will. HIs position is biblical and everything. Need I say more?

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Foodgasm - Umami Burger

Umami Burger in Hollywood

I’ve been on a diet for a few weeks now. It’s called slow carb, and it works like magic. I’m feeling better every day and losing weight too. I get on cheat day once a week. I don’t stray too far from the diet, but I like to try something new when I get the chance.

I was shopping for photography books at Hennessey + Ingalls on Saturday. Umami Burger was the next shop over in the Space 15Twenty complex of trendy businesses.

We took a seat on the couch and waited for our Umami burgers to arrive. My wife ordered onion rings to accompany here meal while I ordered the pickle tray. We had no idea what we were in for. I guess the presence of hipsters and some minor Hollywood celebrities should have tipped us off.


We were hungry and wanted a quick burger. We ended up having a foodgasm instead. I was so hungry that I did not even take a photo of the food. How do I know we had a foodgasm? Back in 2004 my good friend Richard and I had a foodgasm while eating at Le Grand Véfour in Paris. I captured his expression on film. I saw that same look on my wife’s face when she bit into her burger. A moment later my eyes rolled back in my head as I sighed contentedly. The umami burger is one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten.

Do you want to see what a umami burger looks like? There are plenty of photos at the Umami Flickr group.

The prices…

  • Umami Burger $10
  • Onion Rings $3
  • Pickles $5
  • Ice Tea $2.5

We spent $33 not counting tip. Which puts it in the low end of the pricy category for a lunch.

Portion size is small. This would not be a place I take my volume eater friends (Kenny – I’m talking about you). The burger is smallish (smaller than a quarter pounder), and the sides are also small. The price does not correlate to quantity, but I think it correlates to quality. I was not hungry when I left, despite only eating one burger and a few pickles. Just to put things in perspective, I paid $16 for a burger, a pickle, and a glass of iced tea.

The onion rings were good, except for a small quality problem. They left the inedible onion skin on our batch. It’s a little embarrassing when you need to pull a 5 inch piece of onion skin out of your mouth. Of course, I ate around it. The serving size is small. Expect only 3 or 4 large rings per order.

The pickle platter was amazing and delicious. It contained just about everything you can pickle. I tried my first pickled tomato (not so good), and my first pickled okra (wow!). Plus peppers and pickles of various varieties.

I’d give medium marks to the staff. Our waiter was a bit of a dork, which made the meal awkward. I don’t know why he stood there waiting for us to decided what to eat after we told him we needed a few minutes. We actually had to tell him to leave. How often does that happen?

Umami-CoupleThe place was packed with people. I enjoyed the people watching almost as much as the meal. The two hipsters in the photo at the top of this article game me no end of laughs with their inane conversation. The couple before them (on the the right) were practically making love to their food. It was hilarious.

The shot to the right shows the food lovers discovering that fellow Foursquare user Mojoey has checked in and was sitting right across the table from them. He was one of six people who checked in during our visit.

I saw a financial reporter from CNN in the crowd. My wife saw a minor actress. The place was full of trendy people and hipsters. My son Jon would have hated it.

Yelp has Umami Burger at 3.5 stars. I’d have to agree. With the quality problems and odd staff, the overall experience was not perfect. But the burgers were worth it.

I recommend Umami Burger. The food is great. Enjoy your foodgasm.