Friday, March 30, 2012

Damn you Indonesia (and Islam)

Every man has a secret buck list.  My secret bucket list, the one my wife does not know about and will never find out about because she does not read my blog, includes a spring trip to Indonesia for the annual unveiling of the miniskirts. Now, thanks to Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Minister, I may never get the chance to cross this important event off my list. Indonesia’s grand tradition is at risk. They want to ban miniskirts. Apparently, miniskirts are the root cause of all rape.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Indonesia’s House of Representatives speaker, Marzuki Alie, also recently made inflammatory comments around women's apparel, suggesting that women who wear miniskirts could encourage men to rape them.

To fight this imaginary rape scenario, Indonesia's Religious Affairs Minister, Suryadharma Ali wants to classify miniskirts as a porn crime. 

'Pornography is something that we can feel … but we have to make the criteria,'' Suryadharma Ali said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

I have a message for you Suryadharma Ali. Rape is caused by men who will rape a woman wearing a burka if they have the opportunity. Women are the victims. Limiting what women wear will not decrease the incidence of rape. Rational people understand this, and we understand that you are going after miniskirts because it offends your religious sensibilities. This must not be allowed to stand. Miniskirt women of Indonesia, I implore you to rise up and throw Ali and anyone who supports him out of office. The future of my secret buck list is at stake.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dumb… dumb dumb dumb!

What biblical lesson do we learn by exposing children to the terror of kidnapping? Did Jesus teach this? I’m confused. You should be too. Read this: Fake raid at youth church meeting shakes up 14-year-old girl.

A 14-year old Dauphin County girl said she thought she was going to die Wednesday night when two men with apparent guns raided a church meeting. She later found out that it was a learning exercise carried out by the church youth group.

The mother of the young girl did not want to reveal their names. The teenager does not belong to the Glad Tidings Assembly of God church in Lower Swatara Township, but she decided to go to a youth meeting Wednesday night with a friend who told her the meetings were fun.

The pastor and youth pastor are incredulous. They can’t believe that anybody might be upset by their antics. After all, they’ve done it before with no complaints. That should make kidnapping children ok, right?

The youth pastor all but called the 14-year-old victim a liar.

"In fact, I'm pretty sure she was laughing at some point and having fun with the other students," youth pastor Andrew Jordan said. "I can't confirm that, but that's what I've heard from friends of hers that were there."

Nice going youth pastor Jordon. Did they teach you to act like that in youth pastor school? Was that in the correspondence course? I like how your words show your compassion and Christ-like nature. I can feel the love.

Let’s talk about what could have happened. Disaster scenarios easy to come up with after just a few minutes of thinking this though. A testosterone loaded teen decides to put up a right. He Jumps from a moving van, crashing the van, or acts out in a way that injures himself and other innocent participants. He gets to carry the guilt around for the rest of his life as a bonus. Guns were involved. All it takes is a uniformed 3rd party with a loaded gun and people will die. Let’s not forget the mental pressure these teens were placed under. Stress, terror, fearing for ones life, these factors can cause lasting mental trauma. Sure, you can laugh it off because you are in the know, but some kids are fragile.It only takes a little push. In the real world, only a reckless fool would propose this type of event. The risks are simply too high.

Let’s look at this from another angle. Church is a business. It has assets that require protection in order to sustain itself. A well-run business does not risk it capital on questionable behavior. Churches will take action to reduce risk wherever they can. I doubt the leaders of this church thought that through. This case will lead to a civil suit, and criminal charges are a real possibility too. This could cost the church a lot of money. This could actually close the church. Yet misguided church leadership wants to push ahead with more kidnapping events. I must ask, how is this in any way connected to the teachings of Jesus? Is it reasonable to risk the wellbeing of a church and its mission on a questionable stunt? Pastor John Lanza and youth pastor Andrew Jordan, you are nutballs and should not be allowed near a church.

Members of the Glad Tidings Assembly of God: If you feel like you are being persecuted for your actions. If you feel like outsiders are trying to run your church and tell you what to do. If you feel like the world has turned against you. It’s because your leadership acted like children. Step up to your responsibilities. You owe this girl an apology. You owe all of the children involved an apology. You owe their families an apology too. You also own your community an apology. I’m not just talking about the town you live in either. You need to tell other churches that you screwed up and were focused on the wrong things. You cannot justify teaching teens about imaginary Christian persecution scenarios when the homeless go hungry in your own county. You know the story right? Your lord commands that you feed the homeless, clothe the poor… the good work that Christians can do. It’s why some of us appreciate you. Terrifying children is not on the list.  Jesus tells you to, “Live such a godly life that people, seeing you do good deeds, will have respect for your Father which is in heaven.” He also commands this jewel… “When persecutions come simply because you have done what is right in God's sight, rejoice and be extremely happy, for you have a great reward in heaven.” Why are you teaching kids to fear persecution again?

Nice touch taking your website down by the way. You probably need the cash to pay your legal bills. I understand.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pastor Timothy Jackson found guilty

A jury of his peers found Pastor Timothy Jackson guilty of molesting a 13-year-old girl. The story of his conviction did not make the news, but a member of the jury was kind enough to confirm the story, so was a member of the audience at the time the verdict was read.

Jackson’s church was particularly vocal in his defense. They tended to attack the victim. I mean… she obviously was the one who caused the problem. That’s what evil girls do. Right? People are such jerks.

Believer offered this:

This attacks are a lie!!! Someone needs to look at this girl and her families history of lying!!! The truth will come out and all will see that Mr. Jackson IS a man of God!! This is a disturbed family and the truth will set you FREE!! We all love you Pastor Jackson and God is on your side!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Loyalcitizen offered this tripe:

As stated the truth will be revealed this girl suffers from a mental illness was actually molested by her stepfather but of course how often have we seen victims blame others to cover the abuse in the home as an outcry. for those who know this family knows wat type of people they r n wat they have done in their own past. which is y this is unbelievable . Not to say this girl isn't a victim nor tht no man is capable of sin although for those who know the truth knows much more was exposed over the years tht this girl her mother and numerous other family members have done .. Shes a product of her environment!

Source: Pastor Timothy Jackson charged

You can tell a lot about a person when the chips are down. Pressure can open up big festering puss filled sores that show the real you. Jackson failed the test. He raped a little girl. But his followers. They are poor examples of what a Christian is supposed to be. How sad is that?

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Are Dinosaurs offensive?

Crazy news out of New York. The New York City Department of Education wants to avoid offending children from the city’s standardized test. Dinosaurs was listed as one of the potentially offensive words.

"Dinosaurs" evoking unpleasant emotions? The New York Post speculated that the "dinosaurs" could "call to mind evolution, which might upset fundamentalists.”

Source: New York city schools want to ban 'loaded words' from tests

Oddly enough, they left “idiot” off the list. Missed fundies too. Go figure.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

but let us judge not

"but let us Judge not, that we be not judged" - Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln said these words as part of his second inaugural address. He was paraphrasing Jesus of course. I've always taken his words to mean do not judge everyone by the actions of a single actor. Others, mainly Christians, insist that it means I must suspend all judgement. I don't buy it. We are called to judge others. It is a moral obligation. We must judge others, but we must be careful to judge what people do, not what we think they might do. We must also be careful not to judge a group by the actions of an individual. It's hard though, right?

I struggle with pastors. If not for the good people I know who are pastors, I might develop an irrational prejudice, like the prejudice I suspect George Zimmerman had towards Trayvor Martin. Prejudices can kill. What was it that caused Zimmerman to kill Martin if not prejudice? Well ok… Zimmerman could have also deliberately created the opportunity in order to kill Martin.

Pastors are not my biggest problem though. I am constantly fighting the urge to lump all politicians into the same nasty bucket of fish guts. I loath politicians. Every one I've met eventually caused me to think our great democracy is broken. We elect those who are drawn to power for powers sake, for personal enrichment, or because of a moral agenda at odds with the foundation of our democracy.

I started my political life as a Republican. I moved toward the fringes of the political process by becoming a Libertarian shortly after George H. Bush took the reins of power back in the 90s. Since then, the Republican party has become a morally corrupt theocratic party while the Libertarians have morphed into an irrelevant crazy sideshow. Don't get me started on Democrats. They have just as many issues. In fact, their collect failure to press their political advantage during the early days of the Obama administration left me speechless. The Democratic party is a herd of cats.

Political corruption is rampant… this leads me back to my main point. Do we judge all politicians by the actions of a few corrupts actors? Take Republican member of the National Labor Relations Board Terrence Flynn. His alleged crime is one that speaks to his character. I read cases like his every week. Are all politicians corrupt? No. Are politicians to be trusted?  I think the answer here is no too. Trust no politician. Judge actions. Judge results. Distrust promises. Distrust religious agendas and agendas that seek to undermine our democracy. Simple. Right?

Speaking of which. if we judge the actions of Rick Santorum, he fails. …just saying.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

It’s symbolic. I get that.

I scratch my head at some of the stuff that goes on in Atheist circles. Take efforts to remove a blessing from a highway in Florida. An atheist group, Humanists of Florida, decided it was a good idea to wash away something that was not there in the first place. How does one wash away a blessing?

Representatives from various atheist groups in the area scrubbed the road at the Pasco-Polk county line. They were figuratively removing holy oil that had been put on the road last year by a group of area religious leaders. That group was Polk Under Prayer, or PUP.

Source: Offended by religious group's highway blessing, atheists 'scrub' it away

I guess they were hurting for publicity. Does this kind of activity really help the cause?

Why did they do it?

"It sends a very bad signal to everyone in Polk County, and (anyone) who travels through Polk county who doesn't happen to be Christian,” Palmer said, “This event is not about atheist rights; this is about welcoming everybody into Polk county."

But does it? I guess would have made sense a year ago when the blessing took place. A year later, not so much. It would also makes sense if you can actually see a blessing. Since you can’t, I’m thinking this is kind of pointless. I’d be interested in hearing more about why they thought this was necessary.

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The Catholic campaign of hate continues

The Catholic Church has a well documented history of hate, lies, and misdirection from when it comes to clergy sexual abuse scandal. At this point, the church will say anything to avoid responsibility, and often does everything it its power to thwart investigations and hid priests from scrutiny. Their approach is not surprising since the scandal is the first meaningful threat to the authority of the church is the last 150 years. I think they have stooped to a new low this time by suing SNAP for the release of two decades worth of emails on clergy sexual abuse cases.

The Roman Catholic Church has decided that they want to go after the leading advocacy group for those victimized by pedophile priests. Lawyers for the Roman Catholic Church and priests accused of sexual abuse in two Missouri cases have sued the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests or SNAP to try and compel the group to release two decades of emails detailing correspondences with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists.

Source: Desperate Catholic Church Targets Victims of Pedophile Priests

Paper tiger Bill Donohue has an uniformed opinion. He always does.

It is not surprising that William Donohue, the head of the the Catholic League, would attack SNAP. Donohue has made it clear that he has no problem with Catholic priests molesting children. He stated that “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church. . .The bishops have come together collectively. I can’t give you the names, but there’s a growing consensus on the part of the bishops that they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough. We don’t need altar boys.”

heh… “We don’t need altar boys.” Really? Is that because your priests have already had a go at them?

The real issue here is silence. The Catholic church wants to silence SNAP.

The network and its allies say the legal action is part of a campaign by the church to cripple an organization that has been the most visible defender of victims, and a relentless adversary, for more than two decades. “If there is one group that the higher-ups, the bishops, would like to see silenced,” said Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University and an advocate for victims of clergy sex crimes, “it definitely would be SNAP. And that’s what they’re going after. They’re trying to find a way to silence SNAP.”

Source: Church Puts Legal Pressure on Abuse Victims’ Group

The Catholic church has already lost the moral high ground. They will not regain it by silencing their critics. Nor will they regains it by fishing for lapsed Catholics. The war has been lost already. Everything else is a holding action.

A Sunday Atheist Meetup

The stars aligned for me today, so I was able to attend the Long Beach Atheist Meetup with 17 other local atheists. The two people pictured above, Henry and Yara, sat across from me. To be honest… I had a blast. The conversation was interesting and the people were gracious and caring. We talked politics and religion, but my favorite was when each person told the story of how and when they became an atheist. I got a few laughs when I admitted that I did not remember the specifics of my own story. Michael, the organizer, did a fine job building hosting. Thanks Michael.

I tried something different this meet. I left my gear at home. I normally have a good camera and a notepad. Instead of focusing on building a story for my blog, I focused on the stories of those around me. It worked too. Two hours passed without the urge to document my life with photos and stories.

Bruce Gleason of Backyard Skeptics attended the event. I managed to stay far away from the man. He’s at it again. He’s made the cover of the OC Weekly with a story called No Exist – Bruce Gleason wants to kill your god, one joke at a time. by Josh Dulaney. I’ll give it a read before I comment, but I’m already prejudiced by the title. I find myself in the unenviable position of explaining to my friends and family that I do not hold his views, nor do I think they helping my cause.

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Nabbed one in India

The Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul is a fugitive wanted for the alleged rape of two young girls while he worked as a pastor for the Catholic Dioceses of Crookston at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Greenbush, Minn. Jeyapaul was arrested in India. He was working as a pastor with Children.

"We are grateful to the police and prosecutors in Minnesota and elsewhere for getting this dangerous cleric behind bars," said Barbara Dorris, a national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). 

I’m grateful too. People like Jeyapual must answer for their crimes.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pastor Curtis Matthews arrested

Curtis_MathewsWhat is a church anyway? Is it the building, or is it the Christians who use with the building? When I hear something like, Curtis Glendell Matthews, head of the historic Springfield Baptist Church in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, was arrested at his home on Wednesday on charges that he arranged sexual liaisons with a minor.” I Immediately ask myself, why is the that the age of he building or its role in history is important to the story? It is people who reflect the true nature of a church. Why must we always associate the church (building) with the corrupt practices of the its people? It is just a building. It means nothing. What about the Christians who use the building? What of them? How many are morally corrupt like their pastor?

Matthews has been the pastor at Springfield Baptist Church for the last 15 years. He’s also collecting unemployment…I’m not sure that’s ethical. Matthews faces two felonies. If convicted, he will go to prison for a few years.

A common theme in cases like this is that predators will migrate to places like churches, schools, and youth organizations where the pickings are easy. While I agree that there are pedophile pastors who fit this theme, this case does not. Instead, it fits another theme all together, and it is far less appealing. If the allegations are true, then Matthews is a hypocrite who does not believe or practice what he preaches. To people like Matthews, being a pastor is a paycheck and nothing more. And morality, it is subjective and loses when pitted against one’s baser urges. That’s why being a pastor appeals to amoral people; one can lead a church while defining the pedestal from which they preach.

In a case like this, where the pastor has led a group of Christians for over a decade, I often wonder how much of the pastor is in his flock? When people follow a morally corrupt pastor, does it rub off? Are his followers Christians in the true sense of the word, or, are they worshiping the cult of personality staged by their pastor? I think the answer is that they too are corrupt, although I doubt they will admit it.

Hat Tip to Afolabi Emmanueal.

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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Their facts were flatly wrong

Politicians who link abortion to mental heath problems beware (I’m talking about your Rick Santorum). Per an article in the New York Times called: A study linking abortion and mental health problems is called false, the only published paper that tries to establish the link has been discredited by a critique in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

“This is not a scholarly difference of opinion,” Dr. Steinberg said. “Their facts were flatly wrong. This was an abuse of the scientific process to reach conclusions that are not supported by the data.”

I cannot put a finer point on it. It makes you wonder though. If the original study was flatly wrong, what motivated Dr. Priscilla Coleman? Could it be politics?

Dr. Coleman’s work has been used to support state laws in seven states (Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia) requiring that women seeking an abortion be counseled regarding its negative psychological effects. A similar analysis of data in Denmark (reported last year in the British Journal of Medicine) found no support for the hypothesis that abortion increased the risk of mental disorders.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Garbage disposals and napkins

Sometimes it is the little things that stop you in the tracks. I was reading Thoughts to Provoke Your Thoughts, a Atheist blog from the Philippines, when I stumbled across this line.

In America, there exists more than 50 million "garbage disposal machines" that eat up better, more nutritious, left-over food discarded away from American tables.

I had never thought of the scraps of food that I wash away as sustenance for another person, let alone an entire country. It was like a slap in the face. We have so much, and we are so wasteful. It also reminded me of a story.

I remember eating a meal with my wife’s grandmother (Lola) shortly before her death a long time ago. She took a napkin from the container on the  table. She opened the folds of the napkins so that all four quadrants of the thin paper were exposed, and she slowly ripped away a fourth of the napkin. She replaced the remaining three fourths in the holder on the table. When I asked her why she did it, my mother-in-law translated her comments to me. Lola did not want to waste anything. She may need it later. She did not realize that by her standards we have several years worth of napkins in a bulk pack for Costco.

My Lola had lived in the Philippines her whole life. Most of that in a tiny village without electricity. She survived the Japanese occupation, and had a dozen or so kids. She was frugal and proud. Because of her, I met my wonderful Filipina wife and was welcomed by large friendly family. A month does not go by without meeting a new relation. It’s wonderful. She was wonderful.

The last time I saw her was at the Los Angeles Airport before her return to the Philippines. I carried her for a few hundred yards because we could not find a wheelchair. She weighted all of 80 pounds then. She game me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. For some reason, I dream about that last goodbye all the time.

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The Nude Photo Revolutionaries Calendar

Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy (Twitter) shocked Egypt with this NSFW photo. She posted it as a feminist statement against radical Islamic oppression. At the time I thought the next story I would read about her would be sad news. I’m happy to see she is still active and inspiring others.

Maryam Namazie decided to launch a project to help support Elmahdy’s cause. It’s called the Nude Photo Revolutionaries Calendar.

The calendar is the idea of campaigner Maryam Namazie to support Aliaa Magda Elmahdy and join her ‘screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy’.

Namazie says: ‘What with Islamism and the religious right being obsessed with women’s bodies and demanding that we be veiled, bound, and gagged, nudity breaks taboos and is an important form of resistance.’

Various women, including one of my favorite bloggers, Greta Christina, grace its pages. I must say Greta, you are much braver than me. 

What are you waiting for… buy your copy now! All proceeds go towards supporting women’s rights and free expression.

Harold Camping admits he was wrong

I am actually surprised this happened. Harold Camping admits his life long obsession with predicting the second coming was wrong.

"We have learned the very painful lesson that all of creation is in God's hands and He will end time in His time, not ours!" a statement on Family Radio's website reads. "We humbly recognize that God may not tell His people the date when Christ will return, any more than He tells anyone the date they will die physically."

Camping also called his actions a sin, which we all know means that God will hold him accountable in the same way he holds a murderer accountable… expect if he asks forgiveness for cheating people out of their hard earned cash, because then everything is okay. Sheesh.

Let me rewrite the headline. Harold Camping is an admitted fraud. Don’t worry… people will still send him money.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

All sin is equal

…except for when it’s not.

The whole equality of sin concept is one of the reasons Christianity untenable for me. Saying that a white lie to my wife about her latest hairstyle is on par with raping a child make the concept laughable. On earth, in the Untied States, raping a child gets you prison time. A white lie keeps your marriage sane. 

Morgan Hepburn of Rock Point Baptist Church came rushing to the defense of volunteer youth worker Jordan Roseboom with this crazy misguided tweet.

All sins are equal in God’s eyes. Pray for healing. #PrayforRockPoint

The man she is defending… he has admitted to molesting children and was just charged with an additional five counts of child molestation. Morgan Hepburn, I’m sure glad we don’t’ know each other, and I don’t want to be your friend. You are an enabler.

Let’s look at the failure modes in this case.

We know that Roseboom was allowed to have sleepovers with young boys. Even if these events were not sanctioned by he church, the sleepovers should have been against the church’s code of conduct. Failure one – tacit approval from Rock Point Church and the parents of the alleged victims.

Allowing an adult male private time with a young boy is unwise. Failure two – allowing unsupervised visitation with young boys. The parents own this one, but the church should have also made it a matter of policy. As in… use the rule of two. Two adults are required for all activities with minors.

Instead of taking the allegations directly to the police, the church contacted all affected parents and then held a meeting with the parents of the child who came forward with the abuse allegation. Then the church notified the police while encouraging Roseboom to turn himself in. Failure three – The allegations should have be brought directly to the police without the church interfering or trying to manage the situation.

I can’t comment on what type of preventative and predictive programs are in place at Rock Point. The press did not cover this area. I would be interesting to know if there is a professional conduct policy for people working with children. It would also be good to know if staff and volunteers are given training to help recognize abuse. The last item, and it is actually the first questions reporters should ask is, what kind of background checks and monitoring were done on Roseboom?

Sunday morning dose of hatred

Rich Santorum never ceases to amaze me with his unabashed hatred for gay Americans. This time he’s promising to nullify existing gay marriages if he elected president. Is this all he thinks about?

Rick Santorum says he'll try to unmarry all of them if he's elected president.

Once the U.S. Constitution is amended to prohibit same-gender marriages, "their marriage would be invalid," the former Pennsylvania senator said Dec. 30 in an NBC News interview.

Read more: Santorum backs nullifying existing gay marriages

I remember when I was young and just starting to work in a professional field. I worked with a few gay men and women. I was fascinated by same sex couples because it was new to me. And by fascinated I mean I was kind of a jerk about it. I’m my relatively sheltered life, I was taught that gay people were something to be feared. Boy was I wrong. It took a few years, a couple patient friends, and some growing up, but I came to realize that gay people were just like me. That is to say, they were pursuing love and happiness the same way I was, and how they did it or who they did it with was not important. Today, I will fight for gay rights and for the right of gays to marry. People like Santorum… they are the ones to fear because they want to force their version of morality on others. Gay rights, there is no better cause to fight for.

Where do you find inspiration?

I’ve recently started trying to photograph wildlife. I can tell you from personal experience that it is not easy. Out of the hundreds of photos I’ve shot in the last month, perhaps two or three are what I consider technically good photos. None are what I consider aesthetically pleasing. I’ll keep working on my technique, and soon perhaps, I’ll have something worthy of posting. Until then, I’d like to point you to where I find inspiration. It’s the work of other amateur and professional photographers. Today it was a random link via StumbleUpon that lead me to an outstanding series of photos from the the National Wildlife Federation’s 2009 Photo Contest. I love the shot of the fluffed up Indigo Bunting (#3) and the shot of the lion hidden in the grass (#10). Enjoy.

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Photo - A heron in the wetlands

A heron standing in a pond

I shot this down at the Bolsa Chica Wetlands a few days ago. It was a peaceful and quiet morning. Yet when I walked the hiking trails, I was acutely aware that all of Orange County is just a mile away. We need places like this.

This photo is a tone mapping experiment. I like the results to a certain extent, but I do not like the halo affect near the border of the water and plants. I’ll have to work on that. All tips are welcome.

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Saturday, March 03, 2012

This week in hypocrisy

I’ve been too busy these past few weeks to do my normal story for each nasty pastor who finds his way into my inbox. I collected them instead.

Former pastor Derrick Trevor Griffen was sentenced to life in prison for murder. He murdered the lover of his ex-wife in a drive-by-shooting.

Former pastor Cornelius Taylor was convicted on eight counts of sexual assault on a minor. He raped a 16-year-old girl that was living with him repeatedly for over two years.

Former pastor Anthony Michael Adinolfi is working out a plea deal on charges that he solicited the statutory rape of a 16-year-old girl via text messages. Andinolfi was the pastor at The Church of Jesus Christ, 3300 Bloomingdale Road, Kingsport.

Reverend Ronald House was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice. House allegedly took kickbacks from convicted criminals in return for lenient sentences.

Former pastor and Wheaton College professor Donald Ratcliff, was arrested for possession of child pornography. The 60 year old Christian allegedly had pornographic photos and videos in his possession.

Pastor Tyrone D. Gordon faces a civil suit alleging he groped a man during visits to the pastor’s office. A second man had filed charges alleged Gordon of coercing men into sex acts. Did I mention that Gordon is a pastor?

Former pastor Tom Daniels for sentenced to 158 years in prison for raping girls aged 5 to 8. Daniels was a pastor for the Frist Baptist Church in Rio Linda.

A volunteer youth ministry worker named Jordan Roseboom faces five counts of child molestation. His victims were boys younger than age 14 and attended Rock Point Baptist Church in Crawfordsville.

A youth group worker named Kenneth Allen Johnson stands charged with three counts of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature for the alleged molestation of a 14-year-old boy in 1985. The victim attended Hampton Park Baptist church at the time of the molestation.

Pastor Gregory L. Goner stands accused of enriching himself at the public’s expense. He allegedly misappropriated up to $800,000. Apparently, Goner liked Cadillacs. Goner is the pastor of Spirit Governed Baptist Church in Milwaukee.

Pastor Clavon Leonard stands accused of spiritual, physical and sexual abuse by six former staff members. Leonard is the pastor of the Church of Philadelphia in Charlotte’s Hidden Valley neighborhood. Some former members suggest that the church is actually a cult. 

Friday, March 02, 2012

Another Baptist sex scandal

Bishop Joseph Walker III of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn, stands accused of abusing his pastoral power by sexually exploiting four women. The case is a civil suit, so I’m on the fence regarding culpability. This could simply be a run at some cash on the part of the plaintiffs. One plaintiff, Valencia Batson, claims she’s not in it for the money…

She emphasized she does not care for the money that might potentially result from the lawsuit, but about the safety of any woman who is in the church now or who "can't move forward with her life." Batson reportedly declined to comment about specifics like times and dates of the alleged assaults or the nature of the evidence against the church.

Mt. Zion qualifies as a mega church with over 25,000 members. Walker is the churches charismatic and popular leader. So far, the response as been typical. the church claims the women are in it for the money. Of course, the next few weeks will bring for other victims (if any exist), so the story will get much more interesting. For now, the woman are suing for 5 million dollars.

My take on this – show us the evidence.

Bad yoga man. Bad!

Every now and then I read something and say, wtf? Like this. John Friend, the founder of Anusara yoga, taken a leave of absence over allegations of sexual misconduct. The odd part… one of the reasons listed for his stepping down, was his involvement in a Wicca coven. Is that a bad thing?

As with all cult-like movements, and I count Anusara Yoga as a cult-like movement, when the leader falls, the followers are caught by surprise and usually act as if they are in shock, or worse..

Few had any idea about his sexual indiscretions, she added. The apparent hypocrisy has upset many followers.

“Those folks are devastated,” Ms. Brower wrote in The Huffington Post. “They’re understandably disappointed to hear that he cheated on his girlfriends repeatedly” and “lied to so many.”

Source: Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here

As with religion, some who lead are in it for personal gain, sexual conquest, and… because the are monsters.

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