Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I dream of Sandy Hook

I had a reoccurring dream about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last night. I've had the dream perhaps 40 or 50 times since that horrible day. In the dream, I watch what I visualize as the shooting take place while I am a shade floating around the school. I try to warn people. I try save kids. I try to stop the shooter, who in my dream is a giant with a huge gun. All my efforts fail. Everybody dies. I grow frustrated and feel helpless.

I woke up from the dream at 3:00 am. My trusty dog Rufio was licking my face. I'm was hot and angry. I walked out to my back yard and spent 20 minutes looking up at the night sky before I could return to bed. I've done this so many times that it has become routine. Sandy Hook made an impression on me. The dream will be with me for a long time to come.

I am a responsible gun owner. I believe it is our right to own a gun, but I am not a member of the NRA, nor will I ever be. In fact, I do know how long I will continue to own a gun. I've come to the conclusion because of my dreams, that I am part of the problem. It is not because I own a gun, but because I don't do anything to confront the issue. I just carry one and let others fight the good fight. I think that I do this because the people who would fix the problem, scare me as much as the NRA. Why are we so polarized? 

I don't know how to fix this. Sandy Hook should not have happened. Teaching kids to duck and cover when there is an active shooter on campus or arming teachers, is focused on the wrong end of the problem. People like Adam Lanza should not own guns. Some types of guns should not be sold. Gun buy back programs, background checks, better registration systems… all of these things should be on the table. Yet the NRA fights them all and our political leaders cave to pressure. Instead of fixing the root of the problem, we instead teach children to hide from shooters. How does this solve the problem? During the next attack will fewer kids will be slaughtered?  I don't get it. Fuck the NRA.

This made me laugh - Cimate Name Change

Monday, August 26, 2013

So this Christian youth counselor touched a boy with his penis

A Christian youth counselor allegedly sexually assaulted a young boy at church summer camp by rubbing his penis on a young boys crotch in what sounds like simulated gay sex. His father, the church's pastor, calls it horseplay gone wrong. The alleged perpetrator is Zachary Anderle of the Vineyard Community Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported on Thursday that Vineyard Community Church in Chattanooga had taken the action after court documents emerged detailing Zachary Anderle’s arrest last month for two counts of third-degree cruelty to children and sexual assault while he was serving as counselor at the church’s camp in Carroll County, Ga.

The affidavits alleged that “Anderle climbed on top of a 13-year-old camper and placed his penis on top of the boy’s crotch while other boys were watching,” the Times Free Press noted. “Anderle also slapped the child’s face, the report states.”

Source: Tennessee church says camp counselor putting penis on boy is ‘horseplay gone wrong’

The failure mode in this story should be obvious by now. An adult male was allowed to bunk with adolescent boys without another adult present. This is a huge violation of what should be common sense. The Vineyard should know better and so should its church camp.  The Vineyard must have no real policy which protects its children. When you add that the church thinks the whole thing is just horseplay, it is clear that the church does not view issue in the proper context. Why was an adult male allowed to be nude in the presence of young boys at a secluded church camp without supervision? Hello civil lawsuit.

Plus, the Vineyard is a large Christian cult anyway…  so what can one expect?

He's a good priest and a holy priest...

He's a good priest and a holy priest who happens to have be arrested and charged with child molestation and victim tampering. We support Rev. Joseph Liang… or so suggests congregants from Catherdral Basilica of St. Louis as they tried to organize an official event showing their support for the alleged pedophile Catholic priest. SNAP put an end to it.

Earlier this week, local victims' rights advocates were outraged when they saw an invitation to a meet-up at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis to pray for the "defense and exoneration" of Father Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang, a priest accused of repeatedly molesting a teenage girl. Representatives of the Archdiocese of St. Louis said they were not aware of the event until Daily RFT reached out. They ultimately canceled it and had the meetup.com listing removed.

Source: Chruchgoers Defend St. Louis Priest Accused of Sex Abuse, Pray in Private Meetup Group by Sam Levin

Oh you foolish people! Why would you support this man? Is it because he is a man of God? I think by now we all understand that priest are men who have the same weaknesses as other men, but much more access to power and children, which makes them more susceptible to abuse. Jiang will go to prison over these allegations. In fact, I predict a 30 year sentence. The evidence is damning. And now, Archbishop Robert Carlson has been Subpoenaed in the case. I smell a cover up!

"Child-molesting clerics may perform the actual assault alone, but almost always there are coverups involving other church officials, usually supervisors," David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, tells Daily RFT. "We can't predict what Carlson will be asked or answer under oath. But simply the fact that he has to face tough questions under oath in a pending criminal case is encouraging to us."

Source: Fr. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang: Archbishop Robert Carlson Subpoenaed in Priest Sex Abuse Case by Sam Levin

Archbishop Robert Carlson denied the allegation. I cannot wait to see Carlson testify, so I hope the court rules in the victim's favor. The question I want Carlson to answer, why did he bail out Rev. Joseph Liang?

I am a huge fan of SNAP. They fight the good fight and do a good job of holding the church and priests accountable. What I like most is the help they provide the victims. I would also like to thank Sam Levin of the Riverfront Times for his outstanding reporting. 

What is a church anyway?

Linda Cooper found out about her church recently. She was kicked out after six decades of membership for failing to publicly denounce her daughter's lifestyle. Linda's daughter is lesbian.

“My mother was up here and she sat beside me. That's it,” Kat Cooper said, acccording to The Daily Mail. “Literally, they're exiling members for unconditionally loving their children - and even extended family members.”

The Coopers have attended the church for decades, reports the New York Daily News. Linda Cooper was raised in the church, and her father’s plaque hangs on the walls of the church.

“This is not just some casual church they dropped in on," said Hunt Cooper, the father of Kat and husband of Linda.

Source: Ridgedale Church Of Christ Exiles Member Linda Cooper For Supporting Lesbian Daughter

The hate in this story is self evident. I do not need to explore the obvious. Instead, I want to comment on what a I think a church really is.  I've been thinking about this for a long time. A church is social construct whose primary focus is on establishing a moral norm and then enforcing compliant behavior on its members through a variety of techniques; including the heavy-handed method used in this story. Further, since each independent church has its own leader, morality is defined within the pastor social and political mindset. There is a vast difference between a liberal and conservative. What most of these conservative churches have in common is a break away from the word of Jesus toward the rules and laws of the Old Testament, which gives structure as apposed to the Golden Rule, which gives direction. If one interprets that actions of Linda and Kat Cooper through the words of Jesus, does one really kick an old lady to the curb? I don't think so, but then again, I am an atheist and my expectations are not skewed by a pastor with a political agenda. 

I am most disappointed with the other members of Linda Cooper's former church. Members of the Ridgedale Church of Christ should support Linda Cooper. They should walk out of the church along side their longtime friend instead of pointing the finger of shame at her. They do not know what it means to be a friend. They do not understand that the bonds we share with people are more important than the political rantings of a pastor focused on enforcing moral purity. Pastor Ken Willis is a putz. His congregation should abandon him. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Baptist pedophile Ernest Willis to stay in prison

Ernest Willis, profiled here, raped a 15-year-old girl, impregnated her, and then worked with his pastor to have his victim apologize for her own rape and have her child adopted. He and his pastor, Charles Phelps, are the worst sort of Christians. The pair is the answer to the question of why do I do this. My answer is Willis and Phelps.

Willis had appealed his conviction. It did not go well him.

The state Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the rape and sexual assault convictions against Ernest Willis who is serving a 15-to-30 year prison sentence for forcibly raping his teenage babysitter, whom he knew through Trinity Baptist Church in Concord, twice in 1997.

The girl, who became pregnant, was later made to stand before their congregation apologize by then-pastor Chuck Phelps. A Merrimack County jury convicted Ellis of three counts of rape and one count of felonious sexual assault in 2011.

Source: N.H. Supreme Court upholds Ernest Willis’s rape convictions by Annmarie Timmins

Willis will continue to serve his 15 to 30 year sentence. I hope his victim, Tina Anderson, can feel safe.

One part of the case has always bothered me. The police were investigating and then they stopped. 

The Concord police investigation into Willis’s conduct was closed when the department lost touch with Anderson. The case was reopened in 2010, leading to a trial the following year where Willis was convicted of multiple rape counts. After that trial, Willis’s attorneys appealed his convictions on several grounds, including the admission of testimony from Phelps.

Source:  Supreme Court upholds rape conviction, rejects religious privilege argument by Tricia L. Nadolny (2013)

They stopped investigating because Pastor Charles Phelps moved Tina Anderson out of state. Pastor Phelps should be in prison too. 

Other posts and links on this case:

 

Friday, August 23, 2013

How to spot a sociopath

I met Jim Jones when I was 16 or 17. I could not tell he was a sociopath at the time. I'm not sure if understanding a sociopath's red flags would have helped me, but at least it was an interesting read.

One of the more offensive duties of being an investigative journalist is taking out the trash -- exposing liars, fraudsters, con artists and scammers for the people they truly are. Each time we investigate a sociopath, we find that they always have a little cult group following of spellbound worshippers who consider that particular sociopath to be a "guru" or "prophet."

Sociopaths are masters at influence and deception. Very little of what they say actually checks out in terms of facts or reality, but they're extremely skillful at making the things they say sound believable, even if they're just making them up out of thin air. Here, I'm going to present quotes and videos of some legendary sociopaths who convinced everyday people to participate in mass suicides. And then I'm going to demonstrate how and why similar sociopaths are operating right now... today.

Source: How to spot a sociopath - 10 red flags that could save you from being swept under the influence of a charismatic nut job

Jim Jones was a charismatic man. I liked him on first meeting. I'm happy I did not jump on board the crazy train. I'd be dead now.

Evangelicals urged to confront abuse

Before I get started, let me state that I firmly believe Evangelicals should confront sex abuse via transparency and accountability. Having said that, I give you this…

Evangelical churches need to confront sexual abuse and cover-ups within their own ranks, according to a statement signed by more than 1,500 people worldwide and promoted by a former sex-crimes prosecutor.

The “Public Statement Concerning Sexual Abuse in the Church of Jesus Christ” was prompted in part by a Maryland lawsuit filed by 11 people against Sovereign Grace Ministries, a denomination now based in Louisville, alleging a cover-up of abuse within its churches.

Source: Faith & Works | Evangelical churches urged to confront abuse, cover-ups

I'm cynical. I know this article means well, but it is essentially a commercial for GRACE, or the Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, which sells its services to Christian organization in need. I hope some good comes of it, but I do not think a group on the inside can be any more effective that the Catholic church is at investigating its own crimes. GRACE - please provide a list of cases which have been forwarded to the proper authorities for investigation. Show your worth. Hold the bastards accountable. 

No weaves for you

One of the problems I have with Christianity is that every church has its own brand of Christianity. Sometimes the differences are significant, like the differences between Southern Baptists and Baptists,  and sometimes they are trivial. In this case, I'll come down on the side of trivial. Pastor A.J. Aamir told his Waco based African American church that females must not wear weaves. I'm not kidding. Weaves are evil, or is that the women who are evil? I lose track.

Aamir told America Preachers: “Our black women are getting weaves trying to be something and someone they are not. Be real with yourself is all I’m saying.”

Aamir, who grew up in a strict Muslim household says he wants his congregation, where the average age of members is just 22 years old, to focus on what he deems as more important things than the hair on their heads. Aamir is also concerned that his parishioners are spending too much money on hair.

“Long hair don’t care. What kind of mess is that? I don’t want my members so focused on what’s on their heads and not IN their heads. I lead a church where our members are struggling financially. I mean really struggling. Yet, a 26 year old mother in my church has a $300 weave on her head. NO. I will not be quiet about this.”

Source: Unbeweaveable! Pastor bans weaves from his church
Original Source: Pastor says NO to women wearing weaves in church

Pastor Aamir leads the Resurrecting Faith Church in Waco, Texas. I'm sure Aamir is one of those pastors who wants his women to sit down and shut up. What's next? A burka?

GOP Fail - Eric Bodenweiser

Eric Bodenweiser, a GOP political candidate from Delaware, was arrested on 113 counts of child molestation related crimes. Keep in mind that Bodenweiser was a rabid anti-gay activist and a GOP state senate candidate.

A 30-year-old victim of Bodenweister came forward with unknown, but apparently damning enough, evidence to convince authorities to arrest the popular political candidate. The victim, whose identity has not been released, claims to have been molested by Eric Bodenweister between Oct. 1 1987 and Aug. 31, 1990.

It has been reported by delawareonline.com that Bodenweister's indictment included 74 counts of unlawful sexual contact, a felony in the second degree. Also attached were 39 first-degree felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Source:Pedophile GOP senate candidate arrested on 113 counts
Original source:Bodenweiser, indicted on sex charges, makes bail

Is Eric Bodenweiser a Christian? Hell yes! Up until his arrest, Bodenweiser was associated with Delaware Family Policy Council. It is a right wing evangelical Christian organization which lobbies for things like banning divorces, making reproduction a marital requirement, and fighting against marriage equality. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WWJD? Open carry madness

This post is not about the right to keep and bear arms. It is about a pastor with an assault rifle. When I saw video, my first thought was that if Jesus existed, I doubt he would walk about with a broadsword strapped to his back. How is it that any pastor act exactly opposite to the values his God exemplifies and do so without his fellow Christians giving him hell?

The pastor is Terry Holcomb. He is on a mission to get people talking about gun laws. I must ask, Is Jesus really a supporter of gun rights? Was that something covered in the bible? I don't think so. Do you?

Holcomb said customers and business owners didn’t complain until he got to Walmart. Within minutes a manager asked him to leave. Holcomb didn’t argue and walked out of the store as requested.
“Well, the Walmart in Huntsville definitely doesn’t honor 2nd Amendment rights,” he said in the video as he walked into the store parking lot.

“And that is their absolute right,” Holcomb told us in an interview a week after he posted the videos. “I respect their right just as much as I want them to respect mine.”

Source: Pastor carries rifle in Hunstville to raise awareness of open carry laws

hat tip: Think Progress

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Good photography takes practice

A walking interview with street photographer John Free.

Scott Walker wanted to arrest spectators?

Scott Walker has presidential aspirations. It is important that we remember how petty and small-minded his actions were when we are in the thick of the 2016 election cycle. The man embodies values that I think are anti-American. Watch this and tell me what you think. Under Gov. Scott Walker's administration in Wisconsin, a citizen can be arrested for watching a peaceful demonstration. A police officer was actually warning tourists. Is this America? Is Scott Walker a viable presidential candidate? I don't think so. Do you? Hat tip: Politicususa.com

Richard Rinaldi's "Touching Strangers"

A worthy photography project. I wish I had thought of it. More here: Touching Strangers: Photographs by Richard Renaldi

Where were you when Elvis died?

I'm listening to a CBS Sunday Morning piece on the 36th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. It dredged up a memory from the 70s. I was 17 at the time and driving with my friend Craig to his cousin's house for a game of basketball. We were listening to KMET when the news broke. We pulled over to listen to the story. I remember sitting on a treelined street in Yellow VW bug and thinking, "How is this possible?"

Where were you?

Nutball Alert: Daphne Spurlock

Daphne Spurlock allegedly took a kitchen knife and slit her 5-year-old son's throat to "let the demons out". She also stamped on his sweet little face and chest, apparently for spite.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – A mother accused of slitting her 5-year-old's throat early Saturday said she wanted to "release the demons" from his body, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. Daphne Spurlock, has been charged with attempted capital murder.

Magnolia police and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare check of a child shortly after midnight after the child's father told police he believed his son was dead inside a residence.

Read more: Texas mother slits son's throat to "release the demons"

I don't automatically associate crazy stories like this with Christianity run amok. I think most rotational people would agree that this is mental illness. My problem is that Spurlock became increasingly more fixated on Christianity over the last year (or more), and it was not recognized as a problem. Why is that?

When it is appropriate to say that the actions of an individual are enough to justify intervention? Does it take violence or should it be some other behavior, like talk of demons? Can we define normal belief and abnormal belief in a way that allows us to identify those who need help? 

It makes one think. Right?

Nutball Alert: Gordon Klingenschmitt

Does anyone believe that President Obama is trying to drive Christians out of the military so he can use the military to kill American Christians. No? I thought as much. Have your heard "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klinenschmitt tell his crazy story? It reminds me of my grandpa telling me that President Carter was allowing the UN to establish bases in America. Even as a young teen I knew it was crazy talk. 

Nutball: "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt talks about Christian persecution and a certain segment of Christianity listens.

Hat tip: Right Wing Watch: Klingenschmitt: Obama Creating Atheist Military to Attack Christians

Santorum - Middle Class is Marxism Talk

Rick Santorum will run for president in 2016. Be proud America. Be proud.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Youth pastor Trevor Fortner guilty

Former Baptist youth pastor Trevor Jacob Fortner, profiled here, pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in federal court.

LUBBOCK - A former youth minister admitted in federal court he had child pornography. Trevor Jacob Fortner, 25, pleaded guilty in Lubbock to attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor.

The plea documents filed state Fortner and the government will make a non-binding recommendation to the court of a 48-month sentence.

Fortner was a youth minister at a church in Levelland, Texas; he has also worked in the graphics department of a church in Lubbock.

Source: Ex-Youth Minister in Lubbock Admits to Child Porn Possession

Lubbock Texas is the epicenter for Baptist sexual misconduct. Guard your children well Texans.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Police brutality is justified by black on white crime says Sheriff David Morgan

Well… I think the clock is ticking on Florida Sheriff Dave Morgan. Officers under his command shot an unarmed African American male as the he was looking for cigarettes in his mother's car, which was parked in his own driveway. Sheriff David Morgan explained that the shooting was a tragedy of non-compliance. Which is another way of saying, the victim, Roy Howard Middleton, had it coming. Sheriff Morgan went on to say that the officers were trained and acted properly. Which is like saying they are trained to shoot an unarmed man. Right?

Two white officers shot Middleton, who survived, 15 times. Sheriff Morgan claims that the shooting was caused by black on white crime. I think he's a racist.

Then Morgan loftily adds that we “must address those statistics for what they are, and not inject race,” adding, “Last night we had four black male teenagers attacked a 77-year-old white man. Where was the public outrage in that?” He cites another attack in which “two black males and one black female brutally attacked a white female ... beat her to death with a hammer and crowbar . . . where is the public outrage in that?” Then he cites another execution-style murder by an armed black male against a white male. Plus graphic crime scene details. None of these cases involves the police. They’re just examples of vicious black-on-white crimes that presumably justify—what, exactly? Police brutality? Racial profiling? More warrantless searches? Morgan never exactly tells us what we are meant to conclude from all these allegedly neutral “statistics,” but it’s certainly implied: The real racism in America is in fact directed at white people who are not allowed to defend themselves from being called racists whenever they act like racists.

Source: David Morgan is wrong, Terribly wrong by Dahlia Lithwick

Silly Morgan. Black on white crime does not give you the right to violently confront every black man you meet. In fact, black on white crime is not a factor. Are you suggesting that black on white crime justifies the use of force against African Americans? Lets look at proper police conduct. Is it proper to shoot an unarmed man 15 times? Would you have done the same to a white man, or would the interaction have been friendly? I'm betting friendly, or no interaction at all. 

I don't write about racial issues much. I am a early 50s, white American male, and I know the unspoken and sometime ignorantly overt games that racists play. I refer to myself as an Irish American. I am married to a Filipino. My sons are biracial. I have a smart and beautiful African American daughter-in-law, and a wonderful little multiracial grandson. And don't get me started on the Puerto Rican side of my family. I have few white friends, instead, I have plenty of Asian, Pacific Islander, Latino, and African American friends and relatives (Did I mention my LGBT friends? No? How silly of me). I may be white, but I live in the mixing pot of Los Angeles. My friends and family reflect the diversity of my reality. People like Sheriff Dave Morgan would not survive here. His racism and screwed up perspective would have caused his self-destruction long ago. 

My views are simple and consistent. Judge a person by what he or she does. Be kind. Love everyone. Extend trust slowly. Keep your word. Don't lie. Do you see anything about race in my words? I'm not color blind, I've just grown past the stupidity of judging a person by the stereotypes of his or her race. Now excuse me, I have an early game of disc golf with my Chinese best friend and half-Dutch, half Puerto Rican co-worker… I wonder if he will wear that damn orange teeshirt? 

Pastor charged with crimes against humanity

Hey! This was my idea!

Evangelical pastor to stand trial in Massachusetts for alleged crimes against humanity

A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss a crimes against humanity case brought against evangelical pastor Scott Lively of Massachusetts.

Lively is accused of violating international law by inciting the persecution of LGBT individuals in Uganda. The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) in 2012.

“We are gratified that the court recognized the persecution and the gravity of the danger faced by our clients as a result of Scott Lively’s actions,” CCR Attorney Pam Spees said. “Lively’s single-minded campaign has worked to criminalize their very existence, strip away their fundamental rights and threaten their physical safety.”

If one LGBT person died because this hate monger, then he deserves to be locked away for a very long time. 

Banksy - Pier Pressue

The children are blissfully unaware...

Action Altert: Greece v Galloway case

My fellow atheists, please take a moment to act on this alert.

Ask the White House to withdraw their amicus brief supporting legislative prayer (Greece v Galloway) and uphold the separation of church/state by signing this petition. (Text Below)

We The People ask the White House and the Obama administration to support our founding principles of keeping the state separate from the church and withdraw their amicus brief (http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com in support of legislative prayer.

We The People ask that our government take a position of neutrality in this matter and refrain from endorsing prayer or religious endorsement in government proceedings.

We The People believe that allowing legislative prayers unnecessarily entangles church and state.

We The People would all be better off if government stuck to government business, and left the business of promoting religion to religious leaders in society.

Thank you. 

'I am special' says Missouri Rep. Paul Wieland

“I see abortion-inducing drugs as intrinsically evil, and I cannot in good conscience preach one thing to my kids and then just go with the flow on our insurance...”

Missouri Rep. Paul Wieland is Catholic and wants to make a point.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wieland had been able to opt out of contraceptive coverage in previous years but was recently notified that it had become a requirement in the state plan, which he qualifies for as a member of the Legislature.

“In July I got a letter saying that opting out was no longer an option for me, and it really kind of upset me because I’m a devout Catholic,” Wieland told the Missouri Times.

While refusing to comment on the specifics of the case, Wieland’s attorney Timothy Belz acknowledged that the couple may be the only plaintiffs in the country currently seeking to be exempted as individuals. Belz told the Post-Dispatch that the legal precedent in cases filed by employers is mixed, but if Wieland prevails “it will be of great value to other families.”

Source: Republican lawmaker sues the federal government to keep his daughters from using birth control

Hey Paul! I'm pretty sure that it will only become an issue for you if you or your daughters choose to have an abortion. Otherwise, this is just a political stunt. And remember Paul, when your daughters seek an abortion (and the numbers tell us this is possible), they you get to pay for it yourself. 

Let me give you another out. Resign. Leave government in protest and go find a job in the private sector where you can practice your religion in private. 

Links to other posts on this issue:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'd call this discrimination

Rock Beyond Belief has an interesting story about an atheist veteran who was profiled for discrimination by a Arizona police officer. I call his story discrimination. I would also call it abuse of power. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Adam, a friend of mine who served in the Army, is currently making a cross-country road trip. He’s a pretty outspoken atheist, a combat veteran who was highly decorated in Iraq, and a pretty cool guy to boot! He was in the Army, which isn’t as cool as the Marines, but I forgive him for that every time he buys me a beer. :)

This year he made his way through Arizona driving to Vegas en route to TAM 2013. For those of you unfamiliar with TAM – it is The Amazing Meeting put on by the great magician James “The Amazing” Randi. I’m sure most of you know about TAM but it was my first. I ended up staying in the same hotel room with Adam and he gave me a lift back to California on his cross-country road trip. Just a few hours ago he recanted this story to me about how he may have been profiled because he was an atheist.

Read more:  Did a Police Officer Attempt to Imprison a Decorated Combat Veteran merely because he was an Atheist? by Paul Loebe

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Christian family takes leap of faith

There are Darwin awards for a reason. The Gastonguay family made an absolutely crazy decision to flee America by boat for Kiribati. They claimed religious persecution as the reason for their idiotic quest. They ended up stranded at sea for months. It was only through the kindness of strangers that they survived. They should be dead. Hell, if they were authentic in their desires, they should have renounced their citizenship before departing so that they could be called stateless and dead. But no… they were rescued, and our tax dollars brought them right back home so that they can continue their nutball ways.

A northern Arizona family that was lost at sea for weeks in an ill-fated attempt to leave the U.S. over what they consider government interference in religion will fly back home Sunday.

Hannah Gastonguay, 26, said Saturday that she and her husband "decided to take a leap of faith and see where God led us" when they took their two small children and her father-in-law and set sail from San Diego for the tiny island nation of Kiribati in May.

But just weeks into their journey the Gastonguays hit a series of storms that damaged their small boat, leaving them adrift for weeks, unable to make progress. They were eventually picked up by a Venezuelan fishing vessel, transferred to a Japanese cargo ship and taken to Chile where they are resting in a hotel in the port city of San Antonio.

Source:Hannah Gastonguay: Arizona family to return home after fleeing US due to religious conflict

By the way, the phrase 'God will provide' is another way of saying that a fishing boat will save us. They were not in the hands of God or under his protection. If they truly believed that God had their back, they would have walked into the sea. 

I don't understand why the children are still with the parents. If this stupidity is not the worst parenting imaginable, then what is? They clearly endangered the lives of their two children. The state should take the kids and never give them back. These nutballs are the type of people who drink kook-aid as the solution to their problems. 

Rep. Steve King's insane presidential ambitions

I find it horrifying that Rep. Steve King is even talking about running for President in 2016. The man is a racist, and by the looks of it, dumb too. He claims to be visiting Iowa for the attention.

King, a strident social conservative who is beloved by Republicans in his home base of western Iowa, didn't rule out a possible run for the Oval Office in an interview with the Daily Beast on Saturday. The six term congressman jokingly complained that he was going to Palmetto State just to get some attention. "Whenever anybody that is elected to the Congress, House or the Senate, comes to Iowa it starts rumors, except for me" said King. "I keep coming back to Iowa and not starting any rumors."

King recently stated that Latino Immigrants are from a 'Violent Civilization' and would bring 'More Violence' to America.

King said, "If you bring people from a violent civilization into a less-violent civilization, you’re going to have more violence right? It’s like pouring hot water into cold water, does it raise the temperature or not?"

I've heard that line before. I came from the mouth of the KKK. The Republican Party is in deep trouble. King is leading its decent into madness.

Tsunami video that I could not stop watching

Something new pops up on Japan's 2011 Tsunami from time to time. I aways watch. There is something about the power of a Tsunami that holds my attention like nothing else. It's as if I'm watching the end of the world. The last minutes is the best. The footage shows a nighttime skyline right out of hell. It is the stuff of nightmares.

Monday, August 12, 2013

So Pope Francis is different

It's hard to think of a man as an adversary when he does stuff like this.

Michele Ferri wrote a letter to the Pope telling him of his inability to forgive the killers and was shocked when he picked up the telephone on Wednesday evening to hear: "Ciao Michele, it's Pope Francis."

Pope Francis even talked to the mother of the victim. It's refreshing.

Holy bug poop Batman!!!

Christians are sometimes a gullible lot.

People pray at tree outside St. Johns Cathedral in Fresno, California, say tree weeps God's tears by Jack Highberger

FRESNO, California -- - As the mid-day sun beat down, a group of parishioners huddled under a tree looking for shade, but seeking a miracle.

Rosemarie Navarro, a parishioner at a Fresno, California Catholic Church says, "I said my prayer and asked the Lord to give me a miracle cause I'm really, really sick."

Navarro counts herself among the believers, a small but growing group that thinks the liquid dripping from this Crape Myrtle tree is the tears of God.

This is not a joke. These people actually think that secretions from the back end of an aphid are God's tears. Why? Seriously, why?

For that matter, why would a woman who is sick accept aphid poop as a miracle when what she needs is to be healed from whatever is making her sick?

People. Walk down the street to the next Crape Myrtle and say, In the name of Odin the all father, please give us a miracle. I bet you get pooped on. Walk back the the original tree and say the same words. I bet you get pooped on again. How hard is this to understand?

Devil dog executed in Columbia, S.C.

Thank God for good Christians like 65-year-old Miriam Smith who recognized that the devil took possession of her nephew's pit bull Diamond, and then executed the dog by hanging her from a tree, and setting her on fire. I'm sure that's in the bible someplace.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Authorities have charged a South Carolina woman with felony animal cruelty, saying she hanged her nephew's pit bull from a tree with an electrical cord and burned its body because the dog chewed on her Bible.

Animal control officers said Monday that 65-year-old Miriam Smith told them she killed a female dog named Diamond because it was a "devil dog" and she worried it could harm neighborhood children. Authorities said bond wasn't immediately set for Smith, who remains jailed in Spartanburg County after her weekend arrest.

Source: Miriam Smith killed dog for chewing on Bible

Diamond chewed Smith's bible. He deserves to die for that, right?

Nutball. 

Poetry - OCD by Neil Hilborn

Wow. Just wow.

Friday, August 09, 2013

The Schaibles will face justice

I was worried that Herbert and Catherine Schaible would escape justice for the murder of their 8-month-old son. The good news is that they will stand trial for murder and it is unlikely that the couple's seven other children will die by prayer.

Judge won’t drop murder charge against Pa. faith-healing parents; victim was 2nd child to die

PHILADELPHIA — A judge upheld murder charges Wednesday against a fundamentalist Christian couple in their infant’s faith-healing death, saying things might be different if their toddler hadn’t died four years ago “under strikingly similar circumstances.”

Their probation in that case required Herbert and Catherine Schaible to seek immediate medical help if another child was sick or injured. But they instead prayed over 8-month-old son Brandon before he died of pneumonia in April, according to their police statements.

Defense lawyer Bobby Hoof argued that Brandon died just three days after he came down with cold and flu symptoms and said there was no evidence of malice, as required for third-degree murder. The judge disagreed.

Other posts about the Schaibles

Ken Cuccinelli must be stopped

Ken Cuccinelli is a strong supporter of these crazy religious clinics, and now he wants to be governor of Virginia. He must be stopped. This is superstitious madness. 

Read this: Undercover footage reveals more crazy "crisis pregnancy center" lies

Crisis pregnancy centers lie to women, and now there is more audio to prove it.

A counseling session covertly recorded by a reproductive rights advocate from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia reveals, once again, the kind of dubious information (and baldfaced lies) staff members at these anti-choice centers are passing off as legitimate medical advice.

Excerpts from the exchange (which you can listen to in full here):

  • Condoms are “naturally porous” and do not protect against STDs 
  • Women who have taken the birth-control pill for four years prior to their first pregnancy have a 46% increased risk of breast cancer
One forgets that young people are impressionable and can be ignorant. Why, I remember buying a family bible back as a young parent because of the strong sales pitch from a religious organization about the time of my son's births. I was an atheist at the time, plus I paid for it in installments. I'm going with ignorant and gullible.

Devout Christian or Crazy?

Do I only get two choices? I am going with Christian and crazy, or as I like to say, a nutball.

Christopher Dillingham blew his dog up because the poor pup was possessed by none other than the devil himself. Dillingham's former girlfriend put the devil in the dog. I'm not sure how she managed that. Dillingham's bomb decapitated the dog and woke the neighbors.

Skamania County Sheriff Dave Brown, who lives nearby, said the explosion woke him up.

“It sounded like a high-power rifle outside my window,” he said.

A slew of 911 calls sent deputies to Dillingham’s home. They found the remains of the dog strewn about the yard and arrested Dillingham on the spot.

Source: Man charged with blowing up family dog

I would love to edit the quote above and say that Sheriff Brown beat Dillingham senseless before arresting him. That would have made this more horrible story more palatable. But Brown, robbed of his opportunity to shoot the dog himself, simply arrested Dillingham.

Before the haters start in, please consider that I am being sarcastic. I've read a few too many stories about cops shooting family dogs to take a pass at the opportunity to say something.

Dillingham is clearly a nutball. I hope he is held accountable for his crime and gets some help for him delusions.

Marriage has nothing to do with love

I'm filing this story under bizarre things that Christians say.

My marriage is all about love. It always has been. Everything else is the fruits of love.

Bill Donohue is a hater. I will celebrate his death when it comes with a good cigar. Donohue is in trouble. His theology is out of sync with America and out of sync with the new Pope. He actually asserts that marriage is not about love, but about procreation. He is a hypocrite. He is divorced after all… and full of hate for people he does not even know. 

Oh.. and he asserts that most abuse by a priest is touching. What the hell?

I'm going with stoning as a bad thing

Seriously, if your religion demands that you stone people who violate an arbitrary moral code, your religious is completely corrupt. Do something about it. Islam… are you listening?

Stoning – the true horror

Recently I posted a blog about the treatment of women in many Islamic states and the fact that such treatment, if following the legal definition, amounts to a crime against humanity. In it, I linked to a document produced by Amnesty International entitled "How to stone someone to death". The document describes in step-by-step detail, as outlined in the Iranian penal code, exactly how to bury someone up to their waist — or chest if female — and throw stones at their head until they die.

I cannot fathom the rational for this type of punishment. Is Islam a stone age religion or simply a tool of oppression?

Amazing footage of a flash flood

David Rankin shot this amazing video.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

40 dollars buy a Catholic priest a good time

Rev. Arthur Coyle, a high-ranking priest with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, was caught paying $40 for a blow job from a known prostitute. I guess this falls under celibacy as a concept rather than as a practice.

Police say Monsignor Coyle, 62, was granted $500 bail after pleading not guilty Monday in Lowell District Court to a count of sexual conduct for a fee. He is due to return to court Sept. 16 for a pretrial conference In a report filed in court, police quoted Coyle as telling them that he had paid a woman working as a prostitute $40 for oral sex. Coyle told police the sex act had not been completed, reported Boston.com. Police had spotted Coyle driving a black Chevy Equinox and noticed he had a ‘known prostitute’ in the passenger seat, the report said.

Source:Senior Catholic priest arrested after bing caught red-handed paying $40 for oral sex with 'know prostitute' in cemetery

The article suggests that police waited five minutes before interrupting Coyle. There was no word on if he finished his phallic blessing. 

Police Tase, Fire on, and Kill 95-Year Old WWII Vet

Kass: Was police killing of 95-year-old necessary?

When John Wrana was a young man, fit and strong and fighting in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, did he ever think he'd end this way?

Just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, in need of a walker to move about, cops coming through the door of his retirement home with a Taser and a shotgun.

The old man, described by a family member as "wobbly" on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.

First they tased him, but that didn't work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.

The police go to far. They must be held accountable, but we all know there will be no justice

Rest in peace murder victim John Wrana.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

To what purpose?

I read this type of stories and ask myself, "To what purpose?"

I do not understand why living on top of pillar isolated in the mountains brings you any closer to God than the widow down the street who says her prayers each day. Fanatical devotion is… fanatical.

Monk takes devotion to new heights

Maxime the monk lives on a pillar. When he wants to step down out of the clouds, the 59-year-old scales a 131-foot ladder, which takes him about 20 minutes.

After living on Katskhi pillar for 20 years, Maxime’s climbs have slowed, but having worked as a crane operator in a past life, he’s never feared heights.

The story is a photo essay by Photographer Amos Chapple, who is gifted. Enjoy.