Sunday, September 30, 2007

Youth pastor pulls a gun...

...Youth pastor goes to prison.

COLLIER COUNTY: Christopher Thompson, a youth pastor in Collier County, faces felony charges Sunday morning following a road rage report.

According to Collier County deputies, Thompson pulled out a gun and pointed it at a man and his 20 month old daughter.

The incident happened Saturday night on Logan Boulevard after the victim cut Thompson off.

Thompson admits to having the gun in his van, but denies ever pulling it out and displaying the weapon.

Source: NBC2 News Online - Deputies: Youth Pastor pulls gun on road rage victim

So how would the victim know about the gun unless Thompson pointed at him? I guess Thompson forgot the whole good Samaritan lesson from the bible, and the golden rule, and most of the teachings of Jesus. I wonder where Thompson gets his moral grounding from? Not at church I would wager.

No word yet if Thompson's church is rushing to "stand behind him?.

Blogroll Update: The Renegade Writings

Our newest Atheist Blogroll Member, The Renegade Writings (#429), comes to us from India.

The Renegade Writings – is a blog that contains a musings of an atheist called Ramesh Subramanian on everything he sees, hears, feels about religion, God, atheism, sports, India and a whole host of other things.

My journey to atheism was pretty interesting, at least to me. I had desperately looked for God in anything and everything in times of joy I have thanked him and at times trouble I have asked him to help. But every time, I did that I felt I was being too puerile. Why was I thanking or pleading to someone whom I haven't seen or heard talking? – The seeds of atheism had been sowed. And it didn't take a long time to become an agnostic from there. The more I thought about the position of agnosticism and atheism, the more I turned towards atheism. That was a long journey.

I decided to pen down my thoughts and let others know it & also know what they think about it, albeit much of my battle for atheism was fought within my head.

Welcome to the team!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Random 5 from the Atheist Blogroll

As part of my effort to promote the various blogs on the Atheist Blogroll, I will attempt to pick five blogs at random, and then profile them here on Deep Thoughts. I will not get my geek on by describing how I wrote a macro in excel with a random number generator to pick five blogs. Nope, I will not tell the story. I want to tell the story - because figuring out how to do new tech stuff is fun... Maybe some other time.


The law of unintended consequences reared its ugly head on the very first blog,  Serendipity by Lary Crews. Serendipity joined the Atheist Blogroll in April. When I visited his blog this morning I found that Larry is sick with a 24 hour bug, and that he does not display the Atheist blogroll in his sidebar. I left Lay the following message.

Lary - I am sorry to hear that you are under the weather. I hope you return to health soon. I am afraid I have some bad news, I removed your blog from the Atheist blogroll this morning. Our minimum requirement for membership states that you must display one of the various version in your sidebar, or at least link back to the blogroll. I could not find any reference, so I was forced to remove you. If you would like to be reinstated, well... you know what to do.


Our next blog is Nut Watch, a blog after my own heart. Nut Watch did not join the blogroll formally. I found them a few days ago via a link to my blog. I added Nut Watch when I saw they were showing the full Atheist blogroll in their sidebar.

Why do I like Nut Watch? They write about religious nutballs!

Nut Watch is already on my daily reading list, as are  Stappado and the Daily Atheist - all written by Strappado.


The Dorset Humanist Blog joined September 22 so they qualify as a new find. This blog is written by Chris Street and may be one of the better blogs to join our ranks in the last year. I've only had time to read a dozen or so entries, each one has been informative.

Chris is promoting the freethinkers flicker promotion "Calling all Freethinkers" on Flickr. I plan on loading my photo, but first I need to hire a face model.

Since the Dorset Humanist blog is an outstanding new member of our blogroll, I will cut Chris some slack on not displaying the blogroll in his sidebar. Let's hope he puts it up.


Faith in Honest Doubt joined just a few days ago on the 25th.  I find much in common with this blog - like a distaste for the war in Iraq. Several posts highlight the folly of this mismanaged and unjust war. Take The Iran Roll Call for instance:

Here is a listing of how Senators voted on Wednesday's  sense of the Senate" chickenshit back-door declaration of war on Iran. I'm glad to see I am represented by an actual Democrat, Ron Wyden, who voted Nay; I was already aware of that other Senator, Gordon Smith, and already intended to vote for whatever Democrat opposes him in 2008, even if it's a yellow dog, a pink heart, a green clover, a blue diamond, a cartoon leprechaun, or an indeterminately-aged box of Lucky Charms.

What are we going to do if Iran actually fights back?

Oh, I worry too much. They'll greet us as liberators and toss roses at the feet of our troops.

My own Senators split:

  • Boxer (D-CA), Nay
  • Feinstein (D-CA), Yea

Way to go Feinstein.


My fifth and final blog of the day is Church of Integrity. A proud Atheist Blogroll member since April. I was impressed with this blog because it has a clear founding statement.

In the Church of Integrity we believe that ethics are deeply connected with biology in the sense that we, humans, are preprogrammed with certain ethics that have helped the species to advance and survive for a long time. For example then most people agree on that murder is bad. We are not so naive though to think that the world is black and white. We teach ethics that we believe almost everyone can agree on. Examples are that murder is bad and that you should treat others as you want them to treat you.

Church of Integrity does not post frequently, but when the do post, it is worth a read. Take their post on Atheism for example.

The atheist movement is on a rise. We believe there are many different reasons why people become atheists. Many are frustrated with how religion seems to bash and pervert science as some religious groups have done with the theory of evolution. In the Church of Integrity we of course base our world view on science so you shouldn't end up with any frustrations like that here.


That's it for my first survey. I will try to do the same thing every weekend when time allows. Please let me know if you have any suggests for improving the format.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

When Atheists unite

...great things can happen. Take the 50 Denver children who walked out on the Pledge of Allegiance to voice their opposition to the mandatory time set aside to recite the pledge and the objectionable phrase "one nation under god".

About 50 Boulder High School students walked out of class Thursday to protest the daily reading of the Pledge of Allegiance and recited their own version, omitting "one nation, under God."

The students say the phrase violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

They also say the daily reading of the pledge over the school public address system at the start of the second class takes away from education time and is ignored or mocked by some students.

A state law passed in 2004 requires schools to offer the opportunity to recite the pledge each day but does not require students to participate.

The protesting students, members of the Student Worker Club, want administrators to hold the pledge reading in the auditorium during each of the school's two lunch periods for any students who want to participate.

Source: The Denver Post - Boulder High students walk out during Pledge, recite own version

I must admit. High School for me was in the 70s. I don't actually remember if we had to recite the pledge of allegiance. We had other motivations - Bob posted a comment linked to the article about that brought it all home for me.

Kids in Boulder worship marijuana. They "pray" to it 5 times a day while facing San Francisco, California.

Sounds about right to me. I could explain much about why high school is not something I remember well.

The trial of Hugh King

Pastor Hugh King is a member in good standing of Mojoey's Pastors Gone Wild club. To qualify one must be a man of the cloth who has committed some un-godlike act, like kicking a dog, punching a cop, or in this case, possessing drugs. It also helps if one is a pontificating hypocrite. King fits the bill.

I'm following the trail of Hugh King because of its tragic content. King was a pillar of his community who was caught with a small quantity of cocaine during a traffic stop. King contents he is innocent, as is his right. His arrest has stirred up some racial tension. As an important leader in the Pensacola African American community, people have made allegations that his arrest was racially motivated. The evidence does not seem to support this allocation. In fact, the case seems simple. King was pulled over because he was riding in a SUV that was similar to one used in an attempted robbery. When the police searched the SUV, they found probable cause to search King. A few minutes later King was arrested for possessing $25 dollars of cocaine.

I would like to offer some advice to other pastors who might like to indulge in some recreational drug use. when the police stop you and request permission to search your vehicle - just say no. In fact, say something like "I do not give you permission to search my vehicle. May I see your warrant please?" Of course, if you leave a knife out in plain view, you qualify as a dumb ass and deserve what comes next.

King's attorney, Barry Beroset attempted to have the traffic stop and subsequent search and discovery of a cocaine coated knife ruled inadmissible. Judge Joel Boles ruled that the officer had "well-founded suspicion" to stop the vehicle King was riding in.

Beroset's challenge focused on the the difference in 911 call's description of the vehicle and the vehicle King was riding in.

On April 27, King was a passenger in a green Ford Explorer pulled over by police searching for suspects in an attempted break-in of a home in the 100 block of D Street in Pensacola.

Police were searching for an SUV described in the tape as a green Chevrolet Blazer when they pulled over the Explorer.

Beroset has argued there was no probable cause for police to stop the Explorer because they were looking for a Blazer.

Source: PNJ.Com - Judge shifts focus to 911 call in King case.

Common sense prevailed - Hell, I can't tell the difference between the two SUVs unless I look at the decals. And green can be gray at night. King is heading for the big house. What I don't understand is why his Christian moral sense does not lead him to taking responsibility for his actions. For a first time $25 dollar drug possession offense, he could cut a deal for drug rehab and never spend a day in prison. Of course, he would become a convicted felon, which might not look too good on his resume.

Blogroll Update: Dark Matter

Dark Matter joined the Atheist Blogroll a few days ago. Its author, Neal Phalanx, has been kind enough to provide an introduction to his site:

I made the final move to atheism about 3 years ago, after years of increasingly skeptical agnosticism. I am a professional, a husband, a parent, and an atheist. I feel that it defines me, as I am in a world of religious fundamentalism and ideology. It is hard to say that believing nothing defines any part of me, but it does, and it motivates me.

I used to scoff at blogging, for no real reason really. I now see that I can join a community of like-minded thinkers, and find a way to vent about what I think. I want to address the issues that atheists and free-thinkers deal with. I want to be a resource for parents who do not wish to force a belief upon their children, yet still give them the skill set and ability to make good decisions in life.

The world is scary, and the good old USA has become a very dark and frightening place. A candidate for president has to pass through rigors for his or her beliefs (or lack thereof). I am not too happy about the condition of reason and secularism in this country. I want to do what I can about it, while having a lot of fun with it.

Thanks for the listing! I look forward to my continued involvement. I have been posting for about a week now, and it is what I look forward to every day. Thanks again!

Please pay Dark Matter a visit and welcome this new Atheist blogger to our team.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blogroll update: a few ideas

The Neural Gourmet posted The giant list of atheist blogs (Mojoey's Atheist Blogroll) today. A few other bloggers are doing the same thing. I like the idea. It helps build our community rankings in Technorati. Each link counts. I'm rated in the Top 10K. It is a reflection of other people linking back to my blog. As an added bonus, any time somebody links to me, it helps build my blog credibility with search engines. I do the same when I post stories linking to other blogs. Cross posting helps build our community. It is something we should do more often.

I plan to start a regular a new feature tentatively called "the best of the Atheist Blogroll".  I don't know if "the best of" is accurate , it might end up as a "survey of blogs" or "this week on the Atheist blogroll". I'm still working on the concept. The point is, I will review the best posts from a handful of blogroll members each week, along with my normal misspellings and snarky comments of course. I encourage my fellow bloggers to do something like this.

I would also like to suggest we have a 2007 best blog award for blogroll members. You know - 2007 blog of the year, best Atheist photoblogger, best post of the year, that kind of thing. I would like to solicit comments and suggestions. Please send me an email or post here if you have any ideas.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

And now in local news

I had to look up Evansville on Wikipedia. It's the third largest city in Indiana with a population of 121,582. That's a little bigger than the city I live in, although I'm surrounded by 15 million other people. The last time I was in Indiana, I seem to remember a bunch of farmland between "cities". There is one thing for certain, even Evansville has a problem with clergy sexual abuse.

Nathan St. Pierre, a former youth church director accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, appeared in court this morning for an initial hearing in the case.

Vanderburgh Circuit Court Judge Carl Heldt determined during the initial hearing that St. Pierre's bond will remain at $25,000 cash only.

St. Pierre, 25, was arrested Friday and remains lodged at the Vanderburgh County Jail. The former Washington Avenue Baptist Church youth choir director is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship between May and this month with a 15-year-old female member of the church. The first incident reportedly occurred when she was 14.

St. Pierre is the son-in-law of the Rev. Mike Bebout. Bebout previously said St. Pierre was dismissed from the church last week as a result of the allegations.

Wearing jail-issued scrubs, St. Pierre appeared in court this morning with his attorney, Nicholas Hermann. Hermann said St. Pierre has no previous criminal history.

Police say the investigation began after the girl's mother found and read her diary, which reportedly detailed sexual activity with St. Pierre.

He faces a total of four felony charges. St. Pierre is due back in court on Nov. 5.

Source: Evansville Courier Press: Former church youth director's bond remains at $25,000.

Who is pulling the strings in the evangelical camp?

James Dobson told the evangelical world that Fred Thompson was unacceptable candidate last week. I am sure that a pronouncement of this magnitude 5 years ago would have resulted in Thompson running for cover. Dobson made the call and evangelicals said "so what". A propionate leader even openly questioned James Dobson's reasoning. Here are the words of Gary Bauer, former head of The Family Research Council.

I hope that we can, as a movement, be very wise about this, and not savage candidates that we may very well have to support in 2008 if they're running against Hillary Clinton," he told the OneNewsNow web site.

I think the one thing that almost every conservative Christian agrees about is that we cannot allow Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the United States," he added.

Source: - Pro-Life Advocate Responds to James Dobson on Fred Thompson's Bid. By Steven Ertelt, (9.27.2007)

Bauer is a leader in the pro-life movement. A few years ago his words would have been considered heresy. Now they reflect the growing discontent with Dobson's hopeless 2008 election strategy. I feel a change coming.

Blogroll Update: The Water is Poison

Our newest Atheist Blogroll member is The Water is Poison. A brief introduction has been provided by the blog's Author.

Its a dangerous world we live in today.  Religious fundamentalism is on the rise and atheists are being discriminated against at an alarming rate.  Its up to us to speak out and let our voice be heard! To long has term atheist been a dirty word.  I was born and raised a fundamentalist evangelical christian, I understand where an atheist stands in this world in their eyes.  Its time people understand the simple fact of life.  The water is poison, and we have been drinking it!

Don't drink the water.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Blogroll Update: Heathen.TV

As I sit here trying to kill time until the new season of Heroes to start I am faced with two choices. Do some blogging or play Team Fortress 2. since the latter crashes my computer every time I play, light blogging gets my vote.  Our newest member is Heathen.TV. It's chock full of video goodness.

In his own words:

HeathenTV serves up videos relating to atheism, religion, science and quackery from around the web. Dedicated to propagating the idea that superstition isn't that super, it features hand-picked high quality content from the famous and infamous, with a serious skew toward the skeptical. In any given week you could hear Christopher Hitchens debate his Christian brother, see Richard Feynman discussing the scientific beauty of a flower, or marvel in the evolution of the universe (condensed into 10 minutes). You'll also find snippets from investigations into religious practice, psychic charlatans, or new-age crapola. Whatever the case, it will be collected, categorized, and commented on, so you can find it again easily and identify related clips with a click of your mouse. All this, and the price of admission is zilch (or one soul, if you happen to be religious).

In case you're wondering - I'm a demoman on Team Fortress 2.

Youth For Christ shuttered

A horrifying case of  clergy sexual abuse out of Florida this morning. The Youth For Christ in Sarasota County will be closed until further notice after it's director, Martin Moore was arrested on sexual batter charges. Moore is alleged to have had a sexual relationship with a girl starting when she was just 13.

Moore was arrested after the girl, who is now 17, told a teacher that she had a sexual relationship with him since she was 13.

The girl told detectives she had sex with Moore dozens of times, often at the teen center.

The girl told detectives the relationship recently ended. Authorities said Moore corroborated her story.

Source: Youth For Christ shuttered by Latisha R. Gray

Moore is 42. He has worked with Youth for Christ since 1988. So far, he has been accused of having an illicit relationship with one young girl. I am sure there are lots of young girls being interviewed by the local police. Let's just hope it was an isolated case.

Helping Students to Prepare for Life in the 8th Century

This is an interesting story care of Without Hyphens:

Pulling this from the Register, an Iowa community college Prof. was fired for telling his students to not interpret the story of Adam and Eve as literal. Apparently a bunch of students complained to the school administration that the teacher was “denigrating their religion”, and he was subsequently dismissed.

Choice quote from the teacher? (and one that shows this man is freakin’ badass):

“I just thought there was such a thing as academic freedom here,” Bitterman told the Des Moines Register. “From my point of view, what they’re doing is essentially teaching their students very well to function in the eighth century.”

Freakin’ awesome man, you totally get it. Anyway, if you’d like to complain, here’s a link to his former employer.

[via the Register]

When I first read this story, I though it must be a joke. A community college in America should not be able to fire Steve Bitterman for teaching religion as an academic subject. That's what secular higher education is about. What was the administration thinking?

"I put the Hebrew religion on the same plane as any other religion. Their god wasn't given any more credibility than any other god," Bitterman said. "I told them it was an extremely meaningful story, but you had to see it in a poetic, metaphoric or symbolic sense, that if you took it literally, that you were going to miss a whole lot of meaning there."

Source: - Teacher: I was fired, said Bible isn't literal by Megan Hawkins (9.22.2007)

Sounds like a politically correct overreaction to me.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blogroll Update: The Primate Diaries

The Primate Diaries joined the Atheist Blogroll a few days ago. I think I read the whole thing yesterday. It's good - real good. Eric Michael Johnson has provided a brief introduction:

The Primate Diaries is a daily dose of news and commentary about science, evolution and the forces of unreason.  My graduate research at Duke University is on primatology and neuroendocrinology (the hormones involved in behavior) so my primary interests are on the evolutionary influences of human thought and action.  Intelligent Design creationists are a frequent source of amusement and I enjoy regularly exposing and debunking their insipid arguments.  The Primate Diaries offers commentary and discussion about the latest science illuminating human evolution and the ongoing culture war waged by those who prefer to wallow in ignorance and darkness.

A few sample posts:

Creationist Lunacy in North Carolina
The Feeling of What Happens

My Recommendation:

The Downstream Effects of Biopiracy

Dobson's Scorched Earth policy

James Dobson seems single minded in his attempts to put forth a Republican candidate from the Christian Right that cannot win an election. His most recent victim - Fred Thompson.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, one of the nation's most politically influential evangelical Christians, says he won't support Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson. In a private e-mail obtained by The Associated Press, Dobson voiced doubts about the former Tennessee senator's position on gay marriage and his support for the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation. A spokesman for Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family says Dobson's comments were made as an individual and not as a representative of the nonprofit organization. A spokeswoman for the Thompson campaign says the campaign believes Thompson is the one conservative in the race who can defeat the Democratic nominee.

Source: MyFox Colorado: Dobson Won't Back Fred Thompson

So the main reason is Dobson pronounce Thompson unfit is that Thompson does not share the same vision on gay marriage. Since when does failing to support prohibitions on gay marriage make you less of a Christian? I don't understand it. What does gay marriage have to do with what Jesus taught or the New Testament or with how "right" one is? Grant gays the rights they deserve as citizens and then lets move on to ending the friggen war.

Dobson with hand the 2008 election to the Democrats. He will not survive the fallout.

A little community help please

Phillychief of the outstanding You Make Me Say It is publicizing a Freedom From Religion Foundation Call to Action.  School Children in Van Hise Wisconsin were sent home with flyers promoting a local Christian church. Teachers were required to stuff children's backpacks with the flyers in violation of their own School Policy.

There's an issue of a school district sending kids home with flyers with the message "Plant the Seeds of Faith in Jesus in Your Child at our Sunday School" which is an ad for a lutheran church. You can read more about it here and here. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is asking individuals to write to the school district and the school board about this policy.

"No organization should benefit from free delivery of their advertisement at the expense of instructional or teacher preparation time."

The Freedom from Religion foundation is asking for help.

Please send succinct and to the point e-mails or letters. Be firm but polite. We enjoy seeing your letters and responses, but for maximum effectiveness, write as an individual and send only "blind" copies of your e-mail to FFRF. Please use your name. "Local" taxpayers should identify themselves by mailing address as well. Thanks!

Madison Metropolitan School District Supt. Art Rainwater
Madison Metropolitan School District
545 West Dayton Street
Madison, WI 53703-1995
Voice: (608) 663-1879
Fax: (608) 204-0342

Members of the Madison, Wis. School Board (some are sympathetic).
Arlene Silveira, President

Carol J. Carstensen, Treasurer

Maya Cole

Lucy Mathiak

Lawrie Kobza, Vice President

Beth Moss

Johnny Winston, Jr., Clerk

Joe Carlsmith, Student Representative
c/o MMSD

Phillycheif has an outstanding sample letter called "Propaganda in Backpacks". Scroll down to the bottom of his post for the full text of the letter.

I want to encourage as many atheist bloggers as possible to spread the word by cross posting this article and participate in the letter writing campaign. I don't know if 400 voices will make a difference, but at least we will have tried.

Blogroll Update: 1 2 3 Religious Comics

 Our newest member (#406) is 1 2 3 Religious Comics. As a lover of sarcaism and wit, I think this blog will make it into my reading rotation. The author has provided this brief introduction:

A blog where each post is a three-panel (or less) comic about a problematic aspect of religious fundamentals followed by commentary.  This blog focuses more on big-picture theological aspects of religion than specific passages in the bible.

Sample: Religious Literacy by GodItself

Blogroll Update: Radical Atheist

Our newest member (#405) is none other than the Radical Atheist; a blog I was already reading. The author offers this introduction:

RadicalAtheist is my attempt to provide a reasonable explanation of atheism for those who question our contentions.  I maintain that atheism is a logical conclusion, not a belief system on par with religions.  The tone of the blog is respectful and coherent; I seldom resort to insulting theists or attempting to humiliate them for their beliefs.  This blog has existed for a little over a year.  My previous blog on atheism was lost in moving to the Movable Type platform and a new URL.  Here's a sample entry from before the move:

Thank god I'm an atheist

{Essay originally publish in June of 2004}

I always enjoy saying that.
Anyway, yes, I'm an atheist. Not an agnostic, not unsure, not waiting for god to show him/herself by letting me win the lottery. I don't believe in the supernatural, in all that statement's literal interpretations. The idea of life after death is as silly as the belief you can contact and speak to the dead. Some of the saints were really nice people, as, I'm sure, was Jesus...but what's wrong with thinking of them as just great examples of what any human could be if they wanted? The Bible, Koran and other tomes of religious belief? Just that, a codified book written by believers to extend their traditions and beliefs. I've been a deeply religious person for many years, so I know what I'm talking about. I've read the books, followed the commandments, paid my dues. So I guess you can call me a born-again atheist. Reality is more convincing than abstract belief.

Usually I don't make an issue of my position. As opposed to many of the religious people who insist I believe as they do or be considered a terrible person, I don't usually care what others believe. They are free to be as illogical and superstitious as they wish. In the end, we all die and none of that will matter. But something came up this week that made me want to discuss this topic for once...


Blogroll Update: Atheism and Coffee

I would like to take a moment to introduce our newest Atheist Blogroll member, Atheism and Coffee. Dave, the blogs author, has written a brief introduction for his blog and a sample post. I encourage our membership to drop in and say hi.

My name is Dave, but I am usually known (at least on the net) as overcaffein8d. One day, I got bored, and decided that making a blog would be a good and sensible way to vent my frustration with religion, in a constructive way. So, Atheism and Coffee was born. The rants will continue until morale improves!

And the sample post (link)

Awhile back, I was having a conversation with a good friend (and the owner of the local coffee shop) about evolution. I seemed to be winning the debate-- he is a Christian, but otherwise very intelligent (you probably know the type). Anyway, I seemed to be winning the debate, when he asked "If evolution exits, then why are there still monkeys?"

I was stumped. I thought about it for awhile, and told him that I didn't know, and would have to get back to him on that one. So what do you think about this? Clearly, this is not conclusive proof for evolution, but it is an interesting point.

Here is my best response. When things mutate, they can often have a (slightly) different niche. They may eat something different, etc. Monkeys and humans are, by far, not the only example of evolution into a different niche. If a species evolved that had to occupy the same niche, then there would only be one type of species here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pagan Pride Day

Woohoo! Pagan Pride Day. Sign me up. Why don't they have Pagan Pride Day in LA? I would so go (wait... They had one). Not that I'm a Wiccan or anything even remotely similar. Being around Wiccan's is like hanging out with the people who run Renaissance Fair. The have all kinds of unusual things to see and do, and most of the people are interesting characters I would have fun just taking pictures.

Jacksonville has all the fun.

Statistics are hard to come by, but many pagans - adherents of modern or ancient forms of nature-based spirituality - are becoming more organized.

Jacksonville resident, college student, mom and pagan Elizabeth Ziemba said the trend derives from a need for the strength that comes in numbers.

"It's so ... we can have equality in society and have our religion recognized legally," Ziemba said.

One step in that direction is being taken today, when pagans of all varieties convene for Pagan Pride Day 2007 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville.

Source: Metro: Story: Pagan Pride Day honors spirituality

The answer to this question made me laugh. How did you become a pagan?

I was raised Southern Baptist and I went to a Catholic high school. So in my teens, I saw hypocrisy between those two faiths. ... I really started searching for something that felt more comfortable.

So... what? You just kind of made something up?

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Oops, missed one

 Another Pedophile pastor is on his way to jail.

A pastor in Kenton is sentenced to two years in prison for having sex with a teenage girl and trying to court another. Prosecutors say Paul Leffler used his position at the Freedom of Spirit Church to get close to young girls. Leffler pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition. Though he is sentenced to two-years, the Hardin County sentence could put Leffler behind bars for as little as one month.

Source: Evening headlines for September 20th, 2007.

Paul Leffler used his position of authority to force a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him through abusing his trusted position of authority. While despoiling one young girl, he was grooming his next victim.

Hardin County Prosecutor Brad Bailey said Leffler had sexual intercourse with a girl who was either 15 or 16 at the time. Leffler also was grooming another girl who was 15 for what Bailey believed was the same actions he took with the first girl, he said.

Leffler, 35, used his position as pastor of the Freedom of the Spirit Church in Kenton to get close to the girls. Both were having family problems and he offered to counsel them, which was his way to reach them for his sexual desires, Bailey said.

“‘Put faith in me. I’ll counsel you.’ The setup was coming,” Bailey said.

Had the case gone to trial, the victims were ready to testify and prosecutors had an audiotape of Leffler talking in a romantic way to one of the girls that in no way resembled family counseling, Bailey said.

Source: Kenton pastor gets 28 months prison by Greg Sowinski.

Justice was not served in this case. At most, Leffler faces two years in prison. He may serve much less time.

Republican Sex Offenders

Johnny Crow of the Human Psyche of J.D. Crow send me a link to Republican Sex Offenders. Here is a small sample of the people listed:

Snipped from the top of Republican Sex Offenders.

Republican U.S. Justice Department official John David R. Atchison, 53, an assistant U.S. attorney from the northern district of Florida, has been arrested on suspicion of traveling to Detroit over the weekend to have sex with a 5 year old child. An undercover officer posed as a mother offering her child to Atchison for sex, according to police. In deposition, detectives said Atchison suggested the mother tell her daughter that "you found her a sweet boyfriend who will bring her presents." The undercover detective expressed concern about physical injury to the 5-year-old girl as a result of the sexual activity. Detectives said Atchison responded, " I am always gentle and loving; not to worry, no damage ever, no rough stuff ever. I only like it soft and nice." The undercover detective asked how Atchison can be certain of no injury. He responded, "Just gotta go slow and very easy. I've done it plenty," according to detectives.

Republican city councilman John Bryan killed himself after police began investigating allegations that he had molested three girls, including two of his adopted daughters, ages 12 and 15.

The former head of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans, Michael Flory, admitted Tuesday that he sexually abused a colleague during a national convention in Cleveland last summer

My favorite section (Johnny's too) is the disclaimer.

**NOTICE**:All information on this website is public information gleaned from reputable news sources and public court records. No part of this information can be considered defamatory, libelous or slanderous. Anyone who is willing to search a little bit can find this information. If the content of this site offends you, or if you really just don't like it, please feel free to purchase the site for $75,000 and you can shut it down yourself, or do whatever you want with it.

Blogroll Update: The Seven Solitudes

Our newest Atheist Blogroll member is The Seven Solitudes written by Dane Andrade. Dan has been kind enough to write an introduction to his outstanding new blog.

My name is Dane Andrade. I am the sole contributor to my personal blog at Raised in the deep south, and graduate of a University of Notre Dame, I am an agnostic atheist, future lawyer, and skilled orator and debater. I am the founder of the Secular Covenant, and the head administrator of Facebook's largest Non-religious community, Atheists, Agnostics, and Non-religious, with over 10,000 members, many of which are active daily. I currently work for the government in Newport, Rhode Island, my background is in Psychology, Computer Engineering, and Theology. I am studying and saving for law school in the New England area.

Excerpt from Blog:

"Every human can be taught to explain how the sun is not a god, the world is not flat, the earth is not 6,000 years old. The arguments become more refined, beyond the reach of science, and while she was dragging humanity on her back, the horde slipped in behind her, ready to knock her down at one moment's weakness, beat her ruthlessly, defining her personage, as if she were a subjective nameless adolescent. Unprotected, she will soon be defined to include that which is untenable. The very ideal of anti-science, becomes science. A transmutation of thought, the poisonous gas of supposed supernaturalism and dogmatic metaphysics injected into her veins like cement mix in a forest oasis. We have gone from sun gods, to sky gods, to moon gods, to personable gods, to one god, to one spirit, to one personal god, to the closet thing to reality, a pantheistic, deistic god impotent to creation, and then, as if we were no longer able to offer the counter, violent regression towards primordial worship. Back to sun gods, back to cleverly hidden polytheism in the form of a triune, back to antediluvian myths, back to young earths, primitive geology, and ancestral ghost worshiping, back to blood sacrifice and cannibalism, back to tongue languages, and back to promises of paradise and eternal torment. Using the very defense against these things, the last known vestigial vanguard against the total domination of the lapsing tit for tat equilibrium; science. The very same people who must defend her become lost in a sudden maze of conflicts from the gathering hordes of atavism. For society's intellectuals to have to stop and explain something as simple as the age of earth, while the concept of an eternal place of fire goes unchecked is immeasurably improvident. "

Welcome to the team Dane.

Texas Pastor arrested for Murder

Former Baptist pastor and current part-time youth minister Matthew "Matt" Baker was arrested for the murder of his wife yesterday. If one is looking for proof that being a Christian bestows some higher moral values on its adherents, this case will serve as a classic example of why this type of reasoning is flawed.

The allegations are damming for a normal person, for a pastor they show an utter lack moral conviction. Matt Baker was a pastor when he starting having an affair. His desire to be with his new girlfriend is alleged to have driven him to murder his wife. Baker is alleged to have researched how to kill his wife via the Internet and then administering the drugs that caused her death.

...the Defendant intentionally or knowingly committed the offense of Murder by causing the death of Kari Lynn Baker by using prescription and/or over-the-counter sleeping medication and alcohol to render her defenseless and then using a pillow or similar item to suffocate her

Source: Read the complete arrest warrant for Matt Baker

In the subsequent 1.5 years, Baker has moved on with his life. It was only through the tireless efforts of Kari Lynn Baker's family that Kari's death by suicide was changed to undetermined.

The news is no surprise to family members who have been fighting for this charge. "I am overwhelmed, it's been a year and a half that we have been seeking justice and then we knew this day would come," Kari’s mother Linda Dulin said.

She said it's not a jubilant day; only a small step to justice.

"My husband and I miss our daughter so very much. However, right now, our focus, care and concern is on the welfare of our granddaughters," Dulin added.

Source: NBC 6 News -Former local pastor arrested for murdering his wife

What caught my attention in this story was Kari Lynn Baker's daughters. Their father is alleged to have killed their mother and then shopped for engagement rings with his girlfriend within days of his wife's death.   What kind of emotional damage did that cause?

There is always more to the story. In this case, I think it will only get worse.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Order of protection issued against Baptist pastor

It's the little things that make me smile. Like this story were we find Baptist Pastor Loyce Lester the subject of a protection order after a scuffle at a Detroit school board meeting.

Detroit school board member Marie Thornton was granted a personal protection order Monday against a Detroit pastor after an incident following Thursday's board meeting. Each accused the other of shoving and hurling lewd insults. The order means that the Rev. Loyce Lester, pastor of Original New Grace Baptist Church and chair of the Detroit Public Schools police oversight committee, is barred from board meetings.

"It has been 20 months of females on the board and part of the audience being terrorized by Rev. Loyce Lester," Thornton said Monday.

Source: the Detroit Free Press - Thornton gets order against pastor in spat by Chastity Pratt Dawsey and M.I. Elrick

My favorite line "pastor of the Original New Grace Baptist Church" which is not to be confused with First New Grace Baptist Church over on third, or the Newer Grace Baptist Church over on Elm, the one with the leather pews.

The assertion is that Lester is some kind of aggressive/abusive monster and therefore not a good representative of Christianity. Why would a man with these qualities be allowed to be a pastor let alone be allowed to serve his community? I would love to hear the real story here. Hopefully, somebody will post it in the comments.

Blogroll Update: #400 - Atheista

Atheista has the honor of become our 400th Atheist Blogroll member.  I like the look of this blog. It covers Atheism, Debate, Medicine, Music and Sports.

In his own words:

Atheista was created to inform and remind people on the existence of Atheism in society and to also expose other individuals to the principles, beliefs and practices of one person who doesn't believe in the existence of a supreme being. Though these pages would contain the inherent differences between people of faith and Atheists, the author hopes that this would open a dialogue for both parties to realize that despite the obvious non-equivalence in paradigms, there are still more things that fall within the common ground.

Welcome to the team Atheista!

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Blogroll Update: Diary of a Teenage Atheist

Please join me in greeting our newest member, Diary of a Teenage Atheist. The Introduction  below was provided by the blogs author.

It's a fact that atheists face more discrimination than people of any other religion. If it's tough enough being an atheist in America, it's even more insane being an atheist in my country, where 94% of the population is Christian. Despite only being 17 and totally new to this thing, I've already been facing a lot of difficulties and discrimination from my own Catholic family and from other people due to my beliefs. I started my blog to document the various challenges and minor annoyances I face as an atheist in a predominantly Christian country.

Here's a link to a short anecdote about a conversation I had with my mother, and here's an excerpt:

"Do your friends know that you're an atheist?" Mother asked on a ride home from the mall. (Answer: Only three. Not sure if I want to tell the rest.) "Because atheists can't celebrate Christmas, you know. These are things you have to think about. Because you know what Christmas celebrates."

No shit, Sherlock. I knew what she was up to, because if there's any adjective that defines my mother (aside from the obvious "elitist" and "self-absorbed"), it's "manipulative." She knew how much I loved Christmas. And I do! It's my favorite time of the year next to my birthday, because I love the cold weather and the lights and the gifts and the music. Basically, everything tangible about Christmas; I could care less about what it celebrates. Of course, Mother Dearest would call me out for being shallow if I told her about how I really felt about Christmas, so I just rolled my eyes and kept to myself.

On another note, Diary of a Teenaged Atheist is a Wordpress blog. The author is having trouble displaying the Blogroll graphic. If there are any experienced Wordpress bloggers out there, please lend a hand.  

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ernie Sues God

File this one under "dumb Midwest political stunts". Senator Ernie Chambers files a lawsuit against god.

Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers has filed a lawsuit against God. He says he just wants to make the point that the constitution allows a lawsuit to be filed for any reason.

The action seeks a "permanent injunction ordering Defendant to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats."

The Plaintiff (Chambers) is identified as "the duly elected and serving State Senator from the 11th Legislative District in Omaha, Nebraska."

The petition states that the "Defendant (also known by various aliases, titles, names, designations) is present in all places at the same time ("Omnipresent")' is the admitted perpetrator of the deleterious acts complained of herein.


Wired is coving this story here. They link to the suit (.pdf), which was filed in a Nebraska District Court.

Chambers, in a fit of alliteration, also accuses God of causing "fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, pestilential plagues, ferocious famines, devastating droughts, genocidal wars, birth defects, and the like."

There is no God therefore there is no suit. Chambers just wasted some of my hard earned money.

Mormons regret massacre

I made it a point to visit the site of the 1857 Mountain Meadows massacre on a trip to Utah one winter in 1998 (I also saw a rocket motor being test fired at Thiokol's plant near Brigham City). It was important for me to see the site of the massacre because it represented a place of overt lies, depravity, and ultimately, the truth. The Mormons butchered a wagon train full of California settlers under false pretenses, forced the surviving young women into polygamist marriages as if they were war booty, and then blamed the whole thing on the Indians.

In my many talks with my Mormon friends, all have deigned any wrong doing by their cult. On the 150th anniversary of the massacre, the Mormons expressed regret, but did not take responsibility. What good is regret without acknowledging their role in the massacre?

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A ranking Mormon church official expressed "profound regret" Tuesday for the massacre of 120 California-bound pioneers moving through Utah on a wagon train on the 150th anniversary of the ambush.

A group that advocates for descendants of those killed said the remarks were the closest the church has ever come to acknowledging it was responsible. But church leaders declined to categorize the remarks as an apology.

Church Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve, the second tier of leadership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, addressed a memorial service at Mountain Meadows, the massacre site 35 miles northwest of St. George, Utah.

"We express profound regret for the massacre carried out in this valley 150 years ago today, and for the undue and untold suffering experienced by the victims then and by their relatives to the present time," Eyring said.


Any bets on how long it will take for the Mormons to take responsibility for this heinous and cowardly act? I'm betting never.

Why the atheist is the hero and the theist is not!

I've been following an interesting thread by Salahudin at called Why the atheist is the hero and the theist is not!

Religion is there not something truly heroic in the atheist, that makes him commit to justice, mercy and love, knowing that he will not be rewarded or punished? Is there not something truly admirable in the atheist that he finds fulfillment and satisfaction in his life, knowing it is ultimately meaningless? That he truly pursues virtue for its own reward? -

The comment thread keeps me coming back.

"Ever wonder what one does in Heaven? What does one accomplish there? I've been told many times by believers that life's purpose is to worship God and find eternal life. And without meaning, life isn't worth living. But as is their failing, they never ask the next question, "what is the purpose of the Eternal Life"? Are there more tests there to give it meaning? Do you have prove you love of God all over again? Or is it meaningless? Is there a Heaven II where things are really great that you can aspire to?"

Found on a message board...Throw this at them. I challenged one of my Baptist co-workers to show this to his pastor. He was mortified. Think of exactly how boring Heaven would be!

"No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women" YIKES!

And I suppose you have to watch endless reruns of The Waltons, Touched By an Angel and Little House. But of course Michael Landon and that ****** who played Mary Ellen wont be there.

I find the whole thing uplifting. Enjoy.

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Via The Jesus Myth: Blogrush

I was doing some lunch time reading over at The Jesus Myth, one of our newest Atheist Blogroll members. He mentioned joining Blog Rush as a means for driving traffic to your blog. I've joined to see if it will help.

When you join, you will be given a snippet of code to place the widget on your site. Every view that your widget gets, your feed is placed on another site’s widget. (So you get a 1:1 return on views.) If someone clicks on the part of the widget that says “Add My Feed,” they then sign up and add a similar widget on their site. (This is where some of the real fun comes into play.) Your feed will now get featured on another widget every time your widget is viewed AND when the new person’s widget is viewed. This goes on for 10 generations.

The Jesus Myth claims 25% more hits over one 12 hour period. I think It's worth a try.

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David Cronenberg is an Atheist

David Cronenberg has the distinction of making one of the most disappointing moves I've seen in years, A History of Violence. It was the combination of a complete lack of morality and the absolute violence that turned me off. Much like horror films, these kinds of movies give me nightmares. I expected more... the nightmares lasted for months.

I was reading Atheist Revolution this morning when I found out that David Cronenberg is an Atheist. Vjack gave me some insight into why I shy away from Cronenberg's films.

In other words, murder should be ugly, violent, and shocking. Unlike the theist who deludes him- or herself with fantasies of immortality, the atheist accepts the finality of death. It isn't supposed to be pretty.

Death is final. That alone is scary. Make death ugly, violent, and shocking... well, then the nightmares come.

Blogroll Update: Young Earth Creationists Anonymous

Our newest member writes:

Young Earth Creationists Anonymous (AKA "Recovering Young Earthers") stems from my experience of going from fundamentalist Christian young-earth creationism to being an atheist after accepting evolution. I would like to say this took place well over a decade ago, but considering that the theme comes up in many of my conversations, and that it has prompted me to pursue a PhD in neuroscience, I realize it is important for me to share my experience -- what I have learned, and what I am learning.

I discuss how the fundamentalist world sets up extremes making it so that accepting evolution leads straight into atheism. I hope to attract current and former young earth creationists (YECs), with challenging, interesting topics. There will of course be some religion bashing, but I hope to also attract atheists with a bend toward the philosophical who can talk about the meaning of life in a godless world. It is this fear that keeps fundamentalists from giving evolution a look. I accepted evolution and then had to confront the reality of no God. Funny, intelligent, smart-ass atheists help, but I'm still looking for something meaty.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Another Pastor busted in Texas

Oops, another Texas pastor busted - this time for solicitation of a 15-year-old girl over the Internet.

An Arlington pastor was in the Denton Jail on Friday on facing charges that he solicited an undercover police officer he thought was a 15-year-old girl, police said.

Grace Fellowship Church Pastor Leroy Ruedas Cruz, 50, is accused of trying to meet the girl at a Denton park after spending less than an hour in a chat room with the girl, said Detective Sgt. Scott Jenkins, a police spokesman.

He remains in the Denton City Jail on a $20,000 bond.

Source: - Arlington pastor accused of trying to meet up with 'teen

A story like this makes me wonder if Cruz has more experience meeting young girls in chat rooms. I am sure the local police are looking into it.

I tried to find a web page for Grace Fellowship Church - No luck. There are sure a bunch of Churches in Arlington.

Need I say "Only in Texas?".

Is this good?

Good magazine has an interesting look into what is easily the most annoying religion on the planet in, The Mormons are Coming.

Each year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sends 20,000 missionaries around the world. These highly devout Mormon youth are the force behind the rapid expansion of what is arguably now the world’s fastest-growing religion.

Mormon missionaries hit my door at least twice a year. they are persistent and annoying.  At least the Korean Bible Believing Baptist church that called at my home yesterday was polite enough to leave without too much fuss. I don't expect to see them. They understand "Not Interested". The Mormons (and the JW) come back again and again. After reading The Mormons are Coming, I understand why.

And after two months of doctrinal and foreign-language training, graduates will travel the world as part of the most successful missionary force on the planet. Warby and Mortensen are just two of the 20,000 recruits to come through the training center each year who go on to convert roughly 300,000 people annually.

19 year old men and women pay their own way through the training program. They volunteer in droves. It is a Mormon right of passage.  Missionaries are in 145 countries were they focus on conversion of the existing religious populations.  Did I mention Mormons scare me?

Today, he and Warby are relative veterans on-site; just hours earlier, the new recruits wept as they said goodbye to their parents. The welcoming ceremony was reminiscent of a college freshman assembly, with a mix of inspirational exhortations (“You have now joined the ranks of over 53,000 missionaries throughout the world who are carrying out the Lord’s work”) and the mundane details of institutional life (“Don’t lose your meal cards.”) But here you’ll find no floppy-haired nonconformists, little racial diversity, and only a handful of women. Apparently, conformity breeds camaraderie: After one drill, an instructor congratulates his underling: “That was awesome! Damn! Great explanation of why we need to be baptized!”

With a well organized missionary effort, Mormons are set to convert the masses. Read the article for yourself and then ask, as I have, is this good?

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A tale of polygamy and rape

Got to love them pseudo Mormon polygamy cults. Forcing children into marriage, child abuse, rape. This cult is disgusting.

ST. GEORGE, Utah, 15 (UPI) -- A Utah woman testified she tried to kill herself on her wedding night after she was pushed into marrying her cousin by polygamous-church leader Warren Jeffs.

The woman, identified in court as Jane Doe, said she was so appalled by the consummation that she felt “evil” and downed two bottles of Tylenol and ibuprofen in an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

Jeffs is charged with rape in Utah on the grounds he coerced the underage marriage, which allegedly led to forced sex. The Arizona Republic said Doe was 14 at the time and had been stunned to hear from her father than she had been ordered to marry a 19-year-old first cousin whom she didn’t like.

Doe, now 21, faces cross-examination Monday in the St. George, Utah, courtroom.

Jeffs is a real piece of work.

(via Peoples Republic of Newport)

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Boca Raton priest charged with soliciting sex

The Rev. Michael Penland flushed his marriage and career down a dirty public toilet by soliciting sex from an undercover police officer while in a public park. I am not too clear as to why it is illegal to ask somebody to have sex if the intended place for the hook up is a private residence. Call me a rabid libertarian if you will, but it really is Penland's own business if he wants to do guys back at his house. Anyway, Penland is married, has kids, and is a youth pastor down in Boca Raton. He admits to five years of secret homosexual affairs. His church has placed him on suspension.

I normally do not report of the odd pastor who likes to play with the boys. But there is an undertone to the story that I do not like. It seems people are concerned because he is a youth pastor. In the last year or so I've reported on many child predictors, but I cannot remember one that was cruising parks for gay sex. I do not think there is a link between adult consensual homosexual sex and child sexual abuse. Penland has a sex addiction problem, or he has been living a lie or both. The whole "danger to children" concern appears to be overblown.

One last thing. Based on his picture, my gadar simply screams gay.

Priest off

Bad pastor

Another "alleged" Baptist pedophile... 

FRESNO, Calif.—The pastor of Sierra Heights Baptist Church was arrested on felony child molestation charges, according to police.

Jail records showed John Bonine, 43, was arrested Monday and was still being held in Fresno County Jail Wednesday night as the congregation met to organize a leadership team to deal with the issue. The charges involve two children, both female, who were allegedly molested over several years.

Mansel Trimble, youth pastor at Sierra Heights, met with church members Wednesday to discuss what he called a "difficult and painful" episode for the church and for Bonine's family.

"We are looking for any way that we can be supportive to our pastor's family," he said. "We also recognize that our congregation is a victim."

Bonine's bail is set at $500,000 dollars.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kathy Griffin Gets Censored

Kathy Griffin wins an Emmy and is then censored for her remarks about Jesus.

"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus...Suck it, Jesus. This award is my God now."

The Catholic League complained, the TV Academy and E drop her comments, and nobody cares - except the Christians.

The ball is now in Griffin’s court. The self-described ‘complete militant atheist’ needs to make a swift and unequivocal apology to Christians. If she does, she will get this issue behind her. If she does not, she will be remembered as a foul-mouthed bigot for the rest of her life."

Our newest blogroll member, Caption Joe of The Rad Guy Blog, covered the story too.

And here are a few results from the Atheist Blogroll.

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Blogroll Update: New Tool

Larro of Ungodly Cynic has been kind enough to create a Atheist Blogroll Google search engine based on the 399 members of the Atheist Blogroll. Larro is adding members based on the new members RSS feed. I've used his custom engine a couple of dozen times already, I plan on adding it to my sidebar using his code. I find it a useful research tool, especially when I'm trying to find out what my fellow bloggers are saying.

Thanks Larro!

In other news, our 400th member will be the next blog to join. It is hard to believe we've grown to become such a large community. I'm torn between a desire to read and a desire to post.

I am trying to build a consolidated RSS feed from all members of the atheist blogroll. If anyone has a suggestion for a good service to provide this, please pass it along.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Waco pastor possess child porn

This is a bizarre story. Henry Edgington, a pastor at the Elm Mott Church of Christ in Waco, Texas has been arrested on seven counts of possession of child pornography. The porn was found in a locked box in the pastor bathroom by his son's fiancee. Edgington claims to be doing research in an effort to try and get child pornography sites off the Internet.

Something smells fishy. Why would anyone keep pornography in his bathroom? Anybody... anybody...(do I need to paint a picture?). Or, how could his son's fiancee find the pornography if it were in a locked box? Or, how come nobody knows about his crusading efforts to shut down child porn sites until after he was caught. Or, how come he surfed porn at the Czech Inn (with free high speed Internet access) where he worked part time?

This is my favorite snipit:

Asked about the group in Florida, Edgington said it is not an official organization but rather a network of child advocates, including ministers... [sounds fishy, no?]

In his defense, he is a father and grandfather. Oh, and lets not forget that he is a pastor. I guess that's why his church is standing behind him. How could an upright man like Edgington do something so heinous?

My prediction - Edgington is headed for the big house. At 63, he's going to have a tough time.