Thursday, November 27, 2008

James Bevel faces the end

Rev. James Bevel is dying. As a result, he will escape justice for the crime of incest. Instead, he will live out the last few months tying to overturn his conviction. I don't agree. He should live out his remaining days in a prison hospital. Justice should not be kind for criminals who abuse the innocent.

Other posts on Bevel:

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Hate begets hate

Have you been following the self-destructing drama of Grace Church and St. Stephens in Colorado Springs? When one bases one’s theology on the irrational hatred of gays, it can cause one to make bad judgments in other areas. In this case, allegations of abuse of power, and embezzlement plague the management of the church. Rev. Don Armstrong has a day of reckoning coming . His fall will be spectacular.

I don’t know why people flock to religions which are based on judging (and hating) others. It leads people to inflict harm in the name of ideology. History is repeat with examples of this nonsense. when one says, love thy neighbor, one must actually love thy neighbor. The message is clear.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Extreme Revolution Sexual Abuse Ministries


These stories just keep rolling in. There is no stopping them. Pastors prey on their flock. It is a growing trend. Being a Christian offers no special protection against one’s baser instincts.

Pastor Brent Edwards is accused of having sex several times a week, every week, for more than a year with a 16-year-old member of his congregation.

The 33-year-old ran "Extreme Revolution Youth Ministries" from the Community Life Center in Greenacres, and from his Suburban Lake Worth home.

It's a group his website explains was formed, in part to "provide proactive intervention in the lives of teens."

At the risk of restating the obvious. Pastor Edwards formed a church targeting teens. He cultivated a target rich environment for his alleged crimes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Freak of the week

Cross and dove

Pastor David Bishop, if found guilty of the many charges against him, he will go down as among the worst of the worst when it comes to clergy sexual abuse and hypocrisy.

The former senior pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church in Redding pleaded not guilty today to nearly 50 counts of child molestation.

David Leon Bishop, 65, who is free on $100,000 bond, is charged with 47 felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14. He also faces 47-related enhancements and is tentatively due to have his preliminary hearing on Dec. 18.

Source: Former pastor pleads not guilty to molestations

More on Bishop: 40 counts of child molestations

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Ex-pastor pleads guilty

The Cross

From the Great Northwest we have the disquieting story of Robert D. Bennefield who is heading to prison for 12 years after raping a young boy. The important fact to remember is that this pillar of society is a convicted sex offender who once again molested a young boy.

One of the comments read:

Why is it that we always hear about these church people molesting little boys and girls? But yet, these same church people think they have a right to tell the gay and lesbian communities that they have no rights of getting married? Are we to listen to these child molesters over the minorities groups of the gay and lesbian?

You would think the answer to this question is obvious. But there are a million fundies out there who will not get it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fundie Sticker #3

Give Jesus a chance This sticker reads, “Give Jesus and chance, he died for the Opportunity.”

People ask me about my fascination with bumper stickers. I usually respond with a combination of sarcasm or anger. As in… perhaps it should read, “I’ll give you $100 for your soul.” And… why the hell are these idiots putting this stuff in my face? I’ve been trying to design my own for a few weeks now. Something like, “I don’t care what you believe” feels about right.

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The news I don't care about

Michael Jackson Star

Image via Wikipedia

Michael Jackson is now a Muslim.  I have only one thing to say… Why does anybody care about this?

Apparently Jackson has changed his first name to Mikaeel. It’s still pronounce like Michael, but it’s spelled differently so that will make it some kind magical Muslim thingy. What an idiot.

The Vatican "”forgives” John Lennon. Say what again? Why does anybody care about this? Lennon is dead… and was not a believer anyway. It is meaningless. On a personal note, when I found out Lennon had died, I pulled to the side of road and vomited. I cried too.  I will remember that day until I day.

The resurgence of Ted Haggard. This poor bastard sell insurance form his home in Denver. Why anybody gives this man the time of day, let alone buys anything from him, is way beyond me.

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America Growing More Secular

The Freedom From Religion Foundation reports on CUNY’s American Religious Identification Survey which shows that America is growing more secular. 16% of American’s describe themselves as secular or somewhat secular. Christians are the biggest losers with a 8% drop.

I recently read an article which asserted Wicca was the fastest growing religion The numbers would suggest otherwise. It looks like Islam (in terms of total new people who self identified) is the winner. Unless they are interpreting the number as percent of growth, in which case Wicca win hands down.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Christian scammer goes to jail

Pastor Robert Jennings caused 500 people to lose $28 million in a fraudulent investment scheme.

The three men involved in the scheme were convicted of bilking more than500 investors out of more than $32 million. Jennings was found guilty in July following a three-week jury trial. The evidence at trial showed that Jones, Simburg and Jennings solicited investors for a coal mine venture and an alleged

international gold transaction that purportedly involved the sale of 20,000 tons of gold between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. They duped investors largely through nightly conference calls in which investors were promised huge rates of return on their investments – as much as 300 percent within 60 days. Most of the conference calls included group prayer, during which investors were told that the gold transaction was “divinely inspired” and that it was God’s will for it to come to fruition.

I guess the old adage is true. There is a sucker born every minute. especially if one is a pastor whose gullible followers thinks his investments are sanctioned by god. I guess Christians are just a greedy as the rest of the world.

Earlier post on Jennings:

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Naked-jogging priest sentenced to probation

A catholic priest who was arrested for jogging in the buff in August of 2007, has  finally had his day in court. The judge slapped his wrists.

A Catholic priest convicted of indecent exposure for jogging naked around a track at a high school has been sentenced to five years probation.

Rev. Robert Whipkey must also complete 100 hours of community service and register as a sex offender under the sentence handed down Thursday in Weld County District Court.

Source: - Naked-jogging priest sentenced to probation

I’m beginning to think Catholics make the best perverts.

Earlier posts on Whipley:

Sunday school teacher liked them young

My Sunday school teacher was hot. As I remember, she was the 20 something wife of somebody important at my church. Being a 14-years-old at the time, my comrades and i often talked about her hotness in less than flattering language. We were boys. It's what boys do. Of course, my Sunday school teacher never sent me picture of her boobs ether. Partly because there were no cell phones back in the day, and partly because she was not that kind of girl. She kissed me on the check once after I won some kind of award. I still remember the awkwardness of that moment. Yikes, being a kid was tough. It does not help when your Sunday school teacher abuses her authority.

Victoria Ann Chacon, a 27 year old former teacher, was arrested Tuesday on charges of distributing harmful material to a minor. The charge stems from an incident that first surfaced in March when a 14 year old San Antonio area teen’s parents found racy love letters written by Chacon.

The arrest affidavit states that in two letters, “Chacon professes her love for the teen, about how passionate he is, and about how she feels when she and the teen kiss each other.”


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Atheist Revolution: Promoting Atheist Community

Vjack has an interesting post up at Atheist Revolution on the topic of Promoting Atheist Community. He’s asking the question “What Next”.

He has four points up for consideration. they are summarized below.

  1. Start with Atheists
  2. Education people on the meaning of atheism
  3. unifying political themes
  4. Proper framing

I like where he is heading with this. It makes sense.

I would like to suggest another area for consideration, Philanthropy. I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a philanthropic organization whose members are part of the atheist blogging community. Funds could be collected via donations. A small board of directors could oversee dispersal to appropriate charities or programs.

A couple of worthwhile projects come to mind.

  • Feeding the poor ($500 goes a long way to a food bank)
  • Funding science education and programs
  • Scholarships
  • Grants for student organizations

I’m thinking small to start. Even $500 collected and dispersed in a year would be a good start. I think it would help improve our image, while at the same time really help people.

What do you think?

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Dad links son's suicide to 'The God Delusion'

I don't normally link to the World Nut Daily, but I could not resist this story. 22-year-old Jesse Kilgore killed himself. His family and friends blame a college biology course and the Richard Dawkins book 'The God Delusion'. They claim Kilgore was an passionate Christian apologist who lost his faith. They point to his blogging as proof of his faith.

"Three people told us he had taken a biology class and was doing well in it, but other students

and the professor were really challenging my son, his faith. They didn't like him as a Republican, as a Christian, and as a conservative who believed in intelligent design," the grief-stricken father, Keith Kilgore, told WND about his son, Jesse.

According to a witness, the ‘only other Christian’ at Jefferson Community College suggested that the biology course and The God Delusion were enough to cause Kilgore to loose his faith, which ultimately lead to his suicide.

Kilgore’s father places the blame on the public school system. He suggests that the only rational course of action for Christians is to abandon public schools. Of course, the father does not accept any responsibility for the influence he might have had on his son. What… with his being a fundie nutball retired military chaplain, and apparently is completely steeped in the ‘Christian are under attack”  rhetoric so common to fundies these days.

How about this instead. Jesse Kilgore killed himself because of, mental illness, depression, drugs, girls or maybe boys, guilt, poor grades, or… maybe  because he just woke up one day without faith and realized he could not confront his overbearing father. Perhaps the environment in which he was raised was not welcoming to rational thought…

And one last thing, The God Delusion put me to sleep. Why would anyone kill themself over a book.?

Hat Tip:  StopTheMormons

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A Wicca child custody issue

pentacle If the courts can remove a child from her mother because of the belief system of the mother, then the courts can remove a child from a person with no metaphysical beliefs at all. In this case, the woman was Wiccan. Judge Robert Vittitow remove her custody in part because of his ignorance concerning the practice of Wicca.  Vittitow officially expressed concern about her beliefs.

Finally, he stated his concern over her testimony regarding the Wicca religion, stating she probably was more involved in it than she led the court to believe.

Upon appeal, the case was returned without a hearing. Judge Hart dissented. His opinion was perfect.

...As I stated in my dissent, even if it were proven that the appellant was a practicing Wiccan, that conclusion can have no bearing on the decision to change custody. The majority makes a clear mistake of fact because there is absolutely no evidence that practicing Wicca was in any way harmful to the child or even that there were any practices conducted in the child’s presence. Accordingly, this cannot be a reason for changing custody.

In my mind, I replace the word Wiccan with the word Atheist and shudder. If the courts can make this type of uniformed error with regard to Wicca, then we all need to worry. I hope it is appealed. It sets a bad precedent.

Technorati tags: , to match 'gays'

Image representing as depicted in...

Image via CrunchBase

I read this headline and smiled. One of James Dobson's backhanded attempts at social engineering has failed. Dobson used to define healthy relationships. In doing so, Dobson excluded gay relationships from the equation.

Internet dating service eHarmony has officially agreed to begin matching homosexual couples, beginning next year.

The popular California-based service has been known for focusing on long-term relationships, especially marriage, which has been said to align with founder Clark Warren's early work with Focus on the Family's evangelical Christian base and perspective.

Warren, a psychologist with a divinity degree, has had three of his 10 books on love and dating published by Focus on the Family. It was an appearance on James Dobson's radio program, in 2001, that triggered a response of 90,000 new referrals to the website, starting a climb of registered participants on the site from 4,000 to today's 20 million clients.

As WND reported, the company originally said it was " based on the Christian principles of Focus on the Family author Dr. Neil Clark Warren." It stood firm on its decision to reject homosexuals from its profiling and matching services. Its entire compatibility system is based on research of married heterosexual couples.


Justice was slow in coming, but it has finally arrived.

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So this priests throws a nun down a well

I read these stories and shudder. If I've learned one thing, it is that having a pastor, priest, nun, or other religious job title means nothing when it comes to base human desires. They lie, they cheat, the rape, and they kill. They do it for the same ludicrous reasons the rest of humanity uses as an excuse

The murder took place 16 years ago in a convent in Kerala, India. Many who followed the case did not thing Sister Abhaya did not think her murders would ever be brought to justice. This may change now that a priest and two nuns have been arrested.

The three arrested are Catholic priests Thomas M. Kottoor, 61, and Jose Puthrukayil, 56, and Reverend Sister Steffi, 45.

My fear is that justice will not be served. India’s standards for criminal investigations are flexible. And the catholic church makes for a good whipping boy.

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France shields while we shaft

General Motors Corporation

Image via Wikipedia

I've been reading editorials suggesting we should let GM fail. It is interesting to see how our competitors are handling the situation. President Nicolas Sarkozy had this to say:

Vowing to protect French industry from foreign predators and a worsening economic slump, President Nicolas Sarkozy introduced a ¬20 billion strategic investment fund on Thursday and announced its first investment.

Sarkozy is right to wonder what happens if the big manufacturing concerns in France go under, or worse, if they are purchased by a foreign entity with cash to burn, like China.

He added: "The day we don't build trains, airplanes, cars and ships, what is left of the French economy? Memories. I will not make France a tourist reserve."

What will happen to America without a GM or Ford? Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we should bail these inefficient behemoths out of their current mess. No, I suggest we offer the same type of commercial paper financing that they were getting before the financial crisis. I have no doubt that GM will be a much different entity a few years from now. My hope is that our auto industry is not purchased at fire sale prices by the PPR or a Middle Eastern oil rich monarchy.

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4 Stone Hearth

The 24th edition of the 4 Stone Hearth us up at Moneduloides.

The Fourth Stone Hearth is a blog carnival that specializes in anthropology in the widest (American) sense of that word. Here, anthropology is the study of humankind, throughout all times and places, focussing primarily on four lines of research:

  • archaeology
  • socio-cultural anthropology
  • bio-physical anthropology
  • linguistic anthropology

Each one of these subfields is a stone in our hearth.

I must admit a certain fascination for a subject I know very little about. I always feel like I’m peering behind the curtain. It usually makes for a good read.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The news from Texas is bad

Martin Wagner of the Atheist Experience reports on the Texas SBOE hearings on Science TKES (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). The news is disappointing. The citizens of Texas seem hell bent on ushering in the next Dark Ages.

I’m a big fan of The Atheist Experience. I listen to every show. I appreciate the work they do to promote positive atheism. Apparently in Texas, they have many difficult days ahead with this creationist packed SBOE. Let’s help however we can.

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What the hell is HumanLight?

Apparently, secularists, humanists, atheists and agnostics will be celebrating HumanLight this holiday season. I'm not invited.

The very first HumanLight celebration was held in New Jersey on December 23, 2001 at a gala event attended by close to 100 people. It has grown in popularity around the country every year since. HumanLight is December 23rd, and should always be celebrated on or around this date. This date was chosen for several reasons.

Read more….

So… what? We rebrand Christmas as HumanLight? I’m guessing this just won’t catch on. And what does one do at a HumanLight celebration?

  • Some kind of meal - a potluck dinner is a popular choice.
  • A candle-lighting ceremony.
  • Short readings (e.g. excerpts from the writings of Robert Ingersoll).
  • Educational entertainment for children. One recent event included a professional science demonstration for kids. Some other events featured magicians--who then revealed how their tricks were done.
  • Short talks or discussions.

Read more….

I don’t get it.

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Giving Up on God

GOP Ostrich

Image by stormbear via Flickr

Kathleen Parker writes the unthinkable (only a few months ago). The GOP might just push the fundies out of the tent.  Giving Up on God discusses what is needed to heal the Republican Party and position it for the future.

To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.

Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth -- as long as we're setting ourselves free -- is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.

The point of her editorial is essentially to call for a secular grounding for the GOP. One where one’s religion is a private matter.

The pendulum is starting to swing back toward the center. It is about time.

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Trouble ahead for James Dobson

James Dobson.

Image via Wikipedia

The god business must be falling on hard times. Focus on the Family plans to layoff another 200 people has this onetime powerhouse of religions politics falls on hard times.

James Dobson and Focus on the Family were active supporters of Prop 8.

The cutbacks come after Focus, formerly headquartered in California until 1991, spent a reported half-million dollars to successfully support Proposition 8 in the Golden State, overturning a state court decision to allow same-sex marriages.

There are few things worse than losing your job heading into the holiday season. I feel for those who are about to take the hit. However, I feel only contempt for Dobson and is malignant hateful organization. I want to see it go out of business. Let the forces of economic justice wreak havoc on his misguided organization. I am sure a kinder, gentler, more socially responsibly organization will fill the gap. And something tells me he will not be missed.

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Nice Marmot - Didn't it Rain

I was perusing Nice Marmot today when I saw his YouTube post of  Sister Rosetta Tharpe singing  Didn't it Rain from a 1964 performance in England. I love this style of gospel music. Tharpe makes her guitar scream.

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Convicted pedophile pastor caught in Brazil

Kenneth Craig has been on the run since 1999 when he jumped bail on a series of sex related exploitation of minors charges. The rat bastard has been caught.

"He was working in a movie theater but got most of his money from Eva," Feheely said. It was a hangout for kids from broken homes.

"He paid kids at the theater between $150 and $1,500 for sex acts," he said. "He would give them clothes and shoes and alcohol."

In November 1998, Craig was arrested in a hotel room with two teens and charged with multiple counts of indecent assault, lewd acts and promoting sexual performance of children younger than 16.

Source: Parents' visit led authorities to suspected pedophile hiding in Brazil -- South Florida

Craig perfected his craft as a youth pastor in Louisiana. It is time he gets what he deserves.

Even the KKK celebrates Christmas

And you can too!


Looking for an effective way to express your Christian faith this Christmas season to honor our Lord Jesus? Now you can.... with the "Original Christmas Cross" yard decoration.

What the hell were they thinking? Well... anything for a buck, right?

On doing the right thing

Life is full of morality lessons. I celebrate the stories that reinforce my values. Like this one about Barack Obama. He was generous before he needed to cultivate a public image and when $100 dollars was a lot of money to him.

In the early 80s, my wife and I were stuck in Tokyo without cash. We were near the central train station and totally confused. A young man from Texas stopped to help us. He paid a cab driver $60 to take us to our hotel. Unfortunately, it was not George Bush. 

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Darkness is Where the Stars Are

darkness The poet Patrick Jones had his book launch canceled because of complaints by a Christian fundamentalist group. The Christian Voice (they speak for god so you don't have to) called the book "obscene and blasphemous". They pressured Waterstones in Cardiff to cancel the book launch. Waterstones did as it was told. The event was canceled on short notice.

What are the obscene objections? Here is what Fundie Stephen Green says.

'However, Waterstones are still selling Jones' book "Darkness is Where the Stars Are" which is full of anti-Christian rhetoric and profanity. The poems, some of which Patrick Jones sent me yesterday morning in an act of hubris, aren't actually much good, but they possibly have enough profanity and references to female genitalia to get the literati excited. One of them included the blasphemous if not terribly original line: 'just like mary magdelene (sic), i f****d jesus'

So... I little profanity and nothing more harmful than a Python skit? What the hell?

To fight the forces of evil, two Welsh Assembly members will host a reading.

Of course, the best way to fight back is to  buy the book. I did.

Related articles

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What church did she go to?

I read this horrifying tale of vindictiveness the other day and just could not let it go. Nicole Griffin of Roswell, Ga wanted to buy a house from her neighbor Lorenzo Jimenez. The deal fell through in part because Jimenez is an illegal alien. Roswell's disappointment leads her to a scorched earth approach to the problem which ultimately cost Jimenez his job, and will eventually cause his deportation. I thought about the story for a few days but kept coming back to something which was left unstated. Where did Griffin for her morality? In other words, which church taught her to be a human devoid of compassion and love for her fellow man?

Locked in a letter war with Meder, Griffin escalated her actions. She contacted the FBI, the Roswell Police Department, local media, the state attorney general's office and the governor's office, among others. She asked her congressman, U.S. Rep. Tom Price, for help, saying she felt Jimenez and Meder had deceived her. Price's office, in turn, contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Brendan Buck, a Price spokesman.

The FBI? The Police? The state attorney general's office? I mean, what could possibly motivate somebody to take action of this gravity? Griffin is attempting to destroy another living breathing human being over what? A few dollars and the loss of a house she possibly could not afford anyway? Her actions are evil.

I could not let it go. Sorry for the rant.

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Dick Cavett digs Sarah

Well, not really. 

May I confess that upon first seeing her, I liked her looks? With the sound off, she presents a not uncomely frontal appearance.

But now, as the Brits say, Ill be glad to see the back of her.

Cavett wrote this wonderful little snippet on his New York Times blog in a witty post titled, The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla. Go ahead, give it a read. You know you want too.

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Fetid Fruit

It's like what I do here on Deep Thoughts with Hypocrisy Watch, only they seem more motivated. Check it out, Fetid Fruit.

Church leader indicted on online sex charge

The actual headline reads "Former church leader indicted on online sex charge". I don't know why they don't just say the guy was fired. I guess that's why I write a blog instead of a newspaper column.


Charles Andy Gartison, 24, of Monroe was arrested on Sept. 29 after allegedly arranging a meeting with Lt. Jeff Braley of the Hamilton Twp. Police Department, who posed as a 15-year-old male as part of an undercover investigation.

Gartison actually drove out for the meeting where he was arrested. How can Gartison not understand that he was about to step in shit? By now, after dozens of high profile arrests, only an idiot would fail to realize that 15-year-old boys have no interest in fugly old music directors.

For the record, Gartison was a Methodist. He's also a hypocrite, and will soon be a convicted Internet predator.

Consensual Church Sex

It's the best kind...

A former church secretary at Denver's Central Baptist Church has filed a civil lawsuit against the church and senior pastor Willie Simmons, accusing the prominent Denver-area clergyman of two incidents of sexual assault in the church office in 2007.

In a 2007 internal church memo obtained by CBS4, Simmons, a married, 58-year old father of two, acknowledged he engaged in a sexual encounter with the woman but claimed it was consensual.

"I wanted it to stop," the woman said in an interview with CBS4. "It wasn't consensual..."

I love it when dirty laundry is aired out in public. You learn so much about the character of the people involved. Take pastor Willie Simmons. He's not a bad man. All this upright pastor did was sleep with his secretary. What else would one expect of a married father of two who leads a church.

Move along folks, there is nothing to see here. Hypocrite!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Post-Partisan

My long time friend and fellow blogger, Brad Hightower, has started a new blog called The Post-Partisan. His first post answers the questions, What is Left Wing and Right Wing (and Center Left and Center Right)? I found his post concise, smart, and informative.

So here are what I believe are the criteria that constitute balanced definitions of the terms left, right, and center. In this discussion it is important to remember that these terms refer to actual historical realities. The extreme left wing is used to refer to communism, and the extreme right is used to describe fascism or military dictatorships. Therefore, the criteria we use to define these terms need to accurately reflect these forms of political economic societies.

Fair warning! Brad is a devout Christian and former pastor. However, after five years of daily conversations with the man, I can honestly say I wish Christians were more like him (as opposed to say... Ken Ham, or James Dobson).

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Pastor quits after commission finds guilt

The statute of limitations expired on this case, so the victim went to the Presbyterian church instead

Rev. Ronald Campbell resigned from Trinity International University, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Trinity Graduate School in Deerfield this month, shortly after a church commission ruled that he sexually abused the woman in the 1980s.

I like justice, even if it only costs the bastard his job.

Campbell fit the profile of a sexually abuse authority figure.

The commission found Campbell guilty of the allegations of sexual abuse, as well as using "force, threat, coercion, intimidation, or misuse of office or position" against the girl.

"He showed me a gun," said Hokanson, who said she interpreted that as a threat. "I definitely felt like I wanted to stay in his good graces."

He also was dumb enough to have the girls initials tattooed on his ass. I mean... Oh, never mind. It is too bad he cannot go to prison over this. His ass might acquire a few more tattoos.

Mormons plot against gay marriage for eleven years

The Box Turtle Bulletin reports on an eleven year old internal LDS memo describing the Mormon strategy to defeat gay marriage.

The memo, dated March 4, 1997, provides insight into the late LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley’s strategy for opposing same-sex marriage. It describes a meeting in which Hinckley gives the go ahead, but urged caution. According to the memo, “he (President Hinckley) also said the (LDS) Church should be in a coalition and not out front by itself.”


Make no mistake about it, Prop 8 is theocracy. A church used its financial clout and organizational ability to push forward its moral agenda. Do you really want to live like a Mormon? I don't.

Hat tip: Stop the Mormons

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The Best of Atheist Blogroll Flickr Pool #2

We've had a couple of interesting Photos added to the Atheist Blogroll Flickr Pool this week. I've selected a few of the best for this post. Here we go...


Photo by HCVIII
Blog: (sorry - I don't know)

This photo is titled iFlickr, but I think that might be a reference to the device that took the picture. Let's just call it "An Atheist Coffee Cup". Anyway... I want one.

Stone frozen hope

Photo by Jamon_sansgod
Blog: Sansgod

This photo is titled Stone Frozen Hope. I love old statutes. They feel creepy and warm at the same time. I once saw a statute in France. The tour guide said the artist worked on the sculpture for five years. Dedication like that blows my mind.

hong qi

Photo by Toomanytribbles
Blog: toomanytribbles

I don't know if I love toomanytribbles or hate her. I look at her work feel and my own inadequacy. It's like when you play basketball for fun and show up at the courts to see the local university players occupying the court. You know that you are simply not in their league. I feel the same way about Tribb's photos. They are so good it hurts.


Photo by Psychodiva
Blog: Psychodiva's Mutterings

This photo is untitled. I included it because I too have may photos of various primate asses. In fact, I have 25 years worth. One must always have primate asses in their photography collections. Besides, it will be nice to use this photo in a post about Ted Haggard.

little orthodox church in marousi

Photo by Toomanytribbles
Blog: toomaytribbles

Toomanytribbles makes it to the list a second time with this picture titled "Little orthodox church in marousi". She inspired me to buy a tripod today and start shooting HDR photos again. I posted my best at Flickr today.


After two weeks, we have 19 members and 118 photos. If you would like to participate, see this post.

The morning after the fire

The last 24 hours is something I will never forget. Yesterday, smoke from the Freeway Fires blocked out the noon sun. People walked from their cars to stores with hands covering their mouths. Breathing was difficult. Our eyes watered. We coughed like heavy smokers. I slept with every window in my house closed, yet I still felt like somebody was blowing cheap cigar smoke in my face all night long. It was a nasty day.

And then there was the ash... My house, yard, and cars are covered in a thick layer of the stuff. I have another picture here. It shows more detail.

I was outside this morning. The sun was shining. Since then, the winds have kicked up again. The smoke is covering our city once again. It looks like another nasty day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My city is burning

Sunset and smoke

I took this photo near sunset today. The sun and the sky around it were blood red. My city, or actually, the much more affluent Anaheim Hills, is burning. The whole of the LA basis is covered in thick choking smoke. It is hard to breath here. We are pretty muched trapped in our house. My best friend lives in the burn area. He's been told to evacuate. I'm waiting to hear that he is ok. In fact, I think it's time I call again.

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Mad as hell and want to do something about it?

Try protesting Prop 8 and supporting our fellow citizens in their quest for equal rights. Visit JOIN THE IMPACT for more information.

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Blogroll Update: General Update

Logo2 I  do not know what to say about the despicable status of our blogrolling service. has been down for a month. The most I can do is add new blogs and wait. The situation is frustrating. has not posted an update since Nov 2. As users, we are given no idea as to when the application will return to service, or it it will return to service at all. I do not understand how can operate a business like this.  At a minimum, they should be communicating status., if you read this, you are ruining any credibility you have with your user community. If you are depending on us to help make version 2.0 a success, I have a feeling you will be disappointed.

We Grow

The big new is that we are continuing to grow. I backed the Atheist Blogroll up this morning (manually) and then did a count. We stand at 857 member blogs. My guess is that 15 or so are inactive. I have not been able to perform maintenance since went down, I am sure the number is somewhat inflated.

The Skunk Works Project

Larro, Db0 and I have pooled resources on a new project which will benefit the members of the atheist Blogroll and the atheist blogging community. I'll post more information on this when it's ready.

Atheist Blogroll Logos

All of the Atheist Blogroll Logos are available on Flickr in the Atheist Blogroll Photo Pool. I would like to ask other bloggers who are interested to submit more versions of the logo, and to submit more graphics which can be used to illustrate posts.

Also, I have a special request. I've had several requests for a small logo like the one for the Flying Spaghetti Monster shown below. If somebody could produce something like this, I would be grateful.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Targeting Online Predators

I found a small article which illustrates how vulnerable young children are to Internet Predators. Men are pigs, especially those who get off on our children.

The story also profiles pedophile pastor Timothy Scott Richerson, who used Myspace to stalk a 14-year-old girl. Richerson was a Baptist, so it all makes sense.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ted Haggard gives sermon

Ted is laughing at you! Former pastor and gay but in denial Ted Haggard, spoke in front of the Open Bible Fellowship Church (where do they come up with these names?). His sermon was titled "Jesus' Righteousness in Us". Haggard talked about the experience of being outed. He blamed what happened on being molested at age seven.

At 50, he said, whether it was because of a mid-life crisis, pressure or psychological determinism, “what happened to me as a child started to produce fruit.”

Haggard said he would walk around his church in the middle of the night, at war with himself, telling God to “do whatever it takes to deliver me. I’ll lay anything on the altar. I hate this thing. But, there were times when I love it.”

So... what really pisses me off is how easy it is for Haggard to stand up in front of sheeple and say, "The devil made me do it'. He takes no responsibility for his actions. He claims he was tempted because of prior sexual abuse and pressure on the job. He was pushed over the edge by a horrific  battle with Satan.. Now he's back, forgiven, and ready to work for God's glory. Um... Bullshit.

An old Christian friend of mine had this saying, "If you want forgiveness after stepping on your dick in public, you should start by mowing the lawn for a couple of years". There are many ways to serve. But the option of leading a congregation should never be on this table to Ted haggard. What the hell are these people thinking?

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Pastor Ricardo Maffery is charged with lewd acts with a 14-year-old girl. He met the girl for "kissing". Maffery is the soon to be ex-pastor at Apostolic Christian Church. Maffery must not have read the lifestyle guidelines at the ACC.

Unedifying worldly entertainments are avoided, as believers are to be good stewards of all resources including their hearts and time

Maybe he mistook the Holy Kiss for the much more enjoyable French Kiss?


A reader has informed me that Maffery and his Church are not associated with the ACC.

Not So Buena # 11

Missing Person


Title: Missing Person
By: Mojoey
Where: Buena Park, Ca.
When: October 8, 2008 at ~ 7:27 am PDT
Equipment: Nikon D300 - 1/160 @ f6.3


I see placards and flyers everyplace. Stuck  to trees, poles, even stuck in bushes. It is particularly bad around election season. I will not call it a pet peeve. It's just ugly.  These signs were on every tree in my neighborhood. I don't know if they found the poor bastard.

This photo is an entry in the Not So Buena photography project hosted here at Deep Thoughts. If you would like to participate with photo's from your own city, see the instructions for submitting photos on this post.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How many churches?

Korean Church

Seriously, how many Korean churches can you pack into about two square blocks? I counted 11 along a stretch of Orangethorpe in Buena Park. Most have started within the last two years. Most have taken over locations occupied by real businesses (and a damn good bar). I've watched the transformation of an industrial/business park into a religious zone in despair. Each new church robs my community of tax revenue while at the same time guarantying annoying visits by Korean missionaries.

On a drive over the weekend, I saw that an entire strip mall was vacated with the promise of yet another Korean church to come. I would rather see another Korean restaurant.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

My day started with a long drive. When I arrived for what would be the first of a two 5 hour meetings, I was greeted by a former Marine with the words "Happy Veterans Day" and a handshake. I returned his greeting with a smile. The Marine  is was a mortar man in Vietnam. I was an aircraft mechanic  stationed in the California desert. I'm proud of serving my county, even though I was a complete screw up.

It was because I was a screw up that I was given the opportunity to serve in the base honor guard. It was much better than having me work on airplanes. I warmed to the duties of the Honor Guard over time. It was painful duty. I participated in over 150 funerals. Sometimes I would fold the flag, sometimes I would shoot blanks as part of the traditional 21 gun salute. And on rare occasions, I would give the flag to the grieving parent or spouse. I enjoyed serving. I was good at it. 

At a funeral  near the end of my time in the Honor Guard, my unit gathered around an airman who had died in an accident. He had fallen off a ladder. As the crowd gathered for the funeral, I recognized a face or two. I had this feeling of dread. I looked at the name on the burial orders but drew a blank. A few minutes later a police officer in full dress blue walked up to my unit. I knew him from my childhood. He was a friend of the family. I knew his children too. My sense of dread was confirmed. I knew the young man in the coffin. We had played together as children.

I gave the flag to the police officer along with a few shells from the 21 gun salute. He cried. I kept my military bearing. It was important to me the my friend be honored properly. He was.

This event happened over 20 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. When I think about the nature of service, death, and honor, I remember this event. I remembered it again today. And just like normal, I teared up.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Resigning from the Mormon Church

I've had a few people ask how one resigns for the LDS church. Signing for Something has the information. Go ahead... You know you want to do it.

Resigning from the LDS church is not easy. Mormons are a closed society. Once you are in, it is very hard to get out. has stories. They make for an interesting read.

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Best search phrase ever

Somebody typed  heading to prison, how to avoid sodomy into Google and they found my blog.  How funny is that?

Might I suggest... don't be a bitch?

Those Mormons - Horses

The Church of Jesus Christ prints both a large...

Image via Wikipedia

A friend asked that I start writing about Mormons. Given they fucked over California, I think it is a good idea.

There was a time in my life when I spent a lot of time studying the LDS church. I was young, a devout Christian, and dating a Mormon girl. Let's just say I was motivated.

The Book of Mormon is a tedious work of fiction set in the Americas around 2000 years ago. The book is full of contradictions and outright mistakes. My first encounter with this was the mention of horses. 

Horses arrived in the Americas with Cortez in 1519. Horses had populated the Americas as recently as 10,000 years ago. The fossil record shows they disappeared well before the arrival of the ancient civilizations of the Americas. Yet the Book of Mormon mentions hours several times. This single discrepancy should be enough to cause the mindless minions of Joseph Smith to question their faith. But no... I've heard the weirdest possible rationales.

Here is the proof.

Enos 1:21

And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land, and a raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also many horses.

Alma 18:9

And they said unto him: Behold, he is feeding thy horses. Now the king had commanded his servants, previous to the time of the watering of their flocks, that they should prepare his horses and chariots, and conduct him forth to the land of Nephi; for there had been a great feast appointed at the land of Nephi, by the father of Lamoni, who was king over all the land.

3 Nephi 3:33

And it came to pass in the seventeenth year, in the latter end of the year, the proclamation of Lachoneus had gone forth throughout all the face of the land, and they had taken their horses, and their chariots, and their cattle, and all their flocks, and their herds, and their grain, and all their substance, and did march forth by thousands and by tens of thousands, until they had all gone forth to the place which had been appointed that they should gather themselves together, to defend themselves against their enemies.

Nephi 18:25

And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper.

Of course, there is no archeological evidence for horses in the non-existent civilizations mentioned by Book of Mormon. As far as I can tell, there is no viable explanation for the discrepancy. The most creative explanation I've heard on this subject was from a friend. He posited that the horses mentioned were not old world horses, but instead were some of type of horse that had not yet been found in the fossil record. And that someday... Of course, I blew Guinness through my nose at this point, so I missed his wish.

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