- Jason Glaza - Youth Pastor Dismissed
- Curtis Watts - Pastor attacks deputy with axe
- Michael Flood - Another Catholic Priest accused of abuse
- Robert Reaves - Murder trail starts for pastor
- Matthew Joseph Andrews - They were a Mormon Family
- Jose Campoverde - In my backyard?
- Ian Thompson - Clergyman found dead
- William Brooks - A pastor who likes boobs too much
- David Helmuth - A pastor's staggering ignorance
- Pastor David Rhone - Is this really unconstitutional?
- Kimberly McCowan - This must be love
- Lonnie McCowan - This must be love
- Father David Dueppen - Take your clothes off slowly
- Christopher Decaire - Baptist youth pastor gets 79 years
- Doug Perlitz - Catholic Missionary indicted for child molestation
- Jessica Banks - Female pastor gets life
- Mark Brown - Not a rapist, just a kidnapper
- Joshua O'Bannion - Temptaion and youth pastors
- Bradley Barrett - A Baptist allegeldy drugged kids for sex
- Craig Johnson - A Baptist allegeldy drugged kids for sex
- Keith Pittman - 4 years for mortgage load fraud
- Henry J. Lyons - Sometimes they get it right
- Jose Flores - The hijacker is a christian nutball?
- Rodney McGill - One more deal, just one more deal
- James Clark - Pastor's conviction upheld
- Jody Lusk - Letting the devil in
- John Kameron Erbele - $60 can end your career
- Jihua Si - Posing as a pastor for access to women
- Hence Hablin Jr. - All in the Family
- Michelle Brennan - Another youth pastor falls
- Marcial Maciel - A hearfelt apology issued by hypocrites
- Dennis Spangler - Former pastor accused of exposing self
- Timothy Hayes - Pastor pleads guilty to animal cruelty
- Randy Meadows - The words of a fool
- Mark Hourigan - The words of a fool
- Brett Candelaria - Mormon child molester sentenced
- Lawrence Cermak - Deacon steals $300k
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Hypocrisy Watch for September 09
Youth Pastor Dismissed
Youth Pastor Jason Glaza, a married father of three, was fired for Inappropriate conduct. . He was he youth pastor at Faith Church in New Milford. There was an allegation involving sex with a teen.
The Rev. Frank Santora, the church's senior pastor, said the allegation was immediately reported to the police and DCF. The senior church leadership team conducted a congregational meeting Thursday night for parents and youth to inform them of Glaza's dismissal.
It is not often that I see a church do the right thing. In this case, they did everything by the book. This is a step in the right direction. They removed access to children and reported the abuse. The next step is to inform the congregation, and they did. It’s perfect, except for the church website. No announcement or press release. They have a neat choir though.
Pastor attacks deputy with axe
Reverend Curtis Watts attacked a Clay county Sheriff’s deputy with an axe, severing the deputy’s hand.
Family members and neighbors say Watts was a pastor at a local church. Surprised locals say they can only guess that Reverend Watts just "snapped" when police went to serve a warrant on him Friday.
Watts was shot and killed.
Another Catholic Priest accused of abuse
This time the priest is from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The alleged crime took place 30 years ago. The priest maintains his innocence.
Monsignor Michael Flood, 71, pastor of Saint Luke the Evangelist Parish in Glenside, was named late last week in a civil lawsuit filed in Delaware, according to the archdiocese. He denies the allegation.
After telling parishioners about the matter over the weekend, Flood asked his parish to pray for the person who made the allegation.
David Clohessy of SNAP suggests Flood should be suspended pending resolution of the charges. I agree, especially given the history convictions in cases like this. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Murder trial starts for pastor
Bishop Robert Reaves gets his day in court this week with the start of jury selection in his murder trial. Reaves does not want the jury to hear that he is gay. I think he’s afraid the Christians on the jury might view that harshly. He should have thought of that before he lived the life of a murdering (allegedly) hypocrite.
On Monday, Reaves attorney asked a judge to keep jurors from hearing that Reaves was gay. The judge said while he normally wouldn't allow jurors to hear about a defendant's sexual orientation, in this case it was relevant to the prosecution's theory.
Life in prison for a gay bishop. They might as well give him the death sentence.
They were a Mormon family
I hear this phrase all the time, they were a Mormon family, or they were a Christian family, and I know what follows. Somebody was robbed, murdered, or raped. 19-year-old Matthew Joseph Andrews was a good Mormon, raised right too. It did not stop him from allegedly molesting young girls.
Officer Barbara Morgan, a spokeswoman with the Metropolitan Police Department, said the charges stem from allegations involving Andrews when he was between the ages of 15 and 16. Morgan said the female victim was then "quite a bit" younger than 14.
She didn't explain why so much time had passed between the alleged assault and the arrest. She did say police received the information from a mandatory reporter. The professions classified as such include teachers, social workers and ministers and they are required by law to report child abuse should they learn of it.
What do we learn from this? Being a member of a religion does not preclude hideous amore behavior.
19 more blogs join the Atheist Blogroll
We’ve jumped up to over 1030 blogs. Here are the latest members.
- Nanobots Will Enslave Us All
- The Grenadian Freethinker
- Veritas Nihilum Vincet
- The Defiant Skeptic
- Belief in People
- Cupcakes and Mace
- Friendly Humanist
- Strangely Blogged
- The atheist, polyamorous, geek
- of mule dung and ash
- The Gaytheists
- Own the Day
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Free your mind
Toomanytribbles really is one of my favorite bloggers. That woman has amazing photography talent and she makes a damn good video too. She put this up to celebrate reaching our 1000 blog milestone on the Atheist Blogroll. ever time I watch it it gives me goosebumps…
Atheist Blogroll member Angie the Anti-Theist asks 100 new questions for Christians. I think she needs a few answers.
In my backyard?
Anaheim is the next city over from mine. Jose Campoverde is a pastor in a small strip mall church called the Ministerio Cristo Vive. He is accused of molesting four girls.
Campoverde is the pastor of Ministerio Cristo Vive, a small congregation whose members worship in a few suites behind the 99 Cents Only store on South Euclid, police said.
On Sept. 11, a 17-year-old member of Campoverde's church told Anaheim police that her pastor had fondled her while driving her home in May, said Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim Police Department.
Go ahead, somebody tell me he is innocent until proven guilty.
I’ll drive by the “Church” tomorrow for a few pictures.
My Catholic Stalker
I’ve had a Catholic stalker now for a few months. He comes and goes and offers little of value in his comments. He feels the need to comment on everything, even when he has no idea what I am posting about. I don’t ban people who comment on my posts unless they are spammers. But this guy… he’s just a friggen pain.
He posts as Believe2, his email is email@example.com. I want to know who this guy is. He makes outlandish claims with no evidence and acts like a child. I think it is time I find out who my stalker is and talk to his mom. Does anyone know how I would go about doing this?
You can see his typical screed on this post.
His IP address is: 188.8.131.52
Thanks for help – Mojoey
15 more blogs join the Atheist Blogroll
Hitting 1000 blogs has prompted a few bloggers to join. This batch was added today.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Stuff Christian Culture Likes
In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, “It's funny because it's true!” Stuff Christian Culture Likes, I read every post.
Atheist Blogroll hits 1000+ members
Five years ago I started collecting Atheist blogs as a means to connect with the wider community. Over time my little project grew so much that others began asked for a copy of the blogroll. I converted the blogroll to something that could be shared and opened up membership to any atheist or agnostic blogger. At the time I did not realize how much work would be involved in maintaining the blogroll. I’ve come to look at my time commitment as my small gift to the Atheist community. It fits me too. I’ve always been a behind the scenes kind of guy.
Now that we’ve hit the 1000 blog milestone, I want to thank those of you who are active supporters. I could not do this without your support. Be it spotting inactive blogs, promoting the blogroll, indexing our members on Google, or finding new members, I thank each of you for your contribution.
The Blag Hag is our 1,000th member. She writes an interesting blog. Please drop in and congratulate her.
Martinpribble would have been our 1,000th member, but he forgot his url. There is no shame in being member 1,001.
Thanks to a post on The Friendly Atheist, about 25 more blogs asked to join. It takes a little time, but I will get them all loaded as soon as possible.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Clergyman found dead
The Reverend Ian Thompson, Dean of Chapel at King’s College, was found dead at his home. He was asphyxiated. His death is notable because of an ongoing investigation regarding sexual offenses allegedly committed in the Strathclyde area of Scotland.
Thompson death is not being treated as suspicious. I’m not sure what that means. Asphyxia is suffocation, right? If somebody does not do it for you, you must do it yourself. Is suicide not considered suspicious?
Cambridgeshire police said there were no suspicious circumstances and the case had been passed to the coroner. A family friend said his death was thought to be suicide.
In situations like this, when a man’s professional life hangs in the balance because of sex abuse allegations, suicide may seem like an easy out, but it is the cowards path.It also denies justice to the victims. I consider it the ultimate abuse.
The Atheist Blogroll, now with 999 members
Hello world! All we need is one more blog. Just one more blog and we reach 1,000 members. Is there anybody out there who wants the honor?
I actually had a blog slotted for # 1,000, but the author did not include his URL. You would be surprised how often that happens.
Our newest members:
991 – Life, the universe and everything in between
992 – The adventures of Jessica Sideways
993 – Quite like blood
994 – Unpleasant Characters
995 – The Happy (Atheist) Homemaker
996 – Dr. Jim’s Thinking Shop & Tea Room
997 – Notung
998 – The View from Jamul
999 – An Atheist’s Answer
Witchcraft, Wicca and politics
I keep a news feed open just for Wicca. I don’t many stories on the subject. I read about them because I find the Wicca movement disturbing, but not in threatening way. And as cults go, they are kind of cute, what with all their skyclad rituals (NSFW picture). I mean, who gets naked out in the bush for their faith beside Wiccans?
I stumbled across a post on The Wild Hunt titled The Witchcraft-Obsessed Bush Administration. In a weird déjà vu type moment, I realized that I’ve read this post several times before, except the word Witchcraft was replaced with the word Atheism.
…it also seems to confirm a sneaking suspicion among modern Pagans that Bush and his administration had a unique obsession with Witchcraft and the occult.
…it also seems to confirm a sneaking suspicion among modern Pagans that Bush and his administration had a unique obsession with Atheism and pastafarians.
Who knew we were brothers-in-arms?
Friday, September 25, 2009
Odd things I collect
My son turned me on to the Decemberists a few years ago. I’ve been collecting YouTube versions of the Mariner's Revenge Song ever since. I added Team Strike Force’s version today. My favorite version is of my young son singing his heart out. I should post that…. No, he might go postal.
You should go to a white church
I’m off today. I have vacation planned each of the next nine Fridays. I played a solo round of disc golf this morning to start my day. I shot a –4 at El Dorado Park in Long Beach (a personal best). I felt like coffee after the game so I took my stinky self over to a Starbucks in Cerritos. While sitting outside by myself, I was interrupted by two young Koreans. They asked me if I knew where I was going when I died. Since I was in no mood for company let along Christian proselytizers, I simply said, “Leave me alone.”
The tall one said, “We love you and are concerned that you will go to hell if you do not repent.”
“I am an Atheist. Please leave me alone.”
“Oh, how horrible. You must know the lord Jesus or surly you will go to hell,” said the short one.
I try a different tactic, “You guys are ruining my mood, would you mind?”
The short one offers, “Please accept this copy of the New Testament and these helpful pamphlets. They will tell you what to do to get to heaven.”
“I’m not interested. Please go away.” They move closer. I say, “I mean it, get the fuck away from me.”
I stand up at this point. I’m at least a foot taller than both of them, yet they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me. I peg them as native Koreans. Americans would know better. They don’t know standing this close to me is making me uncomfortable and pissing me off. I let it go as I really am in no mood for company. As I walk away, the tall one says, “Please take this list of churches which are doctrinally sound. They accept white people. You would be comfortable there.”
I stop for second. “White people?” I ask in an incredulous voice.
“Our church is Korean only, we are affiliated with churches that accept other races,” said the short one.
I don’t know what to say at this point. I mumble, “No shit?”, then turn toward the parking lot at a brisk pace. I think I just encountered xenophobic Koreans who are to culturally illiterate to understand the political incorrectness of their words. I’ll let the next guy punch them in the nose.
Atheist Blogroll Member 990
No 2 Religion joined the Atheist Blogroll on September 25, 2009. This blog is member 990.
It is my pleasure to introduce No 2 Religion. The author is working on a project that will map each of my Hypocrisy Watch posts to Google maps. At some point, we will be able to see the worst places to take your kids to church. I think it will be a big hit.
No 2 Religion is all about keeping religion out of public schools and education related stories. The author gives education special attention, I think in partly because of his involvement with public education. Try this post for a sample: Does Obama’s Speech to Students Violate Constitutional rights?
I work in K-12 education, though not as a teacher, and I find these problems to be patently false and manufactured by likely "teabaggers" and "birthers. Arlen uses the article, Major Breach of Protocol by Nancy Matthis of American Daughter to bolster his assertion that President Obama and the U.S.Department of Education have somehow usurped the power of the states with his upcoming speech.
Please join me in welcoming our newest member. And be nice, the author appears to be spelling challenged (like me).
I have 10 potential new members sitting in my email. We will hit 1000 members this weekend.
A pastor who likes boobs too much
I know this may be hard to understand for some men, but it is possible to take your love of the female form too far. Like when firing middle-aged women to replace them with younger more buxom women. This is wrong, right?
So if we agree it is wrong, then why would a pastor fire older teachers and replace them with younger buster teachers? A pastor is supposed understand the difference between right and wrong at a spiritual level. Pastors have a magical moral guide called the bible to help ferret out tough moral questions. Despite the bible, pastors still tip over their willies, just like the rest of us. The bible offers no protection. One does not become moral by becoming a Christian or reading the bible. One becomes moral by being moral. What you do is more important than what you believe. Duh….
Rev. William “Dub” Brooks allegedly let his love for boobs distract him from his supposedly moral imperative to administer a Christian school fairly, now he has some explaining to do.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued letters this summer, saying it had determined Brooks had a list of about 25 positions he planned to eliminate, and had repeatedly expressed "his intentions to replace 'all the older women with young women with big boobs.' "
The ages of the fired teachers are interesting. It is as if a wave of incompetence hit menopausal aged women at the same time, and the only solution was to hire younger women to fill their spots. Something smells fishy here.
The fired teachers are Julie Calzone, 58; Cathleen Fischer, 59; Carol A. McMahon, 63; and Susan Woods, 59.
Something tells me St. Mark's Episcopal School will write some big checks soon.
Stealing from the church
I don’t know why churches give financial authority to pastors. Common sense tells me that a member run financial committee in charge of financial disbursements is a good idea. Letting the supposed spiritual leader have uncontrolled access to cash may seem like the trusting Christian thing to do, but in reality, it is just naive. I think the members of AME Zion Church in York are thinking pretty hard about this issue right now although it seems like their former pastor worked hard to get around whatever controls that were in place.
The Rev. Vincent Navorro Meekins, 55, of Bowie, has been freed on $20,000 bond after he was charged with embezzling from funds set up to fix his church's roof.
Members of the church say the roof still needs repair. They also want their money back.
Asked whether he believes Meekins should serve prison time if convicted, Crenshaw was philosophical.
"I think that if you are a Christian, there has to be some forgiveness," he said. "But we cannot forgive him without getting our money back."
Good luck with that.
I found this proclamation (pdf) from when Meekins was appointed. Why do cities waste tax payer money with the crap?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Atheist Blogroll Member 989
Looking at the world as an Atheist joined the Atheist Blogroll on September 23, 2009. This blog is member 989.
Green come to mind why you visit Looking at the world as an Atheist. I don’t know why. I could be because of all the green. Who knows. I’m just happy Justin Vacula decided to join the team.
Justin is two months in to blogging and has amassed about 30 long posts. Take this for example: This whole naming business.
So, I've pondered the following argument with various individuals:
What should I call myself?
Specifically, I'm going with secular humanist. I'm also using the term atheist now.
I'm using the term atheist to identify and create solidarity with other individuals.
Although people misrepresent the word, I am working hard to show and tell exactly what it means. Atheism often entails secular humanism, though, and a secular humanist is an atheist.
Based on his love of green, I’m going with the Green Atheist.
A pastor’s staggering ignorance
By now, anyone who uses the internet to hook up with young girls for illicit sex must know they run the risk of a law enforcement sting. Especially pastors…
Greenville Police arrested John David Helmuth Tuesday in an internet predator sting. He faces 10 charges of criminal solicitation of a minor and one count of attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor. If convicted, Helmut faces 10 years in prison on each count of solicitation and 20 years on the criminal sexual conduct charge.
Helmuth is a pastor at Tabernacle of Faith in Piedmont.
In case you are wondering, this was no casual event. Helmuth pursued the relationship.
Over the course of the next month and a half, Helmut encouraged the person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexually explicit activity, according to warrants.
It’s getting to the point where I think we need some way to tell the true Christians from the fakers. Perhaps a tattoo or some such?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Is this really unconstitutional?
San Bernardino city officials demanded that the First Church of the Nazarene ban registered sex offenders from its premises or stop receiving city funds for a city sponsored youth facility located on the church grounds. This seems like a reasonable request give a few facts.
The former director of Operation Phoenix youth center was arrested in 2008 on suspicions of child molestation.
Operation Phoenix, a controversial 'crime-fighting' program that is the brain child of Mayor Pat Morris, is designed to assist, mentor and provide sanctuary to "at-risk" youth in targeted high crime areas.
In a posting on the SB Now blog by Rogers, Mayor Pat Morris' Chief of Staff states that a background check on Miller was conducted and only revealed a previous petty theft incident.
A registered sex offender was employed by the church.
The controversy follows Monday's revelation - through the leak of a confidential memo - that a man convicted of incest and lewd and lascivious conduct with a person younger than 14 performed work at the First Church of the Nazarene.
A police investigation determined that the man's presence at the church did not present a danger to children or that any new crimes were committed.
And… the city is free to place restrictions on the release of public funds. Especially when there is a reckless disregard for the safety of the children at the youth center. Pastor David Rhone does not seem to understand the need to safeguard the children from the very people charged to protect them. Ahem… no real Christian would ever…
I hope San Bernardino comes to its senses and ends the payments.
Lubbock Pastor indicted
I’m never moving to Lubbock. I’ve lost track of how many pastors pedophile pastors I’ve reported on from this little Texas city. I think the number is four now… Terry Nesmith is the latest pastor to face charges.
Terry Nesmith was pastor of the Faith Assembly of God from 1992 until July of this year. He is indicted for indecency with a child.
The child is now an adult and claims that she was fondled over the course of a four year period. Police records indicate the alleged victim came forward in 2006, and that the alleged incidents took place in the mid to late 1990's.
It must be something in the holy water.
Lubbock’s hall of shame:
- Evil Lurks in Lubbock – Royce Jimenez
- Another Sexual Predator posing as a pastor in Lubbock – Blaine Miller
- Ex-Lubbock pastor convicted – James Clark
Atheist Blogroll member 988
Stating the Obvious joined the Atheist Blogroll on September 23, 2009. This blog is member 988.
Stating the Obvious is a conservative blog focusing on current political and social issues. The person behind this anonymous blog is a prodigious poster with 75 posts in September so far. That’s more than me, which I find usual.
Try Mindless superstition still rife in the 21st Century as a sample post.
In a bizare (sic) illustration of the backwardness that still abounds in our technologically advanced and supposedly progressive world, a man has cut off his tongue to appease the goddess Kali in India. I despair of there ever being a world in which we have left imaginary friends and other fairy tales behind us. In fact, the world seems to be becoming more religious, not less.
I like where this blog is heading. I wonder if it can keep up the pace.
A Christian nutball kills his family
If there is one thing I am sure of, it is that I would never want to be a police officer who does welfare checks. I don’t think I could stand to find five murdered children and a butcher woman.
Mesac Damas, 32, said he wanted to take his own life, but did not have the courage to go through with it, "because if you kill yourself, you're not going to heaven."
When asked why he killed his family he said:
"Only God knows." Questioned further, he blamed the crime on his mother-in-law. "Her mom pretty much made me do it -- the devil, her spirit, whatever she worships," he said.
Damas added, "When I did it, [my] eyes [were] closed but right now my eyes are open." He repeatedly asked the reporter, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ," and stated, "The devil exists."
Damas is a nutter and a coward, you can watch what Damas has to say on a CNN video.
This is so sad and senseless. Religion poisons everything.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Atheist Blogroll member 987
The Avangelism Project joins the Atheist Blogroll on September 22, 2009. This blog is member 987.
The Avanglelism Project has an interesting premise.
The Avangelism Project is the counter cultural response to the American Civil Religion (ACR). We believe that the ACR is fundamentally a cult that indoctrinates Americans from early childhood.
Our purpose is not to argue with Christians or to win debates.
Our purpose is to make Atheism Relevant by engaging Americans and encouraging them to free themselves from cultic religious thinking.
The Avangelism Project Blog is our daily voice.
ACR as a cult. What an interesting idea. Please join me in welcoming our newest member.
This must be love
Pastor Lonnie McCowan his wife Kimberly are a fine example of Christian love, as long as it is the love of money. They stand accused of embezzling $500k from an elderly man. Church members helped the couple make reduced bail.
The 49-year old minister is charged with two counts of theft from an elderly person and two counts of money laundering.
His 45 year-old wife is charged with one count of grand theft and one count of money laundering.
The alleged crimes were reportedly discovered after a real estate fraud complaint was filed with the District Attorney's office.
They could be innocent. I mean, there is a chance… right? This is what they are accused of doing:
The Camarillo couple allegedly got now-86-year-old Leo Gilmond to sign over the deed to his Ventura house, saying the church needed a rental for church dignitaries and students. Gilmond wasn't paid the promised $460,000.
Lonnie knows how to make money, at least that is what his now defunct website says…
Lonnie McCowan is a Pastor/Teacher, Author, Entrepreneur, and a undisputed master of marketing that delivers highly successful enterprises. He was personally trained and mentored by one of the best master marketers of all times who was Mr. E. Joseph Crossman a self-made multi-millionaire.
I smell prosperity theology wrapped around a business model that preys on the weak minded. God wants you to be rich. Give me your money and I will show you how. Blah, Blah, Blah. It’s time to hide your wallet folks. Only a fool would give money to this man.
Lonnie McCowan is pastor at the Solid Rock Christian Center in Ventura. I browsed his credentials, they seem odd. What do you think?
He is a graduate of Oral Roberts University Ministry Training and Development Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is also a Law graduate. He was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity from the Estonian Baptist Seminary.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Atheist Blogroll member 986
End Faith joins the Atheist Blogroll on September 21, 2009. This blog is member 986.
End Faith is new to blogging with just four posts to its name. Nut I like where this blog is heading, so it is time to add him to the blogroll. . The basic premises is interesting.
All belief systems relying on faith are considered equivalent here. As far as I'm concerned, there is no difference between ancient "pagan" religions, "folk" beliefs (such as astrology), and contemporary religions.
The problem with four post blogs is that they seldom become 20 post blogs let alone a going concern. Time will tell.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Atheist Blogroll Alert: Death Threats
It’s been a while since I’ve had a real death threat. I think last February if I remember correctly. I tend to get them when I post about Catholics or Muslims. Proud Atheists received a nasty death threat by email recently. The threat was against his family. I’m not sure what we can besides provide support and let him know that he is not alone. Please do what you can and spread the word. It is the least we can do.
Take your clothes off slowly
Wait for it… A Catholic Priest stands accused of fathering a child with a former Miami stripper.
The woman, Beatrice Hernandez, told CBS4 News that she was a dancer at a Miami strip club, Porky's. She said she met Father David Dueppen at that strip club and started a relationship shortly thereafter.
Nothing new here, an ugly stripper falls for a Catholic Priest. They have a baby together. The church pays hush money. Eventually the mother goes back to stripping, has a violent run in with the priest, files a restraining order… oh hell, just watch the friggen video.
Catholics create a lot of opportunities for my blog. I guess it has always been so, I’ve just never paid attention.
Hat Tip: Sean Prophet
Introducing The Ponderer
It is uncommon to have a cultural Muslim join the Atheist Blogroll as an atheist blogger. I can think of only three others. I am pleased that the author of The Ponderer was kind enough to offer an introduction to her fine blog. Enjoy.
In her own words:
I am the author of the blog The Ponderer and I am an atheist.
I was born into a Muslim family in Bangladesh. I am 28 years old and I stopped identifying myself as a Muslim while reading an ‘Islamiat’ textbook in high school. I was about 17 years old then and it was a sura’t from Quran that explains women’s rights. It was so demeaning that I could not bring myself to read it once again. It has been a liberating 11 years. It had cost me my grade in religious studies that year. I don’t regret it. I have later read a lot of books and blogs, including Darwin, Dawkins as well as Quran, Bible and Old Testament since then. It seems to me more likely that God does not exist. I have later moved out of my country and now live somewhere where my being an atheist is more accepted than it would have been back home. I needed my personal freedom.
I am rather quiet and private and this blog has become my outlet for expressing myself. My blog is my life, surroundings and this world from my eyes. It does not only focus exclusively on my religious beliefs (rather lack thereof), but I try to stay organized and tag my posts accordingly. My entries regarding atheism can be found here: http://mauzzie.wordpress.com/tag/atheism/.
Please take a minute and visit this fine new addition the Atheist Blogroll.
Atheist Blogroll member 985
Yellow Son joins the Atheist Blogroll on September 20, 2009. This blog is member 985.
The author tells me his blog is about living the life of a cultural Buddhist. I read In God’s Country and immediately felt like adopting him as my younger brother, or at least the younger version of him, he’s all old and no longer in need of a streetwise big brother.
“I know who can beat, Superman,” said Ben.
“No way,” said Mark with a dismissive wave. “
“No way? He’s The God of Thunder!”
“Yeah, but he’s not God, God.”
“But he’s a god, and Superman is just an alien.”
Wait, what was this word they were using? Cod, did they say? Tod?
Read the rest. It is a good story.
Please join me in welcoming Yellow Son to the Atheist Blogroll.
Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah
Blasphemy is one of those made up crimes that I have a hard time understanding. You should not need to die because you said, Jehovah, Jesus-Christ, or the secret name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It just words. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve offered a heartfelt “Jesus Christ” in place of fuck. It’s an everyday expression. People who are offended by it wear their religion on their sleeves.
Reverend Paul Clarke will lose his job for uttering Jesus Christ in anger. How funny is that?
Reverend Paul Clarke is accused of using the phrase "Jesus Christ" during a foul-mouthed outburst at the teacher of St Barnabas Anglican church in Mt Eden, Auckland.
Church members say the congregation and Sunday School shrunk after the incident, and about 20 members took their concerns to Auckland Bishop John Paterson.
Religion is crazy.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Atheist Blogroll member 984
Clear Reality joins the Atheist Blogroll on September 19, 2009. It is our 984th member.
tmso is a female blogger and aspiring writer who does not post about atheism much. She fits my definition of atheist blogger just fine. I enjoy these types of blogs as the give me insight into the people who write them and their daily lives. Take this post on Designing Maps.
In my real life as a GIS Specialist, I have a new map project. It’s a pure cartographic exercise. Yippee!! I love making maps just for the sake of creating a map!
The initial search for just the right map extent, layout and color/font scheme is usually pretty nerve whacking and exciting. Sort of like writing! However, since I’ve been making maps a lot longer than I have been writing, I know this gut-clenching step will have a nice pay off in the end.
Go ahead, read the rest. The map she shows is very interesting.
Please join me in welcoming our newest member.
Baptist youth pastor gets 79 years
79 years for a 51 year old youth pastor. Let’s see, carry the one… never mind. He’s going to die in jail.
Christopher Scott Decaire, 51, was convicted last month on six of the eight molestation and sexual-conduct charges he originally faced.
He denied it until the end, but they had DNA evidence. Tip to future pastors, take the deal. You might get off with only 59 years in prison. People can live to 110 in ideal situations. Granted that prison for a convicted pedophile may not be idea. If you play your cards right, you might live for 10 years.
Other posts on Baptist pedophile Christopher Decaire:
Catholic Missionary indicted for child molestation
Fairfield University must be proud. The Jesuit institution produced catholic missionary Doug Perlitz from its class of 92. He was indicted this month for sexual abuse in Haiti. At least nine children are involved.
The University is trying to distance itself from Perez. They are finding it hard since they had him as their commencement speaker in 2002. Oops.
Female pastor gets life
Heck, this one was in my own back yard. I used to live in Moreno Valley when it was called Sunnymead a very long time ago.
Pastor Jessica Banks of Moreno Valley was sentenced to life in prison for abusing her 5 adopted daughters.
Banks was arrested in June 2005, about a month after one of the sisters, a bruised and emaciated 6-year-old, was found curled up on the pavement in front of a tax business at the strip mall.
The mall also housed Word of Life Apostolic Church, where Banks was pastor and the children attended school.
Storefront church, check. No education, check. Homeschooling, check. Poverty, check. Nutball stepmother, check. Those poor girls did not have a chance. At least she will spend the rest of her sorry life in prison. Is this a Christian? Is she going to heaven? Geez man, she violated two of her stepdaughters with paint sticks. What kind of sick pastor would do that?
Foodgasm is the OC
Foodgasms are few and far between. My rule of thumb is that I must dine at a restaurant at least three times before I will bestow the coveted foodgasm. Ok, perhaps my foodgasm is not so coveted, but it is my stamp of approval on a great meal.
I had a foodgasm near Disneyland at the Hotel Ménage recently. The K’ya restaurant occupies the ground floor of a remolded 1960’s era motel. You don’t normally think of motel kitchens as being hot spots for trendy cuisine, but the Hotel Ménage transformed itself into a nice place to stay and along the way they built a decent restaurant.
The current menu features international street food at affordable prices. The cities featured are San Francisco’s Chinatown, Ensenada, Tokyo, New York, Miami Beach, Korea Town, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Chicago, Venice, Paris, and Bangkok. Their menu describes street fare as…
Take a culinary adventure and try the flavors of the world with K’ya’s “streed food” menu. Enjoyed by 2 1/2 billion people daily, stree food is sold cart style or served up at local eateries, each authentic dish reflecting the flavors of the culture . Delicious fun fare and not a dish over ten buck in sight.
Reminiscent of a tapas bar, you order small quantities of moderately priced items and share. For one meal we tried gumbo ($5), loco moco ($6), fish tacos ($3), and a grilled scallop brochette ($7). For another meal, spiced conch chowder ($4), Cubano Sandwich ($5), Hummus Bowl ($5), corn on the cob ($3), and crisp Thai calamari ($5). We’ve never made it to desert.
The only knock I have is a weak wine list and pricy beer. Who orders a $4.50 bottle of Coors Light?
K’ya also has a bar with a piano lounge featuring live music most nights. The vibe is young and hip. Parking is valet only, but fully reimbursed.
Hot tip… if you want to watch the nightly Disneyland fireworks, pull up a chair at the outdoors Palapa Bar, the show goes off 500 feet over your head.
Hotel Ménage and the K’ya restaurant are located at the corner of Ball and Harbor near Disneyland.
Man Church - spreading the word to the fourth quartile
“This is an opportunity for men to be men, and not feel like people are looking at you funny.” – Andrew Hangartner
Because… that is what happens to losers during the normal church service at Chandler’s Cornerstone Christian Fellowship.
No women allowed at Chandler 'Man Church' service - You’ve become passive, and you’ve allowed women to become the breadwinners, says Bob Rauscher, a director at Chandler’s Cornerstone Christian Fellowship.
Um… does this sound retarded to anyone else?
Atheist Blogroll member 983
Gremlin.net joins the Atheist Blogroll on September 19, 2009. It is our 983 member.
I spent some time looking around Gremlin.net. It has an odd feel. The author uses an older format and only shows one post at a time on the main page. Plus the font is white on black. It takes me back to my first year of blogging.
I read Equal Opportunity to get a feel for the content.
Someone else asked what I've been wondering for a while: Why Don't Atheists Rant about Judaism? And it's not a bad question. Though it might be a bad answer.
My preliminary answer is in the comments for the entry, along with a few followup comments here and there. So far, that's the only entry I've commented on, since I only just found out it existed: I'd followed a link autoposted by GlobalAtheist at twitter.com and pornadoed my way to ProudAtheists.WordPress.com somehow, finding that post.
In reading this article I am reminded that I do not agree with or even like a lot of the blogs that make up our blogroll. That’s ok. We have the full spectrum to choose from. That is the point.
I don’t agree with Gremlin.net’s wrongheaded position on the protection of special classes. I could use the same excuse he puts forth, but I choose not to. For example, my people (the Irish) did not immigrate to America until after slavery was abolished, therefore, it could be argued that the whole history of slavery could washed from my pale white hands. Only it does not work that way. The white race victimized the black race for centuries. Claiming a pass because my ancestors were dirt poor potato farmers does not absolve me of the larger societal wrong. I recognize that what happened engendered hatred and injustice and that it is my duty as a human being to make sure this too fades into the distant past. We don’t get there by washing our hands, we get there by getting them dirty.
As for the question, Why don't atheist rant about Judaism? My answer is simple, they are not on my radar. Why? Part of it is cultural. I was raised a Christian. I know Christianity. Part of the reason is cultural. I don’t know any Jews. I’ve known a few Jews, but they have passed out of my life. That is the problem, with no Jewish friends, I do not follow Jewish news, except of the international train wreck known as Israel and Palestine.
Shoot… I think I just went on a rant.
Not a rapist, just a kidnapper
Mark Brown was the principal of Highland Christian School. He got the job after being dismissed from a public school job as a wrestling coach. He was investigated there for an improper relationship with a female student. I guess it’s logical that he would move from wrestling coach to principle of a Christian high school. I don’t get it, but I”m sure it has something to do with forgiveness, second chances, and a lack of due diligence.
Brown was accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old female student, getting her drunk, and then sexually molesting her. He pled out on the kidnapping charge. The prosecutor dropped the child rape charge.
According to court documents, Brown helped the girl run away and he converted a seldom-used third floor room at the school into a home for the girl. It was there that Brown allegedly gave her rum and sexually molested her.
Brown actually asked the girl, “What do I get out of it?” when agreeing to help her run away from home. There is no mistaking his intent. He was trying to help an allegedly abused girl escape her own private hell by offering a slightly upscale private hell all of his own making. What a stain. Here is his explanation.
As for the incriminating text messages, Brown said he sent the girl a message in which he allegedly asked, "What do I get out of it?" because he was trying to make a deal with her to keep her from running away.
What kind of deal was he trying to make and how does this keep the girl from running away? I can paint a better picture. Brown sent hundreds of text messages to the girl encouraging her to run away. He provided a private room with a bed and a television. At no time did he perform his duty of care as a principal by informing the proper authorities that the girl was having trouble at home and was planning on running away. Everything about this case points to inappropriate action on the part of Mark Brown. Everything points to providing the means to violate a innocent young girl. Why did the prosecutors let him off? Apparently kidnapping is a more serious charge.
The spin Brown put on the story is amazing.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish that I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed,” and went to the school, Brown said. “I wished I would have stayed here. I wish I would have called police.”
What he leaves out is that he planned to put the girl there. He planned to hide her from police. What he did not plan for was the girl being found out by teacher. It was only then he made a trip he regretted.
It gets worse. The reason he does not want to go to trial is ludicrous.
Brown said he chose not to take the case to trial because he was worried that others, including another teacher and two students, who were at the school with the girl also would be charged with kidnapping. They would have incriminated themselves by testifying about what really happened that night, he said.
“Enough damage has been done by this,” Brown said.
Right… This sound like the typical martyr line. It goes something like this. I don’t want other people to go to jail so even though I am innocent, I will take the fall. Oh, but I did not have sexual relations with her.
The real kicker is his character. It is entirely within his character to date a 14-year-old girl as an adult. Just look at his first wife.
Brown's ex-wife, Casey West, said she divorced Brown after she discovered text messages between him and a cheerleader from Concrete High School. West said she began dating Brown when she was 14 and he was 26. They married in 2002 when she was 20 with her family's disapproval.
Is there anybody out there who thinks that Mark Brown should ever be allowed near a child again? Anybody?
A brief encounter with the faithful, maybe…
I dragged myself out of bed before sunrise this fine Saturday morning to play a solo round of disc golf at El Dorado Park in Long Beach. I played like hell. I did not hit a single shot. By now, I’ve come to accept my bad games. When I play poorly, I like to sit on a bench after the game for ten minutes and replay the round mentally. It helps me understand the nature of my failure. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m praying.
This morning I was interrupted during my review by a wizened old black man standing a few yards away. He said, “Excuse me son. I see that you are talking to God. Do you mind if I join?”
Many thoughts passed through my mind in the brief moment before I responded. Most of them were unkind. It was almost like watching the possible responses from inside the Terminator’s head. I chose something nice. "I’m sorry, I am not praying. I’m not the praying type. You are welcome to join me on the bench.”
He smiled and sat down. We spoke about the weather. He talked about his long dead wife. He told me about his grandkids. He might of been a Christian. I don’t really know because it did not come up again. Fe was lonely, but less so after our time together. Herb is now a friend, although I don’t expect to see him show up on Facebook. He walks the park every morning. I plan to bring the coffee tomorrow.
Atheist Blogroll member 982
Christopher Cain – the ramblings of a Canadian Atheist joins the Atheist Blogroll on September 19, 2009. He is our 982 member.
I had to bend the rules to allow a Canadian to join (just kidding). Christopher has an interesting post on the power of Twitter.
Within a few days I had received an email that vjack and DenyReligion were now following me on Twitter. I had decided that since they were following me I would follow them. I then proceeded to read their current posts. It was at this point that I began to find more atheists on Twitter and quickly began following like-minded individuals who in turn followed me.
heh… everybody knows that once vjack follows you that you are a made Atheist.
Please visit our newest member and welcome him to our team.
18 more to go!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Russian Standard St. Petersburg Vodka
I friend brought me a bottle of Russian Standard St. Petersburg Vodka from his trip to Moscow. He insisted that this was the vodka of his youth. He said it was an everyday vodka that I would enjoy. I thanked him and stuck it in my freezer to get it nice and cold. My son and I tried it tonight.
A quote from my son Jon, “I really don’t like vodka now”.
I said, cough, couch, “Ouch.”
It’s not the best vodka I’ve ever had, nor is it the worst either. I’ll stick with my Ketel One for now.
After our taste test it was a round of Rock Band. We played James Brown, Sex Machine. Let the weekend begin.
A note to my confused readers. I write about whatever I feel like on Deep Thoughts. Vodka yes, music, yes, religions yes…
Temptation and youth pastors
What is it about 14-year-old girls and youth pastors? I’m getting to the point where I think it is a good idea just to nix the whole idea of youth pastors. Why do we need them anyway? I mean… the is no god and all. It is just an opportunity for perverts to take a pass at our kids.
Joshua O'Bannion of Gilbert, who was working as an intern at Christ Life Church, 1137 E. Warner Road, was arrested at his home on Sept. 9 on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor and sexual abuse, according to the Chandler Police Department.
That day, the 14-year-old girl disclosed that she had sex with her youth minister on three separate occasions in July and August, police said.
Admitting to sex with a 14-year-old, that means something like 10 years per count. A dumb thing to do, but at least he told the truth.
Joshua O’Bannion was an intern at Christ Life Church in Tempe, Arizona. The youth website is down for maintenance. As with most cases like this, the church has no information about the arrest of its youth pastor. Silence is always the response.
A Baptist allegedly drugged kids for sex
Bradley Barrett pleaded not guilty to charges he drugged four children with Ambien and had his way with them. The FBI is involved because Bradley took the children across state lines. And when I say children, I mean girls as young as 5 years old.
The good news in this case is that Craig Johnson, Barrett’s Baptist pastor, was arrested for failure to report child abuse. Johnson is the pastor for Oak Grove Baptist Church. The grand jury found enough evident to bring charges.
…According to prosecutors, Barrett told Johnson about some of the abuses he had committed and Johnson failed to report it to the authorities.
I hope pastor Johnson sees at least some prison time.
I remember this
I watched Dan Walker gather peaces of an American flag burned during the 1984 Republican National Convention. I was nearly moved to tears. His actions that day reminded me of the patriotism of my grandfather. It is something I’ve never really felt myself.
Over the years I’ve though about Mr. Walker from time-to-time. Particularly when our nation is experiencing time of strife. Most recently I asked myself what he would think of the insanity of the Million Moron March. I hope he would disapprove.
R.I.P. Dan Walker.
4 years for mortgage loan fraud
The never ending parade of pastors heading off to jail provides me with a veritable smorgasbord of posting opportunities. I’m getting fat on the excess…
Keith Pittman tried to obtain a subprime mortgage for a prime piece of real-estate under false pretenses. That sounds like something a pastor would do, right?
Pittman was indicted in June 2008 during "Operation Malicious Mortgage," in which authorities charged more than 400 people nationwide were charged for mortgage fraud. Pittman pleaded guilty in February to the indictment.
He was a pastor for more than 20 years at St. Louis area and metro-east churches.
I’m sure the government targeted him because of his faith.
Hat tip to Hank of Shallow Cognitions. And remember, if you send them, I will post them.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Karaoke weddings, prayer and twitter
I attended a family wedding on Sunday night. It was a Karaoke wedding. The ceremony was held in the same room as the reception. The singing started before the newlyweds had left the room. It went on all night. You see, I have a really big family, and most of them like to sing. The festivities are punctuated by line dancing. As my father-in-law wisely quipped, “I seen that dance so many times that I don’t even have to look.”
I know the feeling, I’ve been to so many weddings and seen so many line dances… I don’t know what it is about Pilipino culture, but line dancing and karaoke are two of three essential parts of any gathering. The third part… prayer.
They prayed before the wedding, they prayed during the ceremonies, and they prayed after. They prayed as if Jesus were in the room. At some point I became bored with the proceedings and sent a twit out complaining about the Sunday night wedding. When I looked up I realized I had done so while everyone else was praying. If looks could kill, I would be dead several times over. Even my wife gave me the the evil eye. I put my Crackberry down and did a lot of smiling.
The other thing I like about Pilipino culture, besides the the looks, is that nobody said a thing, they just starting to sing.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Atheist Blogroll member 981
The Secular Dentist joined the Atheist Blogroll on September 13, 2009. It is our 981 member.
MAG posts on a Spanish language article about the censoring of four books. Aura, by Mexican author Carlos Fuentes is a favorite. MAG writes:
The only way to move forward in the world is by education, period. You cannot censor a book from school because some people think the language is obscene. One of the books censored is called "Aura" by Mexican author Carlos Fuentes.
By censor, I think he means remove from public school libraries, which is a sin in my book. I will fight it every time I hear about it.
Please visit our newest member and welcome him to our team.
1 down, 19 to go!