Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Youth Pastor Christopher Evans kills self

chrisEvans My condolences to the family and friends of former youth pastor Christopher Evans. He killed himself after pleading guilty to sexual battery charges.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Christopher Evans, 39, shot himself in the head at East Fork Lake State Park. Evans had been a youth pastor at the Saltair Church of Christ since November 2007.

He faced up to 50 years in prison. I guess he choose to commit another sin to escape the consequences of his first crime.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Youth pastor Jack Duffer convicted

Youth pastor Jack Duffer, arrested in August of 2009, was convicted on child molestation charges.

JackDuffer…eight charges of aggravated sexual battery with a child between the ages of 13 and 17 and a single count of taking indecent liberties with a child. In return, nine additional charges of aggravated sexual battery were dropped by the prosecution

Another pedophile pastor heads to prison. I wonder how the victim is doing? Perhaps knowing Duffer can no longer hurt her will help her heal.

Youth Pastor Phillip Terrell convicted

PhillipTerrell Youth pastor Phillip Terrell was convicted of molesting two boys after pleading guilty. Terrell was the youth pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Georgia. Terrell was already sentenced to 15-years in prison for a similar offense.

Tuesday’s plea hearing marked the second time Terrell has pleaded guilty to child molestation. Last month Terrell pleaded guilty in Forsyth County Superior Court to molesting a teenage boy who was also a victim in the Hall County case and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The sad thing is that this did not need to happen. Terrell had a history, they hired him without a background check.

Terrell was hired by Emmanuel Baptist in 2003, two years after he was acquitted of child molestation in Paulding County. Church officials were unaware that Terrell had been charged with molesting a boy in 2001 while working as a juvenile detention center guard.

A judge found Terrell not guilty of that charge in a bench trial.

Terrell will serve 18 years in prison. If he survives, he will face 32 years of probation. If the Baptists are still hiring, he will have no problem finding a job.

When life puts a pastor to the test

I try to live my values, but sometimes my passions get to me. I am against the death penalty, but I’ve said “that man deserves to die" too many time to count. Once I come back to my senses, I usually go back to my default position – the state makes to many mistakes to allow them the authority to end a life, and Texas makes the most mistakes of all.

MiltonGobert Milton Dwayne Gobert tied up a Mel Cotton and her 5-year-old son during a robbery in 2003. He stabbed Cotton to death and attempted to do the same thing to the boy. He admits to killing Cotton, but does not want to face the death penalty. His brother Michael Gobert is an associate pastor, his quote is odd.

Michael Gobert, an associate pastor at Little Vine Baptist Church in Manor, said that his brother made a mistake that day but that he is "not a monster" and his life is worth sparing.

"I believe in my brother, and I believe that my brother would never openly and willingly take a life," Michael Gobert said.

His brother admits to the crime. How else do you define the word monster?

a cruel wicked and inhuman person

Does stabbing a woman to death after tying her up qualify Gobert as a monster? Does stabbing a 5-year-old boy qualify Gobert as a monster? Does leaving the boy to die qualify Gobert as a monster? Yes! Milton Gobert is a monster.

Michael Gobert is blinded by his sibling relationship. Referencing Michael’s position as a pastor is bad reporting, shame on you Steven Kreytak. Michael is not acting as a pastor, he’s acting as a brother. Would the press have granted me the same courtesy? Milton’s brother Joe, an IT Manager, said… No. It is absurd.

Should Milton Gobert die? No, but it is Texas and he has very little hope of escaping the executioner. He’s admitted to the crime, lock him away for the rest of his live.

The real test of a person is what they do under pressure. If Michael Gobert cannot see the reality of his brother’s crimes and rise above them to present an argument based on the inhuman practice of capital punishment, why should we listen to him at all?

Youth pastor Nicholas Carnes arrested

NicholasCarnesChild porn and youth pastors go together like alter boys and catholic priests. At least for youth pastor who love children too much. Youth pastor Nicholas Arthur Carnes played the Port Huron church youth scene by providing his special brand of youth services to several churches. His run is over. Somebody allegedly observed him  looking at child porn on a computer.

Carnes was arrested after police found he had been collecting sexually explicit photos of minors, Jones said. Police confiscated photos and computer equipment Tuesday from a home in the 2800 block of Wright Street in Port Huron after someone reported observing some of the materials. According to court records, Carnes lives at 2805 Wright St.

I’m sure it was just research. In order to understand how one can best serve a teen’s needs, one must first see them naked, preferably in sexually suggestive poses. Freak…

There will be some expensive fallout from his arrest. I sure hope the churches involved have paid their insurance premiums. This comment is most telling.

Angeredcitizen09 wrote:

It is obvious that concerns about Carnes was presented at both Hillside and Grace Ministrys[sic] and yet they were thrown aside. If there had not been proof enough for the law to get in, than the LEADERS of the church should have taken it upon themselves to not allowing Carnes to be alone with children of ANY age! And as to being a paster[sic] at both churches, in which in both, attention was brought about Carnes, how is it that you can be SURPRISED!! The only thing that you can be surprised about is that you WERE NOT RIGHT! You were wrong, you completely failed to take into effect[sic] the concerns of parents and children, and you FAILED to protect the innocence. The only thing you are trying to protect now is your behind, and still FAILING to make admittance to YOUR MISTAKE. Now is time to be the PASTER[sic] and stop being a child!

So… if I read this right. Angeredcitizen09 has knowledge that at least two churches were warned about questionable behavior and did nothing. I hope no children were harmed.

Opiniononly2 writes

I am one of the parents who voiced a concern about Nick years ago while he was a youth leader at Hillside. They AGGRESSIVELY protected this man against any concerns of the parents and children. There was proof he told children to lie to their parents about his interactions with them. There was proof he lied about his background to gain sympathy as a reason to be close to minors. There was proof he bought gifts for kids, and had numerous gatherings at his home with minors and no other adult supervision…

If this is true then the churches involved owe its congregants some answers. If this is true and there are victims, then the churches may be culpable. Churches should be held responsible in a civil action if there is evidence they did not act will sufficient care to protect their children. Criminal accountability is required if the church knew of abuse and did not contact the police.

I often hear pleas for the sanctity of the church or its mission. That somehow the fact the the church is serving god makes it except from accountability for its mistakes. A church is a business, and just like any other business, they must be held accountable for their mistakes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pastor Marion Barnes arrested

MarionBarnes Pastor Marion Barnes of Glad Tiding Christian Center in Brandenburg was arrested on three counts of first-degree sex abuse and two counts of third-degree sex abuse. Barnes is alleged to have abused a 15-year-old girl. The church is distancing themselves from their pastor.

Several people in the community said they were surprised to hear about the charges. Terri Karnes, a spokeswoman for the church, told us the alleged incident did not happen on church property. Karnes, who said it is a private, family matter, gave us the following statement:

"Glad Tidings and all its members are requesting the community to pray for our church and all those involved."

I expect to see a help wanted sign hanging outside the Glad Tiding Christian Center before too long. Of course, the will have too reactivate their website since they took it down after the scandal. Their Facebook page is still active. Barnes has been associated with the church for a long time.

Christians why do hide? In your darkest hour, why do you retreat?

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Disc golf and pastors

From time-to-time I’ve posted on my uncanny ability to interact with Christians as I go about my life. It happens frequently when I play disc golf. It happened today. I took the day off to celebrate my birthday by playing disc golf and smoking a cigar. I met up with three people and a little boy at El Dorado park this morning. They were just teeing off when I arrived.  They invited me to play a round. After a few holes I discovered they were pastors. We talked a little bit, I told them who I was and about my blog, but mostly we just played. I recorded the 16th hole so that I could prove to my skeptics that these encounters actually happen.

I have a theory about why I run into so many Christians and pastors while playing disc golf. I think it is cultural. I learned to play disc golf 30 years ago because my pastor taught me. I run into youth groups playing  the game all the time. And pastors seem to play as a social activity, I run into them all the time too. I can honestly say that I enjoy playing with them.

I hope my three new friends find my blog. I’d like to continue the conversation.

I never did smoke that cigar. I did not want to set a bad example for the child.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pastor Wintersteen found guilty

SteveWintersteen If ever there was an argument for lifelong imprisonment, Pastor Steven Wintersteen is the poster boy. He was convicted earlier this week on charges that he traveled across state lines to engage in sex with an 8-year-old girl and possession of child pornography. At 61, his potential 30 year sentence is a death sentence. Good riddance.

According to the FBI, Wintersteen told the witness that he had sexual relations with his “daughter when 13,” and “Asians very young.”

FBI agents were waiting for Wintersteen when he stepped off the plane in Oklahoma City. During an FBI interview, agents report that Wintersteen described his journey as an “adventure,” to find out whether the woman or child were, “real.” The woman was an FBI informant, the eight year old was made up.

More information:

Pastor Steven Wintersteen arrested

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Those crazy Catholic priests

I had a conversation with a friend about his catholic priest. He was so naive as to think they locked themselves in their rectory after mass to pray. They would never commit a crime, and they have no real life outside of Church. If I’ve learned anything over the years, I know this to be true. It’s just a job.

Priest charged for buying cocaine

A priest who is pastor of a Catholic parish in Scott Twp. was arrested in Philadelphia on drug charges after allegedly buying cocaine, the Diocese of Scranton confirmed Friday.

The Rev. James Shimsky, 50, has been on a leave of absence since Feb. 1 from his position at Corpus Christi Church on Montdale Road in the St. John Vianny parish, diocese spokesman Bill Genello said.

Priest charged in sexual assault

The La Crosse Tribune reports that the Rev. Edmund Donkor-Baine has been charged in La Crosse County Circuit Court with misdemeanor fourth-degree sexual assault. The 47-year-old priest allegedly tried to kiss the 48-year-old woman while the two were on a car ride last August, after she requested an emergency counseling session.

Priest are people just like the rest of us. They buy groceries, walk the dog, jones for cocaine, and have inappropriate sexual urges. Sometimes they fall.

Youth leader Cory Campbell charged

I never get to report on an LDS abuse case. I wonder why that is?LDS youth leader Cory Campell was charged with abusing a fourth girl.

Cory C. Campbell, 37, faces sexual abuse charges for inappropriately touching and fondling three 14-and-15-year-old girls at his home.

After information about the alleged abuse was released to the media Feb. 10, a fourth girl's parents came forward, said Weber County Sheriff's Capt. Klint Anderson. Campbell allegedly abused her during a sleepover, also at his home. It happened prior to fall 2009, Anderson said. The fourth victim is about the same age as the other victims.

The civil case associated with this arrest will be interesting. Do the victims know that their parents are culpable? Mormons are no different from any other religion. Being a Mormon does not make you moral. If you send you daughters to a unsupervised sleepover with a youth worker, well that makes you responsible too. You should know better.

Are the Baptist kidnappers advised by a pedophile?

The case of the Central Valley Baptists who were arrested for kidnapping children in Haiti keeps getting more bizarre. Their legal advisor, Jorge Anibal Torres Puello stands accused of running a child prostitution ring in El Salvador. An international warrant was issued by El Salvador calling for his arrest.

But little was known about his background until Friday, when Salvadorean police announced an investigation into whether he was the same suspect who led the trafficking ring.

Using photos and fingerprints, police say they are close to confirming that Mr Torres Puello is the suspect wanted since last year for leading a network that recruited children for prostitution in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. In the interview with the Miami Herald, his mother confirmed that his wife - Ana Josefa Galvarina Ramirez Orellana - had been convicted in the case and was in jail in San Salvador.

Where they planning on paying him in children?

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Pastor Robert Poandi pleaded not guilty

Hey, it was a long time ago. I’m sure Rev. Poandi Poandi does not remember anything about the boy he was alleged to have molested back in the early 90s. Is that why he pleaded not guilty? We should cut him some slack. Back in day it was not uncommon for a priest to find pleasure with young boys, we’ve seen hundreds of cases that point to this fact. It was the trend at the time. He was just one of many… accountability is overblown.

Geez – how many clergy sexual abuse cases are there?

Police in Cincinnati say a 28-year-old man came forward and claimed that Poandl molested him on a trip to Spencer back in 1991 when he was just 10-years-old.

At the time, Poandl was filling in at the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church Rectory in Roane County.

Earlier this month, Poandl was indicted by a grand jury in Roane County on charges of sexual assault and abuse.

The judge set his trial for June 15.

If you have been molested by Rev. Robert Poandi, contact SNAP.

G. Love at the House of Blues

My wife and I saw G. Love and Special Sauce at the House of Blues on Sunset last night. Redeye Empire opened the show. We had a good time. The show was great. G. Love played a lively set to a large and active crowd.

As I get older, I notice the world seems to be full of people a lot younger than me. I felt it last night. The crowd was Mojoey –25 years. It’s all good though, they did not notice me, except for the few I stepped on.

I’ve only been to the HOB on Sunset once before, and that was about 15 years ago. The funny thing is, well… I don’t remember who I saw. I remember the venue, where I stood, even the table where I ate dinner. I cannot remember who I saw. It is a blank. I think it may have been a cover band. Christ I’m getting old. Does anybody remember who played the HOB on as their Monday night cover band back in the mid 90s?

I include a video for Redeye Empire. I liked them. Their bass player kicks ass.

They left my ears ringing. I ended up buying a CD.

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Introducing Protostellar Clouds

Mat was kind enough to provide and introduction to his blog Protostellar Clouds. I enjoy doing these introductions as it gives me some insight into the people behind the words. Enjoy.


My name is Mat, and I am the author of Protostellar Clouds. I don't have one main topic in mind about which I hope to write, but rather a plethora of interests, though I'm sure my posts will most frequently be about atheism, religion and related philosophical topics. My two main interests and influences are Nietzsche and Camus. I also have a strong interest in legal philosophy and jurisprudence, and am currently studying to be a paralegal (seeing as how no one wants to hire someone with a philosophy degree to think for them these days), so I'm sure legal topics, especially related to LGBT civil rights, separation of church and state, and ending the war on drugs, will crop up as well.

Additionally, as a music and film junkie, I love to wax rhapsodically about those songs and movies which move me, and rant and rave about those that don't. I also enjoy analyzing all manner of pop culture phenomena and seeing how they relate to or embody different philosophical ideas, either explicitly or implicitly.

By starting this blog, I hope to share and clarify my thoughts and feelings regarding the matters about which I will write. Secondarily, I hope to improve my writing. Above all, if this doesn't sound terribly pretentious, I hope my writing will be an impetus for others and myself to think, and thereby become, better.

May the IPU, pbuh, mhhnbs, bless you!

Please visit his blog and welcome him to the Atheist Blogroll.

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The Baptist who loves to hate

Wiley Drake is at it again. This time by reveling in the death of John Murtha, of course he does this right after reveling in the deaths of a couple of hundred thousand innocent Haitians.

Wiley Drake is full of hate.

Southern Baptist Pastor Wiley Drake of Buena Park sent out an email Monday night, saying that perhaps his prayers had been answered with the death of Rep. John Murtha yesterday.

“Maybe God took him out,” Drake wrote. “Maybe God Answered our IMPRECATORY prayer that we prayed every 30 days.”

Why would anybody mistake this man’s brand of Christianity for something authentic? His message is pure hate and intolerance. It is disgusting.  Whatever happened to love?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Remember Beep Beep it’s me?

She’s back after a two-year hiatus. Stop by Beep Beep it’s me and welcome her back to blogging.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Tolerance, pass it on

Ever hear of Lighthouse Evangelism pastor Rony Tan? No? Don’t be surprised when Singaporeans string him up for attacking the central tenets of Buddhism. Because in Singapore, you can’t criticize another's believes because they are assumed to be sacred.

According to a report on Channel News Asia, ISD told Pastor Tan that in “preaching or proselytising his faith, he must not run down other religions, and must be mindful of the sensitivities of other religions”

The Ministry of Home Affairs gave a brief statement that Pastor Tan’s comments werer highly “inappropriate and unacceptable as they trivialised and insulted the beliefs of Buddhists and Taoists” which can also “give rise to tension and conflict between the Buddhist/Taoist and Christian communities.”

I like my freedom of speech. I find it disturbing when I encounter censorship and the protection of religion in other cultures.  We must protect our rights.

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Pastor Humberto Cruz convicted

My first email of this fine clear Monday contained a description of one Humberto Cruz, a former pastor and now convicted pedophile. He molested three young boys.

All three boys testified against Cruz during the trial, which began on Tuesday. One of them said he was sodomized by Cruz as many as 150 times between 2005 and 2006. Most of the crimes occurred at Cruz's home, but the jury also heard testimony about crimes that occurred in the church.

Cruz was the former pastor of the Newburgh Church of God in Orange County, New York. He faces up to 25 years in prison.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Spring is here


I played disc golf with my my friend pastor Brad this morning. We played at 8:00 am. The sun was shining. It was warm and wonderful. I even saw a few flowers. That's it. I'm calling winter over. It's officially spring in Southern California.

We’ve had a lot of rain lately. The course at El Dorado Park was partially underwater. I’m inclined to use the water as an excuse for my poor play. it was bad. I stopped counting at 8 over.

Brad and I talked through our normal mix of issues. He is a devout Christian and pastor, I am an atheist. Yet we agree on many things. It’s funny really, I often think he would be a good voice on my team. I’m sure he feels the same way.

I love spring… and friends and disc golf.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Something to do besides the Super Bowl

It’s hard to get excited about the Super Bowl when Los Angeles does not have a team of its own. I’m a Raider fan so the season was over months ago. What’s a guy to do if he’s not really MosDefinterested in the Super Bowl? I’m hitting Grand Central Market for Tortas from Tacos Tumbras A Tomas for sure. I would have like to hit the  Mos Def photography exhibit by Cognito called Ecstatic Moments, but I missed it by a day. I’ll have to find something else. MOCA’s first 30 years sounds good. The Annenberg Space for Photography has a good sports exhibit, but it’s closed too. Good lord… I might be forced to watch the Super Bowl. There is always Team Fortress two. Or, I could write my TPS reports.

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The price of silence

What would you expect a Christian in a leadership position in your local church to do when he learns of the sexual abuse of a minor?

A. Report it to the proper authorities

B. Pray about it.

C. Do nothing

Well, the question is hardly fair since answers B and C are essentially the same thing. I would expect any reasonable adult in a position of authority to act in the best interest of the child. Did that happen in a real life case of abuse in New Hampshire? No! 4 church leaders charged with not reporting abuse.

Police said they are investigating the abuse of a 12-year-old girl in September. Investigators said they discovered that four leaders at the Valley Christian Church knew about the abuse and never said anything.

Police said because the four people are leaders of their church, they have an obligation to report any abuse they hear about.

Investigators said the Rev. Timothy Dillmuth learned that a girl was being sexually abused by one of his parishioners but didn't notify authorities. Police said three elders -- Richard Eland, Robert Gagnon and Michael Wedge -- also knew of the abuse.

What is the price of silence?  Why continued abuse of course. The men face a year each in prison. I hope they serve the time.

The church involved, Valley Christian Center, suddenly pulled their website. Here is a Google cache. Nothing to see here people. Move along.

Being a Baptist pastor is such hard work. You have to remember not to molest the children, and you must report abuse by others too. I wonder if they teach that in seminary?

Final instructions to new Baptists pastors:

If confronted with an allegation of sexual abuse, first pray about it, then do nothing, then blame the victim (especially if the abuser is a donor). Above all else, do nothing to embarrass the church.  When all else fails, take the website down and hide from the press. When the media attention dies down, move to another state and start over.

Meanwhile back at the Valley Christian Center, the committee for rebranding has a meeting Tuesday evening.

Peace, love, respect

I spent the day listening to Bob Marley. I need to do this more often. Happy Birthday Bob Marley. Thank you.

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Pastor Danny Barnes Convicted

DannyKwame I’m a little confused with story. Do they teach home invasion robbery, kidnapping and assault at seminary? Pastor Danny Kwami Barnes was convicted of these crimes and sentenced to 11 1/2 years in prison.

Authorities in Big Stone County also charged four others in connection with the June 22 home invasion in Beardsley, Minn. Barnes argued he did nothing wrong and said he was just trying to get his son-in-law into treatment for substance abuse.

Thy Kingdom Come is a church Barnes founded in Wheaton in 2004. It aims to reach substance abusers, but has been criticized by some community members who think the church has required too much police attention.

Pastor Danny Barnes did not go to seminary. His testimony follows:

Pastor Danny Barnes

Colin | MySpace Video

I’m not sure what happened to Danny Barns. The next time we see him he will be an old man. If I’m still blogging then, I will ask him.

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Pastor hires hit man

Youth Pastor Jonathan James Hartman must not like his odds. Back in April of 2009 I posted on his arrest for raping three young girls and impregnating one. Hartman is a Salvation Army brat gone wrong. While sitting in jail awaiting trial, he tried to have his three victims murdered. I think he missed the whole “Christ is love” message.

A former Greenwood Salvation Army youth pastor has been charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill three teenage girls with whom he was accused of having sex.

Johnson County prosecutors who charged 30-old Jonathan James Hartman with conspiracy to commit murder Thursday say he also tried to have killed a child of one of the victims, whom he believed to be his.

How was he going to pay for the hit? With our donations? What a tool. His mom and Dad must be proud.

Hat Tip TheSexyAtheist

A note on Beard Papa’s

If you’ve never tried Beard Papa’s cream puffs, take your insulin and head right over for a dose of cream puffy goodness. Sorry Texas, the vibe is just not right…

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Pastor Martin Richter arrested

MartinRicter Looking a little red-faced in his arrest photo, Pastor Martin Steven Richter was arrested for child molestation.
…he faces felony charges of child molestation, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and penetration with a foreign object.
Richter lives in Big Bear, which is a SoCal resort skiing area in our local mountains. The news does not mention his church. I’m sure that will make the press soon.

Update: Charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence. (10/4/2010)

Cherie Booth’s religious bias

Tony Blair’s wife, Cherie Booth, did something I consider wrong. Acting as a judge, she spared a Muslim man who had committed a violent offense from serving jail time. Her reason; the man was religious and therefore understood the difference between right and wrong.

Ms Booth told Miah that violence had to be taken seriously, but said she would suspend his prison sentence because he was a religious person and had not been in trouble before.

She added: "You are a religious man and you know this is not acceptable behaviour."

The man had punched another man while in line at a bank, breaking his jaw. As an atheist, If I had done this, would I be serving time in jail? I have no record. I clearly understand the difference between right and wrong. Yet I am not religious, this means in her eyes I am evil because she clearly connects religion with behavior. Her judgment is unfair.

The National Secular Society has complained.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Pastor Wayne Huston arrested

WayneHuston Some stories are hard to write. I don’t want to whine, but when I read youth pastor, fondling, and 14-year-old, all I need to do is see the word “Texas” and I find myself at a loss for words. Texas has too many of these stories. Something is wrong there. Oh shoot… It’s Wayne Huston… never mind.

Youth Pastor Wayne Huston was charged with indecent liberties with a child.

….Huston used to be a youth pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church where he allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

A Lutheran? Geez, who can you trust with you children anymore?

I miss summer

It’s February, that means the Ragamuffin Festival will hit LA on the 2oth. February is my reggae month. It happens every year. Bob Marley’s birthday is the 6th. I celebrate his birthday every year. The Ragamuffin festival was called the Bob Marley day festival. I liked it better then. I seriously regret not seeing Marley in concert in the 70s when I had a chance. What was I thinking?

The festival gives me a chance to reconnect, if only for a weekend. My wife does not approve. She cannot handle the contact high that comes from sitting in an area so full of smoke that it is hard to see the stage. My son does not approve because it is reggae, which in his book is much too close to being a hippy. My friends don’t approve because they would not know good music if it bit them on the ass. I don’t care. I love the reggae.

I was hopping OPM would make the show. They've been killing me lately. Check out Square Peg.

Nice eh?


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Pastor Gregory Woodruff arrested

We don’t get many Methodists here on Hypocrisy Watch. I wonder if Methodists are rabid defenders of their pastors like Catholics? I guess we will see. Pastor Woddruff stands accused of the rape of an underage girl.

Gregory Woodruff, 61, was arrested Friday for allegedly assaulting the girl several times over the past two years, police said. Authorities will not say how he and the victim knew each other or release the girl's age.

Woodruff is the pastor at Ewan Methodist Church in Mullica Hill, N.J. He’s only been the pastor for a few months.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Baptists with good intentions

I saw the story about Baptists kidnapping Haitian children over the weekend. The headline seemed odd given what I knew of the situation in Haiti. Apparently, a Baptist group gathered up orphans tried to relocate them to a orphanage in Dominican Republic. In the process, they were arrested for kidnapping. I thought the story sounded like a mistake. I waited before deciding to post. The more I waited, the more it looked like a clown circus, a Baptist clown circus.  These people should not be shocked their arrest. They caused their own problem. It is possible they had good intentions, but their execution was horrible.

While I was in China, the coverage of the earthquake in Haiti was the lead story every hour. It was overwhelming. One story sticks out. A truckload of babies was shown by the BBC. They had nobody to care for them. No baby formula. No diapers. Hell, no mothers, fathers, aunts, or uncles either. They were orphaned with few prospects and sick. The reporter asked, “What are we to do?” The Baptists responded to the call for help. I believe they wanted to help. We must remember this when writing about how poorly they executed their mission.

The Haitian government wants us to believe that criminals are stealing babies for use in the sex trade or for illegal adoption. However, they offer no proof and the media allows them to keep making the assertion as if were fact. At the same time, the Haitian government is doing to little to help the orphans. They have bigger issues and limited capabilities.

The Baptists…. they are well meaning idiots. Only the most incompetent and self-deluded people would think they could pick up a bunch of kids and transport them to a better place across an international border. From what I’ve read, they did not even vet the children to see if they were economic orphans, earthquake orphans, or real orphans in need of a home. No… they mixed their mission. Instead of helping children in need, they instead saw an opportunity to save kids for Christ. It is the same kind of corrupt thinking that causes Christians to think abstinence only education is the answer to teen pregnancy.

Now I see they are resting comfortably in custody waiting for their day in court. Good for them. They need a wakeup call.

U.S. embassy officials visited the Americans over the weekend at a jail near the airport in Port-au-Prince, where they are being detained. They are being treated well and are holding on to their faith, the Americans said

…"God is our provider and God gives us strength and comfort," said Carla Thompson, one group member. "We have our Bibles and we are OK."

Is their faith really being tested here? No…

As time passes, the story gets more confusing. Especially when we find out that they did little to find the parents of the children they were tying to help.

"Some of them for sure are not orphans," he told CNN. "Immediately after she arrived here, a girl -- she might be 9 years old -- was crying loudly, 'I am not an orphan, I do have my parents, please call my parents,' " he said.

The cynical voice inside my head keeps telling me to question the Baptist’s story. Were they really trying to help? Or did they see this as an opportunity they could not pass up? I really want to believe the former but I think we will find out the latter is true.

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