Thursday, September 30, 2010

Priest falls for Nigerian financial scam

But wait, there’s more. Father Thomas Marr needed cash to secure his millions of dollars so he allegedly stole $600k from a whole bunch of people

Investigators say Father Thomas Marr fell victim to a Nigerian financial scam. But now, he’s under arrest and facing jail time. Police say to get the money to participate in the scam, Marr stole from the church and scammed his own parishioners, friends, and family.

Father Marr of St. Bernard Parish in Watertown was allegedly convinced by a parishioner that he could get millions of dollars if he funded a money transfer out of Nigeria. After spending tens of thousands of dollars of his own money, Marr allegedly started lying to others, claiming he needed the money to help a church member in need.

I guess there are idiots born into every family tree.

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Father Charles Murphy cleared

In a sobering reminder that not all who are accused are guilty, Catholic Priest Charles J. Murphy was cleared of charges by an internal investigation conducted by the Boston Archdiocese. Father Murphy had voluntarily resigned his position during the investigation.

On Wednesday, the archdiocese said the charge against Murphy was found to be unsubstantiated. The case was investigated by the Archdiocesan Review Board, an advisory committee which includes clergy sex abuse victims, parents and a judge.

The lawyer for the victim does not believe the finding. I’m betting the case still goes to civil court.

Church volunteers accused of child molestation

This is an odd case, a young married couple who were active members of the Visalia Nazarene Church allegedly videotaped the molestation of a 2-year-old girl they were babysitting. Terry and Nicole Schneider are accused of making child porn.

The suspects and the victim's family were close friends. The victim's family says the crime happened five years ago on the one occasion they let Terry - or as friends call him- Lee Schneider and his wife Nicole babysit their little girl. The reason they're being charged now is because a friends only discovered a videotape of the crime this past week.

In an odd twist, an associate pastor found found the evidence.

The federal complaint against Lee and Nicole Schneider says that last week, the wife of an associate pastor at the Visalia Nazarene Church found a camcorder in her house she didn't recognize. The Schneiders used to live in that home. When she played back the video on the camcorder, Kristi Spaite told investigators she saw the Schneiders molesting a two-year-old girl.

It’s way too early in the morning for this type of news.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Christian bigot Andrew Shirvell

I thought this was a joke, but then Anderson Cooper raked Michigan’s assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell over the coals regarding his bigoted and hateful attack of Chris Armstrong via an anonymous blog called Chris Armstrong Watch. Chris is the student body president at Michigan State and happens to be gay. Shirvell is a Christian who thinks Chris is a representative of the devil. Since were calling people names, a raving Christian homophobe and a total Nutball.

At that site, Armstrong, a college student who happens to be gay, has been subjected by Mr. Shirvell to a barrage of insults and attacks unworthy of the office of Attorney General.

He has doctored photos to show Mr. Armstrong emblazoned with a Nazi swastika surrounded by a rainbow flag.

He has referred to Mr. Armstrong as “Satan’s representative on the Student Assembly.”

And he has described Mr. Armstrong as a “Nazi-like” recruiter for “the cult that is homosexuality.”

Source: MI Attorney General: Fire anti-gay cyber-bully Andrew Shirvell

My take on this is that Shirvell has an unhealthy attraction to young Chris Armstrong. I think a restraining order is warranted. Can somebody explains how this is something a Christians should do? Where is Jesus in this hatefest?

Pastor Samuel Jordan arrested

Pastor Samuel Jordan was arrested raping a 15 year old boy. Let’s see, that makes him an accused Ephebophile. That’s not as creepy as a pedophile but still has some serious bite to it.

Pennsylvania State police say it happened on at least five occasions since 2008, at or around Jordan's home.

Jordan is a minister at the Laddsburg Church near New Albany.

Police have identified a second victim.

Monday police announced there is a second victim. Jordan has now been charged with five counts of indecent assault for allegedly having indecent contact with another boy while the boy was between nine and eleven years. The incidents took place between October, 2008 and July, 2010.

Wait, that would make a pedophile, a hepephile and a ephebophile. Jordon hit the trifecta, which should win him a good long stretch in prison.

Bishop Eddie Long – still no denial

Bishop Eddie Long spoke to his church Tuesday night. He ranted, he raved, he jumped around a lot and flexed those big muscles. His sermon was all about outsiders attacking the church… and God. But he still did not deny the charges. See for yourself.

Atheist hip hop

Not bad. Greydon Square - Who knew?

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I don’t get 2pac

I can tell I’m getting old. I love reggae and Bob Marley, it’s been a life long thing. Marley makes me feel good. But 2pac – I’ve never understood the attraction. I recently picked up 2pac’s entire catalog and I’m slowly working my way through every song. I don’t get the same buzz from 2pac as I do from Bob Marley. I just don’t get it. Can somebody explain it to me?

On a funny side note, I have an adult son named Jon who shares my love for music. If he gives me an Amazon gift card, he will add, “not to be spent on reggae.” He’s such a hater.

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Pastor Dino Cardelli pleads not guilty

At least Pastor Dino Cardelli is now a former pastor. He resigned from his position at Calvary Chapel but intends to fight the charges against him.

Forty-nine-year-old Dino Cardelli entered his plea Tuesday in Humboldt County Superior Court. He is charged with one count of committing the recurring sexual abuse of a child under age 14, lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, and two counts of oral copulation with a minor.

I don’t think Cardelli will win his case. He made admission of guilt during police interviews. His wife had killed herself after learning of the abuse.

Nancy Cardelli committed suicide on March 21, 2010, by overdosing on the over-the-counter medication Diphenhydramine, according to the Humboldt County Coroner's Office. According to the coroner's report, Dino Cardelli told Deputy Coroner Charles Comer that his wife had been “having some issues with ... their marriage and depression.”

Neel told the court the people believe Nancy Cardelli's suicide was “directly related to the trauma she was enduring” at home. Neel said Dino Cardelli's alleged sexual relationship with the minor ceased after Nancy Cardelli's death, but said Dino Cardelli “acknowledged that it did occur” when interviewed by investigators in this case.

People wonder why I do this and give me hell of going afer pastors who stray from the path. Its because of cases like this one. A popular pastor allegedly grooms a young girl to be his sex slave. Of far off message is that?

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Mormons don’t brainwash

No! It’s not true. Mormons do not brainwash. Mormons simply apply intense social pressure, repeated missionary visits, social isolation, peer pressure, geographic isolation, and guilt. That’s not brainwashing, that's just a conversion technique. It’s all good. Every religion does it.

Tell it to 14-year-old Shannon Cowan who had the whole conversion process leveled at her during a trip to Utah where she was visiting her half-sister.

Melita Carter was accused of attempting to convince her half-sister Shannon Cowan to stay with her in Utah following a holiday visit last summer, leading to fears in Ireland that she had been abducted by a religious cult.

Desperate for help, their mother Caroline called Ireland's national broadcaster RTE earlier this month to tell radio listeners that she feared for Shannon's safety.

Or it could just be a family fight. What would I do if my 14-year-old daughter did not return from a trip to another country? Answer – anything I could.

"The whole brainwashing thing is crazy," Carter said from her home in Provo, Utah. "I feel Caroline brought my religion into this because she knew people would listen to what she had to say. I feel like what happened between Caroline and I has nothing got to do with religion and that it should not have been brought up."

But then there is my direct experience with this issue where all of the things I mentioned were used, plus the promise of marriage if I would just leave home and move to northern California with the family of the Mormon girl I was dating. But things have changed in 30 years, right?

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Hooking up with the youth pastor

Beliefnet’s Stuff Christian Culture Likes has a spot on post about hooking up with your youth pastor. Read the comments.

I learned a new term, “Aged Out”. Apparently it means the legal age at which you can date your youth pastor..

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Where do I draw the line with pedophiles?

I’ve had a few emails and comments about my over use of the term pedophile when describing pastors and priests who abuse children. I can see the point they make. Broad use of the term devalues its meaning. Going  forward I plan to use it for any member of the clergy who molests a child below the age of 16. To be clear, that would be children 15 and below. Is there any feedback?

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Pray about Bishop Eddie Long?

T.D. Jakes advices that we pray about Bishop Eddie Long.

“You can’t make great decisions with poor information. Until you can separate facts from conjecture, there is nothing to say,” the charismatic Dallas preacher added…

….In the meantime, Jakes said "Christians should just pray” and know that once everything is said and done, “God will give the victory.”

The best advice a leading black pastor can give to his flock is pray about it? The situation demands actual guidance. It demands a conversation. Jakes all but told his flock to shut up. I don’t get it. How is this helpful? It’s not like we should condemn Long as guilty, but his case raises serious questions about homophobic pastors and their unethical practices. That at least should be a topic of discussion for all Christians. How Long handles the scandal is an important discussion item because it reflects on his character. Instead of talking about these issues Jakes demands we pray and refuses to raise the issues himself. This makes him a coward in my book.

Pastor Joe Flowers, Jr. arrested

JoeFlowers Pastor Joe Flowers, Jr. the senior pastor of the Walk of Life Christian Center, pleaded not guilty to charges that he had sex with a boy younger than 13.

Sara Vansrydonck, who is prosecuting the case, said the incidents involve one boy. The alleged incidents happened sometime between January of 2007 and March 31st of this year.

Pastor Flowers is another one of those self-appointed Bishops. He’s taken his website down so I’m unable to explore his stance of gay marriage. I’m willing to guess he’s in the anti-gay marriage camp given his link to T.D. Jakes.

I see from his bio he has a Bachelors of Science degree in Religion and Theology. How does science fit in with Religion and Theology?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A small clarification on gay clergy

I’ve had a few emails from people thanking me for reporting on gay clergy and their abuse of children. I want to make it clear to all readers, I don’t give a damn about the sexual orientation of the clergy. I care about the clergy who prey on children. Pedophiles off all persuasions, be they gay, straight, or bi-sexual, anyone who goes after kids is in my crosshairs. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with pedophilia nor does it have anything to do with performing ones job.

As for the the evil that some call gay priests – grow up already. Ask this instead, is your pastor a good person? If yes, ignore any other questions.

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Should we fund spiritual health care?

The Christian Science is Church of Christ, Scientist has faith based healing centers located around the country staffed by “specially” trained non-medical nurses who care for the sick without the aid of modern medicine or doctors, which is to say they watch the suffering ala Mother Teresa but without the PR machine. It’s faith healing, or as I like to call it, faith based torture, and they want the US taxpayer to fund it.

For 60 years, Wide Horizon, which sits high on a Wheat Ridge hillside, has offered spiritual care and healing. The center serves seven states: Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Kansas, Wyoming and Nebraska.

The center practices Christian Science, a theology and healing system founded by Mary Baker Eddy in Boston in 1879.

The church is grounded in the Bible and in Eddy's primary textbook on Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures."

"What Christ Jesus practiced and taught 2,000 years ago is still applicable. Those spiritual laws are eternal laws," said Wide Horizon executive director D. Brian Boettiger. "Mrs. Eddy was a pioneer leader who rediscovered those laws."

Read more: Christian Scientists push for health insurance that covers spiritual care

The Church of Christ, Scientist is serious. They want us to pay for their torture centers, untrained nurses, and prayer.

"If the government is going to take the extraordinary step of requiring Americans to buy health insurance, they should be responsive to the kinds of health care Americans are relying on," said Gary Jones, federal manager of the Christian Science Committee on Publication. "That should include skilled nonmedical nursing care and treatment through prayer."

Believe in what you want, but don’t expect me to or my ilk to fund your delusions.

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The sleepwalking faithful

For most of the last 30 years, I’ve worked under the assumption that most Christians do not know their faith. I base this on my personal observations. There are two types of Christians – those who are on fire for the lord, and those who sleepwalk. Those on fire for the lord, like my fundie cousin Trinity or my pal and intellectual Christian Brad, they know their bible and theology but tend to subdivide into two camps, fundies and intellectuals. The fundies may know the bible and theology, but they are incapable of rational communication. The intellectuals on the other hand, give me a challenge. They often know the bible and theology much better than me.

Sleepwalkers are the majority of the Christians I meet. I figure it is about a 500 to 1 ratio. That is to say, there are 500 sleepwalkers to every 1 Christian who is on fire for the lord. Sleepwalkers are everywhere and know almost nothing about their faith. Unfortunately, these are most of the Christians I meet. If you mention Martin Luther, they respond that they are not Lutherans (and I do a facepalm). There is nothing wrong with sleepwalkers, they are the sheep in sheeple and pay the bills.

There is one exception to my general rule, Mormons. The Mormons I know are knowledgeable about their faith, Christianity and theology. It’s rare to meet one who is a sleepwalker unless they are new converts. I think it comes from the mandatory education they get as children. Most of my Mormon friends when to Mormon school before public school and they tend to know their way around the bible at a much higher level than their Christian counterparts but not as well as those who are on fire for the lord. That’s why fundie versus Mormon battles are epic fun to watch.

A new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life aimed to test a broad range of religious knowledge and found result similar to my practical experience. I did not realize my fellow Atheists were so knowledgeable.

Atheists and agnostics scored highest, with an average of 21 correct answers, while Jews and Mormons followed with about 20 accurate responses. Protestants overall averaged 16 correct answers, while Catholics followed with a score of about 15.

But why atheists?

Greg Smith, a senior researcher with the Pew Forum, suspects that atheists may have scored higher because they were more likely to have been raised in a faith and made a conscious, informed decision about their belief.

I'll need to think about that.
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Tilt-shift applied to art


I’m learning to use tilt-shift techniques in photography. So far my results are poor. So instead of showing you my own work this week, I thought that this application of tilt-shift on the works of Van Gogh would suffice. The results are surprisingly beautiful.

After seeing how tilt-shift photography could make real world scenes appear like miniature models, Serena Malyon, a third-year art student, decided to simulate the effect on Van Gogh's famous paintings. Using Photoshop, she manipulated the light and adjusted the focus to make us see these paintings in ways we could have never imagined.

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A list of things Christine O’Donnell believes.

Think Progress has an outstanding an hilarious list of the things Christine O’Donnell believes. It’s worth a few minutes of you day. Go on, you know you want to press the link.

Hitchens on Bishop Eddie Long

Christopher Hitchens can write. He took aim as self-appointed bigot Bishop Eddie Long Yesterday. This quote sums it up.

I have a rule of thumb for such clerics and have never known it to fail: Set your watch and sit back, and pretty soon they will be found sprawling lustily on the floor of the men's room.

It’s spot on and follows perverse but sound logic. If you are a angry homophobe leading a church, it is a matter of time until you fall.

I’ve been strongly rebuked by Long’s followers these last few days. They insist that they know (on a spiritual level) that Bishop Eddie Long is incapable of engaging in homosexual acts. He’s a man of God, blah blah blah. I don’t even read the emails anymore. I think I hit the Eddie Long loony jackpot.

Hitchens goes after one of my pet peeves. The absurd wealth of these megachurch pastors and their lives of flamboyant excess. 

One of his alleged partners in depravity may have been on the borderline of the age of consent, but otherwise I can't make myself care about whether the self-anointed Bish was rogering his flock. What concerns me isn't even the laughable obviousness of his cupidity: the jewels and gold chains and limos and bodyguards. This is all a familiar part of the tawdry business of "Churchianity" now finding loopholes for the rich and venal at a well-upholstered religious establishment somewhere near you.

The jewels and gold chains and limos and bodyguards… The excesses is so over the top as to be unbelievable, and to me a sure sign of moral corruption. When a Bishop flies around the country in leer jets, somebody has seriously taken advantage of the gullible masses. It is not to much of a stress to think of Long rogering his flock.

And one last thought – why is it that nobody has pointed out that Bishop Eddie Long has plugs? Two years ago his forehead extended back to the front middle of his head, now its back down to the top of his forehead. It makes you wonder how his vanity.

Atheist Ska

Down to Manifesto's Cafe by Streetlight Manifesto. I have a new favorite song. It’s just music folks. No moving pictures today.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Review: David Trotter’s Lost + Found

Lost + Found, Finding Myself by Getting Lost in an Affair by former pastor David Trotter is a self-published memoir about a local pastor from an influential church and his subsequent fall from grace because of an extramarital affair. It’s an easy read but I fear my time would have been better served by finishing the more challenging Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens.

Lostfound I am not somebody who should offer writing advice, so these next words may seem funny to some of my readers. I could tell the book was self-published by the numerous spelling, word choice and punctuation errors. My advice is to hire an editor and clean it up before the next edition. If I can see the errors, they will be glaringly obvious to a reader with better skills.

I found the story of Trotter’s fall superficial. He was verbose and effusive in describing his distance from his wife and his boredom at work, but he left out whole swaths of content related to his decision making process. It was nice (and necessary) to know that David no longer found his wife interesting or that their relationship was unfulfilling, but there was no analysis of his failure. It was interesting to know that he worked hard for many long years to build a church, and that as a result, he was burnt out. What are missing are the connections to his role as a pastor and the apparent loss of connection to his passion for God. How did he come to a point where he could turn his back on the moral teaching of his faith so callously as to assume that God was in his corner during the planned seduction of another man’s wife and his eventual dishonoring of his marital vows? My read shows a sophomoric “God wants me to be happy” attitude from a seasoned and accomplished pastor. It does not reconcile and feels inauthentic, no, if feels dishonest. How was he able to reconcile a life spend in service to God with the moral turpitude which followed his immature, selfish and even willfully hateful separation from his role as a pastor and husband? It feels like he left it out on purpose so that he could have a path back to the pulpit.

New milestone achieved

My blog hit a new milestone yesterday; one million page views. If Blogger were a social networking tool like Foursquare, I would have unlocked some wicked-cool new badge. But no, the day passed with nothing more notable than blistering heat.

I like to keep things in perspective. I’ve been blogging since 2004. Last year I posted a picture on another website that drew 700,000 hits in one day. And just last Saturday my Tumbler blog got 30,000 hits, I don’t even know why.

I’ll answer the question most people ask, “Why do you blog?” I blog to keep my mind occupied. I don’t like to watch TV, so for an hour or two a night I write instead. But not today… It’s too damn hot.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

The arrogance of a twitter feed

I checked out Bishop Eddie Long’s twitter feed @bishopeddielong. He has 27,000 followers but follows just 12 people. He’s a giver.

He follows these luminaries.

  1. WorldTopicNow - Can you guess who’s trending?
  2. eDDieVelez1 - Holy hip hop… really really bad Holy hip hop
  3. TommyTenney - God Chaser
  4. CoachTomFerry - Success Coach
  5. Edward_Long - Does Eddie Long have a son?
  6. Twinsaintz - twin boy toys
  7. FRANKSKI - TV host
  8. RevRunWisdom - dude has a 1.5 million followers
  9. Oprah – Lady has 4.3 million followers – but not me!
  10. RealJohnGray - Filmmaker who likes velvet.
  11. esnowsports – Eric Snow Sports
  12. deshawnsnow – She sells stuff and herself.
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Haggard justifies his depravity and I laugh

It is hard for me to not laugh when I hear Ted Haggard talk. A few minutes into this interview with Anderson Cooper, Haggard gives this ludicrous line after he was asked, “Do you fell like a hypocrite?”

(6:10) It’s just like any ideal, we have police officers who get speeding tickets.

Haggard never answers question, so I will for him. Yes! And for the record, a cop getting a speeding ticket is not morally equivalently to a anti-gay pastor banging a gay hooker.

I love how Haggard gets schooled on “walking in truth” with the line, “It did not take a scandal for me to come out and walk in truth”. It makes Haggard look like a hypocrite and a tool, I like Pastor Troy Sanders, his message is authentic – his choice in clothing, not so much.

Bishop Eddie Long vows to fight

Bishop Eddie could take one of two paths, man up and take responsibly, or fight for his reputation. He plans to fight.

"There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man. But I am not the man that's being portrayed on the television. That's not me. That is not me," he said as applause interrupted him.

And he want to throw rocks.

"I want you to know one other thing, I feel like David against Goliath. But I got five rocks, and I haven't thrown one yet."

It looks like this one will be fought in the press and from the pulpit.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

I started David Trotter’s book

David Trotter wrote Lost + Found: Finding Myself by Getting lost in a Affair. I’ve finished the first chapter, it starts with background and positioning. I now understand how he felt about his job as founding pastor of the Revolution Church, and about his emotionally distant marriage. It’s interesting that many of the traits Trotter recalls are the same traits that drive pastors to abuse power, children, women, or, as in the stories circulating around Pastor Eddie Jones, young men.

Trotter was involved in all aspects of the running of his church. It was “his church”. Every aspect was something he cared about and apparently micromanaged. Typical management techniques, like division of labor, fiduciary and behavioral safeguards, professional management, even old school (but necessary) role power based command structures, are not mentioned. Which is a shame since these are the techniques we use to solve the business problems he complains about. For a man who claims to be slowly dying under the pressure of a job he no longer finds appealing, his words appear as an excuse to justify his future excesses.

He mentioned the pastor from El Dorado Park Community Church, I know the pastor. I’ve played disc golf with him a few times and have crossed paths with him at a few social events. I know him for what he is, an authoritarian who’s disconnected from the needs of his parishioners (I still know a bunch of these people too), and a man who chewed up a good youth pastor I know (and play disc golf with), not to mention his rocky relationship with another pastor who I mentor. Ah good times. It is truly a small world.

I will read Trotter’s book, but I’m already asking, “Who was this written for, and why?”

Pastor Patrick Conway convicted

Pastor Patrick M. Conway will serve a about a year and a half in jail for child molestation. I did not have this creepy 77-year-old pedopastor on my list.

Conway pleaded guilty to that charge in Whatcom County Superior Court in July. Judge Charles Snyder adopted a sentence recommended by Conway's attorney and the prosecutor.

Conway sexually touched two sisters several times while they were at the day care, which was in the 2000 block of Washington Street, according to charging documents filed in Superior Court.

Read more: Former Ferndale resident who ran day care sentenced for child molestation

Conway like to work around kids as a pastor at various churches and as a school janitor.

Next please.

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Bishop Eddie Long preached “Gays deserve death!”

On The Gist yesterday…

It's been reported on many blogs, citing the Southern Poverty Law Center, that antigay megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long, now at the center of a gay sex scandal, said about gays in a sermon in 2007, "God says you deserve death!" We have obtained the audio of that sermon, which has not been aired anywhere yet, and I'll be playing it on today's show, likely in the second hour (2 ET). And we'll be playing lots more from his sermons and taking your calls.

There’s one day left in Long’s career. The hater deserves a fall into obscurity.

Why follow a man because of what he says?

DavidCunningham I’m constantly amazed at how many of my fellow Americans attend a church lead by a man who is unethical, dishonest, or who does not keep his own house in order. Pastor David Arnold Cunningham is a prefect example of a preaching hypocrite and thug pastor. He’s that pastor of First Baptist Church in Colonial Beach where he’s held the job for 17 years. Yet, he cannot keep his own house in order, nor can he abide by simple public safety laws. He’s doing 30 days for driving without a license, and its not his first time in jail for traffic offenses. He’s a habitual traffic offender with no regard for the law. 

U.S. marshals put him there Sept. 10 to serve a 30-day sentence for violating the probation a federal judge gave Cunningham in January for driving without a license in the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Battlefield Park.

Cunningham's conviction in January was his third such conviction in 10 years. His license also was suspended in 2001 and again in 2009 in Spotsylvania County.

Read more: Road leads to jail for pastor

I love this quote by his lawyer, "He's been so busy taking care of the problems of others that he hasn't take care of his own problems." – Bullshit. We all have problems, we all have a busy life. We all manage our behavior to conform with societal norms. It is conducted expected.

And he’s not just “busy”, he don’t care.

"Mr. Cunningham has received several traffic citations and has failed to report them to his probation officer. Furthermore, the defendant continues to operate a motor vehicle even though his license is suspended. Mr. Cunningham has not made any payments toward his fine or special assessment," Orsino reported to the court.

And he thinks we are dumb. When caught lying, he reverted to form.

"The defendant replied that his brother did not know where his residence was located, and so he indicated he would meet him at the shopping center."

What does anyone go to this man’s church? Why not follow a man because of what he does?

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Christine O’Donnell wanted to stop us from having sex

Christine O’Donnell says, “I’m in my 30s and I’m chaste,” and then extrapolates that to mean that every other unmarried adult in the country could (or should) follow her lead. That our mission is to teach chastity. She’s intolerable, and if she’s in her 30s without having sex or masturbating, she not human.

101 tips about street photography

Part of developing a street photography style is simply getting out and taking photos. My style is playing the “big dumb tourist.” People don’t see me because I look like every other tourist out for a day of sightseeing. Except I don’t really care about the sites. I hunt people and the urban ugly that surrounds us.

I have lots of tips for this and truthfully never thought anyone would be interested until I found Eric Kim’s article, 101 Things I have learned about Street Photography. He’s good and is writing a book on the subject.

In lieu of the popularity of my last post about the “100 Things I Have Learned about Photography,” I decided to make a new list that pertains to street photography specifically. Also if you don’t know, I am currently writing a book titled: “Street Photography 101,” and the excerpts are being posted here. This new list is a homage to the Street Photography 101 book that I am writing.

He covers most of the advice I would give, and much more. I don’t always agree with him, but I don’t think it matters much. For example.

6. Smile often. – A smile is good and it disarms people, but a scowl gets a reaction too. I don’t want to be noticed as a photographer in most cases, so no smile, no scowl works best for me.

12.  Crouch when taking your shots, it often makes for more interesting photos. – If only I could crouch and not draw a crowd. If I crouch to shoot, people are likely to ask if “OK”.

25.  If a policeman asks you to delete a photo, just delete it. It isn’t worth the hassle (even if your shot is legal). – True, but where is the fun (and story) in that?

29.  Limit the number of street photographs you see from the internet. The more you see, the less you will value your own. – Bullshit. The more you see, the more you are inspired.

33.  Street photography is best experienced alone. – Only if you are an emoboy, or young and unattached. My opportunities for street photography stem from family activities as often as not.

38.  Don’t be afraid of offending people. Most likely you won’t. – What? I’m not afraid to offend people, it happens almost every time I go out. I think this should read, expect to offend people.

61.  Your subjects are people, not prey. Huh?

81.  Learn how to shoot without using the viewfinder and make it a second-instinct. Thus also… Amen! practice this, it’s great advice.

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Christine O'Donnell "Evolution Is A Myth"

Christine O’Donnell is such a piss ant. She recites the creationist’s most moronic argument as if saying it makes it true.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Everyone dies

Everyone dies, Including my favorite author and atheist Harlan Ellison. He’s not dead yet, but he sees the end coming. He’s making his final public appearance at MadCon in Madison. I love his work. I have since I first picked him up in the 70s, and he was already a ledged then.

Due to his failing health, there had been some doubt about whether Ellison would show up in person or participate in panels, readings and other events by telephone from his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif. But at press time he affirmed he was coming. He is also adamant that MadCon will be the final convention he ever attends, in any fashion.

I hope he hangs on for a long time to come.

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Bishop Eddie Long to step down?

The reports keep coming in that Bishop Eddie Long plans to step down on Sunday. And now there are reports that an additional 30 young men may come forward with similar allegations. We will find out for sure in just two days.

How does abuse of this scale exist in a large church without the congregation knowing or at least being aware of the rumors? That’s the question I want an answer to. How long did people know and why did they let it go on?

I have some hope for the future of music

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Photo a day - Mike


I’m still working with my iPhone4 and portraits. I tried using the Camera Plus app and some of it “features”. I was happy with the results in this photo, but I tanked a dozen other shots.

The iPhone4 is a good replacement for a point and shoot camera, and less obtrusive. The controls are hard to adapt to, especially if you are migrating from a Blackberry like me.

Mike’s a good subject. he liked the results.

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Pastor Robert Burke found guilty

RobertBurke Pastor Robert Burke of the Holy Deliverance Apostolic Temple in Newburgh, pleased guilty to charges he raped a 15-year-old parishioner.

Robert Burke of the Holy Deliverance Apostolic Temple in Newburgh pleaded guilty to a felony charge of third-degree rape in county court Thursday. The Times Herald-Record of Middletown reports that the 50-year-old pastor admitted that he had sex with the girl on April 4. He was arrested July 28 after the victim reported the incident to City of Newburgh police.

Burke faces additional charges stemming from an alleged attack on another victim.

Burke, who is accused of groping another female teenage parishioner in Newburgh, still faces charges of forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child.

If convicted, he becomes serial abuser.

Next please.

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Fourth man files suit against Bishop Eddie Long

 eddielongmirrorX390 I told you this was the case that would keep on giving. A rich man, anointed by God, worshipped by his followers, and by the looks of things, totally corrupt. This time 22-year-old Spencer LeGrande alleges Long engaged in inappropriate activity, like this....

Long then gave LeGrande a hug, kissed and licked the youth's lips and rubbed the teen's chest, according to the lawsuit. They slept in bed together that evening and during the rest of the Kenya trip, the lawsuit states, adding they went on shopping sprees.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring? There are rumors he is stepping down.

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Pastor Moises Cotto found guilty

MoisesCotto This upstanding citizen and well-respected pastor forced two teenage girls to videotape his sexual escapades. He’s going to prison for a few years.

In exchange for the guilty plea, the state will recommend a 14-year prison term, will require Cotto to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law and be placed on parole supervision for life, said Assistant Union County Prosecutor David Hummel.

I love this quote by Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow, "This is a man who violated all the values and beliefs that he swore to live by for a life of lies and deceit.”

Case closed. Next please.

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Bishop Eddie long used the bible to justify sex

This allegation is common among for victims of clergy sexual abuse. Abusers use the bible as a means of justify all manner of sexual activity. Bishop Eddie long is alleged to have used this tactic.

Robinson is clear in his complaint that Bishop Eddie Long wasn’t just a middle aged man taking cellphone pictures of himself and allegedly pursuing young men in his lyra bike shorts, at the same time. Rather Robinson claims Eddie Long engaged in fraud, using the “Scriptures” “of the Lord” and his authority as Bishop to deceive Robinson, causing Robinson to believe that the conduct was justified by the Bible.

I don’t think anyone is surprised here. I sure Bishop Eddie Long thought as anointed by God or some such nonsense. He would have used anything to justify special treatment (also a trait of abusers)

Bishop Eddie Long hides from charges

Like we did not see this coming, Bishop Eddie Long cancelled his TV appearances. He plans to address charges from the pulpit, where he can say what he wants without interruption or questions (and with the power of God behind him).

Bishop Eddie Long has canceled his press conference scheduled for today and his appearance on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, scheduled for Friday. The Atlanta-based mega-church pastor has been accused by three different men of sexual coercion…

The press will be banned from Sunday’s service. Security will be at the door making sure no undesirables get in. They will circle the wagons. It will get worse, much worse.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

If Eddie Long listens to Ted Haggard

EddieLong We might have an interesting story. Ted says, listen Eddie, "Nobody's guilty until the court says he's guilty." Eddie responds with, “But your career was flushed down the toilet as soon as the allegations surfaced!” That’s the real story. With Haggard as his guide, “Bishop” Eddie long has about 20 days left in his career.

Ted Haggard had this to say:

Haggard, who was a superstar among the Christian right until a tedhaggardgay sex scandal forced him to resign from his Colorado church, told AOL News that Long deserves a fair hearing. If the accusations are false, Haggard said, Long will survive the ordeal. "The bishop is surrounded by people that will counsel him well," he said.

I’m not sure this will give Long hope. Haggard was cast out of his church, financially ruined, lost his accumulated riches, and had to sell insurance  door-to-door. All on the advice of his handlers who sought to limit the damage to the financial empire known as “The Church”.

It’s going to be a feeding frenzy. The next pastor in line is looking at Long’s Bentley and thinking, that could be mine.

Nutball Christians Singing in Tongues

I would like to think that I had the will to stand up and walk out of a service where the worship leaders digressed into this nonsense (I don’t remember ever walking out). I remember sitting through a guy singing in tongues. He sang to me, it was scary in a homoerotic way and felt completely wrong at the time. He put his hands on my shoulders and face in my face. He sang too me in baby talk. It gave me the willies. Then there was the endless sessions of people who spoke in tongues and then those were gifted to translate .Nutballs all. Each and everyone one was friggen crazy. It was all an act. I know. I was socialized into the whole mess.

A Get It Done Guy interview

I listen to Stever Robbins’s podcast, Quick and Dirty Tips to work less and do more, each and every week. He’s part of my regular rotation. He’s an interesting productively guru with fun and helpful tips. He has a new book, the “Get-it-Done Guy’s 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More." I listened to an interview on his new book’s release today. I thought I would pass it on in case there are any other productivity geeks out there.

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Thinking about defecting from the catholic church?

Pay no attention to the messager. He’s actually a pretty hip dude. Does it matter if he is male or female? No. Does it matter if he is gay? No. Move past your stereotypes and listen to the message. He’s got some good stuff up on YouTube.

He prompted me to think about my old church. I was baptized there in the 70s. I wonder if they still count me? I bet they do.

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Pastor Eddie Long in a muscle shirt?

 EddieLongMuscle The truth will emerge, but If I have to see any more pictures of Pastor Eddie Long in a muscle shirt, I’m going to jump to the conclusion that he is gay (or at least bi-sexual) and likes playing with his youth pastors. Why else would a pastor take pictures of himself in a bathroom mirror, in a muscle shirt, dressed to show his desirability? It’s a selfpic used for eddielongmirrorX390sexual purposes. It says, look at me, I’m sexy! Well, he is a good looking guy, and fit too. But I have to say, what he’s doing in these pictures does not fit the homophobe personal he projects in church. Does it?

Pastor long plans to address the allegations.

Bishop Eddie Long, the powerhouse leader behind the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta, issued a statement today again denying that he coerced three teenage boys into sexual relationships and promising that the "truth will emerge."

"I am anxious to respond directly to these false allegations and I will do so," he said in the statement that was distributed by a publicist. " However, my lawyers have counseled patience at this time."

I can’t wait to hear how he explains his way out of this one.

Update on the Settlemoir case

Pastor Christopher Settlemoir had a court date yesterday. A interested party posted comments on my original post with a 1st party update from the hearing. The notes are shown below. Christopher_Settlemoi

  1. Preliminary Hearing waived Settlemoir case sent to Circuit Court for trial.
  2. Defense request for lower bond denied by Judge.
  3. Prosecutor says more charges coming for same victims.
  4. Prosecutor says more victims pictures on cell phone but not identified.
  5. Prosecutor says Feds are considering Federal charges (unknown).
  6. Next court hearing in Circuit Court on Oct 4 2010.
  7. Photos on cell phone are of victims genitals.
  8. Recordings at jail indicate Settlemoir and wife plotting to flee if bonded out.
  9. Defense Attorney thinks Settlemoir should be free because the crimes were against the church community and the general public has nothing to fear.
  10. Settlemoir fired from church and no longer receives compensation.
  11. Wife works 3 jobs currently.

The hearing did not make the news.

To Beat up a Child

Angie does video well. She takes a Christian family to task over how they beat their children, and recommend doing the same to others. I wish I could do the same. I mean make videos. I stammer and mumble horribly. She does it much better.

For he record: I have two strong willed boys. I’ve given swats one time. My son remembers it to this day, and that was 20 years ago. Spanking is really not the answer.

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The I-75 Project

OnThisSiteThis is a great idea. It’s funny, subversive, and spot-on. I want to start one here on the west coast on the I-5 corridor. I give you The I-75 Project

The I-75 Project would place historical markers with social and political content in each of these rest stops. My goal is not to incite, but to inspire thought amongst those who travel on this route.

Artist Norm Magnusson says:

For the past few years, I've been creating what I call "art of social conscience:" tv spots, viral emails, paintings and posters, but none of it has engaged viewers as much as this series of "historical" markers, each one a small story containing a discrete point of view.

The types of people who stop to read them are collectively defined more by their curiosity about the world around them than they are by any shared ideological leanings, which makes them a perfect audience for a carefully crafted message.   And unlike most artworks on social or political themes, these markers don’t merely  speak to the small group of viewers that seek out such work in galleries and museums; instead, they gently insert themselves into the public realm.

Art, you’ve got to love it.

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Rev. William Marshall arrested

88 year-old catholic priest William Hodgson Marshall was arrested and charged with sexual assault for a crime that is alleged to have occurred in 1953. They must have some good evidence to go after a case from so long ago.

Police allege that, in the fall of 1953, the accused was coaching an after-school basketball program and lured a 15-year-old male student into a private room at the school.

Read more: Catholic priest charged in 57-year-old sexual assault

88 years old… What is the point?