Sunday, November 28, 2010

If there is a painting

Fair warning, this video contains pictures of deformed babies, children and animals.
My friend from high school makes this series. This one is hard to watch but no less true. He takes on the argument Ray Comfort makes about how there must be a painter for every painting, or a creator for everything created.

Why do Baptists bury the past?

williamCabeI think I’ve discovered a new truism, as least as it relates to Baptist pastors and sexual abuse. If a Baptist pastor is arrested for sexual assault the odds are good that he as a history of sexual abuse unless he is a youth pastor, in which case it is usually the first record of abuse. Take pastor Johnny William “Billy” Cabe for example, he was indicted for child sexual abuse earlier this month. He had a previous arrest and conviction for stealing 8 million dollars and apparently had a history of sexual abuse allegations too. But get this, he remained the church pastor while in prison.
Cabe, 50, of York, has been out on bond since after his arrest and he remains the church pastor, as he was during his federal prison time, when he conducted services by telephone.
Cabe was convicted in 2001 in federal court of stealing more than $8 million from church-going investors in the 1990s. He was fined $7.8 million, and federal authorities seized more than $1.2 million of his assets. Cabe has paid about $2 million of the fine.
Read more: York minister indicted on child sex charges
The odds are long in this case:
The sexual assault allegations against Cabe are the third time he has been charged in similar incidents. He has never been convicted.
A tipster named tbird provided this background information.
Not long after being asked to come on as pastor of Riverside Baptist Church in Rock Hill, the boy's home, "Riverside Baptist Home for Boys" came to fruition.
Just like with Cabe's "pre-Riverside" days, news accounts covered the horrible abuses of those boys, some accounts coming from fomer employees and church members (who were labeled by those still attending Riverside as "disgruntled"). By abuses, I mean beating a boy at the Riverside home across the rear end with a paddle over 100 times, until he was bruised and bleeding, striking young boys across the face, and lastly, SEXUALLY ABUSING THEM. Yes, there were charges filed. Social Services came in and closed the place down. At the very same time, the multimillion dollar ponzi-like scheme (HisWay Ministries) he and Joel Shirley cooked up started crashing down around them. The powers that be decided that the federal case against him was MUCH MORE important than the fact that Cabe could have likely ruined the lives of the boys in his care that he had dared to put his slimy little hands on.
All child abuse charges were dropped. He went to federal prison, after putting the system through a bunch of red tape because he had a "mental breakdown", and his competency to stand trial was brought into question. And yes, it appears that Cabe was either "forgiven" by his church for his dastardly deeds, or else they blindly believed that their manogawd was being persecuted by those led by satan himself.
I read this and think, “Are these people nuts?” Who would follow a preditor like this? Who would let him anywhere near a pulpit, youth group, or shiver, a boys home? Getting back to my original question, why do Baptists bury the past and more importantly, why does a man with a history of sexual abuse allegations and a prison conviction still lead a church? Why do his followers keep him in power? And make no mistake here, they are his followers, and not the followers of Jesus Christ who they claim as their God. It’s Christ in name only, their real God is named Billy. I can’t see any other explanation (that makes sense). I still have no idea why Baptists protect child predators. It must be a fear of exposure.
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Pastor Jerome Dieuseul arrested

Jerome DieuseulI can’t find much on this story. Pastor Jerome Dieuseul of South Florida Baptist Church was arrested for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.
According to police, the pastor at South Florida Baptist Church was visiting the girl's home on Sept. 18 when he allegedly attacked her. The family is a member of the Baptist church.
It's unclear if anyone else was at the home or what Dieuseul did to the girl.
I could use some help on this one. If anyone has more information, please send it my way.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

The difference between wrong and right

Eddie Long appeared on the cover of Gospel Today in an article titled, Bishop Eddie Long at the center of the scandal that rocked the church world. UntitledIt’s an uncritical softball of an article aimed as a kind of PR piece for the troubled pastor. Critical readers complained because Long is on the magazines Board of Directors. The Magazines editor even defends the article.
Teresa Hairston, the owner of Gospel Today, had this to say.
Hairston didn't back down. She went online and blasted the mainstream press for how they covered the Long scandal. She said the church community should treat the accusations against Long “according to the Word of God.”
Hairston told readers that her magazine did not explore the legalities of the Long scandal, and chose instead to present a “biblical perspective."
And this too…
Whether Bishop Long is guilty or not; whether the young men are guilty or not, the BODY OF CHRIST must handle this situation according to the Word of God! The mainstream press has painted a hideous picture; some have even called for Bishop Long’s resignation! They’re not even members!!
Christian logic can be painful. What is she really saying? That unless we are Christians we can’t discern right from wrong and we have no place judging Bishop Eddie Long? In other words, we can’t say if it is right or wrong for a magazine to publish a puff piece without disclosing their relationship with Long because she has some higher authority that we can’t possibly understand. We can’t offer an opinion about what Long did – because we are not members of the club.
Let’s take a test:
  • Is Iran’s pending execution of a pastor of apostasy right or wrong?
  • Was Mohamed Osman Mohamud right or wrong when he attempted to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
  • You are the only witness to a woman who has been hit by a car. Is it right or wrong to stop and help?
  • You find a wallet with $200 dollars in it, is it write or wrong to keep the money?
  • Is it right or wrong to take a teen boy on an international business trip and make him sleep in the same room as you?
The answers are easy. We know the difference between right and wrong. Therefor, I can say it is wrong to not disclose your relationship with Long when writing an editorial piece about him. I can also say it is wrong for Bishop Long to treat teen boys like his personal boy toys, especially given the employee, employer relationship invovled.
And one last thing, is it right or wrong for Long to set himself us the head of a religious organizing without oversight and then run it like a personal empire? Not only is it wrong, it’s not even remotely in the sprint Jesus Christ. Why do people follow this man?

Bishop Joe Fox Sr. arrested

JoeFoxSr“Bishop” Joe Fox Sr. was arrested for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. The molestations may have started when the girls was 11.
Police and prosecutors said they believe the claims made by the 14-year-old girl, who gave them detailed descriptions of the sexual assaults she said began when she was 11 years old.
The girl said the assaults began at his north side home and in the office of Fox's former church near Ninth and Burleigh streets.
She told detectives they had "happened too many times for her to be able to put a number on it."
The alleged victim was a member of Fox’s church. Where does the “Bishop” title come from anyway? I assume he gave it to himself  so that he sounds more important. A bishop is usually the responsible for multiple churches. The title implies power. My guess is that our alleged pedopastor Joe Fox Sr., ran a small community church and desperately wanted the legitimacy that a title comes with a like Bishop. I wonder if he will keep the title in prison?
What kind of church would bestow the title of Bishop on a third rate pastor? How does its members face the day knowing that they are playing a silly semantic title game geared towards purchasing clout through meaningless titles. It boggles the mind.
Clergy Sexual Abuse, Pedophiles, Child Rape

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rally round the pedopriest

They keep saying Rev. Alejandro “Alex” Jose Castillo is innocent. I keep saying that he belongs behind bars. I’ll keep it up until the trial is over.
When allegations of child sexual molestation against the Rev. Alejandro "Alex" Jose Castillo were made public in September, parishioners created a group to defend the Ontario Catholic priest.
Castillo was jailed last month on charges of felony sex crimes against a 12-year-old boy. The Coalition to Exonerate Fr. Alex raised $24,000 to bail him out. Each Friday night, parishioners gather for a four-hour vigil to pray for him.
Fight the good fight believers – you will lose. Castillo is dirty. And the 14-year-old victim will take your support as a sign that the faith you profess does not protect the weak. Plus, your support enables the behavior we want to stop. You assume a priest is not capable of molesting a child, yet we know better. Why let this man roam free? You might as well be pinning his next victim to the floor.

Update 4/25/2011 - Alejandro Jose Castillo pleaded guilty

Does anyone else get death threats?

This nutball is starting to piss me off. I think it’s time for another call to the FBI.

I get this post:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "What’s in your photo library?":



Posted by Anonymous to Deep Thoughts at 2:58 PM

Followed by this post:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "What’s in your photo library?":

mojoey - you are going to be executed...

Posted by Anonymous to Deep Thoughts at 2:59 PM

Do any of my fellow Atheist bloggers get this type of message from an anonymous nutball?

Death Threats, Hate Mail

What’s in your photo library?


It’s a serious question. What do my fellow photographers have in the way of photo books? I took a photo of one half shelf out of two dedicated to books on photography. I’m curious about what other people read. Feel free to leave a comments.

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Table Beat Science live at Stern Grove

I can’t say enough about this album. It’s one of the best in my catalog. Enjoy.

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Closing the file on Pastor Justice

ShawnAnthonyJusticePastor Shawn Anthony Justice was convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl up in Fairbanks Alaska. This case pisses me off. He was a Baptist pastor working with a known conviction for contributing to the delinquency of a minor back in 2003. A new church hired him to be their new pastor and he just as quickly started abusing a young woman. When he was arrested he was giving special treatment by the court because he was a pastor. The whole sordid story makes me sick. I have hope. He’s been convicted and now it’s time that he goes to prison.

A Fairbanks jury found Shawn Anthony Justice, 32, guilty of most of the charges, but deadlocked on three charges and found him not guilty of one count after more than week of testimony. Each count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor is a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Justice was remanded to Fairbanks Correctional Center immediately after the verdict, Fairbanks District Attorney Mike Gray stated in an e-mail. Sentencing is scheduled for March 24 before Superior Court Judge Michael McConahy.

I’m sure he will find a job as a Baptist pastor once he gets out.

Previous posts:

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Introducing My Not So Fictional LIfe

Please join me in welcoming one of the newest members of the Atheist Blogroll, My Not So Fictional Life.

Hiya. My name is Emily King and I'm from England.

When I was twelve years old I was run over by a car, which resulted in a broken wrist. I was conned by my family into becoming confirmed with the Church of England, because I hadn't been hurt worse than I was. I went to classes, I was confirmed and... I felt nothing.

I finally decided to re-examine the events of when I was run over (I was about sixteen); I realized there was no divine will involved as the circumstances that stopped me from being hurt badly also led to the accident in the first place. Well, it was that and finally deciding to look at more of the bible than my confirmation classes had encouraged. Leviticus was the final straw. From then on, I knew I was an atheist.

My Not So Fictional Life is about the kind of stuff that tends to wonder through my head, from dreams to human rights, wedding plans to writing projects. With an atheistic slant when it's needed.

Are you interested in becoming a member? Visit the Atheist Blogroll resource blog for more information.

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Introducing Foxhole Atheism

Please join me in welcoming one of the newest members of the Atheist Blogroll, Foxhole Atheism.

I created Foxhole Atheism to explore topics of religion and pseudoscience and promote reason. Common topics are arguments for the existence of one or more gods and Christian biblical scholarship. I don't bother with the impossible task of disproving every possible god; instead, I try to confront irrational thinking, poor logic, and misleading scholarship every chance I get. Come check out this new blog at Foxhole Atheism.

Are you interested in becoming a member? Visit the Atheist Blogroll resource blog for more information.

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Youth Pastor Anthony Martinez arrested

A youth pastor from that Santa Maria de la Paz out of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has been arrested for sexual crimes against a child. Youth pastor Anthony Martinez was arrested for raping a teen boy. A second victim has also been identified.

According to police Edge Youth Minister Anthony Martinez, 34, used alcohol and bribes to get close to his two alleged victims. Police said both were 15-year-old boys.

Investigators said Martinez met one victim through the church's youth program. After inviting the boy to his home several times, promising alcoholic drinks, Martinez talked the teen boy into masturbating with him as they watched a "Girls Gone Wild" video.

That last paragraph give me the creeps.

It looks like Santa Maria de la Paz took precautions.

Ortega y Ortiz said Martinez started working with the youth program four or five years ago, and that he had passed a criminal background check and went through an archdiocese program at the time concerning the protection of children.

Father Adam Ortega y Ortiz is the pastor at Santa Maria de la Paz. He seem genuinely interested in protecting the children at his church. I wonder if here is more a church can do in situations like this? What is reasonable here? Do youth pastors need to go through a yearly psychological test?

Photo a day – Thanksgiving

ShelbyThanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. What I am thankful for? I’m thankful for being part of a wonderful loving family. Be it my small family, or my wife's large extended Filipino family. I enjoy the time spend together over a good meal (or pie), or cake (I’m talking to you Imogen). This picture is my young cousin Shelby. She’s 16. I’ve known her since she was born. Per the Filipino custom I am Uncle Joe to her and too a whole bunch of other youngsters too. We spent an hour catching up on life. I only see her over the summer and on big holidays. She’s a good kid and she seemed genuinely interested in the sappy love story I told her from back when my wife and I first fell in love.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Fourth of July – I love them all. Do people pray at these parties? Yes they do, they are Catholics (for the most part), and that is what they do. Does it bother me? No, not one bit. I come for the family, food, and conversations.

Youth pastor Carl Lloyd III arrested

Carl_LlyodIIISodomy is such a harsh word. Youth pastor Carl Lloyd III stands accused of sodomizing a 15-year-old girl from his youth group.

..the investigation began several months ago after a mother “reported possible wrongdoing” with a 15-year-old female member of the Son Rise Baptist Church in Hartselle.

…the investigation revealed an inappropriate sexual relationship between the teenager and her youth pastor over a period from 2009 through 2010 at his residence

But don’t worry folks, it does not look like the sodomy took place at the church. Move along now, there is no problem at the church – except for the whole youth pastor raping children thing. Don’t worry though. Our next pastor won't rape your kids because he’s a man of God.

The pastor of Son Rise Baptist church released the following statement:

"We are extremely brokenhearted over this situation. With the Lord's help, we are trying to heal as a Church family and move forward with the Lord's work. We are praying for all families involved and ask that you would pray for our church, as well during this time. We are cooperating fully with the Morgan Co. Sheriffs Dept. during their investigation. But at this time, we are not at liberty to comment."

More on Youth Pastor Brian Gray

There was a second victim from the same church. And there may be more.

Gray was arrested a week ago.

Introducing Pecan Pie

Please join me in welcoming one of the newest members of the Atheist Blogroll, Pecan Pie.

Greetings!  I’m the Little Pecan (also known as Alana in my real life.) I’m an atheist, an aspiring sociologist, a mom and a football freak.  Oh, yeah, I’m good at singing, too and I’d like to fancy myself a writer, but I’ll let y’all be the judge of that.

I’m the owner of Pecan Pie, which is a nod to my beloved state of Georgia.  I write mostly about social issues, but being in the South means that I also write about the atheist experience.  That’s a social issue if ever I saw one and the more out I am as a nonbeliever, the more I seem to need to respond to reactions to that admission.

I hope to see you over at my little space in cyber space and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself.

Alana (aka Pecan)

Are you interested in becoming a member? Visit the Atheist Blogroll resource blog for more information.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Youth Leader Monica Rex arrested

MonicaRex A couple of time a year a woman surfaces as a religious sexual predator. We have another case. Monica Rex was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a teen boy who had not yet started high school. She met the boy in a youth group she helped run at the People’s Church of Murfreesboro.

Rex was booked into the Williamson County Jail on Monday morning on charges of sexual battery by an authority figure, aggravated statutory rape, exploitation of a minor by electronic means, solicitation to commit aggravated statutory rape and solicitation to commit sexual battery by an authority figure, according to police.

The church had no clue that the abuse was happening. I cannot find evidence that any reporter asked the hard questions (well, not so hard actually.) Does the church have a policy focused on clergy sexual abuse? Did Monica Rex get a background check? Was she allowed exclusive access to a child? Does the church have a policy about not allowing adults exclusive access to children?

I should develop a standard checklist. Perhaps reporters will develop a habit of asking valuable questions.

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Pastor Robert McFadden gets 4 years

RobertMcFadden Pastor Robert McFadden, who was convicted of child seduction in June, was sentenced to four years in prison.

Forty-one-year-old Robert McFadden III said during his sentencing Monday in a Lafayette court that he committed a "terrible wrong" and recognized what he did as a crime. McFadden pleaded guilty in June to felony child seduction charges related to sexual intercourse with the high school girl in April.

He deserves more prison time, but he’s going to feel the four years in prison. Perhaps it will change his attitude about rape.

Read my original arrest post. Some of the comments are hilarious.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Youth pastor Daniel Robida arrested

DanielRobida Youth pastor Daniel Richard Robida was arrested for allegedly conducting an illicit relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Robida was looking for a replacement wife. Somebody who could handle his children.

Robida was a youth pastor at Harvest Community Church in Summerfield. It was not immediately clear if the victim was a member of the church.

On Saturday, a woman told deputies she believed her daughter was having a relationship with Robida. The 17-year-old girl was interviewed by Detective Charles Levay at the Sheriff's Office and told the official they had been having a sexual relationship within the last month that involved touching.

Again I ask, how is this in any way a Christian value? A married adult with kids is shopping for a wife among the teen crowd. Among children he has dedicated his live to teaching.  How do you go from teaching children to sleeping with?

17 is the age where I am inclined to stop seeing the girls as victims. Instead, I look at the actions of the pastor an ask, is this what Jesus taught. If the answer is no, which it clearly is in this case, then I classify him as a hypocrite who is unworthy of a position of trust. It seems only reasonable.

Papal condom brainfart

My first thought upon hearing that the Pope had said it was ok use condoms in some situations, like for a male prostitute, was that he was actually sending the message to his priests so that they would feel safe using them while they abuse children. Because he could not have just said it was ok to use them to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in gay male prostitutes, but that it was not ok to use them to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS in heterosexual relationships – Because that reasoning defies logic and it won’t help the situation in Africa one bit. It’s PR crap. My issues…

Being gay in Africa is rapidly becoming a death sentence thanks to the work of American Christians. Gay male prostitutes are not the problem in Africa. Heterosexual relationships, be they with a prostitute, the result of an affair or promiscuity, or resulting from a married relationship, are the problem. This is the face of AIDS in Africa. The Pope is not helping.

Adding another voice to the call for condom use in the sex trade is nice. We need that. But why just male prostitutes? His position makes no sense at all. If it is good for stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS in men, then it should be good for women too. Sex with female prostitutes is not for procreation, it is for recreation. The Pope is not helping.

The goal of the secular world is to preserve human life. The goal of Catholics is to make babies for Christ without regard for the consequences and human suffering caused caused by HIV/AIDS. Catholics are murdering people with their condom polices. The Pope is not helping.

The Atheist Experience has a good story going on this issue . Drop in and let them know what you think.

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The festering stench of hypocrisy

Pastor Cedric Miller made the national press I was in a funk. I kept the story up on my browser the entire time. This bastard is a hypocrite and in my opinion a pastor with a Caesar complex too. The Facebook stuff is laughable on its own. Who really thinks of Facebook as a portal to infidelity? I guess it’s plausible if your morality is only as strong as government issue toilet paper. We are talking about Christians here. They have the magical book of morality to guide them through life’s temptations. They know better. Affaires are bad for a marriage and unchristian too. Don’t have affairs. It’s pretty simple really. Why blame Facebook? I have simple advice for this situation - If you can’t manage your moral compass in Facebook, hit the unfriend button and then find another pastor/church. You are not learning the Christian message.

I don’t get it. I’m almost 50. Any old girlfriend I might lookup is well along the way to becoming a grandma. So no, that does not appeal to me in any way. And what about the attractive young ladies? Whatever – I’m happy, married, and true to the love of my life. Facebook is a way to keep up with my family and friends, as it should be to a Christian whose moral character is true to their teachings. You can use Facebook to hook up if that is what you are inclined to do, you can use email, the phone, or hookups at the club. Don’t go blaming the devil here. This is on you.

I see that at one time pastor Miller asked his followers to share Facebook passwords. I don’t have a problem with that, but… relationships based on trust don’t really work this way. I would never invade my wife’s privacy by checking her activity, nor would she do the same too me. So if the good pastor’s advice was so that a spouse could check on the activities of their mate, that’s just wrong. My wife knows my info in case I die. We trust each other. Of course, I have the added advantage of knowing that she finds my atheist related activity dull.

Pastor Miller is clearly on a power trip. Can he really order his congregation to give up Facebook? If so, his followers are sheeple and he is a fool. Teach them morality, don't outlaw “stuff”. That’s just a legalistic reaction to your failures. Where is his moral authority anyway? He’s been in three-way sexual relationships with his wife and a male employee. How is he qualified to lead a church? He has sexual impulse control issues and is a horrible example of a leader. I love his quote. "This was resolved at that time and accordingly we will not allow it to detract from our mission at hand to save as many marriages as we can." It speaks to the self-delusion that a pastor’s work is more important than a pastors indiscretions. It’s all bullshit, but the sheeple lap it up.

Note to followers off Pastor Miller: If your pastors been in three-way and four-way sexual relationships with people that work for him. DO NOT take marital advice from him. Go find another church. Your marriage is at stake.

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The sick story of Father Fiala

JohnFiala Catholic Priest John Fiala was arrested for alleged molestation of teen boy at gunpoint during private catechism lessons. After his arrest he went on the run and was eventually re-arrested. Now he’s been arrested for trying to hire a hit man to to kill his victim.

Father John M. Fiala, 52, was in Dallas County Jail on one count of solicitation to commit murder and two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, officials said. A judge set bail at $700,000…

The Texas Rangers and Department of Public Safety troopers arrested Fiala on Thursday after he negotiated a murder arrangement with an undercover officer at his residence in Garland, DPS spokesman Tom Vinger said.

Quite the model of Catholic morality, eh?

"This guy," Edwards County Sheriff Don Letsinger said, "is an evil man."

How many people are going to tell me that Fiala is no Christian? If that’s true does it mean that all those babies he baptized are not Christians as well? How about the weddings? The funerals? Think about this, what about the last rights? what if he condemned a people to hell?

And yes… this guy really pissed me off. He allegedly molested a boy at gunpoint and then tried to have him killed. Where is Christian morality in this mess?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Want to be a street preacher?

Rational Responder has a “How To” series that will teach you how to venture out into the real world and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. I say know thy enemy…

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Photo a day – 300

blding I shot 300 photos today. I filled in as party photographer for a work Thanksgiving function. It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I cannot post any pictures. Instead I’ll post an HDR shot from the weekend. I shot this while watching kids ice skate in San Francisco. I’m experimenting with hand-held three shot sequences. I like the result although any movement kills the effect. It’s hard to do.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My blog is a downer

I go though cycles. For long stretches I post several stories a day. And then… well I get fed up with the depravity. I have 9 pastors waiting in queue who have abused children. I don’t have the heart for it right now. It seems like I’ve posted on a hundred or more of these creeps in the last 60 days. I need a break – hell, I’m taking a break. It’s been light posting for over a week, and it’s likely to continue for a little while.

I was talking with my daughter-in-law about the need for balance and beauty in what I do here on Deep Thoughts. The world is about a lot more than a never ending parade of pedophile pastors. I find that writing about photography or art helps on the beauty side of things, but I need to post on things that offset the depravity. Christians, ex-Christians, and non-theists all do wonderful things that help real people. Take the work of No Longer Quivering or my local charity that feeds the homeless, if I tell a few of their stories, my dark mood will lift. I’ll take some pictures, visit and art museum, and play some disc golf. My dark mood will lift in no time. 

Photo a day – my son


I visited my son Jon and his beautiful wife Leslie up in Alameda last weekend. I finally got my son to sit for a photo, he’s normally a photo bomber. I was very happy for the opportunity to take a few nice photos. And for an odd reason too. My son lost over a 100 pounds in less than a year and I simply do not recognize him anymore. The difference is profound. He’s healthy, and happy, and in the best shape of his life. And he did it all the old fashion way, he ate less and worked out more. Now he works out at a boxing gym. I am so proud of him, and not just because of the weight loss. He’s grown into a fine man.

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Introducing Walking Away

Please join me in welcoming one of the newest members of the Atheist Blogroll, Walking Away.

Hello, everyone: my name is Callan Souza, better known online as Cap'n Jammer. I am an atheist writer who used to be a Fundamental, Independent Baptist preacher, missionary, and evangelist. I've seen firsthand what a devotion to religion can do to people, and I've been a part of it, having led hundreds to Christianity and thousands to give their lives entirely over to it. I want to use my knowledge to help people who are trapped in irrational belief systems, who may have never realized that there are viable alternatives to faith, to escape, and also to help my fellow atheists have a better understanding of Christian "logic" and ideas to better dispute and refute them. Come visit Walking Away, where my motto is "I walked away from faith: so can you." I'd very much like to hear from others who have "come out from among them," and would never say no to a guest poster!

Cap'n Jammer can be found on Twitter @capnjammer. His latest post is Morality with God.

Are you interested in becoming a member? Visit the Atheist Blogroll resource blog for more information.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Youth pastor Brian Gray arrested

BrianGray Youth pastor Brian Richard Gray stands accused of repeatedly raping a teen girl. The victim was 15.

Brian Richard Gray, 32, is accused of having a relationship with the teen from December until September, Oconee Sheriff Scott Berry said. Gray, of Winder, allegedly went to the teen's house when her parents were not at home.

"The parents did not know," Berry told the AJC.

The teen and her parents are members of the Monroe Church of Christ, where Gray served as the Minister of Youth, Berry said.

He’s been officially charged with one count of child molestation and one count of statutory rape. Police officials are looking into more charges.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Introducing Cryptonaut-in-Exile

Please join me in welcoming one of the newest members of the Atheist Blogroll, Cryptonaut-In-Exile.

Hello, I'm cdogzilla, author of Cryptonaut-In-Exile. I'm an atheist who has been blogging for over ten years. Atheism is by no means all I blog about; however, I believe passionately that secularism is a crucial element of our Constitutional democracy and that our pluralistic society is, and has been, perpetually at risk. Whether it's today's Tea Baggers wondering aloud where exactly in the Constitution the words "separation of Church and State appear?" or the old "Christian Nation" canard, there needs to be a steady, broad-based opposition to these mistaken (and malevolent) claims. I'm happy to be part of a community of secularists who share that commitment.

Now, in addition to secularism and progressive politics, I'm also into sci-fi (Kim Stanley Robinson, Star Trek, Doctor Who), movies, TV, music (Yo La Tengo, Dropkick Murphys, Billy Bragg), the social web, and sports (Red Sox, UConn) so those interests are reflected in the blog as well. I'm a father of twins who relocated from Rhode Island to North Carolina; many of my posts are about exploring and adapting to my new home state.

If you do end up visiting and decide to add my feed to your reader, or put me in your blogroll, please let me know so I can reciprocate.

Thank you!

Are you interested in becoming a member? Visit the Atheist Blogroll resource blog for more information.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The depths of depravity

I’ve been on the road for seven days. I just finished driving down from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It was 6 hours the redefines boredom. All I want to do is sleep so that I am ready for my 5:00 am alarm. I made the mistake of checking my email. Seven people who normally send me tips all sent the same story. A mother had given her 11-year-old daughter to a traveling evangelist for sex. I had to make a post.

Pastor Walter Donald Bradshaw of Lexingtons N.C., was arrested for the rape of an 11-year-old girl. The girl’s mother, who remains unnamed, was also arrested. She allegedly gave her daughter to Bradswhaw.

Pennsylvania State Police said Bradshaw assaulted the child at the Janey Lynn Motel in Bedford Township. The crimes happened when the victim was 11, sometime between 2007 and into 2008, police said.

Bradshaw was being held in the Davidson County Prison in North Carolina on charges of rape, rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent assault, statutory sexual assault, indecent assault, indecent exposure, corruption of minors, sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor.

I always cringe when I hear this line:

District Attorney Bill Higgins on Friday called the charges "very disturbing," especially considering Mr. Bradshaw's role as a spiritual leader. The girl's mother is accused of taking her daughter to the motel room and leaving her there with Bradshaw, Mr. Higgins said.

People still think that being a spiritual leader makes one less likely to commit this type of crimes, we know different. How? A mountain of evidence suggests that being a pastor does not make one moral. Of course, a mother is not supposed to give her child to a man for sex either. Of course, both parties were Christians. I wonder where they got their morals?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pastor David Love arrested

DavidLove Baptist pastor David Love was arrested in South Carolina. He’s been on the run since April when authorities searched his church in connection with the murder of Randy Stone. Pastor Love officiated at his funeral.

According the the LA Times, Pastor David Love is fighting extradition to Missouri to face a murder charge

On Wednesday, Love refused to waive extradition. Prosecutors say that they have obtained a governor's warrant that will force the former pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church to return to Missouri to face charges.

According to Stone's relatives, Love had a 10-year affair with Stone's wife, Teresa Stone, and had confessed to the woman the day after Stone's funeral, in which Love gave the eulogy.

The charge in this case is devastating and not what one would expect from a Christian pastor. Love is alleged to have conducted a 10 year long affair with the wife of Randy Stone, and then, it is alleged he shot Stone in cold blood.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Accused pedophile pastor bailed out

JoseCastillo Catholic priest and accused pedophile Rev. Alejandro Jose Castillo was released for jail on 24,000 bail which was raised by his parishioners. They believe his is innocent.
The Rev. Alejandro Jose Castillo was arrested Oct. 25 at his Ontario home and he was charged with seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14 and one count of forcible lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14.
Read more: Parishioners bail out priest in child sex case
I don’t feel any safer knowing this man is free. There is more than one potential victim, including brothers. He’s potentially dangerous and must be kept away from children. Who is responsible for him? If he abuses another child, do we get to hold members of fan club accountable

Castillo pleaded not guilt in late October. My gut tells me Castillo is going to prison – that and the high volume of hate mail from Christians

Update 4/25/2011 - Alejandro Jose Castillo pleaded guilty

Pastor Aaron Witcher arrested

Aaron Witcher A Baptist pastor in Roy, Utah was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a teen from his church. Pastor Aaron Witcher, formerly of the Genesis Project, and recently running his own congregation from the Roy Community Center calling it the Crosswalk Christian Training Center. Witcher is in the Weber county jail awaiting his day in court. He also goes by the name Pastor Soulja. He was caught in a car with a young girl, an alert police officer thought there was something fishy going on. The police officer was right.

The sergeant who made the contact with Pastor Witcher felt there was reason to do some follow-up. Investigators did further interviews with the girl who is now 16 and discovered the pastor had been having sexual relations with this girl for some time.

"We think that we will find in this case that for a long period of time this individual has used his positions to get close to young people as a predator for sexual gratification," said Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham.

It is important to note that Roy detectives think there are more victims. Plus, his computer equipment was sent to the FBI’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces. This pastor looks dirty. Roy police are asking that anyone with information concerning Witcher call 801-774-1063.

Witcher was released from the Genesis Project for conduct unbecoming a pastor. Pastor Matt Roberts says the “conduct” was not related to sexual misconduct. Something else happened, something they are not willing to talking about in public. By this time in my life, I know enough to worry about the back story. Poor performance is a good indicator of future performance.

I have few questions – did the Genesis Project do a background check? Did they provide adequate oversight in its youth program? Did they know that Witcher was counseling a girl one-on-one, and continuing the counseling process after his termination?  Did they interview the kids after he left to determine if there were any lingering issues?

I think its time to talk about certification for pastors. I think it would make sense to establish some kind of official certification process before allowing pastors a shot at government provided tax exemptions, not to mention the right to counsel people. But more importantly, when pastors are dismissed for misconduct, a governing agency could maintain a record which could help prevent future cases of abuse. I know, its a dream.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Notes from the road – art in everything

In in Santa Clara on a business trip attending the Enterprise 2.0 Conference which supports my real job where I am an uber-geeky project manager herding cats while using collaborative software. I fit in here. Since I’m in Silicon Valley I might as well ask if there are any wealthy benefactors out there who might like to give me a grant so that I can focus my life on exposing religious scandals instead of working hard on technical projects? I promise to use collaborative software.

ArtinEverything Santa Clara is different. I was greeted by a 32 foot silver statue of Virgin Mary upon arriving. And last night I ran into another large statue of the Virgin Mary in San Jose. Yikes. At least the folks I’m running into at the conference are not focused on religion, except for the true believer sales types. Did you know that social media is the most important business decision your business will face in the next 5 years? No? Neither did I until I heard it 5 times in 10 minutes on the sales floor.

I found time to look for beauty amidst the hyperbole. I saw beautiful afternoon sunlight streaming through a window and reflecting off a piece of paper stuck to the wall. Unfortunately, I only had my iPhone to capture the image with.A pair of blond heads framed it in my mind’s eye, but I could not capture it.

I’ll make a few posts soon, and I’ll get back to regular posting in a few days. I have real work to do for a little while.

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Visiting Santa Clara

I’m visiting Santa Clara next week to attend the Enterprise 2.0 conference. If any readers are in the area and would like to meet up for a drink, let me know. I’m also looking forward to playing a little disc golf.

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Youth pastor Matthew Nichols convicted

Pastor Matthew Nichols, peddler of child porn and hypocrite of the highest order, was convicted after he pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges. He faces 15 to 40 years in prison.

Nichols, a former youth minister at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Las Alamos, admitted to distributing and attempting to distribute a video depicting a minor boy engaged in sexually explicit conduct with an adult male.

Several law enforcement agencies conducted the investigation that lead to Nichols arrest in late 2009. Warranted searches at the church and at Nichols’ residence recovered computers and computer-related media containing over 1000 images and over 100 videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

I’m betting he gets 15 years since he pleaded guilty. That puts him at 73 when he’s released. If he survives that long.

Related Posts:

Hat tip Jeff

Pastor Wintersteen sentenced to 131 months

SteveWintersteen Pastor Steven Wintersteen, in my opinion a contender for worst of the worst when it comes to clergy sexual abuse, was sentenced to almost 11 years in prison.

OKLAHOMA CITY—Today, STEVEN LEE WINTERSTEEN, 62, of Mammoth Lakes, California, was sentenced to serve 131 months in federal prison following his conviction for traveling from Reno, Nevada, to Oklahoma City for the purpose of having sex with a girl he believed to be 8 years old and for possession of child pornography, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

What did he do?

Wintersteen and the woman began corresponding via Yahoo! Instant Messenger, and he asked the age of the woman’s daughter. She told him the girl was 8. Using Instant Messaging photo sharing, Wintersteen sent the woman a picture of himself naked—except for a  Santa Claus hat—and told the woman that he could not wait to show the “little one” “Santa” wearing only boots and a hat. Over the course of many phone calls, instant messages, and text messages, Wintersteen told the woman in explicit detail that he wanted to have sex with the girl, and he made plans to travel to Oklahoma City for a four-day visit. Unbeknownst to Wintersteen, the woman was cooperating with the FBI, recording all of her communications with him, and the 8-year-old girl did not exist.

Like I said – one of the worst of the worst. This guy was a freak.

For more info read these posts:

Abuser makes victim pray after abuse

It gets worse – the abuser was the victim’s father. The man was working with youth as a church official at the time of the abuse. He would sexual abuse his daughter, and then make her pray for forgiveness. The crime makes me cringe. The emotional toll is incalculable. The hypocrisy is stunning. Unfortunately, the perpetrator will only spend 3.4 years in prison

The 45-year-old man's name must remain suppressed - a request from his family - as he begins a three year four month jail term on five indecency charges against the girl.

His daughter said she lost all respect for the church, God and the Bible as a result of her father's offending.

"He was supposed to be Christian but look at all the evil he was doing.'' She said he looked like a monster to her. He would make her pray with him for forgiveness after the sexual abuse, but she knew she had not done anything wrong.

It sound like the girl is one of growing number of people who become atheists by way of clergy sexual abuse, or worse. I had an atheist reader try to tell me that this was rare, I disagreed. I think it becoming less so.

I’ve had never come across a case where a religious abuser makes the victim pray after the abuse, but I happen to be listening to Sam Harris’s new book, The Moral Landscape, while driving today. He mentions the phenomenon in relation to another case. I found his description of the crime disquieting and the mental images it conjured terrible. I think about this young girls abuse in the same way. There is something about making the victim of a sexual crime responsibility for the acts of the perpetrator that is morally repugnant.

Hat Tip Jeff & The freethinker

Don’t trust Ed

Don’t trust Ed. It will be bad for your bank account for years to come. Say it with me, Automatic withdrawal, automatic withdrawal…

Ed Young Goes After Access to Bank Accounts of Church Members from FBCJax Watchdog on Vimeo.

Ed Young is a nutball. He wants your bank account number. He wants their account number and routing numbers. If you don’t bring it, you’re wasting his time and God’s time. and guess what, you will never get a blessing.

How is this about the message of Christ? Does it all come down to how much money you give to this guy? It’s nuts, just nuts. He wants 20% of your money even if you are in dept or can’t pay your bills. And he wants it off the gross – this guy is unbelievable.

Hat Tip Jeff

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pastor Raul Radetski accused

Pastor Paul Radetski, a catholic priest in the Green Bay Diocese, has been put on Administrative leave after a sexual abuse allegation.

Dubois says the alleged victim brought the abuse allegations against Father Paul Radetski to the Green Bay Diocese on Wednesday, saying the alleged abuse had happened years earlier. Immediately, the Diocese responded and notified police. "Father Radetski has been temporarily relieved of his ministry duties, he's also been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese," adds DuBois.

I’ve decided to start posting this announcements because I think it is important to track how many are found to be true. Also, I’m happy to see they acted quickly and appropriately in this case.

Giving a DNA sample will damn you to hell

Or so thinks convicted child-sex offender David Hugh Chord. He’s a Christian who thinks that DNA samples are the “mark of the Beast”. He’s also a nutball.

Chord is serving two years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to six counts of an indecent act on a young person, and one of an indecent act on a child last year.

Mr Bott argued Chord's religious belief should exempt him from having to provide a sample for the database. "Based upon his interpretation of the Book of Revelation, that means he's effectively damned and cut off from fellowship with his God."

What’s sad is that this case went before a judge at all.

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They hated the printing press too

Pope Benedict XVI does not like the internet. He told the faithful…

The religious leader addressed a crowd of 100,000 followers over the weekend. Asked by a young woman, "How can we learn to love truly?" the Pope used the opportunity to voice his concerns about the Web, stating, "Much love is proposed by the media and Internet, but this isn't love but selfishness."

Learn nothing, hide from knowledge, and still your minds.It sounds so cultish.

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Pastor claims Jesus was HIV positive

South African pastor Xola Skosana had an admirable goal. He wanted to remove the stigma that HIV was God’s punishment on mankind. In his words…

Wherever you open the scriptures Jesus puts himself in the shoes of people who experience brokenness,' the Pastor told the BBC. 'Isaiah 53, for example, clearly paints a picture of Jesus who takes upon himself the infirmities and the brokenness of humanity.

'Of course, there's no scientific evidence that Jesus had the HI virus in his bloodstream. The best gift we can give to people who are HIV-positive is to help de-stigmatise Aids and create an environment where they know God is not against them, he's not ashamed of them.'

Read more: 'Jesus was HIV-positive': South African pastor sparks outrage with bizarre claim

Can you guess who this pissed off? That’s right, other Christian pastors attacked as soon as his words were spoken. It’s called Christian love.

“The subject of my Jesus being HIV-positive is a scathing matter,' said another local pastor, Mike Bele.

'I believe no anointed leader with a sound mind about the scriptures and the role of Christ in our lives would deliberately drag the name of Christ to the ground.’

Pastor Skosana has a good heart and is trying to help. His delusion is no more disturbing than whole faith God in general delusion that powers the faithful.

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Making California a better place

I’m going to miss Gov. Schwarzenegger. It seems likely that Brown will regain his old seat. Brown will put the hurt on Californian in a much different way than his predecessor. My wallet hurts already.

One of the reasons I’ll miss Schwarzenegger is that he actually takes action that I support. For example, he moved to cut welfare recipients from using welfare funds to pay for fortune tellers, playing bingo, betting the horses, or paying for cruises. Jerry Brown would not do anything like this. It might alienate the poor vote. After all, they need to gamble too in order to feel like they are part of society.

Earlier this Year casinos and poker room had already been removed from the network, after the LA Times reported about out of state usage of welfare cards. Based on these reports, $69 million of California welfare money was spend elsewhere. $12 million of said money was spend in Las Vegas. Florida was also a hip location to get rid of the welfare funds. The tally counted in Florida was about $1.5 million. There was also welfare money spend on cruise ships which were sailing from Miami.

I don’t think it is unreasonable to expect that welfare funds be used for necessities. Food, housing, and clothing come to mind as appropriate uses, Paying for your drinks on a cruise ship seems more like fraud. Under Brown, we can only expect to see welfare costs go up – way up.

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People will believe anything

feathercompositeI pick on Wicca from time to time. I think it’s justifiable, especially give he extremely high degree of make-believe surrounding the whole Wicca movement.

You can buy a Powerful energy charged spiritual feather tool from eBay to help in crafting you magic spells. And make no mistake, these are real magic feathers.

To create these feathers, Thunderwolf journeys into the spirit world to get the exact images and direction to create the type of feather you want. You can request feathers for specific prayers such as courage, healing, love, strength, clarity, increased psychic sensitivity, etc, to bring the specific energy of a totem into your life or to have a feather created to best match your needs right now as the spirits seem fit. No one feather is ever the same. Feathers generally measure about 8 to 12" in diameter on wing feathers. Although you can specify what feather type you would like to have used as the base, its recommended to let the spirits dictate this. Feather types generally on hand are imitation eagle, pure white, and brown barred feathers.

People buy them - odd people, nutballs even.

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Photo a day – I love HDR


I started shooting HDR a few weeks ago after giving it up a year ago for various technical reasons. I picked up some pointers from George Lepp two weeks ago, and had my Nikon D300 “fixed” by Howard Ignatius at the same time. I’ve had fun shooting every day since. Sometimes it helps to pick up a tip or two from the pros, or in my case, 20 hours of classroom time.

I’m learning and experimenting as I go. I don’t typically like the over the top HDR stuff. It seems fake, but today’s mission was to produce just that. I shot on the way to work at dawn, and again on the way home about an hour before sunset. This shot was from the afternoon batch. I wanted something with depth. Shooting up the line of trucks towards the bridges and mountains in the background seemed like a good fit. I am pleased with the result, but I would frame it differently next time. I don’t like the blur so much on the right. I could have sat still in traffic and let the line of trucks move forward a few more feet so that everything is in focus. I”ll try it again tomorrow – the trucks will be there.

Update – I cropped it.

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