Friday, June 29, 2012

Pastor Robert Ruark arrested

Orthodox Christian pastor Robert "Silas" Ruark was arrested on suspicion of molesting five children over the past two decades. There may be more victims. Father Silas worked at St. Timothy Orthodox Church in Fairfield. If you have additional information or were a victim, please call detectives at (707) 426-7600.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

No salvation in Texas

Salvation Army youth pastor Luis Leonel Valdez was arrested for raping a 16-year-old girl. It’s not a pretty picture. It sounds like he gave her a rufie.

According to a police report, the girl told police she felt pain in her vaginal area when she woke up in Luis Leonel Valdez's bedroom without pants or underwear and with her blouse pulled up. She said Valdez was getting dressed and when he walked into the kitchen, she left running and called police. During the 911 call, records show, the girl was crying and "speaking hysterically."

Source: Salvation Army Youth Minister Accused Of Raping 16-Year-Old Girl

The Salvation Army has a policy called “Safe from Harm”. It’s supposed to check for potential abusers via a rigorous screen process. We already know that screening is a policy and not a practice. The issue here was not one of screening. It is one of behavior. Valdez was alone with the girl in an unsupervised situation. This should never happen. The fact they were together doing church business means the church grants tacit approval to the behavior. You cannot simply mind the door, you must mind the store too.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It’s all about the money

Over the years I’ve seen dozens of cases of pastors stealing from their churches. In most cases it is pastors duping uncaring and blind congregations. In other words, the pastor can do no wrong, therefor it is unthinkable to keep close tabs on his (or her) use of funds. It’s a shortsighted policy and can lead to ruin.

The congregation of Bethel Institutional Missionary Baptist Church in Houston Texas were allegedly victimized by their pastor and First Lady. Charles Gilford and his wife Adriane Gilford allegedly misappropriated $430k from the small congregation over a few years starting in 2004. They used the funds to finance gabling trips. I always ask what would Jesus think. Would Jesus think pissing away $400k a good thing? Or, would he look to the church and ask, why did you trust these people to represent me in the first place? And… why did you have $400k to steal when there are thousands of people starving in Houston?

Let’s set aside the obviously corrupt behavior of the pastor and his wife and look at the church instead. Why did the church avoid oversight? What is it with Baptist churches in particular that causes them to set the pastor on a pedestal? It’s sickening.

Don’t get me started about the money. I’m watching a multi-million dollar church go up near my house. Do we really need another big church? Can’t the money be put to a better use helping people? And.. do we really need to pay the pastor a six figure salary? It’s sickening.

Is this the way Christianity is supposed to function? The excess and opulence of the Catholic church not withstanding, the protestant sects seem to be in a race to copy the church they defected from. It’s all about money and power. It’s this Christianity? It breeds corruption and abuse. It also breeds a class of people who think they have the right to impose their version of morality on others, but that’s another post.

Pastor Charles Gilford is no man of God. He’s a man trusted too much by believers too foolish to manage their own affairs. I’m no longer surprised by the excesses that organized religion produce. I am mystified by churches who continue to worship their pastors though. It seems so stupid. Why do congregations go down this road? Is it a Baptist cultural thing?

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Another priest accused of child molestation

Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, formerly of Blessed Sacrament parish in St. Paul, was arrested for allegedly abusing a juvenile. Wehmeyer was removed from his position pending a police investigation. He has not yet been charged.

St. Paul police filed a report Thursday that said a juvenile reported being sexually abused by Wehmeyer for two years, starting in 2010. Police arrested Wehmeyer on Friday. He has been released, and has not been charged.

Police spokesman Howie Padilla said the victim was a boy, but could not divulge more details because of the ongoing investigation.

One would think that a priest in St. Paul might be aware of another series of investigations and would therefore be less inclined to violate a young boy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Progress in the endless fight for children

The Catholic church suffered a significant setback with the conviction of Monsignor William J. Lynn last week. The church had been all but untouchable. This case, for endangering children, sets a precedent for future prosecutions. I hope to see other prosecutions follow. Of course, a few district attorneys will need to step up. It is not as if there is a shortage of cases. Clergy sexual abuse and those who enable the crime, span across America. More prosecutions are likely to follow.

Prosecutions serve another purpose; one that is just a valuable as holding these evil men accountable. It opens up a secret society for public scrutiny. As we learn how they operate, we see there is nothing holy. These are simply men, earning a living in a simple way, while consuming the innocence of children. There is no justification for the excess, lies, or pain. They are just men; horribly corrupt men, and they should be held accountable.

More on Lynn: He moved priests around once things got hot. He moved them to churches without warning anyone. He turned pedophile priests loose to prey on new children. His actions were evil. Lynn is a pedophile pimp and and a complete hypocrite. I hope they send him to prison.

The single guilty verdict was widely seen as a victory for the district attorney’s office, which has been investigating the archdiocese aggressively since 2002, and it was hailed by victim advocates who have argued for years that senior church officials should be held accountable for concealing evidence and transferring predatory priests to unwary parishes.

Ream more: Cardinal’s Aide Is Found Guilty in Abuse Case

How can anyone think of the Catholic Church as a holy institution? I will never understand.

Gay activist Larry Brinkin arrested

Larry Brinkin was arrested on child porn charges in San Francisco. I’m troubled by this arrest because it gives ammunition to the loons who claim that clergy sexual abuse is a gay issue. I prefer to keep focused on the actions of the offenders rather than their sexual orientation. Those who I write about are deviants.

Brinkin was a gay activist, a good one by all accounts. The charges focus on Brinkin’s alleged possession of child pornography with a mean-spirited white supremacist tinge. Frankly, the charges are hard to fathom.
The warrant claims these e-mails contained images of children as young as perhaps a year old being sodomized by and performing oral sex on adult men. -- whom the police allege is Brinkin -- provided graphic commentary on the photos of interracial adult-child sex. Comments included "I loved especially the nigger 2 year old getting nailed. Hope you'll continue so I can see what the little blond bitch is going to get. White Power! White Supremacy! White Dick Rules!"
It makes you think wtf. Right?
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Death by circumcision

It’s hard to write about this stuff. I’m a grandfather now and children seem to be more precious than ever. It’s hard to read about the death of an innocent child, especially when it happens as part of a senseless religious practice.A child died because of a botched circumcision. It did not have to happen.

A one-month-old baby from Queen’s Park bled to death less than two days after he was circumcised, an inquest heard.

Angelo Ofori-Mintah’s operation went according to plan, but a few hours later the incision began to bleed.

Westminster Coroner’s Court heard it eventually stopped and his mother Maame Abrafi, who lives in Ashmore Road, thought he was fine.

Source: Queen’s Park baby bled to death two days after being circumcised

The baby bleed to death after two days. The circumcision was unnecessary. It could have been performed by a doctor. The mother could have had the common sense to consult a doctor instead of a Rabbi once she realized her child was bleeding. I mean… crap. Why must a child die for a religion’s stupidity?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Youth pastor Michael Lenzini sentenced

Former youth pastor Michael Brandon Lenzini, profiled here in 2011, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the rape of a teen girl. Lenzini was have marital problems, so he raped a girl to offset his personal problems. Creep.

Lenzini plucked the unlucky girl from the youth group at Crossroads Church in Alma where he was a youth pastor. You can watch the youth group in action here.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Clergy across America are worried

The FBI captured the membership list to NABLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association). Catholic priests and Baptists pastors should should be worried. I’m sure the feds are running down the list right now. So… if your pastor suddenly heads for Brazil… well, you can do the math.

I must admit that I thought NAMBLA was some TV invention. Who would be dumb enough to belong to an organization that promotes sex with children? I seriously thought this was an invention of Law and Order SVU. Silly me.

A comment to the FBI – Please show no mercy. Put these men away forever.

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Saturday, June 02, 2012

Pastor Wolford nominated for Darwin Award

Yep! A snake handling pastor died from a snakebite during a church service. Pastor Mark Wolford was handling his rattlesnake when it bit him.
"I am looking for a great time this Sunday," Wolford wrote May 22, according to the Washington Post. "It is going to be a homecoming like the old days. Good 'ole raised in the holler or mountain ridge running, Holy Ghost-filled speaking-in-tongues sign believers."
Robin Vanover, Wolford's sister, told the Washington Post that 30 minutes into the outdoor service, Wolford passed around a poisonous timber rattlesnake, which eventually bit him.
Read more: 'Serpent-Handling' West Virginia Pastor Dies From Snake Bite
He died like his father before him; in an utterly senseless attempt to prove his faith to an uncaring and nonexistent God.
I’ll leave bit of idiocy this here…
"He lived 101/2 hours," Wolford told the Washington Post Magazine. "When he got bit, he said he wanted to die in the church. Three hours after he was bitten, his kidneys shut down. After a while, your heart stops. I hated to see him go, but he died for what he believed in

Baptist pastor Richard Land reprimanded

Prominent Baptist pastor, radio show host, and president of the Southern Baptists Conventions ethics committee was reprimanded for racial comments he made on his radio show while discussing the Trayvon Martin shooting. His radio show was also cancelled. Pastor Richard Land represent the old guard – his time in the sun is past.

During a March 31 broadcast of “Richard Land Live!” Land had accused Obama, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton of attempting to capitalize on the fatal shooting of the Florida teenager. He also appeared to justify racial profiling.

Source: Southern Baptist leader reprimanded, show canceled

Is Richard Land a pastor on the fringe of Baptist culture, or is he the face of Baptist culture? I want to believe that the largest protestant denomination in America is moving toward racial harmony instead engendering hatred. I’m pleased to see that Land was reprimanded. I’m happy to see that the Southern Baptist Convention is doing something about it’s dirty laundry. Will a purge of other racists follow? One can only hope.

Hope… I have so little hope when it comes to Baptists. They represent a clergy sexual abuse problem every bit as big as large the Catholic’s problem. Yet they do much less to confront the problem. I hope for change, but it almost never comes. When it does come, I am often surprised.