Thursday, September 27, 2012

Teen births highest in the bible belt


I learned two new facts today about the state of Christianity and its history. The first is obvious. Christian teens in the bible belt have the highest birth rates in the nation.

It’s easy to understand why New York City schools are handing out morning-after pills to teenage girls. Although teenage pregnancy and birth rates are declining nationally, teenage girls still give birth to hundreds of thousands of babies a year. To be precise, they gave birth to 367,678 in 2010 alone, according to the CDC. This map shows the birth rate among girls aged 15 to 19 by state. And it clearly shows that more conservative states have higher rates of teenage births.

Read more: Red States = Teen Moms

The second fact is less obvious. Syphilis, which was brought to Europe from the New World by Columbus and his crew, was known as the Christian disease by the Turks. I realize this was largely a racial/ethnic slur, but I’m sure it bears a grain of truth. I’m reading Bill Bryson’s At Home. It’s chock full of nefarious Christian trivia.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Megachurch. Megabusiness. Megaproblem

Call me a skeptic, but I don’t believe the good press surrounding Sharon Daugherty’s widely covered sermon where the Oklahoma megachurch pastor tells her parishioners to report child sexual abuse.

"I want to personally say, that if anybody here is aware of any child being neglected or abused, physically or sexually, that you should please inform the authorities immediately, Our children are precious, and we owe them our full protection."

Source: Okla. Pastor Tells Congregants to Talk About Abuse

A 13-year-old girl was raped in a stairwell by a church employee. At least two other children were abused and one other employee has been arrested. Church officials knew about the abuse and kept it quiet for two weeks. Daugherty knew about it herself and did not report it. Her excuse was that she had relied on the official administrative process and trusted that her employees would do the job correctly. The police did not charge her, but did charge four other members of the church, including Daugherty’s son and daughter-in-law, who were charged with failing to report. Daugherty should have been charged too.

"I was briefly told of an incident involving two ... employees and members of 24/7 (a youth group) ... and was told it was being reported but did not receive any details on the specific allegations," Daugherty said. "I was extremely disappointed to later hear of the delay in the time it was first reported."

Source: Victory Christian Center explains 2-week lapse in reporting rape claim

Victory Christian Center is a large church with thousands of members. It makes one wonder how much power, influence and money contributed to the decision not to charge her. I’m betting it was a factor. A lawsuit suggests the delay was an attempt at a cover up.

"Rather than contacting the appropriate authorities, defendant (Victory Christian Center) chose to conduct its own 'investigation' with the ultimate purpose of doing damage control as opposed to protecting" the victim, according to the lawsuit.

I would also like to point out that the victim’s parents could have reported the crime. Why would they delay reporting? Oh wait… the church lied to them. That makes sense given the church was trying to manage the damage. Arrest Daugherty. Charge her with failing to report. The facts are not in dispute. She knew about the crime. She violated her duty of care by not making sure the abuse was reported. It seems simple.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Photo - Me


I took a lights out blogging break and broke out my camera gear instead. There is something about writing that I find addicting, but I don’t love it. I love photography. It has always been thus. So, during the break I started a small project to take photos of people using my iPhone and Nikon gear. I posted most of the work to Instagram. I also used my free time to study a few new photography techniques and focused on developing my skills. It was good for me. Real good. I invite you to look at my work

The photo above is me. I’m much nicer than I look.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Youth pastor Matthew Davis arrested

Sexting is a crime; especially if you are 26-year-old married youth pastor. Considering the 15-year old age of the victim, I think it is a lucky that the youth pastor was not arrested with his thumbs broken. What a creep. That's right. I'm calling former youth pastor Matthew C. Davis a creep. If the stories are true, the Matthew was living a fantasy in which a young vulnerable teen would become his replacement wife. He was allegedly texting his love and desires to run away with the young congregant. These fools ever learn?

According to charging documents, Davis began sending romantic email to the girl early in 2012 and ultimately offered to leave his wife to start a new life with the girl. He is alleged to have said he would quit his job at Boeing and follow her to college.

Writing the court, King County Detective Chris Knudsen said Davis's messages had turned sexual by May, when Davis's wife discovered them. Davis then confessed the "inappropriate relationship" to his church supervisor, the detective continued, who went to police.

Source Charge: Seattle youth pastor sought sex from teen by Levi Pulkkinen

I love the part of the narrative that suggests that Davis' supervisor took the matter right to the police, and then church fired him. It is exactly what should be done. Good job Grace Church of Seattle! The next step is to post information on your blog or on your website acknowledging the event and talking about what is happening now. It's the right thing to do.

Hat tip to Anne. Thanks!

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Monday, September 03, 2012

Sometimes church folk get fed up

The Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church in Junction City, is a cult-of-personality driven morally corrupt Christian enclave, where  father and son church leaders fell to moral depravity. The father, pastor Edwin R. Young, allegedly stole $750k from the church and slept with a dozen or more young female parishioners. His son, music director Jordon Young, allegedly sexually abused young boys. The church and its abused followers are in need of a strong dose of truth and a good house cleaning.  

I'm happy to report that at least some of the church folk associated with that church are using the power of the Internet to document the problem. Please read, Edwin Young, Jordan Young & The Faith Tabernacle Apostolic Church in Junction City, Kansas, for chilling account of a dysfunctional and abusive church. 

A small taste...

To all of you reading who have been hurt or abused or lied about by this man over the years, this account is also in part for you. The man who preached so hard about sin and appeared to have little compassion on others, has been found out. The truth is starting to be unearthed. I know nothing written will take away what happened or the effects that his actions have had on your life, but hopefully you may feel as another has said, "I'm not rejoicing in their adversity. I feel for all of them including the pastor. But I also feel exonerated. After years of build up of false statements against me, my name has pretty much been cleared very suddenly and without me even knowing. That's exciting and liberating." The man that was idolized, the man you could not speak against, the man that had to be obeyed, the man who was seemingly treated as a king, has been dethroned.

 These people want to help. So do I. 

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Sunday, September 02, 2012

Waiting for the right words

I could not post on this story when it originally broke. It pissed me off on such a deep level that I knew I could only respond emotionally.  I needed to wait. I'm glad I did.

Rev. Benedict "Poor Sandusky" Groeschel said,

"People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to – a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.

Well, it’s not so hard to see. A kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping, but not having intercourse or anything like that. I’s an understandable thing, and you know where you find it, among other clergy or important people; you look at teachers, attorneys, judges, social workers."

He later apologized.

"I did not intend to blame the victim. A priest (or anyone else) who abuses a minor is always wrong and is always responsible," Groeschel said in his post on the website. "My mind and my way of expressing myself are not as clear as they used to be. I have spent my life trying to help others the best that I could. I deeply regret any harm I have caused to anyone."

Source: NY priest 'deeply regrets' sex abuse comment

It’s an insincere apology based in desperation and built on excuses. It hides a mindset that is corrupt and evil. It must be confronted. Rev. Groeschel's voice should be silenced. He does not deserve a spot representing his faith. If the Catholic Church actually wants to make a statement, they will ban him from any further chance of speaking his foul message in public.

I know Groeschel's type. It's my that same thing I saw in my Grandparent's generation with their views on race. Their mindset passed with their generation.  Groeschel generation should also pass into obscurity.

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