Saturday, November 29, 2014

Um... what Jena Malone?

I follow photography. It's my thing. It's a lifelong hobby that brings me joy and happiness. I also follow religion and belief too. It brings me less joy and happiness, but it tends to make me think and that is okay. Sometimes photography and religion mix. Like this story about actress Jena Malone.

On Friday, Jena Malone turned 30, debuted her first solo photography show and celebrated the release of her latest film, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Part 1), which went on to have the biggest opening weekend of any movie this year (though she only appears for a few seconds). All three pivotal events make up what she calls a "crazy triangle" influenced by Saturn Return, or the life-changing astrological transition that she says she's been in the thick of for the past two years.

(via LAWeekly)

"crazy triangle" influenced by Saturn Return, or the life-changing astrological transition... Wait, what? Everything was moving along well until we took a turn towards astrology, and then the story went south.

I was originally attracted to the story because of the images. I was curious. What would the young photographer Jena Malone produce? I hoped for interesting and got what looks like photos that my mom would take while on vacation. Her show is a vanity showcase of little substance, but her life looks worse. Astrology, triangls seeds… It all feeds my thinking that successful actors are just people with access to more of everything than the rest of us. They are people with all the same kookie hangups, shallow thinking and limitations as the rest of us. Why do we treat them special? Why do we idolize them? Why do we treat a woman whose experience in photography is limited to studying photography at a Jr. college as if her snapshots of Burma are special?

My gospel is like chemotherapy

I find myself asking a lot of questions these day. One that comes to mind often is, what is the real role of a pastor? With all the negative media coverage  these days, I have ample evidence of what a pastor’s role should not be. I have precious little exposure to what a pastor's role should be. I need to fix that. If I am to highlight problems in religion, I think balance is required.

I can find nothing redeeming in the words of Pastor Earl Carter.

“I don’t hate gays, I’m just like the doctor who hates disease, I fight the disease,” Carter added. “My gospel is like chemotherapy. We try to get to the disease. And the police fighting crime, what are we fighting? Or are we making concessions for these sins?”

(via RawStory)

The words, “My gospel is like Chemotherapy” stand out. Chemotherapy is a horrible analogy and brings to mind suffering and pain. Pastor Earl Carter is saying that it is his job to bring suffering and pain to LGBT people. Does that sound anything like the message of Jesus? 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The silly notion that god does stuff for us

I read and despair… I know lots of people who think like this. 

“Even if I’m going to drop my kids off, or I need to park somewhere, I’m like, ‘OK God, you know I’m in this parking lot, you know any place you can open up for me would be great!’ I just have this relationship- I’m not dumbing down prayer. What I’m doing- it’s just part of my life.”

Victoria Osteen

The Christian notion that god listens to our silly prayers and then intervenes in the lives of people to make our desires come true makes no sense at all when one considers the concept of free will. Why do people think this way? In Victoria Osteen’s scenario, god would stop running the universe to make Mr. Nobody stop his shopping and open a place close to mall for the princess of Christian bullshit to park. I mean, wtf?

(Via Progressive Secular Humanist.)

A Poem about Bums by Hollie Mcnish

I woke up feeling stressed out this morning. My wife tells me to read a poem. I do. It helps.

People talking every day about
The topic of the year
Is it fun to shake about or just a thing for us to jeer at
Have I seen the videos?
Do I think that they’re ok?
People asking me about bums Everyday"
A Poem about Bums by Hollie Mcnish at Hollie Poetry:

I read a poem this morning. I feel better for it. Thanks Hollie. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Outing the KKK is something I can get behind.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Poetry - Rented Room by Xu Lizhi

The haunting poetry of a Chinese factory worker who committed suicide:

Every time I open the window or the wicker gate
I seem like a dead man
Slowly pushing open the lid of a coffin.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Christian radio host admits abuse

The freak show continues with Christians in positions of authority abuse kids. It’s a disease. 

Christian radio host admits to sexually abusing 11-year-old boy while another man watched:

"t least 25 years in prison for the rape of an 11-year-old boy.
According to the Battle Creek Enquirer, 35-year-old John Balyo plead guilty to the sexual assault, which Balyo arranged with the help of another man, Ronald L. Moser, 42, of Battle Creek, who has admitted to procuring boys for Balyo to have sex with."

The story is horrifying. Balyo is completely corrupt. 

Robert Reich (The Choice of the Century)

Robert Reich thinks he knows why Democrats lost the 2014 midterm elections. 

Robert Reich (The Choice of the Century):

"The President blames himself for the Democrat’s big losses Election Day. ‘We have not been successful in going out there and letting people know what it is that we’re trying to do and why this is the right direction,’ he said Sunday.
In other words, he didn’t sufficiently tout the Administration’s accomplishments.
I respectfully disagree.
If you want a single reason for why Democrats lost big on Election Day 2014 it’s this: Median household income continues to drop. This is the first “recovery” in memory when this has happened.

It’s worth a read. 

Somebody's lying

Rep. Charlie Rangel - I Thought Cracker Was A 'Term Of Endearment':

“Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) has no problem using dramatic language to make a point. In fact, the congressman, who received some heat for comparing Tea Party members to the segregationist, ‘white crackers’ of the Jim Crow era, is surprised that his word choice caused any controversy at all."

Seriously now… does anybody think he thought it was a term of endearment?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Taliban and pigeons

I live in a small part of a big world. Where I live, if someone want to raise pigeons, they do, if doing so is permissible by local zoning ordinances. Religion, or politicized religion cannot forbid us the joy of pigeons. I enjoy watching the birds race around and around. Pigeons bring a small measure of joy to our lives. When I read that the Taliban banned raising pigeons while ruling Afghanistan, I was baffled. Why would the Taliban do something so pointless? What possible reason could be offered to justify banning raising pigeons? Does it offend Allah?

I got here today via a photo and it's small blurb.

In this photograph taken on October 22, 2014, Afghan pigeon fancier Habibullah looks on as his birds take flight at his home on the outskirts of Jalalabad. Habibullah has a flock of fifty-five pigeons which he releases daily from the roof of his home for recreation, a practice which was banned during Taliban rule.

Politics and religion are an evil combination. Why is this so hard to see? I’ve always felt that we can detect intent by looking at the small things like hat does religion attempts to control or ban, or how religion trys to control our behavior. I ask a lot of questions as I read the news.  Why is it wrong for me to buy alcohol on a Sunday morning? Why can’t our children learn the facts about birth control? Why must we pray before city council meetings? Why must we accommodate religions traditions? These questions weigh on my mind.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Top Scientology leaders caught on video harassing an ex member at L.A. airport

Scientology’s true believers are nuts.

Top Scientology leaders caught on video harassing an ex member at L.A. airport:

"A former executive of the Church of Scientology has posted video footage showing high-ranking members of the church yelling obscenities and harassing him in a Los Angeles airport.
The video is the first public glimpse of the secretive church’s top management in four years. The footage, posted by Mark Rathbun this Sunday, shows Marc Yager, Dave Bloomberg and Jennifer Linson Devocht — three executives who report to church president David Miscavige. The church members can be seen yelling at Rathbun, telling him to ‘get a life,’ that his criticism of the church has had ‘no effect,’ and ‘nobody gives a f*ck about you.’"

I’ve met a few in my time, they all scare me. Crazy always scares me. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This is why I don't trust Texas

If Texans willingly elect nutball Dan Patrick as lieutenant governor, well, the diverse what they get.

Man Who Believes God Speaks to Us Through "Duck Dynasty" Is About to Be Texas' Second-in-Command:

"A former sportscaster who once defended a football player who'd thrown a reporter through a door (Patrick believed it wasn't the journalist's job to do 'negative reporting'), Patrick became a conservative talk radio host in the early 1990s—Houston's answer to Rush Limbaugh. In 2006, he parlayed his radio fame into a state Senate seat—and kept the talk show going. In office, he proposed paying women $500 to turn over newborn babies to the state (to reduce abortions), led the charge against creeping liberalism in state textbooks, and pushed wave after wave of new abortion restrictions. For his efforts, Texas Monthly named Patrick one of the worst legislators of 2013."

I’ve come to the point in my life where I think that our democracy has failed. This hater should not be on the ballet, yet he’s about to win. I am not proud or our process. It needs to be fixed. We elect the worst possible candidates as if we are proud of it. Any one of the things listed below should disqualify this nutball extremest, but he wears them like a badge and people still vote for him. 

  • He’s an intolerant Christian.
  • He’s xenophobic. 
  • He’s an egotist.
  • He’s a racist. 
  • He’s a fervent right to lifer. 
  • He does not support the separation of church and state
  • He believes creationism should be taught in school as science. 
  • He thinks God talks to him. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Got to love them nutballs

Religious nutters are always entertaining.

Woman arrested claiming Jesus Christ will pay her restaurant tab…  with cash!

"When asked about her husband, she told them she was legally married to Jesus Christ, but had no marriage license. She also told management that Jesus would be able to walk in and produce U.S. currency to pay for her bill. "


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Remember when a pastor's arrest was a good thing?

I remember when I used to look up to pastors like James H. Bryant. It was not that long ago. I miss those days. Religion can be a force for good.

Bryant was arrested in Ferguson protesting against police brutality and misconduct.

Bryant was on the front lines of a crowd of hundreds of protesters and faith leaders marching from a church to the Police Department in Ferguson, the town where unarmed teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot by police two months ago.
In a tweet posted Monday afternoon, Bryant said he had been released.
"Just released from St Louis county!" the message read. "We are being charged with assaulting police & disturbing the peace #NoJusticeNoPeace"
Baltimore pastor arrested at Ferguson protest by Justin George & Justin Fenton. The Baltimore Sun. 

It is a rare thing for me to promote the arrest of a pastor as a good thing, but I do so willingly. Go pastor James H. Bryant!

Mark Driscoll's resignation and institutional hypocrisy

Mark Driscoll, the former head pastor of the Seattle-based Mars Hill mega church, has resigned. But in doing so, his former church lost an opportunity to hold a stinky turd of a christian pastor accountable for his misdeeds. 

"The investigation by a group of elders at the church, Mars Hill, found that Mr. Driscoll ‘has, at times, been guilty of arrogance, responding to conflict with a quick temper and harsh speech, and leading the staff and elders in a domineering manner.’ But the board also declared that some unspecified accusations against Mr. Driscoll were ‘altogether unfair or untrue’ and said that ‘Pastor Mark has never been charged with any immorality, illegality or heresy.’"
Mark Driscoll Resigns as Pastor of Mars Hill Megachurch - Michael Paulson. N.Y. Times. 10/16/2014

Driscoll admitted to pride, anger and a domineering spirit. He left out the well-documented sexist pig and imperialist bully parts of his tenure. So did Mars Hill. In fact, it would seem that Driscoll and Mars Hill can only agree that he may have done a few things that he had already apologies for… so lets just forget the whole mess. Great job Mars Hill! Way to lead! I’m sure Jesus would be proud. 

How about a real investigation run be independent investigators unaffiliated with Mars Hill? How about offering protection to the alleged victims so that they can speak freely about allegations of abuse without fear of retaliation. It’s hard to speak freely in front of your peers, but I think Mars Hills knows this because exactly ZERO victims testified during their investigation and this does not seem to bother them at all. 

This is institutional hypocrisy. Mars Hills has a reputation to protect. They have skin in the game. They are at least partially responsible for the alleged abuses of Mark Driscoll. How can we expect anything honest in this scenario? At best, we can be thankful that with power-mad pastor is out of a job, but it will only last until his next posting. Mars Hill should have put a stake in Driscoll’s empty heart. Now, some other wannabe mega church will hire him and the cycle will start anew. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rare Photos From the Early Days of Blondie

Now I feel really old…

Rare Photos From the Early Days of Blondie:

"This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of Blondie, and to celebrate, the band’s co-founder, guitarist, and songwriter, Chris Stein, has released a new photography book remembering its glory days."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Youth pastor Stephen Gray arrested

Texas youth pastor accused of molesting 11-year-old boy who wanted to ‘earn’ cowboy hat:

"According to My Fox Dallas-Ft. Worth, former youth pastor Stephen Gray is accused of repeatedly molesting a boy from his congregation at Gray’s trailer in a mobile home park in south Dallas.
The boy, now 16, told his mother and family friend John Hall about the molestation, which took place over the course of a summer."

(Via. Rawstory)

Monday, September 15, 2014

The enemy within is often a goofy student

Least we forget that Islam has an agenda...

Muslim Student Challenges Jewish Professor, He Shuts Her Up On The Spot

A Muslim Jew-hater and supporter of genocide is flushed out by David Horowitz at a speech during "Israel Apartheid Week at the University of California San Diego. Horowitz was hosted by Young Americans for Freedom. Visit the Horowitz Freedom Center Website at

Is it really okay for a member of the MSA to call for another genocide against all Jews? No reasonable person would agree. I say hell no. So should our universities. Defund,.Disband. Expel. Some ideas are just bad.


Hudson Pastors Continue to Doctor Story About Sex Abuse in the Philippines

This is an update on the Pastor Tom Randal child sexual abuse case in the Philippines involving the alleged institutional abuse of children by his godson Perfecto "Toto” Luchavez and Perfecto’s son Mark “Jake” Luchavez. In this story we find that all is not as it seems. 

Hudson Pastors Continue to Doctor Story About Sex Abuse in the Philippines:

"The lead Pastor at Hudson's non-denominational mega church Christ Community Chapel tweeted late last week that sex abuse charges against two workers at an orphanage in the Philippines affiliated with a local pastor have been dropped."

But later we find…

But it turns out charges haven't been dropped at all.
Joe Mauk, a missionary in the Philippines who initially blew the whistle when sexually abused minors smuggled letters to his daughter, has been attending the trials. Here's an excerpt from his latest Facebook note:
Still incredible to see what is trying to be manipulated behind the scenes. As you may remember Aug. 8 there was a hearing where none of the witnesses received notices. The presence "by chance" of one of our fellow rescuers caused the judge to re-schedule the hearing for three weeks later, Aug. 29. We arrived for that hearing last Friday with 4 victims ready to give testimony and 11 others attending in support of them, including the former principal of the Cugley (Sankey) School and her husband (Alice and John Shepherd), also the teacher (Shirley, who received the first written reports smuggled out by two girls and passed them on to my daughter), my daughter and her husband, Trevor and Kathy Hill and others.

(Via the Cleveland Scene.)

Thanks to Laura for her tip and to Sam Allard for his fine reporting/

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Former Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger found guilty of rape

This priest raped dozens of children and a god. What the hell?

Catholic Priest Guilty Of Raping Inuit Children And A Sled Dog:

"Belgian-born Eric Dejaeger, a defrocked Catholic priest, has been found guilty of raping dozens of children as well as a sled dog while employed by the Roman Catholic Church."
Dejaeger worked as a missionary in the Canadian Arctic for decades. In 1990, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting eight children in Baker Lake, a hamlet in Nunavut on mainland Canada. When released from prison, Dejaeger faced new allegations from victims in the Inuit hamlet of Igloolik in Northern Canada. He served there from 1978 to 1982. To avoid prosecution, Dejaeger fled Canada for Belgium, his country of birth. In 2011, he was arrested and returned to Canada to face additional charges.

(Via. Addicting Info)

Islam is inconsistent with bacon

Don't tell me what I can't eat.

Pastor Glenn VanZandt arrested

I have not made a post on Clergy Sexual Abuse in a long time. A few people have offered to pay me via Patreon, which got me thinking about jumping back into at least tracking new cases. I do not have the energy or time to do more at this time.  

Pastor of Homewood church arrested for rape, sodomy:

"Glenn VanZandt, who is the pastor of Palisades Church of Christ on Palisades Boulevard, was arrested and faces charges of second-degree rape and sodomy.
Pleasant Grove Police Department spokesman Detective Sgt. Daniel Reid says it involves a female under the age of 16 and that VanZandt was involved in an ongoing relationship with the female."

A pastor and a young girl, what could go wrong? 

Incremental change in the Catholic church

I am an incrementalist. Moving toward a more inclusive marriage policy is small step on a long journey. I applaud any change for the good. 

Pope marries couples 'living in sin' in Vatican ceremony:

"Pope Francis married 20 couples on Sunday, some of whom had already lived together and had children, in the latest sign that the Argentine pontiff wants the Catholic church to be more inclusive. In the first wedding he has performed in his 18-month-old papacy, the Pope took each couple through their vows in turn – including Gabriella and Guido, who already had children and thought such a marriage would be impossible, official broadcasting service Radio Vaticana said."


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Driving in September in Los Angeles


Every September in Los Angeles the daily rush hours go from bad to worse, it all happens over one weekend When sumer vacations end and the kids start school. Traffic grinds to a halt. It's enough to drive you insane.

My summer drive time is 20 to 30 minutes for a 17 mile commute in the morning and 30 to 40 minutes in the afternoon. My route is the 91 to the 710 to the 405. (Translated: Riverside, Long Beach, San Diego)

Stats from my week:

  • Monday: Morning drive was 1 hour 10 minutes, the afternoon was 1 hour 22 minutes. 
  • Tuesday: Morning 1 hour (all side streets), the afternoon was 1 hour 34 minutes. 
  • Wednesday: Morning 1 hour 15 minutes (all side streets), the afternoon was 1 hour 40 minutes. 
  • Thursday: Morning 1 hour (all sides streets), the afternoon was a mind-numbing 1 hour 55 minutes. 
  • Friday: Morning 22 minutes (all freeways), the afternoon was an hour (mix of side streets and the 405)

It’s the same every year. This pattern will last into December and ease off for the holidays. It will pick up again in late January and will last until June. We tend to forget our problems because of the good times in summer, but this just sucks and after 25 years of it, I’ve had enough. 

You whore and other Christian insults

Brother Dean Samuel deserves your scorn. All of your scorn. Heap it on. Use a shovel if necessary.

Wearing yoga pants does not cause rape. No woman deserves to be raped. Men rape. Women are raped. Why is that hard to understand?

(Via. Counter Current News)

Me llamo Mr. Kim

I've waved at a man in my neighborhood every time I've seen him. If I had to put a number on how many times I've waved, it would be north of 100. I'm a big friendly guy. He’s a dour old man. He never waves back, nor does he even smile in my direction. I pretty sure he is Korean as his van has Korean church stickers plastered all over it. Not that it matters, except that I’ve noticed that middle-aged Korean women do not approve of me. I get the evil eye every time I run into the local women’s church group at breakfast. I’m beginning to suspect that they know I’m the neighborhood atheist. 

Today while walking my dog, I saw him pull his beat-up old van out of his driveway and then wave toward his wife, so I know he can wave. I wave at him as he turns my way, only I am holding a bright blue bag of dog poo. He smiles and laughs and then sticks his head out of his window and says, "Me llamo Mr. Kim."

I’m a little stunned, but I recover and say, “Je m’appelle Joseph”.

He laughs like i’ve told a knee-slapper and pulls away.

As I pass his wife she says in perfect English, “He must have thought you were Spanish.”

There must be a better tool

I really do not like MarsEdit. Is there a better Mac-based tool for blogging? This is tool drives me crazy and the image handling is clunky. I spend way too much time on formatting. It is buggy. The list goes on.

It helps to have a title

2014 has been a hard year. A combination of heath issues has prevented any sustained effort at shooting photos. I'm finally back at it.

I saw this woman while sitting in the drive thru of Fantastic Burger in Long Beach. She smiled at me as she walked by. We connected briefly. I look the combination of her skin tone and odd dress. Later, while I was pulling away to head into work, I saw her again and noticed the tattoo. I shot a quick photo. A friend though she was a hooker. I don’t think so. Instead, I though of her a nice lady with an odd fashion sense. 

Owner of a lonely heart

How dumb is Rick Santorum?

Pretty friggen dumb...

People for the American Way have posted a recent radio interview with former U.S. Senator and all-star culture warrior Rick Santorum. 
During the discussion, Santorum said that Christians have allowed their faith to be removed from the public square and need to start fighting back, arguing that removing the Bible from public school classrooms is not neutrality but rather the promotion of the secular worldview. He suggested that conservative Christians should respond by “calling secularism a religion because if we did, then we could ban that too.”

Yes Rick, lets call the opposite of religion a religion. This is why you don’t hold public office. Your ideas suck and so does your thinking. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A month is a long time

Continuous Learning - Kathrine Switzer

I never knew the Boston Marathon was once excluded females. I never knew of a woman named Kathrine Switzer and her role in breaking the Boston Marathon's gender barrier. I never knew it took a fight to get the women's marathon added to the Olympics. I know so little. My ignorance is humbling.

Atheist Analysis - a promotional video

This seems like a great idea. I hope it takes off.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

William Burroughs: Advice for Young People

I happened to talk to my wife about William Burroughs during a short drive this morning. It reminded me of two things: Reading Naked Lunch in high school and Burroughs' Advice for Young People.

I read Naked Lunch in a 10th grade American Literature class as an elective because my teacher thought it might mean something to me. It did not. The book was so far above my head that it might as well have been Joyce’s Ulysses (which is still hard for me to read). Reading Burroughs made me think, and as a result, I came back to Naked Lunch many times over the years. As I matured, I started to grasp more of the meaning behind his words. It was my first confusing introduction to non-linear fiction. It blew my mind then. It still does.

Advice for Young People is a short video clip of Burroughs dropping wisdom. I’ve watched it a few dozen times in my life.

While I was writing this post I told my wife that one of the reasons I love her is that we can talk about Burroughs at random and its as normal as if we were talking about the latest sitcom. I also mentioned that I have few other outlets for this level and type of communication. If I mention Burroughs in my social circle, I get blank looks. There are a few exceptions, my friends Brad and Rich come to mind, as does my son Jon, but after this short list, it’s a cultural wasteland. Of course, my wife’s response to my heartfelt declaration was, “I got a purse!”

This can change Ferguson

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Michelle Duggar's words drip poison and hate

Why does anyone listen to Michelle Duggar? Her claim to fame is making babies. Her words are corrupt. What does she know about anything? Her words are poison.

In a new robocall obtained by the Fayetteville Flyer, Duggar claims that the bill will “allow men — yes I said men — to use womens’ and girls’ restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only.” She goes onto describe “males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female” who would enter these private areas.

Source: Michelle Duggar Warns Arkansas Community That Transgender People are Child Predators

She made these statements via robocall. Her hateful words greeted each person who answered her call. It is despicable. It is hate. Her words and religion are poison.

Michelle Duggar, do you know who is more likely to abuse children? People like that pastor you are pimping. Get your facts straight. 

What now Rev. Jesse Jackson?

I grew up with a Southern Baptist stepfather who migrated to California from South Carolina. Rev. Jesse Jackson was only mentioned in our house in the most derisive sense. I thought he was a bad actor. Over time, I grew to appreciate and value his contribution to the civil rights movement. Now I think of him as a money-grubbing opportunist feeding off the people who need his help most. Am I wrong?

Epic: Ferguson Protesters Just Told Jesse Jackson To Shove IT After He Got Greedy.

When anything involving race happens anywhere, you can be sure that Reverend Jesse Jackson will make it there.

Naturally, with a black man being shot in Ferguson, Missouri, he shows up. But this time, the Reverend didn’t quite think out his strategy; and when he pulled out his bullhorn, the protesters ran him out of town.

Is it really just about the money? 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Michael Wolf's Paris Abstraction

I am a fan of abstract photography. Photographer Michael Wolf has his Paris Abstraction project up at and its good. I will see Wolf's work in person. All I have to do is find an excuse to jump up to San Francisco. Enjoy.


Pastor Bill Wininger arrested again

Pastor Bill Wininger survived allegations last year that he molested a child 20 years ago. When I wrote about him in a post titled I smell a rat, I knew then that pastor Wininger was dirty. I even bought a used copy of his book, A Church Falsely Accused, which explored an abuse charge at another church he lead. The book was hard to read, but left me with the feeling that Wininger was dishonest. I lost track of him over the last year. Nothing has changed. Authorities arrested him for inappropriate sexual contact with a member of his staff. He rubbed his junk on a staffer. What a jerk.

Blogosaurus is following the case. Enjoy.

Portraits of Drag Queens in Half Drag

I've always wanted to make a photo project comparing the public and private faces of my subjects. These portraits by Leland Bobbé do this within the drag queen community. The results are fascinating and beautiful. Enjoy.


Tainted holy water

I read today that 86% of water samples taken from holy sources contain fecal matter. You don't drink the stuff, right? Baptisms need holy water. Tainted water cannot be holy because it contains shit. I suggest churches use 'shit dip' as the new name for baptisms.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

4,000 bottles of lies

Temitope Joshua, a wealthy Nigerian minister, sent Sierra Leone 4,000 bottles of holy water that he says can cure ebola.

To help the West African country fight the escalating Ebola crisis, Nigerian Christian preacher Temitope Joshua says he has sent the Sierra Leone government 4,000 bottles of his patented holy anointed water and $50,000 in cash in a private jet, which also cost $50,000 to charter.

Sierra Leone will, one would assume, take every penny it can get to stem the Ebola outbreak, which has claimed more than 1,000 lives worldwide, with the majority of the victims in West African countries. Such odd largess does certainly beg the question, though: Who the hell is this guy?

Source: This guy sent Sierra Leone 4,000 bottles of holy water to cure ebola

So... 4,000 people get a drink of water, which seems pointless and counterproductive. At least he sent some cash too.

R.I.P. Jay Adams

I grew up at the same time and in the same place as skateboarding legend Jay Adams. He inspired me to ride pools and risk my life doing crazy shit with my board. He died on a surfing vacation in Mexico.

Jay Adams, the colorful rebel who helped transform skateboarding from a simple street pastime into one of the world's most spectacular sports with hair-raising stunts and an outsized personality to match, has died at age 53.

Source: ‘Dogtown' Skateboarding Rebel Jay Adams Dies at 53

I had not thought of Jay in years, but then just a few weeks ago I exchanged stories with another skateboarder. We talked about trying to do a 360 inside of a huge water pipe at a construction site near Santa Monica. I tried 20 or 30 times and failed. I watched Jay try all day long. I was never that good. 

Such ignorance

"If I"m ever around an atheist, I think I'm gonna get hit by lightning or something. I just done' even want o be in the room with them." - Shaun Robinson, host for Access Hollywood.

Conservative Christian actor Kevin Sorbo and Access Hollywood host Robinson engaged in what many might consider hate speech on the August 12 edition of Access Hollywood.
Sorbo was appearing on Access Hollywood to promote his movie, “God is not Dead.”
Source: Access Hollywood host attacks Atheists by Michael Stone. 

She apologized later. Pfft.

A poem for Ferguson

Donald Glover tweeted a poem about Ferguson and race.

“childish gambino is a white rapper”
— childish gambino (@donaldglover) August 14, 2014
i wanna be a white rapper.
— childish gambino (@donaldglover) August 14, 2014
i wanna be so white im the biggest rapper of all time.
— childish gambino (@donaldglover) August 14, 2014
i wanna be so white i can have a number one song with cursing and parents are fine with it.
— childish gambino (@donaldglover) August 14, 2014

Read the whole poem here.

Poetry is powerful. Damn…

Friday, August 15, 2014

The danger of stifling creativity

I wrote a small post recently called Thought Crimes and the Atheist Movement. In it I talked about the role people have who are offended by the creative efforts of others. I pissed off a few people who thought my photography projects that dealt with the homeless was something I should not do because I might offend the homeless (or others). I feel otherwise. My work has helped others and helped bring attention to the problem. If I had listened to critics, I would have never taken the photos. It's a horrible thought.

I recently watched a video by photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally and poet Susan B.A. Sommers-Willet. This multi-media project explores poverty in Troy, New York using photography, video and poetry. Take a moment and watch the video.

It is uncomfortable to watch. Poverty is ugly, although I find photos hard to view, I do so anyway and I am made better by the experience. The individual photos are even harder to look at, but they serve a purpose. The project, called Update Girls, has attacked a lot of criticism. If photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally had listened to her critics, this 10-year-long project would have never happened. 

Ms. Kenneally’s forceful images drew a lot of attention. More than eighteen thousand people shared the Slate article on Facebook and hundreds commented on Slate’s Facebook page. Another 387 commented on the original post. Tweets criticized the subjects and the photographer.

The comments were harsh. Many expressed outrage that Kayla would smoke while holding her baby. (This photograph, singled out with especially virulent criticism, has since been taken down at Ms. Kenneally’s request.) Others remarked that poor people couldn’t afford to waste their money on cigarettes, that the houses pictured were filthy and the occupants slovenly, and that the food visible in some shots was unhealthy. Commenters wondered how poor families had money to buy their children video games. There were accusations about welfare checks and snide remarks about contraception.

If she had listened to her critics, this important sociological work would have never been created. Why listen to critics? Why let them ruin your creative efforts? Why give them the power to derail individual creativity? I just don’t understand this type of thinking. I never will. 

Our creative efforts are our own private domain. If I listen to people who are offended by my work, I would never have written this blog. I would never have helped dozens of abused children and adults find justice. I would never have helped anyone out of a wrong-headed concern for Christians who might have been offended by being held responsible in some small way for their acts of hypocrisy.  My hate mail goes to the trash unread. I do the work I must do anyway. 

By the way - once small case, a young girl who was being abused by her pastor, made all ten years and 6000+ posts worth the effort. I was able to help the girl and her parents. I consider it one of my proudest moments and it is one of the reasons I’ve started to post again. 

What is hell anyway?

I have been told by a few Christians that I will burn in hell for all eternity because I’m an atheist who has rejected God. I've always thought that was a lie told to children, now I'm sure of it.

What Jesus talked about when He Talked about Hell via Benjamin L. Corey of Formerly Fundie

The first discovery one will make on such an investigation, is the inconvenient truth that the word “hell” didn’t exist in first century Israel. This brings up one crucial problem when translating/interpreting the Bible apart from any scholastic work: we see English words that have specific linguistic and cultural connotations and meanings, and read those meanings into an ancient text which may, or may not, have intended to send the same meaning.


Pet peeves - Oversharing

I met a man who told me all about his life in the four hours we spent together. I find the experience hard to take. I also find it hard to take overt Christian propaganda this this from my drive home tonight. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I am not doing my job

The local Korean evangelical church puts up these signs. I take them down. Except for yesterday. I was in Reno and was not to perform my duties. A friend reminded me of my failure.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday cooking and a poem

I started the day shopping for pork chops. I enjoy shopping early because the market is empty and I do not need to be social, although I did engage in a lively discussion with a woman over the merits of bone in versus boneless pork chops. She made a good point, but I went with the bone in cops.

I cooked 24 pork chops and some smoked sausage on my grill this morning while the mist broke. My grandson and dog played around my feet. Brunch is in a few hours. I know it will be a good time.

I started my day with a poem, which is normal. Today's theme was cooking.

The Bachelor's Gourmet Cooking Manifesto by Tom Bell
A bachelor's life is, by necessity, quite simple 
We're generally the same ourselves
Complications we avoid
They take from us too much energy
And if you look at our kitchen shelves
You'll almost always see
Our gourmet pre-made food
is for us the key
We would not know how to fry
an egg or make good tea
You see, if it ain't pre-cooked,
To just be microwaved
We'll shy away from those such products
It's ease and speed we crave,
This type of food only
Until our early grave
Read the rest here.

My problem this morning is that I don’t know how to cook Longaniza the way my mother-in-law cooks it. It look like it is time for another cooking lesson. I hope she will share her method with me. 

Atheist TV is a premature concept

AtheistTV is a premature concept. Am I supposed to say that? Watching episodes of The Atheist Experience and recycled documentaries is not entertaining, informative or even worthy of my time. I'm not the only one to notice.

Via Daniel D’Addario of Salon I spent a day watching AtheistTV — and it was horrifying

“If you know why your God is so stupid,” he said, “feel free and call us.”

The show did field one call, from a young man whose thoughts were so muddled (he was introduced as devout, then explained he was questioning his faith, then said he’d been dead for a week, then said he often thought the world would be better off after he died) that it’s not really fair to criticize. But it’s worth noting that Dillahunty repeatedly suggested he was dealing with a prank caller but refused to disengage and make time for a caller who might have done a better job of representing himself; it was more important to score rhetorical points off someone clearly not equipped to play.

I have a hard time listening to the Atheist Experience as a podcast. It makes me uncomfortable. Watching it as a TV show seems odd since it consists of a couple of talking heads. Although, I have done so simply to put a face with a name. From a professional production look alone, the show is marginal. It looks like what it is, an amateur production on a local public access TV channel. I am sure that with better funding, the show would look better. If this show is intended to anchor the AtheistTV brand, we are well on the way to becoming the industry laughing stock. Hitting bottom may be hard with Sarah Palin TV in the mix, but we are competing for the bottom by launching with marginal content. 

We only get one chance to make a good first impression with the target demographic. Why use recycled marginal content? Why start without at least one good show in the can already? Why start in a weak position. 

I’m looking for content made for AtheistTV that has an appeal outside of the confrontational niche that the Atheist Experience prospers in. I would also like to see content like the Atheist Experience, but with higher production standards. I hope that is the direction AtheistTV takes. 

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Epic Bison Bars - Like a meat candy bar

I started a ketogenic diet a few weeks ago for health reasons. The diet is simple and easy to follow, but eating while traveling is hard. I found Epic Bars via my son who attended a Paleo lifestyle event at Cal State Berkeley a few days ago. I finally tasted the Bison bar. the bar is like a meat candy bar, only not sweet at all. With 7 net carbs and 200 calories, it’s makes for a great meal replacement bar. Meat is bag. It's a good idea.
The EPIC bar is a 100% grass fed animal based protein bar designed as nature intended. Paleo friendly, gluten free, and low in sugar, we believe that EPIC foods should inspire EPIC health.
Epic bars come in Bison, Beef, Turkey and Lamb. The Bison bar tasted good and unlike any protein bar I’ve ever tried.

Thought crimes and the Atheist Movement

One of my pet peeves with religion is the social pressure focused on thought crime. It’s an ugly aspect of repression normally associated with those I rail against. In fact, it was one of the things that drove me away from organized religion. I am sad to say that I see the concept working in the Atheist Movement by way of killing creativity and free expression. Hemanat Mehta recently launched a book idea via Kickstarter that was based on the premise the God is like an abuse boyfriend. People who had been in an abusive relationship complained, so Hemanat, caving to social pressure, killed the book project. When one is not allowed to be creative and explore the concept God as an abuse partner in a one-sided relationship, well… we all lose.

I get this a lot in the photography community. I like to take photos of homeless men and women. I feel it helps draw attention to their plight. A very vocal photography subgroup opposes photographing the homeless on the grounds that is exploitive and demeaning. If fact, they aggressively assert that I should stop my activities and choose other subjects, as long as those other subjects do not include kids, police, government buildings, pornography and, well just about anything you want to list. Even attempting to take these photos are objectionable. I listen to their concerns and assert my own position, a position that is often in conflict with a lots of other people. What I do with my camera helps shine a light on a part of society that is shunned or ignored by others. Good things have come of it. I am proud of my work.

What I’ve noticed is that because of the complaints of others, I’m constantly questioning myself and self editing. I ask myself, “Is this right?” Creativity is not a crime, nor is it wrong to explore that nature of religion via the metaphor of an abuse relationship.

Props to Atheist Revolution for getting me thinking about this subject. The sarcastic, Time for Reeducation Camps made my day.

Inauthentic Christianity

In good news today, inauthentic Christian leader Mark Driscoll stepped down. I call his brand of Christianity, ChristianiME.

A dog rules my life, but so does poetry

My dog sits at my feet every morning as I start my day. He reminds me that I need to take him for a walk in the most subtle of ways. I remind him that I need to read a poem each morning by holding him in my arms while I whisper daily inspiration in his ear. Somebody else in my house needs to like poetry too…

Dog Around the block by E.B. White
Dog around the block, sniff,
Hydrant sniffing, corner, grating,
Sniffing, always, starting forward,
Backward, dragging, sniffing backward,
Leash at taut, leash at dangle,
Leash in people’s feet entangle—
Read more

A poem a day is good for you. 

True style in photography

Friday, August 08, 2014

Go Michael Sam!

I'm pulling for you Michael Sam!

Watch Michael Sam make his NFL preseason debut by Jeff Gray

Pee-Bola - nobody says it better

Why is porn made in a church a crime?

In Austria it is crime to offend religious feelings by making porn in a church.

Police, investigating allegations of offending religious feeling and desecration of a church, have arrested a 24-year-old woman, who they say has made similar films, under the name 'Babsi'.
The woman, who has not been named, was born in Poland but moved to Austria with her family when she was young.
The incident led to a debate in Austria as to whether the church would need to be reconsecrated, but it was decided it didn't as the woman's sins had not been enough to drive out God.

Source: Police track down wanted porn star who made seedy film in church - by releasing footage

I have a few questions. Who did ‘Babsi’ offend and why is this a crime? Her video is soft core porn (NSFW) and in poor taste, but is it a crime? Is it the act of filming porn in a church that makes it a crime? What if it was filmed in a set made up to look like a church? The local priests seem to think that Babsi’s acts were not serious enough to drive God from the church (as if they would know). I’m sure they have asked for a copy for a closer examination.

The police went looking for Babsi by showing her acts on the internet These acts include video of her fondling her own breasts. Somebody who had been in that church and who and seen her breasts recognized the woman by her breasts from other porn videos, which translates to a Christian watching porn long enough to recognize a woman by her breasts. Which…well, you get my point. 

Religious themed porn is a fetish these days. I don’t get it, but I think we know at least one person who does. 

There is a rhythm and flow to life

I’ve been reading and thinking a lot  lately. 

[Step One: Resentment]
Hi, My name is Quentin.
I'm a write-a-holic.
I can't control it, can't curb
the urge to write.
I need help.
I want my life back.
Excerpt from Writers Anonymous by Quentin Huff

What I’ve learned is that reading and writing is a much a part of my life as eating. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm taking a break

I am starting to receive inquires about my health and intentions, so I thought it would be a good idea to send in a quick post to clear things up. I am not dead or in poor health. I am, if fact, on a break from blogging at Deep Thoughts. While on break, I am considering retiring this blog and moving on to other endeavors. I've been at this for a long time.

I was inspired to take a break by an episode of Cosmos. I realized that I had given up my sense of wonder and curiosity and replaced it with endless stories of clergy abuse. I am taking a break to reconnect with the world of art and science, plus I’m taking a lot of photos too. It is time to feed my brain again.

My ten year blogiversary is coming up in a few weeks. As it stands, I'm at several million page views and over 6,500 posts. What I have written so far could fill a couple of books. In the time since my last post, I've managed to read five new books and several hundred papers and articles. I’ve also managed to take a few good photos. It’s been good for me. 

I am also considering writing a new blog using my real name that is focused on tech and photography. The idea seems appealing  on several levels and has the added benefit of fewer hate mails and death threats. I am also reconsidering my connection to the Atheist Movement, which lately seems distorted by unproductive internal issues. I’ve always been a blogger who happens to be an atheist (among other, more important, things). That's why my blog is not named ATHEIST HOWLINGS or some such.

Drop me a note if you want to talk, or post a comment. I'm still here and thinking.

The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face. - Jack Handy

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Baptist pastor Kevin Lohse arrested

Baptist pastor Kevin Lohse of Woodlawn Baptist Church, allegedly exposed himself to a 15-year-old girl. The incident was caught on store video. I think the hammer has fallen on this dumb guy and his life is over.

Woodlawn Baptist Church is part of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Former pastor Kevin Lohse admitted to exposing himself. He had his seven-year-old son with him at the time.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Update on Pastor Mark Lewis case

The mother of the deceased wife of Pastor Mark Lewis shared stories of her daughters spousal abuse with Soroptimists International of Vacaville this week. Patricia Hunter last saw her daughter about a month before her death. Her daughter's death was ruled a suicide. I don't believe it was suicide. I believe the case should be reopened. I believe that the authorities should look at Pastor Mark Lewis. So do a lot of other people. 20/20 was on hand to film the event. 

According to Hunter, one out of every four women will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetime. Mark Lewis, was convicted of felony spousal abuse 15 years ago, Solano County Superior Court Judge Peter B. Foor confirmed during a Feb 18 hearing. Lewis ultimately plead to and served probation for the abuse charge, his attorney noted. Hunter doesn't believe the conviction was the only time her daughter endured abuse, though.

"I don't know how many visits to the hospital my daughter made," she said emotionally. "I know of three. I don't know how many she kept from me."

Source: Mother shares story of abuse: Details relationship daughter endured with embattled Vacaville pastor

I recommend reading the whole article. It’s fascinating. I learned that Lewis had a prior conviction for felony spousal abuse. I wonder if his congregation knew this and continued to support him? 

Pastor Mark Lewis is setting in jail on charges the he conspired to firebomb his ex-girlfriends house and that he lied about source of funds used to secure his bail. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pastor Ronald Norris arrested

Pastor Ronald Norris, Pastor of “The Church” on East Main Street in Spartanburg, was arrested for sexually abusing a teenage girl. 

A school official notified a Special Victims Unit investigator that a teen told her she'd been sexually abused by Ronald Norris, 27, of Roebuck, according to Spartanburg County investigators.

After collecting statements from the girl and her family, the investigator approached Norris and he immediately invoked his right to an attorney. He is charged with criminal sexual conduct, third degree. 

Source:Pastor arrested on sexual abuse charge

I’m sure we will hear more about this case as it develops. 

Pastor David Yonggi Cho sentenced

Pastor David Yonggi Cho, founding pastor of the world’s largest Pentecostal congregation known as the Yoido Full Gospel Church, was sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling $12 million dollars. 

Last Thursday, the Seoul pastor was convicted of embezzlement as part of a scheme in which he arranged for the church to buy stock from his son Cho Hee-jun at more than three times the market price. Hee-jun was sentenced to three years in prison for colluding with his father. Hee-jun, 49, previously served as chairman of the Yeongsan Christian Cultural Center.

Source: Founder of World’s Largest Megachurch Convicted of Embezzling $12 million 

I’m surrounded by Korean churches where I live, including a large branch of this church called the Assemblies of God Thanksgiving Church. It looks like I have a few new talking points when they come by the house to invite me to the English language services. Korean Christians are every bit as persistent as the Mormons and JWs, plus that hog all the seats at Paul’s Place on Sunday morning.  

Pastor George Spencer pleaded guilty

Pastor George Spencer, profiled here, pleaded guilty to child molestations charges and will serve seven years in prison. Spencer was an associate pastor at Greater Works CME Church is south Kansas City.

The girl said Spencer groped her and made her take off her shirt and bra, according to court documents. He put his hands down her pants, sodomized her with his finger and exposed his genitals, the documents said. Spencer told the girl that he could get in a lot of trouble for his actions.

Source: Former Kansas City pastor pleads guilty to child molestation by Matt Campell

Seven years does not seem like enough in this case. Spencer was a convicted sex offender and was hired by his church anyway because… well fuck because. Hiring him simply created more victims. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Baptist youth pastor Adam Epperson arrested

Youth pastor Adam Epperson, of Raymond Road Baptist Church and Central Hinds Academy, was arrested on one count of gratification of lust while in a position of authority. His alleged victim was 14-year-old male. NewImage

Pastor Jonathan Russell said in a statement that he found out about the allegations on Jan. 31, at which point he reported them to the Department of Human Services. He met with Epperson the next day, and Epperson denied the allegations.

“It became apparent that the investigation was going to take some time. After further discussion with the staff member, we determined that it would be in the best interest of the church and all parties involved if the staff member were to resign from his position at our church,” Russell said in a statement.

Source: Metro area youth pastor arrested on gratification charges

Gratification... that sounds bad.

Raymond Road Baptist Church is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rev. John Roebuck accused of grabbing a man's junk

Reverend John Roebuck of Saint Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church in Landsdale, allegedly grabbed a guy’s junk in a YMCA locker room. The victim did not appreciate the contact. I’m thinking Roebuck might be gay.

John H. Roebuck, 64 — a parochial vicar at Saint Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church in Lansdale until December, when he was placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia — waived charges of second-degree misdemeanor indecent assault and summary harassment on Feb. 11 before District Judge Albert Augustine of Skippack.

The story...

After exiting the sauna just before 7 p.m., the victim went to a sink outside the sauna to wash his face when he saw Roebuck standing several feet behind him, and he began walking away from the sink area and told Roebuck, “See you later,” the complaint states.

At that point, the complaint states, Roebuck shook the man’s hand and again pulled the victim close to him, this time grabbing the man’s genitals with his other hand and asking, “Do you want to?”

Saunas... Remember to protect your junk in the sauna if a Catholic priest is around. Ewww.

I had a guy rub my belly at random once, but that was only slightly awkward and not sexual at all. I was in China visiting a shrine to Buddha and he thought I looked a lot like the statue of Buddha, so he rubbed my belly for luck. It’s a Chinese thing. Of course, if he had grabbed my junk I would have fainted. 

Reverend Philip Briganti arrested

Retired Catholic priest Rev. Phillip Briganti allegedly sexually assaulted an adult male on a bus after officiating a wedding.

I don't make this stuff up.

A charge of criminal sexual contact that was filed Thursday against the 67-year-old cleric was announced Friday in a joint release by acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp and Randolph Police Chief David Stokoe.

Briganti is a retired Paterson Diocesan priest who presently lives in El Paso, Texas. He had briefly returned to officiate a wedding at St. Paul’s Church in Prospect Park, Bergen County, on Nov. 9, 2013. After the wedding reception, Briganti was allegedly on a bus with the adult victim traveling to a hotel when he “engaged in unwanted sexual contact” with the victim, according to the release.

Source: Retired pastor of Mendham church charged with criminal sexual contact

Rev. Briganti  served as the pastor St. Joseph’s Parish in Mendham which is part of the Diocese of Paterson.  

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Update on the pastor Mark Hooper case

Sentencing was delayed for Elk County pastor Pastor Mark Hooper and his wife Susan Hooper who pleaded no contest to charges that they deliberately underfed their adoptive children. Their adoptive daughter was nine years old and weighed only 31 pounds at the time the abuse was noticed. She was diagnosed with malnutrition.

Mark Hooper was the pastor at Cobb Street Baptist church in Johnsonburg, Elk County Pennsylvania. The church is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) Church. The church website has been taken down.

Hooper is also a member of the Hall of Shame.

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Youth pastor Charles Pittman arrested for murder

I held off posting this story for a few days to let it develop. It getting worse with age. Youth pastor Charles Pittman of Providence Baptist Church in Alamo, Tn, was arrested on murder charges stemming from the death of his fiancé. He alleged rigged the murder scene to look like a suicide. His church is shocked.

"It's shocking because he's supposed to be a good example to the community and a Christian leader. It just sets a bad example," Megan Carter, another resident, said.

"Even though I didn't know him, anybody that would've come here would've probably been a good guy," Taylor Pillow, a former member at Providence Baptist Church, said.

"If he's a nice guy, not on drugs, doesn't smoke," Pillow said

Providence Baptist Church released a statement:

"We were deeply saddened by the news of the death of Olivia Greenlee and as a church body we are praying for the family and friends and will continue praying for them in the days ahead. We have been informed of the arrest of Charlie Pittman, our Youth and Children's Minister. We will pray for Brother Charlie and his family and friends. At this time, we have no further comment other than to reiterate our concern for the family and friends of Olivia during this tragic loss of such an awesome, young Christian lady. As a church, we will be praying for all parties involved."

The murder victim was Olivia Greenlee. She was found in what authorities say was a staged scene that made it look like she killed herself. The police have not release a motive. My guess is that he likes to play the victim. His whole “Jesus Freak” story sounds fishy. 

I am not sure what type of Baptist Providence Baptist Church is. I could use some help. If anyone know, please post it in the comments. The only contact information I have for the church is resolves to BancorpSouth, so that was a dead end. I’ve sent an inquiry. 

Baptist Providence is a member of the Souther Baptist Convention. Thanks tipsters! 

Youth pastor Joseph Todd Neill pleads guilty to child porn charges

Former Baptist youth pastor Joseph Todd Neill, of North Fork Baptist Church in Shelbyville, admitted to possessing violent and sadistic images of child pornography in a plea deal. He faces 20 years in prison. Neil still faces trail for the sexual exploitation of a minor and statuary rape by an authority figure.


Former North Fork Baptist Church youth minister Joseph Todd Neill, 37, agreed to plead guilty to a charge of possession of child pornography on Feb. 13. The plea agreement was filed Thursday.

Neill faces up to 20 years in prison. There has not yet been a plea hearing scheduled.

The child porn images were discovered when Shelbyville police began investigating charges that Neill had seduced and had sexual contact at least twice with a 17-year-old female church member.

Source: Former youth pastor faces child porn charge

There were 72 images:

Among the images, 32 included children. One image was of a child under the age of 12. Seven images depicted violent child rape. One image depicted bondage and child rape. At least one child pictured was a known victim of molestation from age 5 until 9, according to police. Nine of the images were cartoons depicting minors in sexual activity, and 26 showed minors in minimal clothing or lingerie.

The images were discovered during a forensic investigation linked to the investigation of alleged statutory rape.

According to Detective Sgt. Brian Crews of the Shelbyville Police Department, Neill's phones were seized in January during their investigation of the original charges. Crews asked for forensic help from the TBI to see if any evidence had been deleted from the phones, and text messages were recovered to and from the alleged victim.

But during that testing, TBI agents also recovered a number of files and images with minors in sexual situations.

Neill was arrested in September 2013. 

Youth pastor Tyler Bliss arrested for child porn

Youth pastor Tyler Bliss of Bethel Church in Oakdale was arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

Ceres police spokeswoman Carissa Higginbotham said that while pornography was located on the computer Bliss uses at the church, no other church employees or parishioners are suspected to be involved.

Higginbotham said detectives are trying to determine where the images originated.

Source: Police: Child porn found on home, church computers of Oakdale youth pastor

Police also found images on his home computer. They are not sure if Bliss created the images or if he acquired them. 

Bethel Church is an Assemblies of God church located in Oakdale, California. I could not located an official statement from the church. Tyler Bliss was removed from the church website. 

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Pastor Mark Lewis to remain in jail

Baptist pastor Mark Lewis has given up on bail and will remain in Jail pending his trail on a long list of allegations connected to the firebombing of his ex-girlfriend's home.

Lewis, the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, initially was arrested following the Jan. 9 firebombing of his ex-girlfriend's home on Chateau Circle, also in Vacaville. Six people, including three children, were asleep inside the residence at the time, but no injuries were reported, police said.

Three others were also arrested in connection with the firebombing. Kristen Broyles, 30, of Citrus Heights, and Sacramento residents Anthony Newbolt, 33, and Richerd Wright, 28, have all pleaded not guilty to felony charges of arson of an inhabited structure and possession of flammable or explosive material. They remain in Solano County Jail custody, with bail set at $150,000, $155,000 and $290,000, respectively.

Source: Vacaville Pastor remains in jail by Ryan Chalk

His congregation at Fellowship Baptist Church had been selling off his possessions and church property in an attempt to raise his bail. That must not have worked very well.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Well duh pastor Michael Todd Abromovich

"Street" pastor Michael Todd Abromovich, profiled here, was arrested a few weeks ago for posing as a U.S. Marshal and then handcuffing and robbing men he lured to a hotel for sex. Apparently, pastor Abromovich has a substance abuse problem and wants out of jail so he can seek treatment. Um... I don't think that's a good idea.

She said if Abromovich was released, he planned to check into a Salvation Army substance abuse program in Denver. Judge James Breese said Abromovich deserved a slight reduction in his bond, to $65,000, for acknowledging his problem.

Prosecutors argued against releasing him because they say he has four previous felony convictions. Through his lawyer, Abromovich said none of his previous offenses were violent and the latest was seven years ago.

Source: Street ministry pastor accused of posing as US Marshal says he has substance abuse problem

That's right. Pastor Abromovich is one of those pastors who was a criminal and addict who was reborn though belief in Christ. He fell right back into his old lifestyle once real life intruded on his fairy tail.  It’s as if the magic of a conversion would somehow fix his drug addiction. Keep this bastard in jail until his trail. He preys on gay men in risky situations. It would not take much for a victim to be serially hurt or even killed. Keep the public safe. Keep this asshole in jail.

HIV-spreading pastor Craig Lamar Davis get 10 years

Baptist Pastor Craig Lamar Davis, profiled here, was sentenced to 10 years for not telling his sexual partners of his HIV status. He infected at least two women.

This case pisses me off for a couple of reasons. The conduct of this pastor up until the moment of his conviction is deplorable. He denied having HIV. He denied having sexual relationships with the women he infected. He denied HIV was real. He even denied being a pastor. For a pastor facing irrefutable DNA evidence linking him to his crimes, he acted like a unrepentant child and his church backed him up while going after the victims. It was horrifying to watch.

What's worse is that this supposed man of God should not have been engaging in premarital sex at all. As a spiritual leader, he should have shown his flock proper Christian behavior towards women and relationships. Instead, he acted like a rutting male and bedded whoever would sleep with him. When his crimes caught up with him, his church protected him as if he were somehow above reproach. The hypocrisy is simply mind blowing.

And now pastor Craig Lamar Davis is sorry. The man is a complete and total ass.

Before he was sentenced on Friday, Davis took the stand and apologized, saying that he wishes he could turn back time.

"I take full responsibility for everything that has gone on," Davis said. "My heart truly goes out to her daughters. Bad decisions. Very bad decisions. And I opened the door for a lot of people to be hurt."

Do you know what I wish pastor Davis? I wish you had told the truth just once in this process. There is no reason to believe your words now.

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Update on the Pastor Mark Lewis case

Pastor Mark Lewis is sitting in jail because he cannot raise one million dollars bail. His congregation is selling church property and his possessions in an effort to raise bail.

Fellowship Baptist Church Pastor Mark Lewis remains behind bars on more than $1 million bail, accused of putting three people up to firebombing his ex-girlfriend’s home.

The pastor was rearrested after bailing out the first time for allegedly fraudulently registering his church, which was used as bail collateral.

Sarah Bongard is one of the jailed pastor’s devoted parishioners. She says the church needs the money to help it’s leader.

“It’s been a little rough, but God’s working it out, we know that,” she said. “Knowing that he’s in control, even of getting our pastor out and restoring our church to what it should be.”

Source:Vacaville Congregation Selling Property To Pay Pastor’s Bail

I wish knew about this beforehand, I would have bought one of his bibles to add to my collection of holy books owned by corrupt men of God. I would have bid as high as a dollar. 

Update on the pastor Roy Harriger case

Pastor Roy Harriger, profiled here, was charged with criminal possession of a firearm along with the original child molestation charges. Harriger was in possession of an unregistered revolver at the time of his arrested. 

Pastor Charles Luke Jr., arrested

Pastor Charles Luke Jr., was arrested for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old girl. Luke was charged child molestation and statutory rape.

Charles Luke Jr., 42, pastor of New Jerusalem Church in Moultrie, was charged with one count of child molestation and one count of statutory rape, said Chris Robinson, investigator with the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office.

Robinson said a 14-year-old girl reported to a local medical office that she had been sexually molested over the weekend by Luke. The Department of Family and Children’s Services also became involved, Robinson said, and reported the allegation to law enforcement officials.

There are several unconfirmed reports that Luke was also arrested for rape when he was pastor at First African Baptist in Sylvester, GA.

Posted by Brenda Ellison:

This is not his first time with allegations of this kind. He was once my minister at First African Baptist in Sylvester, GA and was accused of rape a few years ago. Don't know what happened with that.

Posted by Inez Brown:

This is the same man that was accused of rape a few years ago. Don't people listen to the news. You can’t trust everyone who lift up their hands and shout praise the Lord.

I am looking for links to Luke’s earlier arrest. If you know of any, please post them in the comments or email them to me if you have any additional information. 

I don't think agape means what you think it means

Agape (Greek) is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the bible.

When I see it used on signage, I think of agape - (of the mouth) wide open, esp. with surprise or wonder. Wonder at the misuse of the word.

Terry Firma of the Friendly Atheist posted on abuse at Agape Mission House and Agape Home Church in Los Angeles recently. It left my mouth agape in wonder.

The Christian proprietors of an assisted-living facility in Los Angeles stand accused of, among other things, retaliating against the disabled they served if their clients didn’t attend religious services.

Kang Won Lee and Jung Hwan Lee, husband and wife, own the two houses in Los Angeles’ historic Adams district that became the subject of a lawsuit filed by the office of L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer the other day. The Lees ran the two homes, Agape Mission House and Agape Home Church, as unlicensed facilities for the physically and mentally disabled, the city alleges. The couple had the properties licensed as charities.

Read more:

To summarize - Christians ran a charity that victimized physically and mentally disabled people. If run properly, these charities are the very definition of agape, if not, they can be pure evil. 

Swarms of flies filled the living areas. Broken furniture was scattered, bedroom doors were missing and plaster was falling off the walls, according to court documents.

Some residents slept in bunk beds, crowded into small rooms, with 1-inch pads instead of mattresses. One resident lived in a “storage room” and others in an attic.

On Tuesday, L.A. City Atty. Mike Feuer said his office had filed a lawsuit against the two unlicensed assisted-care facilities for allegedly abusing their physically and mentally disabled residents by forcing them to live in “deplorable, overcrowded and substandard living conditions,” taking the residents’ government benefits.

Source:Residents are moved out of assisted care homes sued for alleged abuse (L.A. Times)

The owners of both units are pastor Kang Won Lee and his wife Jung Hwan Lee, stellar members of the Los Angeles Korean community. 

For those who do not know, residential homes can be a scam. Residents surrender their government assistance to the home, which then provide services. Homes are licensed to care for a limited number of residents, but in abuse cases they often crowd the house with 20 or 30 people who live in squalor. The residents never see any of the money they are entitled to, but are instead provided “services” that are supposed to help them recover or are meant to sustain their lives. In this case, living at an Agape center was like being sentenced to an unsupervised prison where the services were contingent on reading the bible and participating in other religious activities. When residents failed to cooperate, they were punished. 

I have visited Christian group homes that are subsidized by a larger Church. They were wonderful places. This story makes me sad, but at the same time if leaves me disappointed. I looked hard for condemnation from the Christian camp and found nothing. 

Pastor August Byron Kreis arrested

I use the word pastor loosely here. Pastor August Byron Kreis III, a former leader of the Aryan Nation and a member of the Christian Identity Movement, was arrested for sexually assaulting a young girl and providing obscene material to her. 

He is charged in Richland County with one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 16 and one count disseminating obscene material to a minor 12 years old or younger. Kreis also is charged in Lexington County, S.C., with three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and in Kershaw County, S.C., with one count of that same crime.

It wasn’t immediately clear exactly how many child victims are involved in the six felony counts lodged against Kreis in the three South Carolina counties.

Source: Ex-Aryan Nations leader arrested for sexual abuse of children

This is where I must admit that I have a black heart. My instincts in this case would lead me to violence. It’s why I’m not a cop or never could be one. People like Kreis are hate-filled bullies who feed on pain. I’d prefer to give it to them. This is why I write instead of act. I’m not sure I could control myself if confronted with a man like Kreis. I prefer others deal with the trash. 

Hat Tip to David Edwards of The Raw Story

*** Update 2/22/2014

Pastor August Byron Kreis allegedly molested a 12-year-old relative

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pastor Timothy Jones arrested

Pastor Timothy P. Jones, of New Bethel Baptist Church, was arrested for domestic assault.

Police said the incident started when the couple started arguing hours before at Jones’ apartment on Irving Street and she left to go to the church, where she was staying.

In Framingham District Court Monday, Assistant District Attorney Nate Burris described how Jones later went to the church, they argued and he hit her with a fist and open hand.

Fist. Check.

Open Hand. Check.

Pastor beats girlfriend in church… what an asshole.

Not to worry though, Pastor Jones is still leading his church even though he has no moral authority to do so. Get this quote…police said Jones was “escorted to the ground.” That’s epic!

Jones, police said, was arrested trying to escape the scene at his Beech Street church, where he has ministered for nearly a decade. Officers found him about a block away on Franklin Street.

They ordered Jones to show his hands, and he refused, responding by swearing aggressively, the police report said. He continued to ignore orders and took what officers said in their report was “an offensive posture.” So, the report said, Jones was “escorted to the ground.”

Jones continued to struggle and swear, telling officers that he was a pastor, that they would be sorry, that “God would judge” them, the report said.

Don’t arrest me or God will get you? People listen to this guy? 

Tear down these churches

I complain that Christians do not do enough to speak out against the corruption and abuse of power in politics and the Christian church. I complain that there are no voices, but there are. Here is one.

Visit for more.

Christian deadbeats

Terry Firma has a post up at The Friendly Atheist describing deadbeat Christians skipping out on a restaurant bill. It’s a fascinating story. 

Bible-Beating Thieves Skip Out On Restaurant Bill; Their Friends Are Outraged That The Owner Filed Charges

As all devout Christians know, the Lord will provide.

To some, that includes free restaurants meals (for when the loaves and fishes run out, I guess).

Take a gander at this recent dustup at the A&G restaurant in Winter Haven, Florida. It involves a woman named Ruthena Lewis, 44, and her 78-year-old mother Willie, who went there for breakfast last month.

Read more.

I’ve run into this  a few times in my life. It always blows my mind. These people are stealing. It is as simple as that. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cookies for Waco

I love Waco, Texas. I visited a few times over the years. My first experience was the joy of a Christian fundie protest outside of a package goods store. They gave me hell for buying a bottle of JD. Over the years I’ve learned to watch the news for fun die nutballs out of Waco. It is like fundies breed in Waco. This time the fundie nutballs focused on Girl Scouts and their crack-like cookies. They miscalculated though. 

Texans Rally to Protect Girl Scouts From Waco Wackos

So Pro-Life Waco began what they call CookieCott 2014 - a boycott of Girl Scout cookies – all because they don’t want girls to look up to strong pro-life leaders like Wendy Davis. FOX News picked up the story, and the American Family Association soon hopped on board, posting on their website:
“It’s hard to say no to those little girls in the green and brown sashes, but buying Girl Scout cookies serves only to further facilitate a very liberal pro-abortion agenda.”

My reason for boycotting Girl Scout Cookies is all about the Tagalongs they have on my waistline and glucose readings. I still buy the damn things. I can’t say no to little girls with cookies. Who can? For those who claim the boycott has something to do with a Liberal Agenda, I call bullshit. I mean seriously, what does a nine-year-old girl know of liberal versus conservative politics. The notion is idiotic as are the people perpetuating this nonsense. 

Cookiecott2014 is stupid. Tell your friends to buy an extra package of Thin Mints to show your support. 

My favorite Girl Scout cookies are Samoas. If left alone, I can eat a whole pack. I never once think of liberal values while doing so.