March 8, 2009

Biggots iz fick: Another face where mine had been

The neo-nazi British National Party has recently produced an anti-immigration poster. They chose to illustrate it with a Spitfire.

But RAF history experts have identified the iconic Romeo Foxtrot Delta Plane as belonging not to Britons but to a group of Polish pilots instead.

The plane was actually flown by the celebrated 303 Squadron of the RAF -- made up of Polish airmen rescued from France shortly before Nazi occupation.

A BNP representative could only come up with WE MENT 2 DU DAT, DUH, ONNIST GUV.

BNP uses Polish Spitfire in anti-immigration poster Daily Telegraph, 4th March 2009.

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February 19, 2009

Git orf moi land!

United Kingdom: The UK government is on a bit of a roll at the moment, what with letting in people with manslaughter convictions who then go on to commit murder, whilst banning obnoxiously opinionated but non-violent politicians, regardless of the opinion of at least one Muslim organisation, which believes in dialogue and was looking forward to an opportunity to engage in such a subversive activity. Meanwhile, an Islamist bampot is being chucked out, but being sent somewhere where he will be tortured.

The latest preachers of hate to be banned from the country are Fred Phelps and his Merrie Men, who wanted to picket a Basingstoke sixth-form college's production of the Laramie Project.

A father and daughter from a US church which preaches hatred of homosexuals have been banned from entering the UK by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

Fred Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper from the Westboro Baptist Church had urged protests against a play being put on in Hampshire.

Queen Mary's College in Basingstoke is staging The Laramie Project, a play about a man killed for being gay.

So, no opportunity for the London Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to organise sponsorship of the picket, whereby cash is raised for HIV/AIDS or LGBT organisations based on how long the Westboro Baptist Church hangs around, and no chance for the fundie bampots to remind the British public why the nation is not very religious at all. No doubt a tirade against our royal family will follow, just like when the Queen Mum died, seeing as they don't realise that the British attitude to royalty is as far removed from the Thai one as you can get without chopping the monarch's head off (very often).

Anti-gay preachers banned from UKBBC News, 19th February 2009.

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November 20, 2008

Patriotism in action (or, Biggotts iz fick, pt. $BIGNUM)

United Kingdom: SF author Liz Williams also runs a brace of occult shops in Glastonbury and, like many people, is interested in the recent leak of a British National Party (most of whom would have been more comfortable on the other side during WWII) membership list.

Following the leaked BNP list, I acquired a virtual pair of tongs and a face mask and took a look at the BNP's website. It is, not surprisingly, the usual vacuous presentation of some fairly sensible (in theory) policies with, as far as I could see, very little said about actual implementation....

One of these issues was that of buying British. Now, even anticipating the beat of jackboots down Glastonbury High St, this is something I can get behind - we support a lot of local craft people in the shops, but we can't exclusively buy British goods because of cost effectiveness. But there is already quite a lot of very good stuff out there, being made by woodworkers and metalworkers in the UK, and so I perused Excalibur, which is the BNP's online shop....

And lo! A lot of the stuff they sell, especially the Celtic things, is not just like the stuff we sell - it *is* the stuff we sell.

It's made in China.

And more dumbLiz Willams' Journal, 20th November 2008.

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August 26, 2008

Cult Founder Told to Pull Head In After Bizarre Audition Ploy

Australia: It's been a year since the antics of Kenja have darkened our doorsteps. The cult has since published several more full page ads in high profile Australian papers in strange attempts to convince the locals that their alledged paedophile leader was really a good bloke. At least the last attempt wasn't as libellous as the first and just stuck to lying about Dyers rather than lying about those who accused him of being a naughty boy. But this isn't about glorifying their leader in print, it's about their co-founder bizarre attempts to put the frighteners on a woman who pointed the finger at Dyers.

Alison Pels thought she had finally escaped the grasp of the cult Kenja Communications when she left the group in February last year.

But six months later the then 20-year-old found herself the subject of a bizarre plot by Jan Hamilton and other members of the group, who disguised themselves with fake facial hair and wigs while posing as directors of a play.
Continue reading "Cult Founder Told to Pull Head In After Bizarre Audition Ploy"

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July 10, 2008

Holy See Plunges into Red

Vatican City: Due to the internets being a bit recalitrant, this gem of fiscal losses has come my way. The Vatican has announced that it has had its first loss in four years and quite a hefty loss it is too at €9.1m (£7.25m or US$14.3m). Not something you're likely to find down the back of the couch. It seems the weak US dollar is being blamed and I was a wee bit baffled by this as I would have thought the Holy See would have been running on the Euro.

Much of the Vatican's income comes from donations from Catholics around the world. The US was the largest single contributor to Peter's Pence — the collection used by the Pope for charitably donations — sending almost US$19m (£9.5m).

Continue reading "Holy See Plunges into Red"

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July 3, 2008

Rant of the day

Zimbabwe: Barry Duke of The Freethinker feels that the Roman Catholic Church might have its priorities ever so slightly the wrong way round, and isn't afraid to use robust language to say so. In particular, he notes that the Church seems uninterested in criticising members of its flock who are, for example, murderous dictators:

Notice the book in Robert Mugabe’s hand when he was hastily sworn for a sixth term as President of Zimbabwe? Yes folks, the lunatic dictator – a devout Catholic – was clutching a Bible.

Mugabe is 84-years-old, and with any luck will soon be dead. And when he does finally turn up his toes, what’s the bet that religious revisionists, shaking their heads over the destruction he wreaked on his country, will vilify him as an atheist – just as they do now in respect of that other great Catholic dictator, Adolf Hitler.

For the moment though, Mugabe remains in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church...

Of course, should anyone suggest that pooves be treated as actual human beings, they would be deafened by condemnations from representatives of that same church.

Mugabe - a good Catholic dictator … just like Hitler!The Freethinker, 3rd July 2008.

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February 14, 2008

Christian "love" in action

Scotland: As previously reported, a tiny Catholic extremist organisation has taken aim at HIV/AIDS activists, the Order of Perpetual Indulgence. As part of their vendetta, they published the e-mail address of one of the Sisters and, not surprisingly, that individual has been receiving hate mail. Which she forwarded to me. I expect there's more that got eaten by the spam trap, she notes, but I'm not going to bother looking for it. So, what do members of Catholic Truth have to say in the name of their imaginary friend?

Continue reading "Christian "love" in action"

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January 21, 2008

Christians criticise appointment of anti-gay campaigner to equality body

United Kingdom: The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement has published a 10 page document criticizing the government's decision to appoint homophobic Christian activist Joel Edwards as an Equality Commissioner. Edwards has campaigned against equalities legistlation in the past, and the LGCM report uses his own words to demonstrate why Joel Edwards should not have been appointed to the Equality Commission and should resign. The report summarises the case against Edwards on page 1:

  • Joel Edwards aggressively lobbies against law reforms introducing gay equality
  • Joel Edwards promotes groups seeking to cure gay people
  • Joel Edward’s organisation seeks exemptions from the very laws Equality Commissioners are charged with upholding

They note that the organisation he leads, the Evangelical Alliance, explicitly opposes any kind of fair treatment for lesbians and gay men.

a homosexual lifestyle is a choice and is not to be classified in terms akin to race or gender. [p.3]

Of course, Edwards regards such criticism as religious discrimination and whines I therefore find it a shame that the LGCM considers my belief system less equal than others and a barrier to my serving the British public. Of course, as a religious lifestyle is a choice, surely it's not deserving of any kind of protection anyway, at least not according to Edwards' reasoning.

Joel Edwards and The Evangelical Alliance: Opponents of human rights for lesbian and gay people [Word document]—Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, 21st January 2008; Gay Christian group criticises new equality commissionerThe Guardian, 21st January 2008.

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December 11, 2007

Bible-bashing - literally.

United States: Another case of someone who used the Bible to justify their abuse of children being jailed.

Robert "Bobby" Hale, the Scripture-quoting "Papa Pilgrim" who used the Bible to pound subservience into his 15 children, went before a judge in Alaska last month, looking old and frail beyond his 66 years as he learned his punishment -- 14 years behind bars -- for sexually assaulting one of his daughters.

The strange story of 'Papa Pilgrim'Star-Telegram, 9th December 2007.

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September 22, 2007

A Blast from the Past

England: Anyone old enough to have been involved in neopaganism in the UK in the 1980s will remember the Rev. Kevin Logan (a.k.a.Kev. the Rev.). The Anglican vicar spent a lot of time and effort promoting the Satanic Abuse Myth, and propogating outrageous lies about neopaganism. He fell from grace after a seriously disturbed woman, Caroline Marchant, committed suicide while in his care. R.A. Gilbert summarised the story:

Caroline Marchant professed to be a victim of satanic abuse and to have been involved in child sacrifice.... Her story, however, was utterly untrue.... Many of the 'satanic' elements in her story seem to have been derived from the work of Doreen Irivine (who counselled Miss Marchant at the Zion Christian Temple at Yate, near Bristol). What she needed most was psychiatric help, whereas what she received was spiritual counselling by fundamentalists who saw demons rather than a disturbed mind. In February 1990, while in the care of the Reverend Kevin Logan, Caroline Marchant committed suicide. (Gilbert 1993, 154).

Well, he obviously thinks no-one can remember him after 17 years, and is back having a go at Harry Potter. Nor does he seem to have spent the time learning anything about neopaganism, as he strangely seems to think that Rowling's books have something to do with it.

The Rev Kevin Logan, of Christ Church with Cannon Street, Accrington, said that JK Rowling's teenage hero has many similarities with Jesus Christ - but the author's references to paganism could lead children into danger...

The Potter epic encourages kids to be curious in an area that God forbids, he said. It is also an encouragement to the vulnerable and under-age to learn more of paganism and the occult, which have a track record of emotional and spiritual damage.

Obviously failing to look after someone in your care, and contributing to intense religious pressure on her to lie, to the point where she kills herself, does not give the Rev. Logan himself a track record of emotional and spiritual damage.

But there is a reason for his sticking his head over the parapet. In 1988, he published a book which he entitled Paganism and the Occult: A manifesto for Christian Action, in which he expounded, well, a load of complete bollocks. Gilbert (a Christian) was more restrained when he reviewed the work:

The author's aim is to provide the basis for converting occultists to Christianity, but his lack of objectivity and of factual accuracy remove credibility from his attempt. (Gilbert 1993, 177)

So, why do we think Kev. the Rev. is back to his old media-whoring ways?

Christian comment on the issue is being sought as Mr Logan prepares to update his book 'Paganism and the Occult'.

I wonder if they'll send the Prattle a review copy?

Vicar calls for Harry Potter debateThe Blackburn Citizen, 19th September 2007; Gilbert, R.A., 1993, Casting the First Stone: the Hypocrisy of Religious Fundamentalism and its Threat to Society, Shaftesbury, Element Books.

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August 26, 2007

Cult Attempts to Turn a Paedophile into a Civil Rights Martyr

Australia: A month has passed since the news of Ken Dyers' suicide and it seems his cult has been attempting to create a martyr out of him, even if that means screwing over his victims.

Supporters of the 85-year-old Kenja founder — who shot himself last week while facing 22 counts of child sex assault and indecent assault — took the extraordinary step of placing advertisements in weekend newspapers declaring his innocence.

The full-page ads, which were run in The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday, accused Dyers' two alleged victims of deliberately lying and behaving in an appalling fashion.

They also claimed police were out to get him to further their careers.
Continue reading "Cult Attempts to Turn a Paedophile into a Civil Rights Martyr"

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July 29, 2007

Kiddie-Fiddling Australian Cult Leader Commits Suicide

Australia: Feòrag's trusty bampot filter brought me the news that professional charlatan, kiddie-fiddler and previous Prattle notable, Ken Dyers, topped himself on Wednesday rather than face court proceedings that he wouldn't be able to weasel out of.

Kenneth Dyers, 85, founder of spiritual organisation, Kenja Communications, was found dead at his Bundeena home on Wednesday.

Police went to the house in Crammond Avenue, Bundeena around 11am and found a man dead from a gunshot wound.

Police media would only say said it was not treating the death as suspicious and police were preparing a brief for the coroner.
Continue reading "Kiddie-Fiddling Australian Cult Leader Commits Suicide"

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June 14, 2007

Vatican approves of rape and torture

The Vatican has told Roman Catholics not to support Amnesty International because the organisation considers that criminalising women who want to control their fertility, especially those who have been raped, is counterproductive. This is, according to the Vatican, a much worse thing than rape, torture and judicial killing.

Amnesty International does not have any position at all on whether abortion is morally acceptable and accuses the Vatican of misrepresenting its position.

We are saying broadly that to criminalise women's management of their sexual reproductive right is the wrong answer, Amnesty's deputy Secretary General Kate Gilmore told Reuters news agency.

The Catholic Church, through a misrepresented account of our position on selective aspects of abortion, is placing in peril work on human rights, Ms Gilmore said.

Vatican urges end to Amnesty aidBBC News, 13th June 2007.

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June 11, 2007

Church operates protection racket

England: Further to their getting upset that someone noticed the existence of one of their buildings, the Church of England is now demanding money from Sony and access to young people to promote their particular superstition.

Sony has so far given them the attention they deserve - none.

Church demands Sony game donationThe Guardian, 11th June 2007. See also Church annoyed at game makersPagan Prattle, 9th June 2007.

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April 21, 2007

Bargain of the Day: porn, obviously

I can't read Spanish, but I know for sure what's being spammed to me today. But is the Bible an illegal drug, pornography or pirate software, because we know that's all that spammers advertise. The first spam came in at 06.35 this morning. Just in case I didn't get the message, it was repeated at 08:24, 16:02, 17:53 and 21:30. A look at the spam shows that it offers lots of Catholic clip art too—so why send it to my antipope.org address?

Continue reading "Bargain of the Day: porn, obviously"

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April 20, 2007

Religious childcare: a primer

United Kingdom: Two recent court cases involving allegations of child abuse have a certain similarity. First up is Eunice Spry, a foster mother who has just been sent down for 14 years. The court heard that she routinely beat, abused and starved children over a 19-year period, sometimes forcing sticks down their throats or making them eat their own vomit or rat excrement.

During the trial, the three victims, known as A, B and C, all gave evidence describing how their daily routines were punctuated by random acts of bizarre and sadistic violence...

Victim B, also now 21, told how her foster mother would pull her hair and shove her face in her pet dog's faeces as punishment.

Victim C, now 18, described how his foster mother held his hand down on a hot electric hob until it was left looking like a gooey mess. He said he had been force-fed so much washing-up liquid by Spry that he could now differentiate between the brands on taste alone.

The children were made to eat lard and if they were sick, would be forced to eat what they had thrown up.

The relevance? Spry is a devout Jehovah's Witness though, to the credit of that organisation, it was another member who secretly confronted victim A about marks to her head, caused when Spry rubbed sandpaper over her face, and so exposed the abuse.

A similar case is being heard at Canterbury Crown Court. Two Mormon women are accused of torturing six young children by forcing them to eat red-hot chillies and whipping them with nettles. The prosecution presented a detailed description of the alleged abuse, which they claim went on for nine years:

The children were woken at 5am every day, made to say prayers and read scripture, before doing hours of housework. If they did not do their chores quickly enough and to a high standard, they were punished.

The cruelty amounted to physical harm, punishing these children even when they were very young, he said. The physical abuse included striking and slapping, administering chilli powder and chopped chillies, using rolling pins and spoons to strike them, making them eat on the floor, making them eat raw eggs and striking them with stinging nettles.

The eldest, a boy now aged 13, was gagged when he was naughty and bundled into a sheet to be restrained while he was beaten, the court was told. The women were also said to have placed him between them and punched him to each other like a football. They would also pick him up and throw him across the room...

She said she was a member of the church and had strict principles to teach the children how to work and be obedient.

'Sadistic' foster mother jailed for 14 yearsThe Guardian, 19th April 2007; Mormon women 'tortured children to instil discipline'The Times, April 2007.

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March 28, 2007

Heart transplant

United States: Joe Murray used to be a columnist for the American Family Association, but is now strongly critical of their homophobic stance. This interview with him at Pam's House Blend makes interesting reading, and serves as a reminder that not all Christians are hate-filled loons (via Box Turtle Bulletin).

Pam's House Blend mocks all sorts of homophobia, especially fundie homophobia, and has recently featured some gems, such as What is it with Michael Savage and transpeople?—in which we learn that trans people are to blame for the Columbine massacre. The blog subtitle ...always steamin' means something quite different in these parts, though.

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March 26, 2007

Grumpy old man

Vatican City: A religious leader in an undemocratic city state has declared that the EU is headed for oblivion, because it doesn't give lip service to his imaginary friend.

Angry that a Berlin Declaration unveiled yesterday listing the EU's achievements and challenges on its 50th birthday contained no reference to the continent's Christian roots, Pope Benedict said that Europe could not be built by ignoring its people's identities.

So no doubt he'll be setting an example to us all by respecting the identities of LGBT Europeans, and those who chose an alternative imaginary friend, or none at all?

No, thought not, but for a change, he's decided to blame women for Europe's woes, not pooves:

In his remarks to bishops gathered for ceremonies in Rome to mark the signing of the treaty that founded the EU in 1957, the Pope declared that the reluctance of women in Europe to have babies and Europe's failure to regenerate itself was putting the continent on the path to oblivion. From a demographic standpoint ... Europe seems set on a path that could lead it to take leave of history, he warned. Europe was losing faith in its own future.

Strangely, it's the countries that most respect him—Poland, Italy and Spain—that currently have their lowest birthrates in history.

As the EU turns 50, Pope says it's on path to oblivionThe Guardian, 26th March 2007.

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March 20, 2007

Be careful who you lie about

United States: Four Amway distributors have been ordered to pay Proctor and Gamble over $19 million in compensation. The four had spread rumours that the company was involved in Satanism, and the case has dragged on for over a decade. The judge had earlier decided that Amway itself could not be held responsible for the actions of its self-employed distributors.

P&G filed suit against Randy Haugen of Ogden and three other distributors in 1995. The company charged the four had disseminated the devil-worship hoax through Amway's voice-mail system.

P&G said the Amway quartet passed along the false story that P&G's president had told a television talk show that his company was affiliated with the Church of Satan.

That never happened. But the Cincinnati-based maker of laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other products claims the rumors still cost it millions of dollars in sales.

Jury awards Procter and Gamble $19 million over devil worship rumorsThe Salt Lake Tribune, 19th March 2007. See also: Let sleeping myths liePagan Prattle, Summer 1994, for an example of the rumour from Usenet.

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March 19, 2007

Compare and contrast

United Kingdom: A BBC survey has revealed that British Christians think they suffer discrimination in the workplace, and in the way they are portrayed in the media, but Christian think tank Ekklesia has told them not to be so paranoid:

Christians are also privileged — for example there are 26 unelected bishops in the house of Lords, and a quarter of state-funded primary schools are run by churches selecting on the basis of people's faith, said Ekklesia co-director Jonathan Bartley on The Heaven and Earth Show this morning.

He also said that when Muslims and Jews faced attacks and desecration of their cemeteries, talk of persecution needed to be put into context.

Meanwhile, down in Dorset, a Druid group has some charming (and almost certainly Christian) neighbours:

After [The Dolmen, a Neopagan band] played one particular gig in Weymouth someone left a dead bird with a noose around its neck on the windscreen.

They also typed the words 'Die Witches' on a piece of paper stuck to it...

Then someone put nails under the tyres of the van as it was parked in Radipole Lane, the night after they had played another gig.

At our last ritual at Maumbury Rings a group of people came along to barrack us for no apparent reason.

BBC survey says Christians feel they are discriminated againstEkklesia, 18th March 2007; Pagans suffer ritual abuseDorset Echo, 17th March 2007. See also today's Jesus and Mo for some topical commentary!

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March 4, 2007

Sunday shorts

  • Link between belief in God and violence demonstrated. When God Sanctions Killing, The People ListenScience Daily, 24th February 2007.
  • Although abortion is claimed to be the issue, it's obvious that the bigotry of Roman Catholic leaders has attracted the interest of neo-nazis. They have similar views on pooves and women, after all. BNP seeks anti-abortion Catholic votesThe Observer, 4th March 2007.
  • Astrologer sued after predicting a long life for a dead man. Prediction lands astrologer in courtChennai Online, 3rd March 2007.
  • Christian students given prayer room, are shocked that others complain when they break the rules by which all school clubs have to abide, and use a common room instead. Fundies blame a lone Satanist. Strange how such organisations always come to the support of a lone Christian who complains, yet get their knickers in a twist when the complainer is differently superstitious. Falwell-linked group pushes prayer controversyNorthwest Progressive Institute, 2nd March 2007.

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January 29, 2007

Blair to religious bigots: get used to it.

United Kindgom: The Prime Minister has said that churches who want and exception from anti-discrimination laws for faith-based adoption agencies has said they will not get it. Instead, they'll get a 21 month transition period, in which they won't have to consider same-sex couples, but will be obliged to refer them to other, less superstitious, agencies. After that, they will be bound by the law like everyone else. He also reminded us of whose money it is the churches want to use for discriminatory purposes (emphasis mine):

There is no place in our society for discrimination. That's why I support the right of gay couples to apply to adopt like any other couple.

And that way there can be no exemptions for faith-based adoption agencies offering public funded services from regulations that prevent discrimination.

This is likely to be subject to a free vote in parliament, so it's still worth signing the Prattle's petition!

No exemption from gay rights lawBBC News, 29th January 2007.

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More on religious discrimination against pooves and dykes

United Kingdom: A correspondent writes to the Prattle:

I think you missed the best part of the story. As per the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6293115.stm... the little bully-mob of Archbishops claims that:

rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well-meaning

In other words, they are claiming that if they want to do something (or perhaps that their Invisible Friend wants them to do something) then the government should not be allowed to tell them otherwise.

Anything.

They are, in fact, demanding the right to be above the law in all cases, should they choose to exercise that right.

Hmm.

Hmm indeed. Our attention is also drawn to a petition on the government website, supporting the law. The end date has been extended, so we are asked to ignore the 17th January bit.

But here at Prattle Towers (Northern Hemisphere) we have our own modest proposal, and have our very own petition: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to allow religious organisations to discriminate against lesbians and gay men, on condition that they accept discrimination against themselves. You know it makes sense!

Another interesting petition request the extension of the law to cover trans-people: to prohibit discrimination in the provision of goods, services and facilities, includng health care,on the grounds of transsexual or transgender status

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December 9, 2006

Onion gravy is traditional, but cranberry sauce is nice

United States: Some schools have a system whereby non-profit organisations may give flyers to schoolchildren. A recent court ruling affirmed that, to avoid church and state issues, the system had to be made available to all non-profits, or none at all. The case was brought by an organisation run by preacher Jerry Falwell.

The dispute started last summer when Gabriel and Joshua Rakoski, twins who attend Hollymead Elementary School, sought permission to distribute fliers about their church's Vacation Bible School to their peers via backpack mail. Many public schools use special folders placed in student backpacks to distribute notices about schools events and sometimes extra-curricular activities to parents.

School officials originally denied the request from the twins' father, Ray Rakoski, citing a school policy barring distribution of literature that is for partisan, sectarian, religious or political purposes.

A Charlottesville weekly newspaper, The Hook, reports that Rakoski sicced the Liberty Counsel on the county, and the policy was soon revised to allow religious groups to use the backpack mail system. Liberty Counsel is a Religious Right legal group founded by Mathew Staver and now affiliated with Falwell.

So, when a Unitarian Universalist congregation used the system to advertise an event about the pagan origins of Christmas, followed by a Yule celebration, who got all upset about it? Yep, Christians.

Suddenly not everyone was pleased by the open forum. Jeff Riddle, pastor of Jefferson Park Baptist Church in Charlottesville, wrote on his personal blog, If the school allows the Baptist or Methodist church to send home a note to its students about Vacation Bible School, it also has to allow the Unitarian Church to send home a note about its 'Pagan ritual to celebrate Yule'....This kind of note adds weight to the argument that it is high time for Christians to leave public schools for reasonable alternatives (homeschooling and private Christian schools).

Another conservative Christian blogger in the county complained about finding the flier in her child's folder. Apparently unaware of Falwell's role in bringing it about, the blogger who goes by the name Cathy, noted disclaimer language at the bottom of the flier noting that the event is not connected to the school and wrote, They [the school officials] aren't endorsing or sponsoring this? Then it shouldn't have been included in the Friday folders. The Friday folders have never been used for any thing other than school work and school board and/or County sanctioned/sponsored programs.

And the stushie soon came to the notice of the fundies at World Net Daily:

Amazing — government schools ban orthodox Christianity, but allow an openly pagan organization to proselytize six-year-olds! one observer who asked for anonymity told WND...

The banner also displays three symbols: a cross, a Star of David and a pentagram — a star enclosed in a circle — often associated with paganism, witches groups such as Wicca, and even Satanism.

At least the World Nut Daily can tell the difference between a pentacle and a pentagram, unlike most Neopagans these days.

Andrew Ian Dodge also pointed me towards a forum discussion of the issue, where one or two people were a little upset about it.

I'm shocked that people think this would hold up. What about local control? Aren't local standards used to define what is obscene?

I thank God for Christian schools!

Obviously, the obscenity in question must be the gruesome method of execution depicted on the flyer.

Falwell’s Flub: Jerry-Rigged Policy Opens Door For Pagan Proselytizing In Virginia Public SchoolThe Wall of Separation, 5th December 2006;Pagan Christmas ritual pressed on young kidsWorld Net Daily, 8th December 2006.

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October 31, 2006

More invisible terrorists

United States: It seems that the phenomenon of not reporting certain terrorists is not limited to the UK. Over in the US, Jennifer L. Pozner, executive director of Women In Media and News has drawn our attention to an appalling attempted suicide bombing which took place in Iowa on the 5th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. A man drove a car into a building with the intention of causing an explosion which would kill himself, and destroy the building. Like the September 11th terrorists, he was taking part in a holy war, but David McMenemy is a white Christian fundamentalist, so only one news source bothered to report the incident.

He is also a particularly stupid Christian terrorist—he attacked the Edgerton Women's Health Center because he thought abortions were done there. They're not. The centre specialises in providing smear tests, immunisation and other ob-gyn services for low income families. The cost of the damage was $170,000.

The terrorists who aren't in the newsNewsday, 8th October 2006. (thanks to Arthur D. Hlavaty).

Update: there is more coverage and analysis of this issue over at Wisse Words and Making Light.

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October 23, 2006

Funny that...

United Kingdom: Val has noticed something a little, well, interesting in the newspapers recently. What interested her was the way in which the guilty plea of a Muslim to terror charges was all over the national and international press. Her eyebrows were raised further by a note that no funding had been received for the plots, nor had any of what would have been the necessary vehicles or bomb-making equipment been acquired.

During the same week, another story of dastardly terrorists was reported. Two men were arrested after chemicals which could be used to make bombs, an NBC suit and rocket launchers were found in a house in Burnley. The chemical components recovered by police are believed to be the largest haul ever found at a house in Britain. But you won't have heard about it - the story only appeared in local newspapers in Lancashire. The two men arrested, Robert Cottage (49) and David Bolus Jackson (62), are both white, and one of them stood as a BNP candidate for Pendle Council earlier this year. They were due in court today—perhaps the papers might notice this time?

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September 4, 2006

Stephen Green arrested

Wales: Stephen Green of Christian Voice has been arrested after distributing leaflets at Cardiff Mardi Gras. Naturally, after trying so hard to suppress free speech, he's suddenly supporting it. More at MediaWatchWatch.

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June 17, 2006

Thou shalt not commit stupidity

United States of America: Georgia Representative Lynn Westmoreland co-sponsored a bill which would mandate the display of the Ten Commandments in the US House of Representatives and Senate. Steve Colbert interviewed him about this and asked him to recite those Commandments. Interestingly, he knows fewer of them than I do! Stephen Colbert and Congressman (YouTube link - Flash video) (via The Woolamaloo Gazette).

May 24, 2006

Darwin's spellbook

England: An Oxford witch who claimed that a fire which damaged her flat, and several others in the same building, was caused by a spell going wrong failed to impress the jury. She was found guilty of arson and jailed for three years.

Patricia Swift, 50, said that she had been performing a ritual to ward off a man who had threatened to kill her. The ritual did not involve phoning the police, or seeking an injunction, but instead required her to place a number of items on the floor and set them on fire. When the fire went out of control, she tried urinating on it to put it out. Strangely, the incident occurred three days before Ms. Swift was due to be evicted, and her relationship with her neighbours was not good.

[Peter Coombe, prosecuting,] told the court: Rose Wallace, who lived above, described enduring a long history of abuse over a five-year period.

On the day of the fire, Miss Wallace heard the defendant making a lot of noise in her flat, throwing furniture around.

Shortly afterwards she smelled smoke and called 999. She went to the door and heard the defendant shouting, 'Fat cow, burn, fat cow, burn'.

Swift initially gave a another reason why she set the fires: I was burning my things because they are going to evict me. She made up the spell story later.

Spell for flaming disasterMetro, 22nd May 2006 (thanks, Norman).

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May 6, 2006

What the papers won't say

United States: A love of Classical music led to a 16-year old girl brutally slaughtering her mother in a ritualistic killing, the Prattle can reveal. Neighbours thought Esmie Tseng was a kid any parent would be proud of, but her involvement in the "Classie" scene was slowly turning her from a talented honour student into a vicious murderer.

...she stabbed her mother to death with a knife in an incident that apparently took the mother and daughter through several rooms of their home.

The murder happened after Tseng's mother threatened to sell her piano, an instrument popular among Classies. Police are investigating whether Classical music's frequent use of occult and violent imagery, influenced Tseng. Such music has provoked violence in the past, such as the riot at the premiere of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, a glorification of sexual pagan ritual.

Like many teenage Classies, Tseng kept an online journal in which she detailed her increasing hatred of her parents, along with her obsession with classical music. After the murder, neighbour Jacob Horwitz read through her site and was shocked at what he found there:

My God, Jacob Horwitz remembers thinking when he read her weblog, it's a shame that another parent didn't see this yesterday.

Of course, this tragic story wasn't covered in this mendacious manner, and reading the full details, it will become obvious that there is a lot more to it than has been written here. Had Tseng been a goth, or into rap music, the press coverage would have been somewhat different.

Killer daughter case ignites US debateBBC News, 3rd May 2006.

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February 10, 2006

Make your bets, folks.

Egypt: Pagan Prattle Sweep time! How long will it be before Islamist loons start burning Egyptian flags and embassies, and demanding a boycott of Egyptian produce? You see, Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey felt the cartoons of Mohammed looked very familiar, and has found something very, very interesting.

...they were actually printed in the Egyptian Newspaper Al Fagr back in October 2005. I repeat, October 2005, during Ramadan, for all the egyptian muslim population to see, and not a single squeak of outrage was present. Al Fagr isn't a small newspaper either: it has respectable circulation in Egypt, since it's helmed by known Journalist Adel Hamoudah.

And to prove it, he's scanned the relevant pages.

I've already placed my bet on 'never'.

Boycott EgyptRantings of a Sandmonkey, 8th February 2006.

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February 5, 2006

Mohammed through the ages

[An Islamic depiction of Mohammed]The Mohammed Image Archive at Zombietime, is a response to the Islamist loons who have reacted violently to a Danish newspaper publishing cartoons (several of which take the piss out of the paper itself) depicting Mohammed. They claim it's blasphemous, which is why the first block of images are of depictions of Mohammed in the Islamic world. The site also reprints the cartoons, along with other satirical Western cartoons depicting Mohammed which caused absolutely no fuss whatosever.

In addition, Val reminded me of Jesus and Mo, a web comic which should annoy the Christian fundies too.

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October 22, 2005

Journalist too lazy to use brain shocker!

United States: You know how it is—if the main suspect in a crime has any interest in the occult, then the crime is automatically a ritual. It's definite if the accused has an interest in Satanism, especially if said accused is a teenager. And so it is in the case of the murder of Pamela Vitalae in California. The National Ledger is presumably a publication in the same genre as the National Enquirer and Red Wolf's favourite, the Weekly World News. Their coverage differs only in the lack of any detail about the crime.

Instead, they have chosen the environmentally friendly approach, recycling material from the fundie dossiers on the occult that were circulated in the late 80s. And they've even disinterred one of the hacks who fanned the flames back then. Maury Terry is best known for his book The Ultimate Evil, which had to be changed as part of an out-of-court settlement after the OTO sued. And what does this fantasist have to say?

The world of the Satanic cultist is filled with ritualistic violence, perverse sexual activity and abuse, Heavy Metal music and the use of illegal drugs such as marijuana, amphetamines (crank, speed, meth, crystal), psylocybin (an hallucinogenic drug similar to LSD), heroin and other others. This is a world which, even in the beginning of the 21st Century, continues to attract a large number of young people who follow the precepts of Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible, a volume that has millions of copies in print today.

That would be the Satanic Bible that has a real downer on 'satanists' who restrict others' freedom to act as they will by, for example, murdering or assaulting them? But we can't expect our 'expert' to have read the book, can we? It might turn him into a murderous thug or something. After much waffling, he calls on loony fundie Pat Pulling (well known to players of RPGs thanks to her campaign against them) to recite the familar cousin to the Blood Libel:

During the course of these so-called religious rituals, drug use is usually rampant and heightens the frenzy and blood-lust of the cultists. According to Pat Pulling, a criminologist Who lectures police departments on the occult and Satanism, rituals may include:

*Victim is placed in a coffin or make-shift coffin.
*Paraphernalia and symbols such are pentagrams, 666 symbols, inverted crosses, etc.
* Heavy feeding of drugs, especially hallucinogens.
*Kidnapping victims.
*Sexual abuse aimed at confusing a recruit and destroying his/her moral foundation.
*Incestuous sex acts (family is involved in the cult).
*Animal or (rarely) human sacrifice.
*Cannibalism.
*Cremation (destruction of victim along with evidence).

There is considerable ritual abuse during Satanic ceremonies. Indoctrination of the young is the purpose of much of this abuse. Ritual abuse is defined as repeated physical, emotional, mental and spiritual assaults combined with a systematic use of symbols, ceremonies and images designed to turn a person against himself and society. Drugs, again, are utilized during this process of systematic degradation.

Lies which were proven to be malicious fantasy around 15 years ago.

Pamela Vitale Murder: Satanic or Ritualistic Crime and Murder?-—National Ledger, 22nd October 2005 (not 1988!).

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September 3, 2005

Really useful aid

United States: There might be no fresh water or sewerage in New Orleans, but refugees will have no shortage of bog roll thanks to a generous donation from the Gideons:

The Gideons International are sending 40,000 Personal Witnessing Testaments (New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs) to be distributed at the Astrodome and other relief centers in Houston...

...The scriptures are on a truck due to arrive Sunday by 10 a.m. and we are planning shifts to provide patoral care 24/7.

God is at work, and we are called by Him to Serve His Will. There was a purpose for Katrina, let us not fail to fulfill our duties.

Gideons sending 40,000 New Testaments to Astrodome - Free Republic, 2nd September 2005 (via Grim Meathook Deluge Bible Class, Courtesy Of Some Fucking Scum - Warren Ellis, 2nd September 2005).

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Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 00:59 | Comments (3) | View blog reactions

Sorting the wheat from the chaff

If you want to give money to the world's richest country, then it might help to know which charities are genuine, and which are simply excuses to get at vulnerable people and evangelise. With that in mind, Sunfell has produced an edited version of a list originally posted by Dogemperor to the dark_christian LiveJournal community.

It rather sucks in a way this has to be done...

...but anyways, here's some notes on whom to donate to and whom not to donate to in regards to NOLA relief and dominionist groups. (Very sadly, dominionist groups will run charity groups taking advantage of people who may genuinely want to help. Most of the time, help from these groups occurs with substantial strings.)

I am posting this list for folks to not only know of good groups to donate to in regards to NOLA relief, but also so that you can notify workplaces of both the good guys and groups to avoid (due to dominionist links). (There are far worthier charities than dominionist groups, and I'd MUCH rather my money go to them than to support stealth evangelism and the like)

Charities to donate to, charities to avoid - Sunfell's Earth Walk, 1st September 2005.

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August 30, 2005

Free speech applies to all.

United States: Certain fundies are always harping on about the evils of the ACLU, but tend to be strangely silent when that organisation supports the First Amendment rights of Christians, as well as everyone else. Take the case of Shawn Miller, who spent 109 days in jail for quietly preaching to his family, away from others.

My wife, our two children, and I had been going for three months to this same abandoned gas station without any incident. We were simply having a quiet Bible study on Sunday morning. The bank across the street is closed. There are two churches (Baptist & Methodist) on opposite corners from us. There is a minimal amount of car traffic and no pedestrian traffic. We are NOT there to be heard. We are simply there trying to let our light shine. We are NOT yelling at anyone because there is no one around. Sure, cars pass and see us, but there is no way we are disturbing them since we are 15 feet away from the sidewalk. This police officer decided to pick on us that day for some unknown reason. Officer Smart, Officer Wilson, and an animal control officer were in the parking lot adjacent to us at about 9:45 and they stayed for about 20-30 minutes. Then they all left. A sheriff's deputy watched us for about five minutes a week before that day. Many police cars had driven by throughout the previous months WITHOUT incident. Officer Smart then came back at 11:05. I went over to him and extended my hand and said, What is the problem, officer? He said, You need to tone it down. I said, I am preaching to my family and we are not bothering anyone. This is free speech and you can not stop me. He said, We have been getting phone calls about you pointing and yelling at cars. I said, I was not yelling at cars and was not pointing and I was not bothering anyone. This is free speech and you can not stop me. If you have a problem with me being on this property, I will go to the sidewalk.

He is also accused of resisting arrest, because he surrendered to the police.

I was standing on the sidewalk looking at the officers. Officer Smart said, Come back here. I did not want to get arrested for trespassing, so I stayed where I was. I said, No, I am staying on the sidewalk because it is public property. He then came towards me. I have seen the TV show COPS. I thought it best to get on my knees and put my hands in the air to show that I was not resisting arrest.

Comment by Shawn Miller to Common Ground with the Religious RightDispatches from the Culture Wars, 28th August 2005. See also ACLU Defends Another Street PreacherDispatches from the Culture Wars, 28th August 2005.

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June 29, 2005

Fanning the flames

United States/United Kingdom: It's interesting to see how some of the less respectable elements of the right choose to distort the story about a Metropolitan Police report concerning two very different problems - the unique case of Adam, a boy whose dismembered body was found in the Thames and about whom absolutely nothing is known despite years of investigation, and of the abuse of children whose guardian believe them to be witches, or posessed by demons (a grand total of two cases in the UK).

Let us compare and contrast a report in The Independent with Jim Kouri's retelling of it at MichNews.com.

Continue reading "Fanning the flames"

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June 16, 2005

Tarot fraudster must repay cash

United States: A tarot reader who conned a gullible customer out of $238,715 has been ordered to repay the cash. Paula Marion had pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny earlier this year and faces five years' probation. Julia Marcellino claimed the sum she was duped out of was nearer $400,000.

Marcellino has said Marion brought her to financial ruin. She said Marion became her friend after an initial card reading and charting in September 2002.

Marcellino said Marion convinced her to turn over money to ward off bad omens and save her family members from illness and death. The con game also involved members of Marion's family, police said.

The defence added another interesting twist to the case, claiming the pair were lovers.

Marion's lawyer, Brian Kelly, argued that Marcellino brought the charges after his client broke off Marion and Marcellino's plan to marry in July. Marcellino has denied the allegation.

We felt that this was a situation between two individuals who were lovers, Kelly said. Gifts were exchanged. Any money given to my client should have been considered gifts. The court determined otherwise.

Tarot card reader to pay - The Journal News, 16th June 2005.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 12:57 | View blog reactions

June 11, 2005

Questions raised about Christian charity

Scotland: Teachers have discovered that a "Christian" charity which collects Christmas gifts from Scottish pupils to send to children in the developing world, is not concerned with promoting tolerance and diversity. Samaritan's Purse is connected to the American evangelical movement, is endorsed by preacher Franklin Graham, and is reported to be anti-Islam.

According to members of the South Lanarkshire branch of the EIS [a teachers' union], Samaritan's Purse took 30,000 Bibles into Iraq alongside US soldiers at the barrel of a gun...

Kenny Elder, from the South Lanarkshire branch of the EIS, told delegates: It has a very right-wing, racist view of religion. It should be investigated by the union because it has a growing presence in our schools.

The activities of American evangelists have been causing problems for Iraq's long-established Christian community.

Christian charity accused of bigotry - The Herald, 10th June 2005; see also Iraqi Christians to American evangelists: Piss off - Pagan Prattle, 28th May 2005.

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February 15, 2005

The-rapists at it again.

United States: A former Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to 12-15 years in prison for child rape by a Boston court. Nothing odd about that--the scandal has been a major news story for a few years now. But the case is not as clean cut as usual because it seems the only evidence against Paul Shanley comes from the 'recovered' memories of his purported victim.

The case hinged on the reliability of the victim's memories of the abuse, which he said he recovered several years ago as the clergy sex abuse scandal unfolded in the media...

...He was arrested in California in May 2002, and brought back to Massachusetts in handcuffs -- charged with raping four boys at St. Jean's. All four claimed they recovered memories of the abuse after the scandal broke.

But the case ran into numerous problems. In July, prosecutors dropped two accusers in what they said was a move to strengthen their case. Then, on the day jury selection began, they dropped a third accuser because he disappeared after a traumatic experience on the witness stand at a pretrial hearing last fall.

One of the accusers dropped from the case was Gregory Ford, a prominent victim in the clergy sex abuse scandal and among those who have settled lawsuits with the Boston Archdiocese. Ford was a friend of the victim left in the criminal case against Shanley, and the former priest's attorney contended the man's recovered memories were made up to match Ford's accusations -- and to profit financially in a lawsuit.

Defrocked priest sentenced to 12 to 15 years for child rape - Boston Globe, 15th February 2005.

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Deaf Group Refused Communicator at Pagan Event

Note: This matter has now been resolved, to the satisfaction of SignPagan.

England: The following arrived in my inbox, and was originally scheduled for publication somewhere with a much bigger readership then here. In light of the note above, this has become unnecessary.

On the 5th March, a group who claim to promote an ethical approach to Wicca in the UK are holding a national event at Fairfield Halls in Corydon. It is expected to attract hundreds of people with talks, workshops and a huge collection of market stalls. The event is due to finish with a ball until one in the morning.

Crystal Rose, a Deaf Witch from Derby wanted to go to this event with some friends but was concerned that she would not be able to make the most of it without a BSL communicator. She is also a founding member of the SignPagan project which aims to increase Deaf access to alternative-faiths and events across the country.

When SignPagan contacted Children of Artemis, the group responsible for this event, they were unresponsive. Eventually they claimed that Fairfield Halls would be too small to accommodate a BSL communicator, despite the event attracting hundreds of people. Children of Artemis then explained that the only way that the group would be allowed to bring a communicator or interpreter would be if they bought them a ticket. Even after receiving all of the information regarding the Disability Discrimination Act, they still refused to make any allowances and eventually stopped responding.

SignPagan contacted Fairfield Halls to ask for their opinion as the venue provider. An official at Fairfield explained that according to their disability access policy, a person in a wheelchair must pay for a ticket but their attendant does not have to pay because they are viewed as a service and not a consumer, they did not see why this should be any different for a Deaf person with a communicator.

(Contact details supplied)

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 15:41 | Comments (3) | View blog reactions

January 29, 2005

Tory tries Political Correctness, gets religions mixed up.

England: A prospective parliamentary candidate for the Conservative Party claims that a proposed design for a Labour poster is anti-semitic. The poster shows the faces of leading Tories Michael Howard and Oliver Letwin, coincidentally both of Jewish descent, superimposed on winged pigs, with the slogan The day the Tory sums add up. Apparently, while we were not looking, Judaism secretly turned into Islam, if the claims of Andrew Mennear, that there was nothing more distasteful for a Jewish person than to be associated with a pig, are true.

In reality, Jewish law only forbids eating the flesh of a pig,--a Jew may use a hogshair brush, for example. Perhaps Mennear needs to study a bit more--maybe he could start by finding out which old cliché the proposed poster refers to.

Labour pig poster 'anti-Semitic' - BBC News, 28th January 2005.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 13:49 | View blog reactions

Movie Mix Up

United Kingdom: It wouldn't be the first time a movie mix up has made it into the Prattle, this time the heroes of our tale are Alan and Anne Leigh-Browne, from Wellington, Somerset.

A devout Baptist couple who bought a Doris Day DVD from a supermarket were shocked to find a sex film instead.
Continue reading "Movie Mix Up"
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December 13, 2004

Sorry to Disappoint, but I'm Still an Atheist!

The net has recently been filled with gloating from the supersitious with the news that a well-known atheist had turned to religion. Well, according to the man himself, it's all a load of bollocks. Professor Antony Flew has been accused of turning to religion twice before, and each time he has issued the same statement.

Richard C. Carrier, current Editor in Chief of the Secular Web, tells me that the internet has now become awash with rumors that I have converted to Christianity, or am at least no longer an atheist. Perhaps because I was born too soon to be involved in the internet world I had heard nothing of this rumour. So Mr. Carrier asks me to explain myself in cyberspace. This, with the help of the Internet Infidels, I now attempt.

Those rumours speak false. I remain still what I have been now for over fifty years, a negative atheist. By this I mean that I construe the initial letter in the word 'atheist' in the way in which everyone construes the same initial letter in such words as 'atypical' and 'amoral'. For I still believe that it is impossible either to verify or to falsify - to show to be false - what David Hume in his Dialogues concerning Natural Religion happily described as the religious hypothesis. The more I contemplate the eschatological teachings of Christianity and Islam the more I wish I could demonstrate their falsity.

And the reason he's repeatedly accused of believing in God? It seems the religious have difficulty with the English language, and cannot understand it when a philosopher writes about how the religious might react to cool stuff like Big Physics:

We negative atheists are bound to see the Big Bang cosmology as requiring a physical explanation; and that one which, in the nature of the case, may nevertheless be forever inaccessible to human beings. But believers may, equally reasonably, welcome the Big Bang cosmology as tending to confirm their prior belief that "in the beginning" the Universe was created by God...

...In short, I recognize that developments in physics coming on the last twenty or thirty years can reasonably be seen as in some degree confirmatory of a previously faith-based belief in god, even though they still provide no sufficient reason for unbelievers to change their minds. They certainly have not persuaded me.

Has Antony Flew ceased to be an atheist? - Rationalist International Bulletin 137, 12th December 2004 (via Gullibility is not in the Dictionary).

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December 2, 2004

Better Late Than Never

United Kingdom: Seven hundred years after they were denounced as heretics and condemned to torture and death, the Knights Templar are calling for a public apology from the Roman Catholic Church.

The secretive organisation which was formed at the time of the Crusades has written to Pope John Paul II requesting that the Vatican officially atone for the persecution of the order.

The formal request for reconciliation to the Vatican has come from an English-based sept and is signed by the Council of Chaplains, for and on behalf of the acting Grand Master. The letter asks for an apology from the Vatican for the persecution of our brothers of the Knights Templar and the torture and murder of our leadership, under Pope Clement V during the 14th century AD.
Continue reading "Better Late Than Never"
Posted by Red Wolf in Hypocrisy at 00:47 | Comments (2) | View blog reactions

October 4, 2004

Lesbians Are Witches And Should Be Burned To Death

Australia: Family First seem to be going out of their way to behave like pig ignorant morons. Lying about their cosy associations to the Assemblies of God cult, running smear campaigns against their political opponents and now inciting violence. It seems that these loonies have forgotten all their Christian teachings.

An attack on Greens campaigners in the Dickson electorate on the weekend was provoked by a Family First representative.

The Family First Representative, who was handing out leaflets at the same location, had announced earlier in the day that 'lesbians are witches and should be burned to death', said Greens Candidate Howard Nielsen.
Continue reading "Lesbians Are Witches And Should Be Burned To Death"

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Posted by Red Wolf in Hypocrisy at 07:12 | Comments (5) | View blog reactions

October 3, 2004

Family First, People Last

Australia: Susie O'Brien wrote a great piece for Melbourne's Herald Sun about the hypocrisy of Family First. Alas, the Herald Sun is part of Murdoch's stable, so if stories even do get to the paper's web site, they are only live for a day or so, hence this article getting submitted in its entirety.

If you're having trouble deciding who to support in this election, why not ask who Jesus would vote for.

If you accept the lead of creationist cleanskins Family First, it probably wouldn't be Labor or the Greens.

No, the son of God would only support good conservative candidates, as long as they weren't gay or didn't support same-sex marriage.
Continue reading "Family First, People Last"

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Posted by Red Wolf in Hypocrisy at 06:44 | Comments (1) | View blog reactions

September 22, 2004

Unconventional love magick

South Africa: A traditional healer is due to appear in court on a charge of raping a client who became suspicious of his unorthodox methods of applying potions.

The healer is accused of smearing muti on his penis, and then using it to inject the muti into the woman's vagina, said Capricorn police spokesperson, Captain Mohale Ramatseba, on Tuesday.

The muti was supposed to make the woman's boyfriend more interested in her, said Ramatseba.

But when the muti failed to work, the 21-year-old woman returned to the healer on Monday to complain.

When the healer prepared to inject her again, she ran to the Polokwane police station and reported him for rape.

When he tried it again this week and said he'd have to penetrate her deeper, she realised she was being taken for a ride, said Ramatseba.

Healer uses 'penis muti' - News24, 21st September 2004.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy and Willies at 10:41 | Comments (1) | View blog reactions

August 13, 2004

I have authoritah!

United States: The War on Terror has a new target - role-playing games. A New York gamer had an interesting encounter with a Cartman employed by a ferry company to check bags for weapons:

This morning, they're doing bag searches again to get on the ferry. And the guy doing the searches pulls me aside and says, Sir, I feel that I need to confiscate this book.
I pause and say, in that tone of voice that most people would recognize as meaning, have you lost your grip completely, chuckles?: You need to confiscate... a book.
Yes. I feel it's inappropriate for the other people on the ferry to be exposed to it.
Now, I had the book IN MY BAG. It was not open. And while the Maiden of the Mirthless Smile is displayed as improbably proportioned, well, this is not, as far as I know, illegal to have. I mean, there was a guy carrying a copy of Maxim, and some of the women in THAT are improbably proportion. (All right, I admit: they're not wielding a huge sword and dressed in a bustier studded with human finger bones. But really.)
My response: Well, let me call the ACLU and have them come down here, and see what they think about your attempt to confiscate a book that was not in the plain sight of others due to your feeling it's not appropriate. And I pull out my cell and start scrolling down the list - ACLU-NJ is at the top, actually, before 'Amanda' and 'ardaniel' since it sorts alphabetically.
He gets all pissy at me and says, Don't you understand this is for your safety?
Confiscating someone's gun or bomb is for my safety. PErhaps confiscating someone's pocketknife or nailfile may be for my safety. What's so damn dangerous about my book?
It's INAPPROPRIATE!
That's NOT YOUR DECISION! I could be carrying a copy of Hustler in here, and it's STILL not your decision! You're looking for bombs and knifes and guns and things that hurt people, and a book that is IN MY BAG is not going to leap out of its own damn accord and HIT SOMEONE!
The rest of the people waiting for the ferry are watching our exchange. He realizes that they're all looking at him, and that I'm winning this one in their eyes.
He lets me go on the boat.

GRRR! - Sea and Sky and Land, 11th August 2004 (via Avedon).

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 13:24 | View blog reactions

June 27, 2004

God-botherer invents 'pagan' rites for abuse

Australia: The Queensland National Party official accused of underage sex with young men has been found guilty, much to his own astonishment. Garry Robin Ford proclaimed that God would judge his accusers. The allegations involved some rather unrecognisable 'pagan' rituals (a term the Murdoch-owned NEWS.com.au uses without qualification).

The Supreme Court in Brisbane was told schoolboys had sat in a candle-lit circle as their black-caped teacher chanted and danced.
They allegedly performed sex acts on each other and on Ford to be initiated into his White Brotherhood sect.

Ford had earlier told the court that he was trying to mentor one of the youths to put God first.

Although fundies are likely to proclaim that this case is definite proof of satanic ritual abuse, it matches rather closely a phenomenon observed by Professor Jean LaFontaine back in 1994. She stated that the defining characteristic of satanic abuse was that the sexual and physical abuse of children is part of rites directed to a magical or religious objective and observed that there was no evidence that these have taken place in any of the 84 cases studied. She then went on to describe what she called 'ritual abuse' (though believers in the myth do not make such a differentiation):

Three substantiated cases of ritual, not satanic, abuse were found. These are cases in which self-proclaimed mystical/magical powers were used to entrap children and impress them (and also adults) with a reason for the sexual abuse, keeping the victims compliant and ensuring their silence. In these cases the ritual was secondary to the sexual abuse which clearly formed the primary objective of the perpetrators. The rituals performed in these cases did not resemble those that figured in the allegations of the other 81 cases. [LaFontaine 1994, 30. Emphasis in original.]

In her more detailed analysis, she stated that the 'rituals' were invented and led by single individuals and that none of the three men concerned learned the rituals from belonging to an occult group [LaFontaine 1994, 24]. Books relating to the ritual context were found but none of them were by Satanists or Aleister Crowley [ibid.]. In a later book, she explained that this was because in two of the three cases the ideas and practices did not resemble any known occult beliefs or rituals [LaFontaine 1998, 85]. The only case which did bear such a resemblance involved a man who clearly wasn't an occultist, claiming that he was Lucifer! If that's an occultist, then the perpetrator in one of the other cases, who claimed he was on a mission from the Virgin Mary, is a Catholic.

Ex-Nats official guilty of teen sex - NEWS.com.au, 27th June 2004; LaFontaine, J. S. 1994. The Extent and Nature of Organised and Ritual Abuse: Research Findings, London, HMSO; LaFontaine, J. S. 1998. Speak of the Devil. Tales of satanic abuse in contemporary England, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press; Campaign Office in Trouble Over Orgies - Pagan Prattle 27th June 2004.

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Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 11:48 | View blog reactions

Campaign Office in Trouble Over Orgies

Australia: Apparently I live under a rock and missed this delightful gem that the lovely Feòrag sent my way.

A jury in Brisbane has heard claims of orgies in a unit used as a National Party electoral campaign office during the lead-up to Queensland's historic 1989 state election.

This is when the Nats were ousted from their 32 year reign in power. Their dictator in chief was Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen who finally managed to get caught out and was forced to resign in 1987. So things were not looking too rosy for a National Party win in the 1989 elections when the master of election rigging was no longer at the helm.

Continue reading "Campaign Office in Trouble Over Orgies"

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June 26, 2004

New Ager calls for more pollution

Scotland: The owner of a New Age tat and bookshop in Edinburgh's Old Town is blaming parking restrictions in the city's narrow streets for the closure of his business. His shop, Wildwood Books, is on the main tourist drag, the Royal Mile and the fact that tourism is substantially down, since Americans became scared of flying, appears to have nothing to do with it.

Parking blamed as city tycoon closes stores - Edinburgh Evening News (BugMeNot), 26th June 2004.

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Rock music promotes hatred

The Vatican: The Roman Catholic Church has jumped onto the Satanism bandwagon, with the publication by its news agency of a rather odd interview with 'journalist' Carlo Climati, in which he accuses rock bands of spreading a non-culture of violence, drugs and hatred. He describes the slippery slope along which a sweet, innocent adolescent becomes a hard-core Satanic criminal, through the evils of the net:

The first phase generally consists of the simple and banal interest in a Satanic singer. First, a young person buys his CDs and is passionate about his music. But then he feels the need to know more about the singer.
The second step is knowledge of the texts of the songs and the consequent exposure to a transgressive philosophy of life.
The third phase is the young person's purchase of music magazines that talk about his favorite singer. Lately, in certain rock periodicals, there is not just talk of music, but also of Satanism and esotericism. Sometimes even addresses are given of Satanic sects or Internet sites of singers linked to the world of the occult.
So, in order to know more, the fourth phase is entered: the search on Internet. Starting from simple curiosity for the sites of Satanic rock singers, there is the risk of going to the pages of authentic sects, or discussion groups frequented by Satanists.
The fifth and last phase is the young person's direct contact, through e-mail, with a sect or a practitioner of black magic.

At least he didn't accuse Satanists of sexually abusing children and then covering up the evidence.

5 Phases of an Adolescent's Slide Into Satanism - Zenit, 25th June 2004; Lazy Cops Blame Satan - Pagan Prattle, 11th June 2004.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 12:33 | View blog reactions

June 7, 2004

Gay men fund fundie bid to oppress them

The loony fundie party running in the European Parliamentary Elections in the UK on Thursday is funded with royalties from a song deliberately aimed at the gay market. Sinitta's So Macho was written by George Hargreaves, a songwriter and promoter who subsequenty turned Christian, and he has donated his royalties from that song to Opearation Christian Vote.

Ironically, he says he penned 'So Macho' not just for women but in a deliberate attempt to appeal to gay men's sense of humour...

It was a caricature of the medallion man, Hargreaves said. It was for women to dance round their handbags to and for the gay scene to go mad to on poppers, he admits. Despite this, Hargreaves does not accept the idea that his new vocation, which involves preaching on the sin of homosexuality, is hypocritical.

Those of us old enough to remember suspect the Buddhist Sinitta will not be impressed with her biggest hit being used to suppress women. Reverend's disco hit funds electoral bidScotland on Sunday, 6th June 2004 [BugMeNot] (thanks to Novice Nun the Wiser, OPI); see also Fetch the swingometerPagan Prattle, 28th May 2004.

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June 3, 2004

Disrespecting the dead for Jesus

United States: Marcella Barrett's story is a tragic one, to begin with - Her first husband died too soon. The second one, Doyle, left her for another woman. One son, Alden, committed suicide. Another one, Scott, disowned her and left her cherished religion. Surely there's no need to embellish that with lies, is there? Unfortunately, Dr. Beatrice Sparks thought so, and creatively edited Alden's diary, which she published as Jay's Journal: The shocking diary of a 16-year-old helplessly drawn into a world of witchcraft and evil .

...the book changed Alden from a sensitive, questioning young man with a high school girlfriend and sympathies toward Eastern religion to a curious teenager who unwittingly finds himself participating in vile satanic rituals, crazed sex with a girlfriend named Tina and outrageous acts of supernatural black magic. The book remains true to Alden's fate, however. By book's end, Jay kills himself.
Continue reading "Disrespecting the dead for Jesus"
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Astroturf alive and well

United Kingdom: Church groups have been spotted trying to orchestrate a campaign against a Channel Four programme because their members were stupid enough to complain about a show which had not been broadcast yet.

In the offending programme, sceptic Derren Brown debunked séances - something you'd think barking mad fundies would approve of.

He assembled 12 students in a London house and told them that another 12 students had died there years earlier in a suicide pact.
They were shown photographs of each of the 12 dead and asked to choose one which they felt drawn to. Almost all chose a girl called Jane.
Using a Ouija board and other spiritualist paraphernalia, the volunteers attempted to contact Jane and were spooked when the board spelled out a message from her.
They believed they were communicating with her spirit -- but at the end of the programme Brown revealed the suicide story was a hoax and Jane was alive and well.

Hundreds complain over TV 'séance' show - Ireland Online, 3rd June 2004.

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April 26, 2004

Church: Make war not love.

Church leaders in Edinburgh are urging a ban on the showing of an historically important collection of early French erotic movies. And it's because the sound quality sucks:

Reverend John Tait, of Pilrig St Paul's Church, said the film sounded disgusting.

Oh, sorry, that's not what he meant? I wonder what he has to say about a film that features a half hour sequence in which a man is gruesomely, and realistically tortured to death? Anger over porn show plans - Edinburgh Evening News, 26th April 2004.

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April 19, 2004

STOP laughing at them

Canada: It's not only Chinese newspapers falling for stories in The Onion—fundies are too, and they don't have the excuse that English is not their first language, or that they are dealing with material from a culture other than the one they live in.

Continue reading "STOP laughing at them"

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April 18, 2004

A tradition, or an old charter, or something

United States: A leading creationist's home and businesses have been raided by the Internal Revenue Service on suspicion of tax evasion relating to over $1 million (US) of income. Kent Hovind travels around the world lecturing against evolution, insisting that the universe is all the work of his, apparently incompetent, imaginary friend. He also operates a creationist theme park, and sells books and videos relating to his beliefs.

But in a sworn statement made to obtain the search warrant served Wednesday, IRS agent Scott Schneider said none of Hovind's enterprises has a business license in Escambia County or has tax-exempt status as a nonprofit enterprise.

Since 1997, Hovind has engaged in financial transactions indicating sources of income and has made deposits to bank accounts well in excess of $1 million per year during some of these years, which would require the filing of federal income taxes, wrote Schneider.

The statement is based on financial records plucked from Hovind's garbage from July 2002 through March 2004, statements from a former employee, Internet research and public records.

Hovind insists he is being singled out for his religion and, even though he tries to present his beliefs as science, has claims that his businesses are, in fact, a church. He also faces three charges relating to his refusal to obtain planning permission before building structures on his property. Why am I reminided of Jim Bakker? IRS raids business, home of creationist - Pensacola News Journal, 17th April 2004 (via Christploitation).

Update: P.Z. Myers has provided some interesting background material. It seems he's been in trouble with the tax authorities before, as these extracts from a court decision explain:

In his schedules and statement of affairs, the debtor represents that he is an evangelist employed by God and that he receives no income, has no expenses, owns absolutely no property, and has no creditors except for the IRS with a claim of $10,602.31...

...The evidence presented at the hearing paints a clear portrait of a tax protester whose sole purpose in seeking relief under chapter 13 was to obtain the release of property seized by the IRS... The IRS records reflect that notwithstanding his earning of income during the years in question, the debtor has failed to file any federal income tax returns for those tax years for which the IRS has filed its proof of claim. Furthermore, the IRS has no record of the debtor ever having filed a federal income tax return.

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April 15, 2004

So when do we hear about the Satanic rituals?

United States: It is perhaps unsurprising that money-grubbing parasites would pile on in the aftermath of the allegations against musician Michael Jackson. The latest claim looks like it is a fantasy 'recovered memory' planted in a vulnerable mind by a psychiatrist, and one with an axe to grind at that.

The sources said that Beverly Hills psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, who filed a child abuse complaint last year with Santa Barbara County Protective Services against the pop singer, counselled the new victim and helped him remember the alleged assault.

The sources also said that feminist attorney Gloria Allred, a prominent critic of Jackson's lifestyle, was also involved in bringing the recent complaint to police.

Lieberman claims that she is ethically and legally bound to not comment at this time, which means that we don't get to hear how she justifies using an unethical and discredited technique. New Jackson accuser "recovered" memoriesReuters (via Religion News Blog), 15th April 2004.

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April 7, 2004

Pastor's wife casts spell on husband's accusor

England: The trial of Pastor Douglas Goodman, accused of one charge of rape, and twelve of indecent assault against four women, has taken a bizarre turn. The Old Baily court heard some unusual evidence:

Erica Goodman, the wife of Pastor Douglas Goodman, exorcised of the 'spirit of witchcraft and Jezebel' from a woman, after the congregation member claimed Pastor Goodman had attacked her.
But after laying her hands on the alleged victim's head to draw out the evil spirits, Mrs Goodman then accused the woman of sleeping with a 15-year-old boy.

Exorcism in the home of 'rape' pastor - Black Information Link, 6th April 2004.

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April 6, 2004

Nothing but raspberry leaf tea for you, dear.

United States: A new federal law, allegedly designed to protect pregnant women from violence, is likely to increase the rate of abortion. Why? Because if a women lets her pregnancy continue, she's likely to face criminal charges if anything goes wrong. Lynn M. Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, looked at the effects of similar laws enacted in individual states:

In 1997, South Carolina used this law against a pregnant woman, Cornelia Whitner, who was charged with failing to provide proper medical care for her unborn child. Whitner had given birth to a healthy baby who tested positive for an illegal drug. Based on extrapolation of the state feticide law, Ms. Whitner was convicted of criminal child abuse. At sentencing Ms. Whitner begged for drug treatment. The judge responded, I think I'll just let her go to jail....
In America, we do not punish people for being sick. And courts generally do not permit the arrest of someone merely because they suffer the disease of alcoholism or other drug dependency. Nevertheless, relying on the argument that the fetus is an independent victim, hundreds of women nationwide have been arrested for continuing their pregnancies to term in spite of a drug or alcohol problem that for anyone else would be treated as a health problem. Underlying these arrests is the belief that being addicted to drugs or having another health problem during pregnancy is no different from a man shooting his pregnant girlfriend in the head.

The South Carolina law has been used to punish women who had the temerity to suffer a stillbirth, even where there was no evidence that anything they did contributed to it. And prosecutors warn that they will file charges in such cases, even if pregnant women have been using perfectly legal substances. And though most anti-abortion fanatics have claimed its nothing to do with them, others have been more truthful.

Yes, some of UVVA's sponsors have admitted that it is about abortion, but its most immediate and devastating threat is to women who have no intention of terminating their pregnancies and for many of whom abortion is abhorrent. Far from safeguarding pregnant women or children, the UVVA creates the legal foundation for policing pregnancy and punishing women who carry their pregnancies to term.

The solution for the pregnant woman who wants to avoid the risk of prosecution? Terminate the pregnancy at the first possible oppportunity. TOMPAINE.com - Policing Pregnancy, 2nd April 2004 (via The Sideshow).

Posted by Feòrag in Church and State and Hypocrisy at 14:33 | View blog reactions

April 5, 2004

Fundie Acquitted of Murdering her Children

United States: I don't know what's worse, a loony fundie using the my invisible friend told me to do it defence and getting away with murder, or her moronic ex-parishioners supporting her.

At the church where Deanna Laney once ministered to youth, sang in the choir and spoke in tongues, worshippers Sunday prayed for her and her family a day after she was acquitted by reason of insanity of bludgeoning two of her young sons to death.

Members of the Pentecostal First Assembly of God church turned to their faith to cope with the killings, which Laney said God told her to commit.

All this hand-wringing smacks of Conspicuous Compassion. Let's see how ready the fundies are to hand over their kids to Laney for babysitting.

Continue reading "Fundie Acquitted of Murdering her Children"

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April 3, 2004

Ulterior motive comes to light

United States: An anti-abortion extremist has been convicted on four counts of lewd or lascivious molestation and one count of lewd or lascivious conduct. John Burt's victim was a 15-year-old girl who was staying at his house for 'unwed mothers'. Each conviction carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. He seems to be associated with some extremely dubious people:

Burt led protests in Pensacola on behalf of two couples that bombed three local clinics on Christmas Day in 1984. Burt was outside the Pensacola clinic when an Our Father's House volunteer, Michael Griffin, murdered Dr. David Gunn in 1993. Griffin's family later claimed that John Burt had manipulated Griffin. Burt is also an associate of Paul Hill, who murdered Dr. Bayard Britton and volunteer escort James Barrett outside another local Pensacola clinic in 1994. Burt is on film helping Paul Hill identify Dr. Britton outside the clinic in the weeks before Hill shot and killed Dr. Britton and his clinic escort.

Anti-Abortion Extremist Found Guilty of Molestation - Feminist Daily News Wire, 2nd April 2004 (via Internet Infidels News Wire).

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 17:26 | Comments (1) | View blog reactions

March 22, 2004

Churches Using TV to Pimp for Customers

United States: I'm a wee bit confused over church advertising. Wouldn't using television advertising to pimp for customers be in violation of their dodgy tax-free status? Not to mention a blatant misuse of funds.

Two weeks ago, first-time commercials for the United Church of Christ (UCC) began airing in six areas from Sarasota, Fla., to Oklahoma City in a bid to boost name recognition and worship attendance before Easter. Monday, the Unitarian Universalist Association began a national campaign to buy airtime for their Uncommon Denomination ads, first tested in Kansas City last year. This summer, the United Methodist Church will hear proposals for expanding what has been a four-year, $18 million campaign to replenish dwindling congregations.
For church marketers, TV ads have been the missing link between congregations with much to offer and individuals in search of a place where they feel welcome.
It may well be that the church we created in 1957 is just right for today's people, but they don't know we exist, said Ron Buford, coordinator of the UCC's campaign. The medium for today is TV. You don't exist if you're not on TV.
Yet for scholars of church trends, the dawn of mass marketing suggests that quest for church unity has given way to an ethic of survival of the fittest.

Mainstream churches take a leap of faith into TV advertising - Christian Science Monitor, 16th March 2004.

Posted by Red Wolf in Hypocrisy at 23:11 | View blog reactions

March 5, 2004

The Truth about The Bible

Evil Bible.com exposes the real Bible, and it ain't nice:

For far too long priests and preachers have completely ignored the vicious criminal acts that the Bible promotes. The so called God of the Bible makes Osama Bin Laden look like a Boy Scout. This God, according to the Bible, is directly responsible for many mass-murders, rapes, pillage, plunder, slavery, child abuse and killing, not to mention the killing of unborn children. I have included references to the Biblical passages, so grab your Bible and follow along.

After summarising some of the main points, we are reminded

This type of criminal behavior should shock any moral person. Murder, rape, pillage, plunder, slavery, and child abuse can not be justified by saying that some god says it's OK. If more people would actually sit down and read the Bible there would be a lot more atheists like myself...
...I know that most Christians believe that God is a good and loving god, and wants people to do good things. I believe that most people want to do good things and behave morally. I also believe that many Christians haven't really read the Bible, or just read certain passages in church. This is understandable, as the Bible is hard to read due to its archaic language and obscure references. Also many priests and preachers don't like to read certain passages in the Bible because they present a message of hate not love.

(via too many topics, too little time)

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 17:13 | View blog reactions

March 4, 2004

Drunken Polish Nun Crashes her Tractor

Poland: After sampling the communal wine a Benedictine nun in Poland fired up the tractorgot herself in a bit of bother.

A Benedictine nun in Poland could lose her driving licence, after hitting a car parked outside her convent while drunk at the wheel of a tractor.
Police say the 45-year-old nun was not even in a fit state to blow into a breathalyser, after the accident at Krzeszow in the country's south-east.
A spokesman says officers are awaiting the results of a blood-alcohol test before charging her.

Drinking a factor as nun crashes tractor - AFP, 3rd March 2004.

Posted by Red Wolf in Hypocrisy at 22:50 | View blog reactions

February 28, 2004

"A terrible history"

United States: The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cleveland has stated that 117 priests and one deacon have been accused of the sexual abuse of children in his diocese over the last 53 years.

[Bishop Anthony] Pilla disclosed that since 1989, he transferred about three diocesan priests to new pastoral assignments after he learned they faced abuse allegations, a practice he has discontinued. Over the past half-century, 2,515 priests served the Cleveland diocese, making the abuse accusation rate 4.6 percent.

His statement came in the light of a national survey which revealed that more than 10,000 American children had been abused by Roman Catholic priests in the last 50 years.

The National Review Board's 145-page report said the grievously sinful acts of priests and shameful inaction during the decades of abuse had left the church deeply wounded.
And as a consequence, its ability to speak clearly and credibly on moral issues has been seriously impaired, stated the Board that interviewed more than 85 people including several Vatican officials.

Not that this will stop them, of course.

Just 14 per cent of the accused priests were reported to police by their bishops and 95 per cent of the 4392 errant clerics were never charged with a crime.

SEXUAL ABUSE CRISIS - Cleveland Plain Dealer, 28th February 2004; Priests abused 10,000 children - news.com.au, 29th February 2004 (and check out the unfortunate nominative determinism of the journalist)

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 17:32 | View blog reactions

February 25, 2004

Insert extremely obvious headline here

Romania: Six nuns have done a bunk from the convent they ran, leaving behind unpaid bills totalling the equivalent of £10,000.

Most of the debt is to the local electricity company, as well as a construction firm that did some work on the convent and a supplier of religious symbols. They could face fraud charges if caught.
The priest said that the parish church did not have the money to cover the nuns' debts and asked police to help him find them so they could take responsibility for their own debts.

Nuns on the run - Ananova, 19th February 2004.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 02:25 | Comments (2) | View blog reactions

February 18, 2004

Tourists - please keep going to Glasgow instead.

Edinburgh City Council will let the Beltane Fire Festival go ahead this year, as long as the organisers put it on a commercial footing. The Evening News does not say if the organisers of the Diwali celebrations, which also involve thousands of people and bonfires, in October will also be expected to charge worshippers. Beltane festival fired up for city comeback - Edinburgh Evening News, 18th February 2004.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 13:48 | View blog reactions

February 11, 2004

Junior Fundie Parrot Suspended

United States: A mini bimbo, lumbered with the unfortunate moniker of Brandy, who will no doubt grow up to be a clone of her close-minded loony fundie parents, got herself suspended for swearing.

A second-grade girl from Pittsburgh was suspended this week from her public elementary school for saying the word hell to a boy in her class.
But 7-year-old Brandy McKenith says she was only warning the boy about the eternal comeuppance he could face for saying: I swear to God.
I said, 'You're going to go to hell for swearing to God', Brandy was quoted as saying.

Girl Suspended from School for Saying 'Hell' - Reuters, 4th February 2004.

Posted by Red Wolf in Hypocrisy at 00:55 | View blog reactions

Would You Like Fries With Your Sheep Heads?

Poland: Nothing says black metal stage show like dozens of sheep heads on stakes, a literal blood bath and a naked, crucified woman.

Continue reading "Would You Like Fries With Your Sheep Heads?"
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February 10, 2004

Cult Peddling Its Evil To Children

United States: Nick took a trip over to visit the Focus on the Family compound and re-education facility and brought back some of their dodgy propaganda that is pushing their product to children.

Focus on the Family Recruits Children - morons.org, 30th January 2004.

Posted by Red Wolf in Hypocrisy at 03:13 | View blog reactions

February 9, 2004

Domestic Violence Caused by Sex

Spain: Bishops in Spain have once again commented on topics that they have little knowledge or experience with, such as family matters. The men in the dresses have been quick to point the finger of blame for women's deaths and beatings being dramatically higher in Spain. Seems that domestic violence is the bitter fruit of the sexual revolution. The locals are well and truly pissed.

Continue reading "Domestic Violence Caused by Sex"
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February 6, 2004

Conventional treatment

Italy: A Mother Superior, who is a close friend of Pope John Paul II, is being investigated by police after allegations that she mistreated novice nuns under her care. Tekla Familglietti, head of the 650-year-old Daughters of St Brigid order, is said to be a strong character:

Locals have described the mother superior as robust and authoritarian one added: There is always a lot of tension up there between the trainees and mother Famiglietti.
She is known as the General and is one of the most powerful women in the Roman Catholic Church. She knows cardinals, politicians and even Pope John Paul II himself.

Mother Superior accused of mistreating novice nuns - Ananova, 6th February 2004.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 19:44 | Comments (1) | View blog reactions

Cardinal Says Gays Are Perverts But Brothels Are Okay

Belgium: Cardinal Gustaaf Joos, best buddy of the Pope, was interviewed by Belgian soft-porn P-Magazine. He's not a fan of the gay community, I'd love to know what the distinction between gay and pervert is. And isn't signing things in your own blood one of those Satanist things?

I am prepared to sign here in my blood that of all those who say they are lesbian or gay, at most five to 10 per cent are effectively lesbian or gay. All the rest are sexual perverts, said Cardinal Gustaaf Joos on Wednesday. I demand you write this down. If they come to protest on my doorstep, I don't care. I'm just speaking out on what thousands of people are thinking but never get a chance to say... Real homosexuals don't wander in the streets in colourful suits. Those are people who have a serious problem and have to live with that. And if they err, they will be forgiven.
Continue reading "Cardinal Says Gays Are Perverts But Brothels Are Okay"

February 5, 2004

Investigation 101

United States: You are a police officer. You have arrested a couple of 14-year-old boys who allegedly desecrated a Catholic church. Is this because:

  1. They were immature, drunken neds, or
  2. They know Wiccans

The correct answer is the second one, of course.

[The 14-year-old] told police he believes in witchcraft and associates with Wiccans, followers of an ancient European religion who worship nature and believe in magic...
...In a possible connection to the religion, the teens appeared to have been barefoot, a trait commonly associated with Wicca, during their spree. They left footprints in the residue from the fire extinguisher.

Drunken sacrilege: 2 teens charged with defiling Immaculate Conception in Stoughton - The Patriot Ledger, 5th February 2004.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 11:47 | View blog reactions

January 23, 2004

Goose, gander, sauce.

United States: The American Family Association has gone back on its promise to take the result of its poll on gay marriage to Capitol Hill.

But the AFA never counted on the power of the Internet. And once the URL to the poll escaped its intended audience, everything went haywire. As of Jan. 19, 60 percent of respondents -- more than 508,000 voters -- said, I favor legalization of homosexual marriage. With an additional 7.89 percent -- or 66,732 voters -- replying, I favor a 'civil union' with the full benefits of marriage except for the name, the AFA's chosen position, I oppose legalization of homosexual marriage and 'civil unions,' was being defeated by a 2-1 ratio.

Having tried to publicise the poll to their own supporters, and no-one else, they claim that the Evil Homosexual Conspiracy has done what they tried to do:

We're very concerned that the traditional state of marriage is under threat in our country by homosexual activists, said AFA representative Buddy Smith. It just so happens that homosexual activist groups around the country got a hold of the poll -- it was forwarded to them -- and they decided to have a little fun, and turn their organizations around the country (onto) the poll to try to cause it to represent something other than what we wanted it to. And so far, they succeeded with that.

Gay Marriage Poll Gets Annulled Wired News, 22nd January 2004.

Pope Pimps Flick

The Vatican: Succumbing to the lure of commercialisation, the grand poohbah of the Catholics touts Mel Gibson's vanity pic.

The Vatican has always been scrupulous in preventing the Pope's name from being linked to commercial products. But after a private viewing of Mel Gibson's forthcoming film about the Crucifixion, Pope John Paul II reportedly commented: It is as it was. For five weeks that pithy, invaluable endorsement of the film Gibson has made with his own money, about the final 12 hours in the life of Jesus, was allowed to stand.

Vatican anger over crucifixion film claim - The Independent, 21 January 2004.

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January 19, 2004

Murder in the Name of God

United States: Instead of running about the Middle East accidentally murdering the populace 'cause all those durn Ay-rahbs look the same, perhaps the Yanks should be looking a little closer to home at the terrorists in their own backyard.

Continue reading "Murder in the Name of God"
Posted by Red Wolf in Hypocrisy at 02:13 | View blog reactions

January 18, 2004

Taking a Swing at the Guys in Silly Hats

The Vatican: When taking the stage for her part in the recording Christmas concert attended by top Vatican cardinals, bishops and many elite of Italian society, Lauryn Hill took full advantage of her captive audience and took a swing at the Catholic Church's stance on protecting the paedophiles in their midst.

Continue reading "Taking a Swing at the Guys in Silly Hats"
Posted by Red Wolf in Hypocrisy at 00:32 | View blog reactions

Report Examines Kiddie Fiddling Priests

United States: The Miami Archdiocese has revealed that thirty-eight priests have been accused of sexually abusing children during the archdiocese's 45-year history. It is just one archdiocese of many airing its dirty laundry and forwarding reports to the John Jay School of Criminal Justice for inclusion in a report commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Continue reading "Report Examines Kiddie Fiddling Priests"
Posted by Red Wolf in Hypocrisy at 00:23 | View blog reactions

January 17, 2004

Methodist Church to Try Gay Pastor

United States: Had to keep the title on this one, because I originally misunderstood it to mean that the church was an open, all-embracing community who were having a trial run with a gay pastor, rather than a bunch of loony fundies getting their knickers in a twist and sending the poor woman off to Coventry.

Continue reading "Methodist Church to Try Gay Pastor"

January 13, 2004

Unlucky for some

Japan: The winner of a race for an amulet, supposed to bring good luck, has been exposed as a cheat just days later.

Over the weekend, a 22-year-old Osaka firefighter snared a token said to offer fortune to the first person who grabbed it in a Nishinomiya Shrine race with a tradition that dates back centuries.
But the winner has returned to the prize to shrine priests following an outbreak of protests from viewers of the televised race who complained that he was aided by others who held back competitors and gave him an easy path to the amulet.
My fighting friends effectively blocked others, the firefighter said. I'm terribly sorry to the other participants.

Gods frown on cheating 'lucky' runner - Mainichi Daily News, 13th January 2004.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 15:09 | View blog reactions

A letter to another editor

United States: Rob Veras felt compelled to write to the Indianapolis Star concerning one of the burning issues of the day:

Spears taints image of heterosexual marriage
The fact that Britney Spears was able to go to Las Vegas, get married on a whim and have the marriage annulled just hours later proves that people don't need to worry about same-sex couples ruining the sanctity of marriage. Heterosexuals have done enough to it already.

Letters to the Editor - Indianapolis Star, 9th January 2004 (thanks Larry).

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January 10, 2004

Those evil heterosexuals

Japan: An official of a religious group has been arrested on suspicion of molesting a high school girl. He told police he did it because he was interested in women. Religious group official pinched for molesting schoolgirl, Mainichi Daily News, 10th January 2004.

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January 3, 2004

Bribery and Corruption

United States: Abundant Life Christian Center in La Marque, near Houston have resorted to bribery to get bums on seats.

Continue reading "Bribery and Corruption"
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December 28, 2003

Orson Scott Card

United States: One my favourite writers turns out to be a bigoted hypocritic wanker.

I've wanted for a while now to write some kind of posting about what a terrible human being Orson Scott Card is... Fortunately, someone's already done a lot of the work for me; I had no idea he called himself a Democrat, despite being, well, very conservative. But there is much more to his being a terrible human being than just pro-Bush-ism. Pretty much any possible good impression you could get of the man from Ender's Game is in fact totally wrong. Also, he really hates gays.

Sometimes it's best not to meet your heroes, especially if they're going to spew mindless Mormon doctrine at you.

Orson Scott Card - HogBlog, 28th December 2003.

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Thank You For Your Concern, Now Please Go Away

Those twisted religious-zealot mullahs in Iran would rather see people in Bam die in the rubble than permit any Zionist group to send trained people to help in the rescues.

Iran said on Saturday it would accept aid from all foreign countries except Israel following the quake...
...Officials in Tehran also stressed the need for sniffer dogs and aid equipment — medicines, blankets and tents — rather than foreign volunteers.

World aid effort gets under way as Iran quake toll rises - channelnewsasia.com, 27th December 2003 (via Dodgeblogium).

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December 22, 2003

Catholic Priest Distributing Pr0n

United States: A Roman Catholic diocese in western Pennsylvania has become a tad miffed with Reverend John Nesbella. They have ordered the priest to cease and desist distributing Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do, an anti-gay sex pamphlet, not because it is blatant fundie propaganda, but because it borders on the pornographic.

Continue reading "Catholic Priest Distributing Pr0n"

Is That a Dildo in your Handbag?

United States: Seems the police in Texas have nothing better to do with their time than to mount personnel intensive sting operations to entrap housewives selling sex toys whose only crime was not knowing about a legal loophole.

Continue reading "Is That a Dildo in your Handbag?"
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December 18, 2003

Thou shalt not bear false witness

United States: Fine, upstanding Christians, the American Family Association, have admitted doctoring the results of their poll on same-sex marriage.

An astute observer noticed that unlike votes in places other than Florida and where Diebold machines are used, the number of votes for the answer, I favor legalization of homosexual marriage went down rather than up as the AFA cooked the books. In the first screen shot at 10:57 AM, the percentage is 16.10 (21075 votes); in the second taken at 11:22, it is 14.05 (17985 votes). One person commented in the comments area of the posting at 11:33 that it was down to 13%.

The AFA claims that they were simply removing multiple votes, even though their polling system should prevent that anyway. AFA Marriage Poll Rigged, Results Doctored - morons.org, 17th December 2003.

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December 8, 2003

God Wants You to Beat the Hell out of Your Children

United States: Louie Guerrero, who was 11 years old at the time, testified that he was severely beaten with a tree branch by a church pastor and his twin brother, Joshua and Caleb Thompson, to get the devil out of him because he had misbehaved during Bible class.

At one point, the boy said, he was told to pick up the pieces of the tree branch that broke during the beating. He said the beating resumed after one of brothers got a new stick...
Continue reading "God Wants You to Beat the Hell out of Your Children"
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December 7, 2003

Sorry We Molested You

Ireland: Backed into a corner after being outed by a report claiming that the Catholic Church in Ireland mishandled cases of kiddy fiddling by the clergy, they have promised to do better the next time a priest gets caught with his hand in the altar boy.

A survey, commissioned by the church, showed four out of five people felt it had not dealt adequately with the problem. The research, by the psychology department of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, reported that abused people and their families felt a lack of awareness by the Church of the effects of the abuse, and that the handling of complaints often lacked compassion. It made 19 recommendations for the protection of children, the handling of complaints and the training of priests.

Ireland's Catholic Church apologises for years of abuse - The Independent, 5th December 2003.

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November 11, 2003

A mixed message

United States: According to the Metropolitan Community Church, a predominantly gay and lesbian Christian congregation, they received a letter from George W. Bush congratulating them on their 35th anniversary during a week officially dedicated to denying civil rights to lesbians and gay men!

In his letter dated October 14, 2003, to MCC Los Angeles, the founding congregation of Metropolitan Community Churches, President Bush wrote, By encouraging the celebration of faith and sharing of God's love and boundless mercy, churches like yours put hope in people's hearts and a sense of purpose in their lives. This milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on your years of service and to rejoice in God's faithfulness to your congregation.

The letter was written during the anti-gay Marriage Protection Week, an effort endorsed by President Bush and organized by such Religious Right leaders as Jerry Falwell, Dr. James Dobson, the Southern Baptist Convention and the American Family Association to deny equality under the law to gays and lesbians.

In his proclamation endorsing Marriage Protection Week, President Bush wrote, Marriage is a sacred institution, and its protection is essential to the continued strength of our society. Marriage Protection Week provides an opportunity to focus our efforts on preserving the sanctity of marriage and on building strong and healthy marriages in America.

The Metropolitan Community church performs more than 6,000 same-sex weddings annually in its 300 churches in 22 countries. U.S. President Bush Congratulates Predominantly Gay MCC Church On 35th Anniversary Letter Arrives During Bush-Endorsed Anti-Gay Marriage Protection Week - Metropolitan Community Church Press Release, 10th November 2003.

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November 4, 2003

Devil makes work for self

United States: Satan has been hard at work if the number of times the Devil made me do it defence has cropped up in US courtrooms recently is anything to go by. The Californian looks at a number of cases and asks why such defences are used in this day and age:

The devil made me do it defense has been adopted as legal phraseology for any occasion when a defendant tries to excuse his or her actions by blaming something beside themselves. Twinkies, abusive parents and demonic control all have gotten major play in a number of high-profile cases, and now prosecutors and legal experts point to it as a trend in defense strategy.
Now we blame more modern things, said Terry Spitz, chief assistant Monterey County district attorney. But, generally, if you've got someone who is earnestly talking about the devil ... and you have some tape that shows there is probably some mental illness, then I know I am not really preparing for discussion of religious views but actually for some psychiatric or clinical issues.

Twinkies to demons: Defense seeks ploys - The Californian, 4th November 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 21:45 | View blog reactions

October 27, 2003

A tradition, or an old charter, or something

United States: A notoriously homophobic preacher has been charged with criminal attempt to lure a child into a motor vehicle, and criminal solicitation to involuntary deviant sexual intercourse after he allegedly offered a 14-year-old boy $20 for oral sex.

According to court documents, White approached the teen in a green Ford van and asked if he knew of any strip clubs, adult book stores or shops that sold sexually explicit videos. When then the boy said he did not, White unsuccessfully attempted to lure the boy into the vehicle. White then told the boy he could make some money by letting White perform oral sex on him.

The boy refused, and made a note of the vehicle's registration instead. This is the second similar case recently:

Last week, a Florida preacher was charged with attempting to lure a 15-year-old boy for sex. Police arrested Hewart Lee Bennett of West Palm Beach. He is accused of using a gay Internet chat room to pick up the teen. Bennett who is an assistant youth minister at the First Seventh Day Adventist Church in West Palm Beach says he was using the chat room to talk to young boys and girls about being gay and try to put them on the right path.

Personally, I think attempting to screw the minds of young people is a far worse offence. Anti-Gay Preacher Busted Soliciting 14 Year Old Boy - 365Gay Newscenter, 26th October 2003.

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October 26, 2003

Thou shalt... covet thy neighbour's ass

Avedon Carol examines right-wing 'Christians' who are extremely selective about their use of the Bible, and provides a summary of the discussion among Christian bloggers who are baffled that such spin can be placed on Jesus' teachings.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 18:03 | View blog reactions

October 16, 2003

'Satanist' attack liar dies.

New Zealand: A 39-year-old detective found dead in a parked car near the Bay of Plenty had an interesting past. Seven years ago, he faked an attack by Satanists which destroyed his home.

The Garner home in Oak Cres, Ashhurst, exploded in flames about 4am. Garner, bleeding from criss-cross slashes over his back and bound hand and foot, was found lying in the back yard...
Garner had inflicted the wounds to his back with a scalpel blade held in a stick, which had been destroyed in the house fire.
Police said the elaborate, bizarre and truly extraordinary set of events had arisen because Garner wanted to get the insurance money from the house, leave his wife and two small children, and move in with a civilian police worker.

He claimed that his biggest mistake had been underestimating the abilities of his own profession. Satanist 'attack' detective found dead - Manawatu Evening Standard, 16th October 2003.

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October 14, 2003

The devils in people's arses

Roz Kaveney has penned a huge rant about Christianity and homosexuality, which goes via Japan, India, Greece and Rome before arriving here and now:

If the Anglican church suppresses the idea of gay clergy, after an immense struggle, will a single starving child be saved? A single soldier disarmed? A single rich man persuaded to renounce obscene wealth?

October 7, 2003

How to boost your popularity.

Rune Henning Johansen demonstrates an egregious example of the Church of Scientology playing with Photoshop to make an event look busier than it was. Here's another example of how not to use the clone tool.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 11:35 | Comments (1) | View blog reactions

August 1, 2003

Vagomancy

Japan: An unnamed Buddhist priest has been arrested in connection with his unusual form of divination - which involves examining women's genitals:

Whenever a woman asked the priest for a reading, he'd escorted them to a dingy room in the back of his temple that was decorated with dozens of candles. He'd make them change into white robes and then kneel before him as they told him of their troubles, a police source tells Gatsun! He would sit and silently listen to the women. When they finished, he would pull out one of his cards with a picture of a vagina on it and tell the woman, 'You have problems very similar to the person who made this card. Let me examine you to see if you are built the same way.' Upon which, he would demand a peep at their pudendum, frequently fondling it if he had the inkling to do so.
When the counseling sessions were finished, the priest would lather the woman's genital area with black ink, then compress rice paper over the top of it to create a new image he would add to his card collections.

Lip reading priest finds fortune in holiest of holes - Mainichi Daily News Wai Wai, 1st August 2003.

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July 6, 2003

Equal rights for some

The Pagan Federation in Scotland is campaigning for the formal recognition of Paganism as a religion with the eventual aim of having legally-binding rites of passage, such as weddings - but only for those Pagans willing to conform to a Christian model of personal relationships. The Sunday Herald article makes no mention of any plans to campaign for any legal recognition of the same-sex handfastings which are already common occurrences within the Pagan community, nor of the traditional year-and-a-day model.

Meanwhile, the article notes that the only other advantage of allowing the governement to interfere with religion is already covered by EU legislation:

The EU Equal Treatment Framework Directive comes into force in December and will make it illegal to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of their religion, including a specific warning to employers that they should not discriminate against those who choose to follow 'alternative beliefs'.

Pagans poised for recognition - Sunday Herald, 6th June 2003.

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June 26, 2003

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385666

Malaysia: Police have arrested a 'witch doctor' after he allegedly molested a female patient and ordered her to have sex with him to lift a spell which he said was causing her chest pains. Sex, lies and evil spells, News 24 - 26th June 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 09:28 | View blog reactions

June 18, 2003

Bits and pieces

Patrick Neilsen Hayden comments on religious censorship, and how it doesn't always come from where you expect. In a related matter, some religious conservatives claim that tolerance of homosexuality contributes to the rising divorce rate, so Avram Grumer took a look at US divorce statistics for the last 25 years or so.

If these figures are accurate ... the divorce rate seems to have peaked a little more than twenty years ago, and been steadily decreasing ever since. The rate in 2001 was actually lower than it was thirty years ago!

Why could this be, and what does it have to do with gay rights anyway?

Hey, maybe gay rights are actually good for heterosexual marriages. As society becomes more tolerant of homosexuality, you'll get fewer young gays marrying the opposite sex in attempts to deny their natural sexualities, and therefore fewer marriages that wind up breaking down later on under the pressure of living those lies.

June 15, 2003

The First Amendment and The First Commandment

A bill recently passed by the US House of Representatives to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States, is not only unconstitutional, but against the avowed religion of most of the lawmakers themselves according to Andrew Reding.

There is an obvious irony in responding to a threat to freedom by restricting freedom. But it is not just the First Amendment that is under assault. So is the First Commandment of the Jewish and Christian faiths, and the First Pillar of the Muslim faith.
By elevating the flag to an object of transcendent veneration -- an untouchable idol -- the proposed amendment strikes at the core of Jewish, Muslim and Christian belief systems.

And there are other worrying implications, too.

The great danger of turning the symbol of a nation-state into a sacred object is that it implicitly deifies the nation-state itself. The Pledge of Allegiance is taken to the flag and to the Republic for which it stands. If the mere symbol of the state is made sacred, surely the state itself must be sacred. The right to protest the actions of government is placed on shaky ground.

Flag Amendment Violates 10 Commandments, Not Just Free Speech - Pacific News Service, 12th June 2003. (via Patrick Neilsen Hayden)

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 22:53 | Comments (1) | View blog reactions

June 11, 2003

Church pays up for abuse

Kentucky, United States: The Roman Catholic Church has agreed to pay over $25m in compensation to 243 alleged victims of child sex abuse. The Archbishop of the Louisville archdiocese also apologised, saying no child should ever have experienced what happened to you. I promise we are doing everything possible to prevent child abuse in the church. I apologize again for what we did or failed to do that led to your abuse. Huge payout for sexual abuse victims - The Guardian, 11th June 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 19:30 | View blog reactions

June 10, 2003

The rising cost of souls

India: Several Indian states have recently passed laws banning forcible religious conversions, which includes bribery. Christian groups have been among the loudest protestors, which makes one wonder why they feel they cannot get new believers of their own free will. Commenting on the situation in the Newindpress on Sunday, S Gurumurthy has uncovered some interesting figures:

Evangelical literature distributed is in billions. Presently the tally is 4.7 billion scriptures, 187 million Bibles, 5 million booklets, 120000 Mission literatures, 38000 periodicals and 18000 articles. By 2025 this will increase to 8 billion scriptures, 430 million Bibles, 12 million booklets, 195000 Mission literatures, 100000 periodicals, and 80000 articles. The bible density of 1460 millions will increase to 2280 millions. The Church-run Radio and TV stations of 4050 will increase to 5400. This largest information and communication network in the world will become even larger. Even as he should be proud of this huge conquering apparatus, the Pope has his concerns too. Like the rising cost of head hunting for God. Today it costs $349,000, hold your breath, Rs 1.55 crores, to turn a pagan to Christianity. This too will increase to $650,000, that is, again hold your breath, Rs 3.05 crores per head, repeat per head, by 2025!

Note: 1 crore is equal to 10 million and 1 lakh is equal to 100 thousand in the traditional numbering system still widely used in India. See this Wikipedia article on Indian numerals for more information. He is upset. Understandably - Newindpress on Sunday, 8th June 2003.

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May 17, 2003

Extreme church in crisis

The International Churches of Christ has problems. The leader of the extrememly strict Christian sect has obeyed his own rules and resigned when his daughter left the Church. Since then its world governing body has dissolved and dozens of local church leaders have resigned or been fired, in part because churches can no longer afford to pay their salaries. The Church was founded in Boston in 1979:

There, McKean constructed a new kind of church based on a hierarchy some have likened to an Amway sales pyramid and others have compared to the military. Every church member has a superior called a discipler to hold him or her accountable for sins. Known as the Boston Church of Christ or the Boston Movement, the church attracted tens of thousands of members from all backgrounds, who later moved on to form the Manhattan Church of Christ, the Chicago Church of Christ, and hundreds of other churches, spreading to London, Sydney, Moscow, Nairobi, and other cities. Wildly ambitious, McKean's goal was a church in every sizable US city and in every country within a few decades. But the system had a dark side: Those who failed to give 10 percent of their income or who couldn't recruit enough new members were publicly humiliated, according to former members. Those who questioned authority were shunned or kicked out.

A Christian community falters - Boston Globe, 17th May 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 10:34 | Comments (1) | View blog reactions

March 4, 2003

Interesting reading

Ethical Atheist asks Is Pat Robertson a Terrorist? and Is Jerry Falwell a Terrorist? .

America and the world are outraged by the attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. We are living in fear of further attacks and now even fear our own mail might infect us with anthrax. We are trying to bring to justice Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network. The trouble is, we can't find them. So, we direct our anger at the Taliban government of Afghanistan for harboring terrorists. However, the United States appears to be harboring its own group of dangerous religious fanatics who, upon close examination, seem to share many of the same characteristics of the terrorists we are seeking abroad. Let's look at one, shall we?

The articles take the form of tables comparing the words and actions of the evangelists and Osama bin Laden.

Tags: , , ,

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy and Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson at 11:22 | View blog reactions

February 23, 2003

Clerical Abuse in New Zealand

A counsellor in New Zealand is leading calls for an independent body to be set up to investigate allegations of abuse by Catholic clergy. Brent Cherry said that many victims had lost confidence in the church and were reluctant to come forward. The call comes as New Zealand's Catholic leaders meet to revise their protocol for handling allegations three years earlier than planned. In particular they will discuss the merits and problems of both legalistic and pastoral approaches. Call for independent body for clergy sex complaints - Stuff, 22nd February 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 15:54 | Comments (3) | View blog reactions

February 20, 2003

Separation of church and state permits abuse, claims archdiocese.

An attempt by the Archdiocese of Boston to prevent them being sued over the child abuse scandal by using the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States has failed.

The Boston Archdiocese, home to about 2.1 million Catholics, argued that the separation of church and state prevented civil courts from making judgments on how it supervised priests. The archdiocese made the claim, in part, to satisfy insurance carriers that it was making an exhaustive legal effort to avoid big-ticket judgments.

The Archdiocese is accused of deliberately covering-up claims of abuse by its priests and of moving abusive priests to other parishes without warning their new congregations. Judge Rejects First Amendment Claim by Church - AZCentral, 20th February 2003 (personally I blame Mike Holmes for drawing this to my attention).

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 18:48 | View blog reactions

Bearing false witness

It's not South Africa Day at the Prattle, honest. An evangelist is giving a series of lectures in Durban all about his Satanic fantasies in an attempt to convert the gullible to his particular cult. He told reporters My job is to educate people about Satanism, but continued:

To enter into an official Satanic church, you've got to do something criminal. This can include drug dealing, sex with minors, kidnapping and animal and human sacrifice, he said.

And his evidence? None - just believe him, okay?

In many Satanic crimes, a lot of evidence is destroyed by police and parents because they don't know what to look for.

You can get out of Satanism, says evangelist - IOL, 19th February 2003.

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February 7, 2003

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385665

A Zambian pastor has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment with hard labour for the sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl.

The court heard that on December 20, last year, (Pastor Jonathan) Mwansa took the girl, who wanted him to pray for a sick child, to his home in Natuseko township where he was conducting healing sessions to other sick people.
The pastor encouraged the girl who was supposed to go with him to her parents home to pray for the sick to stay for a night at his house.
She was later in the night defiled by Mwansa on his bed, which he had shared with her and his step daughter after telling her that his action was prompted by a prophecy he had received.
After defiling her, he left the bedroom and went to continue with his healing prayers to the sick people who were gathered in the sitting room.

Pastor Jailed for Defilement - The Times of Zambia (via allAfrica.com), 6th February 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 12:11 | View blog reactions

Priest sentenced for abuse

A Georgia priest has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing two brothers. The court heard that Rev. Wayland Brow was a serial molester who abused several boys throughout the 1970s and 1980s and had been ordained even though doubts were expressed as to his suitablility for the priesthood. Georgia priest sentenced to 10 years for sexually abusing two brothers - Associated Press (via NJ.com), 7th February 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 09:46 | View blog reactions

A bad case of denial

Sometimes, people who claim to share your religion will do something really horrid, and you have to deal with it. When it seems that the rest of the world has trouble differentiating between lunatic extremists and the mainstream within a particular faith, coming to terms with it can be much harder. For one Muslim, Mohsin, the solution is obvious: BenLaden is a Jew.

I know some of you may very well be shocked. But okay now when we have to speak the truth we have to speak the truth. Bin Laden or perhaps Ben Laden is a Jew, where is the proof, the proof is out there you only need to be a bit intelligent to decode the information that is all... Learn to user your brain and learn not to be mice when it is the time to do so. For my proof you need to wait for a while insha Allah we will pass it on to you at the right time.

After all, he can't be a Muslim, can he? Please?

What is more amazing is the fact that these bad guys have affected the minds of the whole world effectively. Like when you watch a documentary about AlQaeda Muslims believe Christians are bad guys, Christians believe Muslims are mad. They have created a world of zombies everywhere, many AlQaeda people wander around the world without restrictions, not many people would know that (will insha Allah give you proof later). BenLaden has very good contact with Yemenies Yemen is the place where Jews are growing extremism for Muslims in middle east, they would live, eat, sleep as Muslims but they still don t want Islam. They have altered Islamic text and Islamic culture.

He does ask the right question: how can BenLaden attack someone from the back and be a good Muslim?, but does not countenace the idea that there could be such a thing as a bad Muslim, as if they're somehow exempt from being human.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 09:28 | View blog reactions

February 6, 2003

Who polices the police?

A priest convicted of molesting a 12-year-old altar girl was once responsible for investigating claims of child abuse by clergy. Priest who once investigated abuse cases convicted of molesting girl - Associated Press (via NJ.com), 6th February 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 11:44 | View blog reactions

February 5, 2003

Bounce for Peace

The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, best known for Transcendental Mediation, has offered to reveal his Vedic technologies of consciousness to eliminate "karma" to the World's governments as a short cut to permanent world peace. The solution seems to be to install a theocracy based on his beliefs:

Maharishi explained to the press that the cause of all problems gripping the world can be located in the man-made constitutions that administer all governments. Such constitutions were conceived by a small group of founders of a nation, and therefore are rife with human weaknesses and failings. Man-made constitutions will never be able to administer God-made creation, Maharishi said. Human existence, entire nations, and the galactic universe are all God-made. The administration of the God-made creation has to be God-made - it has to be the Administration of Natural Law, which governs the infinite diversity of the universe with perfect order. Such a supreme level of administration is now available to every government through the Global Country of World Peace.

This is no different from the attempts by extremists of other religions to bring about world peace by forcing everyone to agree with them, and killing those who don't! MAHARISHI REVEALS TECHNOLOGIES TO CREATE PREVENTION-ORENTED, PROBLEM-FREE ADMINISTRATION - Maharishi's Global Country of World Peace in Great Britain Press Release, 4th February 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 18:00 | View blog reactions

January 31, 2003

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385664

A Feng Shui practitioner has been jailed by a Hong Kong court for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He told her he was performing 'mystical rites' that would pass on his power to her. Fengshui master jailed for sex 'rite' on teen - IOL, 31st January 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 12:53 | View blog reactions

January 27, 2003

God's creatures at work

An Australian Jehovah's Witness was attacked by a ram after he ignored a private - keep out sign and entered a farm with the intention of annoying the owners. He was apparently unaware that rams are not undead and shooing the animal away with a briefcase full of Bibles had no effect. The ram, inappropriately nicknamed 'Shit for Brains', had never attacked anyone before. The Jehovah's Witness successfully sued, and also tried suing his church for not warning him that farms might be dangerous. Ram butts Bible man - Herald Sun, 23rd January 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 11:04 | View blog reactions

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385663

A pastor at a church in Hyderabad, India, has left from the church without informing any one after he is alleged to have molested a 13-year-old girl who came to Hallelujah Church alone to pray. She complained to her father who went to the church to discuss the matter, where he was allegedly beaten up by Pastor Subhash. Pastor accused of molesting minor flees - Times of India, 27th January 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 10:17 | View blog reactions

January 22, 2003

If it harms Windows, do as ye will

A Welsh virus writer who included Wiccan elements in tempting messages spread by his code has been jailed for two years.

Another message alluded to Vallor's interest in an ancient British pagan religion, which read: Bide ye the Wiccan laws ye must, in perfect love and perfect trust.

Ancient? Never mind. He was caught after boasting about it in a chat room. Computer virus author jailed - BBC News, 21st January 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 11:34 | View blog reactions

January 21, 2003

Psychic fraud in Japan

Nine people have been arrested in Yokohama, Japan, on suspicion of fraud. The nine are alleged to be members of a much larger 'psychic' group that police think have swindled around 150 million yen (€1,200,000) from 1,700 people by stopping them on the street and offering to drive out evil spirits.

The nine, who called their group, Ijuin, spoke to eight women in their 20s to 50s at railway stations and department stores in Kanagawa Prefecture and Tokyo between December 2000 and last March, police said. The Ijuin members falsely told their victims that they were possessed by an evil spirit, and that they would die unless they were exorcised, according to investigators.
They then took the victims to a Tokyo hotel, or what they called a chapel in Kamakura, and received a combined 5.12 million yen to expel the evil spirits that had invaded the women's bodies.

Psychic phonies exorcise millions from 'possessed' women - Mainichi Daily News, 21st January 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 12:43 | View blog reactions

Holy extortion

Churches in the Pacific Islands regularly publicise donations in a cynical attempt to pressurise their poorer congregants into giving more than they can afford. The money is spent on extravagant church buildings. Islanders shamed into giving to church - Stuff, 21st January 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 12:15 | View blog reactions

January 20, 2003

Britain a pagan country

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has told the Daily Telegraph that Britian is a Pagan country in which people will believe anything and everything. No doubt he hopes this attitude will extend to his claims that the Roman Catholic Church is doing something effective to deal with priests who abuse children. Britain is a pagan society, says Cardinal - Daily Telegraph, 20th January 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 14:35 | View blog reactions

January 18, 2003

I see a dark stranger with a big stick

A scammer claiming to be a Dutch psychic is distributung letters around the North East of England claiming that someone hates the recipient and that something terrible will happen unless she is paid £7. She asks people to send personal details which are enough to allow her access to people's bank accounts.

Trading Standards have received a number of complaints and Durham council have urged recipients to file them in the bin. Fortune teller's threats - icNewcastle, 15th January 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 12:34 | View blog reactions

January 15, 2003

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385662

A Canadian Hindu priest has been charged with with sexual assault and several other offences. The charges relate to alleged assaults on two 14-year old girls who attended a group based at one of the two Toronto temples where Rudy Madho is priest and include sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation. He also faces one count of invitation to sexual touching. Hindu priest faces sex charges - Globe and Mail, 15th January 2003.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 11:39 | View blog reactions

January 12, 2003

Sacred mountain row

In New Zealand, Maori are upset about the possibility that a sacred mountain might appear in the background of a film being made in the area. At the same time, they're charging the crew large sums of money for 'spritual ceremonies'. This sentence hints that the real motives are far from religious: Maori are also unhappy that there is no financial recognition of their interest in the mountain. Maori row over use of Mt Taranaki - Stuff, 12th January 2003.

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January 6, 2003

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385661

A Presbyterial Commission (a kind of church court in the Church of Scotland) is in the final stages of its inquiry into a minister who tried to assault a 14-year-old boy. Reverend Ian Andrew was convicted at Stonehaven Sheriff Court in October and put on the Sex Offenders' Register, but sentence has been deferred until the kirk's own investigtion is complete. At the time of the offence, Andrew was a happily married man with two daughters.
Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 13:57 | View blog reactions

Thou shalt not kill on my patch

Muslims and Christians in a Ugandan village are engaged in a feud over who gets to slaughter animals.

The meeting followed an earlier letter written by the Busembatia Mosque leaders accusing the Discipleship Mission Born-Again Christians of defiantly slaughtering and selling animals to the public during the festive season.

Christians, Muslims clash in Iganga - The Monitor (via allAfrica.com, 4th January 2003.

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Wizard drops in

A praying Christian congregation in Zanzibar must have received the shock of their lives when a sparesely-dressed man fell from his flying saucer into their midst. But according to the self-styled 'wizard', the incident is why he is now a Christian.

When asked why he had failed to continue with the flight, he said he didn't know why. I always make sure that everything is okay before I leave on a mission within and beyond Kongwa District. I did the same tonight, but I was shocked when the craft would not go on when I reached above this area. I really don't know why it failed, he explained. He said it was God's will that he should now stop witchcraft and live a righteous life. He then burned all the pieces of talisman, the piece of skin and the "aircraft". He was later given clothes by the believers.

The truth of the story is suggested by the fact that his family, with whom he lived, were completely unaware of his nocturnal activities. 'Wizard' drops from heavens - The Guardian (Zanzibar), 6th January 2003.

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December 30, 2002

More Christian ritual abuse

A minister in Ayr has been charged with assault over allegations that he belted children as young as three. Rev. Martin Trench, of the River Ministry Christian Fellowship Evangelical Church, does not deny abusing his children, but insists he has committed no crime becuase it's an essential part of his Christian religion. Trench is a fine example of Christian leadership--divorced, he lives with his second wife, a lingerie shop manager. When the Sunday Mail made enquiries, he was not very communicative:

Yesterday Mr Trench denied the allegations. He said: That would be my ex-wife who put you on to this. The details are exaggerated greatly. My solicitor has told me not to make any statement. A friend of Mr Trench's said: He feels he has done nothing wrong. He was acting as a good parent and a good Christian.

Minister: It's Christian to belt boy of three. - Sunday Mail, 29th December 2002.

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December 24, 2002

Get religion - and a divorce.

A Methodist-led week of spiritual cleansing in Fiji did not go according to plan when it resulted in the break-up of three marriages, with several others now on the rocks as a result.

The cleansing which reportedly took place at a village in Bau, Tailevu two weeks ago saw couples confessing about things they felt guilty about, to a reverend. Some men confessed to having affairs with other women in the village while their wives confessed to having affairs with other men. As a result, three married couples split after the confessions and their children are now living with relatives. The villagers are talking about the confessions on a daily basis and how their lives have been affected. One villager who was interviewed said she was shocked at the number of extra marital affairs happening in the village, considering it had a population of less than 70 people.

Marriages break-up after 'cleansing' - Fiji Live, 24th December 2002.

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December 19, 2002

Pagan Prattle sweep time.

How many Anglican and Episcopal vicars are going to be caught in bed with prostitutes, children and sheep in the next year?

In his first speech since taking up office at the start of the month, Dr Rowan Williams said church leaders instead of governments will have to form a moral basis for society.
Archbishop launches moral crusade - BBC News, 19th December 2002.

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December 13, 2002

Christians admit ritual abuse.

Parents and teachers at a private Christian school have been told that they are not allowed to abuse children as part of their religion. Christian Fellowship School, Liverpool, had claimed that the ban on corporal punishment violated their right to freedom of religious belief but the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling banning such violence against children. The judges observed that it is still legal in England for parents to hit their children and that, if the abuse really was part of their religion, parents could beat their children at home with impunity. Christian group loses smacking appeal - Daily Telegraph, 13th December 2002.

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December 10, 2002

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385660

A notorious Buddhist priest known as the 'Bawdy Bodhisatva' has got himself in trouble again. Kenichi Aitani has been arrested by Tokyo police on charges relating to child prostitution, pornography and for stalking a 17-year-old schoolgirl who broke off a relationship with him. Five years ago, Aitani was the first person to be arrested under an ordnance banning sex with schoolgirl prostitutes.

Aitani is also famous for refusing to come out and greet those normal worshippers who come to pay their respects at the temple. The exceptions are when it's a family that has girls of junior high or high school age. When those families visit, he'll whip open the front door to his home and invite them in for a cup of tea.

One worshipper complained With a Chief Priest like the Bawdy Bodhisattva, it's no wonder believers are deserting his temple in droves. Pervert priest confesses to schoolgirl sacrilege - MDN WaiWai, 10th December 2002.

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December 9, 2002

It's not just the Roman Catholic Church, no. 385659

In Japan, a Shinto priest has been arrested after he performed a "Holy Massage" on a 15-year-old girl. The priest insists he was performing a traditional Shinto rite:

I just channeled Earth's vital energy into her in accordance with Shinto ritual. So what I did was not illegal, 34-year-old Sakamoto told grilling officers.
Police said the Shinto priest was giving a private tutorial to the local junior high school student at his shrine on Oct. 18.
Midway through the teaching session, Sakamoto suddenly told the girl, Your problem is a lack of earthly energy. I will channel the energy into you, and started groping her, according to the victim.

She complained to her parents and the police arrested the priest after investigation. Pervert priest pinched for 'holy massage' - Mainichi Daily News, 9th December 2002. Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 14:37 | View blog reactions

December 4, 2002

More on Boston.

Thousands of freshly-released files document the extent to which the Archdiocese of Boston tried to cover up the sexual abuse of children by priests. A Supreme Court order forced the release of around 3000 pages of material on eight priests. One priest has admitted allegations that he abused girls who wanted to become nuns:

In the late 1960s, the Rev. Robert V. Meffan allegedly recruited girls to become nuns and then sexually abused them, according to 1993 letters from Sister Catherine E. Mulkerrin to her boss, the Rev. John B. McCormack, who was a top aide to Law. Meffan allegedly would counsel the girls to perform sexual acts as a way of progressing with their religious studies.
Meffan allegedly engaged in sexual acts with four girls in a Cape Cod rental, one of the girls told Mulkerrin, according to the 1993 memo.
According to the records, Meffan encouraged them to be brides of Christ, and described himself as the second coming of Christ. Meffan did anything but intercourse, one woman told church officials, because he said that was for the afterlife.
On woman said Meffan used to suggest to her that she imagine Christ touching, kissing, having intercourse with her, according to the church records.
They were all young girls planning to be nuns, said attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr., who represents 247 plaintiffs suing the archdiocese.
Meffan told The Boston Globe the allegations in the documents were true, and that he still believed his sexual relationships with the teenage girls were beautiful and spiritual, and were intended to bring them closer to God.

The archdiocese dealt with such 'problem' priests by moving them to other parishes. Personnel records show drug use, sex abuse by priests - CNN, 4th December 2002.

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Shame and guilt cause abuse.

Christianity's culture of shame about sexuality is an important causal factor in child abuse in the churches of Britain and Ireland, according to a report published today. Put together by representatives of several churches, including Anglican, Methodist and Catholic groups, the report, Time for Action, states that the Christianity itself, as well as the church institutions, encourages abuse, but puts the abused off complaining about it. It claims that clergy are in a Catch 22 situation:

Since the clergy and other church leaders are sexual beings as a condition of their humanity, they are caught in a trap: experiencing sexual desire and sexual need, and at the same time, experiencing shame and distress.

High levels of misogyny and homophobia make the situation much worse. Church cultureof shame 'feeds abuse' - The Guardian, 4th December 2002.

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December 3, 2002

What Jesus really said.

The Face to Faith column in yesterday's Guardian examines those bits of the New Testament you are unlikely to see on a wayside pulpit any time soon. What Jesus really said - The Guardian, 2nd December 2002.

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November 27, 2002

Multifaith initiative

In a case which shows that it's not just the Roman Catholic church with such problems, an imam has pleaded guilty to abusing four girls who came to his Hitchin mosque to learn the Koran. Imam admits abusing girls - BBC News, 27th November 2002.

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November 26, 2002

Evil straights.

James Andrew Smith, a Texan pastor and businessman had just finished a PowerPoint presentation and trying to open another document on his laptop when a picture of a nude boy flashed up in front of his audience. He claimed a computer virus was responsible -- apparently Microsoft products are so insecure that the wily hackers were able to make a folder with 65 pages of printed pictures of child pornography appear in his desk drawer. Porn shows up in businessman's slide show - Houston Chronicle, November 22nd 2002.

Smith has been happily married for 13 years. In response to this latest scandal, Achilles of morons.org has called for a ban on heterosexuality:

Yet another heterosexual has been caught with child pornography in his possession, and still our nation's leaders do nothing. With all the unspeakable deviant acts visited on the American people by heterosexuals, it is a travesty beyond any other that our elected officials fail to realize the threat that heterosexuality poses to this nation's moral foundation. What other evidence do they still need?
Fact: The vast majority of child molestations are committed by heterosexuals.
Fact: The vast majority of rapes are committed by heterosexuals.
Fact: Heterosexuals are among the most-represented demographic groups in the KKK.
Fact: Most homeless people and welfare recipients in the nation are heterosexuals.
Fact: Nearly every single deadbeat dad in the United States is a practicing heterosexual.

He goes on to cite some interesting Bible verses demonstrating that this mixing of the genders is not the way that God intended us to mate. (Note for Americans: if confused, look up the word 'satire' the author chose to describe his article).

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 19:18 | Comments (2) | View blog reactions

November 7, 2002

Hinn distress

Seven people were injured in a crush at an evangelist's show in Manchester, and it wasn't an earthquake. A 42-year old man also died of a heart attack at the event where Benny Hinn claims to heal the sick. Stephen Goddard of Ship of Fools, a satirical Chistian website, attended the show and was appropriately cynical.

During the concert envelopes were distributed to everyone and people were invited to fill in slips with their credit card details or sign a cheque to commit £50 to £250 a month to Hinn's ministry. Or they could make a faith pledge of £10,000 to £250,000, or any other amount. Hinn was very charismatic, dressed in a white suit and there aspects of the event that were positive but I did not like some of the stagecraft and some of the bland messages that he gives like sin and sickness go together. At one point 12 wheelchairs were put on stage and then people told the audience how they no longer needed them after being healed by Benny. It is hit and run evangelism aimed to a degree at vulnerable people. At one stage a child in what appeared to be a bed came on stage with their nurses. As a finale Hinn got his choir of several hundred to all hold hands. He asked them to be touched by God's spirit and they all fell over as one. It is a case of where does the religion end and the showmanship begin.

Seven injured at evangelical event - Manchester Evening News, not dated - probably November 4th 2002.

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It's not us, it's them demons.

The Bahamas: A Bahamian preacher is spearheading a campaign against what he sees as the deliberate work of demons. It was demons, and not people, who were responsible for a recent crime wave. So he's organised a march.

Pastor Moxey, who is coordinating the anti-vice rally, said prayers will be held to invoke divine protection against homosexuality, spousal abuse, lawlessness, witchcraft, illegal gambling, drug trafficking, stealing, lying, and other undesirable vices.

The Prattle puts a tenner on one of the ten preachers involved appearing in court for beating his wife after she caught him sharing a spliff in bed with his boyfriend.

Bahamas in 'spiritual crisis'Nassau Guardian, 6th November 2002 (probably).

November 5, 2002

Trying to get away with it...

A man convicted of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old boy started speaking in tongues before he was sentenced and after his request for a new trial was turned down.

The defendant erupted in a stream of unintelligible words, bobbed his head and slid off his chair to come to his knees. A court reporter transcribing the hearing said she noted in the official record that Atkins was speaking another language. The guttural speech sounded as though he were chanting.

The judge ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation. The boy's father was unimpressed and convinced the behaviour was a ploy to get a more lenient sentence: I think it's sad that this individual is able to manipulate the system in this way. It's ridiculous. It's a waste of the taxpayers' money. It was staged. Convicted man speaks 'in tongues' - Chicago Sun-Times (via Aberrant News and Curiosities), November 1st 2002.

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November 1, 2002

Traditionally, women could sew.

A group of Mormon girls in Arizona have petitioned a local store to stock more modest clothing, complaining that the only non-revealing stuff they stock is designed for older women.

Our point is not to censor anyone. We want options to be able to buy clothing that represents the standards of these girls' homes.

Alternatively, they could do what larger women (and especially larger goths) have done for years and learn dressmaking. Midriff mutiny: Teens fight for modest duds - The Arizona Republic, October 29th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 12:04 | View blog reactions

October 26, 2002

A divorce would have been easier

The leading suspect in a California murder case made false allegations of ritual abuse back in 1987.

In 1987, Susan Polk claimed her then-18-month-old son was providing lurid details about suffering ritual abuse at day care. The terror in our son's eyes is too profound, she told The Chronicle at the time, and the details he has given about the blood . . . and about the screaming -- it's too much not to believe.

No substantiating evidence was ever found.

Her husband, Felix Polk, was found dead at their home after being beaten and stabbed several times. Susan Polk is being held on remand in the local jail after police investigators were led to believe that she was responsible, based on information and statements at the scene. Orinda man slain amid acid divorce. Wife says he coerced her as teen - San Francisco Chronicle, October 16th 2002; Cause of Death Released for Orinda Doctor - KRON4, October 19th 2002.

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Clue-free zone

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has been accused of heresey for suggesting in a book that no one religion has a monopoly on truth. The offending words are:

In the course of history, God has spoken to mankind in many languages: through Judaism to Jews, Christianity to Christians, Islam to Muslims ... truth on earth is not, nor can it aspire to be, the whole truth ... in heaven there is truth, on earth there are truths. Therefore each culture has something to contribute.

Rabbi Elchonen Halpern, life president of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations demanded, in Hebrew, that Dr. Sacks be no longer regarded as a Rabbi, and threatened that other Rabbis who did would 'lose their authority'. He insisted Sacks 'atone' for his sins and recall and destroy all copies of the book.

Some people have seen the danger in Halpern's attitude. In a letter to the Jewish Chronicle, Gerald Baron Cohen of north London, warned: Jewish leaders with any knowledge of our history should never call for books to be banned. Chief rabbi accused of heresy over book - The Guardian, October 26th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 02:32 | View blog reactions

church worried about competition

A business man is being forced to remove a sign celebrating the success of a local basketball team which praises the team coach with the words Geno is God. The official reason is that it violates zoning laws which ban signs commemorating events more than sixty days ago, but Ken Bernacky has not been asked to remove another sign reading We love UConn women basketball. The real reason is that the local church have complained that the sign is blasphemous. Maybe he should complain about any signs the church might have, seeing as they celebrate events which, if they happened at all, happened nearly 2000 years ago. 'Geno' Worship Rankles Church - Hartford Courant, October 24th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 02:28 | View blog reactions

October 25, 2002

Will a real pastor please stand up

Ghana is suffering from a glut of charlatan pastors and Francis Ameyibor is fed up enough to have written a long opinion piece for the Accra Mail:

It is common these days to come across such banners as one drives through major cities in the country. To add to these, there are radio and television commercials and newspaper publications selling the image of one church or the other and their self proclaimed authority to the general public.
All these are good signs of the spiritual awakening in the Ghanaian society. The results should have been real positive change physically and spiritually. However, the opposite is true; church related crimes, pastors in business scams, fraudulent visa acquisition deals... General morality both in and outside the church is at its lowest ebb.
To tell the truth, many churches are having little or no positive impact on society these days. This is the result of rogues parading the cities as "Men of God" and "making noise" about absolutely nothing.

The Charlatan Pastors, - Accra Mail (via allAfrica.com), October 24th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 02:23 | View blog reactions

October 24, 2002

Satan told me to do it

A 'satanist' in Virginia told his lawyer he raped a child as part of his religion.

Smith offered no evidence or argument at his preliminary hearing Monday. But his attorney, Myron Berman, said before the hearing that his client claims the sex acts were part of his religion.
Police who searched Smith's home in August found in the laundry room an altar and a box that contained a goat's skull and a child's bra and underpants.

Anton LaVey's The Satanic Bible specifically prohibits anything which infringes on anyone else's free will, and uses the rape of children as an example of such an infringement. Satanist claims sex acts part of religion - Daily Press, October 22nd 2002.

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October 22, 2002

Christians and Muslims admit forcing people to convert

Both Christian and Muslim groups are protesting a ban on forcible religious conversion in Tamil Nadu. Christian missionary groups and the Association of Muslim Colleges of Tamil Nadu plan to close all their educational facilities on October 24th. The state has reasserted that the ban will stay and that the interests of minorities will be protected. The Hindu Munnani has asked for a similar law to apply all over India, claiming that other religions also resorted to large bribes to win believers. Muslim colleges protest ban on conversions, Christian schools bandh plan challenged in HC, No going back on ban on conversions: Jaya, All-India law to ban conversions demanded - The Times of India, October 21st and 22nd 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 01:56 | View blog reactions

False prophet

A Nigerian "prophet" has been charged with theft of a car belonging to a polytechnic lecturer who had gone to his church, the Celestial Church of Christ, for spiritual healing. The prosecution also alleges that Olushola Abudah's credentials were forged. 'Prophet' Arraigned for Car Theft, This Day (via allAfrica.com), October 22nd 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 01:50 | View blog reactions

October 18, 2002

Ancient Greeks completely straight.

Greece: Protesters have picketed an international conference to complain about papers being presented there on witchcraft practised by Macedonian noblewomen and on homosexuality in the court of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. Among their complaints seems to be that the historians are using ancient documents!

Historians blast Salonica protestKathimerni, 18th October 2002.

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The insurer said it was an act of God

A Sydney woman has lost her claim for compensation from her church after God touched her soul and caused her to bang her head.

She sued for AUS$750 000 (about R4-million) claiming someone should have been there to catch her when the Holy Spirit lifted her off her feet at a prayer meeting six years ago.

The judge ruled that she swooned too early and the catchers couldn't have been expected to get to her. The woman who sued God's house - and lost - IOL, October 18th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 01:42 | View blog reactions

October 13, 2002

The word for today is 'irony'.

A man sentenced to 20 years in prison for impregnating his teenage stepdaughter with a syringe of his own sperm forgave the girl, the police, prosecutors and the judge, and read verses from the Bible.

Goff was found guilty Aug. 29 of rape and other charges. He was convicted of breaking the very laws he and his wife had campaigned for after a man accused of molesting his stepdaughter was acquitted. Lawmakers expanded the rape law in 1996 to include penetration with any object. Previously, only sexual intercourse was considered rape.

Man Gets 20 in Sperm Syringe Case - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 8th 2002. (Thanks Dissywitch)

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 01:35 | View blog reactions

October 11, 2002

Imagine the cat food bill

A Florida Pagan woman and her husband face charges of child neglect after their eight year old daughter, dog and 91 cats were removed from thier filthy house. Milan and Cynthia Jurkovic gave no indication as to why they kept so many cats, but the Associated Press felt it important to mention that Cynthia Jurkovic was a member of the Fellowship of Isis, an international organization "dedicated to honoring the religion of the Goddess,'' according to the group's Web site. 91 Cats, Child Taken From Florida Home - Associated Press (via local6.com), October 10th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 22:41 | View blog reactions

October 7, 2002

C-l-i-t-o-r-i-s

Canadian authorities have seized copies of a novel by British lesbian author Charlotte Cooper because they find a consensual fisting scene between two women to be obscene. Even though the law allows material of artistic merit, and the novel has received critical acclaim, the publishers face a long legal battle to get the work released for sale.

Canada has an allegedly feminist definition of obscenity, but so far, the law has been applied mainly against feminist and lgbt bookshops and small publishers:

You might be surprised to find that a lot of literary fiction depicting peculiar sex acts and/or violence is allowed into Canada, including novels such as 'American Psycho' and 'Porno,' by Irvine Welsh. Moreover, books that have the protection of large corporate publishers and their lawyers also manage to sneak in. Canada Customs just seems to have a problem with the smaller scale stuff that deals with queer sex, and because independent gay and lesbian bookshops sell a lot of sex-related matter, they get picked on the most. For example, for a long time every shipment of books Little Sister's bookshop in Vancouver ordered was scrutinised by the authorities and material seized - including safe sex information. The shop is now involved in a long-running legal battle to overturn Canada Customs' censorship policies.

Cherry Seized in Canada - Press release from Charlotte Cooper, September 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 22:24 | View blog reactions

He should've seen it coming

An Italian television psychic has been arrested and jailed. He had been a fugitive since December, when he was sentenced to four years on deception charges. He had been selling flats for souls to live in during the afterlife, and had charge one woman €50 000 to free her from witchcraft. 'Flats for afterlife' salesman lands in jail - IOL, October 3rd 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 22:16 | View blog reactions

October 3, 2002

Satan at it again.

A former nun accused of abusing children in her care at a fundamentalist Christian commune in Canada has said that the children were lying about the beatings:

Lucille Poulin, 78, testified today the five children she is accused of assaulting at a rural religious commune are wicked and have been seduced by Satan to enjoy worldly pleasures.

But, in apparent contradiction to this, she insisted that she beat the children with a heavy wooden rod as legitimate corrections to keep her charges on the path to heaven, and that she would do the same to any other child she was asked to care for. She said that God told her to do it. We decided to stop all this mushy, fleshy stuff of love, love, love.

The case is due to resume on October 15th. Children lied about beatings, ex-nun says - The Star, October 1st 2002.

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Please ignore our President putting fundies in charge of everything.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended that 12 nations be designated as 'Countries of Particular Concern' under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. The independent federal agency told Secretary of State Colin Powell that Burma (Myanmar), the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Pakistan, People's Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam have engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom. The Act allows the US President to take a range of actions, ranging from absolutely nothing to diplomatic and economic sanctions.

The designation of countries of particular concern is one of the most important human rights acts taken by any U.S. administration, said Commission Chair Felice D. Gaer. The IRFA requires the U.S. to oppose these egregious and systematic violations, whether the government itself commits them or tolerates them. We hope to see actions commensurate with the severity of these abuses.

A "Watch List" of countries causing concern has also been created - Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Uzbekistan. Commission Recommends 12 Nations for Designation As 'Countries of Particular Concern' - USCIRF Press Release, September 30th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 22:07 | View blog reactions

August 13, 2002

Thought for the Day: Don't think.

102 public figures have sent a letter to the BBC protesting at the ban on atheist contributors to Radio 4's Thought for the Day. The letter, signed by writers, MPs, peers, academics and scientists was sent by the British Humanist Association, the National Secular Society and the Rationalist Press Association.

By resolutely retaining the ban, the BBC is discriminating against the non-religious, and thus giving the impression of promoting religion as the one source of ethics. We call on the Governors to end this ban.

The slot is currently being revamped but producers have already decided not to allow atheists to participate. Anger as BBC keeps the faith on Thought for the Day - Ananova, August 13th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 16:25 | View blog reactions

August 12, 2002

Please stay on the dole

Lingerie retailer Ann Summers is threatening to take the government to court after a decision not to allow it to advertise vacancies through Job Centres. A rule banning the advertising of jobs in the sex or personal services industry was cited, though Ann Summers shops are not sex shops, which need to be licensed. A government representative also claimed it would be unfair to force job seekers to consider roles in industries to which they may have moral objections, but Job Centres still routinely advertise jobs in the military and butchers' shops. Ann Summers Threatens Legal Action Over Job Centres Ban - Ananova (via The Guardian), August 12th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 16:21 | View blog reactions

August 9, 2002

EU blamed for censorship

Romanian witches are threatening to cast spells to prevent their country's entry into NATO or the European Union unless a government ban on the promotion of sorcery is lifted. Last week, the National Audio Visual Council banned all radio and television programmes relating to magic and witchcraft claiming the measure had been demanded as a condition of Romania's entry into the EU. According to Cludiu Rusu, a representative for the National Audio-Visual Council:

Programmes with miraculous healers and broom-riding witches who claim they can change the world are very harmful, especially for young audiences. We should not allow children or people in trouble to believe all those witches claim they can do.

But Maria Campina, an elected True and Authentic Queen of White Magic promised to defeat the measure with the help of her six daughters and around eighty other white witches:

I ordered all witches in this country to stop all magic that could help Romania join Nato or the EU. We will work against it. Why should politicians be allowed to act as stars on television... and we are banned?

Another witch, Rodica Gheorghe, blamed clerical jealousy: It is outrageous and we will not accept it. Witches have been persecuted since the Inquisition because their powers are stronger than priests. In a statement, the National Witches' Association noted that the ban was more likely to hinder Romania's integration. European human rights legislation guarantees freedom of conscience and religion. Witches off the box? Then Nato gets a pox... - IOL, August 9th 2002. Witches threaten Romania's EU interests as revenge for TV ban - Ananova, August 1st 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 16:12 | View blog reactions

Politician blames spell for his affair

A Taiwanese MP enlisted the services of a Taoist priest to break a spell which caused him to have an extra-marital affair. The spell was allegedly cast by a female aide to Cheng Yu-cheng to control him and the priest declared the exorcism successful after he saw 'evil spirits' during the ritual. It can't have been that successful though, as Cheng has subsequently threatened to divorce his wife. 'Ghostbuster' breaks sex spell for Taiwan MP - IOL, August 7th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 16:10 | View blog reactions

August 4, 2002

Porn blamed for lack of improvement in crime rates

'Christians' in South Africa have resorted to claims that pornography leads to rape and murder in their efforts to close a sex shop in Somerset West. The 120 prudes admit that the shop is perfectly legal, but still want to close down the business, which is tucked away in an industrial area. Other claims are that pornography is being passed around among local children. The shop, Adult World, has 24 hour surveillance and strict proof-of-age requirements and Arthur Calamaras, owner of the chain, notes that they cannot be held responsible if customers are not careful with their purchases.

At a protest meeting in a Baptist church, Pastor Peter Hammond of African Christian Action quoted 'feminist' sources to justify his claims that pornography was an insatiable cancer, stalking and devouring with ever-increasing appetite. The more one ingests, the greater the lust for more, when he said Pornography is the theory, rape is the practice.

Hammond said when the Film and Publications Act was passed in 1996 it legalised pornography and made it possible for child abusers, rapists and paedophiles to get all the material they needed.

Organiser Jeanine McGill blamed pronography for South Africa's high rape figures, but Arthur Calamaras notes that that has been the case for a long time:

There are a thousand arguments for and a thousand arguments against. These church groups have just found a scapegoat for problems in society. When I brought Adult World to Johannesburg six years ago that city was already the crime capital of the world, yet there was no pornography in South Africa.

Sex shop faces wrath of suburban Christians - Cape Argus, (via IOL), August 3rd 2002.

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July 30, 2002

Pastoral support

Priests are often at the centre of disasters, using their pastoral skills to comfort and console people. According to eyewitness reports in Lviv's local newspaper, Postup, Ukranian priests are less helpful:

In Kuk's words, when the show began, many priests came to the aerodrome, but when the tragedy occurred, they vanished. Other witnesses say, the priests were jumping over dead bodies with their frocks up; all commanders began hiding.

Generals were drunk as cobblers at the Lvov aerodrome - Pravda, July 30th 2002.

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July 14, 2002

Family values

A Kenyan televangelist will appear in court on August 2nd to face charges that she conspired to kill her businessman husband and three brothers in law.

[Mrs Eunice Wambui Kuria], who preaches for a popular television evangelist mission, (Kuna Nuru Gizani), had allegedly tried to pay three police officers Sh 50,000 to commit the heinous act. She was released on a Sh 100,000 bond, with a surety of similar amount.

Preacher in 'Death Plot' - East African Standard, July 12th 2002 (via allAfrica.com).

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July 9, 2002

Oops - we lied

United States: The Parents' Television Council is a US-based conservative group which seeks to clean up television - a bit like MediaWatch (neé the National Viewers and Listeners Association, i.e. Mary Whitehouse's mob).

A couple of years back, they turned their sights on professional wrestling and claimed that children were killing other children because they imitated the moves they saw on the telly. In particular, they claimed that the well-publicised murder of Tiffany Eunick by Lionel Tate was influenced by his seeing professional wrestling. WWE Entertainment and an organisation called Wrestling Fans Against Censorship sued. A few days ago, the PTC issued a humiliating retraction.

we were told by a source that Lionel Tate was watching a WWE program when he assaulted Tiffany Eunick. In fact, Lionel Tate was watching the "Flintstones" and a cartoon entitled "Cow and Chicken." We were also told, by a source, that Lionel Tate killed Tiffany Eunick while executing a wrestling move unique to a WWE character called the Stone Cold Stunner.
We have since learned that this was not true, nor was there any evidence that it was true. It is now well documented that after the Tate trial concluded, the presiding Judge said it was inconceivable that Tiffany Eunick's injuries were caused by Lionel Tate mimicking wrestling moves.
Indeed, since the trial ended, Lionel Tate's new lawyers have filed court papers in which they admit that the wrestling defense was, in their words, bogus.
Given these facts, WWE was within its rights to be angry at the MRC, PTC, their spokespersons and I for contacting WWE's advertisers to go beyond complaining about WWE content but passing along accusations which we now know were false. Because I feel a simple retraction is not sufficient, I have personally extended my apology to Vince McMahon and the WWE on behalf of MRC, PTC, Dr. Tucker, Mr. Honig and me.

Bozell, PTC apologizes to WWE - The Miami Herald, 4th July 2002 (via Boing Boing).

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June 28, 2002

Witches scare tourists

A top tourism official has decided that the decline in tourism in the Philippines is because of witchcraft, and nothing to do with the Muslim separatist violence on Mindanao and Jolo. Ms Evelyn Pantig, chairman of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and under-secretary of the Department of Tourism, said that:

the island of Siquijor, considered the 'witchcraft centre' of the country, was becoming notorious internationally, to the detriment of the tourism industry. Proposals had even been made to make the yearly gathering of witches in Siquijor a tourist attraction, but these had been summarily turned down, she said.

Maybe she needs a junket to Salem! Witchcraft blamed for scaring off tourists - Straits Times, June 27th 2002.

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June 19, 2002

Don't have sex and don't vote either

The Presbyterian Church of East Africa has strongly opposed the use of condoms in preventing HIV/AIDS because they encourage promiscuity among the faithful. Fortunately, this fatal attitude will be unrepresented in the new Kenyan government as the Moderator of the Church's General Assembly, Rev. Dr. Jesse Kamau, has urged Christians not to participate actively in the forthcoming general election because the involvement of faithful in politics would erode their faith in God and lead to major splits among the fraternity. Presbyterian Church Opposes Condoms in Aids PreventionThe East African Standard (via allAfrica.com), June 19th 2002.

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June 14, 2002

Former altar boy may sue over abuse

A former altar boy has been given the go-ahead to bring a case the Archbishop of Birmingham and the Trustees of the Birmingham Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church. The 36 year old claims that he was abused by Father Christopher Clonan in 1975 and that the Church was negligent.

The Archbishop and the Trustees deny liability and say that Mr Grey's injuries are attributable to a pre-existing personality vulnerability and family circumstances. They argued that it was now too late to bring the claim.
It cannot be pursued against Father Clonan, described in court as a dynamic and popular priest known as Father Chris, because he fled the country when complaints became known in 1992 and has not been found.

This is thought to be the first time a case has been brought against the Church rather than the alleged abuser. Ex-altar Boy Cleared To Sue Church Over Childhood Abuse - The Guardian, June 14th 2002.

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God is my investment advisor

In the late 1980s, the Church of England invested heavily in property and lost £800 million. More recently, they've been hit by the slump in the telecommunications sector and have lost £78 million since the start of 2000 on Vodafone shares alone. Church commissioners have recommended the sale of a number of valuable paintings or non-income producing assets as they call them. Treasures may be lost as church loses again in its game of risk - The Guardian, June 14th 2002.

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June 11, 2002

Falwell loses case

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has thrown out a complaint from the Rev. Jerry Falwell. The preacher had claimed he had a common-law trademark on his name which was being breached by the parody site www.jerryfalwell.com. WIPO policy is that personal names should only be protected if they are being commercially expolited, and concluded:

The complainant has failed to show that his name, well known as it is, has been used in a trademark sense as a label of particular goods or services. There are many well-known ministers, religious figures and academics. Are their sermons or lectures to be considered commercial goods?

Falwell plans to bring a case in a US court instead. Site poking fun at Falwell allowed to continueAssociated Press, June 7th 2002.

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June 6, 2002

Vultures circle Den Haag

The Netherlands: Dutch lawyers have been quick to capitalise on the death of politician Pim Fortuyn. Fortuyn's own lawyers, G. Spong and O. Hammerstein have brought charges against several politicians, journalists and web sites using a law Fortuyn himself opposed strongly. Clause 137d of Dutch criminal law concerns discrimination and hate speech:

Hij die in het openbaar, mondeling of bij geschrift of afbeelding, aanzet tot haat tegen of discriminatie van mensen of gewelddadig optreden tegen persoon of goed van mensen wegens hun ras, hun godsdienst of levensovertuiging, hun geslacht of hun hetero- of homosexuele gerichtheid, wordt gestraft met een gevangenisstraf van ten hoogste een jaar of een geldboete van de derde categorie.

Which means (my translation):

He who in public, verbally or in writing or pictures, incites hate against or discrimination against (lit. 'of') people or violent acts against people or people's property because of their race, their religion or beliefs, their sex or their hetero- or homosexual orientation, will be punished with a prison sentence of up to one year, or a third category fine.

Spong and Hammerstein argue that comparing Fortuyn to Hitler, Mussolini or Haider, or his anti-Islamic statements with anti-semitism, fall foul of this law. Their "aangifte" (lit. 'declaration') includes the offending statements. For example Matty Verkamman, in the Trouw newspaper on December 22nd described Fortuyn as een man met de intelligentie van Hitler en de charme van Heinrich Himmler (a man with the intelligence of Hitler and the charm of Heinrich Himmler)! The Anarchronicon web site is cited as having contained a picture of Fortuyn in Nazi uniform and photos of posters showing Fortuyn with Hitler's cap and moustache.

The lawyers claim they are acting in accordance with Fortuyn's wishes, even though he felt he should be free to describe Islam as backwards, and that Muslims should equally be allowed to malign homosexuality. A court in Rotterdam has already thrown out the charges, but the they've have appealed to a higher court in Den Haag. Meanwhile, the Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (Dutch Union of Journalists) plans a counter-suit.

Stupid lawyer gamesWisse Words, 5th June 2002; NVJ opent tegenaanval over strafklachtHet Parool, 14th May 2002.

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May 31, 2002

Ministers vote themselves large pay rise

It must be something about that room - Church of Scotland ministers have voted themselves pay rises of up to 15%, even though the Kirk is in financial trouble. At the moment, the starting salary for a new minister is £18,700, and the rate of inflation is less than 3%. Some ministers objected - Rev. Ewan Aitken told the assembly:

It doesn't look good if we're raising wages way above what poor people, who we're trying to reach out to, could earn.

When the Kirk isn't using it, the Church of Scotland's assembly room is home to the Scottish Parliament. Pennies from heaven for ministers - BBC News, May 31st 2002.

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May 22, 2002

Prattle sweep time

How long before fundies start claiming this is a 'proven' case of satanic ritual abuse? A man has been accused of four counts of child abuse in Des Moines. He is alleged to have used "white magic" as a lure, though the rituals bear no resemblence to any known tradition:

The 14-year-old and her 19-year-old sister told authorities that the man said he could cleanse them by performing magic that involved eggs being rolled or broken and rubbed across the body. The man also allegedly told them they had to have sex with someone they did not know to complete the cleansing.

Suspiciously, both sisters had abortions on the same day last month. Back in the early nineties, the closest thing Professor Jean LaFontaine could find to the fundie allegations of vast networks of organised satanic abuse were three cases like this where the perpetrator acted alone (or as a couple in one case), and made stuff up to impress their targets, make them more compliant, or simply to scare them into keeping quiet. Two of the LaFontaine cases were Christian in nature. Suspect allegedly invoked magic - Des Moines Register, May 21st 2002.

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May 12, 2002

Fundie entryism in Scotland

"Christian" fundamentalists have tried using the courts to force their views on the people of Scotland. They failed. "Christian" fundamentalists tried spending millions of pounds on advertising to push their homophobic views on the people of Scotland. They failed. Last election, "Christian" fundamentalists formed their own poltical party and tried to get themselves elected to the Westminster parliament. They failed. Now they've decided to sneak into the main political parties and try and make them conform to their narrow view of society via a campaign of entryism, exposed in today's Scotland on Sunday newspaper.

A Scotland on Sunday investigation has established that Christian Action Research and Education (Care), a UK charity with an annual income of £2.4m, has drawn up plans for as many of its members as possible to join mainstream political parties.
Now it plans to escalate its activities by persuading members to join the Labour party, SNP, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in Scotland and influence their internal candidate selection procedures.
Noting that selection procedures are now underway for parliamentary candidates, the internet appeal adds: This provides an opportunity for Christians to influence this selection process by joining political parties and asking the potential candidates their views on a range of issues.
In another message, the group claims Britain's political system presents Care with huge opportunities to influence the governance of our society.
It suggests activists join with a friend so that you can support each other in making a difference.

It is illegal throughout the UK for registered charities to engage in political activities. Christians plot political infiltration - Scotland On Sunday, May 12th 2002. (if the article has expired, the password for spamtrap@antipope.org is Crail63)

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May 11, 2002

They were wrong to trust me

A Canadian Roman Catholic priest found guilty of abusing a teenager has sued the youth's parents, claiming they were negligent in allowing the young man to spend time with him! Priest guilty of abuse sues family - Toronto Star, May 11th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 14:23 | View blog reactions

Witlesses to cover up abuse too

The Roman Catholic Church isn't the only religious organisation with child abuse problems at the moment, nor is it the only one trying to cover it up rather than deal with it. Four Jehovah's Witnesses in Kentucky face expulsion for speaking out against their church's handling of allegations of sexual abuse of children. The church has refused to report the allegations to the appropriate authorities and insists on dealing with it internally - the same attitude which has caused the current scandal in the Catholic Church. Four Jehovah's Witnesses face ouster after criticizing church - Dallas News, May 10th 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 14:22 | View blog reactions

May 1, 2002

Church policy to break law

The Catholic Church in South Africa has decided that the law on child abuse does not apply to them. The 1993 Prevention of Family Violence Act makes it a crime for anyone who treats, instructs, advises or cares for a child to withhold information about abuse from the authorities but the Church has decided that they should continue to treat it as an internal matter. This is the same attitude responsible for the current scandal in the United States and legal authorities are not impressed. Catholic Church is above SA's abuse law - The Mercury (via IOL), April 30th 2002.

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April 26, 2002

Blaming the Pooves

United States: A New York Cardinal has blamed the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church on gays! Monsignor Eugene Clark told his congregation that The tendency to homosexuality is a disorder, not a sin, but the practice of homosexuality is truly sinful, that the United States was probably the most immoral country in the Western Hemisphere and that problems were caused by US society being very protective of homosexuality.

An interesting rebuttal has been penned by William Saletan of Slate Magazine:

The one thing everybody knows about the Roman Catholic Church is that you're supposed to confess your sins. Everybody, that is, except the church's leaders. First they failed to come clean about sexual abuse by priests. Then they failed to come clean about having covered up the abuse. Every time they assured the public that nothing else would come out, something else came out. Now the bishops, the cardinals, and conservative interest groups have a new story. The problem, they say, is homosexuality. If the church gets rid of gay priests, everything will be fine. But the more questions you ask about this story, the more contradictions you find. The cardinals' problem isn't that they can't keep the priesthood straight. The problem is that once again, they can't keep their story straight.

He then looks in depth at four key points on which their new alibi doesn't add up.

Monsignor Blames Gay Men For ScandalThe Guardian, 22nd April 2002; Cardinal virtues, cardinal sins. The hypocrisy of blaming sexual abuse by priests on gaysMSNBC News, 24th April 2002.

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April 17, 2002

Bishop resigns

A German bishop has resigned amid allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman during an exorcism. Auxiliary Bishop Franziskus Eisenbach denies the allegations and has resigned because of the negative pubicity. A representative for the archdiocese of Mainz said:

The woman was a Protestant and wished to convert. At the same time she had private visions that she couldn't cope with. The auxiliary bishop was familiar with the spiritual issues involved. During this long process there was close physical proximity. But contact was not sexual in a narrow sense.

German Bishop Quits Amid Sex Abuse Allegations - Reuters (via Yahoo! News, April 16th 2002.

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April 14, 2002

Painting the Forth Bridge

Someone is more obsessed with naughty vicar stories than I am. The Clergy Abuse Tracker is a weblog linking to articles about sexual abuse by clergy.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 12:22 | View blog reactions

April 12, 2002

Church won't report abuse

Roman Catholic authorities in Mexico have refused to report cases of alleged child abuse by priests to secular authorities, and will not give any statistics relating to the problem. Some bishops deny that the problem exists at all. This attitude is in complete contrast to that seen in the United States, where the Roman Catholic Church has decided to treat such allegations seriously, to cooperate with investigations and to stop shielding child abusers in its heirarchy. Bishops won't report pedophilia - CNN Europe, April 12th 2002.

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April 6, 2002

Important football result! (and some naughty vicars)

Naughty vicar stories abound today:
Pope accepts bishop's resignation over sex-charge priest - Ananova, 6th April 2002.
Cardinal accused of sexual abuse - Ananova, 6th April 2002.
Report: District Attorney asks for grand jury to probe allegations of sex abuse by priests - New Jersey Online, 6th April 2002.
Priest Accused of Child-Sex Abuse Commits Suicide - Fox News, 5th April 2002.

But, to me, this is the day's most important news: Man City seal promotion - BBC Sport, 6th April 2002.

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March 22, 2002

Social Workers

A year-long inquiry has concluded that there was nothing legal which could have been done to prevent the murder of a 12-year old boy by a seriously mentally ill man. Edward Crowley, who had changed his name after developing an obsession with the notorious Aleister Crowley, stabbed Diego Pineiro 30 times in Central London while on bail. Magistrates had concluded that his condition was not serious enough to warrant keeping him in custody under the Mental Health Act.

Crowley had developed a friendship with the boy, but there had been no sexual relationship. He had been unable to accept it when the Pineiro tried to break off the friendship. Although Crowley acted alone, and was clearly mentally ill, this will undoubtedly become "proof" of an evil, child abusing Satanic conspiracy in the eyes of certain people. Occult killing inquiry no 'whitewash' - BBC News, March 22nd 2002.

Meanwhile, a Christian child protection organisation has admitted that churches are a danger to children. In a document due to be presented to the Victoria Climbié Inquiry today, the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service confess that many churches and Christian groups have lax child protection procedures, and that some churches collude in child abuse.

Eight-year old Victoria Climbié's carers killed her in February 2000 after months of abuse, yet preachers at three churches she attended failed to notice any problem. Pastor Pascal Ormome of Ensemble Pour Christ Church even thought the girl was possessed. Churches a 'danger to children' - BBC News, March 22nd 2002.
Victoria Climbié Inquiry home page.

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March 4, 2002

Priests, choirboys etc.

Naughty vicar stories seem to be common today. First, a long article in the Toronto Star examines the financial difficulties faced by Catholic Dioceses in the US as a result of payments to victims of sexually abusive priests. Abuse cases costing church millions, Toronto Star March 4th 2002.

In Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony has ordered up to 12 priests to retire or otherwise leave their ministries. The priests were all involved in past sexual abuses and had received psychological treatment, but none were implicated in recent cases, and several were considered to be fully rehabilitated. L.A. priests ousted over sex abuse cases, Chicago Tribune March 4th 2002.

In St. Louis, two priests have been ousted as part of a new 'Zero tolerance' stance in response to criminal proceedings against a priest alleged to have sexually abused 130 children. Two Priests Removed In St. Louis, CBS News March 3rd 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 22:21 | View blog reactions

February 25, 2002

I thought he approved of killing Pagans

Pat Robertson continues to demonstrate the gentle, peaceful nature of his brand of Christianity. Around a week ago, on his 700 Club show, he described Islam as a violent religion that wants to dominate and then, if need be, destroy. To prove this, he gave a quote he claimed is from the Qu'ran:

Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them. Seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them. Fight them. Allah will punish them.

Despite the Qu'ran's thorough numbering system, he doesn't say where this passage comes from. It might be Sura 2: 191-192:

And fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Surely Allah loves not the transgressors. And kill them wherever you meet them and drive them out from where they have driven you out... But if they fight you, then fight them: such is the requital for the disbelievers.

Or maybe Robertson was confused and was really looking at Deuteronomy 7: 1-2:

When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

Pot, kettle, very dark colour?

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February 7, 2002

In Sickness and in Health

New Age victim-blaming finally cracked the walls of the Vatican as the bishop responsible for the Vatican humanitarian aid declared that illness is caused by sin. Monsignor Paul Cordes told a press conference that Jesus heals illness and banishes sin. He therefore tells us that there is a link between sin and sickness and that exercising at the gym, eating healthy food and visiting beauty salons were worthy actions. No comment was made on his boss's long-term health problems which were previously thought to be age-related. Vatican bishop diagnoses sin as cause of sickness, Guardian Unlimited 7th February 2002.

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February 1, 2002

They're at it again

The Evangelical Alliance appears to be using the conviction of the two German loonies (below) to revive the Satanic Abuse myth. While claiming that there are thousands of Satanists in the UK (a more sensible estimate would put the number in the hundreds), spokesperson Iain Taylor proclaimed There is increasing anecdotal evidence of people becoming involved in satanism, especially children. Tour of Britain's bizarre underworld Guardian Unlimited (who really should know better!), February 1st 2002.

Posted by Feòrag in Hypocrisy at 21:45 | View blog reactions