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Showing posts from May, 2007

Priest Busted for Alleged Online Child Porn Possession

He is supposed to be the leader of the faithful - instead, he is facing charges for allegedly downloading child porn on his computer. Father Raymond Ethier, a priest in the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, remains in police custody after being arraigned in Federal Court Wednesday afternoon. Ethier was arrested by Homeland Security agents on Tuesday and held at the Albany County Jail overnight.Federal papers show this was a quick investigation run by the feds. It started after a man told another over the Internet he was abusing his step-children. Investigators say they tracked down a person using the screen name "nudistdude23" to Ethier. But it was what they allegedly found on his computer that is at the core of the charges.As NEWS10's Latricia Thomas reports, the investigation began after the priest allegedly went too far online.

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The Submissive Jesus

After putting a comedy video on MySpace, having it featured, getting over 160,000 views and then having it censored and my account closed after angry Christians demanded it be removed, I see how dangerous a deluded majority can be.

(Note: The incorrect video was inadvertently posted with this thread. Check out the actual video that got Submissive Jesus banned from MySpace.)

(Click here to view the video...)

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You Call Yourself a Christian, But...

By newly not

Here is my tribute to those who are Christian by name only:

You call yourself a Christian, but you *still* haven't read the Bible all the way through, even though you usually have the 'Fifteen Minutes a Day' it takes. You're conveniently avoiding the numerous vile Scriptures we atheists like to throw at you.

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WHY AREN'T CHRISTIANS EMBARRASSED BY BIBLE GOD?

By dano

What is God? Where is God? Who is God?

Well, let me explain or define God. What I think God is. In my mind the only way I can describe God, is to call it a force. The ultimate force that caused everything. The prime mover.

Any other description in my mind would be dishonest. I could not live with myself if I recognized any other description or definition of God. Any other definition of God or description would be inadequate. Not big enough!

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Creation Museum opens in Northern Kentucky

PETERSBURG, Ky. -- Amid protesters and television cameras, several thousand visitors lined up yesterday for the opening of the Creation Museum, a $27 million attraction purporting that the Bible's creation story is literal fact supported by science.

Visitors watched high-tech animatronic dinosaurs wag their tails next to playing children in a diorama. They examined fossils and skulls, walked through a lush Garden of Eden and watched robotic men hammer on Noah's Ark in advance of God's retribution.

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Modern miracles and the medieval mind

by Daphne Caruana Galizia

In the hoopla surrounding the canonisation of the late Fr Gorg Preca, there appears to be no room for the minority – a minority that I suspect is much larger than it seems – who have no truck with saints and miracles. Though I know that it might severely prejudice my relationship with St Anthony, who often finds my keys in return for a small consideration, I will try to give voice to the views of that minority, before they are squashed in the stampede of pilgrims (wearing matching caps and ponchos) of the crowd to Rome.

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Youth pastor guilty of child porn charges

After 10 hours of deliberation, a nearly deadlocked jury found a Jacksonville youth pastor guilty Friday on two counts of possessing child pornography on his computer.

The jury came to its decision around 6 p.m., but just hours earlier, at 3:30 p.m., a jury foreman told U.S. District Judge Henry Adams that the jury was split and unable to come to a decision in the case against Richard Steven Sweat, former youth pastor at Lake Shore Baptist Church on Blanding Boulevard.


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Pastor charged with identity theft

MOUNT CARMEL, Pa. — A Baptist minister was accused of using the identity of his church's secretary-treasurer to charge up to $28,000 on two credit cards.

The Rev. Raymond Lee Clayton Sr., pastor of Grace Fellowship Baptist Church, was charged with falsely acquiring and using a credit card, forgery and related offenses.

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Christians putting on the kink

By Dave, the WM

Valerie Tarico, author of "The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth," pointed me toward an interesting website this week. Here's a quote from that site:
A Christian Domestic Discipline marriage is one that is set up according to Biblical standards; that is, the husband is the authority in the household. The wife is submissive to her husband as is fit in the Lord and her husband loves her as himself. He has the ultimate authority in his household, but it is tempered with the knowledge that he must answer to God for his actions and decisions. He has the authority to spank his wife for punishment...
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I knew God was talking to me

Sent in by Debbie J

Living in the heart of the south and going to school with people who live in the Bible Belt of Georgia has its ups and downs. The major up is that everyone is friendly. The major down is that they're only friendly until they ask THE question: "So, what church do you go to?"

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The rebirth of Israel in 1948

I am hoping that you can give me some sort of rebuttal concerning the so-called fulfillment of Biblical prophecies, particularly the one involving the rebirth of Israel in 1948. I have been presenting various information to a friend of mine to illustrate that the Bible is full of errors and a very shady history as far as how it was constructed.

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The straw that broke the camels back

Sent in by Neil S

I was a fundamentalist Christian for 27 years. I became "born again" after joining the Air Force in 1979. I remember reading a bible I had bought and for the first time read what the New Testament said about salvation. I realized that I was a great sinner and needed help. I was upset with the way my life was going and saw no way out. I was in my barracks by myself reading the bible when I came across the passage "If you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved". I bowed my head and repeated this to God and put my trust in him. I felt great release and love flowed into my heart.

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Then the years of a living hell started

Sent in by Mark R

Hello, I'm and ex Christian of 7 years. I'm only 16, which might seem like a piss poor time to "give up", if you will, because I'm so young. But the physical, emotional, and metal abuse i experienced was enough that i never wanted to have anything to do with some carpenter and his godly father ever again.

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Youth leader sex, again

Angela Hurt, 32, who was a part-time youth leader at Cornerstone Church in Springfield, was charged in November in Greene County Circuit Court with second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with the boy from January to March 2005.

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Help me! Please!

Sent in by Mike Brown

help me please, I am a christian, I'll admit it. I know such a confession on a site like this is like painting a target on yourself but here goes. I've been accused of "soliciting" trying to "convert" you name it I've gotten it in the last two day. I'm sure some of you are annoyed with me and have me shoved into the same old box of "just here to try out the latest evangelism techniques. That's just not so... See I'm in semonary working towards my MDiv.

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Attention: All those Destined for Hell, Please Step to the Left

By Nvrgoingbk

When I was a Christian, I was always prepared for the imminent return of Christ. Working out my salvation with “fear and trembling” was a reality for me, as I never did have any true peace regarding any future acceptance in Heaven. Still, I forged on always hoping to be found among the sheep on that fateful day when Christ would return with the martyred saints and separate his flock to the right of Him.

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The Devil made him do it

GALVESTON, Texas -- A woman blames the devil, and not her husband, for severely burning their infant daughter in a microwave, a Texas television station reported.

Eva Marie Mauldin said Satan compelled her 19-year-old husband, Joshua Royce Mauldin, to microwave their daughter May 10 because the devil disapproved of Joshua's efforts to become a preacher.

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Am I the only one?

By fjell

The screen is alight, and a unified choir of cheers erupting from the thousands of fans filling the stadium being pumped at high volume from the speakers in the café satiates the air. Before me is an omelette, half a fresh-baked baguette, and a quaint bowl of plain joghurt adorned with müsli and tidbits of fruit, sliced unseen five minutes ago by a Sri Lanken in an unseen kitchen. It is a Sunday afternoon in my life.

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Somebody please help me!

By Dano

I find myself with this compulsion to try to use logic and reason to try to convince people they are wrong about a certain thing, but what I am beginning to understand is that when it comes down to religious beliefs at least, rational, critical thought takes back a seat to emotion every time.

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Religion and Culture

Christopher Hitchens, author of "God is Not Great," defends atheism and secularism at the 2007 LA Times Festival of Books debate which was recently broadcast on C-Span2's "Book TV" television program.

Other panelists include Zachary Karabell (author of "Peace be Upon You") and Jonathan Kirsch (author of "A History of the End of the World"). Debate moderated by Thane Rosenbaum.

(Click here to watch the video...)

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Darwin and humanity: Should we rid the mind of God?

A special debate between Alister McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University, author of "Dawkins' God" and "The Dawkins Delusion" and Peter Atkins, Professor of Chemistry at Oxford University, well-known atheist and supporter of Richard Dawkins, as seen on Channel 4's "The Trouble with Atheism".

This event was organized jointly by the University of Edinburgh Philosophy Society and The Christian Union. It was held in George Square Lecture Theatre which seats 500, however was overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to attend, over 300 people had to be turned away.

(Click here to view...)

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Bullshit with Christopher Hitchens

Penn & Teller's "Bullshit - Holier Than Thou With Christopher Hitchens."

To most of the world, highly revered figures such as Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama are larger-than-life symbols of love, peace and charity. But how much of our perception of "sainthood" is built on hype and not facts? This clip reveals the dark side of the so-called enlightened ones and delves into why we're so susceptible to buying into their bullshit.

(Click here to watch this video...)

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Falwell in hell cartoon? That's a no-no

Canadian Cartoonist, Michael DeAdder has gotten quite an angry reaction to his Jerry Falwell obituary cartoon showing Falwell in Hell. Michael writes:I had a three way discussion between cartoonists about what to do with Jerry Falwell. After much debate, mostly with myself, I decided I was going to put him arriving in hell instead of heaven. The irony was just too tempting.

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Youth minister charged with sex crimes

A former youth minister was charged with numerous sex crimes yesterday involving two underage boys who were members of his youth group.

David Baird, 45, of Penn Hills, was charged with statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviant intercourse, sexual assault, two counts of indecent assault, indecent exposure, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor.

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Branch Davidians — they still believe

Charles Pace brought his wife and three children to this bloodstained land in the hopes of revitalizing the Branch Davidian faith and preserving the memories of those who died here, including four federal agents.

"We believe that this place is full of the Holy Ghost," said Pace, "because this was a church community, and we all worshiped the Holy Spirit here."

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Christopher Hitchens eulogizes Jerry Falwell

Outspoken Anti-theist and author of "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" Christopher Hitchens offers a eulogy for Jerry Falwell on CNN:

"The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing, that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you will just get yourself called reverend. Who would, even at your network, have invited on such a little toad to tell us that the attacks of September the 11th were the result of our sinfulness and were God's punishment if they hadn't got some kind of clerical qualification?"

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If I'm not a Christian, what am I?

Sent in by Stina

I grew up in church. I accepted Christ and was baptized at age 9 and went to a couple of different Baptist churches up until age 18. As a teenager, I felt that my church didn't offer the kind of support I wanted, so I was an avid reader of Brio magazine for girls (produced by Focus on the Family). I felt I was really a "true" Christian, whereas many people I knew seemed to claim to be Christians without believing the Bible was the inerrant Word of God.

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I'm still the same loving person

----- I first want to say that I enjoy this site very much. I was raised very much like allot of you here. My Family has deep Christian roots. I myself was once very devoted to my walk. But I had my back slider moments as other Christians would say, and at those times, I would feel "Oh my God! I’m going to hell because of all those things we're told that will get us put there" -- being human, not having enough faith and so forth.

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According to the Bible, who killed more?

The Bible is indecent

A big thanks to Tom for finding this:

HONG KONG - More than 800 Hong Kong residents have called on authorities to reclassify the Bible as "indecent" due to its sexual and violent content, following an uproar over a sex column in a university student journal.

A spokesperson for Hong Kong's Television and Entertainment Licensing authority (TELA) said it had received 838 complaints about the Bible by noon on Wednesday.

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God is real

span style="font-style:italic;">Sent in by Anna

Dear Dave:

I could have written the anti-testimony you posted myself. The similarities are eerie. The questions I asked however resulted in a physical beating or two (once when I was pregnant, killing the baby), but very similar. It was made painfully clear to me that Christianity..no denomination.. had a place for me. Believe me, I gave it a good go> My husband and I were even pastors for a short while. I graduated from Christian school. Had a full time ministry, etc etc ...

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Three Chickens, Over Easy With Toast

By Valerie Tarico, Ph.D.

How many chickens did you have for breakfast?

At any opportunity, the righteous send letters to my local paper, lamenting the murder of children. They aren’t concerned with the high school students who are getting their limbs blown off in Iraq, or ten year olds who are being handed machine guns by warlords in Africa, or toddlers who are needlessly dying of dysentery in back rooms in Cambodia. They are talking, of course, of abortion.

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Jerry Falwell is dead

Lynchburg, Va. -- The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who founded the Moral Majority and built the religious right into a political force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said. He was 73.
Ron Godwin, the university's executive vice president, said Falwell, 73, was found unresponsive around 10:45 a.m. and taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. "CPR efforts were unsuccessful," he said.

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You are not alone

Sent in by Debra T

I found this website through Marlene Winell, the author of Leaving the Fold: A guide for Former Fundamentalists and others leaving a religion. I was a fundamentalist for about 25 years and have been in recovery from it for about 12 years. A year ago I graduated with my masters degree and my thesis was titled: Writing and Healing: A Personal Journey of Religious Addiction and Spiritual Abuse Recovery.

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Elitism and Legalism

By John of Let My People Go

Human beings need contrast for anything to have meaning to them. The term daytime, for instance would have no significance to people unless they have experienced nighttime, heat has no meaning without the experience of cold, love without hate means nothing and similarly being right has no special meaning unless others are wrong. Invalidation of others provides the experience of being right as others are shown to be wrong promoting the accompanying feelings of superiority and “specialness”. One of the characteristics of the generally accepted view of cults is that they claim to enjoy a unique and somewhat elite position with God himself and consider themselves “special” as a result.

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"Convert or Die!"

By John W. Loftus

I just watched the first episode of the PBS special, The Secret Files of the Inquisition. The second episode is on tonight (5/10/07), and I highly recommend you watch it. One inquisitor, who went on to become Pope Benedict, told a Jew under interrogation, “convert or die!” These three words echoed down into villages and homes for two centuries. That’s two whole centuries. There was no escape from the power of the church since it reigned exclusively, even over the very ideas people entertained.

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The Comedy Jesus Show Turns Fundamentalist Past into Comedy

“People are slowly waking up to the idea that they can be spiritual without religion, and use beliefs for unity and not exclusion and division. Religion has always been a divider, not a uniter. Laughter gives us power over the those divisions.”

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Minister sued by victims

NEWARK, Ohio -- A former Hebron minister, who is spending seven years in prison on sex-abuse convictions, is being sued by the two teenage sisters he victimized.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Licking County Common Pleas Court, seeks more than $3 million in damages from Lonnie Aleshire Jr., the Licking Baptist Church, the American Baptist Churches of Ohio and its national church and various church officials.

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Lobster Lust

Sent in by Paul

We are all alone. Try though we may to change that, we cannot escape that state except in snatches of time with pieces of ourselves, but I believe the effort to connect is well worth it, important. I think the desire to not be alone is one of the driving forces behind belief in god. At anytime, in any situation, the believer is never alone (at least, that's the theory). That's not always great. If you like lobster and your god doesn't, there's conflict. But despite all the conflict that derives from crossed inclinations there's the accompanying notion of being loved and cared for by a god who understands completely and cares (as long as you don't eat lobster).

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Unhaunting 1: A Brief History of An Evangelical Life

By Candid Folly

I was born into an evangelical home of the American Baptist persuasion, which is all many folks need to know to get a picture of my childhood. My dad was a part-time minister, and my mother’s father a full-time one. From the day I was born until the day I left for college, I haunted a white stucco church in a blue collar town. I was an obnoxious student of religion, a precocious good kid. At the age of nine, I asked my father to baptize me, and from then on I performed well according to expectations...

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Atheism Versus Theism

By Micah Cowan

My brother-in-law Tim had some interesting points to make about neurotheology, which he submitted in comments to my posted link to DagoodS’s article, Prove It!. I responded in-thread to most of what he had to say, but some comments he made presented an opportunity to discuss a topic that I believe is worth a separate post, and so here it is.

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On Being Sane in Insane Places

By Never Going Back

In college I was required to study a book by Lauren Slater called "Opening Skinner's Box." One of the chapters called, "On Being Sane in Insane Places," discusses a psychiatric experiment performed by Dr. David Rosenhan and his friends and colleagues from around the country in the early 1970's. If I remember correctly, the experiment was to see just how well psychiatrists could distinguish between the truly insane and those merely posing as such. A "patient" would admit him or herself into an asylum and claim to be hearing a "thud." This "thud" was the only odd thing about them. There were no other distinguishing characteristics that would give them away in their everyday life. Without a hitch, each of the eight patients were deemed crazy despite the fact that in every other way, they would be considered healthy and sane.

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Debating the existence of God

Christians and Atheists to Debate the Existence of God Why are Kirk Cameron, a preacher, and two self-proclaimed atheists coming together in a church this weekend? Because Cameron and preacher Ray Comfort claim that they "can prove the existence of God." They'll take on the atheists in the first "Nightline Face Off," a debate to be moderated by "Nightline" anchor Martin Bashir.

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You might be a True Christian™ if:

You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

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Pastor leads double life

49-year-old Rev. Herman Lewis appeared in Spokane Co. Superior Court Tuesday afternoon on charges of assault and attempted kidnapping. According to court documents, Lewis told detectives he went to the Shari's Restaurant near Indiana and Monroe to meet a woman to have sex with.

Lewis also told police he had been living "a double life" since turning 19 by having sex with prostitutes and regularly using crack cocaine and PCP.

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TO ALL OF YOU CHRISTIAN PASTORS, YOUTH LEADERS, STUDENTS OF THEOLOGY, AND OTHER WISE REALLY SMART PEOPLE WHO ARE HAVING A RELATIONSHIP WITH Jesus

By Dano

Exactly how does someone getting murdered, by being crucified, make me suitable or deserving to go to heaven, and if this is a requirement by God, that does qualify me to pass through the pearly gates, why do I have to believe it.

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It is impossible to be an ex-Christian

Sent in by Dominique A

i've looked at this website and have found that so many of are not necessarily looking for the Truth, but are more bent on proving that the Truth isn't. When Jesus the Christ was speaking to people who questioned Him (Pharisee and "ordinary" folk alike), He knew what was in their hearts.

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Christians criticize PBS

Conservative Christians are criticizing a plan by Public Broadcasting Service stations to begin showing later this week a three-part television documentary series on atheism, calling it "demagogic and propagandistic."

"This series is about the disappearance of something: religious faith," British producer and narrator Jonathan Miller says at the start of "A Brief History of Disbelief," which was originally shown by the BBC in 2005. "It's the story of what is often referred to as atheism, the history of the growing conviction that God doesn't exist."

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