In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe; natural wonders and supernatural blunders.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Married Pastor Arrested For Knowingly Spreading HIV To Church Members

Pastor Craig Lamar Davis of Full Gospel Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia was arrested last month for allegedly spreading HIV among his church members. So far at least two victims have pressed charges, alleging that he knowingly had unprotected sex with them even though he was HIV positive. Initially, his bond was denied, but after a second hearing he was granted a $30,000 bond.

Married Pastor Arrested For Knowingly Spreading HIV To Church Members

Pastor Craig Lamar Davis of Full Gospel Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia was arrested last month for allegedly spreading HIV among his church members. So far at least two victims have pressed charges, alleging that he knowingly had unprotected sex with them even though he was HIV positive. Initially, his bond was denied, but after a second hearing he was granted a $30,000 bond.

christiannightmares:

Christian Nightmares Predicts the Next Five Big Evangelical Scandals
The recent ousting of pastor Jack Schapp from Hammond Baptist Church for having sex with a 16-year-old female member of his now former church really got me thinking: How did nobody see this coming? (For an example of Schaaps attitude toward women, watch this video; for a disturbingly bizarre sexual innuendo-laden performance by the pastor, watch this video.) So I offer you five (in no particular order) satirical, purely hypothetical yet not entirely implausible predictions of the next big evangelical scandals that would not surprise me in the slightest if they were to come true.
Todd BentleyWhen I think of insanely hyper scamvangelist Todd Bentley, one word comes to mind: meth. I mean really, what else would make someone constantly scream at the top of their lungs and claim to heal people by kicking them in the face or punching them in the sternum? And considering his past…
Doug GilesYou have to wonder if über macho man Doug Giles might have some skeletons in the closet, so to speak. He’s constantly sucking on a fat cigar, obsessed with guns, and never shuts up about metrosexuals and “sissies.” Overcompensate much?
Mark DriscollLike Doug Giles, pastor Mark Driscoll goes out of his way to prove his masculinity, seems obsessed with “effeminate” boys, and is often accused of being misogynistic. But like arrogant, power-tripping egomaniac Jack Schaap, he also seems preoccupied with sex and shares some interesting “visions” with couples he offers counseling to. Is it fair to say that a scandal involving Driscoll could go both ways?
Steven AndersonSelf-admitted gay-hating pastor Stephen Anderson would seem like an obvious candidate for a homosexual affair, but he seems much too repressed for that. But his deep-seeded anger is unparalleled in the evangelical world, and that rage has to go somewhere. Would anyone be surprised if the police were called to his house for a domestic disturbance?
William TapleyIf someone were to dig up William Tapley’s backyard, what would they find? Everyone knows that truly crazy people have no idea they’re crazy, and William Tapley’s (aka The Third Eagle of the Apocalypse aka The Co-Prophet of the End Times) deadpan self-assurance is astounding. His biblical predictions and conspiracy theories are wacky enough (and I’ve posted videos of many of them), but this video in particular really gives me the chills.

christiannightmares:

Christian Nightmares Predicts the Next Five Big Evangelical Scandals

The recent ousting of pastor Jack Schapp from Hammond Baptist Church for having sex with a 16-year-old female member of his now former church really got me thinking: How did nobody see this coming? (For an example of Schaaps attitude toward women, watch this video; for a disturbingly bizarre sexual innuendo-laden performance by the pastor, watch this video.) So I offer you five (in no particular order) satirical, purely hypothetical yet not entirely implausible predictions of the next big evangelical scandals that would not surprise me in the slightest if they were to come true.

Todd Bentley
When I think of insanely hyper scamvangelist Todd Bentley, one word comes to mind: meth. I mean really, what else would make someone constantly scream at the top of their lungs and claim to heal people by kicking them in the face or punching them in the sternum? And considering his past

Doug Giles
You have to wonder if über macho man Doug Giles might have some skeletons in the closet, so to speak. Hes constantly sucking on a fat cigar, obsessed with guns, and never shuts up about metrosexuals and sissies. Overcompensate much?

Mark Driscoll
Like Doug Giles, pastor Mark Driscoll goes out of his way to prove his masculinity, seems obsessed with “effeminate” boys, and is often accused of being misogynistic. But like arrogant, power-tripping egomaniac Jack Schaap, he also seems preoccupied with sex and shares some interesting visions with couples he offers counseling to. Is it fair to say that a scandal involving Driscoll could go both ways?

Steven Anderson
Self-admitted gay-hating pastor Stephen Anderson would seem like an obvious candidate for a homosexual affair, but he seems much too repressed for that. But his deep-seeded anger is unparalleled in the evangelical world, and that rage has to go somewhere. Would anyone be surprised if the police were called to his house for a domestic disturbance?

William Tapley
If someone were to dig up William Tapleys backyard, what would they find? Everyone knows that truly crazy people have no idea theyre crazy, and William Tapleys (aka The Third Eagle of the Apocalypse aka The Co-Prophet of the End Times) deadpan self-assurance is astounding. His biblical predictions and conspiracy theories are wacky enough (and Ive posted videos of many of them), but this video in particular really gives me the chills.

Church pastors become atheists

Houston-area pastor one of first to make decision public

More than 200 church leaders across the country now say they no longer believe in God, including a Houston-area pastor who was one of the first to publicly announce his decision.

Mike Aus, who was pastor at Theophilus church in Katy, made that announcement during an appearance on a Sunday morning show on MSNBC.

"Hardly anyone reads the Bible," said Aus on the "Up with Chris Hayes" program. "If they did, the whole thing would be in trouble."

Theophilus church members told Local 2 Investigates they were blind-sided by the announcement. They said they had no idea Aus had completely changed his beliefs until they saw him on the program.

"Are you going to preach next Sunday?" host Chris Hayes asked Aus.

"I’m going to go back next week and meet with my leadership and talk about where we go from here," said Aus. "We’ll see."

Aus was a long-time Lutheran pastor at churches in the Houston area, but now he said he no longer believes in the message he had been preaching for almost 20 years. Aus declined Local 2’s request for an interview. He said his statements on MSNBC explained his loss of faith.

"As I started to jettison the beliefs, I came to realize fairly recently there wasn’t a whole lot left," Aus said.

The effect was immediate on his church with about 80 members. Weeks after his announcement, the church dissolved. Members did not want to talk with Local 2 on camera, but they said their pastor’s complete change in faith was devastating.

"When a pastor comes forward and says, ‘I don’t believe anymore,’ it rocks their world," said Dr. Keith Jenkins, a Methodist pastor and former president of the Houston Graduate School of Theology. "Members see pastors as spiritual super heroes."

Jenkins said many church leaders question and then lose their faith, but never before has it been a public phenomenon.

"It’s almost gone viral," said Jenkins.

The website www.clergyproject.com has become a confidential gathering group for pastors, ministers and other church leaders who no longer believe in God. The group said it has more than 240 members. Some like Aus have gone public. Most other church leaders in that group have kept their new lack of belief hidden from others, including their congregations. They are secret atheists still serving churches and ministering to members even though they don’t believe in what they preach anymore.

"I’m sure there are many pastors actively serving in churches who are going through a faith crisis and have lost their faith, but they haven’t left because it’s their livelihood," said Jenkins. "But they need to move on. They don’t need to stay with a church and use their position as a pastor with sacred trust to try and take others with them."

The Clergy Project

The Clergy Project is a confidential online community for active and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs. The Clergy Project launched on March 21st, 2011.

Currently, the community’s 150 plus members use it to network and discuss what it’s like being an unbelieving leader in a religious community. The Clergy Project’s goal is to support members as they move beyond faith. Members freely discuss issues related to their transition from believer to unbeliever.

Note: You have to be a screened member in order to view or interact in the forums, but there are testimonials and news updates open to the public. I just think it’s fascinating.

The Outlandish Beliefs Of Rick Perry’s Prayer Rally Endorsers

namelessgenxer:

Below is the video proof of some of these Raving Lunatic Christian Dominionists’ words.  

Here is the link to these same Raving Lunatic Christian Dominionists’ listed as Endorsers of Rick Perry’s Hatefest Website.



reasonrules:

thestateofunlimited:

ThinkProgress has compiled the top outlandish beliefs from pastors associated with Perry’s prayer rally:

– Oprah is a sign of the Apocalypse: In his channel on GOD TV, Mike Bickle called Oprah a “forerunner to the harlot movement.” Bickle also warned that traditional “marriage will be…defiled” as the “gay marriage agenda, which is rooted in the depths of Hell,” progresses.

– Blackbirds are dying because of gay soldiers: Dr. Cindy Jacobs recorded a video declaring a connection between the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the sudden death of blackbirds in Beebee, Arkansas as a divine punishment. She also called “girl-on-girl kissing” a “plague on society” and asked divine forgiveness for the violation of a woman’s “natural use.”

– The Statue of Liberty is a “demonic idol”: In various sermons, John Benefiel called the Statue of Liberty a “demonic idol.” He also expressed a belief that homosexuality is a plot contrived by the Illuminati “to limit the world population.”

– Hurricane Katrina was divine retribution for the city’s “sin”: John Hagee said residents of New Orleans were at fault for Hurricane Katrina: “I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.” Hagee has also insinuated that “the Holocaust…was the fault of Jews themselves” and Hitler acted as a “hunter” corralling the Jews into Israel.

– Gay rights movement from the “pit of hell”: Dwight McKissic denounced comparisons between the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement because the latter is a “satanic anointment…inspired by the anti-Christ” that comes from the “pit of hell.” McKissic also said that “God uses natural disasters to punish evil,” pointing to Hurricane Katrina because “New Orleans flaunts sin.”

– Jesus actually opposed the minimum wage: Influential pastor David Barton has made a name for himself by distorting Biblical text to support his claim that Jesus opposed the minimum wage and the capital gains tax. Barton has also argued that public school students are getting “homosexual indoctrination.”

– Children of gay parents are like orphans of 9/11: During this year’s Faith and Freedom conference, ThinkProgress reported on Jim Garlow’s comparison of orphans of the September 11th attacks to children raised in same-sex households. Garlow is also known for his controversial allegation that African Americans have saved the country from the “enslavement of gay marriage.”

– Director of a Christian para-military group: Jay Swallow is the Director of SWAT, a “Christian Military Training Camp” organized “for the purpose of dealing with the occult and territorial enemy strong holds in America.” Participants of the training session sign a liability waiver before becoming “warriors” against “occult and territorial enemy strongholds in America.” Participants are also trained “how to pray for casinos on Native American land.”

– African Americans are “cursed” by homosexuals: Willie Wooten published a book about the curse of the African American people. He wrote that their tolerance of “immorality” in the Democratic Party begets curses of “adultery, incest, children from incestuous union, children born out-of-wedlock, destroyed virginity, bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism.”

<3 Christians.

Holy hate batman!

Time to Tax America’s Churches

goodreasonnews:

tenderstatue:

There is a lot of talk about the ways in which the Government does Christians wrong. Taking prayer out of schools, legalizing abortion and physician-assisted suicide, supporting same-sex marriage, to name a few of the more contested issues.

How come nobody talks about the ways in which the Church does the Government wrong?

Ed Young Jr. is CEO of Fellowship Baptist Church of Grapevine, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth. An estimated 24,000 people attend one of the five Fellowship Church locations each week. That 10,000 square-foot parsonage he lives in is no humble abode. It is valued at $1.5 million.

Ed’s father is CEO of Second Baptist of Houston, reportedly the second-largest church in the nation. (Joel Osteen’s church is first). As CEO, Ed Sr. overseas an annual budget of $53 million.

Last year Ed Junior went before Fellowship’s congregation and told them outright that they needed to have their tithes automatically withdrawn. Cards were handed out and people were told to provide the routing numbers for their bank accounts. The way to be a spiritual leader, Young yelled, is to “bring the tithe.”

Church in America has become big business. Billions of dollars worth of tax-free enterprise. The local church, big and small, is the lone place where fiscal accountability is totally self-governed. There is very little outside oversight. For far too many of these celebrity pastors, that’s like putting a kilo of cocaine in front of Charlie Sheen and telling him to behave himself.

 Yup.

I think they owe back-taxes too, like 235 years worth.

These Holy Roller millionaire bastards make me nauseas. Selling a delusion for millions of tax free dollars. It’s just what Jesus had in mind: Judging your effectiveness as a “spiritual leader” by your ability to get money from your flock. How is the hypocrisy not apparent to everyone? Same applies to the catholic church. Their “savior” had a pretty short and concise message, and I’m pretty sure it was the opposite of this. But maybe I misunderstood.

(Source: azspot)