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Thursday, 30 April 2009

Bizarre Booklet in the Mail

Earlier this week I received a strange little booklet in the mail called On the Edge of Time. It is a small, glossy 120 page booklet filled with incomprehensible biblical gibberish. The booklet is produced by Project: Steps to Christ, Inc. Apparently, their goal is to to send this bizarre little booklet to every household in the United States. According to their website:
PROJECT: Steps to Christ is an evangelism program designed to assist you and/or your church in taking the Three Angels’ Messages to every home in your city or ZIP code through the bulk saturation mailing of our "Mailbox Missionaries," The Path to Peace (Steps to Christ), or On The Edge Of Time (an abridged version of The Great Controversy). These mailings provide an easy, affordable, and effective way for you to sow the gospel seed and find spiritual interests in your community.
The mailing label matches the same one from the mailings I described earlier that I get every so often. Last year our housing association had a potluck and an obnoxious neighbor got up and delivered a very obnoxious Christian sectarian prayer, assuming that everyone was an evangelical Christian like he was. I refused to bow my head and a neighbor lady kept following me around talking about her church. Shortly afterwords, I started receiving proselytizing materials from their church. Materials which quickly find their way to the circular file after I've had a good laugh at the craziness. I wonder what they would say if they knew their religious tracts and booklets were fodder for my amusement and for this blog. Heh Heh Heh.

According to their website, Steps in Christ has mailed more than one million copies of this booklet in California. Why? I would think that the Christian message is not exactly new news at this point in history, especially here in the United States. Another mass mailing for Christ, yeehaw.

Here is an example of the biblical gibberish in this mostly unintelligible book:
But the beast with lamb-like horns was seen "coming out of the earth". Instead of overthrowing other powers to establish itself, the nation thus represented must arise in territory previously unoccupied and grow up gradually and peacefully...
They go on for a whole section about the beast with "lamb-like horns". WTF? The whole book is like this. With writing like this, the only people they will reach are those who speak cult speak. Apparently, the book is about the biblical end-times, if I'm translating correctly from Rapture-speak to English. There is enough conspiracy-mongering in it to do the John Birch Society proud. Another section of the booklet proclaims that anyone who does not believe and act just like them is being manipulated by guess who? Satan, that's who. So, the message I get from all of this is, that since I'm not just like them, I'm some sort of Satanic minion and part of Satan's plan for world domination. Gee thanks, assholes. And they say I'm arrogant.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Continuing Tale of Court-Martialed Navy Chaplain

Gordon James Klingenschmitt was a Navy Chaplain who was court-martialed for refusing to follow orders, lying, and generally not acting like a navy officer should. Now he is getting into trouble with a website that gives the illusion that he is still a Navy chaplain. No suprise here, he is now calling for God to kill people he disagrees with.

Last November, I wrote about Cindy Jacobs who is a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement.
Cindy Jacobs is a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement within the larger Charismatic Christian community. NAR churches are extremely cult-like and controlling of their members.

These churches preach a warped version of the Prosperity Gospel. Unlike the general Charismatic or Pentecostal churches, NAR churches preach that Christians need to grab power in this world and control everything in order to bring about the return of Christ. According to Bruce Wilson:
As the top leader of the New Apostolic Reformation, which extensive evidence suggests is Sarah Palin's chosen religious and political movement, C. Peter Wagner proclaimed, on June 21, 2006, that "God has declared through His prophets that the wealth of the wicked will be released to the Kingdom of God," and Wagner declared, threateningly, "the enemies' camp will be plundered."
The highlighted statement "God has declared through His prophets that the wealth of the wicked will be released to the Kingdom of God," and Wagner declared, threateningly, "the enemies' camp will be plundered." will set the tone for this post.

Today, I read the latest about former navy chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt via Friendly Atheist. Ex-chaplain Klingenschmitt was court-martialed out of the navy for refusing to follow orders to honor religious pluralism in his duties as a navy chaplain. He has a website where he gives the impression that he is still a Navy Chaplain. Here is a little background on why Klingenschmitt was court-martialed.


Naval regulations forbid service members from wearing their uniforms to political or partisan events. This directive is clear and has been in place for a long time. Nevertheless, Klingenschmitt insisted on wearing his uniform to a Religious Right-hosted protest and press conference opposing the military’s inclusive policies on religion. He showed up on the street outside the White House in the company of former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, Religious Right activist Rob Schenck and Texas preacher-politician Rick Scarborough. (Americans United staffers were there, so we know. See picture.)
And here is a scathing interview from Klingensschmitt's former boss, Capt. Norm Holcomb:
Holcomb also clarifies an important point: Klingenschmitt, despite what his defenders say, was not punished for praying in the name of Jesus. He was court-martialed for refusing to follow orders. It’s a simple as that.
“I was the dishonored ex-chaplain’s supervisor for the past 2 years,” Holcomb wrote in his message. “I found him to be totally untruthful, unethical and insubordinate. He was and is contemptuous of all authority. He was not court martialed for praying in Jesus’ name. I sent him out in uniform every week to pray at various ceremonies and functions. He always prayed in uniform and in Jesus’ name. He was never told that he could not pray in Jesus’ name. In fact, the issue of prayer had nothing at all to do with his dismissal from the Navy. He disobeyed the lawful order of a senior officer. I am sure that you understand that Navy Regulations forbid any of us, regardless of rank or position, to appear in uniform in support of any political or partisan event.”
Holcomb goes on to say, “He appeared in direct support of a political event, demonstrating contempt for the order of his Commanding Officer and Naval Regulations that we all swear that we will abide by…. The ex-chaplain is a man without honor and you have accepted his story and in doing so you have had ‘the wool pulled over your eyes.’
He writes, “We have been relatively quiet regarding our ex-chaplain’s untruthfulness and lack of honor because we are embarrassed that one of our own could display such behavior in the name of our Lord. We wanted to spare all concerned the embarrassment associated with his dishonesty. However, it now seems that it would be wrong for those of us who know the truth to remain silent. I served with him and supervised him (as best as it was possible to supervise a person who refused to submit to lawful authority) and I know about his daily dishonesty and ‘spin’ of the truth.”
Well, you can clearly see the lack of character of Gordon Klingenschmitt. Lying for Jesus seems to be a full-time job for him. A military chaplain is first and foremost a military officer, and then a minister. If he only wanted to be a preacher with no intention of honoring the religiously pluralistic environment in the military, then he should have become a minister instead of a chaplain.

Americans United noticed that Klingsenschmitt had a website where he was giving the appearance that he was still a navy chaplain. Mikey Weinstein at MRFF also had noticed the website.
We at Americans United were surprised, therefore, to receive copies of an e-mail Klingenschmitt issued recently promoting his new right-wing political Web site www.prayinjesusname.org. On the site, Klingenschmitt referred to himself as “Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt,” and included a large picture of himself in a naval uniform. The e-mail and the Web site implored people to oppose President Barack Obama’s nomination of U.S. District Judge David Hamilton to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
It’s likely anyone unfamiliar with Klingenschmitt’s history who received this e-mail or visited the site would assume he was an active-duty chaplain. In fact, some people who sent the message to AU thought just that.
Out in New Mexico, Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) knew something wasn’t right. Federal law prohibits misuse of military uniforms. It appeared that Klingenschmitt was attempting to depict himself as an active-duty military chaplain to raise money and recruit people for his right-wing group – a violation of federal law.
Here is the letter that Mikey Weinstein and AU sent to the Navy asking them to investigate this matter. Now it looks like Klingenschmitt has added a disclaimer indicating that he his not currently a Navy Chaplain. Hmm, betcha, he also does not mention that he is a court-martialed ex-navy chaplain either.

How does Klingenschmitt respond to these allegations? Why with an impreccatory prayer of course.
“Let us pray. Almighty God, today we pray imprecatory prayers from Psalm 109 against the enemies of religious liberty, including Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein, who recently issued a press release attacking me personally. God, do not remain silent, for wicked men surround me and tell lies about me. We bless them, but they curse us. Therefore, find them guilty, not me. Let their days be few, and replace them with Godly people. Plunder their fields, and seize their assets. Cut off their descendants, and remember their sins, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Listening to the mp3 file, I thought it was a strange podcast. It starts like he is still on the ship calling every one to pray. It's like he can't let go of his Navy career. Well, if he wanted to remain in the Navy, then he should have followed the orders of his superior officers. Klingenschmitt wants Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein dead. He hides like a coward behind his god's skirts by pretending this is what his god wants. What a nutcase.

This imprecatory prayer is no different from Cindy Jacobs and her call for unbelievers like myself to be killed and our property and assets to be plundered by these Joel's Army fanatics. Well this unbeliever won't stand idly by and let myself and family be slaughtered and my property be confiscated by these assholes.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Great Epsiode of This I Believe on NPR



On Episode 378 of This American Life, Ira Glass has a very moving conversation with Trisha Sebastian. She relates the story of a close friend, Kelly, who died from cancer and how she wanted to believe in God again.
This past Christmas a story swept the internet about a football coach at a Christian high school in Texas who inspired his team’s fans to root for the opposition: a team from the local juvenile correctional facility. Among the thousands of emails that the coach received in response to his actions, one stood out to him. Trisha Sebastian mentioned her loss of faith, and coach Hogan got a message from God that he was meant to bring her back. We eavesdrop on their phone calls. (19 minutes)
Trisha tells how she tried to have a conversation with the coach, but was ultimately he was unable to really relate to her. From the bits of conversation played on the show, it appears Coach Hogan was more interested in scoring debate points than in really talking to Trisha.

Trisha was interested in discussing why her friend died, and wanted someone who could relate this to God and faith. Instead Coach Hogan was more interested in gaining another conversion for Christ.

My favorite part:
Ira Glass: Is there any small part of you that thought he might be able to put the religious part of his message in some way that would finally make some sense to you? Like he would say to you...

Trisha: Yeah, I really did hope that. Deep down and I've said that to so many friends of mine, why? I really wanted to believe again.

Ira Glass: So you really wanted him to bring you back to God?

Trisha: Maybe, possibly, most likely.

Ira Glass: But the way he was doing it wasn't a way that really talked to you.

Trisha: No. No.

Ira Glass: I wonder if the problem with that was the way he was going about it, the arguments he was using. I wonder if there is nothing really that anyone could actually say to make you believe this thing that you say you no longer believe in.

Trisha: I don't know. If someone were to just tell me this is why Kelly died and they were able to relate it back to God, I would probably respond to that better.

Ira Glass: And when you asked him this, what did he say?

Trisha: We never got to that point, ... we never got to that point. I couldn't get him there. I couldn't ask him the questions I really wanted to ask.

Ira Glass: But what if it is as simple as for people that believe in God, God takes people at different times, and that doesn't mean that God doesn't have some plan for you, you know.

Trisha: See, that makes more sense to me than anything he ever said in our conversation.

Ira Glass: That's very sad because I actually don't believe in God.

It's hilarious that an atheist has an example of a comforting religious message, whereas the "committed Christian" did not. Ira mediates the second call with the coach and they bring up the topic of why bad things happen to good people. Coach Hogan immediately goes into how it's "anti-god" to simply ask the question. Wow.
Although Trisha's conversation with the coach, I felt that I was hearing over and over, why it is so hard for religious and non-religious people to communicate sometimes. The premises are just so far from each other. The coach says we live in a fallen world, that explanation is a comfort for him. It's comforting to think that he doesn't have to make sense of everything, injustice and every terrible thing that happens on this earth. It's messy on this earth. Things will be better in heaven. Because God understands the details of cancer and why one person dies and one person lives, he doesn't have to. The coach has a hard time, I think, seeing why this explanation isn't a comfort to Trisha.
Trisha explains that after her friend died, she felt that things happen for no reason, they just do, that the universe is a random place. I felt exactly the same after my daughter died as an infant. It was more comforting to believe that the world was a random place. Things simply happen and sometimes we have no control over them. There is no god or force making things happen for a reason. For it would indeed be an evil god who would punish the innocent to teach a lesson to someone. Good and bad things happen to everyone.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Walking to Support the Multiple Sclerosis Society

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day to be out walking, especially for a good cause. Three of us and a guest from the Antelope Valley Freethinkers Meetup Group met up for this month's meetup to support the Multiple Sclerosis Society's annual walk. We walked the 5k walk. Most excellent conversation was to be had while we walked. Here are some highlights from the Antelope Valley Press:

Highland High School cheerleaders greeted more than 1,300 MS Walkers at the finish line of a 10K, 5K and 1K route in the Lancaster City Marketplace.

Walkers of all ages did an outstanding job of creating awareness of Multiple Sclerosis as they saturated Lancaster Boulevard, Avenue J, Valley Central Way and 32nd Street West Saturday morning, said Jon May, field program manager for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Antelope Valley/Santa Clarita Field office in Lancaster.

The MS Walk is setup for anyone to easily join in and walk. I signed up on-line and simply turned in my collected donations.

There was no minimum donation to join the walk, so May said there was a large group of people not pre-registered for the event that joined the walk that morning.

Four rest stops with water, fruit and energy bars were available for people during the walk and lunch, cooked by the Sherry Chefs of the Lancaster Elks Lodge, came afterward along with a medal for finishing the route. Coaches Sports Grill in Rosamond, Plaza Meats, Knights of Columbus and Costco sponsored the food.

Money raised at the Antelope Valley walk site helps fund cutting-edge research worldwide and local programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families.

And for those who want to donate either money or time, contact the National MS Society.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Teabagging Nuttiness

A couple of days ago, a friend mentioned that the Republican Party was sending tea bags to the White House. WTF? Teabagging? He then mentioned that there would be a large gathering at the Lancaster, CA courthouse. Here is the Antelope Valley Press coverage of the shindig. When he was telling me about the link, it was all I could do not to break out laughing.

Here is what I was thinking about. The common definition of "teabagging" according to the Urban Dictionary:

teabagging

To have a man insert his scrotum into another person's mouth in the fashion of a teabag into a mug with an up/down (in/out) motion.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I don't think the word means what they think it means.

Courtesy of the Friendly Atheist, a link to some scary right-wing book-burning advocates at one of these "tea parties". (Book-burning advocated at around the 5 min mark)



According to the Antelope Valley Press, the group wants lower taxes. While this is an admirable goal, they are not going about this in an honorable way by advocating conspiracy theories and secession. They are coming across as whiny crybabies. They seem not to really want lower taxes, they are simply unhappy that taxes are not being spent the way they personally want them spent. The voters approved the spending measures and the legislature has to allocate the money.If voters would not approve some of the unnecessary projects at election time, then perhaps the state would have less obligations to fund.

If they were truly interested in reducing taxes in a legal manner, they could put measures reducing or eliminating some of the pork up for vote at the next election. It's up for all the voters to decide how the state spends its money, not just the Republicans.

Update:
Orcinus has a couple of articles covering the recently leaked Department of Homeland Security report about the rising threat of right-wing extremist sites. In this opinion piece, Shepard Smith blows the 'DHS is picking on the Tea Parties' meme out of the water (Friday, April 17, 2009), Dave Neiwert discusses how conservative television and radio hosts are trying to say that theyand the teabagging movement are being attacked by the DHS. Well unless they are members of right-wing hate groups, I see that their hysteria is just that, hysteria.

Finally, a voice of reason on Fox News:

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Hanging out with Fellow Godless Bitches over at Ravelry


I've spent the better part of the past week laughing my ass off reading a monster thread of nearly 3000 posts over at Ravelry.com. The Lazy, Stupid, and Godless (LSG) group has the most amazing thread trashing trashy romances (I think you have to be registered to view forums over there). The thread is entitled Mermaid Angel Romance Novel From Hell. I've never laughed so hard in years.

Here's how the thread starts:

I started reading a book about an angel who gets a wing lopped off and falls into the sea, where he commences banging the shit out of a mermaid, bondage style. I mentioned it on another thread, and now that there is mroe ridiculousness, I have to share it.

So far the book as suggested the following

  1. Global warming is a war between good and bad angels
  2. Angels jizz rainbows
  3. Angels have cocks and like to fuck womens after battles to heal themselves. Said cock is described as having “a head like a dragon’s”
  4. Terrible metaphors involving seahorses
  5. FAR TOO MANY mentions of children/infants during the sex
  6. Fucking a mermaid in the cloaca
  7. Catching mermaid on fire during fucking
With a plot like this you know I just had to find out more about this literary masterpiece. Here are a few more highlights from the thread.
If she can turn into a person at will why is he boinking her in the fishhole? I’m confused…
And...
I have another nominee for the LSG Book Club–“Love Slave,” by Bertrice Small. It’s got the double-stereotype-fulfiller of the “fiery redheaded Scottish vixen” and somewhere, I guess there’s a sheik and a harem.

All I know iz: we read the first few pages aloud at work. A chick gives birth, naked, on a table. A dude comes in and gives her her now-deceased husband’s severed penis (war trophy, donchaknow?). He stares at her (naked, laboring) body lustfully. She pops out a placenta.

I’m all about sex. And nature. But nowhere in my life is sex ever, EVER enhanced by placenta
And ...

The mermaid can apparently also turn into a pixie. She is now giving the angel a very tiny hand job.

His precum was referred to as “a gift from his body.” She then proceed to rub it all over her torso. He is now asking that she hump his dick (she’s about the height of a hand, now) so he “can feel the tiny stickiness.”

What.

And...
It’s been my experience that if a man can fuck you in the cloaca, he doesn’t want to fuck you in the mouth.
And...
She uses a lot of fancy words incorrectly.
And there is no buttsecks either. She had it all set up for hot buttsecks between two of the angels, but now one of them is all into one of the mermaid’s buddies. Apparently they get their very own sequel, which I may have to read for you guys, since she is an octopus down below instead of a fish!
And...

Maybe she’ll look like this..

funny pictures
And...

I hope and pray that her final form is corpse by the side of the road.

AM I CLOSE?

And...
I kinda wish someone would buy it for me! Of course, it wouldn’t be quite as magical now that I know every intricate twist and turn of this book’s fascinating trainwreck-esque plot, but still. Oh! I know!! Someone could buy me another book by the same author that I know nothing about! I’m sure as a “national bestselling author” she must have written other novels filled with depraved mythical sex fantasies. Maybe there’s a book about fairies putting on a donkey show with centaurs or a unicorn fucking Satan in the ass or something.
And...
Wow. This bitch needs therapy, or an exorcism, or something. Dear god! This is what she writes about – can you imagine what her dreams are like??
And...

Don’t forget “pixie-frotteurizing”

How I wish I had never read that scene.

MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! The thread that keeps on giving.

Update:

Thanks to Rebecca in the comments. Here's a couple of links: Longmire Does Romance Novels and the Naughty Covers from Longmire.