Sunday, 12 December 2010
Friday, 26 November 2010
This story seems to be pushing a few people's buttons. I have been contacted by email inappropriately by a senior Army officer seeking information. Here's the kicker, the senior officer was not seeking information about Chaplain McCoy's alleged behavior, or to have his email forwarded to the person who discovered Chaplain McCoy's online hobbies. No, he was seeking information that would identify my reader who found Chaplain McCoy online in various sex sites publicly exposing himself. A friend of the dear chaplain perhaps? I of course declined to give any information out about my reader.
I have previously discussed Chaplain McCoy's statements about unbelievers in an Army unit being the source of unit non productiveness and misfortune. Well, if you are going to throw stones at nonbelievers in the military, then you shouldn't live in a glass house. A bit cliche but true. Hence the continuation of this story.
Lesdeuxparfois seems to have a fondness for online camera action. Lets check out his groups. Here are more screenshots. I wonder if someone has video of his online sexcapades?
Wow, they really get around. If you google "lesdeuxparfois" you get all sorts of hits on sex sites for a couple ages 57 and 50 years old.
Be all you can be. Huuuyaaahhhh. HehHehHeh.
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
I'm doing this because of McCoy's public statements regarding nonbelievers in the military. He has repeatedly stated that a unit's misfortunes, problems, and setbacks are directly caused by its non believing members. This incites hostility and is incompatible with a military composed of members of varying faiths and of no faith. There can be no unit cohesion if the unit is divided in such a manner. If non-believing members are blamed every time problems occur, how can this not divide a unit and cause tensions between members? If a chaplain is unable to counsel the military members in his unit, platoon, or squadron; then perhaps he should not be a military chaplain. Perhaps he should simply be a church pastor so that he will only encounter those whose beliefs he already agrees with.
This sorry episode has also illustrated that the scapegoating endemic to charismatic Christianity is crossing over to more moderate denominations. Quite a few denominations of charismatic Christianity scapegoat non members and those of differing beliefs as being "demon possessed". Now Chaplain McCoy's scapegoating is not quite as colorful as a Pentecostal Christian's scapegoating, but it is just as irrational.
The man's wife had divorced him some time back, but he was still wanting to get back together with her. He told the bus driver that she was diagnosed with cancer. And that "God was working in a mysterious and good way to bring his ex-wife back into his life because she needed his help." I kid you not, he actually said this.
I thought this was the most revolting and self centered thing I have heard in a long time. His ex wife may be dying from cancer and all he could think of was how he was feeling. How is getting a serious form of cancer good? What about what his ex-wife is going through? He seemed to not have any awareness of her as an individual apart from himself? What happens should she not survive? Is that too a "good" message from god?
If he was like this in the past, no wonder she divorced him. He also speculated out loud to the bus driver that his ex-wife was "angry at God." What an arrogant ass.
Monday, 18 October 2010
Sunday, 10 October 2010
LtCol William McCoy (from his Amazon blog)
The base newsletter does not mention Chaplain McCoy after May of 2009. Perhaps he is staying out of the limelight after the little dust up with Gen. Petreaus in September of 2008. This is covered here by Chris Rodda in the Huffington Post here and here. Most of his book is fluffy feel good Christianity, until the end of the book, where he starts hard selling Jesus. The book was advertised to be helpful for all military members, not just Christians. It was endorsed for this purpose by Gen Petraeus.
Someone has a yahoo login and is a member of some interesting yahoo groups.
A screenshot of yahoo account lesdeuxparfois.
The photo appears to be Chaplain Lt Col William McCoy. This person goes by the name lesdeuxparfois on various sex and swinger sites. Check it out yourself using ydetector. His avatar images change every so often. Evangelical Lutheran Chaplain by day, and swinger by night? Personally, I don't care who sleeps with who. But Chaplain McCoy has stated that those who don't believe in a God bring misfortune upon their unit mates. He publicly stated the following in his book, Under Orders: A Spiritual Handbook for Military Personnel :
"Belief in God is a foundational factor. Once you do away with God as a given truth, all other things are immediately affected by that. For instance, once God does not exist you suddenly have no reference to greatness outside of yourself, and no 'revelation' outside of yourself. The greatest thing in life suddenly becomes something or someone else, like yourself perhaps. ..."Wow, what arrogance saying that those who don't believe in a god are somehow not as morally developed as himself. And this is supposed to be in a book for all military members? What about the 21% of military members that don't have a religious affiliation? Yeah, lets throw them under the bus in order to make the 79% fell better about themselves and give them scapegoats when problems occur. Well, Chaplain McCoy, perhaps you shouldn't live in a glass house when you throw stones like the following:
"Only my goodness can help me contribute to the betterment of my unit or team. When I realize that sin is an agent, I can more quickly identify my own tendency to corrupt a group and bring havoc to what needs cohesion and team confidence. My sin can also make my agenda more important than my unit's agenda and thus lead to unit failure."Isn't cavorting around with others wives and partners considered a sin in Christianity? I just had to use the word, cavorting. Isn't he violating his oaths as a Lutheran Chaplain and military officer (UCMJ anyone?) by stepping out on his wife? Even if she doesn't care? And didn't Jesus really dislike hypocrites and liars in the Bible? According to the Chaplain's logic, his unit must really be quite a failure with this much sinning going on.
At Adult Friend Finder (watch out for malware).
Here is a quote about sinning from the Table of Contents, Chapter 7.
Fight the Real Fight. Sin is irrelevant in today's world, but it still makes its impression on each of us.So we have to sin in order to get to heaven and to have a better life? Very interesting, a rationalization of why he needs to sin. Personally, I don't believe in the concept of sin myself. If swinging is okay for him and his wife, it's okay with me. But don't get up on your high horse and tell me you are a better person because you have faith in an unproven supernatural deity. You aren't any better than anyone else.
The age old problem of sin is undertaken in a way to enable the reader to understand it without defining sin for each person. Ultimately, there is no list of sins any greater than another list. We all have issues specific issues with regard to our sin both personally and judicially before God. We should realize that sin is normal and is the reason we are entitled to God's grace so freely. Without sin, we'd be perfect. It is part of our makeup and we must understand it to live better.
lesdeuxparfois explains his interests and hobbies at Passion.com (Click to enlarge images).
I really like his explanation of his interests, a real lounge lizard.
What types of sexual activities turn you on?
Giving Oral Sex, Threesomes, Mutual Masturbation, Voyeurism
Have you ever had cybersex?
I've done it so many times that I've forgotten how to type with two hands.
A more detailed profile.
Letting it all hang out. Thankfully dear reader, I've blurred it out.
The person who sent me the information alleges that Chaplain McCoy has made unwanted advances towards young trusting women in the past. If those who have been hurt by this man are willing to come forward with evidence, then I will certainly have more to write. But for now all I can say is that Chaplain McCoy is a complete hypocrite if he is indeed lesdeuxparfois. I invite the readers of this blog to checkout lesdeuxparfois yourself.
Chaplain McCoy is endorsed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), South Carolina Synod.
The lesdeuxparfois account has now been removed. Looks I struck a nerve. That was quick. Some people have asked if this account was for real. The account info said that the account was started in 2007 and was last accessed a few days before this post was published. I have many more screenshots of the account that I will be posting in the next few days.
For those who are questioning if this is the same person, look at the images of his face. It appears to be the same person. Notice a similar watch in both the clothed images from his Amazon blog and the nude headless photo. The profile information lists similar hobbies and interests. But the most interesting information that a couple of days after I posted this, lesdeuxparfois removed his account. If someone were trying to spoof an account to harm his reputation, why take it down so soon?
Some of Chaplain McCoy's personal websites are being taken down. I have posted more information here.
It seems that Chaplain McCoy has been "retired" as of the end of the year (2011).
Personal website - (removed)
Radaris personal website
Book Bio on Amazon (removed) or here (removed)
picture in uniform
Sunday, 29 August 2010
When I saw Phil's video, the main question running through my mind was "Who exactly is he speaking about?" I've never seen anyone in person simply be ugly and name call someone simply because they are religious. Is he talking about drive by comments on blogs or news stories in reply to someone's ignorant religious sayings? Or perhaps on his own blog? Or like numerous others am I getting the wrong message from Phil's talk? Perhaps he meant it as general advice, but it came out looking like he was personally slamming part of his audience and being a dick himself by calling them dicks. And why did Hal Bidlack get up an address everyone? Defensive much, Hal?
Everyone has beliefs that they probably shield from too much skepticism, but someone who calls themselves a skeptic should acknowledge that this is what they are doing. Martin Gardner was a religious skeptic who agreed and admitted that even though he believed in a god, there was no proof for said god's existence. He said that it even though there was no evidence, it made him happy. A theistic skeptic like Hal Bidlack would be a more honest skeptic if he would emulate Martin Gardner's attitude instead of trying to persuade skeptics to not be skeptical towards supernatural religious claims.
Phil did not give a very good definition of the word dick that he was using. It seems that being a dick is a condition where a person is does not act like Phil would in a given situation.
Some people are claiming I was saying we need to be milquetoasts. That’s ridiculous. I was very clear that anger has its place, that we need to be firm, and that we need to continue the fight.Matt Dillahunty over at Atheist Experience observes that Phil is making an argument from ignorance and is cherry picking.
Some were claiming they have a right to be dicks — I’m bemused by this, as of course you have that right. But that doesn’t mean it’s most effective, or that you should be one.
Others took issue with my initial question, asking how many people were "converted" to skepticism by having a skeptic yelling at them and insulting them. In fact, at least one person said that method does work and worked on them. That’s good for them, but given what we know about the way people argue and change their views on issues, the majority of people will become further entrenched when confronted in that way.
In other words, being a dick not only usually doesn’t work, it almost always works against the bigger goal of swaying the most people we can.
Perhaps I should have been more clear on what I mean by being a dick. I thought I had been clear, but a lot of people seem to think that I meant anyone who gets upset, or angry, or argues with emotion. I wouldn’t include satire in that category, or comedic work, or even necessarily using insults; tone and attitude count here. Think of it this way: when someone argues that way do you think to yourself, "What a dick"? I don’t; at least not necessarily. I think that way when the person belittles their opponent, uses obviously inflammatory language, or overly aggressively gets in their face.
Y’know. Being a dick.
Again, to be clear, I did not say we should back down when confronted. I did not say we should be weak against ignorance. I did not say we shouldn’t be angry. I did not say we should be passionless. In fact, I argued the exact opposite.
We need our anger, or strength, and our passion.
If Phil had really wanted to discuss better ways of communicating skeptical views to others like he says in Part 1 of his reply, then perhaps he should have clarified himself further after Hal Bidlack got up and spoke.Personally, I enjoy reading or seeing exchanges where some bible thumping zealot gets taken down verbally. I also know some religious people who enjoy that sort of thing as well.First of all, who is Phil talking about? This seems a bit quixotic and exaggerated to me. Where are these people who scream in your face on behalf of skepticism? Where are these people whose primary tactic is to yell at someone and call them a retard? Since Phil didn't provide any examples to support the claim, we can only guess.Secondly, this is a prime example of a straw man argument - setting up an issue that is easily toppled instead of the actual issue. Not only has he not provided specific examples, or demonstrated that this is a significant problem, he seems to be engaging in an extremely flawed informal poll (read: emotional appeal) to get his point across. The first question is a fair skeptical inquiry (have you changed your mind about something?). The second question is about as far from it as one can possibly stray.
When talking to someone who has differing ideas, I don't attack their ideas directly. I find it more effective to make fun of the extreme in their religious institutions or its more extreme followers. This way we have a common ground in mocking the extreme example, and it may give the person something to think about later. I think that this has happened to a couple of people that I have known. But the process takes years. I also find that asking the right questions (going Socratic on their asses) and then not expecting an answer right away also may give someone food for thought.
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Sunday, 16 May 2010
Due to an El Nino current, southern California gets more moisture during the year, especially in the winter. This makes for a very good poppy year.
Monday, 12 April 2010
Click on the above images to get a larger image.
Once again the local paper in Lancaster, California grabbed my eye as I was waiting in the drive through last week. Lancaster's city elections start at 7:00 AM tomorrow morning. It has been a very strange election season here in Antelope Valley. We have the current mayor, Rex Parris the wannabe theocrat, versus a handful of clueless competitors.
Mayor Parris has a very creepy ad campaign going on for this election. His placards all over over town state "Rex Paris, Our Mayor". Our Mayor who art in Lancaster? And his radio ads are even worse. He is portrayed as Lancaster's benevolent father figure who will take care of everyone. For their own good of course.
The above ads were not paid for by the local Democratic Party, but independently by one of its members. Here is a cached version of another Antelope Valley Press story of the incident a couple of days after the story above ran. I've reprinted the entire story as it no longer resides at the AV Press website.
Ex-candidate: 'Red' ads all my own doingThis story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Friday, April 2, 2010.
By BOB WILSON
Valley Press Staff Writer
LANCASTER - Former Democratic candidate Robert Davenport came forward Wednesday to claim sole responsibility for local TV commercials that criticize Mayor R. Rex Parris and his attempts to bring Chinese- or Taiwanese-funded jobs to the Antelope Valley.
The commercials, which encourage voters to cast ballots for mayoral challenger Arnold Rodio Jr., were created without Rodio's knowledge, said Davenport, who said he stands by the messages he funded himself. The ads were created by his media company.
Rodio also has denied any involvement with the ads, saying this past week he neither funded nor endorsed them, nor even knew they existed until questioned about them.
Parris disputed Rodio's statements, saying his election opponent could have repudiated the attack ads as soon as he learned about them.
Davenport's commercial messages assert that an influx of Communists from China into Lancaster could jeopardize the military projects and jobs at U.S. Air Force Plant 42 and Edwards Air Force Base.
Parris said Davenport's ads are "moronic" and "racist" because their creator doesn't understand the reality of what would happen if the city is successful in getting commerce from China to settle in Lancaster.
According to Davenport, "Bringing a few hundred Communist Chinese to live in Lancaster represents both a tremendous threat to national security as well as the potential impetus to lose several thousand good-paying local defense industry jobs that play a significant role in our national security.
"The high-tech, high-security-clearance jobs as well as the assembly, fabrication, engineering, and design jobs at and around Plant 42 and the Skunk Works could disappear as fast as the shuttle maintenance jobs that went to Florida a few years back" if potential spies are brought to Lancaster, Davenport said.
Parris said the goal of his recent trip to Asia was to attract funding for Lancaster business opportunities by Chinese and Taiwan investors.
In return for an investment of at least $1 million into a venture that creates at least 10 new jobs for American workers, an investor would be granted a permanent residency card by federal immigration officials, Parris said.
"It's EB-5 program, which means that if a person from a foreign country passes all the background checks, including, I presume, Homeland Security background checks, they are issued a green card," he said. "The foreign national who is putting the $1 million into the job creation doesn't even have to live in the EB-5 (jobs) area and usually does not.
"With the people we're talking to, the anticipated investment is in excess of $200 million, and so Arnie Rodio and Robert Davenport got together and figured out that meant 200 people were moving to the Antelope Valley, and it's the typical … thought process we see from these people," Parris said.
"They can talk until they're blue in the face about this having nothing to do with Arnie Rodio, but I'm telling you I do not believe it," Parris said.
In discussing his ads, Davenport said: "Here is a news flash for Mayor Parris and all other China appeasers out there: According to the current version of the Central Intelligence Agency's 'The World Factbook,' the government in China is a 'Communist state.'
"That Communist regime has robust espionage efforts aimed at our areas of strategic superiority, and they currently have nukes targeting the United States of America and our military units overseas," Davenport said.
"That Communist state is developing an anti-ship missile that will potentially render our surface Navy - which includes all the sailors and Marines who serve therein as well as our multi-billion-dollar, nuclear-powered super carriers - an endangered species," he said.
Parris said allowing foreign money to create jobs for Lancaster residents would do nothing to jeopardize the future of America's armed forces.
"If there was any danger to our country, (American investor) Warren Buffet would not have bought 10% of BYD," a firm with which the city is doing business, Parris said.
"I will rely on Warren Buffet before I rely on Mr. Davenport," he said.
"It is absolutely racist, derogatory and demeaning to the entire Antelope Valley for him and Arnie Rodio to be saying this," the mayor said. "This is saying anybody who is from China is a Communist, and that's racism.
"The entire time I was over there, I never met anybody who said they were a Communist. It's like saying everybody from the United States is a Democrat." Parris said.
"Make no mistake: What (Davenport) is doing is absolutely anti-Chinese, regardless of whether they are from Taiwan or from the mainland, " he said.
Davenport said the characterization of his ads as racist was "laughably immature."
Having Parris label them as such "almost defies both reason and logic," Davenport said. "I say 'almost' because it is an old, overused, ineffective trial-lawyer tactic to try and discredit the messenger when the facts enumerated by the messenger are airtight.
"The images used (in the ads) came from actual footage shot by the Chinese at political celebrations sponsored by the totalitarian Communist regime that controls the ironically named 'People's Republic' of China with an iron fist," Davenport noted.
"If Mayor Parris and the Communists he pals around with and wants to have as business partners thought everyone here was going to welcome them with open arms and blank minds into a region of America that plays a vital role in our national defense, they were absolutely wrong," he said. "I believe most Americans are like me: Proud, hard-working capitalists that are strongly anti-Communist.
"I would dare say that Communism is the modern-day moral equivalent of slavery," he said.
"Communists are not good employers or responsible business partners. They do not follow environmental or work place safety standards. They do not take care of their employees or produce superior products," Davenport continued, referencing reports about 153 Chinese workers now trapped in a mine in Shanxi province.
In addition, the Chinese business owners "have flooded the international market with cheap products that have caused the loss of 2.4 million American manufacturing jobs," Davenport said. "The fact that China has been able to control a significant portion of the world economy by currency manipulation and using what is in effect slave labor is why we should resist further enrichment of their totalitarian Communist regime.
"We certainly should not try to reason with them and make them economic partners in (a city near) the heart of America's high-tech aviation arsenal," he said.
Parris said none of Davenport's arguments have anything to do with reality.
"This is such incredible nonsense. It has nothing to do with bringing jobs to Lancaster," the mayor said. "We're talking about creating jobs in Lancaster with Chinese companies. If Arnie Rodio was wearing underwear made in China, does that make him a Communist?"
As for Davenport's remark about his profession, Parris said, "I am more proud of becoming a trial lawyer than anything else I've ever accomplished.
"I've protected injured people from powerful insurance companies for more than 30 years, and it's not something I'm ashamed of," he said.
In explaining his commercials, Davenport challenged Parris to reveal prior to the city's April 13 election any measures "he has already implemented in his proposed deals with the Communists to protect America's national security interests.
"If he has none and cannot immediately produce concrete, tangible, agreed-upon language approved by the federal government, which is responsible for U.S. foreign policy, I would suggest that it definitively demonstrates the lack of ability, lack of foresight and poor judgment of the leadership team in Lancaster that is pursuing this dangerous misadventure," Davenport said.
Parris again noted that the EB-5 program is administered by federal officials, and the city is pursuing its new investments under that program.
All of Davenport's reasons have been posted on Internet chat sites by supporters of Rodio's candidacy, Parris continued.
"Word for word, what he's told you has been on the blogs written by Denise Latanzi supporting Arnie Rodio three weeks ago. Let's just recognize this political mud-slinging for what it is," Parris said.
Latanzi, who ran for office on a slate with Rodio in 2008, said Parris "is absolutely, unequivocally wrong."
"I'll go one step further: I do not know Robert Davenport. I do not have cable. I had not seen the commercials against Parris until they were posted on the blog, and I have not seen Robert Davenport's response," Latanzi said.
"This is particularly irritating to me because I would not know Robert Davenport if he was standing right next to me," she said.
This has been one of the strangest elections I've seen in awhile. Unfortunately the Get Rex Parris Out of Lancaster Facebook page is gone (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Get-Parris-Out-of-Lancaster/342591791075?ref=nf). It was a great source of inside gossip about city business. The page covered the following topics and much more:
- Rex Parris's dealings with local developers.
- Rex Parris deciding that he did not want a motorcycle gang to stay at a local motel, so he used a very cozy relationship with the LA county sheriff's dept to close the motel down for being late on its taxes.
- Since Rex Parris doesn't like pitbulls he pushed an ordinance through banning the ownership of pitbulls in Lancaster.
- Rex Parris routinely cuts off and derides Lancaster citizens when they disagree with him at City Council meetings.
- Involving his church, Lancaster Baptist Church, in daily city business, especially the Community Houses planned for poor neighborhoods.
- Paying for religious meetings with city money and personnel until he was caught red handed.
- Sponsoring the "Prayer Initiative" up for vote tomorrow, regardless of the advice of the city's attorney, who advised that the measure would make the city open to lawsuits.
- Having the LA County Sheriff's Department pick up and dump homeless people in neighboring communities, so he could claim the homeless population is down in Lancaster.
- Personal vendettas against city personnel who don't agree with him.
- Speculation about his son's flirtation with white supremacy.
Saturday, 10 April 2010
Q: How do you plan to vote on the "Prayer Initiative" (officially known as Measure I) allowing clergy to chose whether or not to mention Jesus Christ in their invocations before council meetings?
GENE GAYNOR: I have no problem since the measure allows for any clergy to offer themselves for the initial prayer.But what are the odds that a god other that Abraham's god would be allowed? After all, this is the town where sheriff's deputies openly supported people who harassed a Pagan store that tried to open several years ago.
ARNOLD RODIO: I strongly support a person's right to pray as they see fit. However, the City attorney has stated in a City council meeting that the current policy is illegal. I believe that this could have been resolved without the political posturing.Parris's opponent doesn't seem to say much here.
R. REX PARRIS: As most people know by now, I not only plan on voting yes, I have campaigned for passage of this initiative and consider it critical that our community overwhelmingly show that we believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The question as phrased above, is inaccurate. The initiative actually protects prayer to any deity, including Jesus Christ, as dictated by the prayer giver's faith. The threat delivered to the city by the Americal Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) specifically sought to exclude any mention of Jesus Christ in prayer, hence the actual wording of the initiative.And again, what are the odds that other gods would be allowed? This is the mayor who only asks evangelical Christian ministers to pray at city council meetings. And put the tab for the Christian state of the city address on the city's tab. When this was found out, he quickly paid for it himself.
DAVID TALBOT: No city ballot initiative can overturn the Constitution of the United States, so it doesn't matter how anyone votes, only that we will be sued with no insurance to cover the cost for sure if it passes and likely anyway if it doesn't.I certainly agree with this candidate.
LYLE TALBOT: "I" don't attend religious services, so I'll leave it to those who do.I suppose he could be one of us, but wouldn't he have to sit though some Jesus meetings himself?
Friday, 9 April 2010
On February 9th, the Antelope Valley Press ran with a large headline, "Mayor Parris: I Sincerely Apologize". Parris then made a complete spectacle of himself by having a press conference and inviting all of the local religious leaders (but of course no nonreligious persons or groups were invited) and the press. According to the AV Press:
Mayor R. Rex Parris issued an unequivocal apology to groups of any faith and all faiths who he said might have felt excluded by his remarks 12 days earlier to Christian ministers about "growing a Christian community."I don't know the mayor and his "friends" personally, but if he were friends with a lot of non-Christians for a lot of years, wouldn't he be a little more sensitive and try not to push Christian supremacy and privilege so much?
"It was a week and a half ago that I spoke to the Christian ministerial association and said that I wanted to grow a Christian community", he said during a city hall news conference. "But in talking to my friends of 30 years, it was clear that a lot of people felt excluded."
The Antelope Valley Human Rights task Force voted unanimously Monday night to send strong letters of condemnation to Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and Councilwoman Sherry Marquez over their recent comments about the Christian and Muslim religions.According to the same article, Rex Parris did not attend this meeting, perhaps because the people who attended were not so willing to climb so far up his ass?
There was a very interesting article in the March 15th AV Press, "Not-so-secret contractor exits sky-spy project". According to the paper, L-3 Communications was developing the sensors for the Sky Sentinel project. This project would have an unmanned aircraft flying over Lancaster, observing everything in sight. L-3 Communications routinely conduct business with secret contracts. While this may be required for secret US government 3 letter agencies, it's hardly appropriate for a California city to do so in violation of California law.
L-3 abruptly pulled out of Lancaster's Sky Sentinel project, probably because their lawyer advised them to do so to avoid being in violation of California state law. And this raises the questions, "Why does Lancaster need sophisticated, highly classified sensors for routine police business? Who does Rex Parris want to watch?
The saga continues here.
Sunday, 14 March 2010
According to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, they have received many complaints from soldiers and marines about the scopes remaining unchanged. The few modification kits made by the maker of the scopes were applied to scopes that are not being used in the field. The military commanding officers seem to be completely missing the point of the soldier's complaints. The soldiers were complaining that having a "Jesus" scope needlessly put their lives in even more danger.
Chris Rodda from the blog, Talk2Action, has posted one of the letters MRFF has received from a soldier describing how the Bible verses on the scope are causing some friction with the local Afghan population. Here is the letter:
I am a United States soldier currently deployed to Afghanistan. I am a practicing Baptist and my wife is too. My cobat [sic] unit is currently engaged in major combat operations in the southern provinces of Afghanistan. I am of junior enlisted rank and my fellow soldiers (most of them to my knowledge being Christians, too) and I are at the bottom of the chain of command. Many, many native Afghan civilians and especially the Afghan military members here are well aware of the "Jesus rifles" controversy which was covered aall over the place by the news services back in the middle of January of this year. It makes them very, very mad at America and our military. They constantly ask us if we are still using these "Jesus rifles". They ask us to see for themselves what is written on our gunsights. Wherever we go these same questions come up almost immediately. Not all the native Afghans ask them but enough of them do that my fellow soldiers in my company and even my battalion have asked our military chain of command about what we're supposed to say to them when asked. This has been a mess. We've been told to "shut the fuck up" and to "tell them that it's none of their damn business 'cause we're there to save them from Islam (yes, ISLAM!)". We've even been told to explain Christianity to them and use it as "an opening to enlighten them." Yes, those exact words! We all heard that there were supposed to be "100 kits" which the company that put the bible references on our gunsights were going to be sending to the military right away to "fix" the "problem". When my fellow soldiers and I have asked our chain of command about this fact, we've been told that "that was just to shut up the traitors in the media and the bleeding heart groups". Our chain of command really hates the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and blames it for all of this mess in the first place. If any of them knew that any of us were talking to the Military Religious Foundation about this problem here, it would be over for us and our families immediately. It's not just embarrassing to have these "Jesus rifles" with us but it's also a serious security threat to all of us. When we walk into an Afghan village trying to determine whether it's "friend or foe" regarding the Taliban etc. and they ask us right off the bat if we are using the "Jesus rifles" it is a VERY BAD way to start out considering our combat mission. We want the bible stuff off of our gunsights. We feel it makes us targets. We want them off now! When are we EVER going to see one of those "100 fix kits" which were supposed to be sent out? None of us here feel we can even raise the subject again with our chain of command because we risk being identified as a "problem child" and when you're fighting a war like this one here that can get you in alot of trouble; it can get you killed.So it's business as usual for the Pentagon, just ignore the problem and let more soldiers die needlessly. For more information about this situation, MRFF's February newsletter and March Archives cover this situation as well as the large cross left at the Air Force Academy's Pagan area.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
I was on my way to work this morning and saw the above story in paper in the newspaper rack at the drive-thru window. Needless to say, I was intrigued by the title and bought a paper. I read the story and I'm sure my mouth fell open several times as Lancaster, CA mayor Rex Parris was revealed to be a complete nut job. Later, in the morning I shared the story with my cube-mate who lives in Lancaster. She was horrified as she read the story and said "I voted for the man, but didn't realize he was such a nutcase." Another coworker, who is pretty religious, said her pastor attended the meeting and was shocked by the mayor's statements.
I'll post the complete story from the Antelope Valley Press, along with my comments from each section. I don't usually post a complete story, but in this case I'm commenting on all sections of the story. Here is the story on their website.
Parris Touts City as a "Christian" CommunityHow can this possible be anything but divisive? The mayor wants a "Christian city". What does this even mean? Does he want a higher percentage of Christians living in the city? Or does he want a town run by Christians for Christians? And if this is supposed to be a city run meeting, why is the audience mainly Christian pastors and their wives? What about switching the word "Christian" to "White", then the bigotry is instantly obvious.
Mayor's address focuses on crime, culture, green energy
By Gerry Price
Valley Press City Editor/Assignments
LANCASTER - Mayor R. Parris sees his city as strongly Christian, and he's proud of that.
"We're growing a Christian community, and don't let anybody shy away from that," he told an audience of 160 people, mainly pastors and their spouses, during his State of the City address Tuesday at the John P. Eliopulos Hellenic Center.
He said he wants the community's electorate to validate a Christian stance in the April municipal election, in which a ballot measure endorses prayers at city meetings, specifically with permission to invoke a specific deity, including Jesus.
While Parris, who is running a second term as mayor in April, sail he didn't care which candidates the voters favored. "I do want them voting for that prayer amendment," referring to a measure asking voters whether or not the City Council should seek religious guidance before its meetings.Currently the ACLU is suing the city of Lancaster for the use of sectarian prayers before city council meetings. But even worse in addition to the sectarian prayers, Mayor Parris has also limited the denomination as well. Only a couple of pastors are allowed give the prayer.
The council put the measure on the ballot after the American Civil Liberties Union sent the city a letter of warning that said allowing "sectarian" prayers, such as those that mention Jesus Christ, at governmental meetings is divisive and unconstitutional.
"I need them standing up and saying we're a Christian community, and we're proud of that", he said, speaking of his multimedia Powerpoint presentation flashed a big-screen picture with a large Christian cross and and the phrase "Growing a Christian Community."
[Correction - Currently the ACLU has not sued the city of Lancaster yet. They are waiting to see if the ballot measure allowing sectarian prayers passes.]
If the measure passes, hundreds of residents should petition petition the city to allow them to pray in the name of various deities. That would be hilarious. How can they possibly turn someone down without making it obvious the city prefers only Christian prayers? Personally I prefer the goddess Bastet, since I love cats.
Asked afterward whether his talk of being a "Christian community" tends to leave out or anger residents who are not Christians, the mayor said he doesn't mean to exclude anyone.The mayor says he wants a Christian community and says he can't see how that is divisive. What a crock of shit. How can stating a Christian community is better than a community that is not exclusively Christian not be insulting and divisive? It's like when Christians advertise they would like to talk to the "lost". How can this be anything but insulting?
Noting that he had a meeting scheduled that evening with members of a local gay and lesbian organization, Parris said "My vision of it is not a vision of exclusion. It’s a vision of attraction. I understand for so long it had an exclusionary feet to it. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. We should remove the exclusionary aspect to it."
Parris maintained in post speech remarks that a Christian city had a better sense of community that an "atheistic city", and said that the progress Lancaster has made over the past several years came about because of the sensor of cooperation between the various elements in the city.What the hell is an "atheistic" city? Some place in North Korea or China? Or the former Soviet Union? Certainly no place here in the United States that I know of. Or perhaps he is talking about some city that is not expressively Christian? It's like when some Christians refer to anything non-Christian as "atheistic". Or perhaps he is confusing a neutral stance of not mixing government and religion as "atheistic"?
As a prime example, he referred to the recently announced 31% drop in the Lancaster crime rate in the last two years, commenting, "That 31% is the difference between a city that is dangerous to live in vs. a city that is safe to live in."What's with all of the statistics? References please, Mayor. I've spent time in places where the crime rate was low, a lone woman could walk around freely at midnight and never be disturbed. But these are places I would never live in. For in those places, there is little to no freedom to speak and write as one pleases.
Despite the best efforts of the Sheriff's Department, that drop wouldn't have occurred without the cooperation of all the city's departments and its citizenry, Parris said.
"It was all of us coming together," he said.
Parris praised the jump from 118 active Neighborhood Watch groups in 2008 to 192 in 2009, and an even greater hike in involvement in Business Watch.I'm almost beyond words at this. All I can think of is the quote by Benjamin Franklin, "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." The mayor has strayed far, far from the American vision of our founders.
Other city-led actions took a large step to reduce what he called "hyper vigilance" of youth, which led them to become vulnerable to gang involvement.
Specifically, by allowing graffiti, truancy, roving pit bulls, and gangs to proliferate, we were putting our children in harm's way, Parris said.
To that end, the city:
Paris also touted the planned Voyager Sky Sentinel project, which will allow a Sheriff's Department official to keep an eye on crime from above the city from some 8,000 feet above the ground.
- Cleaned up graffiti in 18,114 locations in 2009.
- Removed 1,034 pit bulls from city streets during that same time frame.
He noted that, during one demonstration of the aircraft, the brainchild of aviation pioneer Dick Rutan, he was able to see every detail of an accident or crime in real time.
He discounted any idea of the plane infringing on the privacy of law abiding individuals, noting, "This device will not do anything a current (Sheriff's Department) helicopter can't do.
At the same time, by using the aircraft "we'll be able to utilize services like we've never done before."
I honestly believe we're on the way to becoming the safest city in America," Parris said, despite the many reasons that shouldn't happen, including the city's proximity to a state prison and the high number of parolees in the community.
The mayor also praised the introduction of Community Impact Homes in the community.I would like to see how these houses are financed. Are the churches renting them? Can only Christian groups rent them? Here is a video of the dedication of the Trend Community House.
The first two, one near Piute Middle School and the other in the Trend tract, are run by personnel from Grace Chapel and Central Christian Church.
Parris said, "We're not putting churches (running neighborhood houses) in every impoverished neighborhood. I'd like to put them up in every neighborhood.
The mayor also said he would like to have health workers operate out of the community houses.
The video starts off with the mayor, Rex Parris telling of his vision of overworked parents being helped (or preyed upon) by a house in every neighborhood run by an evangelical Christian church. If the Evangelical Churches are renting these houses, can't other groups rent as well. The Satanist Community House would be one happening place, with large pentagrams in the windows, and heavy metal blasting the neighborhood. Or a Rastafarian house, with mighty clouds of pot smoke drifting over the neighborhood. HehHehHeh. Perhaps the AV Freethinkers can get a house as well.
Then the mayor hands the podium over to a Pastor Dave Prather from the Central Christian Church, with the remark "Now he is responsible for an entire neighborhood." WTF? If I lived in that neighborhood, I would be insulted at the patronizing tone. No one is responsible for me but myself.
Pay attention at 4:15 in the video where Concepcion Harris says "We're here to transform the neighborhood for Christ. That's what we're here to do." And the mayor wants one of these in every neighborhood? Holy Church-State entanglement, Batman. Talk about preying upon those too poor to afford decent daycare.
Also notice the cross symbol. Apparently, this is the new city symbol for Lancaster CA. Lancaster's previous symbol was a California Poppy, representing the California Poppy Reserve west of the town. I've noticed the new symbol the last year or two. I liked the poppy better. It was much nicer and more representative of the city. Interesting note, the video is no longer hosted at the city's website. I found it on Youtube and downloaded a copy for myself.
He also said that on Sundays, church buses should be stopping at homes in all the neighborhoods to take children to church.You mean these buses? The mayor is probably a member of Lancaster Baptist Church. I've done some searching, but he never comes out and says which church he is a member of. But the Lancaster Baptist Church always seems to be involved in city business. (I've heard this from some friends.) I also have a vision of surveillance drones busily flying over the city on Sunday morning, searching for those children not going to Sunday school.
Another area the mayor praised was the city's support for the arts, especially in the development of Lancaster Boulevard as a mecca for artists and patrons of the arts, and as a place for fine dining.The above sounds like the city has neglected large problems for a long time, then suddenly realized how bad things were. The mayor sure seems to like bragging about himself a lot. How exactly did the city reduce the number of fatal collisions?
Noting the opening of the Brooklyn Deli and Giannini Bistro and the upcoming opening of BeX, the mayor bragged, "Pretty soon, when you go out to eat, you'll be going to Lancaster Boulevard. They'll have better restaurants than the (Antelope Valley) Mall, and more fun, too."
Upon revealing a slide titles "Alternative Energy Capital of the World," Parris said a Monday meeting between a foreign company and a "major home builder" will lead to the construction of 10 of the most energy efficient homes in the world within the next year.
Touting the "best sun in the world" and the Valley's nearly constant winds as wonderful sources of green energy, Parris said a planned trip to China will allow him to meet with representatives of a major company that builds batteries designed to store green energy.
The mayor also said the city hopes to be announcing that 6,000 to 10,000 new jobs will be coming in the near future.
Other statistics cited by Parris were a 36% drop in fatal collisions from 2008 to 2009, the elimination of 5,421 illegal dump sites during 2009, and the repair of 24,129 pot holes in that time frame.
Managing Editor Charles F. Bostwick contributed to this report.
This photo was taken the day before at a city council meeting where city council woman Sherry Marquez had to defend statements she made about Muslims on her Facebook page.
Do a search for Mayor Rex Parris on Google and check out the craziness. He seems to have the jobs of mayor and theocratic dictator confused.
Story continues here.
Saturday, 23 January 2010
Chris Rodda posts a letter sent to MRFF from a Muslim soldier about what happened in his unit when they received these weapons. I'm reposting the letter in it's entirety here as well.
I've highlighted the parts that especially convey how the average soldier realizes the dangers that Christianizing the military puts on individual soldiers. Not only "In harms way" but now "Stupidly put in even more harm's way for no reason."
To: Mikey Wenstein [sic] and MRFF:
I am a U.S. Army infantry soldier with the rank of (rank withheld). I am married with children. I am stationed at Fort (installation name withheld). I have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times. I have been awarded medals for direct combat engagement as well as for injuries and wounds received in hand-to-hand combat. I am a Muslim American. My family converted when I was very young. I am caucasian and have a last name that does not sound ethnic. Therefore, few of my fellow soldiers know that I am a Muslim. My wife comes from a Christian tradition but rarely practices or attends church. I have witnessed terrible religious persecution in the my (number withheld) years in the Army. Most of it comes from "angry" conservative Christians in my unit chains of command and occasionally from my fellow infantry soldiers. I am very familiar with the Trijicon ACOG gunsights and have often had them as part of my personal weapons; both my M-4 and my M-16. In my first 2 deployments I saw and experienced no incidents regarding the New Testament bible quotes that are written on the metal casing of the gun sights. Many soldiers know of them and are very confused as to why they are there and what it is supposed to mean. Everyone is worried that if they were captured in combat that the enemy would use the bible quotes against them in captivity or some other form of propaganda. As an American soldier I am ashamed that those bible quotes are on our primary weapons. As a Muslim American I am horrified. As one who swore his oath to the Constitution, I am driven to fight this Christian insanity but I know if I try to do so in a visible way that I will suffer at the hands of my military superiors. I am of low enlisted rank and can be crushed easily. I am prepared to suffer, but I am not prepared for my wife and children to suffer. So I have reached out to MRFF because there is nowhere else safe to go to try to fight this thing of disgrace. There are many other soldiers who feel as I do. Many are Protestant and Catholic and they fear reprisal just as much as I do for trying to stand up to the Christian bullies in uniform who outrank us. But if you try to fight back, you are not "asking" for trouble, YOU ARE IN TROUBLE from the start. And if you are a Muslim American, the hatred is always just below the surface and ready to explode at a moment's notice. After the Fort Hood shootings, it was so bad, even for a low profile Muslim like me, that I had to ask MRFF for help.
Nothing in my first 2 deployments prepared me for what happened with the Trijicon ACOG gun sights during my 3rd deployment to Afghanistan. I will never forget the day it occurred. It was morning and there was a mandatory formation of several companies. A very senior NCO was yelling at us which is not that unusual. He asked a private what it was that he (the private) was holding in his hand and the private said it was his "weapon" several times to which the senior NCO replied "and what ELSE is it"? FInally, the senior NCO said that the private's rifle was also something else; that because of the biblical quote on the ACOG gunsight it had been "spiritually transformed into the Fire Arm of Jesus Christ" and that we would be expected to kill every "haji" we could find with it. He said that if we were to run out of ammo, then the rifle would become the "spiritually transformed club of Jesus Christ" and that we should "bust open the head of every haji we find with it." He said that Uncle Sam had seen fit not to give us a "pussy `Jewzzi' (combination of the word `Jew' and Israeli made weapon `Uzi') but the "fire arm of Jesus Christ" and made specific mention of the biblical quotes on our gun sights. He said that the enemy no doubt had quotes from the Koran on their guns but that "our Lord is bigger than theirs because theirs is a fraud and an idol". As a Muslim and an American soldier I was fit to be tied but I kept it in. There were many Afghans, both civilian and military, on base within earshot of what was being yelled at us and I can only wonder in shock what they must have thought. This senior NCO was apparently also the head person of a conservative, crazy Christian group called the "Christian Military Fellowship" and made a big deal about the importance of joining to everyone. He told us all that we MUST read a book called "Under Orders" in order to make it through this combat deployment and said he had many copies for everyone. Some of my friends went and got their copies. I refused. Finally, this senior NCO ended his yelling by warning us that if we did not "get right with Jesus" then our rifles would not provide spiritual strength despite the bible quotes on our ACOG gunsights and that we would be considered "spiritual cripples" to our fellow units and soldiers. He didn't say it in so many words, but the message was clear; if anything bad happened in a combat situation, it would be the fault of anyone who had not accepted Jesus Christ in the "right way". I have never felt so ashamed and scared in my life. I have never hated myself so much for not speaking out. So I thought of my wife and children and endured. Every time I looked at my rifle with that Trijicon ACOG gunsight/scope with the biblical quote from the book of John (8:12), it would make me sick. If I had tried to protest, it would have made me dead. And if I'm dead I'm of no use to my wife and children.
This letter shows the harm of mixing religion with government, especially the military. Even something so small emboldens the theocrats, who then claim they are vindicated by the verse on the equipment.
Part 3 will discuss the furious backpeddling by the military and Trijicom once the story hit the national news.
Friday, 22 January 2010
Trijicon makes the ACOG sight which is considered by many soldiers to be one of the best sights purchasedby the government. They have been putting serial numbers on them consisting of standard biblical reference numbers. This has been known for years by soldiers out in the field, even though the US Army and Marine Corps have said they were unaware of this.
Looking at Trijicon's website, there is this curious statement "• Morality - We believe that America is great when its people are good. This goodness has been based on biblical standards throughout our history and we will strive to follow those morals." They don't seem to realize that the founding document for the United States, the Constitution, has no references to God or the Bible in it.
Go here for the ABC Niteline news report on the story.
Here are a few examples of the serial numbers on the scopes, more images are located here:
Trijicon's Reflex scope, which according to the company, is "the fastest, most user-friendly gunsight in the field." According to Trijicon, "the U.S. Special Operations Command has designated the Trijicon Reflex as a vital part of the…Accessory Kit fielded by all Special Operations Forces. This scope is imprinted with the marking "2COR4:6", a reference to the second book of Corinthians in the New Testament, Chapter 4, Verse 6. The verse reads: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (King James Version) (ABC News)
At the end of the scope's model number, you can read "JN8:12", which is a reference to the New Testament book of John, Chapter 8, Verse 12, which reads: "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (King James Version) (ABC News)In addition to the above images ABC News also shows Iraqi soldiers training with the scopes. What do they think of this? And wouldn't this further inflame tensions in the area and give AlQaeda more ammunition for claims that the US is on some sort of religious crusade? It seems that religion has blinded the company management of Trijicom to common sense. Since these scopes have been in use for sometime, how can the US military not know this has been going on? And what about reports of Christian commanders in the US Army bragging that the weapons are "spiritually transformed by the Lord Jesus Christ"?
Trijicon confirmed to ABCNews.com that it adds the biblical codes to the sights sold to the U.S. military. Tom Munson, director of sales and marketing for Trijicon, which is based in Wixom, Michigan, said the inscriptions "have always been there" and said there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding them. Munson said the issue was being raised by a group that is "not Christian." The company has said the practice began under its founder, Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian from South Africa who was killed in a 2003 plane crash.Why should it matter that the group, MRFF, that has been raising this issue along with a host of other more egregious problems is "not Christian"? Don't non-Christians have the same rights to speak and raise complaints as Christians" Are Christians some how more human or superior than non-Christians? What a bigoted jerk. According to Rob Boston of Americans United, it depends upon who is doing the speaking for the US military if there is a problem or not.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. These Christians at Trijicom are so blinded by evangelical fervor, they cannot see the harm they are doing to the soldiers they claim they are interested in protecting.
I was shocked, however, to read the military's response to the matter. Air Force Maj. John Redfield, the spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, told the News, "This situation is not unlike the situation with U.S. currency. Are we going to stop using money because the bills have `In God We Trust' on them? As long as the sights meet the combat needs of troops, they'll continue to be used."
Let's be clear: This situation is not like "In God We Trust" on the money. That "civil religion" affirmation - problematic as it may be from a church-state perspective -- is not the same as a symbolic military embrace of one particular faith. When U.S. troops use weapons inscribed with passages from the New Testament, it's an endorsement of Christianity, and it sends the false message to the world that the United States is a Christian country.
Thankfully, some military officials seem to understand that there is a problem. Capt. Geraldine Carey, a Marine Corps spokeswoman, told the Associated Press, "We are aware of the issue and are concerned with how this may be perceived." Carey said Marine Corps officials will meet with Trijicon to discuss the matter.
Part 2 continues the discussion and shows an example of the harm these "harmless" references can cause.