This would never happen. A high-school teacher who knows what a lingam is? I think not.
[Cartoon by Mike Stanfill via farleftside]
This would never happen. A high-school teacher who knows what a lingam is? I think not.
[Cartoon by Mike Stanfill via farleftside]
This is the man who butchered a soldier in London this afternoon. The lack of horror, panic, or remorse on his face and in his body language is as chilling as his bloodied hands and the tools of his handiwork.
A British soldier was hacked to death by two men shouting Islamic slogans in a south London street on Wednesday, in what the government said appeared to be a terrorist attack. Video footage filmed by an onlooker just minutes after the killing showed an angry man with hands covered in blood, holding a bloodied meat cleaver and a knife.
“You people will never be safe. Remove your government. They don’t care about you,” the man, a black man in his 20s or 30s wearing trainers and jeans and speaking with a local accent, said in the footage obtained by Britain’s ITV news channel. ”I apologize that women had to witness that, but in our lands our women have to see the same thing,” the man said. …
The attackers [there were two] pounced on the victim in broad daylight in a street in the southeast district of Woolwich near an army barracks.
The duo is reportedly in custody.
Remember Amy and Samy Bouzaglo, the God-besotted Scottsdale restaurateurs who lied to their customers, screamed at critics, and screwed their waitstaff out of tips — on national TV? If not, here’s last week’s Moral Compass post on the gruesome twosome.
Well, the couple just can’t stay out of the (bad) news. Minutes ago, we learned that Samy Bouzaglo, an Israeli citizen who was born in Morocco, faces deportation from the United States for failure to disclose his past on his immigration application.
This TV news broadcast, at the 1:45 mark, says that Bouzaglo, who has the made-guy look pioneered on TV by Paulie Walnuts, is banned from France and Germany, presumably in connection with a criminal past that includes drug distribution, threats, and extortion.
AZCentral.com reports that both Samy and Amy have done prison time.
On Tuesday, Samy and Amy talked about their past records and indicated Samy had served time in prison before immigrating to the United States 13 years ago. Reached by phone as they drove to their restaurant Tuesday morning, Amy and Samy each tried to talk over the other — interrupting, yelling and even cursing one another as the conversation continued.
“We both made mistakes in the past. We have done our time,” Amy said. “We can’t comment.”
Except on the support of one VIP ally:
“We know God is with us.”
In that case, the Almighty hangs out with some pretty shady characters.
Records show Amy has served time in federal prison and has a history of liens and judgments. In 2003, [she] pleaded guilty to misuse of a Social Security number when she applied for a $15,000 bank loan. At the time, her name was Amanda Bossingham. She spent about a year in prison beginning in 2008. Records show that prior to her conviction, Amy faced four judgments in Colorado in 1998 and 1999 totaling about $14,000.
[photo via radar online]
Police say they were overwhelmed by the large crowd when a stampede killed four people at a church in Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Sunday. Thousands of people flocked to the evangelical church for “holy water”, which they believed had healing powers, leading to the crush. ”All of us were caught by surprise. No-one knew the crowd will be so huge,” said police spokesman Freeman Tetteh.
The church is run by prominent Nigerian preacher TB Joshua. He is one of the wealthiest and most popular evangelical clerics in Africa and his Synagogue Church of All Nations claims it can perform miracles, such as curing blindness.
[image via zimdiaspora.com]
What’s missing from this New York Times piece about Mali, the country that gave us music stars like Salif Keita [photo] and Ali Farka Touré?
The paper notes that about nine months ago,
Armed militants sent death threats to local musicians; many were forced into exile. Live music venues were shut down, and militants set fire to guitars and drum kits.
There are many theories for the reasons behind the music ban. Some point to religious fanaticism that sees music as a distraction from single-minded devotion. Others suggest that the ban was an attempt to sabotage the economy by gutting one of Mali’s primary export industries. Perhaps the militants, who cut off the hands of thieves and whip those who drink alcohol, just wanted to terrorize people.
Anything jump out at you when you read the whole thing?
To me, it was this: While there’s no doubt about the pro-music sympathies of Sujatha Fernandes, who authored the article, it seems odd that the word “Muslim,” as either a noun or an adjective, appears nowhere in her article. I thought it might be worth pointing the finger squarely at the fundies who, when it gets down to it, do more than just kill the buzz.
[image via yomzansi.com]
ConversationWithA compiles another bi-monthly roundup of maddening news from the world of religion.
How many acts of mental degradation and moral bankruptcy can you cram into eight minutes? Watch and find out.
A single church in Adelaide, Australia applied for and received $8.4 million ($8.2 million U.S.) from the federal government for noise abatement.
Here’s a picture of the church:
Smell a rat? You’re not alone. For almost eight and a half million bucks, you should be able to build five or more of these, and soundproof the hell out of each and every one.
Besides, the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church had already gotten $3.4 million for a noise insulation project that was completed last year. Now that church authorities have secured another grant for the exact same type of work, this time with a $5 million price tag, people are beginning to ask questions — especially because the typical Australian grant for noise insulation is about $100,000 per building.
An Adelaide Greek Orthodox Church faces another investigation after it received $5m from the Federal Government for noise insulation from the neighbouring airport. The investigation launched is due to the excessive amount of funds received by St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church…
[S]enator Simon Birmingham has queried the amount of money received by the church and has written to Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese seeking the costs of the project.
St. Nicholas Church is no stranger to controversy. In a long string of irregularities, the church priest, Father Prokopios Kanavas,
• has been investigated for allegedly supplying a forged character reference;
• received multiple warnings from his higher-ups, including one that came after explicit images were found on a church computer;
• was defrocked in 2008 over what the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem obliquely called “unacceptable behavior” and “questionable and suspicious activities.”
Somehow, Father Kavanas was again ordained and returned to Adelaide in 2010 a better man.
• In 2011, he was fired as South Australia’s police chaplain when his law-enforcement bosses found information that affected his “suitability” for that role;
• Last year, he courted more trouble when, on his Facebook page, he made false claims about his accomplishments, such as academic degrees he didn’t possess.
Securing two government noise-abatement grants worth eighty-four times the going rate for soundproofing a building is another headline-making feat at St. Nicholas. Can’t wait to hear what the investigators find.
[photo of Kavanas by Bianca De Marchi, via news.com.au]
A former pastor in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is accused of misusing money from the church daycare center, forcing it to close. Ronald W. Lukat, 65, turned himself in after learning of the charges against him.
Lukat was the pastor of Gatlinburg Presbyterian Church from early 2011 until last December, when church members said they became aware of irregularities in the account used by their Child Care Center. They said Lukat volunteered to oversee the center’s finances when the center’s treasurer stepped down, not long after the pastor’s arrival. That left Lukat in possession of a credit card used to purchase supplies for the center, as well as overseeing its fiances.
It appears that Lukat used the credit card for the purchase of about $3,600 worth of personal items.
[image via source]
Highly religious Colorado Springs is sometimes referred to as “the Evangelical Vatican.” Like any other city, the place has its share of crime and misery, often inflicted by the faithful themselves. Such is the case here (courtesy of the Denver Post):
The mother of a 13-year-old boy who police say was living in a home littered with human feces has been placed on administrative leave from her part-time job at a church nursery.
Sharon Starkey [right], who was cited Thursday for child neglect along with her husband, former Colorado Springs Councilman Charles Wingate [left], worked at the First United Methodist Church of Colorado Springs nursery on a “very part-time” and “as needed” basis, Leanne Schreiner, director of administration and finance, said in a statement.
Starkey has been a long-time member of the church congregation.
Police went to Starkey and Wingate’s home just after noon Thursday after a neighbor reported not seeing their son in about a year. Police found the boy naked and alone in filth.
The Gazette reports it’s even worse than that:
Police found the boy, described by officers as “autistic,” living in what they called extremely unsanitary conditions, which included live and dead rodents in the residence.
“The boy stated he is an only child, home-schooled, and does not remember ever being outside the house. Neighbors confirmed they have not seen the boy outside in several years,” police said in a news release.
Police said code enforcement condemned the house as unsafe for living.
Wingate’s two-year stint as a councilman was unremarkable except for his unlawful and unethical behavior.
Wingate was a Colorado Springs City Council member from 2001 until his resignation in 2003.
He left office under a cloud following accusations of embezzlement, forgery and fraud,
and pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement of public funds shortly after quitting the job.
He was ordered to jail in 2006, after a judge found he violated probation in the case.
Is this what it means to “love the sinner, hate the sin”?
In Georgia (the country), Christian priests in black cassocks fired up a crowd of thousands to attack about four dozen pro-gay-rights demonstrators. And by attack, I don’t mean they hurled angry words. Their weapons of choice were rocks, trash cans, and anything else the Godly Defenders of the Faith could get their hands on. Fists, too.
A throng of thousands led by priests in black robes surged through police cordons in downtown Tbilisi, Georgia, on Friday and attacked a group of about 50 gay-rights demonstrators.
Carrying banners reading “No to mental genocide” and “No to gays,” the masses of mostly young men began by hurling rocks and eggs at the gay-rights demonstrators.
“Mostly young men.” How bleak to think that this atavistic hatred doesn’t appear to be going out of style as the older generations die off, which is the pattern in the West.
The police pushed most of the demonstrators onto yellow minibuses to evacuate them from the scene, but, the attackers swarmed the buses, trying to break the windows with metal gratings, trash cans, rocks and even fists.
At least 12 people were reported hospitalized, including three police officers and eight or nine of the gay-rights marchers.
Conservative-minded Georgians traveled from other cities to condemn the gay-rights demonstrators, and one told a television station that she had come to “treat their illness.”
“We are trying to protect our orthodoxy, not to let anyone wipe their feet on our faith,” said Manana Okhanashvili, in a head scarf and long skirt. “We must not allow them to have a gay demonstration here.”
There is no doubt about the occupation of those who initiated and led the worst violence.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Vacharadze of Identoba said that priests from the Georgian Orthodox Church had led the charge that broke through a heavy police corridor.
“The priests entered, the priests broke the fences and the police didn’t stop them, because the priests are above the law in Georgia,” he said.
I learned the other day that Georgia’s first lady is a progressive Dutch linguist, Sandra Roelofs. The Netherlands is famously tolerant of gay people and has allowed same-sex marriage for many years. Forgive me for being naive, but I hope she’ll speak up to try to talk some sense into the haters on the sideline. All good people in Georgia should raise their voices against this madness.
As for the violent priests and their gay-bashing troops, I suspect arrests and jail terms are too much to hope for, but a man can dream.
[image via the New York Times. Thanks to Nicolas Eyle for the tip.]
Thou shalt not steal. Remember that one? The Rev. John McGinn doesn’t.
A priest on Cape Cod has been suspended for plagiarizing sermons. The Rev. John McGinn, 65, of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sandwich was placed on administrative leave earlier this month after the diocese learned he had allegedly been using other preachers’ sermons since 2006. They were reportedly taken from the subscription website sermons.com.
The Rev. Mally Lloyd, canon to the ordinary for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, told the Cape Cod Times as many as 15 sermons have been identified as direct copies.