The Pastor and the Prostitute — A Morality Play

Shortly before last Christmas, when youth minister Chris Allen Phillips of Virginia’s Mechanicsville Advent Christian Church was in the mood for some extra-marital pleasure, he went soliciting online, and soon found himself in flagrante delicto with Tonya Farnsworth, a lady of the night.

Not long after the steamy encounter, Ms. Farnsworth informed her holy-man client that she had incriminating photos of him, and inquired if he would please be so kind as to make a series of payments to her. Mr. Phillips, deciding that he had no choice, acquiesced to the extortion, dropping off payment after payment, sometimes almost daily. In total, he is thought to have supplied his terrible temptress with the princely sum of about 100,000 dollars.


It seems that $20,000 of that amount might have been drawn from Mr. Phillips’ own funds. With his personal well now arid, who better to pay the price for his commercial philandering than the church that employed him? And so he took from it what he needed, secure in the knowledge that the Lord will provide.

However, after having illicitly gathered $80,000 from the church coffers to satisfy (strictly monetarily now, mind) the greed-filled Jezebel, the pastor was queried by some local constables who’d gotten wind of his thievery; and for his crime, they did arrest him and threaten him with jail.

The broken man of God will make his appearance before an earthly judge in a week or two. It is conjectured that he has already been forgiven by the Celestial Magistrate, whose spiritual largesse includes absolution for both thieves and indiscriminate fornicators as long as they profess belief in His son. Membership, as the slogan goes, has its privileges.

[image via NBC New York]

London Meat-Cleaver Killers Had Imam’s Blessing

Where did the London duo that hacked a British soldier to pieces in broad daylight on Wednesday get its inspiration? They had been told by an Islamic clergyman to “remove the head of the enemy.”

One of the suspected killers who attempted to behead and disembowel a young soldier in the horrific Woolwich attack had listened to the preachings of a radical Muslim cleric banned from Britain over extremist activities, including alleged links to al-Qaeda, The Independent has learned.

The cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed [pictured below] has been secretly filmed stating that decapitation of the enemies of Islam was permitted. Today, in comments met with outrage, he told The Independent that he could understand the feeling of rage that had motivated the attackers and that what they had done could be justified under certain interpretations of Islam.

Michael Adebolajo, a British-Muslim convert of Nigerian origin who gave a video interview with a meat cleaver in his bloodied hands while the body of 25-year-old Drummer Lee Rigby lay on the street behind him, declared that he was fighting for “Almighty Allah”.

Last night the second suspect was understood to be Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich.


In 2007, following the conviction of a group British Pakistanis who had plotted to kidnap and behead a British soldier, a secret recording emerged of Mr Bakri Muhammed saying: “When you meet [Westerners], slice their own necks. And when you make the blood spill all over, and the enemy becomes so tired, now start to take from them prisoners. Then free them or exchange them until the war is finished.

“Verily they remind the sunnah of removing the head of the enemy. They remind the sunnah of slaughtering the enemy. They remind the sunnah of how to strike the neck of the enemy. They removed the head of the enemy. Use the sword and remove the head of the enemy.”

Texas Pastor Swindles Divorcée Out of $650K

When a new divorcée looked to Texas pastor Samuel Ray Palasota for spiritual guidance and emotional support, the pastor was mostly interested in her one-million-dollar divorce settlement.

Federal prosecutors say he swindled her out of two-thirds of that sum. Rather than investing it in real estate, as he’d said he would, Palasota blew the money on personal expenses and cars.

A self-styled pastor and real-estate investor surrendered to federal authorities on charges that he conned $650,000 from a woman, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Samuel Ray Palasota, 52, of Houston, turned himself in following the return of a 24-count indictment, including 21 counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud.


The indictment indicates he provided the woman with an investment schedule that claimed the minimum rate of return would increase by five percent for every additional $100,000 she invested, up to a maximum of $650,000.

The woman subsequently invested the maximum $650,000 in Palasota’s scheme, according to allegations. Palasota then allegedly used those funds for his personal benefit, including paying his personal expenses and purchasing automobiles.

If convicted, Palasota faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the 24 counts against him.

[image via churchmarketingonline]

Evangelist Keen To Raise Murdered Boys From the Dead, Offers His Services to Grieving Mother

The Dutch were gripped by a double-murder tragedy recently. Two brothers, just 7 and 9 year old, went missing for almost two weeks, a day or so before their father committed suicide. Their bodies were eventually found in a ditch, flushed from a large sewage pipe. Police say the father killed his sons. He and his ex-wife had had joint custody of the boys. The parents had been feuding for years.

Like virtually everyone else in the Netherlands, Dutch evangelist Ronald Plat (photo) was saddened by the news — but not too much. Ever the optimist, Platt believes he can work miracles through Jesus, and he’s graciously decided he’s going to try to bring the boys back to life.


Apparently, such a feat cannot be achieved long distance. Plat and his prayer team need access. Desperate to get in touch with the mother, he took to social media the other day to offer his resurrectional services. He could just picture “turning the whole country on its head” with all the “media attention” that would be sure to follow, he wrote with apparent enthusiasm.

Plat says he was disappointed the week before, after the parents of a Dutch suicide victim inexplicably turned down his proposal to bring their daughter back to life through the power of prayer.

He is currently angling for any bereaved family to let him come over and resurrect their loved one, pointing out that

“…death is an enemy of Daddy God.”

(Yes, he really uses that term — in Dutch: Pappa God — instead of ‘the Heavenly Father’ or what have you; it’s possibly the first time in history that the phrase is uttered by someone without the intention to pooh-pooh religion. Anyway:)

“God is ‘life and abundance,’ and wants to give all people that life. Should someone in your family have passed away and you want that person returned to you, and you don’t accept that their death is final, please get in touch.”

So far, no takers that we know of.

[Thanks to Bert van Manen for the tip.]

Pastor Sold Meth and Heroin — For Jesus!

Have you heard the story of the meth-dealing man of god?

If you were thinking of Father Kevin Wallin, the Connecticut priest who has been featured on Moral Compass a couple of times — no, it’s not him.

This time it’s a Protestant pastor from Arizona, Mark Derksen, who endeavored to bring drug users “closer to God.”

It’s nice to see the different strands of Christianity come together in ecumenical harmony.

‘Annihilate Atheists,’ Turkish Politician Proposes

A senior member of the Turkish AKP party — that’s Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s club — called for the mass murder of non-believers on Tuesday.

An official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) sparked controversy after he called for the “annihilation of atheists” on his Twitter account.


Mahmut Macit [photo], a senior member of AKP’s Ankara provincial board and keen user of social media, flared up on May 21 about insults against believers via Twitter. “My blood boils when spineless psychopaths pretending to be atheists swear at my religion. These people, who have been raped, should be annihilated,” Macit wrote in one tweet.

For years now, Turkey has been backsliding from secular democracy to Islamic theocracy. Sounds like the would-be mullahs are getting more aggressive; see also here.

Killers Don’t Get More Red-Handed Than This

This is the Muslim 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.

From Reuters:

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.

imgur_ the simple image sharer

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.

Must-Watch: BBC Film on Present-Day Christians Treating ‘Witches.’ Many Victims Are Children.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” — Voltaire

Previous Moral Compass piece on modern-day witch-killing for fun and profit here.

Amy and Samy Bouzaglo Have a Criminal Record: “We Have Done Our Time. God Is With Us.”

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. 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]

Stampede For Holy Water Kills Four

Deaths of the deluded:

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]

Mali: The Day the Music Died

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]

Thanks, Religion.

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.