Christians Offer Human Sacrifices: Their Own Kids

It’s not a new case, but this one just came to my attention in the wake of the news about Herbert and Catherine Schaible. The Schaibles, if you’ll recall, are the fundamentalist Christians from Philly whose kids keep dying because mommy and daddy believe in prayer, not doctors.

They would get along fabulously with Susan Grady, a mother from Oklahoma. Last year, Grady was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for refusing to call a doctor for her son Aaron. Instead, she prayed and prayed, but God didn’t listen. Aaron, who had complications from diabetes, died, two months shy of his 10th birthday.

Susan Grady [photo] told detectives that she did not consider taking Aaron to the doctor. She told them that “I was trying to live by faith and I felt like God would heal him,” according to the affidavit.



Two and a half years isn’t much for knowingly causing your child’s death, but it’s better than what the Schaibles got after their first kid died — nothing but probation. Their youngest, still a baby, paid the price for the court’s soft-hearted verdict: he’ll join his older brother six feet under when the autopsy is done.

I hope the parents will buy him a pretty headstone. Maybe an engraved Bible verse from Genesis 22 would be nice.

Parents Douse Muslim Girl in Acid For Looking At a Boy: ‘It Was Her Destiny To Die This Way.’

Father: “She turned to look at a boy. I’d told her before not to do that.”

A compilation of acid-attack victims’ stories, via the YouTube channel ConversationWithA.

See also the photo essay Faces of Islam:


Rabbi Broyde Said To Have Created Yet Another Fake Jewish ‘Expert’; This One May End His Career

Earlier this month, it emerged that prominent rabbinical judge and law professor Michael Broyde invented the character of an older rabbi who would go online to praise Broyde’s scholarship. The comments left by this fictitious elder were really left by Broyde himself.

After Broyde admitted as much, he lost his seat on the rabbinical court, but not his professor job at Emory University.

Now, Emory may be forced to reconsider. It seems that Broyde created, out of thin air, yet another elderly religious scholar, Rabbi David Tzvi Keter. According to the tenacious Steven I. Weiss at the Jewish Channel, Broyde, posing as Keter,

…alleged he’d had conversations with now long-dead sages in the late 1940s or early 1950s. The alleged conversations were used to produce a manufactured history of statements from long-dead scholars that buttressed an argument that Broyde had made in a highly-touted article published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Broyde, in a later publication, subsequently quoted this second identity’s alleged findings as further proof of his original argument.


Now we’ve crossed into new territory — that of fraudulent scholarship. Broyde’s previous fabulation was shameless but not that shameless. This new one, if it checks out, would appear to be the academic equivalent of suicide.

If Broyde created this second identity and alleged historical evidence, that would “clearly be false scholarship” and “clearly require disciplinary review,” according to Professor Celia Fisher of Fordham University, where she is director of the Center for Ethics Education.

For a man who was a top candidate for the U.K.’s Chief Rabbi job just last year, Broyde’s fall from grace is a stunner.

Anyway, the ball’s now in Emory University’s court.

[hat tip: Failed Messiah]

Tsarnaev ‘Angry’ When Islam Was Called Violent

The ex-husband of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s sister told the New York Times in an e-mail that the Boston bomber

“…was looking for connections between the wars in the Middle East and oppression of Muslim population around the globe. It was very hard to argue with him on themes somehow connected to religion. On the other hand, he did not hate Christians. He respected their faith. Never said anything bad about other religions. But he was angry that the world pictures Islam as a violent religion.

He certainly did a bang-up job of dispelling the idea.

Men Behaving Badly: U.S. Buddhist Monk Leaks Sexytime Recording of Another Buddhist Monk

A Buddhist monk in Massachusetts may regret having sex with Men. Maya Men.

Ms. Maya Men (we’ll refer to her as MMM from here on out, to avoid confusion) is the plaintiff in a case that came before a Massachusetts judge yesterday. The woman is upset over the existence and alleged distribution of a compromising tape that shows her making sexytime with Nhem Kimteng, a Cambodian monk (photo). Kimteng was helping MMM lead a $10 million Buddhist temple project in Lowell, Mass.


The monk has been dismissed from the Community of Khmer Buddhist Monks’ temple project (though it could be argued that he was just exploring MMM’s temple, in a totally holy and Biblical sense). Other members of Lowell’s Khmer Vat community see evidence of Men behaving badly, and want her kicked out too.

According to the temple’s website, MMM

oversees the temple’s daily activities and manages the Buddhist monks appointments and makes sure everything is running smoothly.

Well, things aren’t so smooth anymore. “The [Cambodian] community is being destroyed by the two individuals in the tape,” Lowell City Councilor Vesna Nuon said.

MMM, who doesn’t seem to have heard of the Streisand Effect, claims that five defendants violated her right to privacy and her constitutional rights. She has suffered emotional distress as a result, she says.

One of the five accused of distributing the involuntary porn tape is another Buddhist monk, Cheng Leang.

MMM is asking for punitive damages, and money for an investigation to track down and destroy the original recording and any copies.

Yesterday, the judge ordered two defendants, including Leang, to stop making or distributing any copies of the recording. The men were also ordered not to contact MMM or go within 100 feet of her. The three other defendants agreed not to distribute the recording, but without conceding that they’d done so previously.

MMM’s attorney said he will be investigating reports that local businesses are selling the sex tape for $1.

One thing is certain: As a community dedicated to “solidarity,” “compassion,” and “peacefulness,” Khmer Vat followers still have a ways to go.

[photo via birdstardesign]

Paris Knife Attacker Screamed ‘Allah is Great’

The assailant had severe mental problems. Not sure how that sets him apart from other Allah worshipers who sow mindless death and destruction.

An Iranian screaming “Allahu Akbar” on Tuesday attacked a rabbi and his son with a knife as they were entering a synagogue in Paris for the morning prayer.


The 50-year-old rabbi, identified as Philippe Baroukh, suffered cuts to his throat while his 18-year-old son was stabbed in the back. They were immediately transported to the hospital to undergo surgery and are out of danger.

The attack took place in the Beth-El synagogue on rue Saulnier in the 9th district of the French capital. …

“This man had escaped on April 16 from a psychiatric hospital,” a police source said.

Train Plotting

Two men in Canada were charged yesterday with plotting a terrorist attack on a train.

The Huffington Post:

Two Canadian residents have been charged in an alleged terror plot to attack a Via Rail passenger train.

Raed Jaser [photo, left], 35, from Toronto and Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, from Montreal, face terrorism-related charges,

…including “participation in a terrorist group,” and “conspiracy to interfere with transportation facilities for the benefit of a terrorist group.”


The News, Australia:

Officials in Canada said Mr Jaser and Mr Esseghaier had “direction and guidance” from al-Qaeda members in Iran but no financial assistance, and there was no reason to think the planned attacks were state-sponsored.

In New York, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne declined to discuss reports that the plot targeted a passenger line between New York City and Canada. However, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that Canada has kept New York posted on the investigation.

The National Post:

Chiheb Esseghaier is a Tunisian-born PhD student at a Université du Québec nanotechnology lab who was threatened with expulsion for his disruptive behaviour and strict religious views that alienated his colleagues.

One colleague at Institut National de la Récherche Scientifique (INRS) in Varennes, Quebec, described Mr. Esseghaier, as “a brainwashed person, basically,” who tore down posters he did not approve of, and pestered the administration to install a prayer room. …

His co-accused, Raed Jaser, is a Palestinian born in the United Arab Emirates, who has permanent resident status in Canada.


Raed Jaser, 35, was convicted of threatening death in 2001, receiving a sentence of two years’ probation and a $1,000 fine. But his record was recently cleared after he applied for — and received — a pardon.

The encouraging news: The initial tip to police about the intentions of the darling duo came from an imam in Toronto.

[suspect sketches via CTV News, Montreal]

Living (& Dying) in a Country Called ‘The Savior’

One reason I’d have a hard time living in El Salvador is because of its name. Would you want to live in a country called ‘The Savior’? I’ll admit it would be a fine name for a church, a hospital, or possibly a large dildo. But a modern nation?

Another reason why El Salvador doesn’t greatly appeal to me is because its government is exactly what you’d expect of a country with that name — a conservative cabal of overwhelmingly Catholic theocrats, interspersed with a few believers in more liberal “liberation theology.”

The country has, as its patron saint, the Transfigured Jesus, “the Divine Savior of the World,” and believe me: if, by accident of birth, you were a citizen of El Salvador, you’d know it. Vatican-flavored Catholicism is the law of the land, which means, among other things, that abortions are always illegal. Doesn’t matter if the woman was raped. Doesn’t matter if mother and fetus face horrific medical complications. The powers that be will courageously let them die if that’s what it takes, because hey, God (or the Savior) intends it. Que será será.


It could happen soon to a pregnant 22-year-old Salvadorian woman named Beatriz, who has lupus and kidney disease.

Doctors say Beatriz could die if she continues with the pregnancy, but have not yet treated her because they fear that if they end the pregnancy they might be prosecuted under the country’s total ban on abortion…

The country’s penal code states that anyone seeking or carrying out an abortion could be given a long prison sentence. This means both doctors and Beatriz would be at risk of imprisonment if a termination is carried out.

The medical staff is in a bind: the law gives them no power, no leeway, no discretion. There’s no Good Samaritan statute.

Beatriz’s case reminds me of that of a Brazilian nine-year-old who, in 2009, got pregnant with twins after she’d been raped by her father. Her pelvic structure and uterus weren’t developed enough to expel the babies if she’d tried to carry them to full term. Doctors decided to terminate the pregnancy and save the girl’s life.

The Catholic Church in Brazil was livid. Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho reportedly excommunicated the girl’s mother, the doctors, and other people involved in the abortion. (No word on whether the father was punished too.) The way the Church saw it, the moment the daddy’s sacred sperm combined with the girl’s divine eggs to form the Precious Miracle of Life, the prepubescent rape and incest victim was catholically obligated to carry the twins to term — and to die in the process.

Rather than rage about it all, the Monty Python team, decades ago, found a better way to deal with these absurdities (see below).

Of course, neither anger nor comic relief will save Beatriz’ life. Only the pious Salvadorian men in charge, and the Catholic authorities they serve, now hold that awesome power. May they use it wisely.

Mommie Dearest: Mother Beats Seven-Year-Old Son to Death for Failing to Memorize Quran

I’ve wanted my two young daughters to learn to recite the Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss. Also, Tom Lehrer’s the Elements.

The girls do pretty well, but not perfectly. Although they fall short, and frequently miss words and lines, surely it would be a bit unreasonable for me to beat them to death for not performing better.

But change the book, and suddenly the need for kids to study the text deeply and perhaps even learn it by heart is deemed crucial by the most pious of the faithful. So crucial that if junior fails, physical punishment may be in order. And, in rare cases, death.

So I give you … the mother who beat who beat her seven-year-old son to death for failing to learn the Qur’an by heart — and who then burned his body in an attempt to hide her crime.

Upon hearing her sentence (life in jail with the possibility of parole),

Sara Ege, 33, collapsed and had to be helped sobbing from the dock after being told on Monday she would serve 17 years before she could be considered for parole.

Cardiff crown court heard that Ege treated her son Yaseen “like a dog” when he struggled to memorise passages of the holy book of Islam. She beat him on the hands and his body until he collapsed on the floor of his bedroom and died.


Ege used barbecue lighting gel to set fire to the boy’s body to try to conceal what she had done. Initially emergency services believed he had been killed in a fire at the family home in Pontcanna, Cardiff. But a postmortem revealed he had died before the fire had begun and had suffered multiple injuries to his body caused by three months of physical punishment.

Did no one notice? Yes, but no one helped. Every adult in his life failed the boy, starting with his own mother.

A teaching assistant at the boy’s school noticed that his handwriting was deteriorating and discovered he was using his left hand because it was too painful for him to use his right. On another occasion Ege was called into school because [Yaseen] was in too much pain to sit. She moved him to a new school.

And soon it was too late.

Ege initially felt twinges of remorse when she beat Yaseen all over his body. Now and then, she’d promise herself she’d stop, but the anger was a rush — a form of letting go.

As her violence spiraled more and more out of control, Ege’s sense that she was responsible for her own actions gave way to religion’s most delusional and fatal side:

She claimed she had been urged on by the devil and bad spirits. At one point she believed the stick she used to punish her son was possessed by an evil spirit.

She hadn’t done it — the devil had. But the court didn’t buy it, and it’ll be 2030 or later before Sara Ege is a free woman again.


P.S.: It happens among (so-called) Christians too:

Obey the Lord and Beat Your Kid to Death

Baby Starved To Death Because He Would Not Say Amen

Battle of the Books

Now that’s worth a try.

Twitter _ Biblebabble_ Want christians to understand ...

Jesus Saves, But Not From Rape

Dale Richardson will soon be out on bail. After he raises and pays the $25,000 bond, the South Carolina pastor will move back in with his wife, after spending about 22 months behind bars awaiting trial for multiple rapes and abduction. The reverend will be under house arrest, though the judge granted him an exemption for visiting church.

Which is a bit ironic, perhaps, as that’s exactly where Richardson frequently got all rapey.


Until the summer of 2011, Richardson, who graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia (the college founded by evangelical preacher Jerry Falwell), served as pastor at Freedom Free Will Baptist Church in Ladson, South Carolina.

He preached love and kindness — but apparently didn’t practice those things too much.

Richardson’s crimes came to light shortly after he gave a lift to a young woman, in July 2011.

When the 20-year-old tried to get out of the car, he allegedly pulled a gun, bound her hands, covered her head and took her to the grey-blue trailer home behind the church.

The [police] report said he later dropped the woman in a wooded area, threatening to shoot her if she turned around.

Police said the woman was able to identify Richardson from his picture on the church website, which also displays a short biography detailing how he became a Christian and then a pastor.

Richardson has since been charged with two other similar sexual assaults.

He is accused of bringing one of those women to the church trailer. The third woman claims she was raped in a wooded area outside nearby Summerville, which is about 20 miles north west of Charleston.

He is also charged with kidnapping a fourth woman.

The mother of the kidnapping victim went on the local TV news in August 2011 to say her daughter wasn’t raped thanks to the power of prayer:

“When she put her head down in her knees and started praying, ‘Oh, God, please, please, Oh God’ — it shook him up and he let her go,” [she said]. “God moved in a supernatural way from having to go through what the other girls went through.”

So apparently, the other girls just didn’t pray hard enough.

[photo: AP, via the Daily Mail]

Oz Priest: ‘I Saw Church Evidence Tampering’

Insert joke here about priests who blow something other than the whistle. But to Victor Buhagiar, church child abuse is no laughing matter. He has recently quit his post as a Catholic priest over what he sees as an institutional inclination to bury the truth, abandoning the church after a dozen years of leading parishes across Victoria, Australia. The country is in the midst of a huge and unprecedented government inquiry into church-based child abuse.

Buhagiar says he personally saw unethical attempts by church authorities to prevent damaging information from coming out.

Buhagiar claims it has became impossible to continue after he found out the Church was deleting records relating to child sexual abuse.

“I saw the Archbishop and I heard the Archbishop telling the secretary to turn off the recorder,” Buhagiar said.


Alarm bells first began to ring for Buhagiar at a council meeting of the state’s most powerful priests last April. “As soon as the recording was turned off, the Archbishop started talking about the sex abuse situation,” Buhagiar said. …

“After that meeting I made enquiries as to why the recorder was turned off at that particular moment. Again, whoever I asked said to me, I do not remember, when I pushed, they said so that no names are mentioned,” Buhagiar said.

“I suspect the recorder was turned off to minimise the possibility of investigators finding evidence that can be useful to the inquiry, or to the Royal Commission; to create like a black hole, an empty space that when the investigators try to see how the situation evolved during the last 10 years or so, they seem to find nothing.”

It’s too late for that. The cat is already out of the bag, and the church will have a lot of explaining to do:

The Royal Commission estimates there are 5000 people waiting for their chance to give evidence against the Catholic Church and other institutions.

[image via Today Tonight]