Lisa Biron: 3 Times the Judas That Judas Was

Can’t wait. Just ten more days, and we get to find out what the judge has in store for Lisa Biron. Hers is a case so infamous it already has its own Wikipedia entry. In a nutshell:

Lisa Biron, a New Hampshire lawyer who worked with an anti-gay Christian-right organization, has been found guilty of child pornography after she videotaped her own daughter having sex with two men on several occasions.


Biron, 43, is facing a minimum sentence of 25 years after she was convicted by a jury on Thursday. It took the jury less than an hour to deliberate.

In November, Biron was arrested by the FBI and accused of eight felony counts after she videotaped a 14-year-old girl having sex with men. Later, the girl was identified as Biron’s daughter. Biron also videotaped herself having sex with her daughter.

On Biron’s Facebook page, she claims the Bible is her favorite book, and that she worked for Alliance Defending Freedom. Alliance Defending Freedom is a “servant ministry” seeking to transform the legal system “for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”

The groups’ president and senior director claim in a book that pedophilia on college campuses is a result of homosexuality, and that homosexuality and pedophilia are linked. The organization quickly washed its hand of Biron when the scandal broke, and has been furiously scrubbing its online records to expunge her name. 

We’ll note here that Biron is that rarest of breeds: a triple traitor. She betrayed her daughter; she betrayed the justice system that, as a member of the bar, she was expected to abide by; and she betrayed the Bible-inspired family values that she claimed to stand for.

What do you do with a woman that vile? We’ll know on April 22, the day of her sentencing.

Pedos For God

It’s a sad state of affairs when you run a site like this one, and have to decide you’re just going to pretty much stop covering child abuse by clergy … because there’s too much of it. No joke: every day I see news articles about yet another child-molesting pastor or priest. Not one case per day, or two, but half a dozen or more.

And those are just the ones that

• involve a victim (or others familiar with the abuse) who went to the police; and
• involve an arrest and a charge, and
• get reported in the press, and
• somehow make it into my news stream.

No one knows how many holy-men childfuckers have never been found out. It must be a staggering number.

I feel a bit sick, and a bit guilty, just realizing that the volume of new sex-abuse offenses by clergy is such that I worry about Moral Compass getting depressing and repetitive if I try to chronicle it all. No child deserves to be willfully confused, spiritually deceived, and sexually accosted by pedos. Extra scorn and disgust is due those who do this while brandishing the title of priest of pastor or imam or rabbi, and thus claiming to be authorities on what god wants.

If you only see sporadic stories on Moral Compass about these hypocrites, please know it’s not because they’re few and far between. It’s because there are too many for me to write about without it destroying the variety of the blog, as well as my belief in the goodness of others.

I sincerely hope that you, and the nameless children whose tormentors won’t be called out on this site, will forgive me.

Eew, Eel! Don’t Tell the Anti-Gay-Marriage Crowd

I’ve frequently heard from rightwing Christians that if we let men marry men, and women marry women, we’ll have to let them marry chickens and dogs too, and soon they’ll all be having butt sex with hippos, or something.

Here’s a cartoon that yuks it up in that regard. Pretty sure I recognize the hand of the reliably dreadful New York Post cartoonist Sean Delonas.

Delonas artoon

In this charming worldview, gay people are on a par with molesters of livestock; and the notion of equal rights for all men and women is as preposterous as a sheep wearing a bridal veil.

The idea that this is not an intellectually legitimate way of looking at the issue was only slightly undermined the other day, when a tellingly unmarried 39-year-old man in southern China had relations with an eel. That is, he introduced the eel’s head to his rectum, and there was, let’s say, a love connection. So much so that the eel, perhaps hungry for a post-coital snack, ate through his BFF’s colon, and doctors had to operate. Here’s the story. And via the Huffington Post, here’s a picture of the eel, who, we’re told, didn’t survive the extraction:

FUNNY EELING - Porn stunt With Live Eel Backfires

Please nobody tell Sean Delonas or the Post, or we’ll never hear the end of it.

Thomas More: Inquisitor, Torturer, Killer, Saint

I noted with a mix of fascination and amusement that the fraud-loving priest in my previous post works at a church named for Sir Thomas More, the 16th-century lawyer, statesman, and enforcer of orthodoxy. There are hundreds upon hundreds of Catholic churches that bear More’s name.

Catholics revere Sir Thomas as a martyr because he was beheaded for refusing to say that the authority of King Henry VIII superseded that of the Pope. Even in secular and humanist circles, More is often given a measure of respect, partly for his collaboration with the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, and partly because of how More is famously portrayed in the Oscar-winning movie A Man For All Seasons.


What neither group ever seems keen to acknowledge is that Sir Thomas was also a man who so abhorred Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation that he burned Lutherans at the stake with great relish. One of More’s motives for hating the Protestant heretics was that they dared to read the New Testament in English rather than Latin, which was against the law in England at the time.

The historian and religious scholar James Wood reminds us that Thomas More, far from being the consummate “man of conscience,” was

…the heretic hunter of the mid-1520s, who personally broke into Lutherans’ homes and sent men to the stake, … [and who] would punish religious dissent not only with “displeasant” words but with state violence.

Hyperbole? Hardly. The Life of Thomas More by Peter Ackroyd, one of the more positive More biographies, recounts that when Sir Thomas learned that John Tewkesbury, a London leather-seller, secretly possessed banned books, he had the man burned alive. After the execution, More expressed his satisfaction: “[He] burned as there was neuer wretche I wene better worthy.” More cherished the image of Tewkesbury burning not just on earth, but in hell, “an hote fyrebronde burnynge at hys bakke, that all the water in the worlde wyll neuer be able to quenche.”

Richard Marius, an American scholar of the Reformation and the author of Thomas More, A Biography, concludes that More, notwithstanding his earlier wanderings through humanism, was eager to exterminate Protestants,

and while he was in office he did everything in his power to bring that extermination to pass. That he did not succeed in becoming England’s Torquemada was a consequence of the king’s quarrel with the pope and not a result of any quality of mercy that stirred through More’s own heart.

Per James Wood, here is some of More’s handiwork:

With the help of John Stokesley, the Bishop of London, More personally broke into the houses of suspected heretics, arresting them on the spot and sometimes interrogating them in his own home. He imprisoned one man in the porter’s lodge of his house, and had him put in the stocks. He raided the home of a businessman called John Petyt, who was suspected of financing [protestant Bible translator William] Tyndale; Petyt died in the Tower. Six rebellious Oxford students were kept for months in a fish cellar; three of them died in prison. More was now a spiritual detective, a policeman in a hair shirt, engaged in “what would now be called surveillance and entrapment among the leather-sellers, tailors, fishmongers and drapers of London.” Six protesters were burned under More’s chancellorship, and perhaps forty were imprisoned.

Next time you hear the adjective catholic (small c) used in the sense of ‘shifty,’ ‘evasive,’ ‘disingenuous,’ think of Thomas More, and think of this mind-crushing passage from Wood’s essay:

More attempted to answer the charge of the reformers that it was not Christian for the church to burn heretics. The church did not burn people, replied More; the state burned them. This was strictly true, because the ecclesiastical courts tried heretics and the state courts sentenced them. But More’s language is disingenuous. The church, he writes, would never want to kill anyone. “It is not the clergy that laboreth to have them punished to death.” The “spiritual law” is “good, reasonable, piteous, and charitable, and nothing desiring the death of any therein.” The church asks the heretic to repent; if he does not, the church excommunicates him, at which point “the clergy giveth knowledge to the temporalty, not exhorting the prince, or any man else, either, to kill him or to punish him.” The church does not urge anyone to punish the heretic; it “leaveth him to the secular hand, and forsaketh him.”


To Wood, More was

cruel in punishment, evasive in argument, lusty for power, and repressive in politics. He betrayed Christianity when he led it so violently into court politics, and he betrayed politics when he surrendered it so meekly to the defense of Catholicism.

The British historical biographer Jasper Ridley was even less charitable in his final assessment of Sir Thomas, calling him “a particularly nasty sadomasochistic pervert.”

The Catholic world had four or five centuries to come to its senses about More, but never did. In 1929, the Catholic writer G.K. Chesterton fawned over him in The Fame of Blessed Thomas Moore:

Blessed Thomas More is more important at this moment than at any moment since his death, even perhaps the great moment of his dying; but he is not quite so important as he will be in about a hundred years’ time.

The Vatican agreed that More was a man worthy of our highest adulation. In May of 1935, Pope Pius XI officially declared Sir Thomas a saint.

In October of 2000, Pope John Paul II did his part in trying to make Chesterton’s prediction come true. The pontiff wrote in an apostolic letter that More had “served not power but the supreme ideal of justice,” and lauded him for “unfailing moral integrity.”

Pope John Paul then officially declared  Sir Thomas the patron saint of Catholic statesmen and politicians; and as it concerns one thoroughly disreputable group, that is one honor on which His Holiness and I can agree.

[top image via wikimedia; bottom image by Simon_K via flickr]

Priest Created Fake Employee to Pocket Salary

The FBI has taken over a police investigation into the shady financial dealings of the Rev. Edward Belczak, of Thomas More Catholic Church in Troy, Michigan. The 67-year-old priest stands accused of having “mishandled” more than $400,000 in church money. If the current allegations are any guide, “mishandled” is a euphemism for “stolen.”

Edward Belczak

Father Belczak’s many alleged frauds range from taking excess compensation he wasn’t entitled to, to inventing an employee so that he (Belczak) could pocket the ghost worker’s salary.

Full story here.

[photo via the Oakland Press]

Coming Together For Jesus: Semen-Spraying Pastor Knocks Up Six of His Flock

Pastor Derek Ngulube from Zimbabwe — we’ll just call him pastor Lube from now on — has been spreading the love. The Rev. Lube, you see, wasn’t too concerned about following the commandment against coveting thy neighbor’s wife. He decided to concentrate instead on Genesis 1:28, God’s instruction to “be fruitful and multiply.”

And multiply he did. In one year, pastor Lube got six married women in his congregation pregnant, according to this story from Spy Ghana. The shocked church elders decided to expel him.

“What he did is just disgraceful and a person like him could not be allowed to be part of a religious institution because what he did goes against all that Christianity stands for,” said a source.

Contacted for comment, Pastor Ngulube said he was sorry. “I feel bad and I want to say I am very sorry for what I did. If I could be given another chance I wouldn’t repeat the mistake.”

Ministry and Revolting Cocks: a match made in Heaven?

Ministry and Revolting Cocks: a match made in Heaven?

The account of the Rev. Lube’s enthusiastic fornication is my favorite clergyman-related sex story so far this year. It’s almost good enough to dethrone the record holder from last year, the Rev. Robert C. Christian from Spokane, WA.

Remember him? A pastor and sheriff’s chaplain, Christian, wearing a pastel pink and orange skirt, showed up unannounced at the home of a female parishioner. His attire struck the woman as odd, but he explained it by saying he’d lost a bet. I’ll let the local newspaper take it from here.

The woman invited Christian in and he asked to use the bathroom. He emerged from the room after an extended period and sat down at the dining room table for coffee. It was then the woman saw Christian’s erect penis sticking out the front of the button-up skirt, police allege. The victim said her cultural beliefs prevent her from making allegations against people in positions of authority, so she said nothing to Christian.

He was later apprehended anyway after she spilled the beans to a fellow pastor, who then reported Christian to the police. Best line from the story:

Christian’s wife told detectives that she and her husband are “out-of-the-box thinkers” who like to do fun things to get attention for the church.

Mission accomplished.

Very Very Christian of You

Brazilian pastor Marco Feliciano (40), who we’ve featured on Moral Compass before, is back in the news. This time he’s spreading Jesus’s love by maligning Beatle John Lennon, who was shot and killed in New York in 1980. Feliciano is pro-life — but pro-death when it comes to heathens like the Beatle peacenik.

John Lennon died because he offended God by suggesting that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, according to a Brazilian pastor.

“The Bible says God does not let this type of offense go unpunished,” evangelical pastor Marco Feliciano said in remarks published by local media on Tuesday and gleaned from a video of a sermon he made at his church in 2005.

Mr Feliciano, who is facing growing calls to resign from the Brazilian Congress’ human rights panel over his disparaging comments about gays, women and blacks, also said he would have liked to see the body of Lennon when the English pop star was shot dead in December 1980.


“I would have liked to be there the day they discovered his body, I would have lifted the cloth which covered him and would have told him: Excuse me, John, but this first shot is in the name of the Father, this one is in the name of the Son and that one in the name of the Holy Spirit.”

Feliciano was seven when Lennon was murdered. The image of a seven-year-old lifting the sheet from Lennon’s body, then addressing the corpse with holier-than-thou spite and glee, is probably not conducive to returning Brazilians to the churches they’ve been abandoning at an ever-increasing rate. Quoted in the New York Times,

Andrew Chesnut, an expert on Latin American religions at Virginia Commonwealth University, said that the fastest-growing segment in Brazil’s religious landscape may now be nonbelievers and people unaffiliated with any church, making up as much as 15 percent of the population. For a country that as recently as 1980 had negligible levels of people saying they were atheists, this development points to big shifts in society.

Let’s see if ragging on dead secular peacemakers can reverse the trend, shall we?

[image via spinner]

Hiring a New Pastor? Consider a Criminal!

Sometimes, organized religion looks for all the world like a rehabilitation racket for criminals.

Consider: Ex-cons with long criminal records, including assault and murder, can conveniently declare themselves reborn. Upon their conversion and release, the most convincing ones are instantly regarded as great pastor material by Christians whose penchant for forgiveness is as naive as it is fatal. The latest example:

The former pastor of the Cowboy Church of Marshall County was convicted Friday of sexual assault in Navarro County, Texas, and sentenced to 50 years in prison, a district attorney said.


Mark Allen Green, 42 [photo], was convicted of “continuous sexual assault of a child,” a Texas charge for ongoing crimes, for incidents involving a 13-year-old girl, said Lowell Thompson, criminal district attorney for Navarro County.

Green had served several prison sentences in Texas before being hired as pastor of the church in Albertville, according to a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Green had been in prison there “multiple times” on theft and burglary charges, with his latest sentence beginning in 2006, she said. [emphasis added]

Just the guy you want to go see in church every Sunday, preaching about right and wrong.

Look, I love the concept of forgiveness, in principle. I’m just not a fan of throwing caution to the wind and putting innocents in harm’s way. Christians think forgiveness is a feature of their faith; as I’ve argued before, I think it may be a bug instead.

For instance, two weeks ago, we learned of the guilty plea of John D. White, a mid-Michigan minister charged with killing a young woman in her mobile home. White is a violent ex-con who only needed to profess a faith in Jesus to be rehabilitated and employed as pastor — by a flock of well-intentioned if over-credulous forgiveness junkies.

He’s an ex-convict who settled outside Mt. Pleasant and became pastor of a tiny church, Christ Community Fellowship. Police say he confessed to killing 24-year-old Rebekah Gay on Oct. 31 as part of a sexual fantasy [necrophilia].

In 2007, [White had been] released from prison, after serving nearly 12 years for manslaughter in the death of a 26-year-old woman in Kalamazoo County, according to the Michigan Corrections Department. He had previously been sentenced to probation for choking and stabbing a 17-year-old Battle Creek girl in 1981. [emphasis added]

There’s nothing wrong with forgiving others and moving on. I’ve done it plenty of times (and I keenly appreciate that I’ve been the recipient of people’s forgiveness, too). But churches appointing known rapists and murderers as their clergy … sorry, that’s just another reason why people like me avoid the pews, and so-called holy men, on any day of the week that ends in a y.

NC Legislator Calls Praying to Allah ‘Terrorism’

Man! I’m an atheist and I’m nowhere near this harsh.

In an email exchange with a constituent, Republican state Rep. Michele Presnell of Burnsville was asked whether she was comfortable with a prayer to Allah before a legislative meeting. Presnell responded: “No, I do not condone terrorism.”

The first-year lawmaker who represents a district in the North Carolina mountains is a co-sponsor of House resolution 494, a [now withdrawn] measure asserting that North Carolina can establish a state religion.

Filthy Habit: Nun Gambles Away Stolen $130K

Sisters are doing it for themselves:

A Roman Catholic nun with a gambling addiction has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $130,000 from two rural western New York parishes.


The Daily News of Batavia reports that 68-year-old Sister Mary Anne Rapp pleaded guilty Monday in Orleans County Court to grand larceny. She admits she stole the money from St. Mary’s Church in Holley and St. Mark’s Church in Kendall from March 2006 to April 2011.

[image via]

Priest Collared; Robbed His Own Church

Father Couture’s going to have to do a lot of praying:

A two-year police investigation has ended with the arrest of a Windsor priest who allegedly spent almost a decade stealing more than $180,000 from his own church. Father Robert Couture, 49, who was the priest of St. Anne’s Parish in Tecumseh, is charged with one count of theft over $5,000.


The diocese realized something was wrong in 2010, when Couture was granted a personal leave of absence and left the parish. Diocese policy dictates that when a church has a change of pastors, there is an audit of the parish’s finances. Diocese auditors raised a number of questions, including a number of expenses charged to the church and a previously unknown bank account in the parish’s name.

[photo by Dan Janisse via the Windsor Star]

Man Loses Faith, So Porcelain Saint Cries Blood!

A miracle in the Philippines!

[A] statue of Our Lady of Fatima, made of porcelain, started weeping tears of “blood” on Monday night, said resident Joy Rayla. She told Sun.Star that her 14-year-old son was the one who first noticed the blood coming out of the statue’s eyes. Her son said the statue also wept blood last Good Friday, March 29.

Joy believes the incident has something to do with her husband’s losing faith in God, adding that her 41-year-old husband was once an active member of the church, but lost faith due to personal problems.


We’e been down this road many times before.

In 1995, a Madonna statue appeared to weep blood in the town of Civitavecchia in Italy. About 60 witnesses testified to witnessing the miracle. The local bishop said that he himself had seen it weep. The blood on the statue was later found to be male. The statue’s owner, Fabio Gregori, refused to take a DNA test. After the Civitavecchia case, dozens of reputedly miraculous statues were reported. Almost all were shown to be hoaxes, where blood, red paint, or water was splashed on the faces of the statues.

In 2008, church custodian Vincenzo Di Costanzo went on trial in northern Italy for faking blood on a statue of the Virgin Mary when his own DNA was matched to the blood.

In some countries, though, it’s not the hoaxers who face legal consequences, but the skeptics who oppose them.

Late last year, an Indian rationalist and atheist, Sanal Edamaruku, disproved claims that a Jesus statue had spontaneously begun to produce tears. He traced the source of the liquid to a leaky sewage pipe, and demonstrated that the water-producing feat of the statue was easily explained by capillary action.

After India’s Catholic Christian Secular Forum filed a complaint, Indian prosecutors charged Edamaruku with blasphemy, claiming he deserved jailtime for “deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments.” Edamaruku went into hiding for two months and eventually fled to Finland.

Here’s a CNN video about the affair:

India’s prosecutors should probably consider putting Catholic clergy on trial too; after all, surprisingly enough, the Vatican is rather skeptical about these so-called miracles. According to Wikipedia,

Authorities of the Catholic Church … set very high barriers for their acceptance. … Even at the local level, Catholic priests have expelled people who claim weeping statues from their local church.