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cleanhippie's Journal
cleanhippie's Journal
September 25, 2014

Pray Tell: The Hocus Pocus of Happy Thoughts

Heads up: This may offend you because I’m hurting and I haven’t the composure for caution or the patience for sensitivity just now.

I’ve never understood prayer. Don’t know the point of it, how it’s accomplished, or what the word means exactly. I’m atheist, so it’s probably not important that I understand prayer; it’s rarely aimed at me or asked of me. And yet — it’s all around me.


How does prayer differ from superstition — from crossing your fingers or spitting three times? Can we all agree it would be insulting if you told the mother of a child on life support, “I’ll knock on wood for you and your family”? “I’m so sorry. We’re all knocking on wood here.”

What’s the difference between wishing something and willing it? Between hoping and praying? What’s the difference, honestly — if not self-importance? And if prayer does nothing more than make us feel less useless, then isn’t it worse than pointless? Isn’t it narcissistic and inappropriate?


Please read the full article. These few paragraphs do not adequately represent this author's work. Powerful stuff.
September 25, 2014

Ballwin Rejects "In God We Trust" Sign After Atheist Mother's Passionate Plea

Ballwin officials voted Monday to reject a plan to to put up an "In God We Trust" sign on city property.

The Holy Infant Knights of Columbus had pledged $750 to putting the motto on a sign in this St. Louis suburb. All the plan needed was the approval of the city's board of aldermen.

The aldermen voted 6 to 2 against displaying the motto "In God We Trust" in four-inch letters behind the dais, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Ballwin originally seemed to support the proposed sign until Nikki Moungo, a Ballwin resident and self-proclaimed atheist, spoke out at an aldermanic meeting, asking the board not to alienate non-religious residents.


The six aldermen who voted against the sign told the meeting that while they are religious, they did not want to approve a sign that would cause divisions, according to the Post-Dispatch.

September 25, 2014

Priest accused of molesting, giving 6-year-old girl STD

HAMPTONS BAY, Long Island (PIX11)– A Long Island priest is accused of molesting a 6-year-old girl, resulting in her contracting an STD.

Rev. Augusto Cortez, 50, a Catholic priest of the Vincentian congregation, is wanted by police for sexually assaulting a little girl from Long Island, according to police.


Cortez spent numerous holidays and outings with the family. The mom says Cortez was an invited guest at a recent house party, but at one point she walked in to find her daughter and him alone. That’s how she discovered the alleged abuse. Her daughter is now in therapy to deal with the emotional issue.

While she does feel safe to talk knowing he won’t be coming back, she says the abuse happened more times than she can count and she was diagnosed with a painful sexually transmitted disease.

South Hampton police questioned Cortez, but he was not arrested.

“I feel like the Church had something to do with him fleeing,” the mother said.

It wasn’t the first time Cortez had been in trouble with the law.

He is currently on probation for molesting a 12-year-old girl in Brooklyn back in 2008, according to court documents. He was working at St. John the Baptist in Bed Stuy. At the time, Vincentians wrote a letter to the court saying they would supervise Cortez while he was on probation and he would be assigned to their headquarters in Philadelphia — not churches on Long Island.

The Vincentian order did not return calls for comment.

September 13, 2014

In my religion this is hell

September 13, 2014

Priest found guilty of raping dozens of children (and a sled dog) in Canada

A defrocked Catholic priest was found guilty Friday of raping dozens of children and a sled dog in the Canadian Arctic, where he worked as a missionary for decades.

The Belgian-born Eric Dejaeger, 67, was convicted of 31 counts of sexual offenses against children and one count of bestiality.

At the start of the his trial last November in Iqaluit, the capital of Canada's northernmost Nunavut territory, Dejaeger acknowledged and pleaded guilty to eight out of 80 original charges.

Justice Robert Kilpatrick ruled the evidence had been weakened by the passage of time, and whittled down the number in the indictment.


Public broadcaster CBC said they recounted how Dejaeger used his position as a missionary to lure and trap them into sex, threatening them with hellfire and separation from their families if they exposed him.


September 13, 2014

Christian privilege and the “desecration” of a Jesus statue

Christian privilege is an insidious cancer prevalent in this country. This time the victim is a 14-year-old prankster with an irreverent sense of humor. The unidentified teen posted pictures of himself and a Jesus statue in which it appears the Lord is fellating the teen.

Sure, the photo is tasteless. But poor taste is not a crime (and Christians should be thankful for that). Neither is desecration of a venerated object. Yet the boy has been charged in juvenile court with that crime.

First, there was no damage done, the kid took some photos. Second, desecration is not a crime. FFRF's litigation attorney, Bob Tiernan, won a nearly identical criminal case in Colorado in 2000. Rodney Scott was charged with "desecrat[ing] an object venerated by the public" for removing illegal and unlicensed roadside memorial crosses. The court found that the roadside crosses were "litter" so they could not be venerated.

But so what if they were? "Desecration" and "venerated" are clearly terms meant to protect religious sensibilities—and religious objects—from harm. But we already have laws in place that do just that—laws that prohibit vandalism, property destruction, and theft. Why do we need a separate law for religious property?

(more at link)


Yes, there is another OP on the subject. This is a different take on the subject.

Does anyone here really believe that what this kid did should be a crime?
September 13, 2014

Prosecutors: Mom of 4 raped sleeping man in West Seattle

SEATTLE -- Police have issued an arrest warrant for Chantae Marie Gilman, a mother of four who prosecutors believe raped a man as he slept in West Seattle.

The victim told police he went to bed in his home the night before the assault and woke up to find Gilman, a stranger, on top of him. He demanded she move, but she refused, and continued to have sex with the victim until he could work his way free.

"From a statistical standpoint, yes, it is atypical to have a female aggressor," said Detective Drew Fowler, with the Seattle Police Department, "but we work to hold all people responsible for their actions. The law is specifically written to be gender-equitable and we will charge anybody with a crime that they've committed."

Staff at Harborview Medical Center examined the victim for signs of rape after the June 2013 incident. Investigators later used a sample of Gilman's DNA to build their case, according to court documents. Lab results were not completed until this summer, a representative for the county prosecutor said.


Yes, it happens. And it's just as bad.

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