Archive for January, 2015
Catholic Priest Jumps to Jerry Sandusky’s Defense
Gerald Arthur “Jerry” Sandusky (born January 26, 1944) is a retired American football coach and convicted serial child molester.
In 2011, following a two-year grand jury investigation, Sandusky was arrested and charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15-year period from 1994 to 2009. He met his molestation victims through The Second Mile, an organization he founded for ‘at risk’ children. His victims were children participating in the organization and several of them testified against Sandusky in his sexual abuse trial. Four of the charges were subsequently dropped. On June 22, 2012, Sandusky was found guilty on 45 of the 48 remaining charges.
August 31, 2012
A New York Priest publicly suggested on Monday that child victims of sexual abuse seduced their abusers, using the remarks as a launching pad to defend convicted child predator and Penn State football Coach Jerry Sandusky.
Father Benedict Groeschel, the director of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, wrote an opinion piece for the National Catholic Register calling Sandusky a “poor guy” and blaming the victims of sexual abuse.
“People have this picture in their minds of a psychopath. But that’s not the case.” Said Groeschel. “Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer … It’s not so hard to see. Here’s this poor guy (Jerry Sandusky )… It’s an understandable thing. It went on for years (children seducing him).”
Blaming the victim is a time-honored tradition in the Catholic Church for dealing with scandal. This is beyond the pale even for them.
In Manila on January 15, 2015 Pope Francis pontificated (as only he can) on the subject of free speech. “There are limits,” he said. “You cannot provoke, you cannot insult other people’s faith, you cannot mock it.”*
I can see that this could be the start of a trend. Some people in the media spotlight may declare certain subjects off limits for humor.
Some possible coming declarations –
Bill Cosby was quoted this week in Hollywood Insider Magazine as saying “Free speech is all well and good but no one should ever make jokes about serial rapists. There are limits. The pope even said so. If I find out you’re making jokes about serial rapists I will come to your house and rape you. You’ll be walking funny for a week. Seriously. Watch it.”
Lloyd Craig Blankfein, CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs, said in an interview on CNN that making jokes about so-called ‘banksters’, and how they rob the middle and lower classes, is off limits. “Enough is enough. Some things are not to be ridiculed. Money is our God and we are His priests. No more banker jokes. The pope was right when he said there are limits to free speech.”
A newborn baby has died after its mother doused it in a flammable liquid, set it alight and left it burning in a road. On 19 January 2015, eitnesses say 22-year-old Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier got out of her car and stopped in the middle of Simontown Road in Pemberton Township, New Jersey, on Friday night and burned the child alive. **
When taken into custody, Ms. Dorvilier said, “Don’t you be jokin’ on mothers burnin’ they newborn babies. It ain’t right to do that. It’s a sin. There be limits to what you can say and I’m the crazy bitch who set some of them limits. Me an’ that pope guy. So shut the fuck up.” ***
* Yeah? Watch me.
** This story is true.
*** We made this quote up but you get the idea. We assume that God told her to do it.
You can find an excellent rant by Brian Keith Dalton on the pope’s self-serving bullshit statements on free speech at –
Michael Centanni (a prominent and outspoken Christian), CEO of GOP Linked ‘Base Connect’ and Co-Sponsor of CPAC Pleaded Guilty to Having Over 7,000 Videos of Child Porn on His Computer
Activists point to the muted media coverage given to a recent case in Washington DC in which Michael Centanni, a senior Republican fundraiser, was charged with child sex offenses after investigators traced transmissions of child pornography to his computers in his basement. The case was not covered by The Washington Post or the New York Times, and was only picked up by a local NBC affiliate state and The Washington Examiner, a small conservative paper in the city.
According to the court filings, Centanni was found in possession of over 7,000 videos, many apparently filmed in his own bedroom, including one showing a man (presumably Centanni) raping a five-year-old girl who cries “no” and “mommy” while the man says “good baby” and “stop crying.”
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is raising eyebrows after saying the four interceptions he threw Sunday were arranged by God to set up the team’s dramatic comeback.
With Wilson floundering in perhaps his worst NFL performance, the Seahawks trailed Green Bay 19-7 with about four minutes left in the NFC Championship Game. Seattle eventually won, 28-22, in overtime to advance to the Super Bowl after Wilson completed the game-winning touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse. Wilson cried after the victory.
“That’s God setting it up, to make it so dramatic, so rewarding, so special,” he said, alone for a moment in the locker room before heading out for the night.
We’ll check back and see what he has to say after the Superbowl.
“…And we pray to our Lord
Who we know is American…
He supports us in war
He presides over football games…”
Eagles – from the song Frail Grasp on the Big Picture
UPDATE February 1, 2015 –
God really isn’t a Seattle Seahawks fan after all.
The Seattle Seahawks lost to the New England Patriots by a score of 28 – 24 in today’s Superbowl. God apparently was just setting the Seahawks up for failure in the NFC championship game. Or maybe He had money on the Patriots. Or maybe He doesn’t exist and the Seahawks lost on their own merits, Which of these possibilities is most likely?
VATICAN CITY — October 20, 2014
Pope Francis on Sunday, as he beatified Pope Paul VI who implemented the Second Vatican Council’s vast changes, called on the church to adapt to “changing conditions of society.”
“God is not afraid of new things,” Francis pointedly said during the beatification Mass.
Maybe God isn’t afraid of new things, but the Church certainly is.
The Catholic Church has fought virtually every scientific advance in history with censure, excommunication, imprisonment, torture and execution.
In one of its most reprehensible actions, the Church imprisoned Galileo for heresy, namely that of having held the opinions that the Earth is not at the center of the universe and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to “abjure, curse and detest” those opinions.
He was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition. On the following day this was commuted to house arrest, which he remained under for the rest of his life.
His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.
The Church formally and publicly apologized to Galileo in 1992, 376 years after the Inquisition’s injunction “…to abstain completely from teaching or defending this doctrine and opinion or from discussing it… to abandon completely… the opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves, and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing…”
Manila, January 2015
Pope Francis embraced two children, including 12-year-old Glyzelle Palomar, during his visit to the University of Santo Tomas in Manila on January 18, 2015.
The weeping 12-year-old Philippine girl, asking how God could allow children to become prostitutes, moved Pope Francis on Sunday to hug her and appeal for everyone to show more compassion.
Glyzelle Palomar, a one-time homeless child taken in by a church charity, made her emotional plea during ceremonies at the Catholic university in Manila, ahead of a mass by the pope to millions of faithful.
“Many children are abandoned by their parents. Many children get involved in drugs and prostitution,” Palomar told the pope as she stood on stage alongside a 14-year-old boy who also used to be homeless.
“Why does God allow these things to happen to us? The children are not guilty of anything.”
The pope responded, “… your question doesn’t have a reply.”
Palomar broke down and wept profusely, prompting the 78-year-old pontiff with a man-of-the-people reputation to take her into his arms and hug her for a few seconds
The pope could have shared author Thomas Harris’ thoughts on the subject –
“God’s choices in inflicting suffering are not satisfactory to us, nor are they understandable, unless innocence offends Him,”.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 01/18/2015
A Miss BumBum runner-up said her obsession with plastic surgery backfired and almost ended her life.
Andressa Urach won second place in the 2012 Miss BumBum competition, a beauty contest in which online voters pick the woman with the country’s top bottom.
To accentuate her figure, Urach told the Daily Mail, she had chemical filler injections for more full looking legs. But in 2013, the fillers started rotting her body tissue.
The real trouble began during a procedure to remove the chemicals in November. She went into septic shock, probably because of an infection from an unclean medical instrument, Nigel Mercer, president of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, told the Mail.
Urach’s mother, Marisete De Favari told Brazil’s Globo that she expected her daughter to recover.
“I’m sure that my dear Jesus is wonderful and will cure it,” she said.
We’ll check back in a few months and see how that’s going for her. Let’s hope that they don’t have to amputate her leg because so far there is not a single instance of Jesus curing an amputee; not a single one in two thousand years. Does He just hate amputees or is He for some reason incapable of curing things that are observable?
Bishop Padovese was fatally stabbed in his summer residence in southern Turkey on June 3, 2010, and some reports claimed that he died en route to a hospital in the town of Iskenderun later that day. Witnesses claim that the perpetrator shouted the ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God is great’) during the assault and then severed his head.
The suspect, his driver, stated that he killed Padovese on a wahy (revelation), which identified him as Dajjal (the Antichrist) and recited the adhan (the Muslim call to prayer) loudly during his initial trial. Turkish police believe the murder was not politically motivated.
The Turkish police should entertain the possibility that the murder was religiously motivated.
Bishop Padovese fought his attacker vigorously, desperately trying to keep from having to spend eternity in the exquisite bliss of heaven.
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Let’s talk about how we know when something is true.
Where have we traditionally gotten our knowledge? I can think of only four possibilities. These are, in no particular order. –
- authority figures
- personal observations
- historical writings
- deeply held beliefs
Authority figures, gurus, pundits and the like can be experts on one or two subjects, if any at all. But if you ask a rabbi, for instance, the best way to model a database for DNA sequencing he is unlikely to provide meaningful instruction. If you ask him what the Talmud says about eating shellfish he can give you a meaningful answer. You cannot trust all that they say on every subject. Indeed, you often can’t trust anything that they say, since so many of them are ignorant and bloated egotists. This source of knowledge has persisted from the time before writing when all information was passed down verbally. It was, for millennia, all we had for passing information from one generation to the next. That is no longer the case.
Personal observations can be terribly misleadingIf someone says they saw the Virgin Mary on a highway sign, thousands of the faithful will visit the site to pray. There is a pecking order as to the veracity of observations and it has little, if anything, to do with their reality. If an observation bolsters our already-held beliefs we usually give it credence, whether or not there is any actual evidence one way or another. If you see a rabbit pulled out of a hat you can surmise that it’s a trick because contemporary society has tumbled to that. If someone says that they saw a sasquatch most people will dismiss it out of hand even though the person who claims to have seen it swears with one hundred percent certainty that they did.
Deeply held beliefs can be dismissed as a source of truth just for the fact that two people can hold mutually exclusive ‘truths’ deeply enough to fight and kill and die for them. That scenario is as common in history as war, and indeed is often the cause of war. So this can be eliminated as a source of truth.
Historical writings are simply personal observations recorded in some fashion and are subject to the same problems as authority figures. They can in no way be regarded as a consistent source of truth.
We have just struck down as unreliable all of our non-scientific methods of finding truth.
We can define truth fairly simply. Is it observable, predictable, repeatable, and measurable? If the answer is ‘yes’ to all three criteria, it is true. If not, it is something else. I won’t try to say what that ‘something else’ may be, or make a value judgment about that ‘something else’ because we’re focusing here on the definition of truth and I don’t want to cloud the issue.
If I drop a coin it will fall. You can watch. I will do it again and it will fall again. It will fall every time. You can drop the coin. It will fall. I can watch. It will fall again. I can predict that it will fall and be right every time. Your cousin Andy can drop the coin and both of us can watch. It will fall again. Not only that, but the speed at which it falls is observable, predictable, repeatable, and measurable. This little exercise passes the test for being ‘true’. If it only works when your cousin Andy drops the coin, or if it falls up sometimes, or if only special people can see it happen, we must say that it fails the ‘truth’ test. It’s actually pretty simple and most, if not all, of the great discoveries that propelled our world forward from the dark ages into the modern era were made using this set of criteria.
All religions crumble under the weight of this simple test for truth.