This is why pastor abuse is so rampant

David Gee, writing at Friendly Athiest:

As one detective made clear, this was not consensual because of the victim’s age and the pastor’s manipulative tactics.

While there was no suggestion that the girl was physically forced to engage in the alleged conduct, [Detective Dwayne] Roelfs said she was not old enough to consent to it.

She was manipulated through trust and control,” he said.

This is exactly why pastor abuse is so rampant in the United States. Aside from the fact that churches thrive in an environment of unaccountability, religious leaders often acquire unearned trust. Some of them, as we’ve seen far too many times, are all too eager to take advantage of that authority.

Far too many times.

Thursday 12th of December 2019

“The oldest story ever told is on a cave wall in Indonesia. It shows people hunting animals 44,000 years ago.” —> QUARTZ DAILY BRIEF FROM DECEMBER 12, 2019


Wednesday 11th of December 2019

It’s time to move the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from Tennessee’s Capitol, GOP leader says


A New Report on Family Separations Shows the Depths of Trump’s Negligence

Jonathan Blitzer, in The New Yorker:

Last week, on the afternoon before Thanksgiving, the D.H.S. Inspector General quietly issued another report with still more revelations. In early May, 2018, just as the zero-tolerance policy was taking effect, D.H.S. shared an estimate with the White House that more than twenty-six thousand migrant children would be separated from their families over the course of that summer. In other words, the Trump Administration had a clear sense of the magnitude of what it was undertaking, according to the report, but it simultaneously neglected to make even the most basic preparations to keep track of the separated families. By then, there had already been repeated warnings from inside the government that the policy would be disastrous, all of which the department’s leadership chose to ignore. “There was a widespread view at Customs and Border Protection that these families had been gaming the system,” a D.H.S. official told me. “People were pretty happy about these plans. All this stuff was happening fast, and there was an emphasis on standing up the policy quickly, not on standing it up well.”

Reason: Trump’s Shameful Pardons for War Criminals Undermine America’s Moral Authority

Steven Greenhut, writing at Reason:

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump pardoned a former Army lieutenant who was convicted of ordering his troops to fire on unarmed civilians. He granted a pardon to an Army major who had been awaiting trial for killing an Afghan man. Trump reversed the demotion of another officer, who had been acquitted of alleged war crimes charges but was convicted of a lesser charge of posing with a dead Taliban fighter.

[…] Pentagon brass, who urged the president not to issue these orders, fear that the president’s actions will undermine the system of military justice. Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tweeted that it signals “that we don’t take the Law of Armed Conflict seriously.” He called it an “abdication of moral responsibility.” He’s right.

Everything is an example of anti-Christian bias if you’re too lazy to do any research

Friendly Athiest:

Last month, I posted about how Mayor Amy Schuler Goodwin of Charleston, West Virginia renamed the town’s annual “Christmas Parade” to the “Charleston Winter Parade.”

That lasted for all of a couple of days. The backlash was so intense, and the fight wasn’t one Goodwin was eager to take on, that she reversed course almost immediately.

In today’s New York Times, Dionne Searcey takes a closer look at what happened in that community and why the change to a more inclusive word rubbed so many people the wrong way. The entire piece reads as a summary of how Christians overreact when faced with the reality that they’re not the only game in town.

Hear, hear.

Sunday 1st of December 2019

And I’m nervous, because I’m afraid of cops. I always thought I was most afraid of bears, but at least if a bear kills you everyone gets mad at the bear. If a cop kills you, 30% of Americans are like, “it’s a hard job.”
—Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes (2017) @ 26:18.


Sunday 1st of December 2019

“Fool Us” is, in other words, an island of civility and generosity in our cruel, contentious and otherwise debased times. Letter of Recommendation: ‘Penn & Teller: Fool Us’


Wednesday 20th of November 2019

Often when I’m feeling tense or worked up, I go back and read Perfect by Jim Coudal. By the time I’m finished, I’m feeling better; sometimes good enough to partake of the sacrament, although—and I don’t mean to blaspheme—I personally almost always prefer a Gibson to a Martini.


Wednesday 20th of November 2019

That’s right: “At the same time that Democrats are holding impeachment inquiries to determine if President Donald Trump abused his executive power, they apparently have no qualms about letting him continue to spy on Americans” Reason Roundup