And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Says the Friendly Atheist...
Tim Minchin doesn’t post videos of all of his songs so that live audiences can see new material, but he just posted a version of his song “Thank You God” as an Easter present to his fans.
Sloggers have been Tim Minchin fans for a long time. Happy Easter, everybody! (And, yeah, I'd probably be in all sorts of trouble if I called God "a sexist, racist, murderous cunt" in a YouTube video. But Tim Minchin gets away with it because... he wears mascara? Maybe I should try that.)
Easter is this weekend, so please take some time to enjoy 40 Easter Bunnies more terrifying than a crucified man coming back from the dead.
If you were to ask me, THIS is the frickin' headline of the day:
Son of Westboro Baptist Church leader attacked on live TV by naked 500 lb man who burst out of bathroom, sat on him and shouted: 'Who's your daddy now?'
And who was this 500 lb. naked man? Seattle's Billy The Fridge, of course. See more of his NSFW exploits here.
Then read the whole article about the Westboro stunt, a SFW article on the dailymail.co.uk. It includes a really bizarre addendum to the story:
Robert Garrison, described as 'a 30-year-old sado-masochist from Florida', will be hammered onto a giant wooden cross behind a glass window in view of passersby at Battlecam TV's headquarters in Los Angeles...
...Mr Garrison [a gay man] will be left impaled by 12 inch nails for several hours while users of Battlecam TV's social networking website are invited to comment.
Watch the video after the jump. The naked Billy fun starts at the 1:33 mark.
The whole world has gone mad.
...you might be excited to learn that the Church of Scientology is going to begin publishing a comic book adaptation of Battlefield Earth. This has to be the most-anticipated religious-themed comic book since Mike Allred's Book of Mormon adaptation.
Slog tipper Blake knows what's good. On the Lord's day, he writes to us about gaywithoutgod.com, "a newly founded, locally operated, international, grassroots resource for gay atheists who see religion as a destructive force in the world." Take it away, Blake:
In short, gaywithoutgod.com is not only (but perhaps most importantly) a refuge for gays who have been discriminated against by religion but is also a place generally for gay atheists to rally together and bond over a shared vision of of the world: namely one comprised of a society that is secular, rational, and rooted in a science-based view of the world.
Gay w/o God was founded in Seattle about six months ago and is operated and contributed to not only by (but perhaps most importantly) local gay atheists but also contributors across the US and UK. The website is growing quickly with members across the globe, but most of the members reside in the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia. It is our vision to grow into a vocal force, grouping together with other like-minded organizations in fighting religious bigotry and intolerance.
For your interest, this is a recent post by Seattle local Jay Gillman: "Finding the holy faggot atheist within"
We thought your readership (who happen to be our peers) would be interested in knowing about and supporting this homegrown, grassroots community.
Thanks for your interest,
The gay rights movement has worked hard to recruit religious leaders and congregations in order to inoculate itself against the Christian right. And that's all well and good—it's smart politics. But I suspect that a lot of gays like me—gays who were raised super duper Catholic or under another superstitious order—would rather not pretend that our moral high ground comes from snuggling up to Sky Daddy. So why not? Why not band together as gaytheists who believe in gaytheism? Why not kneel at the altar of science and critical thinking? Lord knows we like to kneel... so you can join 'em.
If it's too much to dismiss an almighty altogether, the website explains, "The hostility of Christianity and other religions towards homosexuality is not a reason to shed one’s belief in God."
What do we call those people? Fagnostics.
Two years after the flood, when Shem was one hundred, he had a son named Arpachshad. He had more children and died at the age of six hundred. This is a list of his descendants:
When Arpachshad was thirty-five, he had a son named Shelah. Arpachshad had more children and died at the age of four hundred thirty-eight.
When Shelah was thirty, he had a son named Eber. Shelah had more children and died at the age of four hundred thirty-three.
When Eber was thirty-four, he had a son named Peleg. Eber had more children and died at the age of four hundred sixty-four.
When Peleg was thirty, he had a son named Reu. Peleg had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty-nine.
When Reu was thirty-two he had a son named Serug. Reu had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty-nine.
When Serug was thirty, he had a son named Nahor. Serug had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty.
When Nahor was twenty-nine, he had a son named Terah. Nahor had more children and died at the age of one hundred forty-eight.
Isn't the new Pope great? He calls to cancel his newspaper delivery all by himself instead of getting an altar boy to do it! But more importantly, he named himself after a saint who cared deeply about the poor, which means that he's going to make the Catholic Church less about chastising others and more about taking care of the impoverished. Why, just look at his first address to diplomats from around the world, as reported in Catholic World Report, where he says he does care about the poor...
... But there is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the ‘dictatorship of relativism,’ which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples.
And that brings me to a second reason for my name. Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace is everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.
The love affair with Pope Francis may continue for a while, but rest assured: This is a man who is going to continue promoting the idea that gay people and women are not quite human in God's eyes. He is not going to fundamentally transform the church or even change course in any significant way. The only question I have is whether the illusion of change is going to be enough to convince the media to forgive the church for its institutionalized pedophilia and ongoing hypocritical war against homosexuality and birth control.
This is a remarkably fast turnaround for the publishing industry:
Pope Francis I will publish On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family and the Church in the 21st Century, a book he wrote as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
Random House’s Image Books imprint will release the translation on May 7.
The book was previously published in 2010 and is made up of discussions between Bergoglio and a rabbi about "God, fundamentalism, atheism, the Holocaust, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and globalization." I wonder which of those he's for and which he's against? The suspense is killing me!
MINNESOTA: "A former St. Joseph-area youth minister has pleaded guilty to two charges of criminal sexual conduct. Matthew David Feeney, 44, pleaded guilty in Washington County last week to second-degree and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, the Washington County prosecutor’s office confirmed. Feeney had entered not-guilty pleas Oct. 18 on the same charges. The prosecutor’s office offered no further comment, and Feeney’s attorney could not be reached. Feeney was accused of sexually assaulting two brothers, who were 9 and 14 years old when the assaults started, according to court documents."
TENNESSEE: A Madison County grand jury has indicted a Jackson church youth pastor on a theft charge. According to The Jackson Sun, Jason Lee Ray is charged with embezzling more than $60,000 from the First Assembly of God in Jackson. The specific amount was not disclosed. Ray was also the secretary-treasurer of the church. Court documents show the money was siphoned from church accounts between May 2011 and December 2012.
INDIANA: A South Bend youth minister was charged with sexual misconduct for allegedly touching himself in the presence of a 14-year-old between March 9, 2008 and April 8, 2010. The victim witnessed Sweeney masturbating under a blanket or cover while looking at a computer, according to court documents. Sweeney admitted to walking around his home naked. He also said he is addicted to pornography and has been for approximately 20 years.... Sweeney serves as the youth minister at the Christ the King Catholic Church. An internet search showed, Sweeney has been a youth minister for more than 11 years, and has worked in Phoenix, Arizona and Denver, Colorado.
The Lord is a jealous God, filled with vengeance and rage. He takes revenge on all who oppose him and continues to rage against his enemies! The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet. At his command the oceans dry up, and the rivers disappear. The lush pastures of Bashan and Carmel fade, and the green forests of Lebanon wither. In his presence the mountains quake, and the hills melt away; the earth trembles, and its people are destroyed. Who can stand before his fierce anger? Who can survive his burning fury? His rage blazes forth like fire, and the mountains crumble to dust in his presence. The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him. But he will sweep away his enemies in an overwhelming flood. He will pursue his foes into the darkness of night.
I know. I know. I KNOW. I know. But! But. It can't be denied. The stuff about him cooking his own meals and living in a modest apartment and riding the bus to work? And then being super casual/common/ordinary on his introduction to the world as the new pope? And insisting the cardinals all ride the elevator with him right afterward?* And hopping into a minivan with all of them, leaving the papal car empty? And personally paying his hotel bill the next day? And ducking out the side door of the Vatican to pray in public? To say nothing of this detail:
Francis comes from Argentina, which was hit by a crippling sovereign debt crisis in 2001 from which it has not fully recovered.
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, recalled that he had asked Cardinal Bergoglio why he was not going to Rome last December when Benedict was naming more cardinals.
“And he told me that right now the situation in Argentina was too terrible; he couldn’t leave Argentina,” Cardinal Barbarin said. “For me, that was significant. In a moment where the country is going badly, he said, ‘I have to be here.’ He could have happily come to a party in Rome, but he didn’t.”
His colleagues were all hopping on jets to go do Jager bombs with Ratzinger; not this guy. Yes, he's opposed to common sense modernizing reforms regarding women, vis-a-vis reproduction and ordination, and that totally sucks, and I hate it. But! Let's all just admit the church could really use a shock to its system regarding its focus on poor people (hey Mario, howzabout you sell off every gold-encrusted Catholic-commissioned bauble in Europe and give all that money, every single cent, to the poor? Cuz you're the kinda guy who may just do that!). And the thing about hating all sex outside of marriage, including gay sex? Uh, I think that's inevitable when you're choosing among a bunch of cardinals in their 70s. Plus, I'm sure you've heard, there's a liiiiitle problem in the church with repressed gay dudes who have alcohol, absolute power, and fantasies about penises, plus no outlet for their fantasies except the bodies of innocent children they have absolute power over (and maybe also the bodies they find in local bathhouses). Francis's lifelong commitment to austerity and simplicity might be a sign that the Catholic church's evil, corrupt, nauseating attitude toward power over other people (a problem the church has had since day one) might be—might be! Let us hope!—coming to a close.
* Mitt Romney's head must be spinning.
Pastor Tim Gaydos says he's leaving the notoriously cultish Mars Hill Church less than two months after he opened the megachurch's grand new parish in the heart of Seattle.
The timing is seriously odd: Gaydos was tripping over himself with delight in January when he took over a historic building at Fifth Avenue and Marion Street, in particular celebrating how close his flock would be to a neighborhood stuffed from end to end with AIDS. "Being closer to Capitol Hill is a blessing as we are serving and ministering to those who are infected with AIDS on the hill,” said an announcement from Gaydos, turning what was apparently supposed to be damage-control for the church's homophobia into Exhibit A to show their contempt for disease-ridden gays. (The youthful congregation bans gay members and believes women must be subservient to men.) Making it all worse, it turns out Mars Hill wasn't actually working with the AIDS relief nonprofit they claimed to be working with. Oops!
But with that devastating roll-out behind him, it sounds like Gaydos—his actual name, not making it up—was ready to leave. Below I've posted his full Tuesday post on Facebook (which I could access even though I'm not his friend). And it must be stated, it sounds like he chose to quit:
Some big news from the Gaydos family. Through much prayer, God has made it clear that he is moving us into a new season of life and ministry, and therefore, moving us along from Mars Hill Church. We are unbelievably grateful for the seven years we had at MHC, and the opportunity that we were given to love, serve and shepherd God's people. These have been some of the best years of our life as we have been beyond measure blessed by some of the most amazing people in the world. We developed relationships and friendships that will endure for eternity and are encouraged by that fact plus we got to witness hundreds of people enter into the family of God! We are praying through what is next for us, but we're as excited as ever for the gospel of Jesus Christ! This was a hard decision for us but God is calling Brittany and I to walk by faith and not by sight. We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we discern our new season of life.
We love so many of you so dearly and hope we get the opportunity to let you know that. Philippians 1:3-11
Tim and Brittany Gaydos
Leaving Mars Hill is no small matter—leaders have retaliated in the past against members who quit. Why did Gaydos take the leap? I've messaged him but have yet to hear back. I've also e-mailed a church official to ask what happened. But here's one theory: Gaydos isn't as much a fan of lead pastor Mark Driscoll or the bigoted assholes who attended his masses.
Hate to spoil the new pope's coming-out party—and it was such a lovely party—but this just in:
The Catholic Diocese of Joliet will release as part of a lawsuit settlement more than 7,000 internal documents that reportedly show every bishop since the 1950s has been aware of diocese priests sexually abusing children. The documents include personnel files and other items related to 15 diocese priests accused of sexual abuse over a 50-year period ending in the 1990s. They will be released by plaintiff David Rudofski through his Chicago lawyer, Terrence Johnson, as part of his settlement with the diocese. Rudofski was 8 years old and making his first confession at St. Mary's Church in Mokena when he was sexually molested by the Rev. James Burnett in the 1980s.
Rape a kid making his first confession—holy shit, that'll fuck a Catholic kid up for life. And you gotta love how certain the writer is that all of this sexual-abuse-of-children-by-Catholic-priests stuff ended in the 1990s. How can we know that for sure? How do you prove that particular negative? And here's a detail for all you non-Catholics out there: Catholic children make their first first confession at age seven—and they're alone with a priest, in dark little box, when they make it. When I was a Catholic kid we went to confession on a weekly basis. So one rapey parish priest could have access to dozens or hundreds of children, completely alone and with no parents present, week-in, week-out, for decades. Access to children alone—that's built right into this particular sacrament.
But, hey, the new pope used to ride the bus to work. So it's basically a wash, right?
And again: if children got raped at Denny's as often as they get raped in church...
The last time I was stressed, exhausted, and depressed, I didn't fuck a sixteen-year-old who came to me seeking advice. I took a vacation. But then I'm not a bible-humping, family-values-espousing, gay-bashing pastor of some shitty megachurch.
Once again: if kids got raped at Denny's as often as they get raped in churches—if kids got raped at Denny's half as often as they get raped in churches—people would call CPS on parents foolish or reckless enough to take their kids to Denny's. It would be illegal to take your kids to Denny's.
But all I can think about is this...
H/t to Scary Tyler Moore!
Straight people who've adopted kids? Your families are second best, your kids are second best, and your parenting is second best. So says the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage. He said it in an interview with the Associated Press and he was specifically talking about United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Roberts' wife, and Roberts' two adopted children. AP:
“You’re looking at what is the best course societywide to get you the optimal result in the widest variety of cases. That often is not open to people in individual cases. Certainly adoption in families headed, like Chief Roberts’ family is, by a heterosexual couple, is by far the second-best option,” said John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage. Eastman also teaches law at Chapman University law school in Orange, Calif.
It's making headlines. Here, for example, is the front page of HuffPo right now:
John Aravosis pivots from NOM vs. the Roberts Family to the new pope vs. orphans. Looking forward to reading blog posts about the wisdom of NOM attacking the family of the Chief Justice on the eve of the court's decisions on gay marriage.
Breaking: I was awoken by a text message informing me that I have been elected the New Poop by Ozzie Smith & the rest of the ex-Cardinals.
— Neil (@armchairlb) March 12, 2013
We have a similar system at my house—a column of white smoke means there's a new poop.
— Lindy West (@thelindywest) March 13, 2013
BREAKING NEWS: The Vatican has elected a new Poop. He will be called Poop Francis I. He will be a good Poop.
— Sam Smith (@drsambojones) March 13, 2013
I was on a plane—one with no WiFi—when the white smoke appeared, then straight into a car. Don't know much about the guy besides what I'm seeing in my twitter feed. And what I'm seeing is predictably retrograde: opposes same-sex marriage, adoptions by gay people. Can't assume he's any better on birth control, abortion, the ordination of women, allowing priests to marry, masturbation, etc., etc.
Strange how when you have a celibate priesthood all they can think about is sex? The greatest thing about having sex once in a while is that it frees you up to think about other things for an hour or two.
It's still JP2's church. The purges, the destruction of the priesthood—fueled by celibacy requirements for straights, and the end of the closet, which cut the church off from its previously inexhaustible supply of closeted gay Catholic men who swapped closets for rectories.
The church is screwed. It's going to a long time before we see another John23.
The cardinals of the Catholic Church have elected Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the past archbishop of Buenos Aires, making him the first Latin American pope. He wants to go by Pope Francis, but he shall be known to us as Beef Pope the First.
The National Catholic Reporter's recent profile on The Beef Pope confirms that he's just as much a homophobic, anti-woman, and hateful bigot as the last pope:
Bergoglio is seen an unwaveringly orthodox on matters of sexual morality, staunchly opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception. In 2010 he asserted that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children, earning a public rebuke from Argentina's President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
This recent report says the Beef Pope would have tolerated same-sex marriage, except gay people can't be decent parents:
Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio would have accepted homosexual marriage as long as it did not allow adoption, according to sources close to the Argentine cardinal. Marino said that allowing of adoption by homosexual couples “is denying scientific evidence and denying the child the right to grow up and develop psychologically and sexually, which requires the presence of a masculine and feminine” influence."
But the Guardian adds that he fought gay marriage aggressively:
He was a fierce opponent of Argentina's decision to legalise gay marriage in 2010, arguing children need to have the right to be raised and educated by a father and a mother. He was created a cardinal by John Paul II on 21 February 2001.
Every child requires a mother and a father—and an anti-contraception pontiff stuck in the Middle Ages. But you'd never know it from the fawning coverage of the liberal media. They can't stop gushing about his "smile" and his "warmth," but they're saying nothing about the divisive politics of a man who is now one of the world's most powerful—and more conservative—politicians.
HABEMUS PAPAM \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/ \o/— VaticanCommunication (@PCCS_VA) March 13, 2013
Thankfully, the cardinals waited until after Slog silence. But we still don't know who it is yet:
With a puff of white smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and to the cheers of thousands of rain-soaked faithful, a gathering of Catholic cardinals picked a new pope from among their midst on Wednesday. The name of the new pope, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, was not immediately promulgated.
Stay tuned for pope-y updates and pontifications.
After Pope Ratzi, I suppose nothing about the next Pope could be too shocking. But this comes close!
If the papal conclave were set up like college basketball's March Madness, Cardinal Angelo Scola would have been the overall No. 1 seed — perhaps until today. He is the archbishop of Milan and has long been seen as a safe pick for the next pope, having won favor among American cardinals and a handful of influential European ones. So what stands in his way? Well, there's that pesky anti-mafia investigation he has to deal with.
Go read the whole thing at the Atlantic. On the bright side, maybe a Pope with mafia ties would seem downright quaint when compared to the church's systematic coverups of sexual abuse and the hypocrisy of throwing gay orgies and then making life hell for gay people around the world. What's a little embezzlement next to that?
A day ahead of the papal conclave, faces at the scandal-struck Vatican were even redder than usual after it emerged that the Holy See had purchased a €23 million (£21 million) share of a Rome apartment block that houses Europe’s biggest gay sauna. The senior Vatican figure sweating the most due to the unlikely proximity of the gay Europa Multiclub is probably Cardinal Ivan Dias, the head of the Congregation for Evangelisation of Peoples, who is due to participate in tomorrow’s election at the Sistine Chapel. This 76-year-old “prince of the church” enjoys a 12-room apartment on the first-floor of the imposing palazzo, at 2 Via Carducci, just yards from the ground floor entrance to the steamy flesh pot. There are 18 other Vatican apartments in the block, many of which house priests.
The proximity of so many priests to a big gay bathhouse is a lot of things—a whole lot of things—but "unlikely" ain't one of 'em.
Song of Solomon 4:5-6
Your breasts are perfect;
they are twin deer
feeding among lilies.
I will hasten to those hills
sprinkled with sweet perfume
and stay there till sunrise.
Roman Catholic cardinals will begin electing a new pope on Tuesday 12 March, according to a statement released in Rome. ... The last "general congregations" in 2005 took three days...
I've got my money on Cardinal Marc Ouellet in the office papal pool. How about you?
Wanna help pick the next pope? Good news!
You now have the opportunity to actively be part of this providential endeavour by having a Cardinal assigned to you, who you will support through your prayer and intercession during the coming weeks before and during the conclave and for three days following the election.
Here's what you do: you go to www.adoptacardinal.org, you enter your name, your enter your email address, you enter the security code provided, you click "adopt." A second later an email pops up in your box with your cardinal's name, birthdate, and job description. Here's my cardinal:
Dear Dan Savage,
You have adopted this Cardinal: Antonio Cañizares Llovera, from Spain, born 1945-10-15. He's been a Cardinal since 2006-3-24 and his function is: Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. May the prayer for your Cardinal be deeply blessed.
The team behind www.adoptacardinal.org
But here's the best part: you don't have to enter your own name or your own email address. I've been adopting cardinals for my friends all morning. Surprise your friends by adopting cardinals for them! (Via Catholic blogger and anti-gay bigot Suzanne Fortin.)