Thoughtful Atheism

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divineirony:

This genius video perfectly explains the history of the “Holy Land”

proud-atheist:

Basic Christianityhttp://proud-atheist.tumblr.com

proud-atheist:

Basic Christianity
http://proud-atheist.tumblr.com

Jul 8

Is it normal to have the urge to run naked in the streets, flailing a chainsaw and screaming?

Woah there, Patrick Bateman.

Jul 8

Pastor Lonny Lee Remmers and Two Church Members Torture Teenage Boy

brucegerencser:

lonny lee remmers
Pastor Lonny Lee Remmers

According to witness reports,  Lonny Lee Remmers, pastor of Heart of Worship Community Church in Corona, CA,  and church members Nicholas Craig and Darryll Jeter Jr., tortured a 13 year old boy at a church run group home. The Los Angeles Times reports:

…The March 2012 incidents included Craig and Jeter driving the victim to the desert and forcing him to dig his own grave. They then made him get in and threw dirt on him. They were responding to Remmers’ instruction to “scare” the boy, according to the affidavits.

While the boy was showering, one of the men rubbed salt into the cuts on his back, according to Steven Larkey, who lived in the group home and provided the witness report in the affidavit. He told investigators he could hear the boy screaming and saw blood all over the shower the next day.

The victim was later tied to a chair with zip ties and placed in the shower. Mace was sprayed on his face, causing it to bleed, and he was not allowed to rinse off for about 30 minutes, according to the victim’s account in the affidavit.

At a Bible study later that evening at Remmers’ home, Remmers asked the boy to sit in the middle of the group and then squeezed his nipple with pliers.

The boy, his mother and sister were members of Remmers’ church. His mother and sister lived in a women’s group home, but the boy said he had been moved to the men’s home as a disciplinary action.

Remmers entered guilty pleas to inflicting bodily injury on a child and assault with a deadly weapon. He will receive a sentence of up to two years in state prison.

At a minimum, he will receive the same sentence as Craig and Jeter, who each were placed on three years of formal probation and must complete a year in custody. They each pleaded guilty to charges of child abuse and making criminal threats, according to the Riverside County district attorney’s office.

"There were new developments, which we will not be discussing, that caused us to believe this was the best disposition for all those involved," said John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County district attorney.

According to another news report, the mother of the boy, who was in another church operated group home,

…asked the pastor to teach her son some responsibility, and to “be a man.”

According to an April 2012 report on mycitycornona.com,  the storefront where the church met is now vacant and for rent. According to the report, the church’s website had this quote:

“Our mission at the Heart of Worship is to raise the church body to be true disciples of Christ, meaning that if Christ would not think it, say it, or do it, neither will we,”

I wonder how Pastor Remmers squares what he did with "if Christ would not think it, say it, or do it, neither will we.” While I could not find any information on whether these homes were licensed or regulated by the state of California, I am betting they are/were not. And if they are not, they should be. No one, in any state, should be permitted to start a group home without being licensed and subject to regular inspections. Sadly, many states exempt religious homes from state licensure and inspection. I am also betting that this church and these fine, upstanding Christians had plenty of Bible “proof” texts to support their attempts to make this boy into a man.

Another aspect of this story that is NOT part of the latest reports is the fact that a church member DID report  Pastor Remmers behavior to the police. Unfortunately, for the boy anyway, the police officer was a member of the church. In 2012, The Press Enterprise reported:

When Heart of Worship Community Church member Steve Larkey told Corona police Cpl. Margaret Bell on March 26 that Pastor Lonny Remmers had assaulted a 13-year-old boy, it put Bell, also a church member, in a bind.

Bell told Larkey that she had to make a choice, according to a declaration written in support of an arrest warrant for Bell that became available Monday, July 23.

Bell acknowledged by telling Larkey that he had forced her hand and she now had to act by either reporting the act or arresting Remmers and the other church members.

Bell directed Larkey to talk to Pastor Remmers to get the story straight and tell her what he said, a Riverside County district attorney Investigator Ryan E. Oakley wrote in the declaration, recounting what Larkey told him.

But Bell, 43, who has been described as a loyal and influential church member, is accused of turning to a third option: doing nothing..

The declaration also said that Bell did not disclose that she was aware of the alleged assault until Corona police detectives confronted her as they served a search warrant at Remmers€™ Sloan Drive home on March 30.

The declaration also revealed that Larkey told Bell he heard a cellphone audio recording of the teen being assaulted before he was brought home naked…

What astounds me about this story is how light the sentences are. Since when does kidnapping and torture become crimes that get probation or a short prison sentence? (all the while people in California are serving long prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenses)

Jul 2

Shut up.

Shut up.

astrodidact:

This week in science!Speed of light: http://bit.ly/1r0xHADExoplanet: http://bit.ly/1mqooSYTitan: http://bit.ly/1izyRQKDiamond: http://bit.ly/THE2TpPoop: http://bit.ly/1mqpDS4Anti-vaxxers: http://bit.ly/1lWnDqnBlack holes: http://bit.ly/1lpuz9ESignal: http://bit.ly/1jinTKv
via I fucking love science

astrodidact:

This week in science!

Speed of light: http://bit.ly/1r0xHAD
Exoplanet: http://bit.ly/1mqooSY
Titan: http://bit.ly/1izyRQK
Diamond: http://bit.ly/THE2Tp
Poop: http://bit.ly/1mqpDS4
Anti-vaxxers: http://bit.ly/1lWnDqn
Black holes: http://bit.ly/1lpuz9E
Signal: http://bit.ly/1jinTKv

via I fucking love science

team-free-spuffy:

paganmoma:

I think this is witchcraft in a nutshell.

The placebo effect at its finest

Religion

academicatheism:

'Pit of bones' catches Neanderthal evolution in the act
Skulls from rich human-fossil site suggest that the species evolved feature by feature.
The emergence of Neanderthals is just as mysterious as their disappearance about 30,000 years ago. A study of skulls from a possible burial pit in northern Spain offers a glimpse into the early evolution of the big-bodied hunter-gatherers, who dominated Europe long before modern humans arrived there. The fossils seem to confirm that their distinctive facial features evolved stepwise.
Sima de los Huesos — Spanish for ‘pit of bones’ — is one of the richest human-fossil sites in the world. Since ancient human bones were first discovered there in the 1970s, a team now led by Juan Luis Arsuaga, a palaeoanthropologist at the Complutense University of Madrid, has recovered the remains of an estimated 28 individuals in the 13-metre pit.
Continue Reading

academicatheism:

'Pit of bones' catches Neanderthal evolution in the act

Skulls from rich human-fossil site suggest that the species evolved feature by feature.

The emergence of Neanderthals is just as mysterious as their disappearance about 30,000 years ago. A study of skulls from a possible burial pit in northern Spain offers a glimpse into the early evolution of the big-bodied hunter-gatherers, who dominated Europe long before modern humans arrived there. The fossils seem to confirm that their distinctive facial features evolved stepwise.

Sima de los Huesos — Spanish for ‘pit of bones’ — is one of the richest human-fossil sites in the world. Since ancient human bones were first discovered there in the 1970s, a team now led by Juan Luis Arsuaga, a palaeoanthropologist at the Complutense University of Madrid, has recovered the remains of an estimated 28 individuals in the 13-metre pit.

Continue Reading

David G. McAfee's got some questions of his own.

  • Q: I’m a Christian and I believe my God is very real, so humor me for a moment. If you die and you are standing before Him, what would you say?
  • A: I’d say, “Why did you feel the need to commit mass genocides, condone slavery, and promote the subjugation of women? And why does your inspired book indicate that the world is less than 10,000 years old and that man was created from dirt and women of his rib when common sense and scientific facts tell us otherwise? Why do you have to rely on ‘faith’ to believe in you – and why is that the same for every religion? Why did you used to perform grandiose miracles but, since the inception of modern recording devices, absolutely stop? Why is there no evidence of any supernatural entity, let alone a prayer-answering God? Why has prayer — in every scientific study — been shown to do absolutely nothing? Why would you cause more than two thirds of your creations — your “children” — to burn for eternity simply for being unconvinced of your existence of being born into a culture that worships a “false God”? Why would you have one “chosen” people over every other group and culture across all of human history? Why would you create evil in the first place? Why didn't you need a creator?”