Another priest, another porn charge

October 17, 2014

This time in Canada:

ICE forensic analysts are currently in the process of analyzing a number of computer and mobile devices that were seized.

“Dozens” of hand-drawn images, which under the Criminal Code are classified as child pornography, have been seized.

Investigators say the man gave the pictures to another person but at this point they don’t believe he distributed them over the internet.

“I have seen some of the images in this case and I can say that it’s not just children posed naked, but that it does depict sexual assaults of children,” said Lokken.

“Anytime anybody has certain influence or a position within the community, it puts them in a position where they could have contact with young persons, and that’s concerning to us,” added Lokken.

His name’s all the way at the bottom:

Richard John Docekal, 58, is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

I’ll have to watch for updates on this one.

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Billy Graham (or his people) can’t live and let live

October 14, 2014

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My niece is trapped in a really bad relationship (not married, but living together). It has no future, but she refuses to see this. We’ve tried to tell her to get out of the relationship, but she just gets mad. How can we help her? — K.W.

Define “bad” first. Oh wait, KW does: not married, therefore no future. Well, that’s just stupid.

Laws vary between states and provinces in terms of what constitutes a common-law relationship but once you’ve met those requirements, it’s as good as being married in the eyes of the law for your state or province and, quite frankly, that’s all that matters. The need to add God into the mix with a religious service is a personal choice, although families that fuel themselves with faith would say otherwise.

The Man and I went with a marriage commissioner service at a gallery in town. It was quick and lovely. I’d said since that maybe we could have remained common-law instead of spending the money on one day but then he kind of wondered if I’d still think that in five years or be annoyed that we hadn’t gotten properly married by that point. There is, of course, no way to answer that unless you buy into theories of multiple universes where such a life may have been lived. The year the Man and I spent apart, I can honestly admit it gave me some comfort to think that there could have been a version of the universe where it worked out better for both of us as a couple .. and then this universe came in line with that slight pipe dream and voila! Married! Never saw it coming..

DEAR K.W.: When someone steadfastly refuses to listen to wise advice, there may be little we can do, humanly speaking, to help them. They may simply be stubborn, too proud to admit they’re wrong, or they may sincerely think they’re right and we’re wrong. Whatever the reason, they refuse to heed our warnings.

Here’s the thing to think about. This is a niece, not a son or daughter. Even if it were a relationship the son or daughter was having, it still really isn’t the business of the parent to disapprove and bitch about it and try to break it up. Adults have to make their own choices in life and this ultimately means that they are going to have to make their own mistakes, too. Assuming this relationship is really a “mistake”. Without details about the guy for why he’s a bad pick, we just have this writer’s opinion on the matter.

What can you do? First, let your niece know you love her and care about her, even if she doesn’t accept your advice. If your analysis of her situation is correct, eventually this relationship will end, perhaps painfully, and she’ll need your friendship. You might offer to take her out to lunch and listen to her side of the story, not arguing but gently expressing your concern and letting her know you care. The Bible reminds us that there is “a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7).

And it seems like KW would like to skip directly to “speak” and act like he or she knows the right answer without having any access to the actual test being taken by this niece. Maybe the guy is really awesome but struggling to find a decent job or has family issues that stress him out. Nothing is said that he’s an abuser or a drug addict or a criminal. He’s just not married to her. Big deal — not.

Then pray for her. God can do what we can’t do, and he can change even the most stubborn heart. Pray, too, that your niece will not only come to see the wrongness of what she has done but will also face her need for God’s forgiveness and guidance. Pray, too, for wisdom as you interact with her.

Bah.

If he’s monogamous, leave them alone.

If he’s not monogamous but they’re in a mutual agreement to enjoy multiple partners of various genders, leave them alone.

If she’s happy with the way her life is right now, in whatever form it’s taking, leave her the fuck alone.

Not.

Your.

Damn.

Business.

Finally, don’t give up on her. Even if your niece rebuffs you right now, your life is an example of how she should be living. She needs Christ, and God can use you to point her to his forgiveness and love.

If it’s 1950, maybe. Or 1850. Or 1550. Everybody is different. Every situation is different. You disapproval doesn’t add up to squat. Your life is your life, hers is hers. If she isn’t living your life, maybe it’s because she has chosen not to. Perhaps on purpose and with joy in her heart. I’m so glad I’m not K…

If there’s a legitimate beef about the guy, though, as in true, factual, photographic evidence of abuse, then you owe it to your niece to encourage her to seek help and keep at it, even if she’s trying to shut you out. Help her find the help she needs from the medical community, mental health experts, and support groups. Don’t leave her thinking there’s no hope, no escape, and no future that doesn’t include him. Then is the time to use your happy marriage as a model and show her what she’s missing in terms of a healthy relationship. Help her start the very long process to fix things for herself.

(This all would assume she’s ready and wants to. If she’s not, then maybe prayer winds up being your only alternative…)

Thoughts?


Thanksgiving Satan Weekend part 4

October 13, 2014

I’m Canadian and for Thanksgiving weekend I decided to give thanks to the fact that I live in a country where I can do this and have a bit of fun. Also, we’re approaching Halloween and dark, sinister stories are more likely to be in the news right now, just like “We really found Christ’s tomb this time!” articles pop up at Easter.

Not that dead animals are fun. I don’t wish to make light of any crimes perpetrated by whichever individuals would have been involved.

Fourth and second last piece, satanism accused of being behind recent animal beheadings in Colorado.

one person posting on the Wheat Ridge Police Department Facebook page claims to have knowledge of the perpetrators.

“It’s the Satan worshippers that always have rituals back in there, along with Prospect Park,” he writes. “I know where they tend to have them and always find evidence to prove they have been there…. Most times it’s Thursdays and Saturday nights about 2 a.m. I saw them sacrifice a chicken once. That was three years or so ago.”

Maybe next time you think you see something like this going down, instead of playing Rogue Detective all on your own, call 911 and report the behaviour and the location. Satanists or no, it’d definitely fit in some category of criminal activity and the police can look into it for you. You’re probably not on Kolchak’s level and you’re definitely not Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Back to serious. I found another article about animal deaths, this time being linked to black magic and Santaria in New York. (Yes, I know Santaria is not satanism.)

Detective Marcos Quinones runs seminars on Occult Recognition Training and was quoted in the piece, offering suggestions about what religious/occult motivations may have been in play there.

Another local animal death case, the mass killing of cats decapitated, bludgeoned andhung from trees in Yonkers is less easy to pin down. Quionones said hanging the bags of cats was ritualistic in itself. “It could be anything from Satanism to Santeria to Palo Mayombe,” he said. Or, it could just be “someone who wanted to [get] rid of cats.”

I’d make a joke about the need to spay and neuter both pets and any sacrificial animals you have, but that seems a bit tactless.

Hopefully they’ll find out who was responsible.


Thanksgiving Satan Weekend part 3

October 12, 2014

It’s Satan weekend here. I’m Canadian and for Thanksgiving weekend I decided to give thanks to the fact that I live in a country where I can write about these things for kicks.

Third story, the Satanic Children Big Book of Activities — the handy PDF for anyone who wants it — was designed by the Satanic Temple supposedly to counter the habit of Orange County schools agreeing to let outsiders come in to distribute bibles. The Orlando Sentinel had an update on the story. Other sources were taking it as a “this is really happening!” story and some clarification was required.

District counsel Woody Rodriguez confirmed Thursday night that the group hasn’t approached the district with a formal request.

If that request were made, the district would first review the materials. Sublette said he didn’t know if they would be allowed or not. And when I first reported this story several weeks ago, the group said they didn’t have printed booklets on hand and had no local group to give them out.

At a board retreat Thursday night, Sublette strongly urged the board to put in place a policy that would ban the distribution of all religious materials by outside groups on school campuses, even if it would lead to a lawsuit.

That sounds like a good idea. If it can’t all be allowed, then none of it should be allowed. Seems plain and simple if you ask me.


Thanksgiving Satan Weekend, part 2

October 11, 2014

It’s Satan weekend here. I’m Canadian and for Thanksgiving weekend I’m giving thanks that I live in a country where I’m allowed to do this. A few stories worth throwing together came around over the past few weeks and I felt like doing a thing, which brings me to the second news story: Satanists expose Christian hypocrisy:

The article is about politically minded satanists and the Christians in Oklahoma who might take issue with people who demand to have the same rights Jesus lovers seem to get automatically just by being Jesus lovers.

Baphomet

The idea of a Satanic monument sitting on government property in Oklahoma—which is like the Bible Belt’s Bible Belt—seems a bit far-fetched, but Greaves says that “there has been quite a bit of discussion among legal scholars who recognize how difficult it would actually be for Oklahoma to turn us down… Constitutional law is quite clear on this issue: The state can’t discriminate against viewpoints. If they’ve opened the door for one, they’ve opened it for all.”

A sign advertising the ten commandments went up on the lawn of the Oklahoma State House and the Satanists want to make the point that letting that sign be on government property is tantamount to claiming there is a state religion and that religion is Christianity.

I’ll have to check back to see how this goes.


Thanksgiving Satan weekend part 1

October 10, 2014

It’s Satan weekend here. I’m Canadian and for Thanksgiving weekend I’m giving thanks that I live in a country where I’m allowed to be critical of beliefs and poke fun at things in a way that could be considered blasphemy in other places. A few stories worth throwing together came around over the past few weeks. Here’s the first one.

Late September in New Mexico. Bernard Pritchard sued his prison for not letting him practice his religion. The fact that it’s Satanism might have a teeny weeny bit to do with it.

Pritchard is asking for an injunction to practice “Satanic worship” as well as $100,000 “jointly and severally” from his defendants for “emotional injury” and another $20,000 from each defendant for punitive damages.

Notably, Pritchard’s lawsuit fails to explain specifics about how his defendants allegedly infringed his religious rights. Alex Tomlin, a spokeswoman for the department, says prison officials go out of their way to accommodate inmates’ abilities to practice their religion.

So, that’s worth the bolding. Does the man have a case or is he just stirring up something for the hell (haha) of it? Without any solid evidence of mistreatment or denial of rights to worship as he sees fit (or at least, as is feasable from prison) then I suspect this lawsuit will get thrown out.

Pritchard is in prison for aggressive stalking and is a registered sex offender, which has nothing to do with the story that I can tell, except as character description. The Church of Satan was contacted about the guy but he’s apparently not a member and in the email they clarify,

“Satanic worship” and “inner faith” are terms “we Satanists reject…as that concept plays no role in our skeptical philosophy.”


Woman denied job because she’s Christian?

October 9, 2014

Not likely.

At least, not completely.

This gets pretty stupid.

Just warning you.

It’s also insanely long.

The CBC has details of the story:

Bethany Paquette claims her application to work in Canada’s North for Amaruk Wilderness Corp. was rejected because she’s Christian.

“It did really hurt me and I did feel really attacked on the basis that I’m a Christian,” Paquette said.

In her complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, Paquette outlines a series of emails from executives from Amaruk Wilderness Corp.

Paquette, an experienced river rafting guide, applied to be a wilderness guide for Amaruk’s Canadian operations in the North.

The article links to the entire correspondence between Paquette and representatives of Amaruk and quotes parts. I’ll quote, also. It really doesn’t look like the main issue in play is her Christianity specifically.

Her resume is not included in the document, nor is the original advertisement for the position, but this was their first response. At least, part of it:

job1

This perhaps could have been better worded, “Sorry you don’t quite meet the requirements we’re looking for” and ended by thanking her for her interest, but it wasn’t left at that. Read the rest of this entry »