Fun things found on the net to tweak the noses of the bible/Koran pounders, or what ever religious books they pound.

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Comment by Rick on July 23, 2009 at 11:37pm

Wow...do ya think they'd give us atheists the same sweet deal?
Comment by Rick on July 16, 2009 at 9:56pm
I found this in the June 20th issue of The Economist magazine. I get it time to time. I first came across it back in the late 1970’s to early 80’s. It’s one of those publications that has been around for decades. This article is about church attendance in recessions. It’s titled, “No Rush For Pews” and can be found on page 32. It doesn’t’ give credit to who the author is.

No Rush for pews
A counter-intuitive finding from the pollsters

On the campaign trail, Barack Obama famously claimed that blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania clung to religion because of bitterness over lost jobs. Americans are now truly fearful, as unemployment has mounted and house prices fallen. Yet the theory that church attendance grows in times of economic crisis seems to be a myth.
Last year David Beckworth, an assistant professor of Economies at Texas State University, examined historic patters in the size of evangelical congregations and found that, during each recession cycle between 1968 and 2004, membership of evangelical churches jumped by 50%. This report filled the newspapers and TV news-shows at the height of the recession panic just before Christmas; but the report’s findings focused on evangelicals, and do not apply to Americans at large.
According to Frank Newport, the editor-in-chief of Gallup Poll, which interviews 30,000 American every month, “to guess that attendance would increase {in recessions} is a commonsense assumption with no basis in data.” John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which recently published a study on the correlation between church attendance and economics, has found no link in the past 20 years.
Interestingly, says Gallup, the percentage of Americans who tick the “no religious preference” box has steadily grown, from 0-3% 40 years ago to 12-15% now, while church attendance has remained steady.
Mr. Green says that the real spikes in attendance have occurred online times of national disaster, such as September 11th 2001, or the Cuban missile crisis. Mr. Newport goes even further, noting that, after September 11th, there was only a short-term blip in attendance. Evidently, this recession is “not providing a society wide worry about the future.”
Mr. Green explains that economic problems are uneven in their effects: “Perhaps the unemployed are going to church more, but others may be going less.” The financial crisis, then, may not seem as terrible to God-fearing Americans as the hype has suggested. As Mr. Green concludes, “We’ve had recessions before, and we always come out of them.” Or could it be that Mr. Obama’s victory has produced a sense that help is on the way?

So what is your view on this?
Comment by Rick on July 10, 2009 at 2:48am
While looking up a story for a Friend on here, I found the originator for the story. It is a UK based group called, “The Institute for Study of Civil Society” or CIVITAS. Their web address is:

They also have free e-books. One is titled:

Crimes of the Community:
Honour-based violence in the UK
James Brandon and Salam Hafez


This is from the Centre for Social Cohesion.
As the title states it is about “Honor” based violence in the UK. This is not just limited to the UK but found around the world. Even in the US. And is not limited or directed only at women.

Other topics available on their site for your reading are....
Virtual Caliphate
Islamic extremists and their websites


The ‘West’, Islam and Islamism
Is ideological Islam compatible
with liberal democracy?


Something you might want to browse.
Comment by Angie Jackson on July 2, 2009 at 9:03am
@Rick - That video from GodIsImaginary you posted below is awesome! Same people did the video that killed my faith :)
Comment by Rick on July 2, 2009 at 6:33am
Think tank concludes that Sharia courts should not be recognised in Britain

Sharia courts should not be recognised under Britain’s 1996 Arbitration Act, according to a new report from independent think-tank Civitas.

According to Denis MacEoin, author of Sharia Law or ‘One Law For All’?, sharia courts operating in Britain may be handing down rulings that are inappropriate to this country because they are linked to elements in Islamic law that are seriously out of step with trends in Western legislation that derive from the values of the Enlightenment and are inherent in modern codes of human rights. Sharia rulings contain great potential for controversy and may involve acts contrary to UK legal norms and human rights legislation, the report says.

Sharia law is a distillation of rulings that purport to represent the divine diktat in all worldly affairs. It provides injunctions for the conduct of criminal, public and even international law. Marriage and divorce, the custody of children, alimony, sexual impropriety and much else come within its remit. Sharia courts claim authority over the private lives of individuals in a way that is contrary to the British tradition where, as David Green points out in his introduction, ‘in our legal system no punishments can be applied to individuals who fail to live up to religious requirements’.

The fact that so many sharia rulings in Britain relate to cases concerning divorce and custody of children is of particular concern, as women are not equal in sharia law, and sharia contains no specific commitment to the best interests of the child that is fundamental to family law in the UK. Under sharia, a male child belongs to the father after the age of seven, regardless of circumstances. Thus, in October 2008 the House of Lords ruled that sharia was incompatible with human rights when a Lebanese woman sought asylum in the UK because, if she had been sent back to Lebanon, she would have been ordered to hand over her son to a violently abusive husband.

Most reports on sharia courts cite five, working in London, Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham and Nuneaton. However, in his research for this report, Denis MacEoin has uncovered at least 85, operating largely out of mosques. It is extremely difficult to find out what goes on in these courts, so MacEoin reproduces a range of fatwas issued by popular online fatwa sites, run out of or accessed through mosques in the UK, and in some cases, as was revealed in the earlier Civitas report Music, Chess and Other Sins , even from UK Muslim schools. These online fatwas can give a good indication of the rulings of sharia courts in Britain.

“Among the rulings ... we find some that advise illegal actions and others that transgress human rights standards as they are applied by British courts. Here are some examples: a Muslim woman may not under any circumstances marry a non-Muslim man unless he converts to Islam; such a woman's children will be separated from her until she marries a Muslim man; polygamous marriage (i.e. two to four wives) is considered legal... a husband has conjugal rights over his wife, and she should normally answer his summons to have sex (but she cannot summon him for the same reason); a woman may not stay with her husband if he leaves Islam; non-Muslims may be deprived of their share in an inheritance... a wife has no property rights in the event of divorce... sharia law must override the judgements of British courts; rights of child custody may differ from those in UK law... taking out insurance is prohibited, even if required by law; there is no requirement to register a marriage according to the law of the country... a Muslim lawyer has to act contrary to UK law where it contradicts sharia ... women are restricted in leaving their homes and driving cars... sharia law of legitimacy contradicts the Legitimacy Act 1976; a woman may not leave her home without her husband's consent (which may constitute false imprisonment); legal adoption is forbidden... a woman may not retain custody of her child after seven (for a boy) or nine (for a girl)... fighting the Americans and British is a religious duty; recommendation of severe punishments for homosexuals... a woman cannot marry without the presence (and permission) of a male guardian... an illegitimate child may not inherit from his/her father.”

As the Christian barrister, Neil Addison, explains in his foreword to the Civitas report, those who argue that sharia rulings should be incorporated into the British legal system often confuse mediation with arbitration.

* Mediation leads to an agreement rather than a judgement. It does not rely upon the application of legal rules but aims to find common ground between parties. A mediator cannot impose a mediation decision.
* Arbitration is a trial before a judge with the power to enforce a ruling through the civil courts.

The revelation that sharia rulings or fatwas are being enforced through state courts by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (MAT) has alarmed many, especially as the Arbitration Act, under which this takes place, specifically excludes divorce and childcare cases. These are the very areas in which sharia rulings cause most concern, since, as David Green says, “there is a good deal of intimidation of women in Muslim communities and the genuine consent of women could not be accepted as a reality”. David Green calls for the exclusion of sharia courts from recognition under the Arbitration Act of 1996.

As David Green says in his introduction, equality under the law, regardless of race, gender or religion, is the bedrock of Western civilisation: take it away and you disrupt the whole edifice.

“Under most interpretations of Islam a person who leaves the faith is an apostate who can be put to death. While this threat remains, it cannot be accepted that sharia councils are nothing more than independent arbitrators guided by faith. The reality is that for many Muslims, sharia courts are in practice part of an institutionalised atmosphere of intimidation, backed by the ultimate sanction of a death threat. The underlying problem is that sharia law reflects male-dominated Asian and Arabic cultures. It cannot therefore be accepted as a legally valid basis even for settling private disagreements in a country like ours, where our law embodies the equal legal status of everyone, regardless of race, gender or religion. Our system is based on moral and legal equality or it is nothing. Moreover, further encouragement of sharia law, far from helping integration, will undermine the efforts of British Muslims struggling to evolve a version of Islam consistent with a tolerant and pluralistic society.”

As Denis MacEoin says in his conclusion: “The introduction of sharia law into this country is a recipe for a dichotomous legal system that holds Muslims and non-Muslims to different standards. This is not a matter of eating halal meat or seeking God’s blessing on one’s marriage. It is a challenge to what we believe to be the rights and freedoms of the individual, to our concept of a legal system based on what parliament enacts, and to the right of all of us to live in a society as free as possible from ethnic-religious division or communal claims to superiority and a special status that puts them in some respects above the law to which we are all bound.”

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: “We are pleased that Civitas has come to this conclusion – it is one that we have been promoting for some time through our association with the One Law for All campaign. It seems self-evident that women cannot receive justice through sharia law when they start out at such a disadvantage. Our legal system has evolved through a democratic, reasoned process and it is infinitely superior to sharia. We should not permit it to be compromised by the demands of theocrats who wish to entrench discrimination into our legal system.”
Comment by Rick on June 26, 2009 at 1:31am

OK so this has been on my mind for a few days and I thought I’d share it with you and get your feedback. In the Catholic Church, Priests and Nuns cannot marry.
Priest and Nuns must remain chaste.
Gay/Lesbian acts are prohibited.
Gay/Lesbian marriage is prohibited.

Now, human’s are the only beings on this planet that have sex for pleasure.
Human have sex essentially, to pro-create.
Sex is natural.
It’s part of us.

So why can’t Priests and Nuns marry?
Why can’t Priests and Nuns have sex?

While I will not go into gay/lesbian sex, heterosexual acts of Priests and Nuns is prohibited.
That seems odd to me.
It seems odd that this is a natural act.
I to think the Catholic Church want men and women to procreate.
So why then ban Priests and Nuns from having sex?

No sex between people of the same sex, and no sex between people of the opposite sex if they are Priests and Nuns….

See the oddity of it all?

Making Men and Women not have sex…is well, weird…

What do you all think about this?
Comment by Ron Meaden on June 6, 2009 at 12:33pm

Comment by Rick on May 28, 2009 at 4:07pm
OK so I' having lunch with my gf's mom. Now her step dad was an atheist like me. And he raised her like his own. In fact he had three kids with her mom. So we get into the religious thing. Well, she's catholic and enjoys the rituals. She knows I don't do anything religious.
Now she had her first child out of wedlock. My gf had a kid out of wedlock. So, why is it a "norm" with some people? Beat the bible, but get laid.
Odd. Like Shara Palin's kid. Just 17 and knocked up. Now 18 and a mommy.
So much for waiting till y'er married.....
Comment by Rick on March 17, 2009 at 5:19am
Boom-years borrowing hits churches OR AS I STATED ON MY BLOG, "PRAY IN ONE HAND AND PISS IN THE OTHER..."

Metropolitan Baptist Church was bursting out of its home.
From a group of freed slaves in Civil War-era Washington, Metropolitan Baptist had grown into a modern-day megachurch and community service powerhouse. In 2006, construction began on the congregation's dream complex in Largo, Md. — a $30 million campus with a 3,000-seat church, an education center and an 1,100-car parking lot.
Last year, the congregation sold its church in Washington. Preparations began for the move to what leaders had taken to calling "God's land in Largo."

But on Oct. 20, their plans were abruptly put on hold.

The Rev. H. Beecher Hicks learned that financing for the project had dried up. Construction stopped. And the congregation found that it was homeless — reduced to renting space and struggling to find new financing.

Add houses of worship to the list of casualties of the mortgage crisis.
Foreclosures and delinquencies for congregations are rising, according to companies that specialize in church mortgages. With credit scarce, church construction sites have gone quiet, holding shells of sanctuaries that were meant to be completed months ago.
Congregants have less money to give, and pastors who stretched to buy property in the boom are struggling to hold onto their churches.

"The economy has dramatically changed over the last year to 18 months in a way that very few, if any, had expected," said John Stoffel, administrative pastor at Seabreeze Church in Huntington, Calif.

Seabreeze spent about $12 million on a new complex that was completed in 2007. But a drop in donations, partly due to a rift between the pastor and some church members, forced the church to renegotiate for an interest-only mortgage. Stoffel said Seabreeze hasn't missed a payment, yet the mortgage is far from the church's only debt. The church also owes $1.2 million — due this year — on bonds that helped finance the project, and must repay a $200,000 loan that a couple took out on their house to help Seabreeze cover its costs.

It's hard to quantify just how many churches are at risk. Foreclosure records are scattered throughout county offices nationwide. Completing a foreclosure takes months or longer, so it's too soon for many failures to show up on a company's books. In financially stressed churches, clergy are often reluctant to discuss their plight. They don't want to alarm their congregants, and they fear that any complaints about their dealings with banks will backfire.

"Right now, when you're at the mercy of the lenders, you don't want to look like you're coming out against them," said Bishop Eugene Reeves of New Life Anointed Ministries International in Woodbridge, Va.

The 3,500-member Pentecostal church near Washington needs a couple of million dollars to finish its new $19 million complex. Construction stopped last spring when New Life's lender said it would make no new loans to the church, Reeves said.
"We now have children who don't have classrooms to get into, adults who have to go to an overflow room," Reeves said. "We have parking issues. We don't have enough spaces for cars."

Across the country, congregations large and small are struggling to pay off debt:
_Reliance Trust, an Atlanta company that is trustee for nearly three-quarters of the church bonds in the U.S., has seen "some increases in delinquencies," said spokesman Tony Greene, though he would not elaborate.

Among its clients is Temple Beth Haverim in Agoura Hills, Calif., which sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last July and owes the company more than $7 million, Reliance said in court documents. The property is estimated to be worth less than what the synagogue owes.

_Strongtower Financial, an arm of the California Baptist Foundation, said in a prospectus that 10 percent of its $119 million in outstanding loans were in default as of March 31, 2008, its most recent required reporting date. Chet Reid, Strongtower's president, said the specifics were private, but the company had only one foreclosure in the last decade — in 2006.

_The Evangelical Christian Credit Union, a major church lender with more than $700 million in loans last year, moved to foreclose on seven of its 1,100 loans in 2008, said Mark Johnson, the company's executive vice president. The company has had "a noticeable increase" in late payments, and two more foreclosures are expected this year, he said. By contrast, the Brea, Calif., company said it had no other foreclosures until 2007, when there were two.

These problems may seem minor compared to the epidemic of foreclosures on private homes. But church mortgages have always been considered one of the more solid investments, with lenders often boasting of only one or two foreclosures over a billion dollars in loans.

Even in bad economic times, people still go to church, which helps shield congregations from downturns, lenders say. Churches also have more flexibility than some other borrowers in cutting expenses. They can end charitable programs or trim staff and still stay open for business.

"You can certainly make a bad church loan if you try hard enough," said Dan Mikes, who leads the church banking group of Bank of the West, a major lender. "But if you're careful and you don't overlend, and you're cautious in the way you underwrite, you're fine."
However, the recent boom years brought changes that made the industry more vulnerable.

Firms looking for new lending opportunities in a time of easy credit entered the industry, and competition escalated. The size and number of church loans skyrocketed, with several companies reporting double-digit annual growth rates before the bust.
Some lenders even got into the business of securitizing church loans, combining them as an investment in the way banks did with home mortgages. In 2006, Strongtower Financial, based in Fresno, securitized church bonds for the first time, with a $56.3 million offering.

Roland Leavell, president of Rives, Leavell & Co., a church bond broker in Jackson, Miss., said that firms specializing in church financing often aped their commercial loan counterparts, lending too much money without a thorough check of what their clients could afford.

"The starting point was the commercial banks," Leavell said. "When somebody on one side of the business gets moving fast and loose, it makes every body else move fast and loose."

Johnson, of the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, insists that his company upheld its strict underwriting standards throughout the flush years when the firm was growing at an average rate of more than 20 percent annually. He said the economy alone is behind the recent troubles.

"Our history would say that we had done a really good job," evaluating clients, he said. "It has become very visible to everybody today that the recession hit 18 months ago. The foreclosures we've seen have coincided with that."

But foreclosure and bankruptcy records paint a more complex picture of some of the company's failed clients — and raise questions about whether the pressure for profit altered the industry's normally ultra-cautious approach.

Among the company's foreclosed-upon clients is Juanita Bynum, a former hairdresser and popular Pentecostal preacher. In 2006, she got a loan from the evangelical lender to buy a $4.5 million lakeview property in Waycross, Ga. She planned to use it for her ministry headquarters and to open a spa for beauty treatments and spiritual guidance.
But she never paid her property taxes on time and ended up owing tens of thousands of dollars, said Steve Barnard, the Ware County tax assessor, who threatened to auction off the land over the debt. The credit union paid Bynum's outstanding tax bill before foreclosing on her land last December, when Ware said the property value had dropped to only about $2.5 million.

Another church with shaky finances and a big debt: the Shiloh Institutional Church of God in Christ in Fort Worth, Texas.

The congregation began floundering soon after Shiloh's prominent pastor, Sherman Allen, was publicly accused of molesting women and beating them with a paddle. The accusers said that Allen's superiors in his Pentecostal denomination — the Church of God in Christ — had evidence of the allegations for years and did nothing to stop him. Allen has denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, lawyers for the credit union that holds the church's mortgage found another
scandal — this one involving money. In court documents, the attorneys said the church could not explain how it spent $100,000 in income in 2006, that a $30,000 anniversary bonus paid to Allen in 2007 "is potentially a fraudulent transfer," and that the church couldn't provide financial statements from a certified public accountant for 2005 and 2006.

The church filed for bankruptcy in February 2007; the Evangelical Christian Credit Union says Shiloh owes it nearly $3.8 million on a 2005 loan, and sought to foreclose.
As in the residential mortgage industry, tight credit has had a chilling effect on loans to houses of worship. Reid, the head of Strongtower, said his company is doing less lending, but he would not discuss specifics. Johnson, of the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, said the company isn't making loans to new clients.

"We're struggling to do a good thing for our community," Hicks said. "Hopefully, we'll get past this impasse and move forward."
Comment by Rick on February 7, 2009 at 3:44pm
Moved from my page to here. He even beats up Jesus....

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