Racist goddamned Florida

Trayvon Martin went to a convenience store in his family’s neighborhood to buy some candy. He was 17. He was unarmed. He was black.

George Zimmerman, a self-appointed “neighborhood watch leader”, called the police to report a “suspicious person”; he was told not to confront him, but somehow in the next few minutes Zimmerman got out there and shot and murdered Trayvon Martin. The puffed-up coward Zimmerman grabbed his gun, confronted a teenager carrying nothing but a bag of Skittles, and murdered him. There is no possible excuse, no way that there could be some exculpatory fact to justify his actions: Zimmerman was carrying a loaded gun and on a mission of self-inflated importance to defend his neighborhood (which was also Martin’s neighborhood) from suspicious young black men.

What do you think happened next, when the police arrived on the scene and found Zimmerman with a smoking gun, who immediately admitted to gunning Trayvon Martin down?


Zimmerman is still free. It’s been two weeks; no action is being taken. The Florida district attorney is even dragging his heels about deciding to investigate the murder, and claiming that Zimmerman was a pillar of the community.

Sign the petition. Tell racist goddamned Florida they can’t just ignore a vigilante who murders young black people.

It gets worse. Recordings of 911 calls on the night of the murder are available: Martin was screaming for help and begging for his life when Zimmerman gunned him down. And apparently what sent Zimmerman on his macho crusade to stop a suspicious suspect was that Martin was running away.

Why hasn’t he been arrested?

The Child Catchers

I like a good horror story, but sometimes I get so terrified I want to crawl under the covers and not emerge for a good long while. The books that terrify me, though, aren’t the one ones by Stephen King or Clive Barker — supernatural horror just makes me laugh — it’s the real-world scary stuff that makes me tremble. For a long time, my standard for nightmare fuel has been Jeff Sharlet’s The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. That’s a book that makes you aware of a kind of malevolent insanity gripping a significant chunk of the leadership of our country, a malignancy that goes unquestioned and even with approval. There really are monsters at the top.

But move over, Sharlet, here’s a new book that’s even scarier: The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, by Katherine Stewart. The monsters aren’t off in Washington DC, they’re right next door, and they’re coming for your children.

Stewart first notices these odd little happy Christian clubs popping up in her child’s schools, and then she digs deeper: she talks to their representatives. She attends their conventions. She takes their training courses. She sees precisely what they’re doing, and gets the words straight from their mouths: they’re out to convert every child in the world to their hateful, narrow, “Bible-believing” dogma, even while in public they claim to be ecumenical and kind and loving.

Who is “they”, you ask. It’s the Child Evangelism Fellowship, and just the name ought to chill you: this is an organized, well-funded group of people dedicated to proselytizing specifically to 4 to 14 year old children, the prime age for conversion.

They also have other goals, among them the total obliteration of public education. It’s ironic: they often take advantage of our institutions, leasing our public school buildings for church services and Sunday schools (They’re cheap! Professional, well-maintained buildings available at minimal cost), trading on the credibility of the schools (They try mightily to produce the illusion that their efforts are sanctioned by and part of the official school curriculum), yet privately they detest the whole principle of universal education, and their goal is to subvert the whole endeavor and turn education into Christian indoctrination.

They found something called “Good News Clubs” at schools, led by community volunteers, which superficially promote a kind of generic moral religiosity which often wins over culturally diverse communities — you know the ones I’m talking about, the kind where they might detest gay-hatin’, science-despisin’, Pat Robertson-style fundamentalism, but nod in happy agreement at the importance of faith, and blandly accept that religion in general is good and virtuous and that we should encourage our children to adopt a faith tradition…for their moral upbringing in an environment of conscience, don’t you know. What they don’t realize is that the Good News Clubs stealthily promote that gay-hatin’, science-despisin’, Pat Robertson-style fundamentalism directly to their children, while asking them not to talk about it to Mommy and Daddy. They will cheerfully take in the children of Catholics and Jews, so that they can tell those children that Catholics and Jews will burn in Hell.

These people are just plain evil. Sure, they’re kindly old grandmas and sincerely pious ordinary joes, but they’ve also got it in their heads that they must inject their poisonous beliefs into everyone’s children. And they are dedicated: they will make time and invest money in their cause. Fear them. They lie and fight dirty and will use your own liberal and progressive values to undermine those same values in gullible children.

These Good News Clubs are springing up all over the place, so the first thing I did when I finished the book was to look to see if there were any Good News Clubs in the Morris area schools. I found plenty in other schools — often in cheerfully bland announcements in PTA newsletters or school websites — but nothing about Morris. I breathed a sigh of relief, and thought that was one nightmare I’d dodged…and then…and then

Child Evangelism Fellowship is targeting Minneapolis/St Paul for a major conversion effort this summer!

Capture a city for Christ! That’s the battle cry of over a hundred workers from across America who join together to “jump start” a Gospel outreach to children in a target city.

This coming summer, CEF workers will gather in the Twin Cities of Minnesota where volunteers from local churches will be trained to reach children in their area for Jesus. These same churches will continue ministry in the fall by sponsoring Good News Clubs in the public elementary schools nearby.

It’s like the monster jumping out of the grave at the very end of the horror movie! They’re coming to get us!

Listen, Minnesotans, this is your only chance. Read The Good News Club now, before it’s too late. These people will be making proposals to your schools to install a fifth column of radical evangelical Christians into privileged positions, all in order to snare the local children into a hell-and-damnation, sulfur-and-brimstone, Satan-is-out-to-get-you, boogety boo version of hateful Christianity. Your local mega-church pastors and conservative wackjobs will be encouraging this because it’s what they believe anyway; your gentle-souled namby-pamby neighbors who see nothing wrong with faith will go along because they are ignorant and unaware.

Sound the warning. They’re here already! You’re next!

Or perhaps, more accurately, the Child Catchers are coming to town.

Oh, so that’s what cats are for

You can use their butchered bodies to send messages to your political opponents! The campaign manager for a Democrat running for office in Arkansas was horrified to discover the family pet killed and “LIBERAL” painted on its body.

Little known fact: cats, dogs, goldfish, hamsters, gerbils, boa constrictors, turtles, and canaries are all politically liberal, and would all vote Democratic if only The Man weren’t keeping them down. I believe arthropods tend to be more libertarian, but even there, no self-respecting animal of any phylum would ever stoop so low as to vote Republican.

How many football games do you have to win to make up for one broken child?

Joe Paterno is dead. He won a bunch of games, and that’s the best thing he’ll be remembered for, which is awfully trivial, if you think about it. The worst thing he’ll be known for? He closed his eyes and kept silent when children were raped.

I’m imagining a scale. In the right pan are heaped all the great accomplishments of Joe Paterno — and it’s all inconsequential fluff, balls thrown across lines on the ground, numbers on scoreboards long since forgotten. In the left pan…well, we start by throwing on one child’s tears, and the balance tips with a leaden thud, the beam crashes to the ground, the whole assembly splinters and falls apart.

We’re done. The man’s life has been weighed and found wanting.

Witch-hunter Ukpabio spreads her poison here

This may be redundant, but Helen Ukpabio is an awful excuse for a human being, and she’s also a fervent Biblical literalist. She’s a Nigerian pentecostal preacher who rants and rails about witches, especially those wicked children who are agents of Satan. Her brand of demonization is what has been fueling the mutilation and murder of homeless children in Africa.

She also makes movies illustrating the devilish activities of these witch-children: flying through the air, cursing good Christian families, drinking blood, and just generally being so naughty that they deserve to die, at least if no one brings them to Ukpabio’s ministry to be exorcised, at a price.

She’s also got simple diagnostic tools so that you too can detect a witch.

a child under two years of age that cries at night and deteriorates in health is an agent of Satan.

I am distressed. By this method, all three of my children were witches and warlocks. It also explains a lot about those Terrible Twos. And my kids didn’t grow up in areas where malaria was common!

All joking aside, who in their right mind would beat children to death, set them on fire, or throw battery acid in their faces? As it turns out, people under the influence of Helen Ukpabio think that is reasonable and just.

Third world problems, right? Let’s all close our eyes and not worry about it — we Americans have nothing to do with it.

Wrong. Helen Ukpabio is coming to the US, at the invitation of Glorious Praise Ministries in Houston, Texas. You read that right: an infamous Nigerian witch-hunter, responsible for fomenting a climate of fear and hatred leading to the agonizing death of innocent chldren, is coming to Texas to raise money and support for her reign of ignorance and terror. Here. Sponsored by American Christians.

Madness. This evil, criminal woman ought to be met at the airport and turned right around, if not sent off to trial for crimes against humanity.

Protests are being organized, and money is being raised to support Stepping Stones Nigeria, the organization trying to oppose the violence against children promoted by Ukpabio.

I’m simply stunned — I find it unbelievable that her visit is being tolerated by the state, let alone that she was invited here by a mob of dimwits in Texas.

I’m sure they are a very spiritual couple

Kristy Bamu and his two sisters were visiting their older sister, Magalie Bamu, and her partner, Eric Bikubi, over Christmas in London. Initially, it was apparently a jolly time…and then Eric got it into his head that his three visitors were witches.

The court was told that over a period of days the pair, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, attempted to exorcise evil spirits they believed were in three of the children – Kristy, his sister Kelly, 20, and their 11-year-old sister, who cannot be named. Bikubi refused "to let them eat, drink or sleep for days, while the punishments became increasingly violent, with [the attackers] using the many implements found in the flat as weapons of torture", Altman said.

During their ordeal the siblings were forced to pray and chant throughout several nights and, in a "staggering act of depravity and cruelty", the defendants recruited sibling against sibling as "vehicles for their violence", said Altman.

Kristy became the focus of Bikubi’s attention, the court heard. He allegedly struck the boy with a hammer in the face, knocking out his teeth; on another occasion he shoved a metal bar into the teenager’s mouth, the court heard.

When Kelly attempted to hit her brother using something light, she was ordered to use a heavier implement. In a desperate attempt to prevent any further suffering, Kristy and his two sisters eventually admitted to being sorcerers, said Altman. "As Kristy’s injuries became ever more severe he even pleaded to be allowed to die," he added.

They gave him his wish and drowned him in the bathtub.

A couple of people believe there is magic in the world and that their delusions are real, and a 15 year old boy ends up tortured to death.

The couple are denying that they committed murder; Eric Bikubi claims “diminished responsibility”, apparently because he’s an evil idiot who believes in spirits.

Vile Islam

Hawa Akther Jui wanted to go to college and get a degree. Her husband, Rafiqul Islam, disapproved. So he tied her up, gagged her, and chopped off all of the fingers on her right hand.

I won’t just blame Islam, though. All the patriarchal religions are disgusting.

The one scrap of salvation in this story lies in the human response: Hawa Akther Jui is learning to write with her left hand.

There is no such thing as magic

This is horrifying and barbarous.

Saudi authorities have executed a woman convicted of practicing magic and sorcery.

There is no such thing as magic or sorcery, so this is murder for a crime the person couldn’t possibly have committed. But then, there’s a little clarification…

The London-based al-Hayat daily, however, quoted Abdullah al-Mohsen, chief of the religious police who arrested the woman, as saying she had tricked people into thinking she could treat illnesses, charging them $800 per session.

That’s still horrifying and barbarous, but quackery at least is a real offense. It’s an offense not deserving of execution, however.

The Mormon mentality

Ashley Billasano was an 18 year old girl in Texas who claimed to be a victim of sexual abuse by her stepfather and another family member. She poured out her story on twitter and then committed suicide. It’s a tragic and horrible story, but of course there’s always someone around to make it worse, and that someone will use religious morality as a prod.

A demented fuckwit has opined.

I don’t care what did or did not happen to her. First and foremost, I don’t believe rape exists. When there are incidents that are classified as “rape,” or names that are similar, what usually ends up happening is that the “victim” tends to “forget” to mention immodesty, flirty actions, or other conduct on their part that contributed to the matter. A woman who dresses immodestly must accept accountability for her choice of attire.

If, in fact, this girl was being molested or forced into prostitution as the media outlets say her tweets claimed, then it was her fault that it happened, and continued to happen.

The guilt of the stepfather has not been established, but it must be some consolation to him that his actions were irrelevant, no matter what: if he raped his stepdaughter, it was all her fault.

This sounds like the institutionalized misogyny of the Taliban, doesn’t it? You won’t be surprised to learn that the source of this heinous doctrine was the Mormon church.

The prophet Spencer W. Kimball wrote in his book “The Miracle of Forgiveness”:

“In a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation where this is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”

The bold emphasis is mine. Even though a woman may cry rape or may claim that sex was not consensual, if she doesn’t successfully defend her virtues, and allows the so-called “attack” to take place, then she loses the right to call herself a victim. It is better to die defending one’s virtues!

There may be no “condemnation,” as he says, but notice that that only puts the woman in a “more favorable position,” and that’s assuming that she didn’t “cooperate,” by not defending her virtue or in cases such as this story allowing the “abuse” to go on for years without taking steps to stop it.

I would say that, condemnation or not, she is not completely absolved of accountability unless she successfully defended her virtues or died in the process, or at the very least take steps to stop it. She appears to have not done any of these things, save for the last one, and that was done far too late, which I would say calls her motives into question.

The Mormon leadership claims to be literal prophets — this is the church of latter day saints, after all — and therefore speaks the literal voice of god. Which just means that wretched awful excuses for humanity like Spencer Kimball get to stand up and declare their bigoted opinions to be divine and inarguable. It’s a sweet gig. And the followers get an unlimited excuse for tolerating the intolerable.

Here’s Michael Crook’s Mormon morality.

There are those who would say that her followers should have helped her. Not so! They had no legal obligation to do so. I wouldn’t help someone, whether they cried out on Twitter, or whether I personally witnessed so-called “abuse.” Welcome to real life. The onus is on the so-called “victim” to man up, per at least two General Authorities of the LDS Church.

He’s admitted that if he saw a woman being raped, he’d shrug it off and let her defend herself. It’s all her fault, and church dogma tells him that that’s OK. In fact, there are a lot of things he considers OK that normal people would find repugnant.