Archive for priests

The Devil's In The Dial Tones

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Priest Claims Hate Texts Are From Demon SpiritFather Marian Rajchel

Exorcism. It's a pretty drastic move -- so much so that not too many priests will even attempt to engage in the procedure. But sometimes its a final resort an ambitious Father will endeavor to drive out the evil spirit, risking life, limb and perhaps evil text messages as you'll see reading on. Father Marian Rajchel from Jaroslaw in south-eastern Poland was up for the challenge. This Polish priest recently carried out an exorcism on a teenage girl and now he claims he is being contacted by Satan. I guess if you drive out an evil spirit you can understand him contacting you to express his displeasure -- but in this case it's via text message. Gotta hand it to the Devil. He's keeping up with modern technology. Yup. Beelzebub has got this priest's number -- or actually the cell number of his human teenage host -- the girl who the devil resides in. I say resides because evidently the exorcism purification failed. Sometimes that happens. Not all priests are able to pull off such a  house host cleaning. Since the failed effort on Father Rajchel's part, he says he's started receiving the hate messages. When you fail to drive the devil out of a victim's soul, what're you to expect, right? As reported in MailOnline: devil on cell phone

Now he believes that the demon is using the possessed teenager to attack him through a mobile phone.

'The author of these texts is an evil spirit who has possessed her soul', he said.

'Often the owners of mobile phones are not even aware that they are being used like this. However, in this case it is clear.'

Before going on, as a public service, I'm going to suggest you keep your cell phones locked when not in use. You never know when the Devil may have something to say to you. You'll recognize his number if you have caller ID. His area code is 666.

Okay, so to continue, Father R. didn't ignore the texts the Devil had sent him via the possessed child.

Father Rajchel claims that the devil and his followers were not shy about using modern technology but that in many cases their actions were not identified as being the work of evil.

One of the text messages, the Austrian Times reported, read: 'She will not come out of this hell. She’s mine. Anyone who prays for her will die.'

He replied, and was then sent another message in return: 'Shut up, preacher. You cannot save yourself. Idiot. You pathetic old preacher.'

He said: 'Clearly this young girl has been possessed, and needs further help.'

The girl needs further help? You think? Did it ever occur to you that you were just being punked? Look around and see if Ashton Kutcher isn't hiding out somewhere in the pews with a cell phone and a camera crew.

One thing though, if this is for real. If you're going to get into a text message battle, I wouldn't take on the Devil. Who knows the added surcharges he might put on this kind of back and forth. After all, this girl's phone service might might be provided by Verizon and I've dealt with them before. Believe me, it was hell.

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Priests To Be Equipped With "Off Duty" Lights On Collars

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priest

Sexual abuse is no laughing matter. It's serious and it's tragic. Yet... of course there's a yet-- the legal defense of an accused offender can be somewhat laughable simply because the crime itself is inexcusable.

As an attorney, you're often charged with defending the indefensible, because the laws of this land provide that all defendants deserve the right to capable defensive representatives. (the Sixth Amendment & the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona case).  And counsel is only limited by their imaginations, at least if the lawyers for the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey are to be taken seriously.

They attempted to get a sex abuse case dropped against the church because, as they claim, they should not be held liable for sexual abuse allegedly committed by a priest because he wasn’t officially “on duty” when he molested a teenage boy.

Personally, I wasn't aware that being a man of the cloth, working for God, was a part time job. Evidently, these holy men are officially on the job only when their "on duty" light is illuminated. From The Raw Story:

Lawyers claim the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, should not be held liable for sexual abuse allegedly committed by a priest because he wasn’t officially “on duty” when he molested a teenage boy.

Chris Naples claimed Rev. Terence McAlinden, who once headed the diocese’s youth group, sexually abused him during church-sponsored trips to Delaware in the 1980s.

Just as an aside, that means the the good Reverend escorted a minor across state lines for the purposes of having sex with him. Ever hear of the Mann Act a felony to engage in interstate or foreign commerce transport of "any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose?" I guess Chris Naples being an underage boy and not a girl meant that law didn't apply here. Or maybe it's because no money changed hands here, huh?

But diocese lawyers told the Delaware Supreme Court that [Rev. Terence] McAlinden was not officially on duty when the abuse took place.

“You can determine a priest is not on duty when he is molesting a child, for example,” the attorney argued. “A priest abusing a child is absolutely contrary to the pursuit of his master’s business, to the work of a diocese.”

And guess what? This defense seems to have worked.

Delaware courts ruled Naples did not have jurisdiction to sue the diocese in that state because he couldn’t prove the trips were church sanctioned, but he did win a $3 million judgment in that state against McAlinden.

Ask yourself this: If these trips weren't church sanctioned, what was Rev. McAlinden doing  as a chaperon on them?

The argument here indicates that if a priest does something wrong, even if it's on a church sponsored trip, the church is not responsible.

Delaware has now coined the phrase, "A priest ain't on the clock if he's playing with an little boy's c***."

During that time, because he's doing something wrong, he's not a priest or part of the diocese. He's just an average Joe. Ergo, the church isn't responsible. So says the Delaware Supreme Court.

This seems a bit specious to me.

priests collar

Is it time for Pope Francis to mandate new collars for Catholic priests? The new one's must come equipped with more than just a white block in the front. They need to  have "good bookend" lights on them, one green and one red, indicating when they're on duty and when their off. Though I thought that when you took your vows to become a priest, you were tied to God on a full-time basis, but I guess I was mistaken.

Once the warning lights are installed, we'll all know who we can rely upon in time of spiritual need.

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What is Conscience Creep And How's It Affecting All Of Us?

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new wordsDahlia Lithwick in her recent essay for Slate, describes the new term that we should all be aware of:

The problem isn’t conscience clause legislation so much as what we might call conscience creep: a slow but systematic effort to use religious conscience claims to sidestep laws that should apply to everyone. 

Recalibrating who can express a right of conscience (i.e do corporations have a conscience?) and what the limits of that conscience might be, may well be the next front in the religious liberty wars being waged in courts around the country.

So what does that really mean to all of us. We know there are always provisions written into our US laws, specifically the 1973 Church Amendment, that makes exceptions for considering one's religious beliefs in how and to what extent laws affect them.

Recently and with more frequency religious and moral convictions became a catchphrase and explanation for law violations. It can be understandable when used legitimately. But therein lies the rub. Lately right wing organizations, under the guise of religious beliefs, have called upon this clause to stop just about anything that they don't like. The justification is the gray area.

Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, have all applied the church amendment. There it's much more cut an dry as they stand and exist for religious reasons only. But what about colleges, hospitals and prisons? Do they get the same religious protections. They don't deal primarily in an orthodoxy that these laws might violate. And they receive federal funds.

Last year, for instance, a prison guard withheld an abortion pill from a prisoner who’d been raped on the grounds that it violated her personal religious beliefs. And it hasn’t stopped at abortion, birth control, or sterilization, but may include activities like counseling rape victims or teaching AIDS patients about clean needles.

What about with adoption agencies claiming for religious reasons they won't allow a same sex couple to adopt or give a black child to a white family? Here again, the doctrine of religious conscience is being used to circumvent the thrust of the law.

Now this doctrine of religious conscience is moving into corporate headquarters. For cost saving purposes, but under the "excuse" of religious beliefs, companies are determining which laws they want to observe, and which they wish to void. These are not entities that by their identity are religious, but rather their owners are.

It doesn't stop  there. The military. Our military, made up of every race, creed, religion. States have passed laws that ban same sex marriage based on religious dogma. Yet same sex marriages by National Guardsmen/women are acknowledged by the federal government but not by the states. So to get ID cards, medical care, family counseling, other military benefits, the same sex couples must travel to Federal bases. They're denied their rights within the states. And the basis is religious conscience creep, not national security.

military silhouette

This past summer, Republicans in the House tried to amend the National Defense Authorization Act to "protect inappropriate, defamatory, and discriminatory speech and actions" in the military. The amendment broadened a "conscience clause" that protected the right of troops and chaplains to hold anti-gay views so long as they did not actively discriminate against gay service members.

Are corporations, the military, fast food chicken outlets, hospitals, colleges, liquor store chains, burger joints, qualified to get these exemptions. Are corporations people? Do they have a conscience? The Supreme Court will ultimately decide as more and more conscience creep is experienced.

But ask yourself this, where do we draw the line?

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @Linzack

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"God-- I Love The Guy But The Fan Clubs Freak Me Out"

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Atheist

What happens when you have a debate between an Atheist, and a Christian? You get fireworks, a surprising argument and some wide-eyed discussion. Oh, and believe it or not, lots of laughs.

One of the points brought up by John Fugelsang, representing the Christian point of view, is his own background. He describes his family this way, "my mother was an ex-nun and my father was a Franciscan brother.

I'm the whitest guy in this room but you could say my mother was a Sister and my father was a Brother.

That's religion for you. It makes for some pretty strange bedfellows.

Fugelsang argues that those who hold the bible so dear to themselves would have trouble these days with electing Jesus for public office. After all, he was:

...a socialist. peaceful, radical non-violent revolutionary, hung out with lepers, hookers and crooks, never spoke English, wasn't an American citizen, was anti-wealth, anti-death penalty, anti-public prayer (Matthew 6:5) never anti-gay, never anti-abortion, never anti-premarital sex, long haired, brown skinned and a Jew.

And that's the Christian making that argument. Does make you pause.

On the Agnostic side, you get Jamie Kilstein who explains his disappointment with creationism by referring to how the majestic beauty of Niagara Falls wasn't part of the God's original plan. Sort of an afterthought.

So for sure you'll be entertained and enlightened with this humorous debate. You don't have to agree or disagree with either side -- but listening to it is fun. At least I hope you find it so.

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