L.A Archdiocese Agrees To $8 Million Settlement In Sex Abuse Case : NPR

From the article:

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $8 million to a teenager who was sexually abused and kidnapped by a teacher at her Catholic high school.

The teenager’s attorney, David Ring, said that the settlement — finalized by a court last week — is the largest that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has ever paid to a single victim, The Associated Press reports. Over the past 15 years, the archdiocese has paid more than $740 million in sexual abuse settlements.

Juan Ivan Barajas, then-athletic director and health teacher at San Gabriel Mission High School in San Gabriel, Calif., repeatedly sexually abused the student when she was 15 years old, according to a lawsuit filed in 2017. Barajas then kidnapped her and took her to Las Vegas, according to court documents reported by The Los Angeles Times.

Barajas was arrested in Nevada and is currently serving a six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to felony statutory sexual seduction, the AP reports.

Source: L.A Archdiocese Agrees To $8 Million Settlement In Sex Abuse Case : NPR

I’m not a religious man, but you’d have to be blind not to have noticed the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal that has reached across the decades. the sheer volume of poof decisions the church has made, protecting pedophiles one the children they should have protected is awe inspiringly awful.

I am glad some victims are now getting justice, but I fear that only the most provable and egregious cases will get justice.


The Jehovah’s Witnesses Community Allegedly Kept a Secret Database of ‘Undocumented Child Molesters’ 

From the article:

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, which serves at the head of the Jehovah Witness organization, may have kept a database of tens of thousands of instances of child abuse and paid millions to keep them hidden.

Source: The Jehovah’s Witnesses Community Allegedly Kept a Secret Database of ‘Undocumented Child Molesters’ 

I’m not in that community, but I have a hazy memory of going down the internet rabbit hole a good decade ago about abuse in the Jehovah Witness community in a series of forums from ex-members.

It makes all this, and the lack of action on the churches part, kind of not shocking. The stories had a running theme of no justice for the victim, and the sexual predator being a known abuser.

I’m glad this is coming to light, and I hope the victims get justice.

United Methodist Church Votes To Keep Bans On Same-Sex Weddings, LGBTQ Clergy : NPR

From the article:

Leaders of the United Methodist Church have rejected the One Church Plan, a measure that would have eased restrictions on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex marriages, with delegates voting against it at a special session of the church’s General Conference.

On Tuesday afternoon, delegates from around the world voted 438 to 384 to pass what was called the Traditional Plan, which maintains the church’s rules.

Source: United Methodist Church Votes To Keep Bans On Same-Sex Weddings, LGBTQ Clergy : NPR

Fuck the United Methodist Church. There are a lot of churches that are shopping God around that aren’t bigots these days.

Southern Baptist Convention Leadership Turned Back on Hundreds of Abuse Survivors

From the article:

Leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, which represents 47,000 churches and 15 million people who belong to the second-largest faith in America, has, for decades, enabled church leaders who raped, molested, and abused as many as 700 victims over the span of 20 years.

Since 1998, of the 380 church leaders and staff who allegedly sexually abused victims, most have have been convicted, successfully sued, confessed, or resigned. But according to a new investigation by the San-Antonio Express and the Houston Chronicle, nearly three dozen church staff and volunteers “who exhibited predatory behavior” were taken back in by the church, which “failed to alert law enforcement about complaints or to warn other congregations about allegations of misconduct,” and some registered sex offenders came back to the pulpit—including one preacher who sexually assaulted a teen. The SBC bans gay people and women from becoming pastors, but has no laws against allowing convicted sex offenders from working in churches.

Source: Southern Baptist Convention Leadership Turned Back on Hundreds of Abuse Survivors

Holy fucking shit. That’s 700 victims. How does any organization stay intact when they actively swept the sexual assault of 700 victims under the rug?

SEVEN FUCKING HUNDRED!

I mean, I am left sputtering with nothing coherent to say, because there are 700 victims here.

My only theory is they used the hierarchical power structures inherent in the church to suppress victims, combined with religious power. Pastors and religious leaders have so much power over their victims, and it’s so egregious when a man with that kind of power uses it to engage in sexually predatory ways.

Disband the whole fucking lot of them.

Protesting drag queens has become the new religious right merit badge / LGBTQ Nation

From the article:

Evangelical Christians have a new target for their inane protests – drag queens. The perpetually perturbed are up in arms that drag queens are reading stories to children in public libraries.

Source: Protesting drag queens has become the new religious right merit badge / LGBTQ Nation

I’ve been seeing an increase in news stories of these assholes all over. I mean, look at this guy who after being banned from the library in question, came armed. They declined to press charges on an armed man who had previously been banned for taking pictures of children, that burst into the library to threaten people reading children stories to children.

He also “complained of chest pains” after fighting with police. It was apparently a panic attack?

All I can think of with that story is when I ran a LARP, which is a live action role-play game that had all participants dressed in costume for a weekend of sword fighting, we had a guy who was notorious for fcukign with the rules. I was asked as an owner/referee to come along and make sure he couldn’t cheat. So the action goes down, and he sprints off into the woods, and down the park road. We all go after him.

He thought if he ran long enough we’d all give up, but since I, as an owner/referee was there, we all continued to pursue him. We all jogged close to five miles before he collapsed and said he was having a heart attack.

As an ex nurse, I assessed his out of shape ass, and offered to call him an ambulance, but while we waited, he’d better empty his pouches, because the rules stated all his in-game tags were forfeit to his pursuers. Suddenly he was fine, when he realized he wasn’t getting out of the repercussions.

To this day the name Buckner is notorious around the live action gaming circuit and synonymous with cheating. A local costumer even named some of their wares a Buckner special in an unflattering ode to the man.

So when I hear this Trump supporting asshole waved a gun around in a library, fought the police, then faked a heart attack when they tried to take him in? I think immediately he is another Buckner, who successfully got out of legal repercussions with his bullshit. Too bad the judge didn’t have an owner/referee to enforce the rules.

 

 

There are Christian health plans. They are as anti-LGBTQ as you’d expect. / LGBTQ Nation

From the article:

Altogether, the ministries cover more than a million Americans. While not all are geared toward evangelicals, the bulk of them are. Thanks to a fluke in Obamacare, the ministries don’t have to adhere to any of the regulations that govern the rest of the insurance market.

That means picking and choosing who gets insurance and what gets covered, based on the ministries’ definition of Biblical standards. Many of the ministries only accept applications from evangelicals.

As for LGBTQ people, forget it. Medi-Share, one of the largest ministries, states that members have to “live by Biblical standards” and “must only engage in sexual relations within a Biblical Christian Marriage.” It also requires members to attest that they do not drink or smoke and attend church regularly.

Some ministries require you to attest to your condemnation of marriage equality.

Source: There are Christian health plans. They are as anti-LGBTQ as you’d expect. / LGBTQ Nation

As an auditor, I’d love to see the books on these.

They cost less because they cover less, and don’t let people that are actually in need of coverage sign on. No preexisting conditions, reduced drug coverage. No preventative care. I am betting reproductive health care is right out.

If they aren’t covering anything, then it’s just another Christian scam set to use the faith of Christians to sell a product that won’t help them when they need it. I am always amazed at how Christians take advantage of other Christians.

School Contractor in Texas Denied Work Over Pro-Israel Loyalty Oath

From the article:

A CHILDREN’S SPEECH PATHOLOGIST who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told that she can no longer work with the public school district, after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel or “otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm” on that foreign nation. A lawsuit on her behalf was filed early Monday morning in a federal court in the Western District of Texas, alleging a violation of her First Amendment right of free speech.

The child language specialist, Bahia Amawi, is a U.S. citizen who received a master’s degree in speech pathology in 1999 and, since then, has specialized in evaluations for young children with language difficulties (see video below). Amawi was born in Austria and has lived in the U.S. for the last 30 years, fluently speaks three languages (English, German, and Arabic), and has four U.S.-born American children of her own.

Source: School Contractor in Texas Denied Work Over Pro-Israel Loyalty Oath

This is the only political clause in the contract she was asked to sign. It harkens back to the days of Henry Ford, when he rigidly controlled his employees outside or work activities and politics.

The contract didn’t even have any “vows” to protect children from abuse, and not support trafficking of children. Just a crazy Israel clause in the USA.

I think this paragraph explains why this is so unusual to have such a weird clause for another country in the work contract:

In order to obtain contracts in Texas, then, a citizen is free to denounce and work against the United States, to advocate for causes that directly harm American children, and even to support a boycott of particular U.S. states, such as was done in 2017 to North Carolina in protest of its anti-LGBT law. In order to continue to work, Amawi would be perfectly free to engage in any political activism against her own country, participate in an economic boycott of any state or city within the U.S., or work against the policies of any other government in the world — except Israel.

This has nothing to do with working in Texas, working with children, or protecting her employer or those children. It’s a totally batshit insane clause about Israel coming out fo the blue.

The school district said if she didn’t sign the oath, she couldn’t work for them after a career there.

This is all happening because Texas put in new Israel specific state law in 2017 that is so broad that victims of Hurricane Harvey could not get disaster relieve without signing this oath. The author is an evangelical Christian nut job, that doubled down on it when this happened.

Texas isn’t the only one, as currently 26 states have such laws on the books with 14 more pending.

The article runs down a very clear problem with this law, and shows that libertarians and conservatives are not okay with this any more than liberals. This is all over bad law, and probably wouldn’t hold up in court.

If you want to know why Evangelical fanatics have a hard on about Israel, read this article: 

For many conservative evangelicals, Jerusalem is not about politics. It is not about peace plans or Palestinians or two-state solutions. It is about prophecy. About the Bible. And, most certainly, it is about the end-times.
It’s about as crazy as you might have come to expect from these people.