Green Beret discharged for beating alleged child rapist speaks out
(CNN)Sergeant 1st Class Charles Martland, the Green Beret being separated involuntarily from the U.S. Army for kicking and body slamming an Afghan police commander he describes as a “brutal child rapist,” began telling his side of the story Monday.
Martland is under a gag order imposed by the Pentagon, but at the request of Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif, he wrote a statement detailing his actions on Sept. 6, 2011, which was obtained by CNN.
“Kicking me out of the army is morally wrong and the entire country knows it,” Martland writes. Last week the Army rejected his appeal.
Martland and former Captain Daniel Quinn were disciplined by the Army after they beat a powerful local police official who they concluded had been raping a small boy. They say they had been encouraged by higher-ups that there was nothing to do about such horrific acts, that these were Afghan problems for the Afghan authorities to work out.
But the Afghan authorities wouldn’t do anything about it, the two soldiers say.
“Our ALP (Afghan Local Police) were committing atrocities and we were quickly losing the support of the local populace,” Martland writes in his statement. “The severity of the rapes and the lack of action by the Afghan Government caused many of the locals to view our ALP as worse than the Taliban.”
Quinn and Martland were told by a young Afghan boy and his mother, through an Afghan interpreter, that the boy had been tied to a post at the home of Afghan Local Police commander Abdul Rahman and raped repeatedly for up to two weeks. When his mother tried to stop the attacks, they told the soldiers, Rahman’s brother beat her. Quinn says he verified the story with other ALP commanders from neighboring villages. Then they invited Rahman to the camp.
“After the child rapist laughed it off and referenced that it was only a boy, Captain Quinn picked him up and threw him,” Martland writes. Martland then proceeded to “body slam him multiple times,” kick him in the rib cage, and put his foot on his neck. “I continued to body slam him and throw him for fifty meters until he was outside the camp,” Martland writes. “He was never knocked out, and he ran away from our camp.” The incident lasted no more than five minutes, he says.
Quinn told CNN’s “The Lead” last week “We basically had to make sure that he fully understood that if he ever went near that boy or his mother again, there was going to be hell to pay.”
“While I understand that a military lawyer can say that I was legally wrong, we felt a moral obligation to act,” Martland writes.
Quinn told CNN that they took the action they took because otherwise nothing would be done by the Army or local authorities. “The reason we weren’t able to step in with these local rape cases was we didn’t want to undermine the authority of the local government,” he said. “We were trying to build up the local government. Us acting after the local government fails to can certainly undermine their credibility.”
The Pentagon denies that telling soldiers to look the other way is official practice.
“We have never had a policy in place that directs any military member, or any government personnel overseas to ignore human rights abuses,” Defense spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said. “Any sexual abuse, no matter who the alleged perpetrator and no matter who the victim, is completely unacceptable and reprehensible.”
-You want an American hero, you got him! Beat a child molester and kill him and you have my vote for fucking life! These trash are not able to be rehabilitated and need swift execution and anyone who believes that one of these putrid fucks can pay a debt to society needs to get extensive shock therapy!
The best thing for a molester is a bullet to the back of the head, and that means an adult and a little child, not an 18yr old with a 16yr old! It is a well known fact in the military that soldiers from the Middle East as well as civilians commonly molest little boys and as long as they aren’t public about it, then it isn’t an afront to Islam. Ask the people who have been there, they have a frame of reference, not asshole liars who pontificate about things they don’t have the slightest idea about!
Charee Stanley filed complaint with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
“No one should have to choose between their career and religion,” lawyer says
ExpressJet spokesman declined to discuss discrimination complaint
(CNN)A Muslim flight attendant says she was suspended by ExpressJet for refusing to serve alcohol in accordance with her Islamic faith.
In a bid to get her job back, Charee Stanley filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday for the revocation of a reasonable religious accommodation.
She wants to do her job without serving alcohol in accordance with her Islamic faith — just as she was doing before her suspension, her lawyer said.
“What this case comes down to is no one should have to choose between their career and religion and it’s incumbent upon employers to provide a safe environment where employees can feel they can practice their religion freely,” said Lena Masri, an attorney with Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Attorney: Muslim flight attendant wants accommodation
Attorney: Muslim flight attendant wants accommodation 04:21
Stanley, 40, started working for ExpressJet nearly three years ago. About two years ago she converted to Islam. This year she learned her faith prohibits her from not only consuming alcohol but serving it, too, Masri said.
She approached her supervisor on June 1 and was told to work out an arrangement for someone to fulfill passenger requests for alcohol.
“It was at the direction of the airlines that she began coordinating with the other flight attendant on duty so that when a passenger requested alcohol, the other flight attendant would accommodate that request,” Masri said. “We know that this arrangement has worked beautifully and without incident and that it hasn’t caused any undue burden on the airline. After all, it was the suggestion of the airline.”
Flight attendants complained about ‘menacing’ images on aircraft
It seemed to be working out until another flight attendant filed a complaint against Stanley on August 2 claiming she was not fulfilling her duties by refusing to serve alcohol, Masri said. The employee complaint also said Stanley had a book with “foreign writings” and wore a headdress.
On August 25, the airline sent a letter to Stanley informing her that it was revoking its religious accommodation to exclude her from service of alcohol and placing her on administrative leave.
“They placed her on unpaid leave and they advised her that her employment may be terminated after 12 months,” Masri said. “We are requesting that her employment be reinstated and the accommodation of her religious beliefs be reinstated as well.”
A spokesman for ExpressJet declined to discuss Stanley’s complaint.
“At ExpressJet, we embrace and respect the values of all of our team members. We are an equal opportunity employer with a long history of diversity in our workforce. As Ms. Stanley is an employee, we are not able to comment on her personnel matters,” spokesman Jarek Beem said in an email.
-Sorry dear, but don’t work in a profession where your belief in a certain mythology conflicts with your job duties. You can believe in your magic sky fairy but if I get on a flight that says that they serve beer and you won’t give me one, then YOU are the one who is wrong! Get a job in a field where you can discriminate against people if you want to believe in an oppressive religious myth, but don’t expect the rest of us to believe your unsubstantiated poppycock! If you want to converse with someone that no one else can see then get on some meds like the rest of the schizophrenics out there, but don’t expect the general public to become as mentally unstable as you are and hear voices in THEIR heads!
Josh Duggar after Ashley Madison hack: ‘I have been the biggest hypocrite ever’
By Dana Ford, CNN
Updated 10:46 AM ET, Fri August 21, 2015 | Video Source: CNN
(CNN)Reality TV star Josh Duggar is apologizing after being outed as one of the 32 million people who used the cheating website Ashley Madison.
Hackers stole customers’ information from the website and released it to the public this week, exposing something Duggar tried to keep secret.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife,” Duggar said in a statement Thursday.
The Duggar family
He did not specifically address Ashley Madison in his statement, which was issued in the wake of the hackers’ data dump and later modified to omit the reference to pornography.
“I brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust,” Duggar said.
Earlier this year, Duggar was forced to apologize after reports emerged alleging he molested girls as a teenager, including his sisters. He said then that he “acted inexcusably.”
Duggar, 27, is the oldest of the children who appeared on TLC’s hit show “19 Kids and Counting.” The show has since been canceled.
According to an analysis from the cybersecurity company Trustify, Duggar paid Ashley Madison some $986 between 2012 and 2015. He used the name, josh_the_man, and described himself as an “attached male seeking female,” according to the analysis.
Duggar reportedly listed some of his desires as: conventional sex, experimenting with sex toys and one-night stands. He listed travel and photography as personal interests. He said he was turned on by professional, confident women who dislike routine and have a secret love nest.
Reality star Josh Duggar: ‘I acted inexcusably’ 01:00
“As I am learning the hard way, we have the freedom to choose to our actions, but we do not get to choose our consequences. I deeply regret all hurt I have caused so many by being such a bad example,” Duggar said in his Thursday statement. “I humbly ask for your forgiveness.”
The Duggars are known for being devout Christians who don’t believe in practicing birth control and whose children follow strict courtship rules.
Ashley Madison, which is owned by Avid Life Media, is designed to help married people cheat on their spouses. Its slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair.”
CNN’s Steve Almasy and Laurie Segall contributed to this report.
Again, we are assailed with more inappropriate behavior by science-denying home schooled revisionist historians. The Lord their God sure dwelt in them to elevate their oldest son to the pinnacle of purity as evidenced by how these assholes bragged about their ultra-conservative hate-mongering as though it were legitimate, and scoffed at those who were actually being honest and forthright in their lives.
The Duggars have had to learn some hard life lessons about how their throwback myth worship has completely degraded their family foundation and called everything that they have espoused into question. I can only shake my head in wonderment as to how the sheeple of America could elevate these idiots to a top rated show on a popular network, and be so oblivious as to the stupidity of what they believed in! These idiots believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old for Christ sake! Jim Bob,(oh my fucking god, Jim Bob! What kind of fucking name is that?), was actually present at the prison release of the tax criminal Kent Hovind who is one of the biggest science deniers around along with his idiot son Eric!
I wouldn’t send this asshole toilet paper if he was wiping his ass with his fingers let alone be seen with this crackpot! Finally, the truth revealed about these people and the damage that their Quiverfull bullshit causes when taught as fact! It is high time that the Duggars, as well as their poisonous teachings, fall out of the limelight before they damage any more people into believing in extreme mythology.
I have to say that I am NOT a fucking hipster or a hipster follower. I am myself who believes in what I believe with the backing of the Matt Dillahunty quote, “I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible.” Therefore, I believe that a balanced opinion out weighs a skewed right or left opinion. I believe passionately in socialized education and Social Security, but think that privatized prisons need to be eradicated in favor of mandatory DNA convictions regarding death penalty cases. These people could be worked under hard labor conditions 6 days a week instead of being executed. They would have NO access to appeal and would become non-people, working for the good of mankind only. Therefore; NO death penalty!
Drug addicts would be afforded free needles and drugs until they OD or ask for rehab. Two rehabs and no results equal no state benefits EVER again! Demonstrate PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and succeed, demonstrate idiocy and fail! My system would include a second chance, but would excommunicate you if you prove too moronic to save. Soylent Green could be an option because these idiots could be ground up into meal, melded with soy protein and used to feed starving nations of idiots too stupid to stop breeding in an area where food cannot be raised.
I know that people fall to bad luck at times, but they usually get back on the horse and drive on instead of breed too many kids that they cannot support. These are the common sense people that usually get tasked to support the LEGIONS of Medicaid leeches that force their entitled asses on the working people of America expecting the free ride that their lazy, worthless asses are receiving by convincing vacuum-headed liberals assholes that they are victims instead of stupid, gutless shithead fucktools.
I came from homeless uninspired trailer trash who made excuses instead of achieving and I credit me for elevating MYSELF! There was no luck or woo involved, I just decided that I wasn’t going to prison or back to the trailer park, so I educated MYSELF and didn’t act like the majority of worthless asshole minimum wagers of today. I chose to use condoms and have kids when I could feed them and put a decent roof over their heads without Section 8 assistance. I used my brain and if they can’t, then they deserve what life doles out to them. I resent helping these entitled fucks out and always will because I work for them so that they can sit on their lazy asses!
There needs to be a system of education in place to offer, or community work to perform in exchange for an assistance check, THEN these people can exercise that immense sense of entitlement that they always demonstrate when consuming services that the taxpayer provides!
In short, the focus needs to be on green energy, education, more education, and forced labor camps for hardened offenders instead of asshole lawyers and ACLU idiots that feel sorry for scumbags.
Guru convicted of abusing followers’ children fled justice
“The Hunt With John Walsh” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CNN. Got a tip? Call 1-866-THE-HUNT (In Mexico: 0188000990546) or click here.
(CNN)As young girls in the 1990s, Shyama Rose and sisters Kate and Vesla Tonnessen loved living in Barsana Dham, the Austin, Texas, ashram of the International Society for Divine Love.
- Convicted of 20 counts of indecency with a child
- Believed to be living in India
“Being a kid at Barsana Dham was pretty amazing,” Kate Tonnessen, now in her 30s, recalled. “To live on 200 acres of what was about as wild land as you can get in Texas.”
They, their parents and other families moved to the ashram in pursuit of enlightenment under the guidance of their spiritual leader, Prakashanand Saraswati, whom they called “Swamiji,” an honorific Hindu term for a guru.
“It was sort of understood that Swamiji was God, just on earth,” Vesla Tonnessen told CNN’s “The Hunt with John Walsh.” “He held absolute power over anything.”
The children of the ashram loved Saraswati. “We always felt as kids that he seemed like an Indian version of Santa Claus,” said Kate Tonnessen.
“He was very affectionate with everybody, and then the kids, he was really, like, cuddly and he’d give you hugs and kisses that just felt like your grandpa. But then sometime his kisses got weird.”
The abuse began when the girls were around age 12.
“The first time that he put his hand up my shirt,” Kate Tonnessen recalled, “I thought it was an inappropriate touch, and it was, uh, pretty devastating to me.”
“He would sometimes, you know, show up at my house at 3 in the morning and just come in,” Rose recalled.
“He’d tell me to go lock the door, and then he’d pull me onto the bed and kiss me and ask me to unhook my bra,” Kate Tonnessen said.
All three girls experienced acts of indecency at the hands of a man they were taught to believe was a god on earth.
As Rose recalled, “We were told if we said or thought anything negative against the society or against him, we could literally go to hell.”
Rose talked to her mother about what Saraswati had been doing. Her response shocked her.
“When she kinda knew and not only didn’t stop it but promoted it, like, what do you do as a kid?,” Rose told “The Hunt.” “I was like kind of flabbergasted when she told me, ‘Just enjoy it.'”
As Kate Tonnessen recalled, “After talking to Shyama and getting that confirmation that what had occurred to me had been happening to her, I don’t know, I just panicked and I spent days in darkness, writing in this journal.”
“On the third day, my mother kind of burst into my room and was livid and she’s like, ‘I read your journal.'”
Like Rose, Tonnessen expected support from her mother. Instead, her mother sided with her guru. Tonnessen said, “I was in trouble for seeing it as something other than religious.”
“I had considered telling somebody; telling an adult outside of the ashram,” Tonnessen said. “But the idea of what would happen if I did was just too painful to accept.”
“If I told someone, I’d be pulled out, away from my family.”
Allegations against Swamiji’s guru
Without support from their families or communities and afraid to go to the police, the girls stayed and endured until they were old enough to leave Barsana Dham.
“When I turned 18 and moved out, I felt entirely free for the first time,” Kate Tonnessen said.
Shyama Rose went to college to pursue a degree in computer science. “I was told by my mother that I shouldn’t go, and that I was being worldly; and that I wasn’t smart enough,” Rose recalled. “But, you know, I just decided to take off and go.”
Saraswati had a guru of his own, a well-known holy man from India named Kripalu who came to the United States in 2000 to spend time at Barsana Dham.
In a later online search, Kate Tonnessen discovered that Kripalu had faced accusations of rape in India and in Trinidad.
“I couldn’t stop shaking, recalled Tonnessen. “I clicked on it, and all these pages opened up; these news articles about how Kripalu had been accused by a young Trinidadian girl of rape.”
As Vesla Tonnessen recalled, the Kripalu allegations changed the equation for the three women. Knowing that Saraswati served and worshipped Kripalu, could the arrival of the guru’s guru put other girls still living in the ashram at risk?
“I think it just became clear that we weren’t the beginning and the ending of any abuse. And that there was probably a lot more abuse out there,” Vesla said. “And I think that was the point when we realized, like, well we should say something.”
“So then, after your parents, where do you go? You go to the police.”
In 2008, the three women brought their allegations to the Hays County, Texas, authorities. Though Saraswati never had sexual intercourse with them, in the eyes of the law his touching of their breasts while they were under the age of consent constitutes a felony.
But for Kate Tonnessen, it was too late to seek justice. The statute of limitations for this offense — 10 years after her 18th birthday — had expired a mere two months earlier. But her younger sister Vesla and their friend Shyama Rose were still within the 10-year limit. Assistant District Attorney Cathy Compton pursued their case.
Spiritual Huckster show true colors.
“When you have somebody who is repeatedly molesting children, you could not possibly charge every single time something happened,” Compton told “The Hunt.” “We just decided, we’re going to charge 10 counts for each girl.”
An indictment was handed up against Prakashanand Saraswati, but his devotees’ faith never wavered.
“There was absolutely no belief whatsoever in these three young ladies,” Hays County Lieutenant Sheriff Jeri Skrocki told “The Hunt.” “Everyone that lived out at the temple rallied around Swamiji.”
Kate and Vesla Tonnessen’s parents were among those who sided with the Saraswati.
“It feels like potentially what it feels like [when] a parent dies,” Kate Tonnessen told “The Hunt.” “But it wasn’t death that took them away. It was their own attachment to their guru that allowed them to override their love for me and my sister.”
Producers for “The Hunt” reached out to the women’s mothers, who did not comment.
Trial and conviction
Saraswati was released pending trial on a $1 million dollar bond, paid for by a member of the ashram.
His lawyers managed to delay proceedings for three years, but the case finally went to trial in 2011. On March 4, 2011, Saraswati was convicted of 20 counts of indecency with a minor.
The verdict came down on a Friday. The judge permitted Saraswati to return to Barsana Dham for the weekend. The punishment phase was set to begin that Monday, but Saraswati never showed up.
In his absence, the judge sentenced him to 14 years in prison for each of the 20 counts.
The hunt for Prakashanand Saraswati
“What happened in this case happens all over America,” said “The Hunt’s” John Walsh. “I’ll never know why. Think about it, he’s from another country. He’s got the resources to run. He did.”
Authorities believe he crossed the Laredo, Texas, border into Mexico, and from there fled to India.
Ultimately, the case in Trinidad against Saraswati’s guru, Kripalu, was dropped, “amid rumors of corruption and bribery,” according to Cathy Compton. His accusers in India recanted. Kripalu died in 2013. But Rose and the Tonnessen sisters still hope to see his disciple brought to justice.
“He’s still out there and he’s still abusing people,” said Vesla Tonnessen of Saraswati. “I don’t think that will stop until he’s imprisoned.”
Prakashanand Saraswati is thought to have various health issues including back problems and possibly diabetes. The U.S. Marshals Service believe he’s living in India between New Delhi and the town of Mussoorie. If you’ve seen Prakashanand Saraswati, please, call 1-866-THE-HUNT or go online at CNN.com/TheHunt. You can remain anonymous, we’ll pass your tip onto the proper authorities and, if requested, will not reveal your name.
Got a tip? Call 1-866-THE-HUNT (In Mexico: 0188000990546) or click here
Saraswati’s ashram has since changed its name to Radha Madhav Dham.
The managing members assert that they have no ties with Saraswati, that they did not assist in his departure, and they have no knowledge of his whereabouts.
Radha Madhav Dham also asserts that its leadership has been changed; that the new leaders have cooperated at all times with law enforcement; that they removed all images of and references to Saraswati, and that they have created controls to ensure a safe environment.
See more of Prakashanand Saraswati’s case on “The Hunt with John Walsh,” at 9 p.m. ET/PT Sunday, August 9
-Not just Christians, all of those who rely on woo to guide them have shitbirds among them. Religion just needs to be gone as an influence to control and subvert mankind.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. – In a rolling Kentucky pasture, the first few wooden ribs of a giant Noah’s ark tourist attraction have begun to sprout up.
For now, there’s only a foundation, some concrete pillars and the ribs. But the Christian ministry building the ark says the public will be awe-struck by the size of the 510-foot-long ship when it’s finished next year.
“This is going to be huge attraction just for the structure itself,” said Ken Ham, founder of the Kentucky-based group, Answers in Genesis.
On Thursday, journalists were allowed to tour the site for the first time — following a hard rainfall, as it turned out.
The religious theme park project that was announced nearly five years ago is still afloat, after hitting a stretch of rough waters. The ministry had to break the project into phases after private funding stalled a few years ago due to a soft economy. The ark is the first phase, and plans for other attractions at the site were put on hold.
Answers in Genesis says it will pour nearly $90 million of private donations and bond funding into the attraction, which will be called the Ark Encounter. So far, Ham said, about $70 million has been raised.
The Christian group says it has researched the Noah story to determine the size of the boat. In the Bible account, the ark was built by Noah to carry pairs of all the earth’s animals as the world was destroyed by a flood.
“Most people don’t really understand the size of the ark, and we’re going to answer questions like, how could he fit all the animals on board,” Ham said at the construction site Thursday.
Ham’s ministry opened the Creation Museum in 2007 a few miles from here. It has drawn criticism from science educators for exhibits that challenge evolution and promote a view that the earth is about 6,000 years old.
TV star and educator Bill Nye, who suggests the tourist-friendly ark could divert young people away from science, debated Ham on evolution at a widely-seen event at the Creation Museum last year. Nye said if Noah’s ark had actually been built, it would have been destroyed by the sea.
The big boat project took another hit last year when the state of Kentucky withdrew a tourism sales tax incentive that would have meant about $18 million for the attraction after it is up and running.
State officials said in December that tax incentives shouldn’t be used to “fund religious indoctrination.” Answers in Genesis disagreed and filed a federal lawsuit to get back into the incentive program, saying they should not be excluded because of their religious beliefs. The state has asked a judge to dismiss the suit, and a hearing is scheduled for next week.
Ham said the ark attraction is meant to reach more people “with God’s word.”
“But we’re not forcing people to come here, they come of their own free will,” Ham said. “And when they come here and go through, we’re not going to be forcing them to believe our message, we don’t do that. They’re going to have a great experience regardless of whether they agree with us or not.”
-Ken Ham, the complete idiot who believes that Tinkerbell really CAN fly, said the the exhibit, based on the complete bullshit myth that all of the fucking animals in the world came to a wooden ship of their own free will, will inspire single-celled organisms to further believe in misogynistic assholish bigotry and will, in the future, completely crush the Supreme Court and those meddlesome gays once and for all. Ham was also witnessed talking to his own dick and shoving flowers into his own pee hole…..
Washington (CNN)In a landmark opinion, the Supreme Court ruled Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a victory that until very recently would have seemed unthinkable.
The 5-4 ruling had Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the majority with the four liberal justices. Each of the four conservative justices wrote their own dissent.
The far-reaching decision settles one of the major civil rights fights of this era — one that has rapidly evolved in the minds of the American pubic and its leaders, including President Barack Obama. He struggled publicly with the issue and ultimately embraced same-sex marriage in the months before his 2012 re-election.
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family,” Kennedy wrote. “In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were.”
In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia blasted the Court’s “threat to American democracy.”
“The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me,” he wrote. “But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch.”
The relevant cases were argued earlier this year. Attorney John Bursch, serving as Michigan’s Special Assistant Attorney General, defended four states’ bans on gay marriage before the Court, arguing that the case was not about how to define marriage, but rather about who gets to decide the question.
The case came before the Supreme Court after several lower courts overturned state bans on gay marriage. A federal appeals court had previously ruled in favor of the state bans, with Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals writing a majority opinion in line with the rationale that the issue should be decided through the political process, not the courts.
Fourteen couples and two widowers challenged the bans. Attorneys Mary Bonauto and Doug Hallward-Driemeier presented their case before the Court, arguing that the freedom to marry is a fundamental right for all people and should not be left to popular vote.
Three years after President Barack Obama first voiced his support for gay couples’ right to marry, his administration supported the same sex couples at the Supreme Court.
“Gay and lesbian people are equal,” Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. told the justices at the oral arguments earlier this year. “It is simply untenable — untenable — to suggest that they can be denied the right of equal participation in an institution of marriage, or that they can be required to wait until the majority decides that it is ready to treat gay and lesbian people as equals.
The same-sex couples who challenged gay marriage bans in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio were just a few of the estimated 650,000 same-sex couples in the United States, 125,000 of whom are raising children.
The challenges included same-sex couples who wanted to marry, those who sought to have their lawful out-of-state marriage recognized, as well as those who wanted to amend a birth or death certificate with their marriage status.
The lead plaintiff in the case is Jim Obergefell who married his spouse John Arthur in 2013 months before Arthur died.
The couple, who lived in Ohio, had to travel to Maryland aboard a medical jet to get married when Arthur became gravely ill. And when Arthur died, Obergefell began to fight to be recognized as Arthur’s spouse on his death certificate.
The plaintiffs from Michigan are April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, two Detroit-area nurses who are also foster parents. They took to the courts after they took in four special-needs newborns who were either abandoned or surrendered at birth, but could not jointly adopt the children because Michigan’s adoption code requires that couples be married to adopt.
Sgt. Ijpe Dekoe and Thomas Kostura became plaintiffs in the gay marriage case after they moved to Tennessee from New York.
The pair had married in New York in 2011, but Dekoe’s position in the Army took the couple to Tennessee, which banned gay marriage and refused to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.
–SCOTUS has finally stepped in where others were afraid to tread and FUCK Antonin Scalia and his dissent! Finally a sweeping tribute to freedom and a definite slap in the face to conservative cousin-fucking Duggerites!
Joel Osteen recently reported the theft of $600,000 from the safe in his church, but the theft wasn’t the only information of interest revealed. After finding out that this large chunk of money was from just one weekend of Osteen’s collected church donations, jaws dropped around the nation.
According to News Max on March 18, it didn’t take long for folks on the outside to do the math. Based on Osteen’s reported amount of money in this theft, it appears his Lakewood Church takes in an estimated $32 million a year, but some say that is a very low estimate. Calculator keys were punched around the nation taking the $600,000 for Olsteen’s weekend donation collection and multiplying this by the 52 weeks in a year.
Many consider this a conservative estimate of donations this church receives, as March is just an average month with no holidays for the church. The spirit of giving around the Christmas holidays has to net this church more than the average week. Then there’s Easter and other holidays, not to mention the weekdays. The amount reported taken from the church was only for their take over a weekend.
Osteen’s church released a statement at the time of the theft last week saying:
“It is important to note this was not an electronic data breach, but was instead limited to donations made in the services on March 8 and 9, 2014. You were not affected if you put your offering in a drop box, you gave online or through other electronic means, or you made a bookstore purchase.”
If you combine the stolen money with what Osteen’s church rakes in from “other electronic means” and from the folks who give “online,” this amount must be astronomical. The “electronic” and “online” donations were an undisclosed amount of money that wasn’t included in the money stolen. Putting all this together you are more than likely talking about a substantial amount of money, much more than the estimate of $32 million each year.
With Osteen’s best selling books, his TV work and the tours around the world, Osteen and his church are more than likely reaping rewards that are unimaginable.
If you think about it, this heist got the sum of money that you’d expect to hear was raked in from a casino heist! It seems that the reported theft of the money in Osteen’s church last week opened a new can of worms. It’s the church’s astronomical donations that should really be the headlines here. What happened to the days of the poor boxes filled with change?
-Funny how stupid people can be huh? 99.99% of these people are taking an 84 Billion dollar a year tax break on their backs and have been for some time!
Wells Fargo’s gay couple ad sparks evangelist protest
By Jackie Wattles @jackiewattles
In April, Wells Fargo became the first American bank to feature an LGBT relationship in its ads
Christian Evangelist Franklin Graham has sparked an angry Facebook debate about gay rights when he announced he is pulling all of his organization’s millions out of Wells Fargo accounts in response to the bank’s recent ad campaign featuring a lesbian couple.
“Have you ever asked yourself–how can we fight the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay & lesbian community?” Graham wrote in a Facebook post on June 5. “At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we are moving our accounts from Wells Fargo to another bank.”
That new bank will be BB&T, the association confirmed. But social media users were quick to point out the North Carolina-based bank is a sponsor for Miami Beach Gay Pride, an annual festival celebrating the LGBT community.
In response to Graham’s decision, BB&T’s chief corporate communications officer, Cythina Williams, issued a statement saying the bank “embraces diversity and inclusion for our associates and in all aspects of our business” — but the company declined to take a formal position on gay rights, saying its sponsorship of the gay pride event does not imply an endorsement.
Graham’s association is moving forward either way. A spokesperson confirmed the organization has begun the 30-day process of moving its accounts, which could total more than $100 million. According to the most recent financial disclosure forms available for the nonprofit, BGEA was worth $128 million in 2013.
Graham is the 62-year-old son of famed televangelist Billy Graham, who became internationally known in the 1950s for his large religious rallies and radio/TV sermons. The younger Graham now heads the North Carolina-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — which continues to broadcast sermons, coordinate community service and offers a $99 online school of Evangelism.
In addition to closing his accounts with Wells Fargo, Graham wrote that he plans to boycott Tiffany & Co. (TIF) in response to an ad the jeweler released in January that shows two men getting engaged.
Franklin Graham is the president and CEO of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Graham’s Facebook (FB, Tech30) post received more 95,000 likes and 42,600 shares, but not all responses were positive. Its 11,000-plus comments contain a slew of angered users that disagree with Graham’s stance.
“It is so hypocritical of him and so many others to pick just the one rule from a plethora of rules that allows them to discriminate against a group of people that they consider less than,” one user, Betty Miliano, wrote in a recent comment. “They know that they have lost this battle and are on the wrong side of history.”
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Wells Fargo (CBEAX) stood behind its ad campaign and issued a statement saying its support of the LGBT community “reflects our company’s values.”
“We were not naive to think that there would be no negative responses,” Wells Fargo spokesperson Valerie Williams said. She added that the vast majority of reactions to the ad were not in line with Graham’s, and overall the response was “overwhelmingly positive.”
Tiffany & Co. also responded to Graham’s post. Spokesperson Carson Glover said, “We want everyone who shops with us to feel welcome and appreciated.” He also pointed to a February press release from the company saying the nontraditional couples depicted in the ad “represent the spectrum of people who visit Tiffany every day.”
Graham is also the president and CEO of the $200 million humanitarian aid nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse, though a spokesperson for the organization said its finances are handled by a different bank.
-How about you take your assets and stuff them up your myth-believing, hate speech riddled asshole, you tent revival, bible-beating bigot!! Fuck you and fuck your church of the poisoned mind you Chik-Fil-A gobbling jackass!