Right Wing Religion Round-Up: Trump Gets Stumped By Easy Bible Questions In Newly Resurfaced Video

“I have a great relationship with God.”

By Lee Moran
HuffPost (8/23/19)

An old video in which President Donald Trump dodges questions about the Bible is going viral again in light of the president’s new claim that he is the “chosen one.”

In the 2015 interview on Bloomberg Politics that Twitter user @Caring_Atheist shared online Wednesday, Trump (who’d earlier called the Bible his favorite book) appears reluctant to reveal his favorite verses.

“Because to me that’s very personal,” Trump sidesteps. “You know, when I talk about the Bible it’s very personal so I don’t want to get into verses. The Bible means a lot to me but I don’t want to get into specifics.”

When asked if he’s a bigger fan of the Old Testament or the New Testament, Trump says he’s “probably equal.”

“I think it’s just incredible, the whole Bible is incredible,” he added. …

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Catholic Priest Accused Of Spending Church Funds On Dates And A Beach House

HuffPost (8/22/19)

A Pennsylvania Catholic priest stole nearly $100,000 from his parish and spent the money on a beach house and relationships with adult men, prosecutors say.

Monsignor Joseph McLoone, formerly a priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downingtown, has been charged with felony theft and related crimes, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Charles Gaza, chief of staff for the office, accused the 56-year-old priest of taking advantage of his parishioners’ trust.

“Father McLoone held a position of leadership and his parishioners trusted him to properly handle their generous donations to the church,” Gaza said in a statement. “Father McLoone violated the trust of the members of St. Joseph’s for his own personal gain.”

McLoone took over as pastor at St. Joseph’s Parish in 2011. On All Souls’ Day that year, a holy day in November that Catholics set aside to pray for the dead, McLoone allegedly opened a secret checking account which he called the St. Joseph Activity Account. …

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Priest Bound & Gagged Teen Boy With Masking Tape And Held Him Hostage In Church’s Janitor Room

By Sky Palma
Raw Story (8/22/19)

A Michigan Catholic priest has been charged with one count of false imprisonment after he wrapped a teenage boy in plastic wrap and covered his eyes and mouth with masking tape, all while trapping him in the janitor’s room of a church, ClickOnDetroit reports.

Rev. Brian Stanley, 57, faces up to 15 years in prison and would also have to register as a sex offender if convicted.

Stanley was reportedly entrusted by the teen’s family as a counselor before the incident took place in the fall of 2013 at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Otsego.

Police say the boy was left alone in the room, bound and gagged, for over an hour before Stanley let him go.

Stanley’s arrest came six years after the incident, thanks to an investigation by authorities who determined that his conduct was ongoing and sexual in nature. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Diocese of Kalamazoo said they reported multiple allegations regarding Stanley to the authorities, including the one in 2013 and another incident which took place in 2017. Stanley was reportedly placed on administrative [leave] both times. …

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Couple Who Ran Demon-Obsessed Gay ‘conversion therapy’ Camp Indicted On Human Trafficking Charges

By Travis Gettys
Raw Story (8/22/19)

An Alabama couple who operated a controversial gay “conversion therapy” camp has been indicted on human trafficking charges in connection with a new religious facility they set up in Texas.

A grand jury indicted 49-year-old Gary Wiggins and 34-year-old Meghann Wiggins after investigators found they had forced children to work at their Joshua Home for troubled boys, reported KXAN-TV.

Burnet County officials raided the 10-acre property near Bertram in July 2018, where they removed eight boys between 10 and 17 years old as part of an investigation into possible abuse, neglect, labor violations, fraud, licensing violations and human trafficking.

One man, whose 11-year-old brother was staying at the facility when it was raided, said the couple imposed harsh discipline on the boys. …

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Perv Who Snapped Pics Of Woman In Dressing Room Turns Out To Be High-Ranking Mormon Church Official

By Sky Palma
Raw Story (8/19/19)

A man who was caught secretly taking photos of a woman in a Nashville, Tennessee shopping mall has been identified has a high-level member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Fox 17 reports.

Stephen Murdock was arrested on Tuesday after police say he took the photos at an H&M store in a mall at Opry Mills. According to the report, Murdock’s wife begged the victim not to call the police after the incident.

As Fox 17 first reported on Wednesday, Murdock approached the female victim and “guided” her to a dressing room in the clothing store, apparently pretending to be a store employee. Once inside the dressing room, the woman noticed a black object in the corner and soon realized it was a camera pointed directly at her. …

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‘Love This Guy’: Franklin Graham Praises Mayor For Having ‘A Lot of Guts’ After He Attacked LGBT People

By David Badash
New Civil Rights Movement (8/16/19)

Evangelical empire scion Franklin Graham has made attacking LGBTQ people a core principle of his self-styled “ministry,” aka Facebook. After New Jersey Mayor Alfonso Cirulli delivered an 11-minute anti-gay screed during a township committee meeting Graham took to social media to praise the Republican for calling the LGBTQ community “an affront to almighty God.”

“Love this guy—he’s got a lot of guts!” Graham told his nearly 8 million followers on Facebook.

Mayor Cirulli told elected town officials he opposes the state’s new law that requires schools to teach students about the contributions LGBTQ people have made to society.

“We’ve crossed over the line into absurdity,” Cirulli said. And he urged residents to vote state lawmakers out, saying, “no group has a right to force others to comply with their beliefs, deprive them of their First Amendment rights, and strip them of their parents of how to morally raise their children.”

Graham totally agreed …

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Thank God For Satanists? Are They Now The Good Guys In The Fight Against Extremist Evangelical Right?

By Steve Rose
The Guardian (8/15/19)

Over the past century of popular culture, Satan has acquired the souls of delta blues musicians, incited youth rebellions, possessed small children and goats, impregnated unsuspecting women and transmitted evil through backwards lyrics on heavy metal records. But recently, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones, the nature of his game has been puzzling us.

The forces aligned against Satan have become so objectionable that he no longer looks like the bad guy. They include such groups as the Westboro Baptist church, notorious for its hate speech against LGBTQ people, Jews, Muslims and other groups, all of which it condemns as “satanic frauds”. There’s the Trump administration, in league with the US religious right, which has been aggressively pushing anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ legislation, not to mention engaging in overt Islamophobia. Those forces would also include the 20,000 people who recently signed an online petition condemning the Amazon TV adaptation of the cult novel Good Omens – about a demon and an angel – as “another step to make satanism appear normal”.

Now, a documentary threatens to rehabilitate Satan. Directed by Penny Lane, Hail Satan? follows the early adventures of the Satanic Temple, an institution that has hit upon the perfect counter-strategy to the evangelicals’ efforts to recouple church and state. …

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