TV Minister, Wife
Guilty of Prostitution
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

August, 1982

Detroit -- A minister and his wife pleaded guilty to charges of prostitution. The wife apparently sold her husband's services to a woman stranger coming out of a bank. The woman then called police and played along with the arrangement until $110 changed hands.

The minister was the host of two religious radio programs and one religious TV program.

Graphic Rule

Cries of Religious Oppression

Falwell Graduates Denied
Biology Certifications
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

August, 1982

Richmond -- A committee for the Virginia Board of Education unanimously recommended denying teacher certification to biology graduates of the Liberty Baptist College of Lynchburg. The school's chancellor, the Reverend Jerry Falwell, had announced that biology teachers were being trained to teach the religious doctrine of creationism.

The Liberty Baptist College Biology Department's head said that to say they "can't teach creationism and at the same time be certified as teachers [constitutes] religious oppression."

Graphic Rule

Community College
Won't Teach Origins
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

August, 1982

Ventura, California -- The Ventura County Community College governing board could not develop a satisfactory course on evolution and origins.

Any compromise would antagonize one side or the other, so the college decided not to teach the subject at all.

Graphic Rule

Catholic Priest
Ditches Secret Wife
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

April, 1982

Pinellas Park, Florida -- A 56-year-old woman filed a $5,000,000 lawsuit against her lover, his bishop, and the U.S. representative of Pope John Paul II.

She claims she had an affair with a Romen Catholic priest.

She alleges that the priest bought her a house, gave her a wedding band, gave her an official Church marriage, and promised to leave the priesthood. Instead, however, he moved out of town, leaving her "abandoned, deserted, and compromised."

Graphic Rule

Fetuses Make Gruesome
Anti-Choice Display
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

April, 1982

Chino, California -- Authorities found three fetuses hanging in an empty field near Chino, California, displayed with posters denouncing abortion.

"Each one had, like, a little hangman's nose around the neck" said a deputy coroner.

Graphic Rule

Unitarian Universalist Church
Okays Gay Marriages
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

September, 1982

Columbus, Ohio -- The Unitarian Universalist Church became the first major religious denomination to acknowledge marriages between gay and lesbian couples.

With an overwhelming majority, the 1300 delegates at the Unitarians' 23rd General Assembly, responded to arguments that such unions were not a matter of civil rights but a matter of human rights. They voted overwhelmingly to sanction the "spiritual unions" of gay and lesbian couples in marriage.

Some Unitarian ministers have been conducting such weddings for over a decade.

Graphic Rule

Lapland Sect Smashes Sin
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

September, 1975

Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland -- A sect of Lutheranism called the Laestadians smashes television sets in an effort to stamp out sin in Lapland. In one community, the sect has even condemns washing machines with windows because they allow people to observe the laundering of women's underwear. In the 1920s, the group smashed radios.

Police cannot stop the smashers because they pay for the damage and their victims are reluctant to file formal complaints.

Graphic Rule

Where Church Equals State

Saudi Arabia Bans
Contraceptives
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

September, 1975

Mecca -- Saudi Arabia has banned the use and importation of all forms of contraceptives. This follows a ruling by the World Moslem League that "birth control was invented by the enemies of Islam."

The decree makes smuggling of pills or contraceptive devices into the country punishable by six months in prison and further prohibits the use of any means to prevent conception. [Does this include abstinence?]

A Saudi official said, "The kingdom needs more and more males for work, and more and more females to bear and raise babies."

Graphic Rule

Clean Living Mormons
Live Longer
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

May, 1975

Los Angeles -- UCLA scientist Dr. James E. Enstrom of UCLA studied 400,000 California Mormons, discovering that they have 50 percent fewer cases of cancer than the average American. Mormon teaching forbids the use of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and non-medicinal drugs. The Chruch also recommends a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on grains and fruits and a moderate use of meat.

Dr. Enstrom noted that, while many Mormons do not strictly observe Church teaching, they do tend, as a group, to smoke and drink about half as much as the general population.

Graphic Rule

Divinely Ordained Menu

Passover's Little Secret
by Woody Johnson

April, 1998

Jews observing the eight-day holiday of Passover, a celebration of their ancestors' alleged deliverance from Egyptian slavery, often seek deliverance from another kind of bondage: constipation after the traditional holiday meal.

Matzo, unless it's made of whole wheat, has very little fiber. Many Jewish families have built-in preventatives such as a fruit compote or a special mix of carrots, yams and dried fruits.

Graphic Rule

DA: "Might get himself
a mouthful of fist"

Baptist Minister to
Film Porn Patrons
by Woody Johnson

May, 1975

Sacramento -- A Baptist minister has threatened to take photographs of customers who patronize adult bookstores, movie theaters, and massage parlors. The Reverend James Wilkins of the Landmark Baptist Tabernacle is leading a country-wide anti-smut campaign.

Wilkins said the Church does not intend to employ the photos "in any form of blackmail at all" but expressed hope that newspapers and television stations would use some of the pictures. "If pornography is good and wholesome and right, then certainly [the customers] would never care one bit if they have their pictures taken," he declared.

District Attorney John Price was questioned about the legality of the plan. He replied, "It wouldn't break any laws that I know of, but [Wilkins] might get himself a mouthful of fist."

Graphic Rule

The Bible Says It
I Believe It
That Settles It

Lutheran Synod Demands
Right To Discriminate
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

December, 1974

Milwaukee -- A Wisconsin Lutheran Synod education official says the church intends to appeal a U.S. Labor Department discrimination ruling. The Feds require that female teachers at the Synod high school be paid the same as male teachers doing comparable work.

The Church argues that it has a religious right to discriminate on the basis of sex: the Bible assigns more responsibility to men than to women in the church.

Graphic Rule

Safety Restrictions Forthcoming

Tennesse Cannot Ban
Snake-Handling
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

December, 1974

Knoxville -- The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that the constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion cover such dangerous practices as snake-handling. The Court says that any prohibition against snake handling in church worship services would be an infringement on those guarantees.

The decision modified a lower-court order, temporarily allowing the practice of handling poisonous snakes at a fundamentalist church near Newport, Tennessee.

The high court then ordered a new hearing, which will set up court-approved safety restrictions on snake handling.

Graphic Rule

Spare us the details!

Southern Baptist
Anti-Smut Manual
"Lewd and Obscene"
by Cliff Walker
adapted from his collection of news clippings

December, 1974

Dallas -- A church-produced handbook designed to help ministers fight smut has been denounced by many Southern Baptists and may be banned by the church.

"Pornography: The Sexual Mirage," a 190-page paperback, was produced and published by the Baptist General Convention's Christian Life Commission and was mailed to 4200 Southern Baptist preachers in Texas.

A spokesman said the ministers complained that the book is lewd and obscene and that they do not need to know the specifics of pornography in order to combat it.

Graphic Rule

Dies After End
Doesn't Materialize

Baptist Minister Predicts
The Apocalypse
by Chuck Shepherd

October 21, 1994

On September 28, Baptist minister Reginald P. Wiggins, 48, passed away in Philadelphia after slipping into a diabetic coma. Wiggins had announced recently that, after a decade of intensive, scholarly study of the scriptures at the Christ Memorial Reformed Episcopal Church, he had concluded that the apocalypse would occur in September 1994.

Graphic Rule

Man Thanks God For Acquittal;
Jailed For Contempt
by Chuck Shepherd
source: Times-Picayune

July, 1993

In New Orleans, Kevin Dominique was acquitted of possession of stolen property, a crime for which he would have received only a short jail sentence.

On hearing the verdict, and despite the judge's warnings on courtroom decorum, Dominique leaped to his feet, yelled "Thank God!" and bearhugged his lawyer. Judge Leon Cannizzaro then sentenced Dominique to six months in jail for contempt of court.

An appeals court freed Dominique after nine days.

Graphic Rule

San Diego Atheists Usurp
Easter Sunrise Service
by Chuck Shepherd
sources: San Francisco Examiner
see also: Critical Thinker, 4-96

April 8, 1996

In San Diego, an atheist group beat Christians to the permit office this year and won the right to hold a non-religious Easter sunrise ceremony at the landmark, 40-foot-high cross at Mount Soledad in a city park.

Graphic Rule

Casey's Convenience Store Hit

Boys Graffiti
"Psychic Center" of Town
by Chuck Shepherd

August, 1996

Three teenage boys were arrested for allegedly writing vulgar graffiti on several buildings in Hallsville, Missouri.

Police chief Pete Herring said the crimes were particularly serious because they frightened the elderly, and city attorney John Whiteside agreed, saying that the slurs were "mean-spirited" because one of the targets, Casey's convenience store, was the "psychic center" of Hallsville.

Graphic Rule

Demonstrating God's Power
Through Wanton Destructiveness
 

He-Men Break Boards,
Cinder Blocks for Jesus
by Chuck Shepherd

1991

The Power Team, a group of musclebound evangelists, tours the country for Christ, giving demonstrations of karate, breaking cement blocks with their fists, and bending steel in their mouths while raucous Christian heavy metal music blares in the background. The message is, "With God, all things are possible."

Graphic Rule