Maryland Priest With Known DUI History Was Promoted to Bishop; On Saturday, She Committed a Fatal Hit-and-Run

An omniscient, omnipotent God orchestrated it all, I guess.

Leaders in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland who this spring made Heather Elizabeth Cook a bishop — the diocese’s first female bishop — knew the ugly details of her 2010 drunk-driving arrest but determined “that this one mistake should not bar her for consideration as a leader,” the diocese said in a statement Tuesday.

Now the diocese finds itself under fire after Cook’s acknowledgment that she was involved in a crash on Saturday that killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo, the father of two small children. Cook left the scene but returned later, Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton said in a statement Monday.

In the September 2010 arrest, Cook, then a priest,

… was pulled over at 1:15 a.m. … and was too intoxicated to complete sobriety tests. She had vomit on her shirt, the report said, and one of her four tires was shredded down to the rims. Cook told the officer she was driving from Canada and had drunk alcohol and smoked marijuana while driving, according to the police report.



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Christian Proselytizers Pretend They’re Animal Rescuers, Send Trick Postcards With Doleful Puppies and Kittens

Did you know that you and I are exactly like unwanted dogs?

If you’re wondering how so, consider this postcard from the fine Christian folks (including Ray Comfort) behind NeedGod.com. Looking at the photos and reading the copy on the front, you’d surely think it was a request for support from an animal-adoption group.



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Sioux Medicine Man and Spiritual Leader Accused of Serial Rape of Young Girls During Sweat-Lodge Ceremonies

Here’s a well-known recipe for disaster: Imbue a man with so-called spiritual powers, put him on a pedestal, and disregard what people say about him, even if he is rumored to be a serial child rapist.

The Washington Post sheds a good deal of light on the alleged crimes of Charles Chipps Sr. (below), an Oglala Sioux medicine man who long lived on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota, where he is thought to have raped at least six underage girls, including several of his own daughters and granddaughters. The victims were as young as five years old.

Now 67, Chipps, a “highly regarded spiritual leader” for decades, has pleaded not guilty. The professional bullshit peddler

inherited his spiritual position in the tribe and became a renowned medicine man on Pine Ridge and beyond, even releasing a CD of ceremonial songs. …

It was in a little blue house and a log cabin in [his] compound that Chipps abused girls and young women who came to him for spiritual guidance, according to the indictment against him and other court documents. He also allegedly sexually assaulted them on his nearby sacred ceremonial grounds, forcing them to disrobe and engage in sexual acts in the darkness of the sweat lodge. …

A girl from Colorado whose aunt brought her to meet Chipps for spiritual guidance committed suicide after revealing the abuse she allegedly suffered.



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Transgender Teen Killed in Traffic After Writing Suicide Letter Describing Her Christian Parents’ Opposition

[Word of caution #1: Extremely depressing content ahead.]

[Word of caution #2: I believe that the public suicide note quoted below is genuine, but have not yet been able to confirm it beyond a shadow of a doubt. The personal details do match up. I'll update this post as I learn more.]

This past weekend, in the middle of the night, Leelah Alcorn, born Josh, stepped into southbound traffic on I-71 in Ohio, where she lived, and was killed by a Freightliner semi.

This appears to be, in part, the digital suicide letter she left behind:

When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.



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Winston Churchill’s Family Feared That He Would Convert To Islam

A century ago, was Sir Winston Churchill itching to commit his life to Allah? The great British leader has always seemed like a grounded, even skeptical man, but recently-unearthed correspondence suggests that he flirted with Orientalism and Islam to such a degree that some family members feared he would become a Muslim.

The family of Sir Winston Churchill urged him to “fight against” the desire to convert to Islam, a newly discovered letter has revealed. …

In a letter dated August 1907 Churchill’s soon to be sister-in-law wrote to him: “Please don’t become converted to Islam … If you come into contact with Islam your conversion might be effected with greater ease than you might have supposed, call of the blood, don’t you know what I mean, do fight against it.”



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