Desperate HIV Patients Donate to Church So That the Pastor Will Destroy Their Medication — and Pray For Them Instead

Via the Washington Post comes this tale of callousness and perfidy.

NAIROBI, Kenya — At prayer healing services in some Pentecostal churches, pastors invite people infected with HIV to come forward for a public healing, after which they burn the person’s anti-retroviral medications and declare the person cured.

The “cure” is not free, and some people say they shell out their life savings to receive a miracle blessing and quit taking the drugs.

“I believe people can be healed of all kinds of sickness, including HIV, through prayers,” said Pastor Joseph Maina of Agmo Prayer Mountain, a Pentecostal church on the outskirts of Nairobi. “We usually guide them. We don’t ask for money, but we ask them to leave some seed money that they please.”

Yeah. “We don’t ask for money. We just ask for money.” I’m sure you understand.



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Carol of the Bells (Flying Spaghetti Monster Edition)

I can’t tell which side of the mythical War on Christmas this video is on… but it’s awesome, so I’ll say ours.



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Responding to an Almost Fatal Act of Self-Sacrifice, Christians Get Pissed Off Over a Lowercase Letter

In an interview series called “Kind World,” on “kindness and the profound effect that one act can have on our lives,” NPR in Boston broadcast the moving story of a man who sacrificed himself for a near-stranger. It’s the case of sky-diving instructor David Hartsock who, while strapped to his new student, Shirley Dygert, experienced an almost fatal equipment failure when the duo’s parachute didn’t properly deploy. To cushion Dygert’s fall, Hartsock managed to maneuver his body under hers just before the bone-shattering impact. They both lived, but Hartsock is now a quadriplegic.

Here’s the partial transcript of the show:

Dygert: I thought about my mom, I thought about my kids. My kids and my grand-kids — three grandchildren — and my husband and my other son were on the ground watching this. And I just said, god, I didn’t want them to have to see this. …

Hartsock: Knowing that her two sons and her husband could see their mother and wife spinning into the ground, thinking, “Oh my god, she’s going to be dead.” And I wasn’t going to let that happen no matter what.

Neither Hartsock nor Dygert expressed any outright religious sentiments, though both used the word “god” in an exclamatory way, as I probably do a half dozen times a day.

That’s “god” with a lowercase g.



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Why Is David Barton Lying and Saying Obama Didn’t Mention God in His Thanksgiving Proclamation?

There are times where we post videos of pastors or conservative pundits saying ridiculous things and their defenders will say we’re taking them out of context.

But when Christians lie so clearly, and the evidence is so conclusive, you really have to wonder how brainwashed their supporters are to just ignore the story.

Listen to pseudo-historian David Barton explain President Obama’s recent Thanksgiving proclamation:

Barton: One of the unfortunate things, this is in the past several years, the Thanksgiving message out of the White House no longer even mentions God. When we give thanks, God’s not part of that.

Andrew Wommack: Part of that’s because of who is in the White House.

Barton: That’s a real problem. You check Thanksgiving proclamations of this president with the previous ones and it’s not the same.

That’s an easy thing to factcheck!

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Center For Inquiry Relaunches Program to Send Atheist Books to Prisoners

Nearly a decade ago, Reed College student Leslie Zukor began a fascinating project. She knew that most prison libraries were full of religious books, often donated by church groups, and she wanted to offer prisoners an alternative. So she contacted a number of atheist authors, many of whom donated their books to the cause, and began sending boxes of freethought books to prisons across the country:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="320"]Leslie Zukor surrounded by donated freethought books[/caption]

To say the project was a success would be an understatement. For many prisoners used to reading the Bible and books about Jesus because there were just no other options, it was a breath of fresh to get their hands on something like The God Delusion. Ultimately, before the project slowed down due to things like ever-increasing shipping costs, Zukor said she had sent out approximately 1,650 books to a variety of prison-donating organizations across the country.

Today, it thrills me to announce that the Center for Inquiry is resurrecting the program and also coordinating a pen-pal program between inmates and volunteers:

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