Archive for category Failures of Faith
A (trigger warning!) Florida man was arrested and fired from his job after being caught taking pictures up a woman’s skirt at his pace of work. That place of work was a church, the woman was a parishioner, and the man arrested is a pastor.
Serious question: Why don’t church leaders seem more concerned about the frequency with which this stuff happens, which in turn relates to how easy it evidently is to achieve the designation of “pastor”?
I figure that folks at the top don’t see any way to stop what people leading any of the thousands of congregations across the country are doing, or they don’t really care.
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As unlikely as it seems, Steve McConkey‘s antics are worse than ever. He posted this on his Facebook page this morning (I’ve included his followers’ comments as of 2:30 MDT to again establish the level of reckless ignorance and stupidity it takes to respond to anything this asshole says with anything besides derision and sad guffawing).
People like Steve are why the government needs to be more stringent about granting nonprofit status to “religious” “organizations” that are nothing more than ways for ersatz Christians like Steve, whose days are evidently consumed by unwanted fantasies about nude, well-oiled young men, to not only lobby for handouts from fellow morons, but avoid paying taxes on whatever handouts they receive.
I sometimes think I’m too cynical. Then I remind myself that the majority of Americans claim to believe in an exquisitely well-concealed chamber of horrors where dead folks are tortured literally forever for thought crimes (such as believing in the “wrong” god) or actions that aren’t morally wrong at all. Virtually nothing could be more cynical than this.
The disturbing thing about the crazier strains of Christianity is that its adherents don’t merely think Hell is an actual place, one ecclesiastical consideration among many; they emphasize its inevitably cruel promises above all else. It seems that condemning others to Hell is a far more important consideration than striving to get into Heaven. Despite all the cool and useful things one might extract from holy books, a sizable fraction of the American religious population does little besides howl and complain about sinners and sin (and, in many cases, beg for money in the process).
[Note: I’ve duplicated all of my “Beck of the Pack” posts about Steve McConkey and Kim Duclos and included them here on the Chimp Refuge, with the dates of the original posts. Although both of these characters were once part of the running world, that’s no longer true, and I’m no longer interested in sullying a running blog with anything about either person. After all, this blog actually gets more traffic than my other one in spite of my having largely neglected it in recent years, and it also a more appropriate place to rant about the world’s reprobates, undesirables, and sick fucks. I also feel free to be even meaner here, which with an eye on recent events could come in quite handy. So, say hello to Steve and Kim. And if you want to keep tabs on the ridiculous things Steve writes and says in near-real time, try this humble group project.]
At this point, I won’t delete the relevant existing posts from BotP, and the more astute among you, and even some of you nitwits, can probably figure out why.]
Obviously, not everyone who believes or claims to believe in a supernatural Neitherbeing is insane, ignorant, lying, or stupid. Our brains are plainly wired in ways that make the idea of an unseen, megapowerful cosmos-creator universal across cultures.
But subscribing specifically to any one of the various religious fables on offer, and embracing absurdities as true, is a different story. Anyone who believes that the universe was created in six days within the past ten thousand years and that biological evolution is a hoax is either mentally disturbed or profoundly ignorant or both. One can adhere to a lazy sort of deism without clinging to the whole crazed, mostly purloined “Jesus-as-man-and-god nonsense. Bart Ehrman, a recovered born-again Christian and professor of religious studies, explores a lot of the rationale behind the explosion of Christianity in this podcast with Sam Harris.
When people who would be nutjobs no matter what take up the Christian cause, the results are predictably messy. Like this:
The normal response to being accused of racism, and for suffering the consequences of making racist remarks, is to at least acknowledge those remarks and either walk them back or double down on them, depending on the situation and the state of mind of the accused. Even admitted racists usually get at least this far.
The response of an addled whack-job like Steve McConkey in such a scenario is to blame others for the tumult and post similarly offensive remarks on publicly accessible Internet sites.
Last Tuesday, McConkey, a “ministry president” (i.e., unemployed professional beggar), boasted that he would be on a radio program the following afternoon. Prayers, as always, were appreciated.
Make no mistake — that site is run by “Christians” with views just as distasteful as McConkey’s; that they happen to be black is irrelevant. Except, that is, given that McConkey has made some jarringly insensitive statements about black people in the not-so-distant past.
Now have a look at this page, also linked from Steve’s main 4 WINDS page and dated March 19, 2018. It contains this:
April 30, 2:21 p.m. EDT update:
Steve has posted a comment that reads: “[Beck] has been doing it six weeks. Finally had to stand to dispute the lies. Sometimes you have to stand. My counsel says yes as he makes things up. I will now move on.”
Steve, of course, has done no such thing. He has not disputed a word of what I have written on my blog. He has instead labeled me an atheist and a supporter of homosexuals, which I cheerfully admit to. He has also claimed that I am responsible for a number of Facebook accounts that are not in fact mine, but I don’t care about that. He says that I have written “lying articles against [him] at the blog” (he’s no Shakespeare) but has not pointed out a single lie. And he himself is lying because he said yesterday that he wasn’t going to address me anymore. I hope he’s looking forward to a toasty experience in Hell for his long, ugly streak of prevarications and other sins.
Yesterday, I forgot to mention a particularly vile and underhanded move Steve made — one typical of hucksters and scammers like this clown. Yesterday, he mentioned deaths and illnesses in his immediate family in an effort to gain sympathy that he can then use as leverage in his misguided attacks. Feeble-minded people are prone to blind spikes of outrage, like Chihuahuas, and Steve, though a dullard himself, knows this. He actually has the audacity to liken the passings of his wife’s parents in quick succession and his sister’s cancer diagnosis to “600 plus attacks by atheists and homosexuals,” as if the latter just sort of happened and are not a natural consequence of his monomania and yammering over the years. He puts these attacks in the category of “a real crises” (sic).
* Steve says I’ve lied about him. Feel free to point any of those lies in the comment box below.
* Anyone who complains that I’m guilty of hate speech for maligning someone does nothing but howl about atheists, homosexuals, and others should see a neurologist. Steve can, of course, say these things all he likes — and I can say whatever I please about these things in return.
* Steve implores his Facebook readers to “keep judging.” I am merely taking him up on this. I have judged the weight of the evidence, and concluded that Steve is some combination of unintentional joke and profoundly disturbed and conflicted asshole.
* Steve says I “spent hours getting (the picture of him I use here) off the TV.” I spent about three seconds using my laptop to get a screen capture. Also, as a friend just put it, “I find it amusing that his primary concern is how he looks in one picture.” Maybe Steve should spend a few moments praying for the insight to appreciate why I write things about him in the first place. HINT: It’s not because of either demons or George Soros.
* Steve is attempting to repay the favor of my posting what he feels is an unflattering photo of him by posting more and more pictures of yours truly. I can save him some trouble by reminding him that the photos he’s using are photos I posted to the Internet myself. That should be a sign that I’m not especially embarrassed by them.
* Steve says I am a stalker for writing posts about him, which I started doing six weeks ago at the rate of one a week. Well, gol-lee, folks. Steve has been writing untoward “articles” about gays and transgender people almost daily for a long time now. He has operated a “ministry” for almost 40 years to attack gay people who have nothing to do with him and have never even heard of him, and just want to live their lives. Steve pretends that this is “God’s work.” Well, if he can say that, so can I. My god is obviously smarter and cooler than his, because I can write in complete sentences and don’t look like someone who was just extruded from the bunghole of a diseased yak.
I realize that this exhortation will not resonate with you folks for multiple reasons, but I’ll say it anyway: Do the fucking math.
* I bet none of you have even gotten this far, but just as a check: Because Steve’s posts are public, so are the comments you all leave on his page. As a result, I can see your real names. Obviously, at least a few of you — as hard as it is for me to believe — have jobs, and you probably want to keep them. If you find yourself expressing opinions that strike me as uncivil, I may take it upon myself to convey these opinions to folks in your immediate sphere of operations who can influence your employment status.
* Steve has repeatedly complained that I have alluded to his eventual death, as if this constitutes a crime of some sort. Do any of you remember him celebrating Stephen Hawking’s actual death? Or that of James Cone last week? No? Better keep reading.
* This comment, in which Steve declares that he will stop mentioning me, is assuredly another of his lies. Actually, two of them. Either that or Steve really needs better counsel.
Suppose I stepped back from my obvious contempt for Steve McConkey — a pathetic basket case, a coward (the post on which Hemant focuses is gone) and the apotheosis of every awful thing about Christianity — and merely approached his body of work as an academic might. Even if I were to explore his demented output with utmost clinical detachment, I’d still find it easy to write lengthy posts each week about multiple facets of his corrupt thought processes and behavior. Part of this is because I’m still learning things about that reveal that there is basically no bottom to how much of a scourge he is, but for the most part it’s because he continually generates new madness. He’s like a version of Aladdin’s lamp in the form a wrinkly ass pointed upward and outward. He waits, bent over at the waist and grasping his ankles, and when someone wanders by and rubs those nasty old cheeks, a geyser of semi-solid rhetorical shit spews out: some delusions this time, some whining the next time, false appeals to scripture the next. This metaphor, in addition to being a tad nauseating, breaks down at the level of the number of wishes Aladdin’s genie was willing to grant. Steve’s ass-genie doesn’t stop at three or thirty or even three hundred; it’s a bottomless well of foulness that will keep erupting for as long as its keeper continues toiling away sadly in his Wisconsin home, subsidized by donations from the dolt brigade and most likely his progeny.
1) He’s not the most astute philosopher or scholar out there. This has been clear from the beginning and is a requirement for maintaining the views he does.
2) He’s a fundamentally indecent person — slothful, malicious and dishonest and determined to extract enough cash from fellow dimwits and crazies to offset his inability or refusal to hold a job. This, like low cognitive wattage, is de rigueur for Christians of his ilk.
3) He has overt mental problems that interfere with his everyday functioning, but are not sufficiently severe to absolve him of accountability for his behavior. This aspect of his persona drives most of what I focus on below.
4) He no more a Christian at heart than I am, and is probably less so. This is true of most people who make public proclamations about their religious belefs, which are almost invariably a ploy for self-enrichment. Steve McConkey’s “faith” is not more than a shield for his fundamental distaste for gays and transgender people and a mechanism for begging.
5) He’s going to retain all of these traits for the rest of his life, because God dealt him an unfavorable hand, and because people who behave like he does for as long as he has virtually never shift toward more accommodating points of view.
Having followed Steve for all of five weeks now, I’ve gained a sense of why he hasn’t garnered more negative attention over the years. Sure, he’s plainly a goof and easy enough for reasonable people and everyday Christians to ignore, but he’s been trying to make a name for himself in a relatively limited sports niche for at least 37 years. On this basis alone, it seems that his controversial blather would have been called into question more energetically than it has.
As it happens, a big part of the explanation is fairly simple. At any given time, Steve’s online presence is a remarkable not for what’s posted under his name — on his personal and “Steve report” Facebook pages as well as his “4 Winds” site — but for what was once posted in these places but is now missing.
First, Steve McConkey will be happy to know that his “worldwide press releases” are being picked up and mentioned by at least one high-traffic blogger outside the Evangelical clown-bubble. Hemant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist, who made a note of Mr. McConkey’s antics in 2015, has addressed Steve’s grousing about transgender runners being allowed to run the Boston Marathon. The only thing Hemant gets somewhat wrong is calling Steve the leader of anything. Steve is the president of 4 WINDS in the same way I am the chief executive of this blog, except that I am 1) not illiterate, 2) not asking anyone for money, and 3) not a lunatic, although I certainly seem to be involved with crazies to a suspicious extent.
Second, Steve is none too pleased about my blog posts mentioning him, though of course he’s too much of a coward to link to them for the benefit of the jabbering imbeciles who follow him:
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The raging anti-gay Evangelical garbage-stream called Steve McConkey continually erupts with dire, self-contradictory posts that would make no sense at all but for one unlikely but undeniable fact: The people in his target audience are even dumber and more deluded than he is, and Steve wants not only their approval but their money. That PayPal donation button is by far the most important thing on his website, because without a “ministry” or his family to support him, Steve McConkey would have to actually have to support himself through something resembling honest labor.
First, let me emphasize my immovable and eminently justifiable position that any self-described Christian who supports Donald Trump has, incontrovertibly and by definition, given away the game and can be derided as a joke and charlatan with restraint limited only by the mercy of the critic (and these days I possess little). This is not because I can’t stand Trump myself, although that’s true and has been ever since his vaginiform grimace first washed up on television in the 1980s. It’s because I understand that supporting Trump as a Christian is a logically untenable position, case closed, full stop, et cetera. It’s akin to agitating for women’s rights while simultaneously arguing that rape should be reclassified from a felony to a low-level misdemeanor, or going on television and gravely telling America’s young athletes to stay off steroids while wearing a T-shirt that says BODY BY DECA-DURABOLIN. It would be precisely that bad were it not in fact far worse.
Steve McConkey, who claims to have operated a ministry for Christian track athletes (read: “I’ll try to help you not be gay anymore”) since 1981 but doesn’t have a single endorsement on his website, continues to complain about mindfulness meditation. He is concerned that this secular practice, the efficacy of which has a modicum of empirical support, is is replacing Christian prayer in the professional and sports world. He also cautions against engaging in yoga, which is evil for reasons Steve chooses to not disclose. He proposes in yet another “worldwide press release” (i.e., an Internet posting) that non-Christian prayers carry “the potential of opening up the user to the darkness.”
This development, from the standpoint of a babbling idiot, is indeed a gross injustice. As anyone with only slightly less insight than a gnat is aware, just as no one can be both a weightlifter and a runner, it’s absolutely impossible to be a Christian and engage in any sort of contemplative reflection besides prayer (“prayer” in this context meaning “beseeching the God of the Holy Bible to enact certain Old Testament precepts while complete ignoring the foundational tenets of Jesus’ message”).
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As is Steve’s tireless habit — I discovered that he even has his own tag on “Right Wing Watch” — he’s using distortions of reality to maximize his level of personal unrest. For example, yesterday, he titled one of his complaints “Trump, GOP Congress Give Planned Parenthood $500 Million In Taxpayer Funds,” as if this is something new (it’s not). But since this nominally a running blog, and Steve McConkey has historically focused his energetic stupidity on track and field athletes, I’ll focus on his major track-related gripe of the week: Nike’s new “Headspace” app. (In a version of this complaint he posted two days ago, he mentioned 2016 U.S. Olympian Colleen Quigley’s endorsement of the technique, but later scrapped it. He does quite a bit of this sort of rant-tweaking and screed-juggling.)
The potential utility of mindfulness meditation is sports is well established, though in need of further study. (I’ll admit that the name “Headspace” reminds of this.) But I won’t spend time here analyzing this because it’s not central to the point, which is that Steve McConkey is lying about what this technique is, how people are using it, and the possible effects of trying it.
He starts with the usual breathless hyperbole:
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[Ed. note: this post is being updated regularly to reflect new discoveries revealing just how messed up Steve McConkey is.]
I admit that I questioned whether this exposition belongs on a running blog, or anywhere. It will, after all, do no more than briefly focus attention on a person with dubious aims and substandard cognitive abilities for the benefit of a handful snickering people, and will likely result in zero net effects on the human circus as a whole. But since that sums up virtually everything I post, including things I write about myself, why quit now?
The other night, one of my many provocateur-friends called attention to a public Facebook post on the page of one Steve McConkey, who has vague connections to the track world (and whose name I immediately read as “McMonkey” thanks to this glorious parable about racism and hucksterism, a true gem in the invaluable Dr. Seuss canon).
By the time I saw this, it had elicited a predictable groundswell of full-throated dunce-yawps couched as pitying sentiments for Hawking, whom the ersatz-faithful were positively certain was now being tormented for all eternity in Hell by their boundlessly compassionate ecclesiastical fetish-figure. This kind of Hawking-bashing fun sprung up all over the Web; I’m betting that at the news of Hawking’s overdue demise, a few old-coot fundies somewhere in the Incest Belt experienced the faint stirrings of an erection for the first time since Sarah Palin was on a national ticket.
A recent Christian Post article exploring the results of another survey showing a decline in the popularity of Christianity in the U.S. is, as is true of most Evangelical expulsions, entertaining for its lack of insight into how people view them.
By definition, Evangelicals are living a life built on lies and denial. It is one thing to believe in a conscious creator of the universe and leave it at that (I don’t, but it’s not a strictly irrational idea) but quite another to reject evolution and other basic scientific realities. So in a sense, it shouldn’t be surprising when Evangelicals turn out to be moral hypocrites as well as purveyors of — to be kind — psuedo-scientific nonsense.
But one would think that they would at least be able to understand why other people are not okay with their whole scam. That is, they should appreciate that there are valid reasons that other people aren’t on board with their peculiar shambles of an alternative reality. Read the rest of this entry »
For a few years in a previous decade, I used to regularly get into tussles with Evangelicals online. In case you haven’t heard, ECs, who for inexplicable reasons are often regarded as worthy interview subjects, staunchly and habitually attempt to defend indefensible, asinine things about the natural world; there is no point at all in arguing with them other than passing the time and in effect bullying people who flawlessly impersonate special-needs adults and uncontrolled schizophrenics.
Apart from their nonsense claims about geology, biology, and basic reality, they constitute a voting blog notorious throughout modern U.S. history for trying to claim the American moral high ground while keeping a straight face, like a guy who removes an issue of Penthouse with the pages stuck together from under his mattress and claims he’s never even looked at it. They are, of course, no more immune to temptations of the flesh than anyone else, and in fact often wind up in a disproportionate share of sex scandals thanks to the contradictory and unrealistic framework in which they are raised. Whenever you see a male state legislator from a low-information swamp-republic carrying on about the evils of same-sex marriage, you might as well start the countdown to the day he is found in a hotel room with some underage kid’s face in his crotch.
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Donald Trump remains a bloated old shitbag who looks so openly irate and stressed and confused while performing the most basic of tasks, like signing his own name, that it’s impossible to not feel a modicum of pity at the sight of him in addition to the frustration and despair any decent or sane person has to experience when confronted with the fact that we Americans live in a country that elected such a worthless human being president, and therefore live in a country with numerous people whose major function as citizens is taking up space unnecessarily until they blessedly expire and rot into forgotten irrelevance, as Trump himself will do one day erelong.
I’d love to tell him all of this to his face, but the real impact of this executive order, like so many of his preceding ones, is probably minimal. He’s basically telling preachers of the swamp-dwelling Elmer Gantry type that they can officially tell parishioners whom to vote for, which is like giving a teenage boy permission to masturbate vigorously and often. Read the rest of this entry »
I grew up in a nonreligious household in what was even then a notably irreligious part of the country (an hour north of Boston in New Hampshire). Dad had gone to Catholic school in the Midwest but never bought the scheme; Mom had gone to some nondenominational Protestant church as a matter of social course and was told little more than “Don’t wear make-up and short skirts.” There was no Internet, all of my churchgoing friends were Catholic, and discussions of theology among friends and family members were just not a part of my life. I did understand that atheists were a much-tsk-tsked bunch of people, but this was mostly an abstraction. Read the rest of this entry »
“I think about the public outcry that there was for an elk, and I think about the thousands of babies — healthy, full-term babies — that are killed down the street from where they paraded a stupid elk down the road.”
So spoke Abby Johnson to about 300 people on the campus of the University of Colorado as part an anti-abortion talk, or rant, or fever-dream soliloquy, or whatever description best fits
Abortion is an unpleasant topic and for obvious reasons is extremely emotionally charged. This, however, no excuse for slinging bullshit. If self-described anti-abortion crusaders were barred from lying or making abysmal analogies at nearly every opportunity, almost all of them would immediately fall mute. Read the rest of this entry »
…means being a stinky-assed liar.
It’s one thing to remain a creationist in the face of incalculable amounts of scientific evidence undermining every possible rational justification for your position — to just stick out your tongue and say “Fuck y’all, I’m a Faptist and CHOOSE to believe the Bible.”
But it’s another thing to sit in a legislative session and proclaim with a straight face to your colleagues that there exists scientific evidence to support creationism. Even the most far-gone idiot knows this…I think.
Imagine the outrage that would ensue if some elitist liberal politician with a bunch of letters after her name stood up in told U.S. Congress that the latest research in psychology demonstrates that raising your child to believe anything in the Bible would likely lead to bedwetting, ADHD, compulsive masturbation, fecal incontinence, acne, intractable body odor, and a fondness for Justin Bieber in adolescence. People would rightfully start demanding evidence for this claim, which is on no less solid ground than Milkovitch’s.
(This guy is a Democrat, by the way.)
Whatever your religious views or lack thereof, Easter is, indisputably, one bizarre holiday, at least in the U.S., which has an established penchant for contorting already strange celebrations into gauche and tasteless displays of excess and egoism.
Every year on Easter Sunday, the more devout among us declare, “He is risen!” in precise response to the fact that another year has gone by with no such thing taking place at all. Conspicuously.
The return of Jesus, by any reasonable interpretation of scripture, is long, long overdue. If he were a library book, someone would owe about $4 billion in fines by now for keeping him for roughly 20 centuries.
Consider that the whole day is centered on a failed promise subsequent to a grisly murder, complemented nowadays by nonsensically irrelevant indulgences and symbols — bad candy, rabbits, and egg hunts (that rabbits don’t even lay eggs is probably lost on a lot of American children). Easter as we know it is comparable to a hypothetical Abominable Snowman Day on which everyone jokes about all the frozen corpses littering the route to the top of Mount Everest while drinking Worcestershire sauce and taking their kids to watch stray dogs fornicate in the park.
Even if I believed in such things as people returning to life after spending three days as a corpse, I would have to look askance at the entire scheme.