Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry was the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a now-dormant site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He was the Editor-in-Chief of two Manhattan-based magazines until he decided to give up commercial publishing for professional photography... with a lot of blogging on the side. These days, he lives in an old seaside farmhouse in Maine with his wife, three kids, and two big dogs.
“I’m important. I’m somebody… I’m the real deal.” If that sounds like a rapper boast, you haven’t been to Pastor Jim Standridge’s church in Skiatook, Oklahoma. That’s how he talks. But when Standridge gets mad, he utters a whole lot more than expressions of comically inflated self-regard. [Click headline for more…] Read more
Tomorrow, at 1:00p (Central Time), a new chapter opens in the long, sordid tale of Catholic clergy raping children. That’s the hour when the Milwaukee diocese, which has found itself in bankruptcy proceedings since early 2011, will make thousands of pages of incriminating records available, including personnel files and secret depositions by the highest Catholic Church authorities in Wisconsin. Both the archdiocese’s site and a website run by victims’ lawyers will publish the documents. There is speculation that the disclosure may be a body blow to New York’s Timothy Dolan (pictured below), the most powerful Cardinal in the United States. Though Dolan denies he did anything wrong, critics say that when he learned the Chapter 11 filing in Milwaukee was inevitable, he had millions of dollars funneled into special trusts, out of reach of abuse victims and their lawyers. [Click headline for more…] Read more
In October of 2010, a Durham man calling himself Pete Moses decided that it was time for four-year-old Jadon Higganbothan to die. Jadon had slapped another boy’s buttocks. This angered Moses, then 27, a self-described prophet and the cult leader of a Black Hebrews offshoot. Moses’ aversion to homosexual behavior knew no bounds. The boy lived under his roof with eight other children and a number of women including Jadon’s mother, Vania Rae Sisk. The adults were all Moses’ disciples. They called him “Lord.” Trembling, Jadon watched as Moses waved a gun around and started screaming at Sisk: “I told you to get rid of him!” “How am I going to do this?” Moses considered Jadon’s bottom-slap proof that the boy was gay. Something had to be done. [Click headline for more…] Read more
The city of Evansville, Indiana, recently approved the public display of 30 eight-feet-tall polyethylene crosses along the riverfront. The church that wants to erect the Christian symbols says that they’re not intended to promote Christianity; they are to be interpreted as an art display, because the crosses will be painted and decorated by the church’s Bible-camp kids. Plus, the exhibit is only temporary, scheduled to open on August 4th and to close just 12 days later. No biggie, right? Well, this week, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the city. [Click headline for more…] Read more