Fred Phelps: LGBT Community Reacts to Death of Homophobic Pastor

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Fred Phelps: Not mourned, not missed.

LGBTs, along with many others, are celebrating the death this morning of the virulently anti-gay Rev. Fred Phelps. The 84-year-old Phelps died at the Midland Care hospice in Topeka, Kansas late last night.

Before his death, Phelps was reportedly excommunicated from Westboro Baptist Church, which he founded in 1955.

Phelps spent his life fanning the flames of hate and celebrating death -- he and his followers joyously picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard in 1998. Phelps and company also picketed the Oscars, the funerals of celebrities, and even funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, claiming the soldiers were killed by God because of America's tolerance of homosexuality.

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Does God Love Marijuana?

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Papal Enclave
Probably not burning one down
It can be easy to assume religion's power over our everyday lives is waning. The Pope no longer has his own standing army, and reactionaries in the United States no longer use the specter of the Vatican imposing papal law to scare Americans away from voting for a Catholic (Democrat) for president. Certainly, the Catholic Church isn't the potent political force it used to be.

But with so much presence physically (its real estate portfolio is vast) and intellectually, the Catholic Church still spins a fair bit of influence. And for some reason, Catholics have been the slowest to change on the moral conundrum of drug legalization.

While evangelical ministers have also come out strong and hard against legalization, Catholics are the least likely of Jesus' disciples to favor legalizing drugs, polling shows. With Latinos being California's fastest growing demographic, many who are Catholic, this poses an inconvenient truth: God could be holding up the end of drug prohibition. Is this what He wanted when He created the magic plant "with roots in hell"?


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Former Employee Sues Archdiocese of San Francisco Over Sexual Harassment and Spanking

Categories: Religion

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Plenty of sins to go around here
A former female employee of the San Francisco Archdiocese filed a lawsuit this week in San Francisco alleging that her superiors at the Catholic Church sexually harassed, including spanking her with a wooden paddle.

Former administrative assistant to the Rector of the National Shrine of St. Francis, Jhona Mathews, claims that her supervisor Bill McLaughlin spanked her with a sex paddle that was given to him by Monsignor James T. Tarantino; the paddle was allegedly inscribed with the both men's names as well as the letters "BNO, which, according to the complaint, stands for Boys Night Out.

But that's not all.

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Have You Seen This Anti-Atheist Billboard in Fisherman's Wharf?

If not, we can only assume that you've not had any visitors in town as of late or you're really good at filtering out religious propaganda. Knowing life in San Francisco, we're going safely assume it's choice B.

But because we're journalists, our job is to alert you to the truth, no matter how disturbing it might be. So here goes: Ken Ham has infiltrated San Francisco. Yep. The popular Evangelist leader and CEO of Answers Outreach, who is best known for his nonstop preaching of Creationism, has decided to plaster lefty cities like San Francisco and New York with the following message:

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Answers Outreach

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New App Uses Goat to Let Jewish People Atone Their Sins (Update)

Categories: Religion, Tech

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Update, : Wait, hold up, guys. We got quotes from executive director Sarah Lefton on atonement and goats (and some user stats).

By now we can take it as an article of faith that there's an app for every banal chore in our daily lives -- including atonement. Among the latest Christian products for iPhone users are "Jesus Christ Whispers," which offers a personalized letter from Jesus every day, and iPray, which supplies daily prayers and "beautiful paintings of Jesus to meditate on."

But Christians aren't the only ones to carve out a swath of this increasingly glutted market. Last week the San Francisco Jewish nonprofit G-dcast unveiled a new app to allow devotees to unburden themselves of sin with help from an animated goat. The so-called "Atonement App" submits individual confessions to an @SinfulGoat Twitter feed, where they're posted anonymously. Thus, the app has turned private foibles into an intricate embroidery of public shame.

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SF Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone: We Welcome Gays, Those Immoral Sinners

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Welcome, sinful sinners.
The Catholic Church is full of contradictions. Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. Women and gays are both God's creations, worthy of love, but neither are fit to be priests, and the latter are practitioners of "a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil."

That take on gays was the recently resigned Pope Benedict XVI's view in 2005. Popes are infallible -- which means their views are verdicts from on high -- but it appears popes can disagree, as current pontiff Pope Francis did this week when he said gays are welcome in the priesthood.

That's a needed breath of fresh air for the very old boys' club that is the Roman Catholic Church -- and a view divergent from that of the Church's local leader in San Francisco. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is one of the country's most-vocal opponents of gay marriage, who went as far as to dub last month's overturning of Prop. 8 a "dark day."

But today, Cordileone followed up his boss' message with one of his own: the Catholic Church "must be a safe place where [gays] can feel secure and loved," and it's a "weakening civilization" that treats a "segment of the population" unfairly.

That said, gays can't marry and the act of being gay is sinful. Contradictions continue. More »

Exodus International, Anti-Gay Group, No Longer in the Business of Trying to "Cure" Gays

Categories: LGBT, Religion

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Remember that anti-gay group that ticked off gays two years ago when it tried to "cure gays" with its short-lived iPhone app? Well, you won't be hearing from them again.

Exodus International, a religious group created by "ex-gays" to help people overcome same-sex attractions, announced that it is closing up shop and its president, Alan Chambers, issued a public apology for any pain they've caused.

An excerpt from his Mea culpa:


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Harold Camping's Evangelical Radio Network Facing Apocalyptic Money Problems

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First the world didn't end, and now this???
Come to find out, predicting the world will end is not cheap.

Apparently, all that money Harold Camping, prolific Rapture predictor and founder of the bible-thumbing Family Radio network, spent on preparing everyone for an early Judgment Day has made post-prediction life kinda hard for him, financially speaking.

According to CBS News, Oakland-based Family Radio has sold its three largest radio stations, and tax records show the nonprofit network saw its net assets drop to $29.2 million by the end of 2011, from a net worth of $135 million four years earlier.

See Also: Harold Camping Sucks at Math

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S.F. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone Trashes on Rhode Island for Letting Gays Marry

Categories: LGBT, Religion, WTF?

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Likes to drink and drive, but hates men breastfeeding
San Francisco's favorite inebriate, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, spent his weekend trashing Rhode Island for legalizing gay marriage. Remember, this is the same guy who said gay marriage was as possible as male breastfeeding, which by the way, is possible.

Clearly, he's confused.

According to news reports
. Cordileone, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, described the Rhode Island law as "a serious injustice" and went on to say that it's bad for the children, who deserve a mother and a father no matter what.

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Hunky Jesus Resurrection Confirmed

Categories: Religion

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Get your thorny crowns and Jesus robes ready. They city's most famous queer nuns have confirmed that the Hunky Jesus contest will see a second coming -- rain or no rain.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence outsmarted Mother Nature this time; the nuns are holding the April 19 event at the DNA Lounge from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. where hunky (and probably horny) Jesuses will pile on stage to compete for the most coveted (post) Easter title.

Make it a family event, as all ages are welcomed, which reminds us: The Sisters ask that you keep your Holy Grails tucked away behind a loin cloth that night, and please no Judas and Jesus fantasies inside the club.

Here are the details:

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