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Matthew Cloyd, Russell Lee DeBusk Jr and Benjamin Moseley


Alabama Church Arsonists to go to federal prison

Two are sentenced to eight years and one gets seven years. The judge also orders them to pay millions in restitution.


The Los Angeles Times
10 April 2007



Birmingham, Alamama—Two former college students were each sentenced Monday to eight years in federal prison for a string of rural church fires that began as a prank during a night of drinking.

A third friend, who wasn't involved in all of the fires, was sentenced to seven years.

Dressed in orange jail uniforms with shackles around their feet, each man apologized for the blazes, which they set during a night of drinking and illegal hunting.…

U.S District Judge David Proctor ordered Cloyd and Moseley to pay $3.1 million in restitution and DeBusk to pay 1.9 million. After their release, each must perform 300 hours of community service.

The Rev. Walter Hawkins, minister of Dancy First Baptist Church, asked the judge for leniency and said his congregation had forgiven the three men.

Hawkins said he hoped the men did not receive additional prison time in state court, where they are due for a hearing this week.

Excerpt from
The Los Angeles Times, 10 April 2007



The God Delusion

by Richard Dawkins

Houghton Mifflin 2007


The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. …

It is unfair to attack such an easy target. The God Hypothesis should not stand or fall with its most unlovely intantiation, Yahweh, nor his insipidly Christian face, "Gentle Jesus meek and mild."…I am not atacking the particular qualities of Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah, or any other specific god such as Baal, Zeus or Wotan. Instead I shall define the God Hypothesis more defensibly: there exists a superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it, including us. This book will advocate an alternative view: any creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything, comes into existence only as the end product of an extended process of of gradual evolution. Creative inttelligences, being evolved, necessarily arrive late in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it. God in the sense defined, is a delusion; and as later chapters will show, a pernicious delusion.

Richard Dawkins, p.31, The God Delusion.



Chocolate Jesus Showing Canceled


The New York Times
31 March 2007

The Lab Gallery, located in the Roger Smith Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, had planned to exhibit a six-foot-tall milk chocolate sculpture of a naked Jesus Christ, starting Monday. But Matt Semler, the gallery's creative director, said the gallery and the hotel had received so many angry phone calls and e-mail messages about the sculpture that he canceled the exhibition, The Associated Press reported yesterday. ''This is an assault on Christians during Holy Week,'' Kiera McCaffrey of the Catholic League told CNN before the cancellation. Not so, said Mr. Semler. The sculpture, called ''My Sweet Lord,'' was the victim of ''a strong-arming from people who haven't seen the show, seen what we're doing,'' he said. Cosimo Cavallaro, the sculptor, once painted a hotel room in melted mozzarella, sprayed five tons of cheese on a home and adorned a four-poster bed with 312 pounds of ham. The Christ sculpture was to be shown from Tuesday through Saturday.—compiled by Peter Ediden

"I don't care if it rains or freezes

as long as I got my plastic Jesus

sittin' on the dashboard of my car."

From a song by Ernie Marrs

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