Street reviler baseball bat attack

 

KPHO reports…

“Glendale police have arrested a 19-year-old woman suspected of attacking a controversial street preacher with a baseball bat outside Apollo High School.

Tabitha Renee Brubaker was taken into custody Thursday. She is facing an aggravated assault charge in connection with the April 26 incident.

The sound of a metal bat striking a hard object was captured on cell phone video

“I was so distraught hearing that, and seeing that that’s being posted on my sister,” said Kayla Brubaker. “My sister, she’s not that type of person.”

The victim, Dean Saxton, known as Brother Dean, was using a megaphone to preach his beliefs to kids at the school across the street.

“Many of you Apollo High schoolers are going to hell!” he shouted.

Saxton has made headlines in the past for holding signs that say women who dress immodestly deserve to get raped. During the demonstration at Apollo High, he told gay students they were going to hell and disparaged Muslims as “dirty.” 

Within minutes, several students and parents approached Saxton and urged him to leave. While speaking with one parent, someone struck him over the head with a bat.

Saxton needed eight staples to close the gash on his head. While the video does not show the impact, you can clearly hear the bat hit his head. He posted that video to YouTube on May 5. The assault is about 17 minutes into the clip.

Earlier this week, Saxton posted a photo of himself after the attack, blood dripping down his face, on Twitter. 

“If you think the gay community accepts and tolerates others just wait till they hit you over the head with a metal bat,” he wrote.

The video shows the school’s assistant principal standing nearby when the attack took place. According to police, he identified the suspect as Brubaker, a former Apollo student. The assistant principal also said he saw her car in the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex and watched “her approach the victim from behind and strike him one time with a lighter-colored bat.”

While searching Brubaker’s home and car, investigators found a shirt “consistent with the one seen in the video,” and “a metal tire jack extension.”

Investigators also found marijuana and a glass pipe in the car.

After being advised of her rights, Brubaker “advised that she had no involvement in the incident,” according to the arresting officer’s probable cause statement. She also said she “could have been in the area visiting friends or girlfriends.”

According to court paperwork, Brubaker admitted the marijuana and pipe police found in her car were hers.

Brubaker is facing three felony charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The other two counts are drug-related charges.

Brubaker did not say a word when she made her initial court appearance Friday.

A judge set her bail at $10,000 and scheduled a status conference for June 3, followed by preliminary hearing on June 6.

Saxton describes himself as “an open air preacher of the gospel at the University of Arizona” on his blog, which he has not updated since Feb. 13, so there is no mention of the attack for which Brubaker was arrested.

Saxton made headlines in 2013 when his “You Deserve Rape” message sparked controversy at the school.

“Most of these girls on this campus are asking to be raped…and a lot of them will get it!” He said. “Why don’t you girls sew on some clothes that actually cover up!”  

Despite complaints from students, the university said it would protect Saxton’s — and everybody else’s —  right to free speech.

“No matter what happened, no matter who did it, nobody deserves to get hurt,” said Brubaker’s sister. “I mean no matter how disgraceful his comments were, what sexuality he was aiming against, I don’t think anybody in general needs violence.”

From http://www.azfamily.com/story/32085153/brother-dean-assault

The Eddie Long interview

 

Essence reports…

“It’s been nearly six years since Bishop Eddie Long was accused of coercing three young men into sexual relationships on three separate accounts and now the preacher is speaking out to give his side of the story.

Long stopped by The Steve Harvey Show for a lengthy interview, and although he says he’s legally not allowed to speak specifically on the allegations under the terms of the lawsuit settlement with his accusers, he still had much to say about the turn his life has taken since the accusations came to light.

When Harvey questioned why he decided to settle out of court, Long said he was tired of seeing his family and church congregation continually scrutinized as the case dragged on.

“The old gambling song, gotta know when to hold it, know when to fold it, know when to walk away,” he began. “By then, after such an attack of media, the stress of all of that and all of this, you gotta look at what’s happening to you. At that point, everyone who believed in [me] was still believing in [me]. At that point, [those] who didn’t believe in me wasn’t gonna believe in me no matter what I did, no matter what the court says. Sometimes, even in life, you gotta figure, ‘am I gonna win the battle or am I gonna win the war?’ So, I had to make a decision to save me, save my family and save the church because continuing on was just gonna be beat, beat, beat and give more opportunity to beat up people.”

Long also reveals having suicidal thoughts following the accusations. “When I was being condemned from the four corners of the earth, I had a moment where I wanted to kill myself and was ready,” he said.

“What kept me was not a scripture. What kept me is that every time I showed up here, you were here.”

He also opened up about the current status of his relationship with his wife, who filed for divorce amid the firestorm of backlash that engulfed the accusations before later withdrawing her petition and deciding to remain in the marriage.

“Well again, it wasn’t where we were arguing and all of that but….it’s a lot of focus. We still have some challenges, to be very honest with you. So I’m not gonna sit here and run the white horse. But, we’re together and we’re working through that and we’re growing. If it wasn’t for her, I would’ve been gone.”

From http://www.essence.com/2016/05/24/bishop-eddie-long-speaks-out-sexual-misconduct-allegations-and-saving-his-marriage

Noah’s Ark 1500-seat restaurant and gift shop

news.com.au reports…

“He’s been described as evangelist, an inspiration, a creationist, a Christian apologetic, dangerous religious fanatic, a science-denier and the Australian Noah.

Ken Ham used to be a Brisbane science teacher. Three decades on, he’s one of the most polarising and powerful religious leaders in America’s Bible Belt.

Ham believes evolution is a fraud, the world is only 6000 years old and was created in six days, the Book of Genesis is historical fact and homosexuality is a sin.

Now, the founder and president of Answers In Genesis (AiG) has built a life-size Noah’s ark.

The privately funded $100 million monolith in Kentucky is seven storeys high, about 200m long and the biggest timber-framed structure on the planet.

Ham says Ark Encounter is “one of the greatest Christian outreaches of our era” and will attract up to two million Christians and non-Christians a year when it opens in July.

Call Ken Ham crazy if you like. Just don’t call him the messiah.

Sunday Night journalist Steve Pennells learned that when he met Ham and toured his controversial creation.

“This has been his obsession. A lot of people thought he was crazy. A lot of people still think he’s crazy, but now he’s a crazy guy with a $100 million ark,” Pennells says.

Ham’s critics say he’s a fanatic selling a dangerously mind-bending view of world history. His fervent supporters — and in Middle America’s conservative Christian Bible Belt there are many — believe he is Christian warrior in a spiritual war who can lead people back to a fundamentalist way of life.

When asked if he was a messiah, Ham, 64, didn’t quite bristle, but “he was taken aback”, Pennells says.

In a blog post, afterwards, Ham, 64, fired up.

“I’ve never in my life been asked anything like that. The Messiah is our Creator and our Saviour, Jesus Christ,” he wrote.

He said the blasphemous statement had come from one of his most vocal critics, Bill “the Science Guy” Nye, who says Ham is “scientifically illiterate” and challenges him at every turn to debunk his teachings.

The pair famously squared off in a fiery evolution versus creation debate which went viral two years ago.

“Bill Nye falsely accuses me of being “The Messiah” cause he doesn’t like me proclaiming the message of the Messiah,” he continued.

His ark may be a build of biblical proportions, but Ham isn’t the evangelistic, fire-and-brimstone personality you’d expect.

He advocates Biblical literalism. He genuinely believes Noah marched in those animals two-by-two, but Pennells says “he is a straight-talking Australian bloke from Queensland”.

“I wouldn’t even say he very charismatic. He’s an everyday bloke from Australia who believes in the literal interpretation of the Bible. It’s his rule book for life,” says Pennells.

“Every question Bill Nye raises, Ham’s reply is “there’s a book that explains that, it’s called the Bible.

“And in conservative America, he has found a lot of kindred spirits. That is a mainstream view over there, not a fringe movement over there — they are rooted in conservatism and their Christian roots.

“Whatever you think of what he says, he believes it and he’s got an army of people behind him who believe it too. In that scene, he’s a rock star.”

One thing beyond doubt is Ham’s business acumen.

He might have used the Bible and the cubit measurements chronicled in it as his instruction manual for the ark — but we’re betting Noah’s original didn’t include a 1500-seat restaurant and gift shop for tourists and shuttle-buses like Ham’s version does.

“Someone said to me: ‘In America one of the biggest sins is not being good at business’. Ken Ham is not guilty of that sin,” says Pennells.

The ark has been very deliberately positioned in the middle of Kentucky, near the major interstate highway, and a 90-minute flight away for most middle Americans.

It’s Christian missionary strategy, with a 2016 twist.

“In the battle for souls in this era, you go big, Hollywood-style,” says Pennells.

The ark is the biggest monument in Ham’s multi-million religious empire — Ham is also an author, has a radio show, and is the darling of the Middle America homeschooling sector.

Those who work with Ham must sign a statement of faith, indicating they believe the same as AiG: in creationism, the earth is only 6000 years old, the Bible is fact, the lot.”

Ham says the ark is “the most wholesome, family-friendly God-honouring facility around”.

His critics say it is yet another monument to a belief they says is increasingly permeating the community as fact, and eschewing and mocking scientific fact.

Debate aside, the ark is impressive.

“No matter what you think of the guy, you walk through the bowels of that ark and you think this is phenomenal,” Pennells says.

No, it doesn’t float although when it began to rain during his tour, Pennells asked: “does this thing work?”.

Ham referred to Genesis in his answer.”

From http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/why-christian-fundamentalist-ken-ham-built-a-100-million-ark/news-story/113ca70c4e8b3233bfb688798ca7eee8

 

 

Worship leader wears a mask

 

Christian Examiner reports…

“The non-stop hysterical laughter is so contagious it has people all over the world – an estimated [113 million and counting] or so – watching the 30-something woman in a Star Wars Chewbacca mask wondering how a kid’s toy could bring such joy.

Candace Payne, whose May 19 viral Facebook video about purchasing the mask at a local department store and trying it on for the first time inside her car in the parking lot, has the attention not only of avid Star Wars fans, but also of those who desperately need a good laugh, she said.

And that’s where her faith comes in, Payne told Christian Examiner in an exclusive telephone interview.

In hiding, with her phone dying, the mom of two who has done stand-up comedy, said there’s more to the woman than a mask, and her laughter comes from deep within – from her faith in Jesus Christ.

“As far as the joy aspect, it is much deeper than the Chewbacca mask,” Payne said. “It was fun watching it go viral and fun watching people get some joy out of it, too,” but at the core of real joy is faith.

Payne, a worship leader since age 14, sings, plays the guitar and writes music.

She and her husband of 15 years met in church and found their “love story” there and have volunteered in student ministry together since then. They worship with their two children at a church southwest of Dallas.

“We have a heart for our local church and just being obedient to God in the way we raise our kids and love our friends,” Payne said.

Surprisingly, Payne said besides the private messages she has received from fans who want to be “best friends” and “watch Star Wars together,” she has also been told by others they have struggled with depression and anxiety and been uplifted by the video.

“I haven’t laughed in the two months since my dad died,” Payne recalled one message. Another said: “I haven’t had a gut wrenching laugh in two years.”

“If I am going to say anything … our world that we live in has a dark cloud over us that keeps us feeling like we can’t ever experience deep joy daily,” Payne said. “It really is about thanking God for every single thing we have. When you have a heart that is grateful, we laugh more.”

Paraphrasing, Payne reference John 10:10: ” The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (NASB)”

People often confuse joy with laughter, Payne said, but joy doesn’t mean that. Indeed, “you will cry more; feel and hunger for thing passionately (when you have faith in Christ); you will experience joy at a fuller level you will ever think possible.”

“Joy will radiate that faith,” Payne said, just like when inside the mask, she was radiating faith “from Jesus who promises me I will have a fuller life.”

“When people see that they are attracted to Jesus and His fullness and everybody love that, every loves that,” she repeated.

Payne introduced the video, which has gained tens of thousand of viewers every hour since, with the message, “It’s the simple joys in life….”

From http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/breaking-the-story-behind-the-laughing-woman-in-the-star-wars-chewbacca-mask/50729.htm

 

The scourge of church-run recovery programs

 

The Des Moines Register reports…

“The pastor of a Spencer church has resigned amid questions about a faith-based addiction treatment program he helped run.

Kevin Grimes, 51, was pastor of DaySpring Assembly of God and helped found the Spencer Dream Center, which opened last year. Tom Morse, who is on the boards of the church and the center, said Thursday that Grimes resigned from both organizations Wednesday evening.

“At this moment, that is all I can say,” Morse said, declining comment about Grimes’ reasons for quitting.

Earlier this month, a Des Moines Register story recounted how Dream Center participant Alex Jacobsen tried to commit suicide in January by slashing his throat 10 days after counselors told him to quit taking psychiatric medications prescribed by medical professionals. The story noted the center is unregulated because it is a faith-based program.

Grimes could not be reached for comment Thursday. He told the Register a few weeks ago that Jacobsen’s suicide attempt showed the small program wasn’t equipped to treat mental illness.

He said at the time the program has since changed its rules, so a doctor would have to assure counselors any potential participant had been off mood-altering medications for at least a year. He said he was saddened by Jacobsen’s suicide attempt and grateful that another pastor was able to save the 26-year-old’s life.

Some Iowa psychiatrists and mental health advocates told the Register that programs marketing themselves as drug treatment should at least be prohibited from requiring cessation of psychiatric medications. But Gov. Terry Branstad expressed skepticism about adding regulations on faith-based programs, noting that people have a choice about which programs to attend.

Jacobsen was not immediately available for comment about the pastor’s resignation. The young man’s family recently told the Register he went through treatment at a Sioux City program and has returned home.

Dream Center lawyer Don Hemphill confirmed Grimes had quit the church and the center, but he declined other comment.”

From http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2016/05/19/spencer-pastor-quits-church-addiction-treatment-center/84605340/

The bizarre ‘Carl Lentz transgender’ video

 

“Apostle Laura Lee

Apostle of the Church of Philadelphia. (The Church of Philadelphia is a non-institutional church. Non-institutional apostolic ministry is ministry of the Word of God and prayer.  Specific call to release the endtime revelation sealed to the end in the book The Lost Story; found and direct Grace Explosion Prayer Center 24/7 II Chronicles 7:14 prayer; and restore the Upper Room Meeting dynamic of Acts to initiate the endtime move of the Spirit in the apostolic commission thereof.)

Spirit-filled Reformed Anabaptist systematic theologian restoring apostolic power of early church. Releasing full revelation of eternal whole counsel plan of God; reformation of church to Kingdom non-institutional spiritual body; ZION rising; ministering endtime move.”

From https://www.youtube.com/user/ApostleLauraLee/about

Youth pastor fired for Nazi flag

Pic:WPTV

 

WZVN reports…

“A North Naples community was outraged over a youth pastor’s raising of a Nazi flag for hundreds to see.

And now, the pastor is apologizing.

“To the veterans of my community, the Jewish people – who fought so hard to eradicate that symbol and its ideology – I had no right to do that,” John Gursoy said.

It happened on Saturday morning at the Quarry, a gated community near Collier Boulevard and Immokalee Road.

Gursoy said he was upset after receiving a letter demanding he remove a boat with a two-stroke engine from the community lake after a recent decision by the homeowners association to begin enforcing a ban on them. He said, at the time, comparing the board to Nazi Germany seemed like a good idea.

Neighbors didn’t agree.

“A Nazi flag! That is a sign of hatred and a sign of millions of people getting killed for that,” said Megan Jerzyk. “I got out of the car and was trying to rip down the streamers. I said, ‘This is just horrible that somebody has done this!'”

She and several others began calling the Collier County Sheriff’s Office demanding someone remove the flag, and about 40 people complained on a community thread called NextDoor.com.

“That’s a universal sign of hatred and bad things in the world,” Tim Jerzek said. “And everyone knows that.”

CCSO said they told Gursoy to remove the flag, and he did. 

County code enforcement is looking into the incident because the equipment used to raise the flag came from Gursoy’s landscaping company.

“It was in very bad taste and I realized that very quickly that that was not an appropriate symbol,” he said. “I apologize for the methodology and departing from my faith-based principles of how to handle something in a more graceful way.”

Celebration Community Church fired Gursoy from his position.

“I did explain to the kids that what I did was wrong and to the church,” he said.”

From http://www.abc-7.com/story/31987486/nazi-flag-fracas-prompts-apology-from-naples-pastor

Pastor admits cake hoax

 

KEYE reports…

Pastor Jordan Brown, who filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods last month claiming it had written a homophobic slur on a cake he ordered, announced Monday that he has dropped his lawsuit and issued the following statement:

Today I am dismissing my lawsuit against Whole Foods Market. The company did nothing wrong. I was wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story. I want to apologize to Whole Foods and its team members for questioning the company’s commitment to its values, and especially the bakery associate who I understand was put in a terrible position because of my actions. I apologize to the LGBT community for diverting attention from real issues. I also want to apologize to my partner, my family, my church family, and my attorney.

The attorney for Brown says he ordered a cake from the Whole Foods store on Lamar Boulevard with the personalized message “Love Wins,” but when he received the cake it said “Love Wins F**.”

In a YouTube video, Brown said he didn’t realize what it said until he got into his vehicle. In the video he showed the box containing the cake was still sealed. Brown says when he told store management what happened, they said their employee did not do it and no action would be taken.

Whole Foods responded by releasing security video it says shows Brown buying the cake. The company says that “after reviewing our security footage of Mr. Brown, it’s clear that the UPC label was in fact on top of the cake box, not on the side of the package. This is evident as the cashier scans the UPC code on top of the box,” countering Brown’s claim.

Whole Foods had filed a counter-suit for $100,000 against Brown, claiming fraud. In a statement released Monday, the company announced it sees “no reason to move forward” with the counter suit.

The full statement from Whole Foods is below:

We’re very pleased that the truth has come to light. Given Mr. Brown’s apology and public admission that his story was a complete fabrication, we see no reason to move forward with our counter suit to defend the integrity of our brand and team members.”

From http://keyetv.com/news/local/pastor-retracts-whole-foods-cake-lawsuit-says-the-company-did-nothing-wrong

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