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August 21, 2011


arlington cemetary shocker and some other rants

by Andrea O'Connell

Have you read or heard the shocking news about Arlington National Cemetery?  This revered cemetery of hallowed ground is now facing a criminal investigation!  Reading this story nearly knocked me off my feet – it’s shocking and so sad.

The problems at the cemetery were apparently discovered in 2010, as noted in this recent msnbc article:

In June 2010 an Army inspector general’s report cited widespread problems at the cemetery, including more than 200 unmarked or misidentified graves.

In August 2010 officials revealed one grave site at Arlington was found empty, another contained the wrong remains and a third had two sets of remains, only one of which matched the headstone’s name. Read msnbc article.

Because urns of the veteran soldiers, many who died in battle, were unmarked, it has been difficult to identify to whom they belonged.  One clue, however, allowed the identity of Gwyn Stecher to be revealed.  A photo of a young ice skater was found with the remains of Gwyn Stecher.  The photo turned out to be that of 19 year old Granddaughter, Rachel Stecher, now a Cadet in the Air Force Academy, says the NBC report.

The urn containing the ashes of Gwyn Stecher were supposed to be buried with her husband, Adolph Stecher, a retired officer who served in World War II, and North Korea.

What does this say about society today?   I hardly know what to think.  It would seem absurd to place blame on the whole Arlington National Cemetery itself, though there obviously are individuals there without respect, concern or care for the honored soldiers, or family of soldiers.

This horrible story regarding Arlington National Cemetery makes me think conscientiousness and respect are in the process of eroding.  Aren’t we a God fearing society?

The Right-wing Extremists like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and others, say you’re damn right we are!

I don’t look forward to the upcoming Presidential election, by the way.  The religious fervor in politics is alarming – that’s another post for another day.

The hypocrisy holler!

I abhor hypocrisy, especially as it relates to the actions of those who are supposedly beyond reproach like ultra-religious priests, pastors, ministers, clergy.  I’m also talking about the regular guy/gal wearing a big cross around their necks as they murder or rape or steal in between preaching engagements. That’s who I am referring to.

Speaking of hate, the judgmental pastors, who are more like loud car salesmen than anything else, who march up to the podium to condemn any state allowing Gay and Lesbians to marry, also also Politicians and Washington Lobbyists.  They are anxious to tell us, repeatedly, that marriage vows are exclusively for a man and a woman.  Really?  Yes, says the Bible.  Since the Bible says so, it must be true.

The good book also tells us that: “Entering the holy place without wearing bells can result in death.”   And, “A man has an obligation to produce a child with his brother’s widow. If he refuses, his sister-in-law is to spit in his face in front of the elders.”  Click for citation.

I don’t know a single Gay or Lesbian with those aspirations!

The Civil Rights that we depend on weren’t only for African Americans, and other minorities.  Civil Rights belong to everyone.  Nowhere do our Civil Rights discuss sexual preferences.

This is what angers me about politics today.  The fact that we are not screaming bloody murder over what some immoral politicians promote because they think it will get them elected.

There are too many Americans who have, stupidly, gotten swept up in a fervor, believing that a good politician is chiefly a good Christian.  A white Christian, at that.

I have a problem with religion that is taken to the extremes.  I respect all religions, as a matter of course, but religion has begun to scare me.

Religion is like an oxymoron when hate mongers threaten to destroy the rights of people who are different, like gay and lesbians.

It scares me to see Bible-Thumping goons promising to heal; their devotees shaking and shimmying with the spirit, singing, “Praise the Lord” as they fall to the ground, shaking and shuddering, writhing in pain.

Who wants to do that?

Wouldn’t it be nice if our religions were loving, caring, soft and private?  Religion is scary when it’s loud.  Religion shouldn’t be loud.

So, I am ranting about religion tonight because of the likes of Pastor Dale Richardson, held without bail for kidnapping and raping three women at gun point.  A serial rapist.  And a Pastor.

When rapists, murderers, and thieving criminals, are God-Fearing, what God are they listening to?  Is that the God you and I believe in?  It does make me wonder.

Dale Richardson believes and depends on the Word of God, say his followers.  If there is one God, I don’t think I want Pastor Dale’s version.

What God do the Catholic Priests pray to when they rape little boys?  When these God-fearing criminals are caught, I wonder if they blame God?

To those of you who will think me blasphemous, I don’t apologize.  I’m just a little fed up.  Sad, too.

Here is the story about Pastor Dale Richardson – this story is what prompted this post:

Preacher accused of raping women behind church – Members of the Freedom Free Will Baptist Church aren’t condemning pastor

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 22 2011

    Pastors aren’t being judgemental and hateful when they preach against homosexuality. They have as much of a right to preach against it as the homosexuals have a right to preach for it! The only way there would be hypocrisy is if these same preachers are homosexuals themselves. And that has happened. (Now, if we are talking about the Fred Phelps ilk, that’s a whole nutter situation! That man has a more than a few screws loose and does not know God nor reflect the love of Christ.) Homosexuality is an immoral act that goes against the laws of nature and of God. It also has eternal consequences, so it is an act of love to save some from it. At least these pastors and preachers aren’t calling for their beheadings, as in the Muslim nations. That said, I do not believe in keeping the homosexuals from the liberties that heterosexuals enjoy, like marriage/civil unions. Discrimination against gays/lesbians in the workplace is rare, thankfully, but it needs to be stopped altogether even if it goes against the beliefs of the shopowner (however, shopowners are private businessmen/women and have every right to hire whom they will). I also do not like the idea that homosexuals try to tell those of the Christian (Jewish/Muslim, too, but you rarely see it, if ever) faiths what to do and preach that is against their religious beliefs in their own churches! Stop it with calling men and women of God “haters” because they preach God’s given morals! It shows me who the intolerant haters and hypocrits really are!

    As for bringing up Old Testament laws that were intended for the Jews only and ius not for today is showing ignorance of the Bible. And you cited laws for the Levites, at that! Oh well. For the biblically ignorant it makes for a great argument. It would take too much comment space to correct your laughable use of Scriptures to make your point. Try the New Testament, which does argue against homosexuality quite vehemently.

    The First Amendment gives pastors and preachers and leaders of all faiths, including atheism, the right to be lobbyists. I think you have a problem with that? Maybe I misread what you wrote.

    And that will be the end of counter-pointing anything you have to say pertaining to God and the Christian faith, for obvious reasons.

    That is a shame concerning the Arlington Cemetary fiasco. It seems the ones who lay down their lives for our nation are the ones who are treated so awfully. When my dad had a brain tumor, my great aunt begged us not to check him into a veteran’s hospital. Her husband was experimented on when he was there and died because of it. She also said that the conditions were appalling at the one nearest us. I’d love to see more monies and solutions to problems in all things pertaining to veterans. They richly deserve our very best no matter how we feel about the wars and battles our nation enters into. Education has done a superb job for the soldiers as far as I know so they get my kudos.

    One more thing~
    It scares me to see Bible-Thumping goons promising to heal; their devotees shaking and shimmying with the spirit, singing, “Praise the Lord” as they fall to the ground, shaking and shuddering, writhing in pain

    Please don’t go around thinking that that behavior is what all Christians do! My policy is to use extreme discernment when I see a televangelists. Geesh! You are no better than the bigots for your assessments of Christians and your rants have proven it! Talk about being closed-minded! You have shown yourself to be the very thing you condemn! I can understand how you feel about some religious political zealots but to call those of the Christian faith running for a political seat “right wing extremists” is broad brushing it and shows intolerance for the religious beliefs you profess to respect. Where were you when the Muslims were running for office in Minnasota??? Oh, yes, only the Christians and Jews are fair game when it comes to condemning their beliefs expressed openly.

    • Faith
      Aug 22 2011

      Very well said. Excellent comments.
      I truly wish people would read the Book from cover to cover and do a bit of research before commenting.
      Scripture plainly show that the laws given by God to Moses have been replaced with a new covenant through Christ His son just as He promised.
      If people would concern themselves with the word of God and not what they think He means they would be better of.
      True christians follow God and His word and search the scripture to know whether or not the truth is being taught.

      2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

    • Aug 22 2011

      Hi Sherry, I surely don’t profess to know all that you know about the bible! I have read some of it, but always found Shakespeare, Sophocles, Marlow, Voltaire, and others, far more interesting. But that’s just me. I happen to think the bible is part fiction, part science fiction, many parts fantasy. I consider it no more plausible than the Greek mythology I read in high school and college.

      I grew up Catholic – I was born that way! LOL! I also realized very early in life that the Priests and the Nuns I listened to delivered their messages and their preaching with such a flat affect, I instinctively knew they didn’t believe what they were saying. I found the Gospel to be just words, words, words, that had nothing to do with me, or anyone I knew!
      But, I always showed respect for anyone’s beliefs.

      One of my beliefs is that I don’t have to sit around and wait for God to tell me to act. I believe in the power of prayer, but think it’s absurd to depend on prayer above all else.

      My God loves and accepts Gays and Lesbians, transgenders, and even criminals. My God, like me, is very liberal and appreciates and accepts all persons, points of view, and religions. The only thing I do not like is hypocrisy. When people have to wear their Christianity on their forehead and act so holy and righteous and then do despicable acts, or lecture about hate, than I do have a problem with it in the sense that it’s just totally hypocritical.

  2. Aug 22 2011

    Sherry, how many times has Andrea said she knows little about the bible? or church? studying scripture? How many? I’ve only been here a short while, and I recall three times, at least! It is God’s desire for us to be shepherds of HIS word, and lead people to Christ, not away from HIM? Show me, exactly, where your love and compassion for others is, because I’m not seeing it. What are you doing, exactly? Where does “judge not, lest, you be judged” fit into your agenda, or does that just not apply to you? You say your blindness was removed? I say, you have a thorn, the size of a tree trunk in your eye! I say this, out of “love”. Surely you can respect that. Afterall, it’s as you said to me!

    • Aug 22 2011

      Hi RahRah! You’re so sweet! 🙂 It’s true, I am not a bible reader, but have read some of it, and like some of the poetry in it. I don’t know the new from the old testament, or any other kind of testament!

      If there is a God, she or he would not care if I read the book, anyway! I guess I don’t understand why I need to read a book to be considered “good enough” or Christian enough. Maybe you can explain that to me, RahRah, I don’t get how that works to make someone more worthy…

      I love to listen to other points of view because I learn so much as a result. I learn so much just reading everyone’s comments here!

      I don’t profess to have any answers, that’s for sure! But, I know what I don’t like. I don’t appreciate it when people boast about religion and turn around and do the rottenest of things to others. Heck, some people following the Casey Anthony case who profess to be so religious astound me with their utter hate for Casey – how they’d like to harm her, etc. That is also hypocritical.

      Anyway, I’m glad you don’t think I’m blasphemous! That would really sadden me so much….

  3. Aug 22 2011

    Andrea, Great article. Part of this is really close to home for me. We were raised in a tough area and attended Catholic school. My mother would sew for the nuns in order to help offset the cost of our education. Grade school was 8 years. In all my time I never saw anything like what I have heard about. I’m not saying it didn’t happen but it never happened in the parish we belonged to and later in life when I sent my kids, nothing happened. Maybe we were lucky that it didn’t happen in the parishes we belonged to. There are many things that have happened with all religious sects and for a long time. The difference in the last 20 years is mass media and the Internet. I don’t believe it’s less or more, we just find out faster.

    15 years ago I had a girl that came to work for me that I later found out came from Utah and was a sister wife at 14 years old. At the time I really never understood that kind of life until this person opened up to me and told me about it. I was in a state of shock and did what ever I could to help this person because the sect was looking for her like others that ran away. I also came across mothers of friends that I new that sent a percentage of their social security checks to the ministers on TV. I used to tune in once and a while to see or hear a minister wearing a $2,000.00 suit and a 2 million dollar home that God wanted them to have. I was astounded how good people could be taken by the likes of Jim & Tammy Baker who help make TV ministry what it is today….a multi-billion dollar industry. I don’t even want to get started on the Vatican and how they interacted with the Nazis during WWII. My Mother was a little girl in Italy when the allies were dropping bombs and the Nazis walked their streets and would shoot an innocent boy to put fear so that the population would not oppose them.

    There may have been philosophers that walked the earth named Jesus Christ and Mohamed but man took it to new heights forming governing bodies called religion. I may have grown up going to school in the Catholic religion but have come to learn that all religions have controlled populations of the world and are responsible for more deaths than any war. I kinda believe in one scenario……If there is a God…..he is pissed, if and when judgement day comes, it will not be pretty. There is no one that has not cast the first stone and therefor no one that he can take with Him. Myself included.

    Andrea,Thanks for the room……

    • Aug 22 2011

      Hi DamagdPets,.

      Thank YOU for your excellent, excellent post! I agree with you 100 percent.

      i attended public school, but had to go to Catechism on the weekends, which I absolutely hated because even as a small, small child, I rebelled. I didn’t believe what the nuns or the priests were saying because it was clear to me they didn’t believe what they were saying, either!

      Kids know when adults are telling the truth. And I knew.

      I haven’t personally known any priests who have been deviants, either, thank goodness. I have had so many priests in my family over the years, I’ve lost count! I even had an uncle who was a Jesuit. I met him a few times, he even said mass at my house for us. Even he knew (I probably told him) that I thought the mass was boring and complained to him that it didn’t teach me anything. LOL! I was a bad Catholic but he was patient with me and told me to say 800 Hail Marys for penance!

      Thank you for sharing the story about the girl from Utah. Those homes (like brothels), are yet another thing that is upsetting about what can happen all in the name of religion. And, these men and women who believe in multiple sister-wives, will say they have every right to live that way since the Bible tells them they may.

      History informs us that fervent belief in one religion above all others, is what makes war. War and religion are totally entwined. When the lines between Church and State begin to fade, the eventual effects could be devastating. The founding fathers understood the hold that religion had on people and were so wise and forward thinking to know the two must be separated. I think the line between church and state began to seriously blur when George Bush took office.

      Hitler believed in God, and Christianity, though Christians today deny it, Hitler, as we know, thought the Jews were dangerous and must be destroyed because of their faith. (When I was in high school, I wanted to change my religion and become Jewish – for the solidarity.)

      If there is a religion that I really like, it’s the Jewish My folks wouldn’t let me become Jewish but allowed me to go to Temple. A family I babysat for invited me to many of their celebratory meals – Saders and Roshashana (sp.) . I memorized many of the prayers, but had no idea what they meant!

      Anyway, above all else, i believe in learning. That’s my religion, I guess!

  4. Aug 23 2011

    Andrea, I accept people as they are individually, until, such time it is clear they mean to injure another for whatever reason. I don’t care to be told that what I believe is wrong, and vise versa! I DO NOT JUDGE anyone for their religious beliefs, or lack of. Nor their sexual preference. As I’ve stated before, my walk with God is MY personal sacred journey, I alone, mine. My opinions regarding anything related to God has pertained to me, until today, and btw, my prior was taken out of content, poor Faith was accused, run over, and I corrected it as I best I could, but really not my problem. I do have a problem when Holy Rollers and Bible thumpers don’t seem to practice what they preach. And it’s like the “resounding gong or the clanging cymbol”, its just noise. I’m mean, come on people, even the Devil knows scripture, verbatim! Religion and politics just don’t ever seem to get along in the same room, lol, and I so agree with what you said! ~Damaged Pet, thank you for sharing, I appreciated your experience.

    • Faith
      Aug 23 2011

      Once again an excellent comment!
      Why is it those who don’t know the scripture always use the “judge not” reference? Always out of context and never used in reference to the surrounding text. We are also told man will be can be/will be judged by his works.

      Prayer is not printed and distributed or rehearsed it’s your personal talk with Him. Where I thank him for the day and ask for His help for those that are in need,my friends,my family,the sick,my country and those that have the charge over it,only by His will. Whether anyone admits it or not God is the bleseed controller.

      I came to the conclusion long ago,if a person doesn’t believe the Bible is the inspired word of God there’s really no point in discussing scripture with them. No one has ever proved the Bible to be fiction.

      I believe that “religion” is man’s way to God and Jesus Christ is God’s way to man.

      Patrick Henry

      Like Charles Dickens, Patrick Henry simply states that the Bible is the greatest book ever written. “The Bible is worth all other books that have ever been printed.”

      Ulysses S. Grant
      “Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write it precepts in your hearts and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide for the future.”

      Thomas Jefferson
      “I have always said…that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.”

      Interesting quotes from “imperfect men”.

      Okay I’m off my soap box.

      Have a beautiful day!

      Ps 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. KJV

  5. Aug 23 2011

    Sherry & Faith? Faith & Sherry? Both of you have a “soapbox”?? LOL! oh my goodness! Why should I be surprized?


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