Blasphemous Blogging: The Blog of Edwin Kagin

Blasphemy is the crime of making fun of ridiculous beliefs others hold sacred. This blog is about satire, truth, inquiry, and critical thinking. It is about enjoying life before death. It is about how some try to control many through their notions about a make believe supernatural world and imaginary rewards and punishments after death. This blog says that blasphemy is a good thing, a healthy thing, and a good antidote to harmful superstition. This blog is about freedom. Edwin.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Present U. S. Government is Proof of Law of Entropy

Someone trying to convince me that evolution is wrong, and that the religious idea of "Intelligent Design" is correct, wrote, in now familiar fallacious argument: "The law of entropy, which governs all matter, teaches that the net direction of the universe is always ever downward towards greater disorder, disorganization, and chaos - not greater order and complexity."

Another way of more correctly stating the law of entropy is to say that in a closed system things that previously worked just fine go toward ever increasing disorganization and chaos. An example of this is the present, and hopefully temporary, government of the United States. Therein we can see entropy at work. If this were not so, arguments against evolution would be dismissed as the nonsense they are. Under the theocrats, we live in a closed system that is taking us toward ever greater disorganization and chaos.


Monday, June 13, 2005

The Verdict

No one has any business criticizing a jury verdict if they did not hear the evidence.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Criminally Corrupt Kentucky Clergy

If gold rust, what will iron do? The following are far beyond my poor power to add or detract.

Some more religious in schools, some more posting of the Ten Commandments, some more absolute moral codes, less science and teaching of evolution, outlawing homosexuality and abortion, and all should be well.



Covington Diocese Reaches Settlement With Sex Abuse Victims
Reported by: Tom McKee
Web produced by: Mark Sickmiller
Photographed by: 9News
Last updated: 6/3/2005 5:31:17 PM

The Diocese of Covington has settled its class action lawsuit with sex abuse victims.

The deal creates a settlement fund of $120 million dollars as compensation.

Insurance will provide $80 million dollars and the other $40 million will be a combination of investments and real estate from the Diocese.

The Catholic Center/Marydale Property in Erlanger will be put into escrow as part of the fund.

No parish property, parish funds or annual appeal monies will be used.

When Roger Foys was installed as Bishop of Covington he promised to reach out to sex abuse victims.

He met with more than seventy and told them no amount of money could compensate for their suffering as children.

On Friday, the church agreed to the settlement fund, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

Each victim will get between $5,000 and $450,000. The exact amount will be determined by a settlement administrator.

In a statement, Bishop Foys said, "I pray that this settlement will bring victims some measure of peace and healing to victims and their loved ones."

Christy Miller, a spokesperson for SNAP, the survivors network for those abused by priests, says the Covington Diocese did the right thing.

"He set a precedence here. He put the victims first instead of the Diocese first and I think Cincinnati is lacking that. Cincinnati has put the Diocese ahead of the victims," Miller said.

SNAP has long battled the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and its fund for abuse victims.

"Cincinnati came up with $3 million. Covington came up with $120 million dollars. That's more than the entire State of Ohio has paid out. So this is a man, a Bishop, that understands the plight of the victims and wants to make a difference and wants to make things better. And I think he's honestly trying to do that," Miller said.

The matter had been in an out of court for more than a year with Stan Chesley as lead attorney for the victims.

Of the deal, Chesley said: "This is a very important and in many ways unprecedented result in an extremely difficult matter."

Special Master John Potter still has to approve the settlement agreement.

A hearing in the case has been scheduled for next Thursday in Boone Circuit Court.

Below is a joint statement by the Diocese of Covington and Stan Chesley, Lead Counsel for the Class:

After more than a year of intense effort, the parties have reached a settlement of the class action that was filed in Boone County in February 2003 on behalf of all persons who were sexually abused by priests or other persons employed by the Diocese of Covington.

As part of the settlement, claimants will be grouped into four categories, based on the nature and severity of the abuse. The parties have agreed to a compensation range for each of the four categories ranging from $5,000 to $450,000, less court-ordered attorneys fees.

Individual awards within the agreed ranges will be determined by a settlement administrator, to be selected jointly by the parties. An individual whose injuries are exceptionally severe may apply to the settlement administrator for a supplemental award from a special fund.

In addition, a portion of the settlement funds will be set aside to assist the Diocese in its continuing efforts to make professional counseling available for all victims.

The settlement, which requires court approval, provides for the creation of a settlement fund of $120 million. The settlement fund will be comprised of $40 million in some combination of investments and real estate from the Diocese and an additional $80 million in insurance proceeds under insurance policies issued to the Diocese.

While the settlement will require considerable sacrifice by the Diocese, no parish property, parish funds, or Annual Appeal monies will be used for the settlement. The Diocese has agreed to pursue insurance coverage under its policies for class members? claims, through litigation if necessary.

Any settlement funds that are not required for the payment of claims and other settlement expenses, including court-ordered attorneys? fees, will be returned to the Diocese.

The Diocese has, over the past two years, been working to resolve all remaining sexual abuse claims and to achieve reconciliation with victims and their families.

"From the moment I was made aware of the extent of the abuse of children by priests in this Diocese," Bishop Roger Foys said, "I made a promise that I would do all I could to reach out to the victims. After personally meeting with more than seventy victims, I am painfully aware that no amount of money can compensate for the harm these victims suffered as innocent children. Nevertheless, I pray that this settlement will bring some measure of peace and healing to victims and their loved ones. I offer a profound apology to those who were sexually abused by priests of the Diocese of Covington and especially to those who, in the past, were not treated with respect and courtesy when they came forth. I give you my assurance that we have been doing, and will continue to do, all that is humanly possible to assure that this reprehensible behavior by priests will never again be repeated in our Diocese. I am thankful that a settlement could be worked out which provides for compensation and professional counseling for victims but which also preserves intact the parishes and the essential ministry and administrative functions of the Diocese."

Stan Chesley, lead counsel for the Plaintiffs, said, "This is a very important and in many ways unprecedented result in an extremely difficult matter. After diligently working together, the Diocese and Counsel for the class were able to forge a remarkable settlement that would not have occurred but for the good faith and honest efforts of Bishop Foys and his representatives. To begin with, any person who claims to have been sexually abused in any way by any religious person or employee of the Diocese may make a claim through court procedure no matter when it occurred and without regard to any restraint caused by statute of limitations. Second, compensation ranges for victims based upon seriousness and suffering are compatible with any comparable compensation figures anywhere in the United States. The additional supplemental monies will assure that the most serious cases receive appropriate attention. The additional anxiety and stress that would have occurred to the victims had there been a trial has been eliminated.

While this took a long time to accomplish, it could not have occurred without the commitment of both sides to work towards a fair and reasonable resolution."

The Diocese will initially place into escrow properties in Boone County (the "Catholic Center/Marydale" property, a parcel in Union, and a parcel in Crittenden) as part of its contribution to the settlement fund. In addition to the diocesan offices, which are scheduled to move to St. Elizabeth Medical Center-North in August of this year, the Diocese?s retreat center and Cristo Rey Parish are currently located on the Catholic Center/Marydale property.

The agreement permits the Diocese to substitute cash or cash equivalent for the property. Bishop Foys hopes to develop a plan to redeem a portion of the Catholic Center/Marydale property, principally the former seminary building and the priests? cemetery, from the settlement fund.

The parties are very grateful to Judge John Potter for his patience and support while the many complexities of this settlement were worked out. The parties are also grateful to Mr. Kenneth Feinberg, who oversaw the initial stages of the settlement discussions.

The class, by definition, encompasses all persons, known and unknown, who were abused during the fifty-year class period. Information regarding court-established deadlines and what abuse victims must do to preserve their right to participate in the settlement will be published in local newspapers and parish bulletins in the coming weeks.


Minister indicted in money scheme

Posted on Thu, Jun. 09, 2005

By Brett Barrouquere


A Northern Kentucky minister was indicted yesterday on federal charges that he illegally transferred nearly $800,000 in church funds to himself, falsified a $4 million loan application and evaded taxes for four years.
A federal grand jury said the Rev. Larry J. Davis, who leads First Baptist Church in Cold Spring, wrote checks to himself from church bank accounts and lied to a federally insured bank about having church permission to secure the loan.

Davis faces one count of making a false statement in connection with a loan application, four counts of income tax evasion and two counts of transferring stolen funds in interstate commerce.

Davis' attorney, Pat Hanley, said the indictment represents only the prosecution's side of the story.

"Larry Davis hasn't presented his side yet. He's anxious to do so when this case goes to trial," Hanley said.

The indictment, returned in Covington, is the culmination of more than a year of trouble at the church, which is located 20 minutes south of Cincinnati.

The church's treasurer sent a letter to the Kentucky State Police in January 2004 saying more than $500,000 in church funds could not be accounted for and that there had been unusual activity in bank accounts designated to pay for construction at the facility.

The grand jury said Davis controlled those accounts.

The grand jury charged Davis with writing checks to himself totaling $792,000 from accounts designated to pay for construction.

When the funds for construction on the church ran out, Davis went to Fifth Third Bank and lied to loan officers about having the permission of the church board of trustees to secure a $4 million loan in the name of First Baptist Church, the indictment states.

Phone and e-mail messages to the church were not immediately returned yesterday.

Psychic Input in Aruba

A psychic has been consulted to help in determining the whereabouts and fate of the young American woman who disappeared on the 75 square mile island of Aruba.

Here is an Edwinian prediction: The psychic will say that those looking for the missing student should look for her near water.

Remember you heard it here first.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

June 9th Radio Appearance Cancelled, etc.

My announced appearance on the Sue Wiley radio call-in talk show (WVLK 590 AM), Lexington, Kentucky, scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, June 9, 2005 beginning at 11:00 AM., to discuss our "activist judge" in Kentucky who is offering going to church as a way for defendants to get probated in his court, has been CANCELLED. According to a phone message just received, this is because of other pressing news that needs to be covered tomorrow morning. Maybe the Michael Jackson trial, which has some 2,000 newspersons eagerly awaiting a verdict rather than providing us with news about more important (but to many, less interesting) things, like a judge violating the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States by attempting to establish a religion in a Kentucky court.

My appearance will probably be rescheduled, as I have been on the Sue Wiley show many times, and, as anyone who has made a few media appearances knows, things happen, scheduled program content changes, and such happenings and changes often occur quite rapidly.

I have reported our concern about this judge to a member of the Board of Governors of the Kentucky Bar Association (KBA), now assembled for the KBA annual convention in Louisville, Kentucky. I would go, but I already have enough hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) to remain in good standing, and I have to get ready for Camp Quest 2005, now only nine (9) days away! For a neat calculator for figuring out how many dates are between two given dates, see:

It is not too late to send one or more campers to Camp Quest 2005 (our 10th Anniversary, and the last year of the Age of Helen & Edwin). Nor is it too late to provide a Campership to sponsor a worthy kid who might show up in that judge's court someday. You can find out about Camp Quest here:


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Kentucky's Activist Judge

The Kentucky State Director for American Atheists will be on Lexingon radio this Thursday to discuss our "activist judge" in Kentucky who is offering going to church as a way for defendants to get probated in his court. Details below.

Should you wish to write Judge Caperton, here is his address: Hon. Michael Caperton, District Judge, PO Box 2424, Judicial Annex 1, 107 S. Broad St., London, KY 40741-2424.

Should you wish to write to The Kentucky Judges Removal and Retirement Commission, complaints may be mailed to: Executive Secretary James D. Lawson, PO Box 21868, Lexington, KY 40522-1868. Phone number for the Commission is: (606) 233-4128.
By Supreme Court Rule, the commission's work comes into public view only when it imposes certain types of discipline.
The commission members are Chairman Joe C. Savage, a Lexington attorney; Circuit Judge Stephen Frazier of Paintsville; Court of Appeals Judge Paul Gudgel; Jefferson District Judge Charles Scott; Diane Logsdon Elizabethtown; and Brenda Williams of Columbia


American Atheists Media Alert


Edwin Kagin, Kentucky State Director for American Atheists will be the guest live on the Sue Wiley radio call-in talk show (WVLK 590 AM) on Thursday, June 9, 2005 beginning at 11:00 AM.

Mr. Kagin, a constitutional attorney, author and founder of Camp Quest, will discuss the growing controversy surrounding District Court Judge Michael Caperton, who is offering those sentenced on drug charges the "option" of attending church services as an alternative to jail or rehab treatment. (See American Atheists Press Release on this below).

WHO & WHAT: Edwin Kagin, Kentucky State Director for American Atheists live on the air, The Sue Wiley radio call-in show.

WHEN: Thursday, June 9, 2005 beginning at 11:00 AM

TOPIC: District Judge Michael Caperton, "church/worship" for defendants

WHERE: WLVK-AM 590 Radio, Lexington, KY.


American Atheists is a nationwide movement which defends the civil rights
of nonbelievers, works for the separation of church and state, and
addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.





American Atheists today called upon Kentucky District Judge Michael
Caperton to stop offering those sentenced on drug charges the "option"
of attending church services as alternative to jail or rehab treatment,
saying that the policy discriminates and runs afoul of the
First Amendment separation church and state.

Caperton was described as a "devout Christian" in the May 31, 2005
edition of the Courier-Journal newspaper ("Judge lets some defendants
attend worship as sentencing option.") The story quoted the judge as
saying "I don't think there's a state-church issue, because it is not
mandatory and I say worship services instead of church." He added that
"any denomination is acceptable."

Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists said that Caperton is
letting his personal religious beliefs spill over into the courtroom. "He is
still promoting religion and religious belief even if he masks this policy by
claiming it is 'not mandatory,' or talks about 'worship" instead of what it
is -- going to church."

Edwin Kagin, an attorney and Kentucky State Director for American
Atheists said that Caperton is not only violating the Constitution
but misleading the public as well.

"There is nothing voluntary about this," said Kagin. "It amounts
to a bribe on behalf of the court to get defendants to attend religious

Kagin said that Judge is clearly promoting religion, and putting it on
an equal footing with drug rehabilitation. "He is forcing his religion
into the courtroom where it does not belong."

American Atheists is a nationwide movement which defends the civil rights
of nonbelievers, works for the separation of church and state, and
addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

American Atheists, Inc. P. O. Box 5733 Parsippany, NJ 07054-6733
Tel: (908) 276-7300 Fax: (973) 625-6901

Miscegenation Law

Never let the Church and State
Get close enough to meet and mate;
For the safety of our nation
Prohibit this miscegenation;
Keep Church far from the bed of State;
Separate their greed and hate;
Abstinence is what they need
Or the monsters they will breed
Will mongrelize both law and creed.
Never let Church marry State—
Do not even let them date.

Edwin Kagin