Saturday, August 30, 2008

Faith Blinds.

“While I was praying on my knees God told me to pick up the snake. I held him out in front of the congregation so they could see him. The snake turned slowly and bit me between the fingers… I picked him up again, and he bit me in the same place. He wouldn’t turn loose this time … God told me to say a few words to the congregation.”

- Albert Teester, hillbilly evangelist, on being poisoned and blinded by a snake during a radio broadcast to a national congregation, 1934.

The 39-year-old evangelist gave his radio listeners an honest description of how it feels to be bitten by a rattlesnake to prove his faith in God as a healer. After the show, enduring great pain, Teester went blind, lost movement in his jaw, and suffered nausea for the next day. He refused to go to a hospital, instead asking his congregation to pray.

Three days later he recovered fully.

“Some persons have said that I would pick up another rattlesnake. I haven’t said so … I wouldn’t pick up another for all the money in the world unless God told me to,” Teester said.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Unheavenly Home.

“I got tired of always finding the sink full of dirty dishes. God told me to shoot her; I heard him.”

- Hubert Moor, on why he killed his wife, 1933.

The 32-year-old school teacher described his wife as slovenly, complaining she was more interested in her career than home making. As a result, their home was a mess and he was embarrassed to have company over.

Moor initially claimed robbers had shot his wife. Apparently he grew tired of doing his own dishes and eventually confessed. He sentenced to death in the electric chair.

False Prophecy.

"I heard the Lord saying 'I have something else for you to do. I want you to run for president of the United States.' I assure you that I am going to be the next president of the United States.”

- Pat Robertson, during his presidential bid of 1988.

Longtime pals, Robertson and God must have an unlimited minutes plan to keep costs down for their frequent conversations. Robertson has made many predictions over the years, based on God’s not-so-all-knowing foresight.

Of course, in this case, Pat may have simply misinterpreted God’s message. He said, “I want you to run.” He didn’t say, “I want you to win.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Divine Starvation.

“He indicated to me my fast should be ended, so I asked how I should end it. He told me to drink squirrel soup. After I had taken the squirrel soup, I told him it didn’t taste good and asked if I could have some milk and bread. The Lord told me I couldn’t have solid food yet as it would kill me…”

- Jackson Whitlow, on his call from the Lord to end his 52-day fast, 1937.

The 45-year-old Cumberland mountains trapper began his fast because God told him to. This request followed the Lord’s orders for Whitlow to sell his pigs and give the money to the poor. The pig sale certainly made the fast easier, without all that tempting pork roaming outside the window.

Whitlow’s fast got off to a rough start: “The day after I started in, I took a little potato soup without grease. That taught me my lesson. I nearly died, it made me so sick. That was just the Lord punishing me for my disobedience.” During the course of the fast, Whitlow lost more than 35 pounds.

Once he was given permission to sip squirrel soup, Whitlow felt great relief: “I’m mighty happy it’s all over.” But while the Lord told him to eat, He never explained Himself. “The Lord’s divine purpose has not been revealed to me yet, but it will be before long. Maybe he wants me to preach, if He does, I’m ready.”

Monday, August 25, 2008

Spank Thy Loved Ones.

"It came, 'Make paddles. Give them away.’ God told me to make them. God's going to have to tell me to quit."

- Joey Salvati, on why he makes spanking paddles to help parents discipline their children, 2007.

Salvati, a Pennsylvania home remodeler, began making the Spanking Paddle after several conversations with God while he showered. Salvati tried to blow off the unusual demand: “I blew it off. The fourth time, it came real hard.” So he obeyed. And since then, his paddles, marked with the words “Never in anger”, have been sent out to more than 1,300 parents with kids who need a good smack.

This holy entrepreneur doesn’t believe in beating kids, but believes they need to learn. He’s even written a spanking manual, complete with a spanking schedule that helps parents know how many whacks to give and when. These guidelines, as outlined by God, include one swat for being disrespectful and five swats for drinking. Salvati also created appointment slips so parents and children can arrange a suitable spanking time for each offense.

Despite complaints from anti-spanking groups, Salvati continues his duty: "I'm not trying to make money on it. I don't care about the money," he said. "I'm just doing what I'm supposed to do."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Higher Power Horsepower.

"I stand on what I know the Lord told me to do, whether anyone believes me or not… Never was I rude. I've never cussed anybody. I did raise my voice once calling on Jesus' name.''

- Marilyn Cole, on her charges for trespassing at a Woodbridge, VA car dealership, demanding a free vehicle, 2004.

Despite previous trespassing convictions in 2003, Cole continued returning to the dealership to demand a free car because God told her to. And, according to Cole’s rationale, God’s authority is higher than man’s laws.

“`That's where I was sent ... I just go every time I'm ordered,” Cole said.

The judge in the case, though baffled, found Cole to be sane, but seemingly confused.

"I will not hesitate nor bat an eye to impose [the suspended 35 months jail time]," the judge told Cole. "I'm sure you can minister to a lot of people in jail, but if God's goal is for you to get a van, [you're not going to get a van in jail.]"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Petrol Prayers Answered.

“The Lord told me to put my hand on the gas gauge and talk in tongues. I started driving, and by the time I got half-way to where I was going, my gas tank was three-fourths full.”

- Danny Davis, evangelist, speaking at a revival meeting about one of God’s recent miracles, 1982.

Evangelist/faith healer Danny Davis recounted his experience of leaving another revival meeting, and finding he had only a fifth of a tank of gasoline in his car—not enough to complete his journey. He also found he had no money with him.

Sure, God helped him with gas, but that was 1982—long before the days of $4.00 gas.

Davis also shared other miracles with his crowd, including God’s dentistry abilities. At an event that occurred just a few days prior, 30 people had fillings suddenly appear in their teeth.

“One lady had 10 silver fillings appear,” he said. “I believe the Lord fills old teeth … because if He just made new teeth nobody would believe it.”

But will He also floss?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Perilous Highway to Heaven.

"The Lord told me the spiritual overhead it's taking to keep you safe on these roads is very heavy, and I could keep you safer if you were tied down somewhere."

- Former State Senator Charles Duke, on why he quit his job as a trucker.

After accusing Newt Gingrich of breaking into his home and subsequently obeying the Lord’s command to quit his position as a state senator, Duke lost money in stocks and blamed another Congressman for conspiring to manipulate the market. His losses led him to a life of trucking, which the Lord recommended he also quit. He now works at an undisclosed company.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Holy Hooker.

"The Lord told me it's flat none of your business."

- Jimmy Swaggart, addressing his congregation after being caught with his second prostitute, 1991.

When Swaggart was pulled over for driving on the wrong side of the street by a California Highway Patrolman, he was found in the company of a prostitute. Just three years earlier Swaggart had been caught in a motel with another prostitute. He denied any intercourse during that encounter—she was only paid to “perform pornographic acts.”

If the Lord would’ve told the patrolman that the identity of Swaggart’s passenger was flat none of his business, the evangelist could have kept up his hooker ways. Where was He when Swaggart needed him most?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

X-Rated Vision.

“He said, ‘Ask her about her sex life.’”

- Pat Robertson, on how God helped him cure a woman’s asthma and save her marriage.

A woman came to Pat complaining about her asthma, which doctors attributed to her praying with nuns. Pat disagreed with this diagnosis.

With God’s intervention, he questioned the woman’s sex life, which forced her to admit she and her husband hadn’t been having sex because he’d been impotent. Prior to God’s question, she had maintained her marriage was otherwise perfectly fine—but she had been blaming herself for her husband’s impotence. Once Pat assured her it wasn’t her fault, they prayed to God to heal her asthma. According to Pat, He did.

It is unknown whether the session helped her husband overcome his little problem—knowing both God and all of Pat’s viewers knew all the limpy details.

He Made the Maid Do It.

“The Lord told me to kill them all, and I’m glad I got one of them … Why should I be sorry when the Lord told me do it?”

- Mary Kumziak, maid, on killing her employer and attempting to kill the rest of his family, 1924.

The Polish maid appeared to snap early one morning as the family she worked for slept. At 2:30 am, she walked down to the cellar, grabbed an axe, and tip-toed up to the room of George Davey, her employer. Standing over him, she brought the axe down across his throat, killing him nearly instantly. She struck him five times. He managed a brief shout at the first hit, waking his wife and daughter who slept in an adjacent room. His wife, ill, remained in her bed. His daughter entered the room to see what had happened. Kumziak swung at the daughter, grazing her cheek as she fled for help. Davey’s wife was not so lucky. Kumziak struck her throat, chest, and nearly severed her foot.

Police quickly came and subdued the murdered after a lengthy struggle.

“God told me to kill them and I’m not going to run away,” Kumziak told police.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Have Faith in Violence.

“There was this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform. And the Holy Spirit spoke to me. The gift of faith came on me. He said 'Kick her in the face. With your biker boot.' I went bam! And just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God.”

- Todd Bentley, evangelist, on one his many unorthodox methods of healing.

Bentley’s faith healing has involved numerous kicks, punches and other beatings.
A one-week revival in Florida attracted as many as 10,000 attendees a night to witness his preachings.

Although no “cures” have been medically documented, many injuries have.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Don King of All Things.

"So I said publicly that God told me I was going to knock him out in the third round. It didn't happen. And by the time the third round ended and I didn't knock him out, I began to lose energy."

- Evander Holyfield, former Heavyweight Champion of the World, on his predicted victory over Lennox Lewis, 1999.

Holyfield shared God’s words out of anger after Lewis called him a hypocrite. Lewis made his remarks because the religious Holyfield has several children out of wedlock.

"I thought that was none of his business, and he was ignorant about me. And I was mad,” Holyfield said.

The fight ended in a draw. Holyfield retained his title, but later lost in a rematch.

Hunger Saves.

“Death? Why, no, I’ve never given that a thought. I know, however, that I am not going to die. Why, God wouldn’t let me die. If I do then nothing will be accomplished by my fasting.”

- Mrs. Ernest S. Harrington, on ending her 48-day fast intended to influence her husband to join her church, 1921.

When asked by reporters if she objected to visitors, she replied: “No, for God told me it would be all right for you to come and see me. He said, ‘If they come in by the front door admit them to your room, but if they come in the back door I do not want you to see them.’”

Although she claimed to have gone without food for 48 days, a doctor examining her declared the fast could not have been longer than one week, stating her condition was virtually normal. Harrington was upset by the claim, saying it was an attempt to “cheat God of the glory of preserving my body and keeping me alive until the great victory is won.”

At the conclusion of the fast, Mr. Harrington had still not joined the church. During the fast, he repeatedly said, “I’ll be damned if I give into her.”

Samurai Savior.

“I went outside and spoke to God and he said they were Judas’s, to behead them, and to turn the sword and kill myself.”

- Antonie Dixon, on hacking two women with a samurai sword, New Zealand, 2005.

On the night of the beheading, Dixon said God appeared to him at his residence, which he shared with the two victims.

In court, he described why he hacked the women with a samurai sword: “They wouldn’t get on their hands and knees. They were meant to get on their hands and knees and I was meant to chop their hands off into the basket, the laundry basket was emptied upstairs and I put the laundry basket onto the floor.”

As a child, Dixon’s family attended the Jehovah’s Witness church. His mother was abusive, locking him up to a fence and molesting him. Dixon began to develop internal demons, as well as an ability to speak telepathically with dogs, who presumably spent time at the fence as well.

Dixon was found guilty of his crimes in 2005, but has been granted a re-trial.

Holy Art Thou, Hermit.

“God told me that I must visit this church, as I have all the others, so that I could point out the errors and bring about the great reconciliation. He has chosen me His messenger to tell the peoples of the earth what is really true. I am the great comforter, I, sent by God: I am God’s chosen messenger, and as such I am greater than the President of the United States, greater than the new-crowned King, and my message I will deliver.”

- Ernst W. Heinrich, local hermit who lived outside of Sandfordtown, KY, 1911.

The hermit startled members of the Guardian Angel church as he walked down the aisle, clad in "picturesque home-made garments, with long, heavy flowing locks, and a bushy beard, half blonde, half gray." He planned to journey through the South with his message during the winter.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Blessed are the Minnesota Vikings.

“I can’t go out and win unless I do it through Christ. Does God care? Evidently, he’s cared 16 times, because we won 16 games, and not to say he didn’t care the other two times, but maybe he cared enough to allow the other team to win the other two times.”

- Randall Cunningham, Minnesota Vikings Quarterback, 1998-99 season.

The Vikings went 16-2 that season, losing to the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game. Though God appeared to prefer the Falcons, the Almighty fair-weather fan clearly liked the Denver Broncos even more—who went on the win the Super Bowl.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Contempt for Court.

“God wants me to destroy the judge. That judge is evil. He wants me to get rid of her.”

- Robert Beale, while awaiting sentencing for a tax evasion conviction, 2008.

After his comments were recorded on a prison phone, Beale, the former CEO of Minnesota-based Comtrol Corp., was indicted on charges of obstruction and conspiracy to impede justice.

Beale believes only Jesus has jurisdiction over people.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Busker Miracles.

“God told me to come and juggle.”

- Nathan Dorrell, juggling evangelist, on his 480-mile journey to Terri Schiavo’s Florida hospice, March 2005.

As protestors gathered outside the hospice, Dorrell, accompanied by his pregnant wife and two children, juggled clubs wearing a bright smile and an even brighter fluorescent orange tie.

A last resort from God?

Divine Mission Accomplished?

"Yes, the mission has been accomplished in the same way that after the three years of public ministry My Son said on the cross, 'Father, it is finished.'"

- Oral Roberts, 1989, after asking God why He was having him close the Tusla hospital He had commanded him to build.

The hospital, opened in 1981 and known as the City of Faith, went mostly unused and was eventually turned into an office building. According to Oral, God felt this feat compared to Jesus’ ministry.

Words from Almost as High as the Heavens Above.

"He stared at me without saying a word. Oh, I will never forget those eyes. He reached down his hands under the City of Faith, lifted it, and said to me 'See how easy it is for me to lift it.’”

- Oral Roberts, on his vision of a 900-foot-tall Jesus assuring him that His City of Faith hospital project would be a success.

In 1977, God said, “Oral, build me a hospital.” The giant Jesus appeared shortly after to reinforce the message.

And Thus Began More Than 2000 Years of Persecution.

"You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."
- Leviticus 18:22-23

With those words, God built an eternal closet.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Almighty Commander in Chief.

"I am driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan'. And I did. And then God would tell me 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq'. And I did."

- President George W. Bush, , addressing a Palestinian delegation during an Israeli-Palestinian summit at an Egyptian resort shortly after invading Iraq, 2003.

"Strongly guarded is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United States."
- James Madison, circa 1820

And Ye Shall Feast On Your Wife's Flesh.

“God told me to do it.”

- Christopher Lee McCuin, The Texas Cannibal, on why he killed his 21-year-old wife, mutilated her body, and cooked parts of her flesh. Jan. 2008.

Another killer, Harvey Carignan, who claimed to obey God’s word, stated God recommended repeated hitting over mutilating. Why the change of mind with McCuin?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Unhappy Mother's Day

"I thought I was being told by the Lord to do this. I believe that with all my heart ... In our faith, we believe the word of God. The word is an infallible word."

- Deanna Laney, mother, on hearing God's voice telling her to murder her 8- and 6-year-old sons on Mother’s Day, 2003.

"Each time it was getting worse and worse, the way it had to be done."

- Laney, on her decision to use rocks instead of strangulation.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lesbian Sex Shall Be Forbidden in the Library.

"God was speaking to my heart that day and helped me find the words that proved successful in removing this book from the shelf."

- Earl Adams, concerned father, on removing "The Whole Lesbian Sex Book" from his local library

Mr. Adams' 14- and 16-year-old sons found godless book at the library. This caused a great disturbance and lack of sleep in the household. But with God's help, the book has been banned from the shelves. He sued the city for $20,000 to pay for the mental damage to his boys. No word on God's assistance with the litigation.

Thou Shalt Hit Over and Over and Over Again.

"God didn't say to mutilate her. He just said to hit her until she was dead."

- Harvey Louis Carignan, The Want-Ad Killer

Carignan described himself as “An instrument of God, one who was acting under His personal instructions. Murder, rape and mutilation are all part of a Grand Plan. God is a figure with a large hood and you can't see his face."

Known as the Want Ad Killer (having lured victims from the want ads) Harvey Louis Carignan of Fargo, North Carolina murdered at least five people, possible up to 18, in at least four different states from 1949 until his arrest in 1974. After kidnapping, beating, sexually assaulting, sodomizing, raping and/or choking his victims, he used a claw hammer to kill his victims.

God was not tried as an accomplice.

Monday, July 28, 2008

China, Jesus. Jesus, China.

“God’s going to give us China. And China will be the largest Christian nation on the face of the earth. They’re going to come to Jesus.”

- Pat Robertson, Jan. 3, 2008

Longtime buddies, Pat and God are like a couple of old yentas getting their hair done, though we probably won't hear what God thinks of Pat's highlights.