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Old 08-28-2013, 10:11 AM   #41
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Measles Outbreak at Texas Faith-Healing Megachurch

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An outbreak of measles tied to a Texas megachurch where ministers have questioned vaccination has sickened at least 21 people, including a 4-month-old infant -- and it’s expected to grow, state and federal health officials said.

“There’s likely a lot more susceptible people,” said Dr. Jane Seward, the deputy director for the viral diseases division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sixteen people -- nine children and seven adults -- ranging in age from 4 months to 44 years had come down with the highly contagious virus in Tarrant County, Texas, as of Monday. Another five cases are part of the outbreak in nearby Denton County.

All of the cases are linked to the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Texas, where a visitor who’d traveled to Indonesia became infected with measles – and then returned to the U.S., spreading it to the largely unvaccinated church community, said Russell Jones, the Texas state epidemiologist.

“We have a pocket of people that weren’t immunized,” said Jones, noting that vaccination rates typically hover above the 98 percent range in his county.

Infections spread to the congregation, the staff and a day care center at Eagle Mountain International.

The ill people were all linked to the church that is a division of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. That group advocates faith-healing and advises people to “first seek the Wisdom of God” and then appropriate medical attention in matters of health, according to an online statement.

Terri Pearsons, a senior pastor of Eagle Mountain International Church and Copeland’s daughter, previously said she had concerns about possible ties between early childhood vaccines and autism, a position that has been refuted by health officials.

In the wake of the measles outbreak, however, Pearsons has urged followers to get vaccinated and the church has held several vaccination clinics, according to its website. Health officials said the church administration has been very cooperative in the outbreak investigation. Pearsons did not return an email from NBC News seeking comment.

“We continue to follow up on pending and confirmed cases to help in any way we can to keep the outbreak contained,” a church statement said. “We ask that others join us in prayers over this outbreak.”

Health authorities notified the church of the first cases on Aug. 14; Texas state health officials issued a warning about the outbreak on Aug. 16. In the meantime, hundreds -- perhaps more than 1,000 -- contacts could have been affected by potentially infected people, Seward said.

“In this community, these cases so far are all in people who refused vaccination for themselves and their children,” she added.

Of the 16 cases in Tarrant County, 11 did not have any measles vaccination. The others may have had at least one measles vaccination, but they couldn’t produce documentation, county officials said.

The outbreak raises to 159 the total number of confirmed measles cases in the U.S. this year. The disease that once killed 500 people a year in the U.S. and hospitalized 48,000 had been considered virtually eradicated after a vaccine introduced in 1963. Cases now show up typically when an unvaccinated person contracts the disease abroad and spreads it upon return to the U.S.

Five previous cases in Texas this year were far higher than typical years, but don’t appear to be related to the current outbreak, state officials said.

Measles is so contagious that 90 percent of people who are not immune to the disease or vaccinated against it will get sick, health officials warned. It is a respiratory disease spread by sneezing or coughing. The virus can live in the air or on infected surfaces for up to two hours. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat, plus a characteristic red rash that starts on the face or hairline and spreads to the rest of the body. It can take eight days to two weeks after exposure before an infected person develops symptoms.

Health officials recommend that children receive a Measles/Mumps/Rubella -- MMR -- vaccine at age 12 months and again at 4 to 6 years. Unless adults have previously had measles or are immunized, health officials say they should be vaccinated.

“We just want people to be aware and well-informed about the risks of the disease, especially when they travel abroad,” Seward said.
See what happens when you believe that Jenny McCarthy is God?
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:29 AM   #42
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God's wrath for Johnny Football signing scandal.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:25 PM   #43
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Story of Jesus Christ was 'fabricated to pacify the poor', claims controversial Biblical scholar

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A controversial American biblical scholar is set to make his first appearance in London next week to present a discovery that he claims proves the story of Jesus Christ was invented as a system of mind control to enslave the poor.

Joseph Atwill, who is the author of a book entitled 'Caesar's Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus', asserts that Christianity did not begin as a religion, but was actually a sophisticated government propaganda exercise used to pacify the subjects of the Roman Empire.

At the 'Covert Messiah' conference, to be held at the Conway Hall in Holborn a week on Saturday, Mr Atwill will present his theory that the New Testament was written by first-century Roman aristocrats and that they entirely fabricated the story of Jesus Christ.

Outlining his ideas in a blog posting on his website Mr Atwill writes: "Christianity may be considered a religion, but it was actually developed and used as a system of mind control to produce slaves that believed God decreed their slavery."

Mr Atwill says that acts of insurrection by Jewish sects, who were awaiting the arrival of a so-called 'warrior Messiah' in Palestine, were a perpetual problem for the Roman Empire and that after the Empire had exhausted all traditional means of dealing with the problem they resorted to psychological warfare.

"They surmised that the way to stop the spread of zealous Jewish missionary activity was to create a competing belief system," Atwill told PRWeb.com

"That's when the 'peaceful' Messiah story was invented.

"Instead of inspiring warfare, this Messiah urged turn-the-other-cheek pacifism and encouraged Jews to 'give onto Caesar' and pay their taxes to Rome."

Mr Atwill continues: "Although Christianity can be a comfort to some, it can also be very damaging and repressive, an insidious form of mind control that has led to blind acceptance of serfdom, poverty, and war throughout history.

To this day, especially in the United States, it is used to create support for war in the Middle East."

Elsewhere, Mr Atwill also writes: “In fact he [Jesus] may be the only fictional character in literature whose entire life story can be traced to other sources. Once those sources are all laid bare, there’s simply nothing left.”

Atwill says he made his discovery when while studying the New Testament alongside the 'War of the Jews' by Josephus - the only surviving first-person historical account of first-century Judea.

Mr Atwill claims that he began to notice a sequence of parallels between the two texts.

"What seems to have eluded many scholars is that the sequence of events and locations of Jesus ministry are more or less the same as the sequence of events and locations of the military campaign of [Emperor] Titus Flavius as described by Josephus," Atwill claims.

"This is clear evidence of a deliberately constructed pattern", he continues.

"The biography of Jesus is actually constructed, tip to stern, on prior stories, but especially on the biography of a Roman Caesar."

Mr Atwill's theory is simply one of a number of what are known as Bible conspiracy theories.

These theories commonly include the suggestion that secret societies, mystery schools and other religions used the fictional story of Christ to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:24 PM   #44
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During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, one morning’s executions began with three men: a rabbi, a Catholicpriest, and a rationalist skeptic.

The rabbi was marched up onto the platform first. There, facing the guillotine, he was asked if he had any last words. And the rabbi cried out, “I believe in the one and only true God, and He shall save me.” The executioner then positioned the rabbi below the blade, set the block above his neck, and pulled the cord to set the terrible instrument in motion. The heavy cleaver plunged downward, searing the air. But then, abruptly, it stopped with a crack just a few inches above the would-be victim’s neck. To which the rabbi said, “I told you so.”
“It’s a miracle!” gasped the crowd. And the executioner had to agree, letting the rabbi go.
Next in line was the priest. Asked for his final words, he declared, “I believe in Jesus Christ the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who will rescue me in my hour of need.” The executioner then positioned this man beneath the blade. And he pulled the cord. Again the blade flew downward thump! creak! …stopping just short of its mark once more.
“Another miracle!” sighed the disappointed crowd. And the executioner for the second time had no choice but to let the condemned go free.
Now it was the skeptic’s turn. “What final words have you to say?” he was asked. But the skeptic didn’t hear. Staring intently at the ominous engine of death, he seemed lost. Not until the executioner poked him in the ribs and the question was asked again did he reply.
“Oh, I see your problem,” the skeptic said pointing. “You’ve got a blockage in the gear assembly, right there!”
I heard the joke punch line, the certain ethnic man said "grease those grooves and the blade will come down faster and all the way through the neck hole"
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:24 AM   #45
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Reality Show Snake-Handling Preacher Dies Of Snakebite

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A Kentucky pastor who starred in a reality show about snake-handling in church has died -- of a snakebite.

Jamie Coots died Saturday evening after refusing to be treated, Middleborough police said.

On "Snake Salvation," the ardent Pentecostal believer said that he believed that a passage in the Bible suggests poisonous snakebites will not harm believers as long as they are anointed by God. The practice is illegal in most states, but still goes on, primarily in the rural South.

Coots was a third-generation "serpent handler" and aspired to one day pass the practice and his church, Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name, on to his adult son, Little Cody.

The National Geographic show featured Coots and cast handling all kinds of poisonous snakes -- copperheads, rattlers, cottonmouths. The channel's website shows a picture of Coots, goateed, wearing a fedora. "Even after losing half of his finger to a snake bite and seeing others die from bites during services," Coots "still believes he must take up serpents and follow the Holiness faith," the website says.

On Sunday, National Geographic Channels spokeswoman Stephanie Montgomery sent CNN this statement: "In following Pastor Coots for our series Snake Salvation, we were constantly struck by his devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced.

"Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith. We were honored to be allowed such unique access to Pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."

In February 2013, Coots was given one year of probation for crossing into Tennessee with venomous snakes. He was previously arrested in 2008 for keeping 74 snakes in his home, according to National Geographic. Tennessee banned snake handling in 1947 after five people were bitten in churches over two years' time, the channel says on the show site.

On one episode, Coots, who collected snakes, is shown trying to wrest a Western diamondback out of its nook under a rock deep in East Texas. He's wearing a cowboy hat and a T-shirt that says "The answer to Y2K - JESUS."

The pastor is helped by his son and a couple of church members.

"He'll give up, just sooner or later," one of the members says. "Just be careful. Ease him out."

The group bags two snakes, which a disappointed Coots says hardly justifies the trip to Texas.

"Catching two snakes the first day, 'course we'd hoped for more," Coots says in the video. "We knew that the next day we was gonna have to try to hunt harder and hope for more snakes."
While I certainly feel for this guy's family, I would like to thank all snake-handling preachers for providing proof of natural selection.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:32 AM   #46
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He refused medical treatment at least twice.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:53 AM   #47
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My wife's mother and grandmother were involved in Pentecostal churches when she was younger. While she never witnessed any snake handling, there was a lot of speaking in tongues and laying of hands. She said there were several instances where she would have to pretend to speak in tongues just to please everyone else, while being fully conscious of the fact that everyone else is most likely faking it as well.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:00 PM   #48
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He refused medical treatment at least twice.
I wonder how believers react when snake-handlers die from snakebites. Do they mourn the loss, or is it no big deal since they must not have been "chosen"?
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:12 PM   #49
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:29 PM   #50
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