Category: Religious hypocrisy

Einstein Bagels is rounding up change to support a group that is facing multiple sexual assault and EEOC claims

Einstein Bagels asks people to round up their purchase to the next dollar to donate to a Christian missionary youth group that has been charged with widespread sexual assault, misconduct and harassment.

Einstein Bagels in Grand Junction is asking customers to round up their change to support an evangelical Christian missionary youth group, Young Life, that is facing a slew of sexual misconduct lawsuits by former club participants across the country and at least four Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints for racial discrimination, improper termination and other sordid allegations.

The group, Young Life, came under federal investigation after students, members and volunteers across the country reported they had experienced unwanted sexual advances and solicitations, racially discriminatory comments and treatment, and verbal harassment consisting of sexual innuendoes, comments, jokes, inappropriate texts and social media messages, grooming, inappropriate physical touching, sexual assault, racially discriminatory treatment and retaliation against volunteers who reported such events.

People forced out of Young Life for reporting sexual misconduct

A sign in Einstein’s window urges people to round up their change to support Young Life

After Becca Wong, a Young Life student leader in Michigan, reported an incident of forced oral sex on another member to the organization’s leadership, the leadership forced her out of the organization “in direct retaliation” for reporting the assault, Wong says. In an interview to Michigan Daily, Wong said,

“It’s a very harmful experience but when you’re in (Young Life), you really drink the Kool Aid and you really believe everything they’re doing… Leaving Young Life was a very eye-opening experience, and you can’t really see the problems in Young Life until you’re out of it.”

Laureana Arellano brought a lawsuit after she was racially and sexually harassed at a Young Life summer camp in Colorado in 2019. Arellano said in her legal complaint that a coworker assaulted her by “shoving his hand down her apron and groping her genitalia.” Court paperwork says that when she reported it, a manager told her it was “God’s plan.” Arellano reached a settlement agreement with Young Life, the terms of which are undisclosed.

Brie Boatman, a former staff member who left YoungLife in 2018, said

“Women are not safe in this ministry if Young Life is going to listen to our stories and do nothing about it.” 

CMU and many local businesses continue to support Young Life despite allegations, lawsuits & complaints about misconduct

A host of prominent Grand Junction businesses support Young Life by participating in a discount card program the organization uses to raise money to send youth to Young Life camps. The organization also flourishes on college campuses, including at Colorado Mesa University, which welcomes the group in spite of its fraught reputation.

Young Life is a $500 million, Colorado Springs-based organization that works to lure young people into Christianity. It starts recruiting kids as young as middle school, is present in all 50 states and in over 100 countries around the world.

If you have experienced sexual assault, harassment or other misconduct while in Young Life, you can report it to Business Insider, which is compiling reports on such incidents, at rpremack@protonmail.com, or contact the Denver-based law firm, Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, that is handling many  cases against Young Life already, at 303-578-4400 or fill in the contact form at their website. 

This photo from Colorado Mesa University’s website shows the university promoting Young Life, a nationwide Christian missionary youth group based in Colorado Springs that has been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment and racial discrimination

 

Grand Junction businesses that support Young Life despite sexual assault allegations

A host of Grand Junction businesses endorse Young Life, which has been charged with sexual misconduct against members and volunteers, doing nothing about it, and even working to cover it up

Lauren Boebert mocks the death of 42 year old woman accidentally killed by prop gun on film set

Halayna Hutchins, a 42 year old cinematographer killed by the accidental discharge of a firearm on a New Mexico film set. She left behind a husband and 9 year old son. (Photo: Instagram)

Denver news anchor Kyle Clark in a commentary November 17 on his show “Next, with Kyle Clark” said journalists are holding Republican Colorado House Rep. Lauren Boebert to a lower standard than every other legislator because:

“If we held her to the same standard as every other elected Republican and Democrat in Colorado, we would be here near nightly chronicling the cruel, false, and bigoted things that Boebert says for attention and fundraising.”

So in an attempt to keep up with Rep. Boebert’s avalanche of cruel and vile behavior in the name of fundraising, here’s a recent one for you, and it’s about as cruel as you can get:

Rep. Lauren Boebert wants government to take orders from the church

U.S. House Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, speaking at a conference held September 13 by the Truth and Liberty Coalition, cast Democrats as the  enemy and called on God to remove ungodly leaders in Washington, D.C. and instead “install righteous men and women of God” who understand that government should be taking orders from the church, and not the other way around. 

“It’s time the church speaks up. The church has relinquished too much authority to government. We should not be taking orders from the government; the government needs to be looking at the church and saying, ‘How do we do this effectively?”

Need an abortion in Grand Junction? Here is information.

If you are pregnant and looking for an abortion in Mesa County, you may find information about abortion services is very hard to find here. Local obstetrical practices don’t mention abortion on their websites and may not even offer abortion services. “Pregnancy Centers” are fake health clinics in the area that lure in scared and worried women by promising free services, like pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and “counseling,” but they are really Christian ministries whose real purpose is to shame and guilt women out of getting abortions.

The closest provider of safe medical abortions is 90 miles away in Glenwood Springs, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Their slogan is “Care no matter what.”

But don’t despair. You may not have to leave town to obtain a safe abortion.

Thanks to the internet, there are now options for women to access abortion services no matter where they are, and you may even not have to leave home to get an abortion if you live in Grand Junction.

UPDATE: On December 16, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permanently lifted restrictions on access to abortion medications by mail, making them more widely and easily available for use by women who are up to 10 weeks pregnant. The move allows women to obtain the pills by mail instead of having to appear in person at a clinic.

Oklahoma is just the beginning of what life will be like under Republican rule

Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.

Oklahoma wasn’t alone in this, either. Other Republican-dominated states are also enacting extremely strict laws that effectively make abortion illegal, with some banning the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republicans base these laws on their belief that a fetus is a fully legal person entitled to all the rights and privileges that all legal American citizens enjoy.

But if actually put into effect, what do these beliefs really portend for life in America?

More on the hate culture in Grand Junction: “If you don’t like it, leave”

We came home from our anniversary dinner last fall to find this sticker slapped on our mailbox. President Trump has emboldened nasty behavior among Mesa County right wingers.

Note: I first published this article in August of 2018, but given President Trump’s recent racist statements toward four female freshmen members of Congress, it seems appropriate to re-post it. — AL, July 21, 2019

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Anyone on the western slope who has pointed out hatred, bigotry, unequal treatment or violations of people’s constitutional or civil rights in our area has heard the phrase over and over: “If you don’t like what’s going on here, you can just leave.”

That’s what many western slope residents say to people who live here who aren’t just like them, who may have moved here from somewhere else, or who disagree with them or assert their constitutional rights.

Western Slope pastor and Mesa County “Patriots” display stunning callousness towards refugees, children

Reverend Babcox, Orchard Mesa Baptist Church

Amid the massive “Keep Families Together” protests in over 750 cities across the country including in Grand Junction last weekend against the Trump administration’s harsh “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separated thousands of refugee children from their parents, some Mesa County citizens are publicly denying that any children of refugees have been taken away from their parents, while also denying there is anything wrong with doing it. Others show utter disdain towards immigrant parents for taking desperate measures to get their families out of harm’s way.

Of all people, Robert Babcox, the pastor of the Orchard Mesa Baptist Church, is one of those people.

Grand Junction City Council has an opportunity to end divisive religious invocations at public meetings. Let’s hope they do.

The Devil is among the many diverse religious players who are likely to get more chances to say invocations at City Council meetings, unless the invocation is eliminated entirely or the invocation policy is changed changed to a moment of silence instead of prayers.

Grand Junction City Council plans to re-assess the issue of hosting religious invocations at public meetings at their Monday, March 5 workshop.

Grand Junction made history in 2017 as the first city in Colorado host a Satanic invocation at a City Council meeting. News of the event spread across the country, and the story even made it onto Russia Today’s news website, RT.
How could something like this happen?
Under pressure from the City’s secular community to abide by the Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state, in 2008 the City of Grand Junction adopted an invocation policy that opened up the invocation to anyone, instead of reserving the opportunity to say it only to representatives of a few selected religious groups. Over the last ten years, the new policy has resulted in the City making history  with invocations given by atheists, Satanists and anarchists.
But the most prominent non-Christian invocation — a Satanic invocation last August, and all the hoopla that surrounded it — TV news cameras, prayer circles at City Hall and Bible-toting people in the audience — seems to have made Council interested in revising their invocation policy.

How the President’s racism affects the western slope

President Donald Trump spent years spreading the racist lie that President Obama was born in Kenya. He’s publicly described Mexicans as rapists, called for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” said immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS,” used the gang MS-13 to disparage all immigrants and called African countries “shitholes.”

Sad to say, but there are people in our own community who actually believe these things, and worse, and Trump is empowering them to more freely express their racism and xenophobia.

Hobby Lobby, a corporate criminal

Hobby Lobby, a craft store owned by evangelicals and known for pushing it’s owner’s Christian religious beliefs onto it’s employees, is running a full page “O-come-let-us-adore-him” Christmas ad in today’s Daily Sentinel with a camel and all the trimmings, that urges people to download a free Bible at a website.

So this seems like a perfect time to make people aware that Hobby Lobby was fined millions of dollars by the U.S. government in 2017 for illegally importing thousands of ancient Iraqi clay artifacts into the U.S. that were likely  acquired by ISIS (the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”) as the terrorist group criss-crossed the country destroying and looting Iraq’s cultural heritage sites.

Trump-linked hate graffiti found at Horizon Drive Safeway

Graffiti left in the restroom at the Horizon Drive Safeway this evening.

An employee at the Horizon Drive Safeway discovered hateful anti-gay graffiti scrawled in the store’s restroom tonight and posted photos of it on social media. The employee discovered the graffiti while changing out of work clothes in the restroom.

One message was “Trump 2020” with a swastika. The other message said “God hates all fags,” also with a swastika.

The vandalism occurred between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. this evening.
Donald Trump’s presidency is fueling divisiveness, emboldening supremacists and radical right wing hate groups and has led to an increase in hateful rhetoric around the country, including in Grand Junction. Trump’s negative comments and punitive policies towards immigrants, transgendered citizens and other minorities are also contributing to an increase in hateful rhetoric directed at these groups.  Our community is not immune.

Trump endorses accused child molester Roy Moore for Senate

Newspapers in New York today with stories about Trumps endorsement of accused child molester Roy Moore

In a new low for the country, President Donald Trump has endorsed the denials of Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican senate candidate who has been accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with teenagers. Trump’s endorsement indicates he has elevated the strength of Moore’s denials about the encounters over accounts given by the eight women who stepped forward and graphically described the sexual assaults by Moore they experienced when they were younger and Moore was in his 30s.

Moore made a name for himself as a public Ten Commandments moralizer while he served as Chief Justice for the state of Alabama, but he was twice ejected from his position on the Court for violating federal laws. Despite getting kicked off the bench twice for failing to follow the law and being accused of sexually molesting teenagers, Moore has maintained the support of many Christian conservatives in the state. He now also has the support of President Trump.

 

 

What Roy Moore and Grand Junction City Council have in common

Roy Moore

Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican senatorial candidate accused of sexual predation, brings thoughts right back here to Grand Junction, because Moore and Grand Junction have two big things in common.

They are 1) the Ten Commandments, and 2) an eagerness to defy U.S. law.

Moore was twice thrown out of his job as Chief Justice for the state of Alabama for defying U.S. law. After the Supreme Court’s 2015 landmark ruling legalizing gay marriage, Moore ordered the state’s probate court judges not to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. A commission charged him with violating federal judicial orders and kicked him off the court in 2016. That was the second time Moore was ejected for violating the law.

Grand Junction’s Satanic Invocation a Success, More Diversity Likely Coming Soon

Grand Junction, Colorado’s first Satanic invocation went off without a hitch yesterday evening, with an audience of about 50 interested onlookers and five out of seven city council members present.

The audience and was quiet and respectful as the speaker made the following statement to Council:

City of Grand Junction Officially Endorses Gay Pride Week

The City of Grand Junction's official proclamation endorsing Gay Pride Week in town

The City of Grand Junction’s official proclamation endorsing Gay Pride Week in town

In a landmark action towards welcoming diversity in our community, at its Wednesday, May 4, 2016 meeting, the Grand Junction City Council will officially declare May 2nd through May 8th, 2016 “Grand Junction Pride Fest Week.”

District 51 Distributes Flier for Christian Event Targeting Adolescent Girls

June Fellhauer, the local religious woman behind the "Sleeping Beauty" Christian worship event at CMU for adolescent girls. [From a July, 2015 YouTube video titled "Women's Purpose."]

June Fellhauer, the Grand Junction woman behind the “Sleeping Beauty” Christian worship event at CMU aimed at adolescent girls and preserving their “purity.” [From a July, 2015 YouTube video titled “Women’s Purpose.”]

Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers was contacted by a Mesa Valley School District 51 parent who is upset over an ad for a Christian religious event targeting young girls that she received through the email system District 51 uses to send electronic fliers home to parents.
The flier promotes a Christian Bible study event for adolescent girls to be held at Colorado Mesa University called “Wake Up Sleeping Beauty: Worship At His Feet.”
The flier contains white text overlaid on a pink silhouette of a girl’s face that says,
“As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Luke 7:38.”

Former “Ten Commandments” Mayor Sentenced to Classes, Fines for Shoplifting

Reford "Ten Commandments" Theobold

Reford Theobold, shown wearing a Ten Commandments tie at a 2006 event (Photo credit: Daily Sentinel)

A Municipal Court judge ordered former two-time Grand Junction Mayor Reford Theobold to pay $125 in fees and fines, perform eight hours of useful public service and attend theft education classes for stealing merchandise from a Mesa Mall business last October.

Surveillance cameras caught Theobold stealing Big Hunk bars and maps from Cabelas last October 30th. Theobold pled guilty to the theft in court this week.

In Honor of Former Grand Junction Mayor Reford “Ten Commandments” Theobold

A reader sent in this photo in homage to Grand Junction's former "Ten Commandments" mayor, Reford Theobold, who was recently busted for shoplifting Big Hunk candy bars from Cabela's in Mesa Mall

A reader sent in this photo of The City of Grand Junction’s Ten Commandment tablet on City Hall grounds, honoring Grand Junction’s formerly esteemed “Ten Commandments” mayor, Reford Theobold, who was recently busted for shoplifting Big Hunk candy bars from Cabela’s at Mesa Mall