Thursday, July 18, 2019

Puerto Rican Gay Victim of Bullying is Found Guilty: Faces 50 Years

Abel Cedeno, now 19 was convicted on all counts in court on Monday in The Bronx. Cedeno was the high school student who claimed to be bullied for being part of the LGBTQ community.  The story made headlines (

During class, Two African American students were throwing pencils and other items at Cedeno. Cedeno got up to leave through the door of the classroom. As he approached it, someone threw a crumbled piece of paper at him. He got upset and asked, "Who the F*#$ threw that?"  One of the students, Matthew McCree who was killed by Cedeno had responded. McCree then approached Cedeno and both began to fight. Cell phone video captures moments after this shows the altercation. Cedeno is seen running towards McCree who begins to pummel Cedeno. Cedeno swings back, stabbing the alleged bully.  The video then ends.

During the trial, evidence was presented. Cedeno took the stand on behalf of himself and told his story. He claimed he was bullied for being gay and did not remember stabbing McCree. The trial was done by the bench. This means a judge had the power to decide, not a jury. Other classmates also testified and acknowledged that Cedeno was being picked on and pelted with pencil and other items. However, the judge decided that Cedeno was guilty.  He now faces up to 50 years in prison due to all the charges.

The story has brought attention to the problem in public schools in New York City. Bullying has gone rampant and administrators do nothing to prevent it or stop it. In fact, many teachers are unable to discipline students due to policies instilled by progressives. Restorative justice is named as the main culprit by many teachers.  This form of discipline (or lack, thereof) does not allow punishment. Instead, students are encouraged to make peace with one another. There are no consequences for offenses committed by students. Several teachers from the high school where both Cedeno and McCree attended, which is now closed, said to reports that after this form of discipline was put as policy, students began to disrespect teachers, deans, and even the principal.

The conviction has come as a surprise and upset to many who claim Cedeno was a victim of bullying and deserved to be exonerated. However, others celebrated the conviction by claiming that justice was served and called Cedeno a liar and opportunist. Some have wished for his death and used homophobic language in the process. There is no word as to whether the case will be appealed or not. Cedeno is scheduled to be sentenced in September of this year.

The judge's decision is being seen as a slap to the face of victims of bullying and victims in general. If self-defense is not possible, how can one survive?  Unlike Florida, New York does not have "stand your ground" laws. Self-defense is permitted, but it is encouraged that the victim retreat instead. This is easier said than done. New York Consolidated Laws, Penal Law - PEN § 35.15 Justification;  use of physical force in defense of a person states:

1. A person may, subject to the provisions of subdivision two, use physical force upon another person when and to the extent he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to defend himself, herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by such other person, unless:
(a) The latter's conduct was provoked by the actor with intent to cause physical injury to another person;  or
(b) The actor was the initial aggressor;  except that in such case the use of physical force is nevertheless justifiable if the actor has withdrawn from the encounter and effectively communicated such withdrawal to such other person but the latter persists in continuing the incident by the use or threatened imminent use of unlawful physical force;  or
(c) The physical force involved is the product of a combat by agreement not specifically authorized by law.
2. A person may not use deadly physical force upon another person under circumstances specified in subdivision one unless:
(a) The actor reasonably believes that such other person is using or about to use deadly physical force.  Even in such case, however, the actor may not use deadly physical force if he or she knows that with complete personal safety, to oneself and others he or she may avoid the necessity of so doing by retreating;  except that the actor is under no duty to retreat if he or she is:
(i) in his or her dwelling and not the initial aggressor;  or
(ii) a police officer or peace officer or a person assisting a police officer or a peace officer at the latter's direction, acting pursuant to section 35.30 ;  or
(b) He or she reasonably believes that such other person is committing or attempting to commit a kidnapping, forcible rape, forcible criminal sexual act or robbery;  or
(c) He or she reasonably believes that such other person is committing or attempting to commit a burglary, and the circumstances are such that the use of deadly physical force is authorized by subdivision three of section 35.20 .

What are your thoughts?  Was Abel justified or not?  Did Matthew deserve to be killed?  Abel's lawyer stated that he "messed with the wrong sissy."


Monday, July 15, 2019

Flying Priest? Fr. Marcelo Rossi Sent Flying off Stage after being Shoved

There was the "flying nun," but the "flying priest?"

Most of us remember when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was pulled down to the ground at the onset of Midnight Mass or when Pope Francis was pulled onto a disabled man by a group of fanatical Mexicans in Mexico. Well, something far worse (in my opinion) happened to popular Portuguese charismatic priest, Father Marcelo Rossi. During a closing Mass for a youth retreat attended by over 50,000 Catholics, mostly youth; a woman passed through security and stepped up to the stage set up for Mass and shoved Father Rossi of it. The entire thing was caught on video as it was being live-streamed. Fr. Rossi can be seen flying in the air and the sound of him impacting the ground can be heard followed by the sounds of a shocked audience.

There is still no known motive for the attack thought atheist blogger, Hemant Mehta who goes by the moniker "Friendly Atheist" claims the priest said that "Fat women don't get into heaven" and this triggered the attack. Again, there is no evidence for this as the motive and the claim seems to be an attempt to garner blog hits by Mehta who is known for being dishonest.

The woman is a 32-year-old who was also a participant in the retreat. Her fellow youth group member explained to the police that she suffers from mental illness. Father Rossi was not seriously hurt and will not be pressing charges against the woman. The incident brings into question the security at the venue and the reality of mental illness which is rampant in many cities around the glove. People suffering from mental illness often go undiagnosed or are not helped. They then have mental illness spells which can be dangerous for others and for the mentally ill person.

Fr. Rossi was a physical education instructor prior to being ordained in 1994. He is a well-known singer and author and is seen is a pop culture icon in Brazil. However, the priest has offended some in the LGBTQ community for comments calling homosexuality a mental illness and attacking so-called same-sex marriage.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Hate & Unfairness at The Fight on The Fence Facebook Group

I run into many crazy people on and offline.  Because of this, I think it is necessary that I post warnings to my followers so that they will not have to face the same crazy people.  In this post, I will detail my experience with a Facebook group a young Greek man added me to.

The group claims to be about discussions regarding theism and atheism. However, most of the content is hateful against religious people.  Administrations do not follow their own rules and side with trolls. The group is a cesspool of trollish behavior and bigotry against Christians.  They even targeted gay members with homophobia.

Avoid and report this group to Facebook.  Facebook will remove it when it gets enough reports regarding its content.

I was added to it by young Greek Orthodox amateur apologist George Argyris a few months ago and did not become active in it until recently. When I posted, accounts which claimed to be atheists attacked me. I ignored it and reported abuse to admins. Some were deleted, others not.

Last week, someone accused me of turning off comments. I defended myself with civility and was met with more attacks. One member named Brian Ballard began to threaten me and cursed at me. I reported it to the admin. Jared replied and warned Brian.  Here is Brian Ballard

However, Jared then began to target me. He also accused me of turning off comments and claimed they broke the rules.

Moreover, I wrote that I would ask Facebook as to whether or not owners/admins can order members not use to turn off comments. He got upset and felt challenged and attacked me more. Eventually, he could not handle me and removed me from the group.

Here is the exchange. The rules are here. NO such rule exists. See the exchange here and the rules themselves.  Note that no rule regarding comments exists. Jared lied:

Here is a photo of the admin Jared M. Russell:
Jared appears to be a White supremacist posting images of the Confederate flag which is considered by many today as a symbol of hate and racism.

We can see now why this individual is power-hungry. White supremacists are typically emotionally immature males who feel powerless and have a superiority complex.

He is now lying to the owner and others stating that I said I would not follow the rules.  Notice in the above exchange that I never stated that I will not follow the rules.  Jared lied.

An atheist friend in the group recently defended me and was also met with abuse and eventually removed as well. They even told him I was him!

Again, no admin took action against the bullies. Instead, they just booted my atheist friend just for asking for fairness. The evidence is clear. I did nothing wrong and was removed for no reason other than I emasculated an admin by questioning.

As a former atheist, I knew questioning is a principle of atheism. If an atheist cannot question, then atheism cannot exist. IF this group claims to allow the free speech of atheists and theists, then questioning is a must. A member cannot be booted just for questioning. It is clear that this group is just a playground for trolls. Also, note that Brian and others were never removed. They targeted me and got scot-free.

It is clear that this group is created by trolls and for trolls who hate Christians. Facebook needs to ban this group as it violates its hate speech policies.

Furthermore, I even messaged the owner of the group, Stacey Struckman.  She pretended to show concern and then made it clear that she would turn a blind eye to the situation and even wrote that she will "wash her hands."  She, in turn, blocked me. This demonstrates her lack of moral compass and lack of fairness.  Stacey has no interest in being objective or honest. She lied and accepted lies told to her as truth.  It seems to me that she may be mentally abused as well. When I tagged her with the evidence, she was concerned that her husband would see her name tagged on another male's account. This is extremely odd and indicative of someone in an unhealthy, controlling and abusive behavior.  We must pray for her and contact the police to do a wellness check on her.

Here is her photo followed by the exchange I had with her:

Lastly, I contacted another admin named Ajunte Burns who is African American and claims to be a Christian apologist. I was hoping he would be honest and fair, but he too failed in those areas. Like Stacey, he sided with the lying trolls and had no interest in being fair. He claims a vote was taken and the admins declared that they do not want me in the group. Well duh, this was my point. The admins are biased and unfair to Christians.  I did not need a vote to know this. That was my main concern, to begin with.

However, instead of siding with honesty and truth, Ajunte simply accepted the majority and did not protest it.  A real Christian does not follow the majority when they are in the wrong.  Like Dr. King, who was African American, a Christian challenges the majority when they are in the wrong. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI stated, "Truth is not determined by a majority vote."

Here is Ajunte Burns and our exchange:

Again, I warn all theists and atheists to avoid this group on Facebook and report it. It violates Facebook's policies and simply exists to harass and abuse Christians.

Facebook is clear on what it considers hate. This group and its members are violating this policy, see:

11. Hate Speech
Policy Rationale
We do not allow hate speech on Facebook because it creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion and in some cases may promote real-world violence.
We define hate speech as a direct attack on people based on what we call protected characteristics — race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, caste, sex, gender, gender identity, and serious disease or disability. We also provide some protections for immigration status. We define attack as violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion or segregation. We separate attacks into three tiers of severity, as described below.
Sometimes people share content containing someone else’s hate speech for the purpose of raising awareness or educating others. In some cases, words or terms that might otherwise violate our standards are used self-referentially or in an empowering way. People sometimes express contempt in the context of a romantic break-up. Other times, they use gender-exclusive language to control membership in a health or positive support group, such as a breastfeeding group for women only. In all of these cases, we allow the content but expect people to clearly indicate their intent, which helps us better understand why they shared it. Where the intention is unclear, we may remove the content.
We allow humor and social commentary related to these topics. In addition, we believe that people are more responsible when they share this kind of commentary using their authentic identity.
Click here to read our Hard Questions Blog and learn more about our approach to hate speech.

Do not post:
Tier 1 attacks, which target a person or group of people who share one of the above-listed characteristics or immigration status (including all subsets except those described as having carried out violent crimes or sexual offenses), where attack is defined as
Any violent speech or support in written or visual form
Dehumanizing speech such as reference or comparison to:
Animals that are culturally perceived as intellectually or physically inferior
Filth, bacteria, disease and feces
Sexual predator
Violent and sexual criminals
Other criminals (including but not limited to “thieves,” “bank robbers,” or saying “all [protected characteristic or quasi-protected characteristic] are ‘criminals’”)
Mocking the concept, events or victims of hate crimes even if no real person is depicted in an image
Designated dehumanizing comparisons in both written and visual form
Tier 2 attacks, which target a person or group of people who share any of the above-listed characteristics, where attack is defined as
Statements of inferiority or an image implying a person's or a group's physical, mental, or moral deficiency
Physical (including but not limited to “deformed,” “undeveloped,” “hideous,” “ugly”)
Mental (including but not limited to “retarded,” “cretin,” “low IQ,” “stupid,” “idiot”)
Moral (including but not limited to “slutty,” “fraud,” “cheap,” “free riders”)
Expressions of contempt or their visual equivalent, including (but not limited to)
"I hate"
"I don't like"
"X are the worst"
Expressions of disgust or their visual equivalent, including (but not limited to)
Cursing at a person or group of people who share protected characteristics
Tier 3 attacks, which are calls to exclude or segregate a person or group of people based on the above-listed characteristics, where exclusion is defined as:
Explicit Exclusion which includes but is not limited to "expel" or "not allowed".
Political Exclusion defined as denial of right to political participation.
Economic Exclusion defined as denial of access to economic entitlements and limiting participation in the labour market,
Social Exclusion defined as including but not limited to denial of opportunity to gain access to spaces (incl. online) and social services.
We do allow criticism of immigration policies and arguments for restricting those policies.
Content that describes or negatively targets people with slurs, where slurs are defined as words commonly used as insulting labels for the above-listed characteristics.


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