[Vision2020] RE: Welcome Elder Alan Stout

Saundra Lund sslund at adelphia.net
Mon Aug 23 05:31:54 PDT 2004

Hi Pastor Stout,

A belated welcome:  I spent the weekend back-to-school shopping with teen &
pre-teen girls (and survived to tell the tale), so please accept this belated

You wrote:
"It was also a mistake for me to insert myself into your local politics. . . .My
apologies for that and I shall not return."

Oh, I hope that's not the case.  For whatever reasons & by whatever method (the
list serves I participate in generally consider it good manners for newbie's to
provide a brief & honest introduction, although that certainly isn't a
requirement here), you became aware of the reported "polarization" in our

You seemed candid in your professed ignorance about the details, and I'm hoping
you are perhaps looking to understand and learn, for whatever reason.

If you choose to learn and participate, I think you might find the time well
spent.  And, it's possible I/we might be able to learn from you as well because
your questions seem to indicate a view different than my own.  You see, half of
the controversy has removed themselves from community dialogue in this forum,
and perhaps seemingly from discussion with the community as a whole.  Because of
this, there really is no dialogue, something that's bound to lead to

If you have time, peruse the archives for an idea of the kind of communication
that used to go on.  Many months ago, Christ Church hierarchy & members actually
participated here, believe it or not.  And, while there certainly wasn't
agreement (outside of lots of support for the Mariners, a Seattle baseball
team), there *was* communication, questions & answers, debate, etc.  We could
learn about each other directly rather than from news reports, rumor, and

But then, Christ Church bailed.  There are members still here who lurk & rarely
jump in to "attack", but there is no more dialogue.

In an earlier post, you wrote:
"1.  Does this "rule" of ad hominem apply to list serves?"


However, it's also not typical on list serves for the second sentence in a
newbie's post to have already passed judgment about something as significant as
"hate."  This is particularly disappointing in light of the fact that you freely
admit to ignorance about the issues that have brought our community to the
"polarization" point.  However, from your other comments, I'll give you the
benefit of the doubt as the Bible suggests and assume you simply started out on
the wrong foot.

You also asked:
"2.  Do you who call this church a cult and pastor Wilson "wolfman" lean to the
left politically and/or theologically?"

First, I'm not into name-calling (which doesn't mean that I've never made that
particular mistake), so I can't address the "wolfman" aspect of your question.

However, from what I know, those of us who are . . . aghast at the actions of
Christ Church run the gamut theologically & politically, from left to right,
from conservative to liberal, and everything between.  You simply cannot
stereotype those opposed to the not-so-hidden agenda of Christ Church, although
perhaps on this list serve, we tend to hear from one segment more than another.
Amongst the more conservative Christians, there is consternation for Wilson &
the hierarchy of the Christ Church empire, just as there is consternation
amongst the politically conservative segment of the community.

If you lived here and had the pleasure of actually participating in our
community, I think you'd discover that for yourself.

You also asked:
"3.  Why would anyone want to visit Moscow when there are people full of such
vitriol amongst the population?"

Oh, come on now:  certainly Moscow isn't the only community you are aware of
with strife?  Surely you're aware of other wonderful communities who have
wrestled with different values (i.e., environmental concerns competing with
local industry; weapons manufacture competing with community health; public
health competing with politics, etc.) . . . right?  Whenever the stakes are very
high, it's not at all uncommon for the debate to be passionate.

But, to answer the question, Moscow is a great community.  It's friendly and
accepting and tolerant.  It's the kind of place where people help each other out
-- even strangers on the street.  You'd *never* hear a story about someone
stranded on the side of the road for hours and hours here.  It's the kind of
place where it's not unusual for people who don't know each other to wave as
they drive past, or for the community to come together to help out someone with
a crisis.  I can't imagine that we'd ever have something like a mugging on Main
Street, but if we did, you *sure* wouldn't read a news story about a crowd
standing around doing nothing -- if anyone was around, they'd step in to help
the victim.

You also asked:
"4.  Can you tolerate someone of pastor Wilson's persuasion (theological,
political or follicle) in your town?"

Well, I guess that depends on what you mean by "tolerate."

My perception is it's fair to say a good chunk of the community does not share
some of the more . . . extreme views of Wilson's particular flavor of
Christianity.  However, I don't think there are many (if any) who would not be
completely supportive of his right to believe as he chooses, to share those
beliefs with others, and to live his life according to those beliefs.

But, there is a limit:  his right to believe as he chooses stops at imposing his
beliefs on the rest of us.  For instance, he's free to believe that "feminism"
is not something for him, and he is certainly free to twist the Bible any way he
can stomach to support that belief.

But, when he wants to put the teeth of the law, economic sanctions, etc., behind
his beliefs, then the community is going to have something to say -- it has an
*obligation* to speak out.  We do NOT want a tyranny by the minority here, and
that's exactly what Wilson seems to want.  There are 22,000+/- people in this
community with Wilson's flock making up less than a 1000 -- I think there are
about 200-300 Christ Church adults compared to 16,000+/- "other" adults in the
community (those stats are off the top of my head & aren't meant as statements
of facts but rather as rough approximations).

And, the fact of the matter is that that VAST majority of adults in this
community do NOT think there's any defense for slavery, do NOT agree that
feminism is against the Bible, do NOT want a community where the GLBT community
lives in fear, do NOT think that women in the military is the sign of a nation
not worth defending, do NOT support dodging tax obligations, do NOT support
intellectual dishonesty in the form of plagiarism, etc.

So, *if* your definition of "tolerance" means allowing a fringe vocal minority
to steamroll over the rest of us, then no, we we're not "tolerant."  But, that's
*not* our definition of tolerance.

Moving along  . . . 

You also wrote:
"nor do I know that Lee is a hero of his (though he would be one of mine)"

Really???  If I understand correctly, you are a military man . . . is that
correct?  If so, did Lee not take an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution
of the United States, or am I wrong there?  If I'm correct, then I'm very
curious about how you, as a military man, can possibly consider Lee anything
other than a traitor to his country?

You also wrote:
"I am willing to listen to arguments to the contrary but I get the feeling those
making the charge are doing so in the dark.  Perhaps it is because they despise
a church with more theological backbone than the local
Unitarians.  I don't... maybe?"

Nope, sorry -- you're wrong there.  In too many ways to pass muster, I find the
Christ Church unacceptably hypocritical and without backbone.

I'll confine myself to one example, although as most here know, I could go on &
on & on  ;-)

Fact:  Wilson & Christ Church pay a lot of lip service to rejecting "government"
benefits.  The following is recently straight from the horse's mouth -- or
keyboard -- with respect to a discriminatory Christian college group receiving
or not receiving government (in the form of a state university) funding:
"Christians, just like their fellow Americans, have all four feet in the trough.
No one dares to get between the hogs and the bucket. We will not have religious
liberty (not to mention other kinds of liberty) unless we start refusing the
benefits first."

IMHO, that's a very strange stance for the head of a church who has been
feasting, and wants to continue feasting, at the public trough in the form of
property tax exemptions!  Can we say 'hypocrisy'?

You also wrote:
"4.  I know nothing about the tax charge but if pastor Wilson owes taxes he
should pay them.  I would have to give him the benefit of doubt though as the
bible requires."

Clarification:  as one of those involved in challenging the incorrect property
tax exemptions, I want to say that we ***never*** claimed that *Wilson* owed
taxes he hadn't paid.  The issue is whether or not three specific *Christ
Church* parcels met the criteria for property tax exemptions that had been
granted on the basis of inaccurate and incomplete information presented by
Christ Church.  And, the decision was that *no*, two of the three parcels did
NOT meet the criteria (there was a 50/50 split decision on the third parcel, so
the exemption was upheld for now).

If you're really interested in learning more, I suggest you check out:
Then, you can form your own opinion based on facts.

You also wrote:
"There really should be two or three witnesses before a charge is brought
against an elder of the church.  Now, a couple of guys yelling, "yeah, what
about that" do not constitute two, three or the snot load you have on this list

You lost me there (although I didn't miss the insult) . . . please clarify what
you're talking about.

You also wrote:
"May God pour out his grace upon You."

Right back at you  :-)

Saundra Lund
(who also happens to be a HUGE fan of the most talented writer Joan Opyr, whom
I'm proud to say has her roots locally now)
Moscow, ID

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do
-Edmund Burke

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