[Vision2020] FW: Roy Atwood and Tuesday's Public Hearing Concerning Boarding Houses

keely emerinemix kjajmix1 at msn.com
Sat Sep 1 14:54:05 PDT 2007


I'm sending this as an addition to Rose's blog comments, as pointed to us by Tom Hansen.  Rose's work needs no augmentation -- her comments are dead on and address the boarding house situation well.  I sent this, below, to a friend last night and decided to send it to Vision, with a few moderations, after reading Rose's blog.

From: kjajmix1 at msn.com
Subject:  Boarding Houses
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 20:13:57 -0700

I'm being overly literal, but this isn't a "press release," it's a finagling plea for support and encouragement prior to an official act of a recognized municipality.  As such, it stinks as a release of official information, and it's cringeworthy as an attempt at public-relations outreach.

But wait -- there's so much here that stinks I'm surprised I'm still able to write coherently.  

1.  Atwood's nuns and party boys analogy is spurious.  Five nuns living together would, under any definition and, I'd think, in any jurisdiction, be considered a convent because of the inconvenient-to-Roy-but-nonetheless-relevant fact that part of a nun's vows -- her employment contract and raison d'etre -- is the commitment to living in community with other nuns.  NSA's young ladies are hardly able to commit in such a way to living permanently, and permanently single, with their sisters.  (I think comparing a boarding house to a nunnery is beyond stupid, although it is funny in its irony.  Show me a Christ Church that encourages young women to live together permanently, eschewing courtship, marriage, and babies while devoting themselves to study, prayer, and active ministry, and I'll pay for the CUP.  Until then, Atwood's comparison is lamentable and unworthy of an academic of his standing).   

2.  Of course it's the behavior that's troubling.  But the primary troubling behavior is that of devoutly Christian scofflaws who flout the authority of the City and its administrators, and only secondarily the behavior of the youths they consign into becoming evidence of their scofflaw-ism.  There's a progression of events here.   You can break the law in a sweater vest just as much as you break it in baggy jeans and no shirt, and  urinating on your neighbor's lawn then becomes . . . well, not just "icing on the cake," I guess, but simply more bad behavior.  The dye is cast already.  Most of NSA's boarding students don't act like thugs and slobs, but some have -- and they're unlikely to be censured by the elders who lured them into wrongful behavior in the first place by placing them in housing situations they are not legally entitled to enjoy.  

3.  Ummmm, gee.  I really keep hating to make this point, but it seems necessary.   The target of the ordinance and whatever penalties our intrepid leaders levy against those who violate it is a group -- violators of code -- CC has eagerly chosen to join.  They're not the only ones in the club, although they're the only ones who seem to have a formal system in place by their presumably God-ordained elders to circumvent -- most of us would just say "violate" -- code.  And doing it with stiff middle finger raised, it seems.  Thus my contention that my criticism, once again, is a case of  "it's always Christ Church" because it pretty much is "always Christ Church."  You'll have to show me that Rev. Bob's Miracle Assembly also recruits congregants and young people to join together in praising the Lord through intentional, defiant disobedience of the law, for me to believe otherwise.  

4.  Owners of single-family homes that are in single-family zones must be . . . single families.  And while I chafe at definitions of "family" that would exclude dear friends of mine, I don't see how anyone can argue with a straight face that the family unit referred to by the term "single-family homes" is one of dad, mom, several children and then, from different lineages entirely and without the "covering" of their fathers (and this is important to our covenant-obsessed, patriarchal, federal-vision-clouded friends), four or five erstwhile young students of the classics who pay $300-$500 a month for entrance into the "family."  When we hear from the pulpit that the American family -- my family -- is under attack, I pretty much assume they just mean Jeff, Keely, Anthony and Jonah, who are under attack only by the pulpiteers . . . but I digress.  To crassly and conveniently redefine "family" so people can make money off of houses they couldn't otherwise afford, and then to call it a property-rights issue, is dishonest.  Further, your "right" to use your property in a matter that violates the law isn't a "right."  It's called a "wrong," for reasons that seem abundantly clear to all but the boarder-hoarders amongst us.

The bottom line, to me, is that simple regard for law and order, as well as old-fashioned charitable concern for the comfort and well-being of one's neighbors, isn't just a Christian virtue.  But when Christians brazenly choose not to exhibit respect for authority and concern for neighbors, it's more than a little hypocritical, and "press releases" designed to court public sympathy are beyond pathetic, especially when coming from a church.


"God works patiently and deeply, but often in hidden ways, in the mess of our humanity and history."
--Eugene Peterson

> From: thansen at moscow.com
> To: bjswan at moscow.com; debismith at moscow.com; donaldrose at cpcinternet.com; kjajmix1 at msn.com; lblackburn at turbonet.com; sslund at roadrunner.com; london at moscow.com
> Subject: Roy Atwood and Tuesday's Public Hearing Concerning Boarding Houses
> Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 19:48:07 -0700
> Oops.  After reading the "letter" I became so irate that I forgot to attach
> the PDF file to the email.  Sorry.
> Attached is a PDF file I downloaded from Courtney's Brainless Log (BLog)
> which includes a letter from Roy Atwood that I assume he intends upon
> reading to the mayor and city council at Tuesday's evening's session.
> Thoughts?
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
> "People who ridicule others while hiding behind anonymous monikers in
> chat-room forums are neither brave nor clever."
> - Latah County Sheriff Wayne Rausch (August 21, 2007) 

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