[Vision2020] Change of Perspective, Limited Apology

Paul Rumelhart godshatter at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 27 19:44:23 PDT 2007

Mr. Becker,

Thank you for your post.  Thank you for separating the freedoms we are 
given in our Constitution from your feelings toward Christ Church. 
Whether you find them Godly or otherwise, whether you believe they 
should or should not have performed various actions or whether or not 
you believe that their dreams of a perfect society could be dangerous to 
many if ever put into practice - thank you for recognizing their rights 
as individuals to believe as they wish and to express those beliefs in 
this great country of ours.

A true test of a love of freedom is to see whether or not you accord 
others the same rights that you have even if you disagree with them 
completely.  If we would all be this way - Kirker, Intolerista, or other 
- then we would attain the goals our forefathers fought for.

And a true test of character is to admit your mistakes.  I hope I can do 
so with the same amount of dignity next time I argue myself into a corner.


Kerry Becker wrote:
> Faithful Readers,
> I am now about to do something that is hard for anyone, but especially 
> hard for an old soldier like myself.  I admit that I have been wrong 
> in some of the opinions that I have previously expressed on this forum.
> Over the past several weeks I have been on an extended vacation during 
> which I have visited many fellow officers with whom I have served 
> during my career of thirty plus years in the military.  Those with 
> whom I visited are all, like myself, conservatives, and think of 
> ourselves as libertarians.  The defense of the freedoms guaranteed by 
> our unequaled U.S. Constitution was a main reason for many of us to 
> chose careers in the military.
> Make no mistake.  Do not be tempted to make any misinterpretation.  In 
> what I am about to say I having no intention of lessening my belief in 
> freedom of speech, religion, press, etc.  These freedoms make our 
> great country truly unique.  One need only look at the countries of 
> our enemies to see how different they are from us in this regard.
> Freedom of speech and the press are our main means to seek the truth 
> in the complex world we live in.  Anyone who expresses a belief of any 
> kind does not enjoy any immunity from comment on the truthfulness or 
> inanity of such expression.  To allow immunity in any way would be to 
> emasculate the pursuit of truth.
> To make my point tersely.  I have previously been a staunch supporter 
> on this forum of Christ Church and its various personages and their 
> actions.  While I still strongly support their right to their beliefs 
> and to the expression of their beliefs, I no longer am able support 
> those beliefs themselves or the actions which are begot by such beliefs.
> I have previously believed that Christ Church was a Godly institution 
> which was trying to honestly bring goodness and Godliness into the 
> world.  I do not believe this anymore. 
> I confess to two things that helped bring about this change of 
> perspective.
> First, every fellow retired officer with whom I visited on my vacation 
> believed as libertarians in the separation of church and state.  The 
> history of the world as we know it tells us of the disastrous 
> inhumanity, cruelty, intolerance, suppression of personal liberty, and 
> injustice that occurs when one or another set of religious beliefs are 
> advocated and enforced by a government.  But we need not depend on 
> history for this lesson:  newsreaders today can see the horrible 
> results on personal liberty by the religious tyranny enforced by many 
> mid-eastern and eastern nations regardless of the name or nature of 
> their particular religion.
> My officer friends put it this way.  "There greatest threat to 
> personal liberty today are those organized religious movements who 
> seek to impose their particular strictures on our freedom of thought, 
> expression, and actions via political and governmental intervention in 
> our lives."  Those kind of actions by the government in England were 
> the motivation for the founding of our country.  Let us not forget 
> that, ever.
> This is hard for me to say.  I have been wrong about homosexual 
> practices and homosexual marriages or civil unions.  While I 
> personally find homosexual relations distasteful to contemplate, I see 
> now the the choice of partners and pleasures is a matter of personal 
> liberty guaranteed by the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of 
> happiness" as stated in our Declaration of Independence.  I see now 
> that I have no more right to dictate another's gender preference and 
> the concomitant unions that might follow than I have to dictate what 
> nail polish color someone might chose, whether such choice of color 
> offends me or not.
> Second, my officer friends, who know naught of Christ Church, urged me 
> to re-evaluate the statements of those opposed -- to try to find out 
> for myself if those running Christ Church are honest and 
> well-intentioned, and to see if they seek to impose strictures based 
> on their particular religious interpretations on the rest of us that 
> would lessen our personal liberty.
> I have done so.
> I have found the statements of Christ Church as found in various of 
> their writings show them to be dangerous theocrats who, among other 
> greatly limiting things, seek to impose eventually the most harsh 
> measures on all of us who do not share their beliefs. 
> Especially disturbing to a libertarian is their intention to impose 
> the death penalty on those they consider heretical -- anyone who would 
> criticize their particular religious tenets.  This is America.  Not 
> Saudi Arabia or Iran.  The denial of the right to question any belief 
> is the most dangerous and arbitrary stricture a government can impose 
> on its citizens.  It is the denial to continue to seek the truth, 
> wherever it might lead.
> (God, this old soldier hates to say this since he has been so critical 
> of some of Christ Christ's critics, and hates to admit that he has 
> been hoodwinked due largely to his own ignorance and lack of 
> diligence...)  I have found that Christ Christ is neither a Godly nor 
> a benevolent institution.  Their leader and many of their upper 
> echelon are now in my informed opinion, liars, hypocrites, 
> manipulators, blood-suckers from their congregation, and exceedingly 
> unchristian, intentionally veering quite far from the basic, plain 
> moral teachings of Christ found in the most historically accurate 
> parts of the New Testament.
> To the extent that my previous posts have defended Christ Church's 
> right to hold and to defend their beliefs, I offer no apology.  They, 
> and all of us have that right.  It is called freedom.
> To the extent that any of my previous posts have defended any 
> particular tenet or theological aberration of Christ Church, or any of 
> the many despicable actions that such have begotten, I humbly 
> apologize for my previous ignorance, lack of critical thought and 
> investigation, and for my unjustifiably overbearing attitude.
> Kerry Becker
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> =======================================================
>  List services made available by First Step Internet, 
>  serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994.   
>                http://www.fsr.net                       
>           mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com
> =======================================================

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list