[Vision2020] Hypocrisy (was RE: September 11th Memorial Events)

Paul Rumelhart godshatter at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 14 09:07:19 PDT 2011

My argument is not that the Nuart block party should happen because Jim 
Wilson is a nice guy.  I'd already explained, ad naseum, why I thought 
it was acceptable to have a block party on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

We got on to the Jim Wilson discussion because Wayne had used the phrase 
"NuArt crackpots", and I was asking why.  That's when I stated that I 
thought he was nice, respectful, willing to help others, and sane.  That 
was a statement that people here on the list apparently could not leave 

I really have no argument.  Someone posts about how bad Jim Wilson is 
because he did something they disagree with, I respond by saying that he 
can still be a nice and respectful guy and do something you disagree 
with.  Differing viewpoints can lead to that outcome.  It appears to me 
that the main contention here is that there is no room in your 
collective world for a Jim Wilson that is a nice guy, since he opposes 
you in something.  I haven't seen any attempts to understand why Jim 
Wilson might have done what he did.  I haven't seen anyone concede that 
Jim Wilson might have any sort of positive qualities whatsoever.

All I've seen is an attempt to beat me over the head with how horrible 
Jim Wilson is, apparently because otherwise someone might actually 
believe me when I say he's a nice guy.  Well, as you've all no doubt 
realized already, I have a thick skull.  I have talked with him for 
quite a while on a few different occasions and I have come away with an 
impression of him that is positive.  Neither your concerns about tax 
exemption nor Wayne's concerns about his testimony in a child custody 
case are reversing my impression of him, mainly because I suspect that 
the reasons why he did those things are religious in nature, very likely 
Bible-based, and this understandable to me.  I may or may not disagree 
with him (and you) about those actions, but I understand how he might 
come by them.  Regardless, he's still a nice guy.

In my personal opinion, some people on this list should question whether 
or not they are obsessing too much about these people.


On 09/13/2011 11:30 PM, Saundra Lund wrote:
> Paul & Sunil:
> In another post, Paul wrote:
> "I don't disagree with you about tax exemption being an outdated model 
> that should be abolished."
> Ahh -- some common ground J
> Sunil, you asked where I was "going with this," and in a nutshell, 
> Paul's argument that the anti-choice block party on 9/11 *must* be OK 
> because Jim Wilson is "nice" and "respectful" is a non sequitur 
> logical fallacy.
> Clearly, I've not done a good job of explaining myself since this 
> seems to have turned into "what a great guy Jim Wilson is" lovefest.  
> My apologies.
> There's not a doubt in my mind that I could find people to say Hitler 
> was a nice guy (he loved dogs, you know), and bin Laden was a nice 
> guy, and Dick Cheney is a nice guy . . . or that Jim Wilson is "nice" 
> and "respectful."
> What I object to is taking those limited personal anecdotal 
> experiences/opinions to outweigh a larger (IMO) bad.  I don't give a 
> rip about someone's opinion of an individual on an individual basis, 
> but Paul trotted out "Jim Wilson is a nice & respectful man" as a 
> defense for CCM's & the NuArt's anti-choice block party.
> I personally believe that being dishonest isn't OK, whether that 
> dishonesty comes in the form of active lying (commission) or 
> withholding necessary information (omission).  I find "white lies" 
> less offensive than whoppers, but I do find lying under oath and lying 
> by religious (of any religion) & political (of any slant) leaders to 
> be about as bad as it gets as well as morally indefensible & disgusting.
> And, there's no reason to construct an example ("If a murderer comes 
> to your door to kill your friend hiding inside your house, isn't it OK 
> to lie then?") to make this more complex than it is:  the dishonesty 
> *under oath* by religious leader Jim Wilson was solely to keep a 
> property tax exemption to which he felt entitled even though he wasn't 
> willing to play by the rules required for that property tax exemption.
> IOW, it wasn't just lying, it was lying to steal from the rest of us.  
> He *wasn't* stealing to feed his family or to buy medicine for a sick 
> child; he *was* lying to keep a comfortable benefit to which his 
> organization flatly wasn't entitled, pure & simple.
> Nobody forced CCM to ask for a property tax exemption (and CCM *did* 
> have to apply for it; it wasn't presented on a silver platter unasked 
> for) -- if CCM didn't want to play by the required rules for getting 
> the *privilege* of a property tax exemption, it could have declined 
> that *privilege* at any time.
> [Note to Sue:  some churches actually *decline* tax exemption of a 
> federal & state level because those churches don't want to be limited 
> by the requirements.  It *is* possible to do & an excellent -- IMHO -- 
> example of taking an ideological high ground.  Further, there are 
> churches & religious institutions who have *lost* tax exempt status 
> because they got caught not following the rules, something we'll 
> definitely not see more of with the small but vocal trend that that 
> government is unnecessary.]
> But, he didn't:  instead of being *honest*, Jim Wilson decided deceit 
> & dishonesty were the way to go to continue stealing from the 
> taxpayers.  Disgusting.
> Now, some of you don't care about lying under oath or stealing from 
> taxpayers (or perhaps you care but don't think it's a big deal in the 
> scheme of things ) -- that's fine.  I don't understand that lack of 
> care, just like I don't understand lots of things that are important 
> to me (i.e, a Christian who thinks the separation of church & state is 
> vital), but variety makes the world go 'round.
> But, don't expect me to keep silent about it when someone pulls a non 
> sequitur singing the praises of a local religious leader I 
> *personally* know to be a dishonest thief for whom the ends apparently 
> justify the means, knowledge that's available to anyone caring to look 
> at the facts.
> Further, I've personally found the NuArt "ministry" to be anything 
> "respectful" -- it isn't just to welcome students back to the area but 
> rather to find converts & like-minded folks.  Nothing illegal there, 
> but let's be honest about what it is, Paul, instead of trying to paint 
> it as something it isn't.  And, I certainly have no problem with 
> like-minded folks finding local friends.
> For those who don't know, as the manager, Eric Engerbritson is perhaps 
> the most "public" face of the NuArt.  A few years back (2003 -- yup, 
> I've still got the correspondence), we were having a discussion on 
> V2020 about institutional corporal punishment as practiced by Logos 
> School.  Eric contacted me privately to have a "personal" discussion 
> about benefits of Logos whacking kids.  I very politely but firmly 
> declined.  But, that wasn't acceptable to Eric, and he proceeded to 
> email me an essay that easily is in the Top Five most disturbing local 
> writings I've ever read.  When he didn't hear back from me, that 
> wasn't good enough, either -- he contacted me yet again.  Hardly what 
> I'd call "respectful."
> Second, I know quite a few gay & lesbian young people who have more 
> recently been victimized (and I don't use that term lightly) by people 
> at the NuArt.  "Hate the sin; love the sinner" only goes so far when 
> they won't leave you alone.  Frankly, the email & text exchanges that 
> have been shared with me are *clearly* harassment, but I also can't 
> fault those young people for not taking legal action.  It's 
> heartbreaking and definitely *not* respectful.
> Finally, I offered no comment about the NuArt block party being 
> offensive because it fell on 9/11 because I personally have found the 
> NuArt anti-choice block party offensive since the very first one . . . 
> but that wasn't the topic.  Besides, no one I know has ever described 
> it -- whether it fell on 9/11 or not -- as inoffensive until this 
> thread.  After my response to Paul about hypocrisy, someone on V2020 
> forwarded my post to someone no longer in the area who forwarded it to 
> a young woman who is also no longer in the area who contacted me.  
> This young woman happened across one of the early anti-choice NuArt 
> block parties when she was new to the area & in crisis.   She was 
> "welcomed" & encouraged to go to the NuArt for "support."  That 
> "support" took to form of being "counseled" *not* to tell her 
> pro-choice parents of her pregnancy until it was "too late for them to 
> talk to me about abortion.  Fortunately, I didn't listen to that 
> advice . . . Yes, you have my permission to relate my experience now 
> that several years have passed as long as you don't use my name or 
> current location since I'm no longer in Pullman."  According to this 
> young woman, who I've spoken to -- as well as to her parents -- on the 
> phone, the NuArt gang wouldn't leave her alone & she doesn't want them 
> to know where she is now -- she left the area specifically to get away 
> from them because they wouldn't leave her alone.  That's also not what 
> I consider "respectful."
> So, I've *always* found those anti-choice block parties offensive & it 
> has nothing to do with this year's anti-choice event happening to fall 
> on 9/11, which is why I didn't comment on that aspect of the thread.  
> But, with respect to the anti-choice block party, they've jumped 
> through the appropriate hoops to get whatever permits are required.  
> If I lived downtown, I'd likely have a different perspective from a 
> noise standpoint, as I've heard from quite a few people who do live in 
> the area that the noise is beyond obnoxious.  As I've told them, their 
> recourse is to take it up with the City.
> Sunil, is that clearer now?
> Saundra
> Moscow, ID
> The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to 
> do nothing.
> ~ Edmund Burke
> *From:*vision2020-bounces at moscow.com 
> [mailto:vision2020-bounces at moscow.com] *On Behalf Of *Sunil Ramalingam
> *Sent:* Monday, September 12, 2011 8:58 PM
> *Cc:* vision 2020
> *Subject:* Re: [Vision2020] Hypocrisy (was RE: September 11th Memorial 
> Events)
> Saundra,
> Where are you going with this? Is it that Paul shouldn't have a 
> positive view of Jim based on his personal experience with the man? Do 
> you expect him to change his views based on your experience with Jim? 
> Or is it that he shouldn't voice his opinion lest he grow bone-weary 
> of this thread and these attacks on him?
> I frequently disagree with Paul, but I don't think he's being passive 
> aggressive here. He just doesn't agree with you, and amazingly you 
> haven't won him over.
> I know Jim too, not in the context you do. I don't agree with his 
> religious views. We don't talk politics, but I have to believe we 
> disagree there too. But based on my interactions with him, I like him. 
> That's my opinion, and I realize people I often agree with on various 
> issues will disagree with me. That's okay, we don't have to agree on 
> everything. You don't like him, and that's your opinion. I can live 
> with that.
> Sunil
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From: v2020 at ssl1.fastmail.fm <mailto:v2020 at ssl1.fastmail.fm>
> To: godshatter at yahoo.com <mailto:godshatter at yahoo.com>; 
> deco at moscow.com <mailto:deco at moscow.com>
> Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2011 11:26:32 -0700
> CC: Vision2020 at moscow.com <mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com>
> Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Hypocrisy (was RE: September 11th Memorial 
> Events)
> So, Paul, let's get right down to brass tacks instead of your 
> passive-aggressive patronizing BS that I suspect I'm not the only one 
> bone-weary of.  Simple answer:  yes or no.
> Is it your position, then, that if the only way the head of a 
> non-profit group like Jim Wilson (or Doug Wilson or Roy Atwood, for 
> that matter) can keep the group's tax exempt status is by being a 
> deceitful, dishonest, disingenuous liar (either by omission or 
> commission) *year after year after year* to the "secular government," 
> appropriate descriptions of that same person are "nice" and "respectful"?
> And, as was pointed out to me by an offlist correspondent, if Jim 
> Wilson would give you the shirt off his back, remember it's the 
> *taxpayers* who are paying for it, not Jim Wilson.
> Like it or not, Paul, tax exemption -- property or otherwise -- is a 
> *privilege* granted by the government in exchange for an agreement by 
> the exempt entity to abide by the rules -- it's not a right.  Frankly, 
> I think it's an outdated model that needs to be abolished because 
> rampant abuse has been proven time and again, both locally and around 
> the nation.  Too, tax exemption dates back to a time when the "greater 
> good" works were done, for the most part, in the home community -- 
> that's clearly not the case now.
> Personally, I'm tickled pink that some jurisdictions (Illinois & 
> California are two) are taking a *hard look* at property tax 
> exemptions -- Idaho really should follow suit rather than gutting 
> education, going after services that help the elderly & disabled stay 
> in their communities with decent qualities of life, providing basic 
> assistance to the working poor and economically disadvantaged among us 
> . . . and subsidizing the disastrous efforts of big business.  I think 
> most folks would be absolutely shocked at how much giving away 
> property tax exemptions costs our communities.  I've heard rumors of a 
> movement in the southern part of the state advocating that as a part 
> of the NPO & religious property tax exemption process, clear public 
> disclosure should be required of the financial loss to the taxing 
> jurisdiction & that information should be freely available at assessor 
> offices, in person & online.  Personally, I don't think it's likely to 
> be successful because we have too many in government who represent 
> their churches rather than *all* of their constituents, but maybe I'll 
> be proven wrong.  Idaho has turned giving away *taxpayer* money to 
> cronies into a high art form and at great cost -- and waste -- to the 
> taxpayers.  Huh -- what a surprise in a red state . . . not.
> Saundra Lund
> Moscow, ID
> The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to 
> do nothing.
> ~ Edmund Burke
> *From:*Paul Rumelhart [mailto:godshatter at yahoo.com] 
> <mailto:[mailto:godshatter at yahoo.com]>
> *Sent:* Sunday, September 11, 2011 3:13 PM
> *To:* Saundra Lund; 'Art Deco'
> *Cc:* Vision2020 at moscow.com <mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com>
> *Subject:* Re: Hypocrisy (was RE: September 11th Memorial Events)
> Aren't all churches, all across the country, tax exempt?
> I don't know what you're referring to when you say he lied under oath, 
> so I really can't comment on it.
> Anyway, my apologies for noticing the guy's positive qualities.
> Paul
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:*Saundra Lund <v2020 at ssl1.fastmail.fm 
> <mailto:v2020 at ssl1.fastmail.fm>>
> *To:* 'Paul Rumelhart' <godshatter at yahoo.com 
> <mailto:godshatter at yahoo.com>>; 'Art Deco' <deco at moscow.com 
> <mailto:deco at moscow.com>>
> *Cc:* Vision2020 at moscow.com <mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com>
> *Sent:* Sunday, September 11, 2011 12:38 PM
> *Subject:* Hypocrisy (was RE: September 11th Memorial Events)
> In part, Paul wrote:
> "I know Jim Wilson personally.  He's an extremely nice and respectful 
> individual, and (despite not agreeing with him on matters of faith) is 
> as sane as anyone on this list.  He's the kind of guy that would give 
> you the shirt off his back if he thought you needed it more than he.  
> If he thinks a certain way about something, it's because that's his 
> honest interpretation from reading his Bible."
> Huh -- you must know a different Jim Wilson than do I because I 
> personally don't give a rip how "nice" or "respectful" someone may be 
> if honesty & integrity are lacking, as is the case with Jim Wilson 
> wanting a free tax ride & expecting government -- which means you & me 
> -- to pay for his ride.  My friends will remember how completely 
> shocked & disappointed I was that Wilson had no difficulty being 
> dishonest under oath.  Pathetic.
> Personally, I don't think it's OK to be disingenuous -- at best -- 
> just to stick the rest of us with CCM's tax bill, and I don't think 
> God thinks it's OK, either.  Lying, cheating, stealing -- or being 
> intentionally obtuse -- are OK as long as long as you're ripping off 
> those who don't share a particular faith, eh?  Not in my faith, and 
> not in my world, it isn't.
> Hypocrisy is hypocrisy is hypocrisy, and we know that it pains you, 
> Paul, but it's even more reprehensible when it comes from so-called 
> "religious leaders" like Jim Wilson.
> Saundra Lund
> Moscow, ID
> The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to 
> do nothing.
> ~ Edmund Burke
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