Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A 'spiritual' Civil War in Lancaster?

Lancaster is becoming one very interesting, but scary place. I'll have to digest the material I've been receiving before seriously attempting to write about it. I might even owe a bit of an apology to the freethought group that didn't want to show Don't Go In The Church along with either Bible Madness or The God Who Was Not There as a double feature.

In the meantime, while I'm digesting the material and figuring out how best to approach it, here's an article from the local blog which seems to be the antithesis of the Antelope Valley Press in that they're actually reporting on what's going on concerning the dark side of Lancaster, CA.

I was also surprised to see this blog (Christian School Confidential) quoted. My blog's not credited, but it's obvious that's where it came from. You can see the exact quotes elsewhere on Christian School Confidential. Just keep scrolling and reading.

That's fine with me!

Facts are facts so let's get them out there.

Hat is off to the brave people of Lancaster standing up to the local tyranny of fundamentalists.

I must say, not even the fundamentalists from my part of the South are this bad! You have to go back to the days of J. Frank Norris shooting D.E. Chipps in Fort Worth, Texas, to find this kind of drama.

from: Human Relations Task Force Condemns City Officials Actions while City Emails appear on local blog.


Along with Task Force members meeting and discussing the events in questions, emails surfaced that appear to have come directly from the Lancaster Mayor’s office and the Lancaster City Managers office.

The emails were posted to a local blog website and appeared to be placed onto the website by a blogger proclaiming to be a Parris supporter. The blog was called, “Christianity is now a Hate Crime”. The emails appeared to have been written by Mayor Parris and City Manager Mark Bozigian and addressed directly to Mr. Darren Parker, President of the Antelope Valley Human Relations Task Force. The emails detailed Mayor Parris challenging the authority of the Task Force as well as it’s president Mr. Parker.

One email, appeared to have been written by Mark Bozigian in which he stated he was writing the email from his home, also questioned the credibility of the Task Force and it’s authority to investigate the remarks by the Mayor and city Councilwoman. The email also called into question Mr. Parker’s alleged statement that Lancaster was a “Hate Capitol” and at one point states, “your response will in large part shape my recommendation to the City Council as to the City’s future relationship with AVHRTF.”

The AVNEWS interviewed Mr. Parker Tuesday who stood behind the decision of the Task Force saying that 40 members went to the task force meeting and voted unanimously to “censure” Mayor Parris and Councilwoman Marquez. In reference to the unanimous decision, Mr. Parker stated “it was not an individual effort….it was the communities collective effort”.

When asked about the emails being posted to a local blog site, Mr. Parker stated that he had nothing to do with the emails and said "subsequently, for me to see that (the emails) on the blogs. I was blown away, No officer of the Task Force sent those out.”

When asked about the legitimacy of the Task Force Mr. Parker stated "“I actually have an email statement from the Executive Director and the President of the Human Relations Commission that clearly defines the Task Force and their involvement in its creation and the special relationship we have with the Human Relations Commission.” Mr. Parker went on to say that the Task Force was formed in 1996 at the direction of The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

“The leadership of Lancaster was not around when this Task Force was formed and I think that they contested it because it was uncomfortable. Now they should fully understand by the paper (Valley Press) this morning and letter subsequently sent by the commission that in fact we are an independent entity that they can’t control…the only ones who can control it are the members of the body"

So, we have emails from the City of Lancaster challenging the legitimacy of the Task Force which was established under the direction of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Those familiar with the tactics of fundamentalist preachers like Jack Hyles, Peter Ruckman, and institutions like Bob Jones University, and others recognize the 'my way or the highway' approach they take with congregation members. Now, imagine a small city, controlled by fundamentalists, employing the exact same tactics with Los Angeles County!

Mayor Parris wants names:

When asked about one email that seemed to ask for the personal information on Task Force members by Mayor Parris, Parker stated, “Its been a longstanding policy of the Task Force that the officers information is available, but for the members the information can only be obtained from each individual member… We would not compromise any organization without their consent.”

Responding to comments as to Parker labeling Lancaster as a “hate capitol” Parker claimed he was misquoted by Mayor Parris saying, "that was misquoted from the New Yorker almost ten years ago…my comments toward that were that someone asked me when the (Marquez) incident first broke if I thought Lancaster was going back to becoming the ‘Hate Crime Capital’ and I said absolutely not.”

“He (Parris) took it out of context. He only took the part he wanted to question me on", Parker added

Parker went on to say that this is the first time such questions about the credibility and authority of the Task Force have been raised by the city of Lancaster.

Taking quotes out of context. Another fundamentalist tactic. Kinda like Frank Garlock did when he quoted John Lennon writing about Jesus the foreign mechanic in A Spaniard In The Works without clarifying that Jesus was actually meant to be pronounced as 'Hey-zeus'. Pardons, I can't figure out how to put the proper dashes over the letters.

Jesus is a common Spanish name, but that didn't stop Garlock and fundamentalists from misquoting Lennon, then adding, "This is what John Lennon thinks about Jesus!"

Here's a tactic familiar to anyone who grew up in fundamentalism. Refusing to discuss an issue unless you speak DIRECTLY to the person involved. Yet, when you DO try to speak to the person involved, they refuse to speak with you:

Prior to the meeting of the Task Force, Parker stated that he attempted to contact Mayor Parris and even spoke with City Manager Mark Bozigian in attempts to have Mayor Parris and Councilwoman Marquez speak to him in reference to the statements in question and that he never heard from “anyone”. “I asked him (Bozigian) to leave a message to the Mayor to let him know I wanted to talk with him before any of this (Task Force Meeting) would happen", Parker said.

However, in the email allegedly written by City Manager Mark Bozigian it states, “my questions are: Did you attempt to have a discussion with either Sherry or Rex regarding your concerns prior to your public comments or prior to convening a AVHRTF “emergency meeting?” and have you reported your concerns and knowledge of “harmful threats” to the Lancaster or Palmdale Sheriff’s stations?”

This would indicate that the writer was attempting to find out if Mr. Parker had made attempts to speak to Parris or Marquez, prior to the meeting.

The comments begin.

from 'Lancaster', but obviously originating with Christian School Confidential:

02/10/10 - 05:39 PM
lancaster says...
Paul Chappell received an honorary degree from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida. That’s the college founded by Bob Gray, who was arrested on multiple charges of child molestation. Gray died just a few days before his trial was set to begin. Chappell, the man who wants to protect the children of Lancaster, to my knowledge, has not commented in public about the situation concerning his late friend.


02/10/10 - 05:51 PM
mattkeltner says...
lancaster: “Paul Chappell received an honorary degree from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida.”
So, in other words, he didn’t earn that degree, it was bestowed upon him — probably for a “small” donation, no doubt.

Actually, I'm clueless as to the mysterious world of honorary degrees within fundamentalism. However, that is how it works in other universities. Steven Spielberg, for instance, received an honorary degree from USC, but he also donated a lot of money to the college. Then again, no one disputes that Spielberg's achievements were well earned.

On the other hand, I'm not aware of a 'Paul Chappell Center for Bible Study' on the campus of Trinity Baptist College! lol.

More to come. . .

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