The Painful Truth About The Worldwide Church of God

Email To The Editor
(Page 76)

(Mail from Kooks, Nuts and Loonies is on another page)


11/17/03 Please note: This date is the date I am updating this email page, and not necessarily the date written or received. You'll notice that I am choosing to not comment a lot on most of the email input; there's a lot to catch up on here, and I'm mostly concerned with the Reader getting his email up, and articles posted than hearing myself. Sorry if these are a bit out of order as well.

Ok then... Onward!

 

Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 7:45 PM

Subject: Linking to your web site
Hello, First I would like to say I've thoroughly enjoyed reading through your site. As a former Armstrongite it's like medicine for the soul! However, my reason for writing is to ask about linking to your website. I am the webmaster for www.darrellwconder.com  (named after the infamous ex-WCG anti-Christ), and most of our contributors are former Worldwiders, and dedicated anti-Christian, anti-WCG researchers, which means our message is compatible with your site. If you have no objection, I will write a description of your site with a link. (By the way, I noticed that Darrell Conder is mentioned on four different pages on your site, so you might be somewhat familiar with his work.)

Regards, L A

Thanks for the kind words... I am not familiar with the name or website. Link away. I'm not endorsing the site, site unseen (excuse the punny) but what the heck... Also... I don't know it's accurate that Readers of this site are all anti-Christian. Anti-Conmen, maybe....

Editor

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Subject: just got this from a cyberbud


Latest news from WPRA (West Pasadena Residents' Association) newsletter:

Ambassador as Landmark  -

From a Letter to the Editor of The Pasadena Star-News Tuesday: " 'Framework for preservation; petition is filed to protect homes' (June 25): 

I was amused by Bernie Schnippert's claim in the article that, 'The church is  really the first Save South Orange Grove Organization.'  I chuckled as Charles Caleb Colton's famous quote immediately came to mind, 'imitation is the sincerest form of
flattery.'  I think the church's request for landmark protection of the five
historic homes on South Orange Grove is a step in the right direction, and I
applaud Schnippert's belated recognition of that fact. 

However, Schnippert's cynical flattery of Save South Orange Grove carries little
weight when compared to his actions past, present and proposed. He intends
to tear down the Ambassador Auditorium,  he wants the city to 'vacate' (i.e.
'give him') the public right of ways along  Green Street and St. John so he
can decrease the required building setbacks  and increase density at the
public expense, he's demanding special exemptions from the requirements and
ordinances of the West Gateway Specific Plan, and he is determined to shove
over 1,500 housing units (including property outside the development
application or already sold off) down the throats of the people of Pasadena
by destroying much of the Ambassador Campus and flooding the surrounding
streets with terrible traffic. 

In the article, Schnippert claimed that, 'the church has been one of the most preservation-sensitive groups on South Orange Grove Boulevard.'  It sure doesn't look it to me.  Make no mistake, were it not for the vigilance of groups like Pasadena Heritage, the West Pasadena Residents Association, and Save South Orange Grove, Schnippert and the World Wide Church of God would have already left town counting their loot while the Legacy Partners razed the entire campus and built their
monstrous 'Legacy Project.'  Some preservationist.  Let's be clear.  Save
South Orange Grove is looking out for the best interest of the community.
Schnippert and his gang of carpetbaggers are only looking out for what's
best for their pocketbooks. 

As I write this letter, another quote comes to mind, one by Russell Baker:  'Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.'  I think the entire Ambassador College Campus in itself is an historic and cultural part of Pasadena's rich heritage, one
that is deserving of an entire Landmark District designation.  I challenge
Schnippert not to tell us what kind of preservationist he is, but instead,
to show us.  Save the auditorium.  Preserve all of the historic homes and
buildings.  Nurture and protect the magnificent gardens and pools.  Return
the campus to its once proud place of higher leaning, art appreciation, and
the study of music and dance.  Schnippert, make a real difference in this
community.  Create a Landmark District for the entire Ambassador College
campus." 

Michael Vogler, Pasadena.


        Save South Orange Grove - Save South Orange Grove (SSOG) is a
grass-roots organization representing over 1,000 residents from West
Pasadena and Linda Vista who are deeply concerned about the proposed
development of the former Ambassador Campus by the Worldwide Church of God
(WCG).  Founded as a neighborhood protection coalition in response to the
original Legacy Partners Development, the organization was key in helping
the WPRA defeat the Legacy Proposal.

Now that the WCG has once again filed a development application with the City to build more than 1,400 housing units and over 3,100 parking spaces on the property, SSOG has retained the law firm of Gaines and Stacey, LLP to assist them in defending the neighborhood from this massive housing project.  It is anticipated that this defense will be expensive and SSOG needs your help.  Please make a donation
to their legal defense fund addressed to:  Save South Orange Grove, P.O. Box
50342, Pasadena, CA 91115.

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Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2003 8:19 PM
Subject: Rape by permission of God



I am thrilled to have happened across your site.
I live in the Bible belt and grew up in a variety of
churches, always feeling that something was seriously
wrong with them but, not sure how to put my finger on
it.   Then, as an adult I got frustrated with all the
different messages varying from one preacher to
another.   I decided that being a literate individual,
I should take on the Bible for myself.  And to cover
all bases, I decided that I would talk to God about it
as well.  I asked God to afford me any special
enlightening that I may need for understanding this
"divine" word.

Was I evermore enlightened!!  Absurdities in the name
of God were leaping off the pages at me.   And the
consistant theme of misogyny was undeniable.  Being a
woman, it was a slap in my face.   I not only felt
greatly offended by this description of God, I felt
disturbed that anyone would embrace this book as the
authority of God...especially women.

I've come to hate the phrase, "you've got that out of
CONTEXT."   I have challenged a number of preachers to
put it into context for me so that it says something
different.   I've had individuals in a bible chat room
highly angry at me for bringing up many pieces of
scripture.   I have to remind them that I didn't write
it!! But apparently I'm revealling the part they want
to keep hidden.  Repeatedly I've been banned from the
room.  With such strong faith, why can't they defend
the scripture?

A particular piece of scripture that I've seen your
remarks on didn't address another issue which I want
to bring to light.  Perhaps you've already recognized
it.  In 2 Sam. 12 where David is getting the
punishment for having taken the wife of another man,
God has not only taken credit for having given David
ALL his wives as a gift,  He further threatens that He
will take David's wives and give them over to another
man to "lie with in the sight of the sun."  All the
Christians I've spoken with about this completely
overlook that these "wives" are innocent bystanders,
victims of circumstance,  to be handed over to a man
for sexual abuse by no choice of their own and not for
anything they've done wrong, but what their master has
done.   They defend the scriptures like this: 

"You've taken it out of context!"    
Any way you read it, this particular piece has God
dictating that the wives will be given over for sex
with another man in broad open daylight.   And so it
is with most other scripture, that it is quite clear
and undeniable yet, I've "taken it out of context."
Still, they can't put it INTO a context that changes
the meaning.

"That's just the way that culture was back then."
Nevermind that it says GOD is doing this, not man-made
"culture."  And if it were attributed to culture then
a loving and powerful God ought to have intervened and
taught them better as long as God is teaching them how
they ought to be.

"God can do whatever God wants to do and who are you
to question God?"
Well, if you're trying to sell me on this God, I'm a
fine one to question these things.   Furthermore, with
such a God, WHO NEEDS A DEVIL?

You have mentioned much more than all the other
problem areas I've found in the bible but, referencing
Numbers 31, I rather like offering the question to
Christians, "What do you think those grubby old
warriors were suppose to do with those little virgin
girls they were rewarded with?"   And, "how do you
suppose those little girls felt after watching their
families being slaughtered (for God)and then becoming
the possession of one of these killers?

They say, "God of yesterday, today and
tomorrow...unchanging."   I ask, "How would you feel
if you were the unbetrothed rape victim and God
ordered you to be committed to your rapist for the
rest of your life?  Is the God of Deuteronomy the same
God of today?"   Warms my heart right up.  Oh sure,
that's a God to love with all my heart!...NOT.

Thank you for your efforts to free people from their
religious stupor.   I will now go back and enjoy more
of your sight!   Keep up the good work.

Sincerely,
Lisa E
Monroe, LA  

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----- Original Message -----
From: Ed
To: editor@herbertwarmstong.com
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2003 12:47 PM
Subject: Re: No victims?

The criminal thing here is that the religious misleaders are taking advantage of people's fear of death.
The problem is that they are giving people what they want and in many cases, what they need to survive mentally. If children were properly educated when young, this would not be as much of a problem.

The sad thing is also that the misleaders are not telling people the truth and therefore not giving them the opportunity to make the most of their lives, realizing that this very possibly is the only life they will ever have.

They are robbing the people, not only of their money, but of their lives.

I will grant that many of the misleaders are just as stupid and ignorant as the people that they mislead but that doesn't make the results any better.

Best Regards,
Ed



----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Baldwin
To: Editor
Sent: Friday, November 14, 2003 8:32 AM
Subject: Re: No victims?

Hi Ed-

I guess you've had a long run. Your efforts have helped many
people raped by the WCG and her spin-off wackos. I hope the
whole site can be maintained for future researchers.

That whole issue of blame is very important and difficult to address
fully as it has so many ramifications and questions. Take this whole
issue of religion. Think of the tremendous distruction this has
caused throughout the millenia. Who or what is responsible? Each
abberrant manifestation of religious control and abuse feeds on the
previous nuttiness.

I first began to wonder about this when I did some research on
the Millerite movement which grew up right here in my backyard back
in the 1840s. (A fascinating book, Days Of Delusion by C. E . Sears,
written in 1924 gives the story. It's online).

Here was this religious nut who went around with his Bible and Strong's
Concordance, gained a following, predicted dates, saw them fail,
witnessed the destruction of people's lives, and died a failure. But the
movement split and continued on down to our time to ruin our lives. Who
was responsible for our destroyed lives? William Miller? His parents?
Their minister? The minister's education? The educator? And on and
on it goes back through the millenia..... An endless thread of questions.
I guess Pogo was right--we really are our own worst enemies. Everywhere
I go I have to take me along and that spoils everything.

As long as there are humans there will be the madness of religion and
those who know how to exploit it for a buck.

Thanks for your hard work. You've earned some rest.

Jim


----- Original Message -----
From: Editor
To: Jim Baldwin
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 1:05 PM
Subject: Re: No victims?

Jim,
Excellent piece!
This has been my main point from the very beginning of the PT.
I am in the process of turning over The Painful Truth to someone who has more time to maintain the site. I'm sure that it will be posted at some future time.
Please do not hesitate to send any more or your thoughts to the new PT.

Best Regards,
Ed




----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Baldwin
To: Gavin R
Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2003 11:45 AM
Subject: No victims?

I note that yet another apologist for the WCG has come
forth with a paper to make that dispicable organization
comfortable while that apologist bashes the suffering
cast-offs. This time another choosing to hide behind a
psuedonym has written without thought. I speak of one
"Aristophanes."

He fails to note that the very basis of legal judgements in
our culture of law is that of blame-placing. One person has
either real or perceived wrong and either that person or the
state goes into court to seek redress of grievances. So
there are victims and there are the defendants either criminal
or civil who must bear the responsibility for having done wrong.
They are either found guilty or acquitted. It doesn't work
perfectly but that is the principle behind law. Wronged people
are seeking justice from an impartial court. And, of course,
the lawyers play out the adversarial part of proceedings
within limitations as allowed by the judge.

(Unfortunately, there is little redress in the courts in religious
matters and the cult leaders love to have it so. The many
suffering folks ruined in life by the cult masters have no
closure. And denied this closure, Aristophanes would have
them blame themselves for their suffering).

The principle in jurisprudence is behind the therapy sessions
where counselors try to help the injured party come to grips
with their pains by explaining victimhood and pointing out
the abusers. That Aristophanes ignorantly calls "professional
laziness" and being part of the "Blame Culture." He would
have the suffering person accept the blame as if that would
heal the suffering. What school of life did this guy come from,
anyways?

Aristophanes would have the wronged person in his world
go and suffer in silence. Thankfully, we don't have that kind
of society. His attitude would be better fitting for the North
Korean culture or maybe he is actually writing on behalf of
his handlers in the WCG cult. It certainly benefits them. All
the horrendous problems in the cult were always blamed on
the victims--the general membership. They weren't praying
enough, fasting enough, loving enough, repenting enough,
submissive enough or giving enough. HWA loved dumping
on the members. His successors continue the actions. It's
damned convenient for them--and for Aristophanes.

And those who defend the cult and its criminal leaders will
often tell the suffering to "just get over it" or, "no one held
a gun to your head" or, "you're just bitter." I've heard them all.
The people who mouth these phrases reveal considerable
lack of thought and empathy at best or are supporting the
cult leaders at worse.

Let's consider a high-profile case in the news these days.
Tell me, Aristophanes, what is Elizabeth Smart to do about
her damaged innocence? Just get over it? Should she blame
herself for having been taken at force from the supposed safety
of her own bedroom? Is she going to be able to deal with the
terrible trauma by forgetting about her tormentor and just
move on? Is she to deny her victim status? To answer in the
affirmative would be madness. No. She will need considerable
love, understanding and therapy from professionals who live in
a real world, not the one inhabited by the likes of Aristophanes.

If he had his way back in the days of the founding
of this great country he would have the colonists sit back and
suffer in silence for the wrongs thrust on them by an inconsiderate
regime back in England. Our apologist for wrongs would have
us look at the signers of the Declaration of Independance as a
bunch of crybabies and whiners for meticulously listing their
justifiable grievances. They were placing blame where it belonged
and they were no afraid to say so, placing their lives and
fortunes on the line.

The case of Sharon at hand is a personal tragedy. And to make
other wrong choices after the cult experience is not what I am
defending. I am angered by the person I'm addressing in this
forum who dismisses the suffering by heaping on more with
thoughtless, hurtful, and ill-conceived statements attempting
to deny that there are victims. Just how the hell will this approach
help the Sharons of the world?

Jim Baldwin
(Not hiding)

 

-------------------------------------------------------

 

Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 9:40 AM
Subject: richard rice

You don't have in one of your death notices that Richard Rice and evnanglist has died. He died in July of a cardiac problem. Though you might want to know.

 

------------------------------------------------------

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Rick B

To: editor@hwarmstrong.com

Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 6:59 AM

Subject: Limerick
Well there once was a fellow called Armstrong

Who thundered a warning most headstrong

But as the passing years tell

All his prophecies fell

A hundered and ten percent wrong............

That was kinda cool. Thanks! Editor....

 

-----------------------------------------------------

Subject: Wasted Years ( by Grizzly )

Hi there , this is the Grizzly . Great website ! Finally some support for us poor saps who have missed out on life because of WCG . Well , I've been surfing your site for days , amazed at how many experiences related therein are just like mine ( like being forced to leave a Mate )...and many others who have escaped the WCG fiasco . Finally decided to take the plunge and write to you guys . So once I got past your mile long list of disclaimers that would get a lawyer short-stroking it , here I am . Almost TWENTY YEARS in Armstrong's money mill that masqueraded as a religion have left me peniless , and my mind toasted like a stick of beef jerky . My late uncle Robert C. Smith was a pastor rank minister for many years , and baptized me into the Worldwide Church of God in 1980 . I should have known from the start that I would have trouble fitting in , but fear of " the tribulation " is a strong motivation to the loyalty to WCG . For many years I have been an accomplished musician , well-read in both science and literature , enjoy arts , the theater , movies , and psychedelics....those interests are BIG trouble to a person in the WCG , I was a target almost from day one ! Small statures and small minds gave me cheap shots galore , most particularly in the dreaded " Spokesman's Club " ( remember that , guys ? ) , which I nicknamed " Spokesmen get Clubbed ! " because of the savage infighting and backbiting nature of the thing . To illustrate the mind-set of some WCG members , here's just a few of many incidents in my two decayed decades of WCG.........shortly before I left in 1999 , some men needed help lugging a piano out of a truck one evening . I show up in a Led Zeppelin T-shirt , and long ponytail , and one of the loving , Christlike WCG men sneers " don't we have any STRONG , MASCULINE men here to help ? " Right......my nickname is Grizzly , I'm six-foot one inch tall , 200 pounds , and played semi-pro hockey , and this schmuck calls me faggy ?! My wife looked like she wanted to jump on the truck and rip the guy's throat , and I was kind of thinking about it myself . One night a Pastor-rank minister almost got myself and another member killed by being falling down drunk and driving the wrong way down a one-way street in Denver , he was arrested and charged...and the Ministry called me and the other guy in to promise not to tell anyone of the incident ( what a suprise ! ) . One year in Spokesman Club I gave a speech on how Stravinsky's great work , " The Rite of Spring " , foreshadowed and influenced much 20th century popular , classical , and rock music . WELLLL...you'd have thought I spit on The Flag or slit my Granny's throat ! The minister lambasted me for 20 minutes ! , saying how I was studying Pagan things , and saying that only music approved by headquarters , such as The Young Ambassadors ( remember them ? GAK!! ) was suitable for WCG members . Right!!.....I'm into ELP , Yes , Pink Floyd , etc. and now all I can listen to is music from Pasadena ? Wrong ! Another classic... As " survivors " of WCG will recall , volleyball and basketball Sundays were a big thing , after working your ass off all week at work and spending all Saturday in service to WCG , you were expected to give up your only day of rest and privacy by getting up at 6 A.M. to drive 60 miles and get yelled at all day playing volleyball ! Anyway , remember those great bumper stickers in the 80s , " Shit Happens " ?....well the minister pulls up in the parking lot , and someone had the sticker on the bumper of thier pickup truck . He roars into the gym , shouting " Who drives that red Ford pickup ? " . A guy raises his hand , and the minister dresses him down for 10 minutes right in front of everybody....at one point , we who were watching thought the minister might actually punch the guy....all for the " sin " of having a humorous bumper sticker on his private vehicle ( but " privacy " was considered a dangerous word in WCG ) . Well , I gotta leave for work now , thanks for your site ., and as for WCG stoies...I got a million of 'em !
Thanks , the Grizzly

You're welcome! I've seen your stuff on the site. Good stuff. Stick around.... Editor

---------------------------------------------

From: Rick B

To: editor@hwarmstrong.com

Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 7:52 AM

Subject: Sad limerick
Well I just read the great Garner Ted

Whilst married took maidens to bed

But my own fiancee

Who did not join " God's way "

Well, they made me toss her out on her head

-----------------------------------

From: RICK B
To: editor@hwarmstrong.com
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2003 7:10 AM
Subject: Limerick 3

Just looked , Armstrong's old booklets , to see

All those booklets on doctrine sent free

But , blinders lifted from my eyes

I see his falsehoods and despise !

No more of Herbert's deception for me !

----------------------------------

----- Original Message -----
From: Cameron M
To: editor@hwarmstrong.com
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2003 6:13 AM
Subject: Thanks for a Great Site

Dear Editor,

You are so good to put up a site like this.

I think I wasted about $3,500 funding the WWCOG and PCOG. I started to get sucked back in again with Greald Flurry. I originally got hooked in with the Plain Truth Mag at a local shopping centre. Due to the fact that I didn't follow all the dietry and other lifestyle rules which are "better than thou" I kind of dropped out of the WWCOG scene in the early 90's before the Guru left this cruel world and things were starting to go pear shaped but no one could quite see the friction building.

I think it was the page disproving the Sabbath and Holy Days and how we could possibly know when these actually occur, which made me really question the whole basis of the "COG" doctrines. This site made me laugh at times, to the point I wanted to cry. Why was I risking my career by refusing Saturday work to be bored to death on uncomfortable chairs with people who like me were being converted into cardboard cut-outs through perpetual brainwashing, policing and "Bible Study".

I only recently was looking to get back into the scene and actually sent in a "tithe" payment to Gerald's little Philadelphian sect. It was about this time, whilst using Google, when I came across your site and realised why I should not take notice of these "COG" lunatics. 19 year cycles etc. They're starting to get too far fetched now.

I feel like a big fool and it embarasses me to know how I was telling my family and friends how they needed to chage their life to the "right way" of living. I nearly lost my very best friend after "not approving of him." I was nearly going to do it all again!

To those of you who were brought up with this and have come out of it, all I can say is that you've got great fortitude. My mind is still screwed up a bit when I make decisions about different things, including about the future. Not to mention eating pork or bacon. How you can turn around a whole life time is purely inspirational, but also entirely necessary. My hat goes off to you all.

All these leaders of these splinter groups, should hand their money either back to the people they stole it from or back to the tax system (back to the community). I'd rather the money be spent on fixing a road somewhere than to fuel a private jet. Those leaders then should start all over again working at a real living for a real boss. They might then know real GOOD CHARACTER! or even have it themselves. Maybe the MISSING DIMENSION for them is a BACKBONE!! (Emphasis mine)

Gerald Flurry, you took the last $500 from me. Stop your garbage as you're not really saving anyone. You can look me up on your mailing list and remove me as you monitor this site. The suburb is Annerley, should this help otherwise look for "RETURN TO SENDER" on the envelopes. The rest of the stuff I have received thus far, is currently being recycled by the Brisbane City Council into something more useful. May even be sanitary napkins.

There you go Ed. Another one is coming to their senses and is finally FREE! Keep the good work up.

Good deal! We'll try.... Editor

---------------------------------------------

----- Original Message -----
From: Carol Kirkpatrick
To: editor@hwarmstrong.com
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 8:58 AM
Subject: SEP

Just found your website. I laughed, cried and then got depressed, memories flooding back.....My parents started going when I was 7 and quit when I was app 18. Damage already done, school ostracising etc, you've heard it all before. The one thing I didn't notice was any talk of Mark and David Armstrong. Whatever happened to them?
I was considered rebellious (wore lip gloss once!!!!-gonna go to hell....) so was sent to the land of Orr for the summer in '74. The boys happened to be there and personally selected several of us girls to go on a special camping and rafting trip up in the woods somewhere for a week. Seems the whole purpose was to get away from counselors (Mark and David assumably being adequate chaperones by themselves) so they could drink and get laid. Mark appoached me in the tent one night and we began to kiss etc, but when I drew the line he became angry and threatened to have me sent home for insubordination (major offense-would have been kicked out for sure-possibly even disowned by my parents) Luckily for me another of the girls apparently was more than willing and they went elsewhere and left me alone. I was very scared and dissolutioned. Both boys, even though deaf seemed very world wise and aggressive. Knowing what I have learned from your sight, apples really don't fall far!
Thank you for the forum-feel free to publish my name and e-mail and would like to hear from anyone that used to go to the FT Worth, TX church.

PS=I have never been to a church since except weddings, etc. No other minister, preacher, or whatever they all call themselves have been able to answer my questions-all double speak to me now. The golden rule and karma seem to be just fine by me. I wonder if they know how many little souls they are responsible to stealing?

Carol (Owens) Kirkpatrick
carol@gwpc.com

Good to hear from you Carol. Stay strong.... Editor

-------------------------------

From: Bill

To: editor@hwarmstrong.com

Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2003 5:43 PM

Subject: Thank You

I wish to thank you for the information you have on the internet. I wish that I had looked into the Bible years ago to see what it has to say. But instead like many others I listened to Armstrong and others. I diden't always believe everything I heard but I fell for most of it.

I first started listening to Herbert on the Radio Church and stayed with him until 1982. My wife came down with cancer in 1978, she was not a member of the church. She died in 1982 and during her illness there wasen't one person from the church that would come to see her. The Minister in that area would not enter my house because she was not a believing member. The minister came knocking on my door shortly after he read my wifes obituary in the paper. He gave me all kinds of excuses why he diden't even come to pray for her during her illness. At that time I orderd him out of my house and I quit the church.

It is just recently that I have come to the realization that the Bible is a fraud and a big fat lie. After reading more of the Bible I find it very immoral material. I want nothing to do with the terroristic killer god of the bible. I find that the brimstone hell fire preachers are also sadistic creeps. To me what they preach is terroristic threatening and those who preach such garbage to kids should be brought up on child abuse charges. There are those young and older that have committed suicide because of such terroristic preaching. When the Bible speaks of dashing children against the stones, it should be banned from being sold.

Thank you for the chance to express some of my thoughts.
Sincerely
Bill P

You're welcome. Glad to hear you're seeing the light.... Editor

--------------------------------------------------

August 12, 2003
Hello Ed,

I just finished an article from ’02 by Bill Fairchild on the PT site. A most excellent dissertation on personal liberty and the history of your (I’m in Canada) Founding Fathers. The History of the U.S. is my single most obsessive hobby and I’ve read dozens of great tomes on the revolutionary period. In fact, I’ve written mini biographies of all 56 signers of the Declaration for my own pleasure, and recently finished a second reading of Bowen’s Miracle at Philadelphia, the Constitutional Convention of 1787. In my office, here at work, I display on the wall, an excerpt from the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, which took 9 years for Madison and Jefferson to get through the Virginia House of Burgesses. It is particularly meaningful for me, a recovering Christian who has rejected organized religion in all its forms, yet still wishing to seek God personally and privately.

“No man shall be compelled to support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever: nor shall be forced, restrained, molested or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief. But that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion: and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

Here in Canada, we have no laws specifically separating church and state, but the spirit of such a matter is generally respected and observed. I can think of no worse fate for the world today, than to be subjected to the dictates of a man like Herb Armstrong. Imagine if HE had come to national power!! Today’s news makes it very clear; power corrupts absolutely. Whether Catholic, JW, Anglican, Amish, wcg; it doesn’t matter. A little power in men’s hands will ultimately be abused, no matter how good the initial intentions.

Just some thoughts before I head off on vacation.

Sincerely, Colin W

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