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Thursday, March 30, 2006

New London-Spicer Ministers Ask the Minister who Taped Dean Johnson for Public Apology

From the West Central Tribune:

Letter: A letter from ministers
Rev. Simon G. Fensom, Rev. Kathy R. Hartley, Rev. Matthew T. Peterson, West Central Tribune
Published Tuesday, March 28, 2006
As members of the (now infamous) New London Spicer Ministerium, we would like to communicate the following:

To Senator Dean Johnson: Thank you for your apology in the Senate regarding statements that were made at our January meeting. It is appreciated.

To all the politicians in St. Paul: Please know that we often pray for your work at our regular ministerium meetings and in our worship services. However, please, please hear us as we ask you to move on from the legislation of human sexuality to the more pressing issues of poverty, health care, education, gambling (and our ever-increasing reliance on its profits), to name but a few. You have very important work to do. Please get on with it!

To Brent Waldemarsen of Harvest Community Church in Willmar: Given your statements to the media over the past 10 days, we would like you to know, without any confusion, how disappointed we are in your behavior, and more so, in your arrogance at “not having done anything to apologize for”. Make no mistake, you have much to apologize for, including: the deceitful pre-meditation of your actions; the secret taping of our conversations — and if it were not secret, why did you not place the recorder in plain view or inform us of what you were doing; the removal of trust from our ministerium; and ultimately your own obfuscation of the truth.

It is disingenuous at best to claim that this is a moral issue and not a political issue. If it were a moral issue, why did you choose to expose Senator Johnson’s comments through a political organization? Why did you, or they, choose to hold on to the tape for two months before sharing the “selected” snippets? Are you, or they, not culpable in furthering immorality for yet eight more weeks?

And finally, why do you limit yourself to this single issue? If morality is your bailiwick, one would expect to see similar passion around the more pressing issues of poverty, affordable health care, the effects of gambling, and racism — subtle and not so subtle, all of which exist in Kandiyohi County.

We wait with bated breath for your apology as we attempt to rebuild trust in our community and among our colleagues, and as we wait, please know that the sins of pride, anger and self-justification that cause us to write this letter and enter the fray will be forgiven in and through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ — the same grace that is afforded to all hypocrites.

Rev. Simon G. Fensom

Rev. Kathy R. Hartley

Rev. Matthew T. Peterson

Matthew Peterson was on Lambert and Janacek today. Sarah Janacek said on the air that she had had conversations about political issues with supreme court judges. Craig Westover is still still obsessing over Dean Johnson. Minnesota's Worst Writer regurgitates the points made in Westover's recent columns in her Strib collumn. Westover says:

Kersten is a little late to the battle, but she's got it right, except for the shot at the press. It's not the press quitting on the story. It's readers. This is a case where the press can only sustain a story so long, and two weeks is an awfully long time for a political story to play the big room. If there's no public outcry to pursue the truth, there's no news peg, however, to keep it going.

This would be a year long - or more - story if it was a Monica-gate type story.