Mars Hill members sponsor ‘meet your neighbors night’

Ballardeer posted a link to a photo of this flyer in the forum wondering if anyone knew anything about the event. “Three people just came to the door handing out flyers for a “meet your neighbor night” next Monday, March 15 at Leif Erickson Hall. They said it was a chance to meet your neighbors and hear about local service organizations, like Habitat For Humanity,” Ballardeer writes, “The flyer has no Web site and no information about who’s organizing the event. It has a picture of a lighthouse and the tagline: “meet. greet. know. love.”

Cliff Ellis with Mars Hill Church confirms that the church members are sponsoring the event. Here is information on the event. Organizations that are listed as participating are: Ballard Food Bank, East Ballard Neighborhood Association, Volunteer Chore Services, Groundswell NW, YoungLife and YouthWise.

Updated: According to Nick Bogardus, the Media Relations Director for Mars Hill church, this is apparently not a Mars Hill Church-hosted event. “The event is being paid for and hosted by people who live in Ballard, who go to the church, and who simply want to help partner with other Ballardites and respected organizations to help make Ballard an even better place to live.” In regards to the flyer: “The flyers were a mistake and we’re taking measures to make sure something like that doesn’t happen again. Mars Hill attendance is the size of Snoqualmie or Snohomish. We encourage our members to be involved and active in their local communities but we can’t, nor do we want to, monitor everything that is done. We hope your readers can see through that mistake to the real underlying heart of the effort; people who love Ballard and who want to help make it better.”

Updated #2: From Nancy McKinney, the Executive Director of the Ballard Food Bank in comments, “Ballard Food Bank will not be present at the forum this evening. The reason is solely because of the lack of transparency in advertising of this event. We were very interested in show casing our volunteer opportunities – just not in this fashion. As a point of interest, our policy is to provide for client’s need in a manner sensitive to the dignity of the individuals. Services are provided to all persons in need regardless of race, color, age, sex, creed, national origin or sexual orientation. The same goes for our volunteers.”

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

125 thoughts to “Mars Hill members sponsor ‘meet your neighbors night’”

  1. Anyone who attends… watch how the MH folks interact with women… or lack thereof. You may find their disinterest in any opinions from women. Just sayin'…

  2. I've never been involved with a church-sponsored event that went out of their way to omit that detail in promotional information.

    Bait and switch, coming to a Leif Erickson Hall near you!

  3. Sad that they have to try and trick people into coming…that says a lot about Mars Hill, don't you think? Maybe they'll try and sell you on Amway while you're there too.

  4. I am also quite concerned about MHC going undercover and looking like just another neighborhood church. Their head pastor preaches women's submission, and the entire church is quite anti-LGBT. Do they expect those of us in those populations in Ballard to stay away? Or maybe we should show up in force. Secular and religious progressive Ballard, this is our chance to show up in numbers. MHC does NOT represent the spirit of our neighborhood.

  5. I wouldn't attend if they paid me. I was severely shunned there when I went to that church once because a couple of my so called tattooed hip “friends” (not any more) go there and asked me to go. The psycho pastor ranted about how gays actually cannot believe in God, and will go to hell, and are sick beyond help, etc. for the first 10 minutes. I got up to walk out and and no one followed me or asked me why, not even my “friends”. They all just stared at me. They are truly ill people. But even they are not beyond help if they would open their minds, but they are brainwashed!

  6. “MHC does NOT represent the spirit of our neighborhood.”

    Where does it say everyone in Ballard has to think the same way, believe what you believe in and practice their religion the same way? Do you protest at mosques in Seattle that force women to cover their hair and pray separately? How about Buddhist temples that don't allow women to be ordained as monks or Catholic churches that don't ordain women as priests?

    I don't like Mars and I'm an atheist, but I respect their right to practice their religion as they see fit. I practice what my parents used to call 'tolerance'.

  7. Actually, as a gay atheist, I kinda agree: can't believe in god, sick beyond help (thanks, don't need it!). As for the hell bit, that's just childish crap anyway.

    There are only two sins: blind faith and weak coffee. MHC is both.

  8. I liked what Mark Driscoll (MHC's pastor) said about Avatar – that its “demonic paganism” promotes worshipping the creation rather than the creator; I like to think he means that we should worship James Cameron! Count me out of anything MHC-organized. It makes me so proud to live in Ballard when I read posts like the ones below!!

  9. It's sad to me that organizations like Groundswell NW and Ballard Food Bank are getting suckered in by this. They're the bait in bait-and-switch.

    Or maybe I've got it wrong. Maybe there's just one volunteer from each of those organizations who decided to go out and do this on their own, or maybe it's /entirely/ astroturfed. I notice that Groundswell, for example, doesn't have this event on their online calendar.

    Or maybe, just maybe, this will be a legit event aimed at helping people. I don't have a lot of hope that that's the case.

  10. I might show up to hear what the non-profits are doing to improve Ballard, just because MHC is sponsoring it doesn't mean MD will be preaching there.

    I'm all for any organization that is interested in improving the neighborhood. Lighten up people.

  11. I'm willing to bet at this point that the speakers representing these organizations are already CG participants and Mars Hill regulars. That's the only way this could have happened without the overt advertising of the involvement of the groups mentioned.
    btw, two of the groups, YoungLife and YouthWise are MH based groups, according to the forum thread responses from participants.

    I'm not against community service.
    I'm against putting a happy face on hate speech.

  12. There's an eight page thread going in the forum about this, and since it's too long for a lot of people to read it all there, I'll add my two cents here…

    This is what's known as the “long con”. You get people to agree to something entirely different from what you really want. At first. It's just like what William S Burroughs said: “Beware whores who say they don't want money. What they mean is they want more money. MUCH more.”
    I doubt you'll hear anything about joining their church tonight. I doubt religion will even come up outside perhaps a disclaimer that a couple of the groups are church affiliated, but if you give them your info or become involved through this meeting you can bet they'll try to rope you in eventually. They'll invite you to help the community and feel good about it as you build trust and bonds with some “really great people” and after a whole lot of “meet greet know love” they'll get to the whole point of doing this…recruiting new members. It may take months to get to it, but they will, and some people will have become so attached to the feeling of doing good deeds with their new “friends” that they'll start attending and the cycle will repeat.

  13. Ballard Food Bank will not be present at the forum this evening. The reason is solely because of the lack of transparency in advertising of this event. We were very interested in show casing our volunteer opportunities – just not in this fashion. As a point of interest, our policy is to provide for client's need in a manner sensitive to the dignity of the individuals. Services are provided to all persons in need regardless of race, color, age, sex, creed, national origin or sexual orientation. The same goes for our volunteers.

  14. What you said. Regardless of feelings about MHC, let's get behind what these organizations are doing in our neighborhood. I'm all about positive neighborhood support, regardless of who is pushing for it.

  15. ms. mckinney, I applaud your brave stance.

    I think that those who are “honoring diversity by bagging Mars Hill…” are simply calling a spade a spade – calling out Mars Hill for deceptive advertising.
    We need genuine diversity and respect in this community, not an institution that hides behind a cross to spread homophobia and misogyny

  16. Disagree.

    ” ….regardless of who is pushing for it.”

    If our local drug dealers are hosting this, would you still have that attitude? I hope not.

  17. I read all the comments as of 2:53 pm 3/15, and am pleased to say that I LOVE YOU GUYS MAN!

    Ballard is not ignorant. Thank you.

  18. The volunteers at the Ballard Food Bank are awesome. :-)

    And from what I've seen in the long winded forum thread SPG mentions, you're doing the right thing detaching yourselves from this meeting.

  19. So feeding the homeless is good, but drug dealers feeding the homeless is bad? Better for homeless people not to be fed than to be fed by drug dealers? I don't understand. I mean, drug dealer food eats just like rich white yuppie food.

  20. umm, choosing not to tolerate hate isn't hate. I don't hate these folks.
    “Forgive them, for they know not what they do” is far from hate.
    Acknowledging the motivation for the outreach here is paramount, whether you see that or not is not relevant. No one is saying you can't go party…

  21. I can't see how anyone can assume the motivation of someone else without actually talking to them, and I guess if you talk to someone and they tell you their motivation but you don't believe them, then…????
    Eh, whatever I'm going to check it out. No harm done, I can always leave if people get annoying.

  22. “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

    –Karl Popper

  23. Right.
    And along with Republicans they organize “Tea Parties” and recruit citizens to speak up against “government takeovers” of healthcare and to fight against healthcare reform because they fear government “control” of their insurance plans.
    They've been hoodwinked because their healthcare is already controlled. By large insurance and pharmaceutical companies who bankroll the aforementioned Republicans.
    So these poor bastards are out there campaigning for the very thing that keeps them paying high premiums for crappy coverage while shareholders profit handily.

    This Mars Hill meeting is an analagous situation.

    I, for one, won't rally for “community” if the definition of “community” is filtered through an organization I have very real problems with.

  24. To my knowledge, MHC hasn't done anything like this before, at least in Ballard. It looks to me like their first attempt at this kind of publicity. At best, they've got to be thinking it's a mixed bag, at this point, especially with Ballard Food Bank pulling out very publicly.

  25. oh ok, I'll stop dissing such diverse groups of people as neo Nazis, child molesters and dog abusers too. Gosh we should just all tolerate each other and not speak out no matter how very hateful people are, right?

  26. I'm not defending the bait-and-switch at all — that's the worst type of invitation and is far too reminiscent of evangelical youth groups (“Hey! Come play basketball! ….), but I think it's a bit of a stretch to use terms like “hate-speak” and lob accusations of misogyny about Mars Hill.

    It's not the end-all/be-all of churches, but I doubt that this debacle was some underhanded plan to infiltrate the unsuspecting happy heathens of Ballard.

    Relax, Ballard. Lighten up. I don't think Mars Hill could possibly be experiencing the growth they are seeing if it was merely based on a cult of personality surrounding one self-admittedly dumb white guy which oppresses women.

  27. P.S. Yes, I go to Mars Hill. No, I won't be at the silly meeting tonight. Yes, I will continue to give generously to the Ballard Food Bank.

  28. For the record Fullone, Young Life is an organization which predates MHC by a couple decades. Just saying because you normally do your homework.

  29. I am SO proud of the Ballard Food Bank…really beyond words. I strongly believe in community involvement and service, encourage everyone to get involved–directly–with the cause or organization that touches you. I, too, applaud Nancy McKinney for her integrity and am proud of the people on this forum who have spoken up.

    I stopped in, but did not drink the Kool-Aid.

  30. I'm quite sure that being an evangelicial Christian doesn't mean that seducing others into their cult is included in every activity of their existence.

  31. This is a silly argument. We don't have to be inclusive of the exclusive. You can't argue that inclusion should trump common sense or else we'd have to welcome the pedophiles and NAMBLA and attend their events too.

  32. Drug dealer food may taste the same, but if it cost a dozen lives of addiction and overdose for each meal would you still be proud to serve it?

  33. I attended the event tonight. I saw no pushing of Jesus. And I met some local people. And I learned about some good work being done by some local community organizations. As far as my experience was concerned, it came off exactly as advertised.

    As far as what I saw tonight, the anti-MH paranoia appears to have been misplaced. All the speakers from local community organizations WERE WOMEN and were given HEARTY ROUNDS OF APPLAUSE at the end. I saw no difference in the way women or men were treated. The event was entirely…normal.

    Do the facts matter? If they do, then from what I saw tonight, charges of “misogyny” against MH appear silly. Let's be honest: they're contrived pretexts invented to buffer the psychological justification you need to reject a church that apparently preaches from the bible and also tries to love their community. You gotta fine some reason to reject them, so it's a lot easier to just make things up. I get it. I really do.

    Just sayin…maybe you should meet these people and attend their event before allowing your prejudices to cause you to eagerly and wrongly prejudge them, their motives, and their event. From what I saw tonight, they seemd to be genuinely desiring to do something good for the community here… And in return? Slander. (Which I'm well-prepared to receive for daring to post this comment.) From what I can tell, MH treats their women infinitely better than you treat them. Ouch.

    And I suspect they'd also treat you infinitely better than you've treated them–if you would give them the chance. That's all I have to say.

  34. Just re-read my comment and it needs a little clarification due: When I say “From what I can tell, MH treats their women infinitely better than you treat them,” the “them” would be MH church, not women. I'm sure you all here would treat women with the highest standards. Please accept my apology for any confusion due to my poor sentence construction. Darn English language.

  35. I'm sure that the most if not all of the people there were well-intentioned. But Mark Driscoll has a big platform and most of the people on this forum find his views about women repugnant.

  36. Evangelicals only live for one purpose. That is all we need to know. Fuck em. Regardless of their purported intentions. If any other anti-gay bigot group organized a forum to “help the community”, I'd say the same thing…fuck em. Straight guy defending my gay brothers and sisters, for the record.

  37. That's fine, and I bet Mark Driscoll finds some of your views repugnant. That's all fine and good: People are entitled to disagree and you're COMPLETELY entitled to find Driscoll's views repugnant. No one disputes your right.

    The difference between you and MH is that MH seems eager to peacefully coexist with you in Ballard, but you aren't willing to peacefully coexist with MH in Ballard. In fact, MH and its 6-or-whatever-thousand members seem actively desiring to get involved in positive ways in the community while you wish to drive MH out of the community. So who's the intolerant party here?

  38. Sexual relations is a bit extreme in my mind, evangelical or not. I might say “ignore 'em” or “to hell with 'em”, but would definitely draw the line before sexual relations. IMHO.

  39. The intolerant party is still Mars Hill. Just because they were nice to you tonight doesn't mean that they all don't give their money and time to promote an agenda of discrimination.

  40. “I bet Mark Driscoll finds some of your views repugnant. ” Yes, such controversial views like that I should be able to continue my career and not be required to “submit to my husband as Jesus submits to the church” and pop out future MHC members for him instead.

    Or that if I put on some weight while producing offspring, that he won't cheat on me and it would be my fault for letting myself go.

    Or that my sister and her partner should have every right and privilege extended to them under the law that my husband and I have.

    None of those things would fly at Mars Hill.

    True evil are those that prey on the weak for personal or moralistic gains.

    Try watching some of their YouTube sermons. It's clear by their own PR that we are not making up these things.

  41. I still haven't seen any arguments as to why MH should be driven out of the community. The only “agenda of discrimination” I have witnessed tonight is on this forum where people wish to ban certain parties in Ballard from sponsoring events to increase volunteerism.

    Again, you have the right to disagree with MH. No one disputes this. But you yourself fall into the very discrimination you condemn when you refuse to grant them equal access to serve the community that you would normally grant everyone else.

  42. I'm aware that Driscoll is against marriage for gays and lesbians so I believe you there. But since you claimed to have documentation to back up your claims, I'll happily call your bluff: Please provide me with the URL where MH claims:

    (1) Married women should never have a career.
    (2) It's OK to cheat on your spouse if they, as say put it, “put on some weight” and “let themselves go.”

    You won't produce a URL where Driscoll said those things because such a URL does not exist. Like I said earlier: “You gotta find some reason to reject them, so it's a lot easier to just make things up. I get it. I really do.”

    In any case, here's the main point: Whether of you agree or disagree with the actual MH (or the fictional MH many are promoting on this thread), none of this provides sufficient grounds to excommunicate them from participating in the Ballard community.

  43. I should also note that whether you support same-sex marriage or not, by society's current standards it's not all that “controversial” (your word to describe Driscoll's views) to oppose it: Polls regularly show that upwards of 50% of Americans (including, at least according to what he says, President Obama), oppose legalizing same-sex marriage.

    Love it or hate it, you'd have to deport over 50% of the country if you wanted to rid yourself of those who oppose legalizing same-sex marriage.

    You might disagree with Mark Driscoll on gay marriage — and of course you have every right to do that — but Driscoll doesn't become some “controversial” fringe revolutionary simply because he opposes legalizing same-sex marriage. On that particular question, most of the country agrees with him.

  44. I think the point about appeasement (Neville Chamberlin) is actually well taken.
    If we view last night’s meeting as our little Ballard Sudatenland, then we’ve just appeased the Mars Hill Church and validated their approach to “community building.”
    Since the stated mission of MHC, as an evangelical organization, is to save souls and bring people to Jesus, then any community work they do must necessarily involve an attempt to recruit, indoctrinate, shame, intimidate, or otherwise influence people to their viewpoint.
    I’m sure there are great people who attend MHC and I’m sure some of them do great work in this and other communities.
    But let it be done in an open and honest way.
    It’s the insinuation of “christianity” into our communities and schools by trickery and misrepresentation that most peeves me.
    I find it telling that none of the folk defending MHC on this posting has had the courage to openly declare themselves a member of that church.

  45. Let me get this straight, you think what Mars Church does is comparable to raping children?

    Did it occur to you that the women who go there and listen to this stuff, do so of their own free will? Maybe they like that message? Maybe it's what they want and are choosing freely?

  46. whoa there pilgrim…
    I welcome them serving and volunteering in whichever way they choose. I told those that cared to listen that they should, just as they had before, quietly, without fanfare and being a whore for their church. I don't think it's too much to expect. I very much dislike this being about their veiws, and not community service. They ARE media whores, attention whores, and now, community service whores.
    They want the spotlight to be on them, period, if they didn't, they would serve as they wanted, without all this drama, just like all of us who volunteer do it.

    So, back up the drama with some truth and balance.
    THEY made this a mess, calling them on it isn't hate, it isn't intollerance, it isn't even close.

    Saying so makes you look like an idiot. IMHO

  47. yet again proof that most of the country can be dead wrong.

    Look at this country lately, need more proof of the fallacy of the majority???


    I most of the sheeple ran of the edge of a cliff, nice to know you'd follow them…

  48. “We, the German Führer and Chancellor, and the British Prime Minister, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognizing that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for our two countries and for Europe.
    We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again. We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe.”
    Neville Chamberlain
    30 September, 1938

  49. onderfullone: You misunderstand my point: I'm not saying that because 50+% of the country opposes gay marriage that therefore they're right or therefore you should agree with them. Hardly. What I'm saying is that the fact that Driscoll holds this view doesn't make him a fringe figure or “controversial” when compared to the social fabric of our nation. So please don't misrepresent my argument.

  50. Looks like Godwin's law was just almost triggered: “if you mention Hitler or Nazis in a post, you've automatically ended whatever discussion you were taking part in”.

    I'll try to remain civil and keep the conversation going onetheless: I am NOT saying that you should agree with Mars Hill nor am I saying that you shouldn't go out and vigorously excercise your right to free speech and oppose their views, if that's what you want to do.

    What I'm saying is that disagreeing with MH or opposing their views should NOT intolerantly trying to expunge them from the community or prevent them from having equal access to use community resources for the purpose of benefitting the community.

    And not to dignify your Nazi comparisons with a response, but if you really need a logical rebuttal here it is: As we all know, in WW II the Nazis were the first aggressors and we all know that Chamberlain was foolish. But one can also error by going to the opposite end of the spectrum from Chamberlaine…

    We also all know that the Bush doctrine of preemptive wars is WRONG; Britain was RIGHT to respond with military force ONLY AFTER the Nazis invaded other countries (e.g. Poland). So where does that leave us?

    + So far, MH has done the unconscioinable deed of hosting community events for Ballard community members to volunteer for local community organizations to do good things for the community.

    + In response, you all wish to expunge them from the community and prevent them from having access to use community resources.

    So far MH has done nothing wrong but YOU are talking like aggressors. Don't adopt the Bush doctrine. Don't fight premptive wars. Stop before you cross a line you wish you hadn't.

  51. Holy crap. What is wrong with all of you?

    It says it is organized by people who attend the church, not the church.

    Plus, since when is inviting people to meet their neighbors and learn how they can make their community a better a bad thing?

    Ballard being “open and accepting” is a joke. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

  52. Dear onederfullone,

    You wrote: “I welcome them serving and volunteering in whichever way they choose.” If I read you right, then you're OK with them (1) existing in the community, (2) renting out community facilities for events that benefit the community, and (3) getting involved with volunteering in local community organizations. If that's how you feel then I commend you for it.

    The rest of your comments entail disagreeing with MH. I'm not here to dispute your right to do this. The problem is that there are folks here to don't feel MH should be able to do (1), (2), or (3) above, and THEY ARE the ones I am arguing against — not you. So if I interpreted your position correctly, then you and I are on the same side here. Unfortunately, many others here aren’t as tolerant as you or I.

    As for your comments about MH being “media whores,” if all MH wanted was media attention, your accusation doesn't fit so well with the fact that their flyer for this event DIDN'T EVEN LIST THAT MH WAS THE SPONSOR. Many of you have charged MH with dastardly deeds and motives for not listing their name on the flyer, but maybe they left off their name PRECISELY because they DID NOT want to look like “media whores” and they wanted this to JUST be about the community, not their own fame and glory.

    Looks like around here, when it comes to promoting themselves within the Ballard community, you're determined to see to it that MH is damned if they do and damned if they don't. Unfair double-standard if you ask me.

    Final note: This is my last post for the day before I head into the vacuum that is my job. But at least it's good to know that strongest responses to my arguments required namecalling and slander (“whore” and “idiot”) and Nazi comparisons. Makes me think I'm on to something.


    Art who is a “whore” for no one (this addresses Bellie's question below)

  53. “In response, you all wish to expunge them from the community and prevent them from having access to use community resources…. So far MH has done nothing wrong but YOU are talking like aggressors.”

    I don't think many people on this forum match that description. Me, personally, I'd be a lot happier if MH were smaller and more marginalized, because their (just admit it, Art — /your/) beliefs about women and homosexuals are quite extreme compared with Seattle at large. But I don't think they should be “expunged”. I don't see anyone on this forum calling for pitchforks and torches.

    Mars Hill promotes beliefs that most of Seattle finds offensive. Mars Hill attempted to hold a happy-fuzzy event in which they didn't admit that they were Mars Hill until they got people into the room. Now people feel extra specially betrayed by Mars Hill, and they're expressing their outrage.

    “Neville Chamerlain's” annoying Godwinning aside, that's all that's going on here.

  54. And the country promotes beliefs that most of the rest of the Western world finds offensive. And the Western world promotes beliefs that the rest of the world finds offensive.

    My point isn't that Seattle is right about women's rights and acceptance of gays (though, of course, we are :) ). My point is that that's the source of tension between MHC and Ballard at large.

  55. MHC is highly evangelical body. Their mission is to gain more recruits. That's what an evangelical church does.

    You should be ashamed of you self for calling names at those who call it how it is.

  56. I don't think it's as big a source of tension as you think.

    The MH website says that “Close to 4,000 people attend the Ballard Campus on Sundays.” Those 4,000 are your neighbors (and that's just from a single church).

    I think those opposed are just louder than those who are not.

  57. I don't usually respond to trolls, but at least come up with an original joke. How many times has Kool-Aid been mentioned on this thread?

    If you don't like their style, that's fine by me. There are lots of other great churches in Seattle. But calling Mars Hill a death cult is a bit far-fetched.

  58. Yes, there are a lot of Mars Hillians. MH likes to make that point a lot. Above: “Mars Hill attendance is the size of Snoqualmie or Snohomish”. Right. Clearly what they're doing is appealing to a lot of people, numbers-wise if not percentage-wise. Got it.

    Most of the people who /aren't/ Martians don't think about MH at all. They don't know about them. They don't know about all the macho-Christ stuff or the slap-your-baby stuff or the women-defer-to-men stuff or the gays-go-home stuff. If they did, some people would care, some wouldn't.

    This event has let more people know what Mars Hill is about. MH will probably attract some more members, and some more detractors, because of the publicity.

  59. Reading these comments has made me ill. Cults scare the hell out of me, and having one across the street from Trader Joe's is disturbing.

    I've watched the couples on their way to services. The men looked like regular guys, but it took me awhile to figure out what seemed odd about the women. Underweight, heavily made up, in very tight jeans, who seemed to have difficulty walking on a flat sidewalk. That day, all wore high heels with their skinny jeans, and they clung to their boys as if their lives depended on it.

    I wonder how many of these girls will be featured on an episode of “American Justice” or “SNAPPED!” in fifteen years?

  60. So, you're going to automatically disregard anything that anyone from the church does, even if it is not church sanctioned?

    I almost get the impression that you would not hire someone, simply based on the church they attend, or who they cast their votes for.

    That is discrimination in the purest sense of the word.

  61. “Underweight, heavily made up, in very tight jeans, who seemed to have difficulty walking on a flat sidewalk”

    So if they were all fat and dressed and behaved like fisherman, that would mean they are 'real' women to you?

    You sound just as prejudiced as you claim they are.

    God forbid women are allowed to make choices you disagree with.

  62. Reading through all these comments has been entertaining, although one thing is clear, Mars Hill has an image problem. Those that support the church are defensive and barely able to admit they go there; aside from the few that organized the meeting. I also think it is pretty clear that the reason that the name of the hosting organization was left off was because the organizer felt it would turn people away, so they chose to drop the name. Now, it could have been that the original intent of the meeting was just to introduce other volunteer orgs to MH members only (whereby it didn't need the hosting organization name) and then it turned into something else. Personally, I would think that your church should be something that you are proud of and more than happy to mention. But for some reason, MH members do not always think this is best. This is most likely do to their image problem.

    Another thing that can be said is that MHC is a conservative religious organization that is not in the mainstream and is definitely not in the norm in Seattle. While they can be grouped along with the mainstream by some measures, their views on certain issues put them out in the fringes of the bell curve. For instance, America's views on gay marriage are definitely trending towards acceptance (while 50% may oppose it as of today, half of that 50% believe civil unions are okay, so that makes about 75% that are comfortable with some form of relationship)… the question is, where will MHC be on this trend toward acceptance, will they come along with the mainstream, or will they come along only after kicking and screaming. Ultimately the members will be the ones to decide this and other issues.

  63. WOW, I love Ballard, and love it a lot more after hearing all of the aware and honest people out there commenting on this. My wife was always freaked out about Mars Hill and now all these comments allows me to finally believe how crazy that place is.

    I supported this business for free with my own business and when I went to them for support they would not even call me back. Also, there is no way to get into contact with them unless you leave a message. There is never a live person there to answer the phone.

    I'm very proud of the Ballard community to speak out on this.

  64. “disagreeing with MH or opposing their views should NOT… prevent them from having equal access to use community resources for the purpose of benefiting the community.”

    Hell Yes it should! Community centers and the like are available for public use, regardless of race, reed, religion, gender, or sexual preference. Why should those resources be taken up by organizations who promote intolerance and openly condemn gays and other members of our community?

    Just because they want to have a bake sale to raise funds to further support their mission, and happen to be passing out fliers about the Food Bank but don't have posters up that say “God Hates Fags” we should still be OK with that?

  65. For the record, I am Andrea Faste, the current board chair of Groundswell NW.
    When contacted Monday afternoon about the meeting last night, I had quite honestly forgotten that we had been asked to send representatives describing our work creating parks and open space and that two of us had expressed interest in attending. I took at face value that Mars Hill was doing this as a service to the community. When I did finally remember our involvement, Pennygirl had already posted to this blog that I knew nothing about it.
    What follows is my personal view, not necessarily that of GroundswellNW.
    I believe that weeds are equal opportunity targets in our parks, and that anyone regardless of religious belief should be welcome to pull them.
    If this event had been organized by the devil, and I thought it could get me extra hands at a work party, I probably would still have sought the help.

  66. Waah, waah, waah. You're such a victim here. MHC funded the venue, a separate venue from their church, didn't put their name on it, and denied it at first when asked. Why? So that they could meet, greet, know, love, some warm bodies that they could eventually invite to their church.
    MHC was caught trying to do a under the radar recruitment drive.

  67. Let me get this straight, you really can't tell what an analogy is even when the example used is so extreme to make the point easy to understand?
    I really doubt that you're tolerant of everyone's beliefs. Tolerating someone who believes that Martin Luther was a heretic? Hmm, probably, but really not a big deal. Tolerating the sacrificing of a baby to the dark lord okay with you? Of course not. I think that MHC's relegation of women to a secondary status and active campaign against the rights of homosexuals falls on the side of 'not cool' around here.

  68. Thanks for chiming in here, Andrea.

    Perhaps what those of us who are leery of the potential MHC connection should do is show up at your work parties and show the Martians that you /don't/ have to hate gay people to sweat for a good cause.

  69. Ahhh, ok, so if the Catholic Church, or a Mosque that made women cover their hair and worship separately, or a Buddhist temple that refused to ordain women monks, if any of those religious groups had sponsored this event you would have been equally offended, right?

  70. I replied with links requested, and it said it had to be approved by a moderator. Meanwhile, you can read an interesting article that interviews some members of the church at:

  71. Well, as a former woman member of MH church, I can tell you that yes, women do go of their own free will. BUT, when you talk with them in private, their position is very nuanced. I had countless conversations where women basically said they felt they had to take that position because if they didnt, thier men woudlnt be involved in church.

  72. Ah, it's always much easier to just make personal attacks and raise the spector of “deceit” than it is to squarely respond to that person's arguments, isn't it Bellie?

  73. Well Gurple, I wish you were right. I wish that people were just talking about how they disagree with the views of MH (which, as I've said multiple times, I strongly support their right to do!). Instead, they’re advocating intolerance against MH.

    It's one thing to express disagreement. It's another to advocate that people stop tolerating MH. And unfortunately, there are a lot of folks here who have advocated outright “intolerance” against MH. Here’s a little recitation of some examples from this thread that either directly advocate intolerance against MH or presage intolerance:

    (1) A fun one to start the thread: “And let the lynching begin on one…two…three”

    (2) Directly suggesting that Ballard should not be “inclusive” of MH: “We don't have to be inclusive of the exclusive. You can't argue that inclusion should trump common sense or else we'd have to welcome the pedophiles and NAMBLA and attend their events too.”

    (3) allisonw tells it straight: “I hope MHC gets the hint that Ballard does not like their misogynistic hate-speak and LEAVE our community.”

    (4) Another poster directly advocates that it's OK to be intolerant towards MH: “Tolerating the sacrificing of a baby to the dark lord okay with you? Of course not. I think that MHC's relegation of women to a secondary status and active campaign against the rights of homosexuals falls on the side of 'not cool' around here”

    (5) K. Lambert implies MH isn't a desired segment of the “community”: “I, for one, won't rally for 'community' if the definition of 'community' is filtered through an organization I have very real problems with.”

    (6) Wildernessbarbie also says it straight, declaring “Hell Yes it should!”, thereby directly endorsing the notion that one ought to “prevent them from having equal access to use community resources for the purpose of benefiting the community.”

    (7) This comment suggested that the “community” does not “need” MH: “We need genuine diversity and respect in this community, not an institution that hides behind a cross to spread homophobia and misogyny”

    (8) And finally a shot across the bow from Gurple himself, quoting Karl Popper to directly suggest that MH doesn't deserve tolerance: “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

    Gurple, I'm sorry but your own words refute your attempt to backpedal.

    It's one thing to express disagreement with MH's views and then let the best viewpoints win out in the marketplace of ideas. That's how a truly tolerant community is supposed to behave! But it's pretty clear to me that a lot of folks have formed a consensus on this thread that does NOT want MH to even have access to the marketplace.

    They don't want to “tolerate” the presence of MH in the “community.”

    Please don't try to rewrite what’s already been written and tell me that this is just about disagreeing with MH. The words spoke on this thread make it clear that people are advocating outright intolerance againt MH, which is a world of aggression beyond merely expressing disagreement.

  74. “Hell Yes it should!”

    My response: Thanks wildernessbarbie for proving my central point.

    And by the way, to my knowledge MH isn't putting up posters that says “God Hates Fags.” So once again, I'd like to again reiterate something I said earlier: “You gotta find some reason to reject them, so it's a lot easier to just make things up. I get it. I really do.”

  75. Buried in one of Art's verbose replies above was this postscript:

    “Art who is a “whore” for no one (this addresses Bellie's question below)”

    Which I guess means “no,” though I'm not entirely sure.

    We could assume that because Art saw my speculation that he is a deceptive MHC shill as a “personal attack” , the answer to the question is “no” but his inability to say the word still leaves me with doubt.

  76. Art, the reasons to reject this church personally are endless. And for once, I'm not alone in my opinion, but even if I was the only one here to say how much I have been offended by attending this 'church', by hearing CONSTANTLY what passes for news about this church, and how it has apparently deceived thousands of my neighbors, is disgusting and quite disturbing, and I would still be very vocal about it.

    I was a member of the cult that was responsible for spawning the ugly pop-culture term 'drank the Kool-Aid'. Every time I hear the term, I die a little inside. It's the same feeling I got, the one that forced me to walk out in the middle of a sermon, with tears in my eyes, knowing what I was witnessing all over again. You who sat their, unmoved, have been lost. You believe you have found the safety and comfort of your good sheppard. They are wolves, my friend, I hope that you open your eyes before you are slain.

    Don't respond, you serve yourself to be ill, for what purpose I do not know.
    There is nothing you can say to change what has been revealed as the fruit of this poisonous tree. It should be named, it should be guarded, it should be shunned.

    Yet the line to this tree is long, and truly, very unfortunately growing longer.
    We who are called to pray and to serve are doing so.

  77. Thanks for the clarification. I was going with info from AC, or Jeromy, in the other thread, where they were included as parts of the 'CG' meetings, and already participating in community service through them.

  78. You're taking some people out of context and deliberately misinterpreting others, Art. “And let the lynching begin on one…two…three” — if anything, boardbrown is on your side, pointing out that this community can, in fact, get a bit mean about Mars Hill sometimes.

    Of all your whining laundry list of perceived grievances to feed your persecution complex, I only agree with you about Wildernessbarbie's comment. That one actually did seem to advocate barring MH from participating in the community like any other organization.

    All the other comments that you quote so hysterically are people expressing their distaste for the intolerant views of Mars Hill. I'm still with Karl Popper. None of us are obligated to stay quiet about the misogynistic attitudes that MH promotes. I'll oppose those views by expressing my own view that they are morally repugnant.

    Read through all your obsessively-gathered quotes again and try to take the hysteria out of your reaction — except Wildernessbarbie, no one is advocating any kind of silencing of Mars Hill or any different treatment of Martians. But that does /not/ mean that we have to smile and nod and pretend that the misogyny and the homophobia are AOK with us.

  79. It's so rad that all the MHC haters are discriminating against another group's religious views. Seattle's version of “diversity” and “tolerance” is a joke.

  80. Very nice move, but this isn't a chess match. Anyway, I'll bite…

    The attempt to hide their involvement was sketchy.
    The views of their leader as expressed in sermons are counter to what I believe and I feel are counter to what Jesus himself would teach.
    The evangelical nature of constant recruitment and retention are bothersome, but not that big of a deal as long as people understand that they are being recruited. Manipulating people to get them to join is a little creepy.

  81. You really don't get it? How much more can it be dumbed down?
    Total tolerance and inclusivity is the height of naivete. To give you an extreme, easy to understand example, what if there was a church that opened in a very nice building with a smiling pastor who advocated the human sacrificing of children? Obviously disagreeing with killing children wouldn't be considered intolerance, would it?

  82. To clarity… if Mars Hill wants to go pick up trash, clean up graffiti, volunteer at the food bank… I have zero problem with that. If they want to pay to rent out the Leif Erickson hall for a big seminar on how women can properly submit to their husbands, I can't argue with that, as long as the check clears.

    If they want to rent out a community center in a thinly veiled and deceitful attempt to convert the community under the guise of aligning themselves with well established community charities… I have a lot of problem with that.

    Again, community resources are made available to organizations regardless of race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation… however when that organization so categorically treats women and gays with such derision, why should they be allowed to use that facility to further their agenda by outreaching into the community through it? It's not like they don't have their own gigantic church in which to do so close by.

    They're dangerous, and growing like a cancer. I'm keeping my eye on them.

  83. So, what I get out of what you said Andrea, is that the end justifies the means.

    As long as you get done what's important to you, regardless of how negative the effects may be to the community or who you are aligning yourself with, that's all that matters?

    The thing is, to play along with your analogy and assuming the Devil is real… ITS THE DEVIL! The Devil NEVER does anything out of the goodness of his heart. He is always out for his self interest, and will make sure that his agenda is served, which will be, because he is the Devil, evil. Sure, you might get some weeds pulled, but meanwhile he's planted belladonna in the veggie patch.

    There is a difference between a group of MHC showing up and pulling weeds, and MHC holding a poorly represented “community outreach” event in order to get other people to volunteer to pull your weeds under the umbrella of that. They benefit from the reputation and efforts of others in an inappropriate way.

    I am glad you have clarified your position. I am retracting my advocacy for Groundswell and pulling out of the 14th Ave project.

  84. How about I “dumb down” your own example for you – the church you suppose would be breaking the law and would get shut down. Thanks for the insight – good stuff.

  85. You are free to believe whatever you like, in this magical land of freedom we call America!

    You are free to believe that women should be subject to the will of their men! That gays are immoral and should be made straight! That Hell is a real place where you go if you don't believe the right things!

    You can grab a bullhorn and shout these beliefs from a street corner, or post them in a sermon on the web!

    Exercising the exact same freedom, I can laugh at those beliefs, and I can deride them as despicable, and I can shout just as loudly as you can.

    And, most likely, if I ever met you in a setting where we weren't both shouting about these divisive issues, we'd probably like each other just fine and get along swimmingly.

    It's not you we're griping about. It's the things your spiritual leader says, so loudly and so often.

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