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Former Mars Hill members: “We Are Not Anonymous”

Yikes. 

A Facebook group of former Mars Hill members has sprung up, with the mission statement to out the cult church’s completely fucking batcrackers practices and teachings under known-crazyperson Mark Driscoll.

From the page:

Pastor Mark Driscoll lamented that he’s confused and unsure how to reconcile with people who were “hurt” by his actions because they are “anonymous.”
___________________________
"If I’m real honest with you, at first it was just a little overwhelming and a bit confusing. We, and I were not exactly sure what was happening and so it took a little while to sort that out…As well, one of the things that has been complex is the fact that a lot of the people that we are dealing with in this season remain anonymous. And so we don’t know how to reconcile, or how to work things out with, with people because we’re not entirely sure who they are, and so that has, that has made things a little more complex and difficult as well.”
_____________________, 
This page exists for those who wish to lovingly help Pastor Mark by letting him know that they are not “anonymous.”

Well, at least they’re being loving. 

The page is likely a direct response to the multiple public criticisms of and very-notable departures from the church, which have been made public in the last few months. 

However, not everyone on the page is super into the idea of confronting Mark.

I kinda want to be anonymous. I ducked out from leadership on a technicality and I left and never looked back. Mars Hill is more of a para-church organization than a church and would be better suited if it labeled itself as such. This para-church org. is all about saving doods then throwing them in fight club. People get hurt while fighting, but some dudes get tougher. This is what the navy seal Christians need, I just don’t think it works in a diverse group which is the church where there are ladies and disabled folk. Alpha dog rules the crew, either put up or shut up.

"Where there are ladies and disabled folk.”

Whelp.

Still others seem to be finding the group cathartic — and not just because of the actions of Mark Driscoll directly.

The biggest mistake in my life was reaching out to Clifford Low in regards to my marriage. He gave the most damaging advice ever and instead of listening to Holy Spirit and my intuition I stayed and absorbed it. I was told I was irrational, controlling, and manipulating what the Holy Spirit was telling me. Turns out, everything I brought forward did happen exactly as I tried telling them it would. The pastors at MH Federal Way/Tacoma have thrown countless women with children under the bus if they didn’t obey “their authority.” Pastor Aaron Gray straight out told me to leave the church when his plan wasn’t feasable for my life, then lied about the conversation to CG leaders. Pastor Bubba is more concerned with “feel-good” stories to tell on Sunday morning then with the issues at hand. I left Mars Hill when I was told to and the pain was heartbreaking.

The stories of misogyny are pretty heartbreaking: 

Marriage is not about control over a possession, and when I cried out for help MH silenced me. A wound that infected the course of my life for years to come. It effectively destroyed my marriage and sent me spinning out of control looking for value.

The whole thing is chilling and weird and yucky and saddening. But the most upsetting stories out of MHC are still the ones people are volunteering on their own, like this one, which is really, really hard to read. 

We hope people continue to speak up and to leave Mars Hill. It’s a sickening, insidious force in the Seattle area. We should be too smart for this. 

Paul Schell, Seattle’s 50th Mayor, has died

The Mayor’s office announced today the passing of Paul Schell, the city’s 50th Mayor. 

Murray’s office had this to say: 

Schell’s greatest professional accomplishment has been the infrastructure that he built and influenced. The first Libraries for All campaign was a brainchild of Schell’s, establishing and building a new downtown library and rebuilding branches throughout the city. He led the effort to fund Seattle’s first parks levy, rebuild the opera house and was instrumental in building the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle’s City Hall and Justice Center.

During his time as mayor, Schell helped develop Seattle’s 37 neighborhood plans, laying the foundation for the strong neighborhood system that is seen today. Schell was not only committed to the infrastructure, but also to the people of Seattle. He worked tirelessly to increase service for Seattle’s homeless and immigrant communities, bringing them much-needed services.

The first Mayor in decades not to survive a primary election in his bid for reelection (a sting his successor, Greg Nickels, would feel just a few years later), Schell’s brief stint as Mayor was effective, though problematic. 

Despite just a four-year term, Schell was in office both during the 1998 WTO riots and the racially-charged Mardi Gras riots of 2001, which left one man dead. 

"Mayor Schell had an excellent vision for Seattle…You have to give him credit. But you have to be able to control the bureaucracy. WTO and Mardi Gras were defining issues. People felt like things got out of control," said then-King County Executive Ron Sims about Schell’s failed reelection campaign. 

Still, despite the allegations of mishandling by police — Norm Stamper retired and Gil Kerlikowske moved in during Schell’s term — and Schell himself (Dan Savage noted that Schell’s response to the riots made them “incalculably worse”) , Schell will also be remembered as someone who got a lot done during his single term. 

During Schell’s term, Seattle got the new City Hall, the Downtown Library, a 200 million dollar investment in new parks, 6 new community centers, QWest (now Century Link) field, and, for better or worse, the groundwork for Vulcan’s development of South Lake Union.

He was 76. 

Police found no signs of damage to the top of the Space Needle.

Some Amazon employee who was visiting town decided to send a drone he’d bought at a hobby shop out for a spin around the Space Needle (because this is Seattle and heaven knows there’s nothing else worth looking at), which ended in a fun lecture from SPD because, though it’s not technically illegal around here but UAVs have been kind of controversial lately.

If we were gambling ladies (we are), we’d wager that the City Council and SPD will be convening a committee about drone legality in the not-too-distant future. 

Thank goodness he didn’t knock over our one recognizable icon. 

No, the parks/City Attorney is not out to get everyone.

The City of Seattle is getting straight-up Pawnee.

As we near a vote that could really change/improve the way parks are funded, meetings are getting hostile and local newspaper columnists are doing their best to drudge up mistrust of the all-powerful Parks Department.

But really, everything at the Parks is fine. All is in order.

This morning, largely in response to everyone’s head-scratching about the strangely coincidental timing of Danny Westneat’s muckraking column on the subject, the City had this to say:

Earlier this year Kurt Zwar was charged in Seattle Municipal Court with one count of Removal/Destruction of Parks Property pursuant to Seattle Municipal Code18.12.070(B). The criminal charge reads:

Commit the crime of removing, destroying, mutilating or defacing any structure, lawn, monument, statue, vase, fountain, wall, fence, railing, vehicle, bench, shrub, tree, geological formation, plant, flower, lighting system, sprinkling system, gate, barricade or lock or other property lawfully in any park, or removing sand, soil, or sod from any park. Contrary to Seattle Municipal Code Section(s): 18.12.070(B)

The maximum penalty for this crime is 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Based upon the circumstances, the City did not seek any jail time but simply requested that Zwar perform a certain number of community service hours. If Zwar completed community service and other standard conditions, the City told him it would dismiss the charge.

The charge arose from Zwar’s unauthorized destruction of multiple trees on Seattle parks property.

The unauthorized destruction of property was investigated by the Police Department, then referred to the City Attorney’s Office for the filing of criminal charges. Yesterday, Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Christopher Williams requested the charge be dropped.

“I would like to thank the City Attorney’s Office for its help in following up with the Seattle Police report and Seattle Parks and Recreation staff reports about the destruction of trees at the park,” Williams wrote on July 24. “It is clear to us that Mr. Zwar broke the law by cutting down many trees in the “flyway” area.”

“Since the time that the trees were cut,” Williams said, “we terminated Mr. Zwar’s volunteer service agreement with Seattle Parks and Recreation and have excluded him from the park. In that time, Mr. Zwar has stayed away from the park and has not attempted to cut down any more trees.”

“We are satisfied with this outcome,” Williams said, “and are asking that you drop the charge against Mr. Zwar as soon as possible.”

Today, CAO dismissed the charge. Criminal Division Chief Craig Sims said: “The criminal charge was filed as there was a good-faith basis to believe Mr. Zwar’s actions violated the law. Our common practice is that we solicit the victim’s input when determining the appropriate resolution to a criminal matter. As the Parks Department Superintendent, Mr. Williams, was satisfied with the remedies achieved outside of the court of law, we will respect and honor his request to dismiss the criminal charge against Mr. Zwar.”

So yeah. Everything is fine.

Vote for parks. 

Where is this weird composite view of Seattle supposed to be?

As you definitely know because the internet exists, the trailer for the 50 Shades of Grey movie came out today which is really pretty zzzzz except for the fact that the film is technically set in Seattle (though it was filmed mostly in Vancouver). We know this because: 

…There’s a wee lil Space Needle in the poster!

Anyway, so the trailer came out and it is weirdly without a thousand Space Needle shots. it does, however, feature some buildings that look pretty familiar: 

…Though we’re pretty sure those two buildings are NOT next to each other IRL.

We are not exactly huge fans of terrible, terrible fan fiction, but, you know, not a lot of stuff is set in Seattle so we’re clearly paying a little attention. Plus, we have always wanted to live in the Escala

I love Seattle. I was born there wayyyyy back in ‘47. Haven’t lived there much since but my brother has from time to time. I have many relatives in the area. My biggest problem with Seattle now is the fact that the looney liberals have taken over the government…

An amazing comment on this HuffPo article that actually recommends some not-sucky things but also the Troll. 

Socialist candidate Jess Spear: “That’s not leadership”

This week, a weird thing happened over at the Stranger: There was dissent in their elections endorsement regarding the primary race for the position of Speaker of the House. While the paper formally endorsed long-time Democrat Frank Chopp, several members of the editorial board came out against him, issuing their own endorsement of socialist alternative candidate Jess Spear. 

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Spear follows in the footsteps of City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who se first big race was also against Chopp, wherein she netted an impressive 29% of the vote. Sawant later went on to improbably unseat long-time City Council Chair Richard Conlin, the protypical Old White Dude who was considered a shoo-in.

Spear led Sawant’s campaign, in addition to leading the successful fight for an city-wide increase in the minimum wage as an organizer for 15 Now. 

Despite ACLU lawyer and potential future candidate Alison Holcomb’s regrettable, down-the-middle, please-everyone rhetoric regarding Sawant, the fact is that the ruthless progressiveness of socialist candidates in Washington — and Seattle specifically — is actually working. That kind of ideals-based (in the truest sense), anti-corporation, pro-people language, which has often been considered political suicide, is helping. It’s changing things. It’s not just scary-talk.

And it has the potential to go further; in 2015, some of the City Council’s most complacent, do-nothing members are up for reelection and, post-Sawant, will actually have to bring their game faces. It’s really starting to feel like politicians in the city and state are going to have to do more than appease and that is awesome. 

We at Seattlish are all about socialist alternative candidates. We’re also into young women running for office. But more than even that, we’re into young women being allowed to speak for themselves. Regarding this race, there’s been a lot of talk about Jess Spear, but, we felt, not a lot of talk with her. 

So, we asked her. And, unsurprisingly, we like her a lot. 

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