Friday, July 30, 2010

The Odd Couple? The Sierra Madre Congregational Church and Mayor Joe Mosca

One thing that I got whipsawed on during last April's election was the "gay lifestyle" issue. I had never even mentioned the term for fear of inadvertently bringing the political correctness police upon my person. It got me anyway, but not in quite the way some might assume.

I first became aware that I had a bit of a situation while attending a campaign coffee at a supporter's house. A friend who lives just down the street from me, and about as loyal an advocate of my candidacy as I had last April, pulled me aside to confide something. A socially conservative Christian lady, and clearly uncomfortable with what she was about to share, she'd decided it was the right thing to do. It had to be said.

"John," she began. "People came to my house today and wanted to pray for me." Not being a particularly devoted Church kind of guy (I have an unequivocal faith in God, though many of the middlemen claiming to speak for Him have given me some pause), I put on my best look of concern. "Yes?" I asked. My neighbor cleared her throat and continued. "They're going to pray for me because I have one of your campaign signs in my front yard." She had my attention because, let's face it, this sounded vote threatening. "Why would my sign in your yard cause them to pray for you?"

"Because you support the Gay Agenda. They found you saying so on your blog."

They pretty much had me dead to rights on that one. There is an article around 300 or so posts back in the pile where I discussed my opposition to Proposition 8. I believe that anyone should be allowed to marry the individual of their choice, and it really isn't anyone's business who that person might be. I work in an industry where a lot of my coworkers are gay, and this government enforced denial of their freedom to marry has been especially hurtful to many of them. I offer no apologies for this opinion because I frankly cannot see how other people choose to live their lives is any of my business. Or yours, for that matter.

What seemed odd about this visitation my friend received from those counseling her against supporting me because of my opinion on gay marriage is that they made no mention of Joe Mosca. Joe, of course, is a noted supporter of the gay agenda, and shares in my belief that gay people should have the right to marry. And, like myself, he was also running for City Council.

So could this have been a little Swiftboating done on Joe's behalf? Those supporting the Bobblehead Ticket left precious little of that sort of thing on the table, so I personally wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. After all, I was also accused by some geniuses of wanting to outsource our volunteer fire department in order to save the city money.

In circles where this cause is a prominent concern, Joe Mosca's elevation as the first openly gay Mayor of Sierra Madre became a bit of an national sensation. Publications such as The Dallas Voice, Edge Boston and Edge San Francisco, Chicago Pride, Day Life, Queer Sighted, Curbed, along with many others, ran articles heralding Joe's political triumph. In the gay leaning media that week, Joe Mosca was a hero.

So if our Mayor, Joe Mosca, was to join the Sierra Madre Congregational Church, what would happen? Would he be a hero for them, too? Would he be allowed to ascend to high office there as well? I have often found that the widely suspected political alliance between Mosca and our Congregationalist friends to be an odd marriage of convenience. Joe, as a lockstep supporter of the Sacramento "develop big and at all costs" crowd, would certainly get a leg up from a Church that not only owns a large swath of our downtown area, but has also long yearned to build that kind of mixed use Condo Candy Land nonsense we can see in so many other cities. They stand to make some major green if they do. As they would have had the DSP not been stopped by Measure V, something Joe strongly opposed as well. So in that sense such a political partnership is clearly understandable.

Yet if you were to judge by what can be found on the SMCC website, particularly on the social issues we're concerned with here, these two parties are about as far apart as human beings can possibly get and still be on the same planet.

If you go to the Sierra Madre Congregational Church website and click on the link for the Elder Selection Process, you will find some rather stringent guidelines informing the faithful on the Church Elder selection process. Among "The Qualifications of an Elder" listed are these items:

- Self-controlled, disciplined, demonstrating moral integrity, in both public and private life and possessing a good reputation even outside the church (1 Timothy 3:2 7; Titus 1:7 8).

- The husband of one wife and leading his home well, with children who believe as well and live disciplined lives (1 Timothy 3:2, 4; Titus 1:6).

The key here is the reference to 1 Timothy 3:2. This is the Biblical passage that many Christian social conservatives have cited to buttress their arguments against such things as ordaining gays as ministers and church elders. These edicts are based on the words of the Apostle Paul, a legalistic fellow who constructed many of the laws that have governed churchly affairs over the last 2,000 or so years. Legalistic interpretations of the Gospels apparently being much easier for most folks to deal with than any of the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.

Peter Buck, Assistant Professor of Religion at Charleston Southern University, cites Paul's words in an article he boldly calls Signs of the Apocalypse:

The Presbyterian Church USA has been heading in this direction for years. In addition to the constant assault of the pro-gay agenda, the denomination lowered its standard for marriage last year in an effort to give the local presbyteries silent latitude in determining whether to ordain gay men or women or not. At last summer's General Assembly, the denomination noted to remove from their constitution these words adopted in 1996: "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness." So much for Paul's call for elders to be "a one woman man." (1 Timothy 3:2; a word-for-word translation.)

A Pastor by the name of Ken Silva adopts a similar viewpoint in an article entitled Bible Outs Gay Marriage. After several sweaty paragraphs on these matters, he draws this conclusion:

So in closing this first part, we look quickly at the ludicrous statement from Phyllis Tickle: "our Lord does not speak much about sexuality." How pious, "our Lord;" for sure, Satan is very pious. But the opening text I used above flies in the face of those foolish enough to put self at center; however, it is written in the last days - "People will be lovers of themselves (2 Timothy 3:2). Notice carefully that, concerning church doctrine, Tickle takes the emphasis off what God said - the law...Scripture" - and instead elevates the fickle feelings of human beings - "we have changed...we have evolved."

Again, Tickle is correct...but no the way she thinks. A sad result of the seeker sensitive Church Growth Movement is that evangelicalism has indeed changed; it has evolved...away from God's word.

Gay Christians have been working very hard to counter these kinds of arguments as notions about gay marriage and ordination have now reached a far wider level of public attention. Here the site Gay Christian has this to say on the matter:

Please don't let anti-gay Christian radicals steal your peace of mind. Some Christians use the words found in Romans 1:31 and 2 Timothy 3:3 against homosexuals. Their faulty thinking goes like this. It's only "natural" for men to love women and women to love men.

Gays and lesbians don't fall in love with the opposite sex (and straight Christians can't figure out why) so they conclude that same-sex love between gays and lesbians must be unnatural or against nature. It's a knee-jerk reaction for those Christians to also insist that "without natural affection" describes gays and lesbians.

I would hope that the Sierra Madre Congregational Church will speak out soon against these unfortunate attitudes, and affirm that their Elder selection process is open to all no matter how they choose to live their private lives.

BIG Wednesday

If you click here you will be taken to the SMCC's "BIG Wednesday" web page. Here they list a series of 5 electives designed to help parishioners enrich their lives as Christians. The topic we're interested in is the fifth one.

Wednesday Night Solutions: A video series by Henry Cloud and John Townsend that presents practical tools for developing life and relationships.

Henry Cloud and John Townsend are two Christian Psychologists with a lot to say about affairs of the heart, stressing in particular the need to "draw lines" between what is beneficial to you as a seeker, and those things that might not be so good for you. Their company, Cloud-Townsend Communications, has sold 100's of thousands of books and videos, and apparently they command handsome fees on the socially conservative Christian lecture circuit as well.

Now the approach here is decidedly gentler than what we saw from the fire breathers above. Their take seems to be along the lines of "love the sinner, but hate the sin." Something which includes the clear message that through your love you can save the souls of those who have "chosen the gay lifestyle."

There are two weblinks that show the Cloud-Townsend videos dealing with gay lifestyle issues. On the first one (linked here) the following question is asked:

My teenage son seems effeminate to me. Even as a child, he never wanted to do typical boy things. I'm worried about his sexuality. What should I do?

On the second weblink (click here) a similar question is asked:

My son is gay. Should I try to make him change or accept him as he is?

In a printed "question and answer" format, Dr. Henry Cloud discusses these delicate matters for us. The overtly "tough love" approach seems to be eschewed here, but the message remains the same. The "gay lifestyle" is wrong, but that doesn't mean you should stop caring for the sinner. Within reason, of course. After all, not everyone is to be saved.

Question: One of my good friends recently announced that he's gay. He knows I don't approve of his lifestyle, but I'm committed to being his friend. However, he's begun acting differently around me and doesn't share things like he used to. How do I let him know where I stand?

Dr. Henry Cloud: If he is a believer, then you have a different role to play. Again, the first step is to show him the love of Jesus and to connect with his heart. He may not talk as he used to with you because he doesn't know if you'll accept him. Remember, grace is unmerited favor - meaning, he doesn't need to be straight to merit your favor.

If he continues to not respond to your attempts to be a good friend, tell him that you sense some distance between you and want to know what is wrong so you can be close friends again. Ask him if the distance is related to his recent announcement. If it is, let him know that you're still his friend and don't want your friendship to end. Your values are certainly important here, but more important is God's love, which can be shown by your friendship. In that way, you may be a real help to him, instead of being a judge who just takes a stand against him. Talk to people who have experience in ministering to those in his lifestyle. Learn from their insight, compassion and honesty.

Now I suspect that this growing distance Doctor Cloud is discussing between the concerned Christian friend and the wayward gay person stems more from the annoyance of privacy invasion than anything else. And Cloud does prepare that caring friend for the disappointment of failure, and the possible need to pack it up and move on.

Jesus was the one through whom both grace and truth were realized (John 1:17). The kind of friend you can be is one who shows both. Sometimes that means showing patience and sometimes it means separating yourself from the situation (1 Corinthians 5:11). Seek answers with love, prayer and wisdom. God bless your efforts to be redemptive.

Redemptive meaning here, of course, saving that lost soul from being gay. Something that I doubt the gay person is at all interested in, even if he could do something about it.

So what I'm going to assume is that this widely suspected relationship between our Mayor and the Sierra Madre Congregational Church must be based on something other than shared social values. Which would apparently make this yet another case where Real Estate Development has trumped ideals.


  1. Sir Eric, you know painfully well that politics makes very strange bedfellows (bad pun, sorry). The biblical saying also applies, "Love of money is at the root of all evil".

  2. Metro SophisticateJuly 30, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    Er, uuuummmm, WTF?, I uh... Well! Who'd a thunk it? Quite a departure from the water issue or am I missing the parallels...

    Not being a Christian nor gay it's all mox nix to me, but I can see how some could get their underwear in a bundle... it's going to be a roller coaster kinda day here at Tattler Central.

    I'll have more to say on this after I've digested my oatmeal and located my dentures which fell out when my jaw dropped.

  3. You've done it now, Crawford! You've touched on the untouchable (is it being gay in Sierra Madre or delving into the workings of the Contributionist Church?). Can Rooster and the porn photographer be far behind? Whose side will the Looney Views News come down on (or support), or will it just be an all out attack on the Tattler for sinking to the level of truth in reporting?

  4. Right Reverend PurseJuly 30, 2010 at 7:53 AM

    Even Condo Candyland needs a church!

  5. "Sweaty paragraphs" aside; no one who is unrepenantantly practicing sexual immorality, whether heteroexual or homosexual, is a member in right standing in an actual church of Jesus Christ.

    While everyone is welcome, within reason, to live any way they wish, the Christian must live according to what God's Word in the Bible says. I hope that helps.

    Now, if you don't mind, I suddenly feel as if I must take a shower. ;-)

  6. You know, John, I love the face that you discuss topics head on, rather than hide behind the bush.

    I have never heard you be a "homophobe" which is what you were accused of during the election. It was a "trump" card, Mosca wanted to pull out of his hat if he lost. I don't personally care what your sexual preference is as along as it doesn't interfere with a job needing to be done. It's unfortunate that so many people focus on such an insignificant thing.

  7. Nine water rate protest letters against the city and its mayor. People, business, and churches vote with their wallet.

  8. Sierra Madre and California and the U.S are in moral decline. Democracy has failed, the population has now voted in dictators, because they want entitlements and "social justice"

    The "audacity of narcissism", it reaches all the way to the top, now doesn't it?

    Good luck, Sierra Madre.

  9. Your testimony is important here, Ken. Thanks!

  10. I couldn't care less what the mayor's gender prefernces or identities are.

    I DO care that he lied to get elected.

    Instead of gay or straight, or somewhere in between, I look for


  11. 8:07, yes, but who is doing the translating?

  12. Whether it was the DSP or proposed zoning changes benefitting the church, I don't recall Mosca ever casting a vote against the Cong's interests.

    If memory serves me, it didn't even bother him when the church built a school -- or a building with classes for children as the church described it -- right under the City Council's eyes.

  13. Focus on the ChurchJuly 30, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    I didn't read this as an indictment of Mayor Mosca but the rather curious juxtaposition of a homophobic church intent on subverting the decision making bodies of the City of Sierra Madre, i.e., the City Council and the Planning Commission. Mosca and his partner appear to be in a committed relationship (it has lasted longer than some other elected officials' who claim to be heterosexual) and are the parents of a perfectly delightful young child. Let's bring more light on the SMCC's relationship with past and present city luminaries like which commissions and committees have they infiltrated and to which civic organizations have they appointed each other.

  14. I guess that Joe would relish any opportunity to showcase his graciousness and sunny disposition in the face of bigotry. Civil to all, honest to none. Sort of like a set up, a baiting method. After all, it's hard to go after the poor-me-I'm-the-helpless-victim-without-you vote unless you can make somebody the bully.

  15. Focus on the Church @8:42, that sounds like an excellent suggestion - until one recalls that Mr. Mosca accused Sierra Madreans of being homophobic.
    That bit of slander, or is it libel because it was printed in the papers he gave interviews to, changed my attitude considerably.
    Dirty politics, and Sierra Madre did not deserve it.

  16. The competition for victimhood in Sierra Madre is ferocious.

    We all need to put up a sign on our mirror:

    I am looking at the saddest story I've ever heard

  17. Don't hold your breathJuly 30, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    Mosca needs to make a public apology for smearing the residents of Sierra Madre and his opponents in the last election.
    He also needs to make a public apology for lying about his support for the public's right to vote on the disastrous Downtown Specific Plan.

  18. The people of Sierra Madre are just the eggs Joe needed to break on his way to national politics with the gay rights cause.

  19. People in this town do not are about gayness. They care about less traffic, not over-building everywhere, safety for their kids, making ends meet. I'd say the gayness issue is way, way down on anybody's radar here. Maybe that's why Sierra Madre was seen as a good place to start the climb up the political ladder.

  20. There are gay couples in every neighborhood in this town.

    1. A town this small is a neighborhood ;)

  21. Surely the most controversial thing written so far this morning is this parenthetical whammy from the 8:42 author:

    "(it has lasted longer than some other elected officials' who claim to be heterosexual)"


  22. Well, there is one thing you can say about life in the world. It does have its hypocrisies. And hypocrites enough to create them.

  23. Money Changer in the TempleJuly 30, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Most people in town new Mosca is "gay" when he ran the first time, even tho it was not talked about, and won a second time. It's not about sexual preference, it's about what is important to the town. Twisting the truth, taking credit for policies he did not set,dishonesty and using out-of -town political organizations to help in a town that had been historically non-partisan, are the issues. It does not matter if someone is gay, or whether they are attracted to the same sex or not, or whether you cheat on your spouse, as long as it doesn't
    get in the way of your job.
    On the otherhand, religious leaders that speakout of both sides of their mouths, makes moral leadership from them suspect.
    They need to reconcile where they stand, one way or another.
    Perhaps they have a god that worships the dollar, and believe a "means to an end" is acceptable.


    Then his true colors changed of hypocriscy that he was supported by bartdoyle&co and supported the BIA and REAL ESTATE.Because of him the vote switched from 3-2 to 2-3. He is a liar and a disgusting inept puppet for Buchanan and Doyle.

    The TRUTH is that he made being gay an issue the second election so that he could use that as a political cause, and bring in people who would be sympathetic to a cause without all the facts.

    John, you are like many Americans who believe in the rights of all people to be free to marry whomever they like. Unfortunately, Joe does not represent most wonderful, creative, kind, honest, ethical, generous and well educated and articulate highly responsible gay and lesabian people. Joe is who he is because he is NOT honest and he is manipulative and greedy. He does not care about anyone. Being gay has nothing to do about all of this. He is just not a nice person.

  25. Stay out of people's bedroomsJuly 30, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    People need to get out more and meet more gay people and understand that gay people are GODS people and stop judging.

    If churches spent more time and money on after school literacy programs, and helping abused women, and teaching men not to beat up children and women, then Jesus' message as the Prince of Peace would surely be followed.

  26. That Cloud/Townsend crap is laughable. Can you imagine some unctuous little church person hanging around prying into your personal life, all in the name of "God's love?" Give me a break. I'd show the a******* the door in a heartbeat.

  27. In one respect, the congs in their attitude towards gays, and the sitting majority on the council are very much alike: they both presume that they know more than you do, and have the higher moral ground.

  28. Joe does not represent all homosexuals.

    If you do not know or have any homosexual friends in your life you are missing our in rich and wonderful relationships.

    Thanks for bringing this topic up, Sir Eric.
    Our town is richer for our gay community.
    And, by the way, not every one of our gay community respects Joe.

  29. 8:58, you can expect a public apology from Mosca just about the same time you can expect the Congregational Church to select openly gay elders.

  30. 10:45, thanks for that. It's good to know that character and integrity come first, even when someone holds the same political wish list that you do.

  31. 10:30

    GODS? I don't think all gay people are Gods, anymore than I think all straight people are Gods, or all women are Gods and all men are satanic.

    Gay people and straight people commit crimes, are abusive to spouses, children.
    They occupy our prisons same as straight people do.
    Gay people and Straight people also are some of our finest and most talented citizens. People who are decent, honest and contribute to society.

    Just because you are gay doesn't mean you are a nice person (or a bad person).
    Just because you are gay doesn't mean you have any integrity (as in Joe Mosca).
    Just because you're gay doesn't mean your smarter or better than someone who is not gay.
    Most importantly:
    JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE GAY, doesn't mean you are ENTITLED to special treatment any more than the rest of your fellow citizens.
    Same concept also applies to race, color or religion.

    Your comment is not accurate 10:30.

  32. The same truths always prevail. Money talks, everything else is just BS.

  33. Great statements Old K, but I think the earlier poster had just left off an apostrophe, as in God's, belonging to God, as opposed to gods, as they're perfect.

  34. There are a lot of posters here that are missing the point of John's article. It's not an article about being gay. Instead, it's about the rank hypocrisy of our Mayor and his supporter, a church in town.

  35. 11:09. Agreed. This is an article about political convenience trumping closely held values.

  36. I stand corrected, punctuation.

    Old Kentucky, like most everyone in Sierra Madre is also a victim.

    Here it comes:
    I was an inmate for 10 years of the juvenile detention center known as the Los Angeles City School District, as someone accurately dubbed it.
    Therefore, you must overlook my grammer, spelling, punctuation errors. Othewise, you are a "I have a better education than you do" bigot! LOL

    I posted your suggestion on my mirror...I am looking at the saddest story I've ever heard.

    I challenge anyone to do this without LAUGHING OUT LOUD. You can't.

  37. I would argue that If political convenience trumps values, than they are not closely held.

  38. As I recall, no candidate made sexuality an issue in the last campaign -- except Joe. And, the only thing I've learned about the gay community is their sense of entitlement. I could give a rats a...s about someone's preferences as long as it doesn't interfere with me and my community. From what I read today, it has.

  39. Say hey, we're on to the chicken or egg of ends and means.
    I say the ends are the means.

  40. 11:20
    You make good points.
    I'm pretty sure the majority of people agree with you, I do.
    This is not a GAY issue, not a CHURCH ISSUE, not even a MONEY issue.
    It's all about always is. Just ask him. Joe closed.
    This is starting to be as boring as Joe is.

  41. It's an integrity issue.

  42. To the congregational church:

    The Urantia Book Paper 83 The marriage Institution:

    83:1.2 The family, which grows out of marriage, is itself a stabilizer of the marriage institution together with the property mores. Other potent factors in marriage stability are pride, vanity, chivalry, duty, and religious convictions. But while marriages may be approved or disapproved on high, they are hardly made in heaven. The human family is a distinctly human institution, an evolutionary development. Marriage is an institution of society, not a department of the church. True, religion should mightily influence it but should not undertake exclusively to control and regulate it.

  43. Lets pray for the church, that it may change it's waysJuly 30, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    That dang church better pray for its own collective soul. I personally like gay persons, I have chickens and it is very common to see a hen have babies, be submissive and then get older grow a spur and start to crow. Scientists have found that women after menopause become more male and agressive, men become nesting and more gentle in fact is says their brain actually shrinks, hormonally we have a great cross over. The bible is edited from 66 books, while it has great human truths in it, it is not signed nor written by god.

    There is a great rapidity against homosexuality in the christian churches. That is very sad to me. What I am against most are closet bi sexual
    men who marry women and do not tell them, and use them as beards or trophy wives and have extramarital affairs and/or practice pedophillia. Of course I am concerned with grown men who call their wives "mommy" too.

    I drove up to Sierra Madre right before the election, and had to do a turn around, I saw a sign on that white church, that said they were basically discussing political ethics, does anyone remember? I thought "What the Hell" is a church even doing discussing things like that. God doesn't care about sex, only what is in your heart and what your soul is evolving toward.

    So who did the congregational church back in the election?


  44. The Man Whose Head ExpandedJuly 30, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Male brain shrinkage is not always the case. I for one have a brain that is now twice the size of what it was when I was a younger man. And while I have yet to perfect this, I am now working on causing my refrigerator door to open using brain power alone, then have a beer bottle to sail through the air and into my waiting hand.

  45. Well, the posts had avoided getting to out there, until 12:31.
    Not a bad record considering the potential controversies around the topic.

  46. If the" mayor" decides to start pushing for development abuses by the Congs.....everyone needs to get the pitchforks and torches and storm city hall. The Congs have always been in bed with the dirts. The fact we haven't heard much is disturbing. Crawford may be on to something...... everyone watch for "signs".

    Thanks, Crawford for alerting us to this potential new outrage.

  47. Legal Legal Levin is still at it. When pressed by Mary Ann she declared (not quoted exactly) that: If the water tax was raised above the current proposal Prop 218 with protests would apply, If the water tax proposal was "shaved" a little no Prop 218 needed and no protest could be made, If the tiered proposal was changed upward for some Prop 218 with protest would apply, Legal Levin continued down this road advising "that Prop 218 is a complicated mess" (her statement exactly)

    And Our Council and City Atttorney have proposed for us a tax hike based on "a complicated mess"?
    You must be kidding!

    Intresting that the City of Downey fired their City Attorney yesterday. Too many shenanigans there too?

  48. Bell has probably taken a big hit for the team and done us all a favor.
    Expect more career changes in more cities.

  49. The best government is small government. The one we have is bloated beyond belief.

  50. The Urantia Book? Oh my God! I haven't heard that that one for 40 years. Right up there with Scientology and the Book of Mormon!

  51. Speaks the truth and has initials of J.C..

    a) Jesus Christ
    b) John Crawford
    c) All of the above

  52. 12:54 What is so out there? The brain statistics are published in a book called "Male Menopause" by Jed Diamond, the god and chickens parts are mine, what is so out there? Oh Puleeeeze? There is a good chapter called "The denial of male menopause and the rise of "monster boy mentality".

  53. 1:20

    you forgot the Koran.

  54. Many roads to God, just get thereJuly 30, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    1:20 I have read all of them on my search for god, but it is obvious you haven't. If you had it would be impossible for you to make that statement. I have been a student of the urantia book for 34 years. The book is online, I like the Truthbook site best. Go search whatever you want, but remember people that know god do not have to fight about god or books.

    Back to the topic, there is a reason for the separation of church and state. Politics is what got Jesus Christ crucified. Go With God

  55. Is the Congregational Church's activisim in politics a violation of the Tax Exempt Status they claim?

  56. When you diss the Koran, you are dissing the single fastest growing organized religion in the world.

  57. Point well taken 1:42.
    I don't disagree with your observations, but I do disagree with your conclusions.
    As people age they have a chance at becoming wiser, better human beings.
    It's not 100% hormones.
    And to go from there to closeted bis & pedophiles was what prompted the puleeze.
    old geezer

  58. Respnse 1:11 pm. Excuse me the city attorney said that if they shave off some of the cost of the water rate hike the city would not have to renotice the water customers but if they change the water tiers they would. If that isn't a crock any change in the water fees has to be renoticed---mailed in writing to the water customers. HOld her feet to fire.

    Still say the water notice was not noticed properly city did not put in writing how the votes would be tallied no written mention of one vote per parcel...has to be in writing...and not referred to a website.

  59. Request for information on salries of all employees, management and attornies of city hall. Just needs to be turned in ---in writing with a copy acknowledged to the city managers office ---public knowledge. Sandra Levin does not have a contract with the city she is month to month but if she is facilitating this new council they will never request to have her leave.

  60. IN the news:

    "On Monday, the Pasadena City Council voted to suspend members' annual cost-of-living pay raises, with one councilman saying the news from Bell reflected badly on city officials all over the United States.

    The City Council in Indio cut the salaries of its city manager, police chief and other top officials by 10 percent, saying in these hard economic times it could no longer afford to pay them as much."

    So while the whole country is in a recession why did the City of sierra Madre's employees and the management just recently get a 4% (percent ) cost of living raise????

  61. Thank you geezer, I agree we grow older and wiser, I did not mean to have a conclusion, I was a disc jockey in a gay club back in the 70's I had some of the best times with my gay friends. I guess my jump from gay to closet bi's was over the with holding issue. Given truth folks can make a decision, it is the ones that don't tell the truth, like bush, cheney, in politics, that seem to have pushed us to a brink. I guess I should have worded it better. So away from that, why do Sierra Madreans have their election voting places in Churches anyway? In my city we use school cafeterias or park buildings.

  62. That Cloud Kookooland stuff is nuts.

  63. pretty good listenerJuly 30, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    2:24, here's what I got from the attorney's remarks:
    Any increase up to the amount the city noticed, and the protest thereof failed, is ready to go at any time, even with a new council, as long as the water fee study is valid.
    Any change over that amount, or to the tier structure, triggered a new prop 218 round.
    Any amount up to the noticed amount? green light baby.

  64. That's what I heard too, 3:21. That's what the big hoopla was at the meeting - Zimmerman, and several speakers trying to get the Council to say the rate increase was moot and they just wouldn't. Just looked around at each other, down at the dais or anywhere but at the audience. Levin made it very clear that anything less than the City proposal was good to go. No more notices.

  65. Was at the Council meeting. Actually, what Zimmerman said was that he had heard individual council members state that the rate increase was moot. However because he was "cautiously pessimistic," he wanted the entire Council to commit not to move forward with a rate hike without permitting the voters a second opportunity to oppose the hike. The Council would not make that commitment. Only Zimmerman was clever enought to ask for a binding commitment. If you watch the replay, you'll see the other speakers made comments suggesting that they believed the rate increase was moot, but dind't seek any commitment from the Council.

  66. I might be getting the hang of this.
    Because the city said the rates will go up to this, and the tiers will be set like that, and not enough protest letters came in (according to a very fishy number chosen in some kind of guesstimate based on an inaccurate list), the city can proceed to do what it has noticed.
    Or as Mrs. Angus had it, saying to the council, "You can damn well do as you please."

  67. BTW, JC's article is about Joe Mosca and the Cong Church as great big hypocrites.

    The trolls have steered you off topic.

  68. I'm Kurt's biggest fan, but why are we talking about him when Crawford is writing about the alliance between Joe and the Congs.

  69. How long do you suppose these folks will be able to go on "winning" elections on false premises, ramrodding utility rate hikes (this is the second one, the first was UUT) and on and on and on? The residents don't seem to have the will to shut them down despite the obvious maneuverings to take the community into expensive development. I mean it's obvious they don't give a rat's patootie about people.

  70. Especially the SMCC, as hypocrites, that is. What smiley faced holier than thou Christianists they are. Dumbing up about how they feel about the gays, and trying to cozy up to Mayor Mosca, tacitly sending out churchies to speak out against Crawford, Watts and Alcorn to get a Council in their collective pocket so they could get around the Cities ordinances that keeps them from completing their building program. Sure Joe, we'll vote for you. Now let's talk about our 6-story antenna so we can beam our message to the faithful; and wouldn't it be great if your child could attend our school (when it's built)...

  71. How interesting that Susan Henderson no longer has Sierra Madre churches as advertisers... real estate business so good she doesn't have room for Christ?

  72. I've like to see their reaction if Joe, Matt and the little one joined them on a Sunday morning. Think they'd be acknowledged from the pulpit and welcomed?

  73. 5:18 & 5:19, the water rate hike is an overdevelopment dream.
    Joe's snuggling up to the congs, and the congs snuggying up to Joe is an overdevelopment dream. The topics are intricately related.

  74. Scroll up to this morning's poster, Ken Silva (in blue), and click on his name. The following is from his website;

    “Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries is to be highly commended for having the courage and conviction to expose the aberrations and heresies prevalent in the arena of religion, particularly in today’s Evangelical landscape, even issues many who are considered to be leaders within conservative, biblically orthodox and theologically Reformed circles are far too uncomfortable or frightened to touch. As a Christian talk show host who has interviewed many prominent scholars, theologians and apologists, I truly consider Ken Silva to be one of my very favorite guests, and eagerly look forward to many more opportunities to provide him with a platform to voice his views in the year to come. Thank you, Ken, for all you do for the furtherance of the Kingdom of our Sovereign Christ!”

    Chris Arnzen
    Host of ”Iron Sharpens Iron“

  75. Today's blog went up about 7:00 am; Ken Silva posted at 8:07.

    Q: How do you think he found out he was mentioned on the Tattler?
    A: God works in mysterious ways his miracles to perform.

    Be afraid Tattlers. Be very afraid.

  76. The key to understanding politics and government in Sierra Madre is that most everything is connected to real estate and development, which means money. Be it the water rate hike, repaving the streets, the City Council's burning need to dominate the General Plan, it is all pretty much the same. So if it seems that people are talking about different things, it doesn't necessarily mean the conversation is off topic.

  77. Ah 5:53, he's just got a google alert for his name or something like that. Why our very own Sir Eric has the same thng. How else do you think he got all those news blurbs about our mayor?

  78. 5:53 - it is far more mundane that that. You can register your name and organization with Google Alerts (or something similar), and as soon as those key words appear somewhere you are notified by email. What Silva's rapid response tells me is that he lives on his computer squabbling with people about the Bible and gays.

  79. Wow 5:57, the post of the thread!

  80. You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty. - Jessica Mitford

  81. Eric,

    As a pastor, it's my undeserved privilege to serve for the Lord.

    If I can help, feel free to contact me, k. As one who is a former professional musician I've made friends with a number of LGBT folks.

    And this issue is in my paternal family as well as my niece is out as a lesbian. So, I don't come at this from any position other than what the Bible says.

  82. Ken, while these insights into your personal life are undoubetdly fascinating, they are also besides the point. I find this attempt to limit your responsibilty to defending "what the Bible says," or what one must do to belong to a church, to be sadly disingenuous. In California we had something called Proposition 8, which sought - successfully - to use the full power of state government to prevent gays from marrying. Fully supported by people saying things very similar to what you have said here. Which has led be to believe that while you claim to be little more than a humble pastor defending the Word of God, in reality you wouldn't think twice about using the full power of Caesar to enforce your petty squabbles with those whose lifestyle may be different than yours.

  83. Pastor Silva, would you please provide us with the Greek text on which you base your claims?
    Thank you

  84. The Apostle Paul spoke Greek, did he not?

  85. The SMCC is artfully impolitic. After All Saints got into hot water a few years back due to activism, the Contributionists have remained publically aloof from all such secular activities. Does that mean they are not arranging members of committees and commissions just below the surface? You may decide for yourself. The Simpsons and former Planning Commissioner Brandley have been less active (bad business decisions, really dumb high visibility) in efforts to push through the SMCC's "master plan" for the takeover of the Four Corners real estate empire at Sierra Madre Boulevard and Hermosa. It has been postulated that the church is actively engaged in negotiations with the SNF site now that it has lost its COE; it's a matter of zoning - something the current Mayor is seemingly being cultivated to fast track for the Sierra Madre Congregational Church Village of Sierra Madre. Stay tuned; something is on the ascendancy for late summer/early fall.

  86. 10:16, the New Testament is in Greek.
    As far as we know, Jesus and his early followers spoke Aramaic.
    Greek was the language of the educated classes, so Paul the tax collector probably knew it for business purposes.
    Jesus would not have known it anymore than a skilled craftsman needed to.
    If you want to understand a text, you must work in the original language.

  87. Why would Joe Mosca be pushing the interests of people with viewpoints such as the ones the SMCC has?

  88. Sorry, it was Matthew who was the tax man.
    Paul was just into general persecution of early Christians.

  89. Linguist, I just checked my New American Standard Translation - it's in English. And besides very few churchies have ever the read the bible be it in English, Aramaic, Greek or American. But you can bet your pricey education that they can quote it as well as dictate to all the rest just how God and the carpenter want them to live.

  90. fair memory skillsJuly 31, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    10:33, did you read the article?
    It ends with:
    "So what I'm going to assume is that this widely suspected relationship between our Mayor and the Sierra Madre Congregational Church must be based on something other than shared social values. Which would apparently make this yet another case where Real Estate Development has trumped ideals."

  91. 10:43, perhaps just like contemporary society is into general persecution of the LGBT community? Nothing new under the sun.

    I really believe that if God wanted me to know something he would be far more direct than chatting it up with a few idle middle easterners and suggesting they play the telephone game down through the centuries - and through aramaic, hebrew, greek, latin, catholic, protestant, and Pastor Silva. God never asked me for 10% of my income so that he can drive around in limos wearing Armani suits...

  92. 10:56, you bring to mind a wonderful example of torturing religious writings. A young, eager pastor of an evangelical Christian outreach group was preaching about the scripture about it being easier for a rich man to get into heaven than a camel to get through "the eye of a needle." This form of evangelical Christianity liked prosperity, so that scripture needed some real thunking. He said the the 'eye of the needle" was actually a large commodious archway, through which camels easily passed.

  93. I'm still trying to reconcile two of every animal on earth when Kangaroos and American Bison were unknown in Noah's neighborhood. Oh, and of course just where Adam and Eve's sons found their wives when there were no other humans in the area. I'm simple like that.

  94. The relationship between the mayor and the church is very clear. They have the same agenda. They both want development. The church, because it wants a mega campus including a school and dorms. Joe wants development to serve his BIA and development masters. The church will support anyone (no matter their lifestyle) if it gets them what they want. Joe will support anything if it gets him what he wants. Both Joe and the church are self centered and self serving and neither care about the city or its residents.

  95. Saint John the tax collectorJuly 31, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    It is easier to pass through the anus of a camel than to get a dollar out of a rich man.

  96. Split a piece of wood, I am thereJuly 31, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Amen, Dear Mod, and we know what happened to Caesar.

    10:21 Thanks for the insightful insight impolitical hah? Artful dodging elders?

    11:11 The Urantia book

  97. IRONY: The Congs will Pray like hell for the sinner Joe, but ask anyawy and know that Jesus is on their side. They will continue to quote scripture and prove their righeteousness to everyone.

    In the meantime, there will be a homosexual scandal at the Cong Church, which they will try to cover-up, if their has not already been one.

    Always happens, always will.

  98. OH, yes, like the great Christian Evangalest, and great authority on Why Gays Are so Sick and such Horrible People!


    May 2101 caught returning from Europe from a 10 day trip with a young man he found on RENTBOY.

    No coincidence there. Just HYPROCRICY....

    Reality does suck, thanks.

  99. Can we say Ted Haggard?

  100. Never understood why Christians label others, and then back up all their "hatred" by saying "it is in the Bible."

    I always ask "would Jesus act this way?"

    Most deeply religious sincere people never talk, they just act, and their actions speak volumnes.

    Leave others alone.Live your life and stop believing others who sin also....

  101. A great researcher has died. Mr Christopher Story, apparently passed on July 14, 2010.
    his last post before the one announcing his passing was that GHW Bush had tried to kill him with a mysterious illness, he was quoted to say he would follow up with the story at a later date, he had heard from his many deep cover contracts they were surprised he was still alive. He stated that GHW Bush and Jeb had told Obama that if he did not play along, he would request the supreme court to investigate nationalized versus naturalized citizenship. I looked everyday, and was worried, then yesterday they posted notification of his death and the post I believe was July 11, was missing.
    He was a great man, an excellant researcher and after 25 years of researching the same people, including some we speak of on the tattler, gave the barrington boys hell.

    Love you Tatts, be careful

  102. @11:01, you're close. Due to a mistranslation from the Aramic to Greek in the old testament, the "night door" became the needle's eye. The night door is an opening in the big gates to a walled city that allows people to get in after hours. If they bring a loaded camel, they'd have to unload it and have it walk through on its knees. Hence the concept of "letting go of baggage" to get to the safe haven, which is difficult in most transactions. Birth, death, spiritual transformation, whatever. Buddhists use other metaphors...

  103. Hey, glad to see Sierra Madre back in the blog title!

  104. JS, do you mean from Hebrew to Aramaic to Greek, because you mention the "old" testament. And I would have to see the exact texts to investigate.
    Nice interpretation though.
    I'm more simple minded, and figure that Matthew 19:24 was saying don't be greedy.
    Gross materialism and conspicuous consumption have been on the old Earth for a long time.

  105. Never thought I'd get into a parsing of biblical exegesis on the Tattler Board, but I guess in here anything's possible to get a point across. Check the link above, it's a completely unresolved issue, just like a lot of old testament. As 10:56 pointed out, it's playing the old telephone game which opens the door to infinite interpretations. Kinda like one hand clapping - all you can do is try to think about it for yourself.

  106. I agree 5:50!

    Now if we could just get that picture back, of Sierra Madreans running and screaming.

    The one that truthfully reflects what politics are like here.

  107. Sorry 4:13, but your story about the mistranslation from ARAMAIC to Greek is flat wrong.

    The night door was a gate into Jerusalem , but apparently did not exist until sometime after the 9th century AD. It was small, however, and a camel had to kneel to get through. Also, the New Testmanet uses more than one word for needle and they all refer to a needle that is used to sew clothes and not a gate.

  108. The "regime" that runs Sierra Madre, consisting of Doyle, Buchanan, Mosca, Levin, Aguilar and their bobbleheads, Walsh and Moran...are a real and present danger to this town. Now and in the future.
    They are controlled by the "shadow government" consisting of the BIA, the CAR and last but not least......the CROOKS in SACRAMENTO.

    All you religious Tattlers here, please PRAY for the people of Sierra Madre and their advocates, MacGillivray and Shollenberger. Include our loyal correspondent, Crawford. The mainstream media in this town is controlled by the regime and their "shadow handlers" in Sacramento.

  109. The Gods are my caretakers; I shall not stray;
    Side by side they lead me in the beautiful paths and glorious refreshing of life everlasting.
    I shall not, in this Divine Presence, want for food nor thirst for water.
    Though I go down into the valley of uncertainty or ascend up into the worlds of doubt
    Though I move in loneliness or with the fellows of my kind,
    Though I triumph in the choirs of light or falter in the solitary places of the spheres,
    Your good spirit shall minister to me, and your glorious angel will comfort me.
    Though I descend into the depths of darkness and death itself,
    I shall not doubt you nor fear you,
    For I know that in the fullness of time and the glory of your name
    You will raise me up to sit with you on the battlements on high.

    48:6.9 That is the story whispered in the night season to the shepherd boy. He could not retain it word for word, but to the best of his memory he gave it much as it is recorded today.

  110. Happy Happy Cremation of CaresAugust 1, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    Good picture, you know that little arnold is up in bohemian grove, murdoch too. God forgive me but I hope they get poison ivy on their exposed winkies.

  111. Originally I posted the story about the eager young evangelist explaining away the rich man/eye of the needle thing as an example of the use and abuse of scripture. That fellow and his group wanted to be ok with being rich, and Jesus doesn't actually seem to give the heavenly stamp of approval to great personal wealth.

    How hard people have worked, are working, on that image, Camels, gates, rich, burdened, lighten up, take apart the text. Might be one of those things where what the words say is what the words mean.

  112. In the begining....In the end...and In between basically an interpretation of nonsense. Obviously there is a God and a Universe. Man has put God aside in favor of Religion which has been mistranslated into garbage and causes more predjuice and misundrestanding than what God ever intended. Preachers man your pulpits and and spread the Gospel according to you. Garbage smells!

  113. Religion and politics sure don't mix

  114. "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness."

  115. Marx was talking about false religion.

    And thanks Tattler for hosting religion and politics!