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First Baptist Church assistant minister resigns

Original post made by Love Thy Neighbor, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on May 20, 2018

...After saying some pretty uncharitable things.

"However, he also criticized Palo Altans, saying, "I believe Palo Alto is a ghetto of wealth, power and elitist liberalism by proxy, meaning that many community members claim to want to fight for social justice issues, but that desire doesn't translate into action."

Interesting, usually a minister is better at looking for the great need rather than focusing on the where his envy and judgment of others rests. This sounds like a backhanded call for densification, which is part of a manipulative narrative developers have forwarded despite densification actually CAUSING costs to go up and low-income residents being displaced. I'm tired of people claiming to care about social justice using false narratives that only further that destructive developer-centric steamrolling that is destroying the very balance he supposedly cares about. The attitude he expresses is ironically that of some of the most hypocritical liberals among us, who are the very ones pushing that narrative. (The false narrative goes something like this: the only solutions to all problems is denser housing and busting zoning, as if companies wouldn't bring in yet more people if there were more places to put them, as Hong Kong discovered. Anyone who disagrees or cares about the environment, like liberals used to, hates poor people and must therefore be a rich selfish closeted rightwing voter.)

If the minister looked, he would see as I do, the many people hanging on in the Bay Area, including in Palo Alto, by the skin of their teeth, but he'd have to realize that a salary of $150,000 here equates to about $20,000 or $25,000 in many other parts of the country. These are people making a good salary, who are not wealthy people. Our church can't even afford a church secretary, much less an assistant pastor, but it serves a more diverse population that the 1st Baptist so maybe he just never gets out of that neighborhood to meet anyone else.

This assistant minister was right to resign, but it doesn't sound like he is doing so in a spirit of love and service. Perhaps he can find a way back to learning about ministry, and finding a way to serve in love rather than resentment and condemnation. Jesus said Love your Neighbor as yourself. The Bible says Judge not that you be not judged, and that judgment is God's job, not ours.

The Bible exhorts us to take the beam out of our own eye before pointing out the mote in our neighbor's. Jesus also said that it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven -- such a place might have been a good opportunity for a loving ministry. I suspect the young minister fell in with the PAF crowd who have no idea who they are really carrying water for, and who think anyone who disagrees with their conclusion about densifying Palo Alto willy nilly as the answer to all problems (as it was NOT in Hong Kong) is a wealthy fake liberal. I suspect he just fell in with the wrong crowd, locals who mistake uwittingly carrying water for developers with social justice.

Comments (1)

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 20, 2018 at 7:59 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Interesting comments. Thanks. His comments and the responses he's gotten on SFGate are giving Palo ALto a bad name. This reminds me of of Kate Downing's massive misleading pr campaign that Palo Alto was inhospitable to tech companies.

You'll recall she kept misquoting former Mayor Burt's comment that PA doesn't want technology companies when what he really said was that big companies like Palantir -- her employer -- were pushing out the small startups that have made PA and Silicon Valley great.

Sadly, many of our CC kept repeating her obvious canard and even wasted time passing resolutions saying PA was safe for high tech.

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