(Mimetic) Strategy when People STARE to INTIMIDATE YOU… SIMPLE HACK Avoids Street Fights

Eye contact is a major display of intimidation. It provokes fights and enforces dominance. This week we discuss how to defend yourself against this form of social aggression when people are looking for a fight. It’s all very simple psychology. Try this simple trick it works.

You’re going to put up with what the law allows councilman! The police will not even listen to you.

 

Councilman says everyone’s views will be respected and allowed to speak without interruption, then proceeds to interrupt and disrespect the citizen. A coward and a tyrannical hypocrite.

This needs to be taught and instilled to our children, and repeated over and over by grown adults: “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance…”

 

 

This is absolutely atrocious. His right to address his government is being stomped on. I appreciate that the police did not prevent him from speaking but they should have gone further and had this disruptive councilman removed. He had no right to behave this way. It’s his job to shut up and listen to the people. This country is just completely off the rails. The inmates are running the asylum and the majority of our citizens have no clue or concern. It’s so frightening.

 

 

Unlawful to interrupt a citizen in a public forum once they begin their allotted time. This Councilman should know this, so should the officers. There is no “back and forth” or debating during public forum. What a slimeball., file an injunction against the entire board. That was despicable.

 

He’s NOT ALLOWED to interrupt public comments. The public has a statutory right to comment on public policy UNMOLESTED.
Like this dude is literally asserting himself as a despot and attempting to silence people. When this is seen there should be IMMEDIATE ACTION.
The real story here was the guy sitting in the back of the room, trying to get the guy speaking thrown out, so an officer made him sit down and stood next to him to intimidate him! Lol!
Purpose of meetings is for the public to voice out grievances!!! SO the government MUST LISTEN CAREFULLY AND FULLY SO THE PUBLIC WILL BE SATISFY OF WHERE TAXPAYERS GOES AND FOR WHAT IT IS SPENT!!!!
“Everyone should be protected unless you’re going to criticize me” is what he was trying to say
Blatantly interrupting and not allowing the member of the public to speak openly. Just because he doesn’t like what is being said he doesn’t have the power to be the only person to speak uninterrupted. He is abusing his power.
The COURT actually said he could NOT post on social MEDIA???? WTF? You only need watch this councilman react to earned criticism with an attempt to overstep his authority as well as VIOLATE HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.
i like how the council member talks about respect but have no clue what respect means , also complains about being intrupted but then intrupts him , open mic mean FREE SPEACH. and also WELL DONE cops upholding this guys rights
I’ve called “points of order” in two different commission meetings (one city and one county) and both were actually handled appropriately.
What a crooked city council, nobody says anything about this man’s rights, shame, disgrace, dirty councilman.
If they’re doing this criminal action in plain view what are they doing behind closed doors….???
The councilman doesn’t understand that his feelings mean absolutely nothing and he’s clearly disregarding case law and federal law. This man needs to be voted out of his position and charged for suppressing his 1st amendment right as well as stopping his time to take a break cause they did t like what was being said, these people are spineless and ignorant beyond belief. These officers need to stop approaching the man speaking trying to intimidate him to stop. Please file an injunction against the meeting and members.
When a councilman thinks he’s in charge of everything instead of working FOR the people
Christo needs to do this the next time they pull that shit, state plainly on camera the following verbatim. “By interrupting my time you’ve violated my rights and standing case law, and have committed felonies under 18 USC 241 and 242. At this time every member before me who has acted to prevent me from speaking during the period of public commentary is under citizen’s arrest and hereby remanded into the custody of the officers standing in session and witness to the aforementioned crimes.” The officers will have no other choice but to arrest every council member in the room.
Absolutely runs away on this guy’s of a recess just to shut him up since the cops wouldn’t remove him
I would have demanded my 6 uninterrupted 6 minutes. Why does the council hear personal attacks but the speaker is describing actions done or not done by the council. Calling them names just plays into their hands. You have reams of actions by these people. Use that to your benefit. No matter what you use to describe them honestly still slows your cause. Constructive argument and FACTS. My granny used to say “Kill”em with kindness“. Sounds kind of simple but you cant fight someone who is smiling and speaking in a harmonious tone as your words cuts them with a thousand cuts. I’ve never mastered it. I tend to go straight at it then let my wife tear them a new one.
Isn’t Joshi the guy who had his uncle take the blame for pulling campaign signs from peoples yards; and he still got elected mayor? The “dumbing down is real.
Funny how the cops came over to Christo, instead of going after the Councilman that is breaking the law.
I don’t understand how the court can prohibit a person from posting on YouTube while their case is pending, I imagine that stipulation is part of the bond agreement. That being said, others can post whatever that stipulation keeps him from posting.
The saddest thing about this meeting is that there were no other speakers and only one crazy person in the room in the corner. We are doomed!
Why are the cops not taking the council member to jail for breaking the law.
Public comments do not have to be about the business at hand. These people are truly corrupt. We all need to start going to all city council meetings. The shit they do there is astonishing.
Mayor has a bathroom break directly after a recess…imagine that
Mayor has a bathroom break directly after a recess…imagine that
He need’s to get his minute’s back’ The constant interruptions & threats to have him removed 😡😡
The cops ain’t gonna waste time for a pointless arrest again. He never gets charged in the end so why do it.
Voicing grievances is allowed. But I find if you do it with respect and not contempt, it speeds the success of resolve.

“Petty Tyrant” : This American Life

In Schenectady, New York, a school maintenance man named Steve Raucci works his way up the ranks for 30 years, until finally he’s in charge of the maintenance department. That’s when he starts messing with his employees. Teasing them at meetings. Punishing them with crummy work assignments. Or worse things, like secretly slashing their tires in the middle of the night.

Ten years after his arrest, Steve Raucci broke his silence and gave an interview to Paul Nelson at the Times Union in Albany.

What is a “Petty Tyrant?”, by Carlos Castaneda

A petty tyrant is a tormentor. Someone who either holds the power of life and death over warriors or simply annoys them to distraction.
~Carlos Castaneda – The Fire from Within~

“My benefactor used to say that a warrior who stumbles on a petty tyrant is a lucky one.”
~Don Juan~

A petty tyrant is a person who causes distress by imposing his/her will on others using psychological pressure rather than physical force. The petty tyrant feels he may impose his will because he believes that he is a superior being and because he wants to operate from a position of authority.

Petty tyrants are the button-pushers, the individuals that have the ability to throw things off-balance for you if you let them. Many petty tyrants are unaware that they are the cause of so much frustration. They are effective teachers because they force the warrior to closely monitor their own reactions and habitual behaviors. The result is mindfulness and the ability to shift the assemblage point, even if ever so slightly, in order to loosen the fixation to the conditioned response that causes the reaction in the first place.

Castaneda believed that by looking at the petty tyrant through a different filter, a person could not only co-exist with a petty tyrant but also benefit from the relationship. This type of relationship would be most common in the workplace, school or other public forum when you have no choice but to be in close proximity to the petty tyrant. The challenge for the warrior is to try to consciously get along with this co-worker without being petty yourself. It’s a “rise above it” opportunity that could challenge one to the core.

Don Miguel Ruiz summarizes by saying “don’t take anything personally.” This is the biggest gift of the petty tyrant. To be able to recognize that even though you will be annoyed to no end by the petty tyrant one must not allow themselves to be energetically attached to the petty tyrant. They are ruthless and are often painfully consistent in throwing someone off of the center quickly and effectively. To fall prey to a petty tyrant means that you allow yourself to become agitated repeatedly by the same words, behaviors and attitudes over and over again.

The freedom arrives when the petty tyrant no longer affects you. You are in their presence and they are the same they have always been. Annoying to no end, distracting and even disruptive but they just don’t have the same affect on you anymore. You are no longer annoyed or imbalanced by them. You have accomplished the feat of shifting your assemblage point so that you no longer perceive annoyances in the same manner you did in the past and you have successfully severed the energetic stronghold that the petty tyrant had on your self-importance. In fact, you can’t even remember what it was that annoyed you so much in the first place.

This is the gift. The petty tyrant pushes and pushes and pushes until the very thing(s) that bothered you about them in the first place no longer do. Unwittingly, they set the stage for growth in areas you may not have even realized should be addressed. The petty tyrant can stop your world by activating a series of emotions and responses within you that you could not even imagine existed. They are, in their own right, a portal for deepening your quest for freedom.

Even the worst tyrants can bring delight, provided, of course, that one is a warrior. This may be incomprehensible to those who are in the middle of working with one of the nastiest petty tyrants. How can someone who causes so much emotional turmoil and revulsion possibly bring delight? The delight is found in the moment that the warrior rises above the tyranny and recognizes how utterly ridiculous the seriousness of the petty tyrant is! Petty tyrants are, for the most part, trying desperately to become stronger by stealing your personal power, to build up their own egos by belittling you and pushing you around. The moment you pull the carpet out from under them and stop energetically feeding them leaves them in such a state of confusion and no other choice but to go and find their next “victim”.

The petty tyrant teaches the warrior to develop a strategy utilizing the four attributes of warriorship:

  1. control,
  2. discipline,
  3. forbearance, and
  4. timing.

As a result the warrior deepens so much so into these four attributes that it may be a very long time until the next petty tyrant appears. And then, the ultimate pleasure arises when you become aware that you have become someone else’s petty tyrant. And the gift, in this case, may be pure awareness and detachment to the petty tyrant as the result of your fluidity and energetic efficiency.

Quotes from Carlos Castenada’s Book.

Nothing can temper the spirit of a warrior as much as the challenge of dealing with impossible people in positions of power. Only under those conditions can warriors acquire the sobriety and serenity to stand the pressure of the unknowable.

The perfect ingredient for the making of a superb seer is a petty tyrant with unlimited prerogatives. Seers have to go to extremes to find a worthy one. Most of the time they have to be satisfied with very small fry. Then warriors develop a strategy using the four attributes of warriorship: control, discipline, forbearance, and timing.

He said that what the new seers had in mind was a deadly manoeuvre in which the petty tyrant is like a mountain peak and the attributes of warriorship are like climbers who meet at the summit.

Control and discipline refer to an inner state. A warrior is self-oriented, not in a selfish way but in the sense of a total examination of the self.

Forbearance and timing are not quite an inner state. They are in the domain of the man of knowledge.

The idea of using a petty tyrant is not only for perfecting the warrior’s spirit, but also for enjoyment and happiness. Even the worst tyrants can bring delight, provided, of course, that one is a warrior.

The mistake average men make in confronting petty tyrants is not to have a strategy to fall back on; the fatal flaw is that average men take themselves too seriously; their actions and feelings, as well as those of the petty tyrants, are all-important. Warriors, on the other hand, not only have a well-thought-out strategy, but are free from self-importance. What restrains their self-importance is that they have understood that reality is an interpretation we make.

Petty tyrants take themselves with deadly seriousness while warriors do not. What usually exhausts us is the wear and tear on our self-importance. Any man who has an iota of pride is ripped apart by being made to feel worthless.

To tune the spirit when someone is trampling on you is called control. Instead of feeling sorry for himself a warrior immediately goes to work mapping the petty tyrant’s strong points, his weaknesses, his quirks of behavior.

To gather all this information while they are beating you up is called discipline. A perfect petty tyrant has no redeeming feature.

Forbearance is to wait patiently–no rush, no anxiety–a simple, joyful holding back of what is due.

A warrior knows that he is waiting and what he is waiting for. Right there is the great joy of warriorship.

Timing is the quality that governs the release of all that is held back. Control, discipline, and forbearance are like a dam behind which everything is pooled. Timing is the gate in the dam.

Forbearance means holding back with the spirit something that the warrior knows is rightfully due. It doesn’t mean that a warrior goes around plotting to do anybody mischief, or planning to settle past scores. Forbearance is something independent. As long as the warrior has control, discipline, and timing, forbearance assures giving whatever is due to whoever deserves it.

To be defeated by a small-fry petty tyrant is not deadly, but devastating. Warriors who succumb to a small-fry petty tyrant are obliterated by their own sense of failure and unworthiness.

Anyone who joins the petty tyrant is defeated. To act in anger, without control and discipline, to have no forbearance, is to be defeated.

After warriors are defeated they either regroup themselves or they abandon the quest for knowledge and join the ranks of the petty tyrants for life.

#Enough: Defamation Defence Legal Fund

On Wednesday October 27, former federal Attorney General, Christian Porter, Liberal National MP Andrew Laming, and Political Editor for The Australian, Peter van Onselen sent 3 defamation threat letters to Gemma Carey, an author and adult survivor of child sexual abuse.
The three defamation concerns notices were sent from the same law firm, at the same time, in the same email. They list several demands including covering the men’s legal costs in creating the concerns notices.
Gemma was left feeling intimidated, anxious and overwhelmed by this law firm’s strategic strike, involving three of Australia’s most powerful men.
Gemma is an expectant mother currently preparing for the arrival of her first baby. She is also a disabled woman and academic whose research focuses on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Gemma is best known for her brave memoir, No Matter Our Wreckage, which details her experience of being groomed and sexually abused as a child, before successfully taking her offender to court at the age of 17 .
The #LetHerSpeak campaign lawyers – Marque Lawyers – are currently providing legal assistance to Gemma.
This GoFundMe is to raise money to provide ongoing legal support to Gemma Carey, and any other individuals who have been impacted by defamation threats sent from the individuals listed above.
(*This GoFundMe has been created on behalf of Gemma Carey with her full consent. If any funds are not used, they will be donated to the #LetHerSpeak movement and held in trust to be used towards other legal work required by sexual assault survivors and their advocates. )

The Sinister Truth about Peng Shuai Has Been Revealed

Russell Moore to ERLC trustees: ‘They want me to live in psychological terror’

In February 2020, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission defended himself after a second task force was mounted to investigate complaints against him.

Russell Moore to ERLC trustees: ‘They want me to live in psychological terror’

In February 2020, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission defended himself after a second task force was mounted to investigate complaints against him.

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, speaks June 12, 2019, during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, Alabama. RNS photo by Butch Dill

(RNS) — The below letter, recently obtained by Religion News Service, was sent in early 2020 to the trustees of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission by its then-president, Russell Moore. We publish it here without changes or corrections, including Moore’s misspelling of Rachael Denhollander’s name.

February 24, 2020

Russell D. Moore
President
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce Street, Suite 901
Nashville, Tennessee

Executive Committee
Board of Trustees
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Southern Baptist Convention
901 Commerce Street, Suite 901
Nashville, Tennessee

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This past week all I could think about was the Jordan River.

This is because I realized that the twentieth of this month was the thirty-seventh anniversary of my baptism at Woolmarket Baptist Church, my home congregation in Biloxi, Mississippi. I remember that day well. I remember the way the heated water bubbled around me, as I trembled with nervousness. I remember hearing those words from my pastor, words that I would in later years say myself over and over again: “In obedience to the command of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and upon your profession of faith in Him, I baptize you my brother, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” But what I remember, right before being plunged beneath that water, was looking at the painted backdrop of that baptistery: a scene of the banks of the Jordan River, reminding me, and all of us, that where I was then, Jesus had been before me.

Because I had heard the gospel in that church, had met Jesus there, and because I had seen so many signposts of love and integrity there — even when I couldn’t see it elsewhere — I responded to the call of God to serve Jesus in vocational ministry, preaching the gospel and serving alongside the people I loved — Southern Baptists.


RELATED: Leaked Russell Moore letter blasts SBC conservatives, sheds light on his resignation


And over the past twenty-five years, that’s what I have done. God gave me the opportunity to lead people to Christ and to baptize them in Southern Baptist churches, to help people through their marriage crises in Southern Baptist churches, to help welcome orphaned children into families in Southern Baptist churches, to do evangelism and Bible teaching in prisons and homeless shelters, through Southern Baptist churches. And God allowed me to teach and to lead in the training of young pastors, leaders, and missionaries — with my students scattered all over the world.

And, of course, seven years ago, you were kind enough to elect me to serve as your president. Since then, thanks to you and to the team we have assembled here, we have seen incredible things happen.

Before I say anything else, let me say “thank you” to every one of you. Your support in the letter of the past week brought Maria and me both to tears of gratitude. More than that, even, your pastoral care for us, each one of you, is something I will never ever forget. Because in my talking with you at our meeting, my mind was so scattered by the stress of all that happened, I wanted to take the time to write down for you all some of the things I tried to communicate then, but don’t know if I was calm enough to be able to communicate adequately.

At every single vote of the Southern Baptist Convention since I have been president, the messengers of the SBC have encouraged us and affirmed us overwhelmingly, unanimously or virtually unanimously every time. A tiny minority in our denomination knows that, which is why they choose to wait until as far out from a Southern Baptist Convention meeting as possible to do what they do.

Last week’s action of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, which you know all about, was just such an action, motivated by an individual, the current chairman of the Executive Committee, who was also involved in a similar action when he had leadership in the Georgia Baptist Convention. This person not only drove the motion, but also saw to it that he would be a member of the “task force,” chairman of it, and the one with the power to elect its membership.

You deserve to hear it from me as to why this is.

The lazy journalistic assessment would be that this is about the President of the United States. This has nothing to do with that. Y’all know my concerns about the perennial temptation toward political captivity of the gospel, and that will always and perhaps increasingly be a concern in this era. But this is not the issue here. Most Trump voters and supporters have been nothing but kind and encouraging to me — from Southern Baptist laypeople and pastors to Administration officials all the way up and down the ranks. Just as we did with President Obama, we express disagreement where warranted, but we do so respecting the office and doing so requesting a different viewpoint, not engaging in polemics or attack. And when we agree with what the Administration is doing, we say so and work to achieve good public policy as informed by a biblically-grounded ethic, again just as we did when we could under President Obama, and as I did, before I was in this role, with President Bush. The Administration has asked us to take leadership on too many issues to list here — from working on opioid and mental health concerns in faith-based communities to ensuring religious liberty for adoption providers to working on the plight of persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in China and elsewhere.

The presenting issue here is that, first and foremost, of sexual abuse. This Executive Committee, through their bylaws workgroup, “exonerated” churches, in a spur-of-the-moment meeting, from serious charges of sexual abuse cover-up. One of those churches actively had on staff at the time a sex offender. J.D. Greear, our SBC president, and I were critical of this move, believing that it jeopardized not only the gospel witness of the SBC, but, more importantly, the lives of vulnerable children in Southern Baptist churches. Against constant backroom attempts to stop forward momentum, we were able to get across the finish line some modest steps toward addressing the crisis in our convention — the Caring Well Challenge, for instance, and the formation of a credentials committee.

As you know, our last ERLC National Conference was built around the issues of sexual abuse. We said from the beginning that we wanted a place for honest dialogue around these issues, and we would not police anyone from speaking what he or she had experienced or thought. At least one speaker harshly criticized us for not doing enough, or not handling things the way he thought we should. I welcomed that criticism. I learned from it, and was glad that the speaker felt the freedom to do so. At that conference, though, Rachael Denhollender participated with me in a conversation where, again, I refused to censor or stop anything that she had to say. In that conversation, she spoke about her thoughts about the disparagement and poor treatment of a sexual abuse survivor by Executive Committee staff. The story Rachael told is accurate, and Maria and I know that because we were, even during that very meeting, ministering alongside others to that mistreated young woman.

Abuse survivor Rachael Denhollander, right, discusses the Southern Baptist Convention's history of addressing sexual abuse with ERLC President Russell Moore at the Caring Well conference in Dallas, on Oct. 4, 2019. Photo by Karen Race Photography 2019

Abuse survivor Rachael Denhollander, right, discusses the Southern Baptist Convention’s history of addressing sexual abuse with ERLC President Russell Moore at the Caring Well conference in Dallas, on Oct. 4, 2019. Photo by Karen Race Photography 2019

This enraged some Executive Committee trustee leadership, who communicated that they were incensed that we would allow such a story to be told. That was communicated with special outrage since the Executive Committee had contributed some money to Caring Well as a reason why we should not have allowed this story to be told. I came away from these conversations with the distinct feeling that I was being told (not from Ronnie Floyd, but from sectors of his trustees, mostly the very sector from which this latest action has come), “You’ve got a nice little Commission there; would be a shame if something happened to it.” I told Maria that at the time. It was, and is, chilling — especially seeing what they had in mind to do under cover of darkness.

I am trying to say this as clearly as I can to you, brothers and sisters: These are the tactics that have been used to create a culture where countless children have been torn to shreds, where women have been raped and then “broken down.”

Moreover, the same people enraged at this also were enraged that J.D. Greear made the common-sense statement when asked by the press that, while he could not tell a church what to do or who to invite, that giving a “Defender of the Faith Award” and showcasing a man who was dismissed, for very serious cause, by a Southern Baptist entity, over issues including the treatment of vulnerable women, was not a good idea. The same people who moved to create our “investigative task force” wanted to censure J.D.

These decisions were made, I am told, at the officers’ meeting on the Sunday night before the meeting. I was told nothing of it, nor were you, despite the fact that the President of the Executive Committee would have known of it. On the following Monday, I gave my report before the Cooperative Program subcommittee, and was asked nothing but friendly questions not at all related to the so-called “anecdotal” reports of churches decreasing their giving to the CP. They then, the next day, without ever talking to me or to you went into a secret meeting to form yet another secret task force.

The last time they did this, I was “investigated” by a president of their body who was, at that very moment, using his pastoral authority to sexually sin. The “task force,” we were told at the time, is just about finding a way to “answer questions.” The headlines then were “Russell Moore and the ERLC Under Investigation for hundreds of churches leaving and defunding the convention.” Their own report showed that the claim was false, but there was no similar trumpeting of those findings. That’s because that’s the point — to keep a cloud over me, and to keep me self-censoring and silent about these matters.

At the same time, the other absolutely draining and unrelenting issue has been that of racial reconciliation. My family and I have faced constant threats from white nationalists and white supremacists, including within our convention. Some of them have been involved in neo-Confederate activities going back for years. Some are involved with groups funded by white nationalist nativist organizations. Some of them have just expressed raw racist sentiment, behind closed doors. They want to deflect the issue to arcane discussions that people do not understand, such as “critical race theory.” There is no Southern Baptist that I know, of any ethnicity, who is motivated by any critical theory but by the text of Ephesians and Galatians and Romans, the Gospels themselves, the framework of Revelation chapters four and five.

From the very beginning of my service, I have been attacked with the most vicious guerilla tactics on such matters, and have been told to be quiet about this by others. One SBC leader who was at the forefront of these behind-closed-doors assaults had already ripped me to shreds verbally for saying, in 2011, that the Southern Baptist Convention should elect an African-American president. This same leader told a gathering that “The Conservative Resurgence is like the Civil War, except this time unlike the last one, the right side won.” I walked out of that gathering, as did one of you.

Another SBC leader used constant pressure against me in protest of our hiring of Dan Darling and Trillia Newbell, in 2013. At the time, this was, he said, because they did not have adequate Southern Baptist backgrounds. When I answered his concerns to his face, he said, “I was really just concerned about that black girl, whether she’s an egalitarian.” When I asked what possibly could lead him to think that a woman who has written complementarian articles for complementarian websites was an “egalitarian,” he responded: “A lot of those black girls are.” This same leader also let me have it when I said that white Christians should join our black Christian brothers and sisters in lamenting when young black men are shot, and that the moments of Ferguson and Eric Garner and the Emmanuel AME Church murders should motivate the church to address these questions with the gospel embodied in reconciled churches bearing one another’s burdens, that only those with guns would prevent black people from burning down all of our cities.

This is just a tiny sample of what I experience every single day. I am called a liberal—someone who believes in the inerrancy of Holy Scripture, in the authority of Holy Scripture, someone who has spent my life defending such concepts as the exclusivity of Christ for salvation. I am a “liberal” in this definition not because I deny the inerrancy of Scripture but because I affirm it. I believe in the inerrancy of all Scripture — including Luke 10 and Ephesians 2 and 3 and Romans 12, and all of it. I believe that no sin — including sins of sexual immorality or racial hatred — can be forgiven apart from the blood of Christ and repentance of such sins.

My concern about such issues is not because I believe in “social justice” (although, in the literal meaning of those words, of course I do, as the major and minor prophets tell us), but because I believe in the doctrine of hell. I believe in standing against racism not just because I love our African-American and Hispanic and Asian-American and immigrant brothers and sisters in Christ (although I certainly do), but also because I love bigots. And I believe that unrepentant sin, not brought to the light of Christ and cleansed by the blood of Christ, through the gospel, leads to hell. I really believe in hell. That’s why I’ve been clear for twenty-five years on abortion, on sexual chastity and morality, and on racism.

Southern Baptist Convention headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 18, 2019. RNS photo by Bob Smietana

Southern Baptist Convention headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 18, 2019. RNS photo by Bob Smietana

But here is the pattern. Find a way to “investigate” me in secret, so that Southern Baptists do not hear what goes on in those rooms. In some of these “investigations,” what I have been charged with is “not playing enough to the Bubbas and the rednecks; they pay the bills.” I don’t think we have “bubbas and rednecks,” I find such slurs offensive and derogatory, personally as well as ethically. I have been charged with saying that we should combat the devil both in his deception of women in thinking abortion is a choice they should make as well as the accusation of the devil in telling such women, in grief after an abortion they have had in the past, that they should hide in shame, that Jesus would not forgive them. I was told, “Such women should be in shame.” When I explained what I believe about the gospel, that those united to Christ in repentance and faith, are received by the Father as just and righteous and that there is “Therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ,” I was told, “You are not the Evangelism Department of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

I thought we were all “The Evangelism Department of the Southern Baptist Convention.” That’s what they taught me at Woolmarket Baptist Church.

But the strategy here is clear. One of these figures told me in the middle of the 2017 debacle: “We know we can’t take you down. All our wives and kids are with you. This is psychological warfare, to make you think twice before you do or say something.” That’s exactly what it is.

If we want to compare anecdotal reports, I can tell you that I have worked as hard as I possibly can over the past seven years, to talk people into staying in the Southern Baptist Convention. One journalist said to me, “How many times are you going to try to bail these people out?” (speaking, in this case, for our work to try to turn around the disastrous floor action on the ‘alt-right’ in 2017, followed by the sexual abuse crisis matters of 2018). Over the past seven years, we have worked to bring people into SBC involvement, both in giving and in participation, and in talking countless numbers from leaving, because of all of the buffoonery and bigotry and wickedness. I cannot tell you how many people say — faithful, God-fearing leaders — that they do not want to have “Baptist” in their name because they are ashamed. When asked why, they tell us — the same things we are having to deal with over and over again.

Through all of this, brothers and sisters, I have tried to smile and pretend that everything is alright, with me personally and with the denomination. That’s because, for one thing, I don’t want lost people to know about this stuff. I have been afraid that they will associate it with Jesus. I don’t want the countless people — including pastors and church planters and missionaries, young people, women, people of color, to grow weary and to leave.

Some people will say, after this or any number of the other similar moves, that “We do not want Dr. Moore to resign.” They are telling the truth. They do not want me to leave. They want me to live in psychological terror, so that I will not say what the Southern Baptist Convention has assigned me to say, much less to reveal what I know about what goes on behind the scenes. And they want me to do so while asking my constituencies to come in and to stay in the SBC, though as submissive and disengaged “numbers” under the rule of a toxic and abusive gerontocracy.

Everywhere I go — everywhere I go — I am surrounded by former Southern Baptists. Last year, after speaking to the Anglican Church in North America national meeting, I went back to my hotel room and shook with tears. That’s because, as in virtually every one of such meetings, I was greeted by person after person after person who, like me, grew up in Southern Baptist churches, went to all the youth camps, knows the difference between Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong, between an RA and an Acteen. I had more conversations about “Training Union” and “Centrifuge” there than I ever have at an SBC meeting. They were nostalgic and wanted to remember a denomination they loved. None of these people, before they left, called the Executive Committee and threatened to defund anything if they didn’t get their way. The thousands of young people I encounter on college campuses who are now non-denominational don’t do exit interviews with their associational Director of Missions (they don’t even know what that is). Instead, they just look at the rage and the bigotry and the cover-ups and the buffoonery and they shrug their shoulders and say, “I guess they don’t want people like me.”

In every one of those situations, I want to scream: “But that’s not who Southern Baptists are! The people in the churches, everywhere that I have seen, are kind and loving and mission-focused. They are not part of all of that that you see!” And, indeed I think I am right. The people who are left are those of us who have learned to simply filter out this nonsense and focus on what we know to be the best of us. The rest of the world cannot see that. And there are not enough of us who have been taught to believe that being a Southern Baptist is a moral obligation.

A while back, I was jolted to read a quote that one commentator posted about the SBC, jolted because that very same quote had come to my own mind so many times. The quote was from Whittaker Chambers, in a letter to his children, about how he came to reject Communism and to flee from the awful Soviet ideology. He referenced a woman talking about her father, who also had left Stalinism, and explained why very simply. “One night — in Moscow — he heard screams. That’s all. Simply one night he heard screams.”

I have heard many screams. And I am now realizing that some of those screams were my own, and those of my family.

My children asked my wife the other day if their Dad had had a moral failing. They had heard from their friends that their Dad was under investigation, and, as anyone would, they wondered if this meant that I had a character flaw. Maria cannot live with that, and neither can I.

I wanted you to know, from me, what’s behind all of this, really. You deserve to know. And I wanted you to know that we will not keep living under these circumstances. I will not comply with another secret task force meant to silence me about issues I believe are issues of obedience to Christ. I will not sign another “unity” statement meant to “call off the dogs” of scrutiny so that the beatings may begin again in private. If the Southern Baptist Convention wants to be part of a house of prayer for all peoples, then that’s what I signed up for. If the Southern Baptist Convention wants to be one big retirement home for a furious royal family, then, that’s not what I signed up for.

I can only say, in regard to this latest secret and arcane attempt at intimidation: “I consider it a small thing to be investigated by you, or by any human court. In fact, I do not even investigate myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who investigates me” (1 Cor. 4:3-4).

When God called me to himself in Jesus, and when he called me to serve him in ministry, he called me to stand for the truth, to point the way to the kingdom, to die to self, and to carry the cross. He did not call me to provide cover for racial bigotry and child molestation. I will not do that. I love the Southern Baptist Convention, and am a faithful son of the Southern Baptist Convention. I do not believe the people of the Southern Baptist Convention want me to do that, at least that’s not how they have acted in their votes when they are assembled together in national convention. But a small group in the shadows do want me to do that. They want me to be afraid of them. They want you to be afraid of them.

I am not afraid of them.

As I shared with the officers, when these people started their guerilla attacks, I spent years in grief, feeling like an exile and like an orphan. I felt rejected by my own people and wondered why people would let this go on. A poem by Wendell Berry summed up much of what I was feeling:

“Though you have done nothing shameful,

they will want you to be ashamed.

They will want you to kneel and weep

And say that you should have been like them.

And once you say you are ashamed,

Reading the page they hold out to you,

then such light as you have made

in your history will leave you.

They will no longer need to pursue you.

You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.

“They will not forgive you.

There is no power against them.

It is only candor that is aloof from them,

only an inward clarity, unashamed,

that they cannot reach. Be ready.

When their light had picked you out

and their questions are asked, say to them:

‘I am not ashamed.’ A sure horizon

will come around you. The heron will begin

his evening flight from the hilltop.”

I am not ashamed. The sort of psychological and institutional terrorism that my wife and children and team and I have endured is not because I am not Southern Baptist enough, but because I am too Southern Baptist. I really believe what they taught me to sing, “Jesus Loves the Little Children, All the Children of the World.”

And I still do.

I want to thank you for standing with us, for caring about us, for being a group of people that have never once wavered in your integrity or your Christlikeness. We could not ask to serve with people we admire and love more than every single one of you. I am sorry that you have to even see this toxic sludge, much less have to deal with it.

In every other instance, I have tried to do what I thought was right: to be quiet, to bear all of this, including the spiritually abusive private meetings that I cannot even bear to think about right now. I have not wanted to defend myself. I just counted on others to do so, and to know that Jesus would bring to light, as he promises, every hidden thing on that day. But I want you to know that I can’t bear it any more. I think to be the subject to all of this that goes on in secret makes me, in some ways, complicit with what I believe to be evil.

There’s nothing other to this letter than that, for you to hear from me what has happened, and to hear from me, knowing that you know it, that the current status of the Southern Baptist Convention must change.

Asking me to live through all of this is one thing. Asking me to be quiet about bigotry and molestation, for the sake of some title, is too much to ask. Thank you for never once asking me to do so.


RELATED: Russell Moore leaves Southern Baptist leadership, but denomination’s troubles remain


The Jordan River on the baptistery wall was fake. It was a water color of a scene that, to be honest, looked more like south Mississippi than the Middle East. But the message behind it was real. The message behind it was that even as I went down into the waters of death, Jesus had been there before, and Jesus would lift me back up, to newness of life. What I am counting on is not my baptism but his. I am counting on the fact that I am joined to One who, when he came out of those waters, heard the voice of God: “You are my beloved Son, and with you I am well pleased.”

As one whose life is hidden in him, my hope is that, however stormy the banks of Jordan, those words apply to me too.

And, you know what? That’s enough for me. Southern Baptists taught me that.

I love you,

Russell Moore

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  • As a current SBC pastor this is all too familiar. I’ve encountered much of this same behavior (on a smaller level) both in local churches and associations. The writing is on the wall for the SBC and the result is it’s going to contract back to its Civil War origins and become a mostly old, white, and southern denomination.

  • God bless you Dr. Moore for speaking truth to power. You are doing the right thing.

  • For the SBC Russell Moore has become the canary in the coal mine. The SBC’s claim to integrity and respect in the greater world depends to a major degree on Moore’s impeccable reputation. And as of right now this particular canary is on life support. One wonders whether Mike Stone fully understands the broad negative consequences for the SBC that will result from his machinations.
  • Russell Moore is an honorable, magnanimous man who rarely has a bad word to say about anyone, even though he has often been unfairly attacked. If he felt the need to say such things, they are true. I always wondered why the ‘character matters in politicians’ SBC, as an organization, was so quick to embrace confessed serial sex offender and overt racist Donald Trump and promote him as some sort of ‘Christian’ leader. Now I no longer wonder. They’re busy sheltering and pacifying sex offenders and overt racists in Christian leadership roles in their organization: why wouldn’t they shelter the same type of person in the White House? If only they cared as much about deadly sins like sexual abuse and racism as they care about abortion and homosexuality – then we might have hope for moral leadership in this country. But now we’re stuck with Democrats because the only Republican option was a reprobate so immoral that his conduct even shocked the consciences of lost people across the country.

  • Lord, purify your Church with a mighty move of your Holy Spirit, esp. in the SBC. Root out not only that which is evil but also those insistent on calling evil good. Crush all attitudes of pride & those bent on turning Christianity into partisan politics. May those who know you & love you learn to love what you love & hate what you hate. Protect Brother Moore & his family, let the truth be revealed from the mountaintops, & bring justice, we pray. Amen.

  • He writes of the SBC I once knew. The one committed to the gospel of Christ, the one that was mission minded and sacrificial. Not perfect, but the one trusting God to forgive us of our imperfections and renew us by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. The one who taught me that Jesus loves me and that every life is sacred, but then devalued mine. I left many years ago and have never regretted it.

  • Where can the regular church leader like myself get some of the names that he’s referring to? I want to know who these people are.
  • I am not surprised. But God bless Mr. Moore for speaking truth to evil power.

  • I see that I made the right choice by not going to church.

  • The SBC is losing all its big stars… thank goodness they still have the endlessly charismatic Al Mohler and Richard Land.

    • Riverton

      I laughed.

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