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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Fanatical Preacher Who Wanted Microsoft Employees Fired Holds Services In Public School Facilities

Thanks to Karen in Kalifornia for this information.

Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Redmond Washington's Antioch Bible Churh, holds his worship services in a public high school. Hutcherson is the fanatic who insisted Microsoft fire its employees who testified in favor of Washington's Non-Discrimination Legislation. And then he threatened Microsoft with a 'christian' boycott in retaliation for supporting equal treatment under the law.

The Lake Washington School District Human Dignity Policy takes a stand against such anti-human rights activities.

"Recognizing and valuing that we are a diverse community, it is part of our mission to provide a positive, harmonious environment in which diversity is respected and encouraged. A major aim of education in the Lake Washington School District is the development of a commitment to the core values of a democratic society. In accordance with this aim, the district strongly emphasizes a core value of mutual human respect for each person regardless of individual differences and/or, characteristics including for example, but not necessarily limited to race, gender, age, disability, physical condition, sexual orientation, ethnic group or religion. We expect this value to be manifested in the daily behaviors of students, staff and volunteers."

Write to the Lake Washington School District board and to the administration of Lake Washington High School. Ask them to explain why they allow this organization to meet on their campus, apparently in violation of their own Human Dignity Policy. Ask them to explain to you how demanding that employees who support equal treatment under the law be fired from their jobs is 'respectful'. Ask them to explain what is respectful about threatening to organize a boycott of Microsoft in retalition for supporting equal treatment under the law for all residents of the state of Washington.

Click here to send an e-mail to the following individuals.
And please share you letters in the comments section.

Lake Washington School District Board Members:
Nany Bernard 425-702-3257
Douglas Eglington 425-868-7218
Robert Hughes 425-822-2604
Jackie Pendergrass 425-821-1157
Ravi Shahani 425-702-3257

Lake Washington High School
Principal, Mark Robertson
425-828-3371 x376
425-828-3390 fax
Associate Principal, Brad Malloy
425-828-3371 Ext 369
Associate Prinicpal, Doug Wenk
425-828-3371 Ext 368

9 Comments:

  • At 9:22 AM, Blogger Mike in Texas said…

    I was recently informed about Lake Washington School District enlightened Human Dignity Policy. http://www.lkwash.wednet.edu/lwsd/html/Schools/AdminPolicies/a/ACA.asp

    It's a terrific policy and I feel Lake Washington School District should be commended for it.

    However, it appears that the district is allowing an organization to use its facilities for activies in violation of the Human Dignity Policy.

    Antioch Bible Church is an organization that is actively promoting discrimination against gay and lesbian residents of Washington state. The group has gone as far as demanding employees of Microsoft be fired for publicly supporting equal treatment under the law for all Washington residents. Their website states that they use Lake Washington High School as their meeting place. http://www.abchurch.org/about/about_antioch/directions/

    I am curious about how that sort of activity is in compliance with your Human Dignity Policy and I hope someone in your organization can provide an explanation of the presence of such a radical anti-human rights group in your facilities.

     
  • At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To whom it may concern:

    I have recently become aware of a disconnect between Lake Washington SD policy on "Human Dignity" and certain activities which take place at a high school in your district. I have read your policy on Human Dignity, which may be found at
    (http://www.lkwash.wednet.edu/lwsd/html/Schools/AdminPolicies/a/ACA.asp) and which states "the district strongly emphasizes a core value of mutual human respect for each person regardless of individual differences and/or, characteristics including for example, but not necessarily limited to race, gender, age, disability, physical condition, sexual orientation, ethnic group or religion." I find it to be a reasonable policy.

    The disconnect occurred when I learned that the Antioch Bible Church meets at one of your high schools. This church, and in particular its pastor Ken Hutcherson, openly advocates against certain citizens of the state of Washington specifically on the basis of the sexual orientation. This group has gone so far as to demand that employees of Microsoft be fired for supporting equal treatment under the law for all Washington citizens. I believe they played a significant role in defeating a Human Dignity bill in the State House this year.

    As a teacher in the state of Washington and a person with friends and colleagues in Lake Washington SD, I understand the sometimes uncomfortable position we find ourselves in. In this case, the perfectly reasonable policy on Human Dignity is in conflict with the activities of a church which meets in one of your buildings. I am aware that nearly every school has Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Brownies holding meetings on school grounds. We all know that these groups have openly discriminatory policies, yet they are allowed to use school facilities and nothing is said.

    The distinction in the case of Antioch Bible Church is, I think, significant. They not only discriminate, which would seem to be acceptable to a certain extent, but they openly advocate. They lobbied in Olymia against a pretty good Human Dignity bill which ended up failing to pass. They openly advocate against Microsoft's policies on Human Dignity and they seem to be having an effect. Microsoft appears to be backing off from their former position on the matter. If they oppose certain tenets of your stated Human Dignity policy at Microsoft and in state law, is it not reasonable to assume they also oppose them in the very school you are allowing them to use for their meetings?

    To me, it appears that this is a problem worth your attention. That a religious group would use public school facilities as a base from which to lobby in the State House against a bill involving Human Dignity issues would seem to indicate a significant breach in the wall of separation between church and state.

    I urge you to examine this matter carefully and consider the most reasonable and responsible course of action.
    Sincerely,

    Jackie Minchew
    Everett, WA

     
  • At 1:04 PM, Blogger Mike in Texas said…

    Jackie ...

    Expect a canned response. I received one and at least one other person has contacted me after having received the same response.

    Here's my response to the response.

    >>This means we are obligate to accommodate all groups as long as they obey the rules established by the school district and operate within the law. <<

    So then, although you have a nice Human Dignity Policy to flaunt, you have no rules prohiting the use of your facilities by organizations whose goals are in direct conflict with it. At best, that makes no sense. At worst, it is hypocritical.

    >>The version up here is that several Microsoft employees testified before a State legislative committee hearing in our State capital (Olympia) and represented themselves as speaking for Microsoft policies. They were not authorized by Microsoft to represent Microsoft. I don’t know about you, but if somebody represented my company without authorization, I would want to know it happen and take strong action. Pastor Ken Hutcherson, Antioch Bible Church brought the matter to the attention of Microsoft management and they corrected it. <<

    That's not the way the press is reporting it. And I'm not one who falls for a logical fallacy implying that what's being said in geographical proximity is more accurate simply because of geographical proximity.

     
  • At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Brian said…

    I cross-posted this article on my blog, washblog, and hope to get some more letters generated to the LW School District. Excellent work Mike!

     
  • At 9:44 PM, Anonymous Jim Allyn said…

    If you let *anybody* use the facility, you have to let *everybody* use it. This is America (or at least it was), remember? If they were allowed to pick and choose, they could deny all the groups we support the use of the facilities, and allow all the groups we oppose to use the facilities. We don't have to like the fact that this church meets in a public building, but we do have to recognize that they have as much right to meet there as anybody else. If you want to make a statement, you could have your own group meet there, or do a public presentation of something the Antioch church would find extremely offensive. They can't turn YOU down anymore than they can turn down the Antioch church.

     
  • At 7:59 AM, Blogger Mike in Texas said…

    Thanks, Brian ...

     
  • At 8:00 AM, Blogger Mike in Texas said…

    Jim, Yes, that's correct. And also, if you have a policy, it should be uniformly applied to all groups.

    This school district has a policy, but they're not applying it.

     
  • At 4:11 AM, Anonymous Alloys said…

    Your site Mike in Texas, I found to be very interesting. When I was searching for 248 yours was the most eyecatching. While working on my site 248 I have been seeking ways to make it better and found yours to be helpful. Thanks!

     
  • At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How sad to have a man, Pastor Ken Hutcherson Antioch Bible Church Redmond, WA, preach such a hateful and dishonest line. This is a man who loves to intimidate those who don't agree with him. I attended my granddaughters dedication ceremony and found the hate has infiltrated her special moment. How can this man speak of God's love and then spew such hate?

    Obviously he and his followers lack human dignity to be so cruel to others.

    For the church being able to use the high school encourages me and others to push the idea of Churches paying taxes like the rest of the business' do. This man has turned his church into a business which sells the kind of hate which in the end put Jesus on the cross.

     

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