Dealing from a Stacked Deck -- As Taught by Dammann Trial Participants!

Dealing from a Stacked Deck --
As Taught by Dammann Trial Participants!

It was fair in every sense of the word or so participants in the Karen Dammann trial would have us believe. Bishop William Grove, presiding officer of the trial, said,

"I believe that we conducted the trial fairly and honorably according to the provisions in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. I understand that many, many people are upset by the decision and disagree with it. If they had been there, even though they disagree, they would respect the decision."

Bishop Elias Galvan said,

"For 3 years, we have followed the processes of the church carefully, sometimes painstakingly. This matter has been reviewed and informed by the Judicial Council of the Church on two separate occasions. Every appeal in this case has been exhausted. In our church we recognize and respect the decision of the trial court. The Rev. Karen Dammann remains an elder in good standing and member of the Pacific Northwest Conference. This matter is resolved."

What was said by the bishops was further echoed by the jury statement and the many observers present at the trial, namely, that it was a fair and impartial trial.

But hold on just a minute -- put your nose in the wind coming out of the northwest section of our country -- that aroma you smell rising from the Dammann trial debacle makes a rotting deer carcass lying along the side of one of our Pennsylvania highways in 85 degree summertime temperatures smell like a fragrant rose by way of comparison!

It's very simple really -- just look at the line up of witnesses for the prosecution and the defense.

The "prosecution" had but one witness -- Bishop Elias Galvan who filed the original complaint. Now do you suppose he was "on the stand" for hours as a zealous prosecutor made the case that United Methodist church law had been flagrantly violated? In fact when the verdict was revealed and the trial was over, the AP report quoted the "prosecutor" in this way:

"These are not easy issues to agree upon," said Rev. Jim Finkbeiner, who prosecuted the case against Dammann but said he was personally glad she won. "Frankly, we in the Northwest are still in the minority, but it's a growing minority."

Well, so much for zeal in prosecution!

The defense, on the other hand, had called in "big guns" from all over the map for the purpose of ripping the United Methodist Church Book of Discipline to shreds and backing the "jury" into a corner leaving it with no choice but to acquit Karen Dammann!

Here is how one report described it:

The church's counsel presented only Bishop Elias Galvan as a witness supporting the charges. He had initiated the original process leading to the trial. But Dammann's defense called to the stand a virtual Who's Who of United Methodist bishops, biblical scholars, academics, church administrators and pastoral supervisors.

The evidence most reflected in the panel's decision had been presented to the court by a defense witness, retired Bishop Jack M. Tuell, of Des Moines, Washington. As both an attorney and bishop, he is generally regarded the denomination's top expert on civil and church law. Going back to the 1988 General Conference of the denomination's law-making body, he traced every step in the church's accrual of pro- and anti-gay rhetoric and legislation to the present time.

Tuell noted that "United Methodists know how to make declarations," and gave illustrations. But, he said, while there have been references to homosexuality in church legislation, both positive and negative, "The United Methodist Church has never declared homosexual practice incompatible with Christian teaching."

As mentioned, Bishop Tuell, considered an "expert" (take that one with a ton of salt!), in reality presented a case for the practice of sodomy and lesbianism! You can read of his "conversion" in accepting sodomy and lesbianism at being morally acceptable at an area titled, "UMC Episcopal Endorsement of Same Gender Coupling" [NOTE: Use reverse feature on browser to return here]

An interesting side note -- "big guns" cost a lot of money -- sort of like the Mafia importing a number of hit men to knock off the competition! At least 5 of those "big guns" had to be flown in and housed with meals provided during the trial. This has left Mrs. & Mrs. Karen Dammann (she recently "married" her lesbian partner) with a sizable debt, due to the fact that she was responsible for all expenses incurred related to her defense. But sodomites and lesbians look after their own, and a special fund has been set up to bail her out -- after all, it's a "victory" worth paying for, right?

Was this indeed a conspiracy of a new kind? Certainly that possibility would be vehemently denied by participants -- especially from the defense side! But what happened at Bothell WA during mid-March 2004 comes dangerously close to a conspiracy -- that is, a well organized plot to overthrow and defeat the long standing position of the UMC on sodomy and lesbianism, along with the involvement of sodomites and lesbians in the ordained ministry of the church.

In this case -- if not a conspiracy, there is but a toilet tissue wall between what happened in weeks prior to and during the trial and an actual conspiracy -- remarks of Bill Grove notwithstanding!

Some would conclude on the basis of the lineup of "witnesses" that it was indeed a "stacked deck" from the word "Go!" Thank you, Pacific Northwest Conference, for showing us how to play the game!

March 26, 2004
Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in full connection
Western Pennsylvania Annual Conferenc
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy, Pennsylvania

It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way.
Psalm 119:126-128 NKJV

For further reference on UMC related & other relevant issues see:
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NOTICE: Soulforce is a gang made up of a group of persons of different denominational backgrounds, including Mr. Jimmy Creech, defrocked United Methodist pastor of some time back. Soulforce's goal is to force full acceptance of sodomy and lesbianism in all churches without any restrictions. Be sure to read an interesting challenge to Mel White and members of Soulforce to take their crusade to new heights they may not yet have considered -- see Open Letter to Mel White and Others of Soulforce, Inc.!

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