Today/tonight in West Seattle: Temp “parks”; punishment protest

TODAY: TEMP PARKS: We just checked and the soggy weather’s not stopping the local plans for PARKing Day, a nationwide event with temporary “parks” set up – often in onstreet parking spaces – to demonstrate the importance of greenspace in urban areas. One was planned for Alaska/California 9 am-4 pm today (as of 9:08 am, they’re setting it up), and another in the 9600 block of 16th SW in White Center, 10 am-3 pm in front of Full Tilt Ice Cream.

TONIGHT: PUNISHMENT PROTEST: A demonstration is planned outside Mars Hill Church-West Seattle at 6 pm tonight by people who are upset about the parenting-book author whose Mars Hill-Ballard seminars are going to be broadcast there live tonight and tomorrow, Tedd Tripp, because his advocacy of corporal punishment includes the suggestion parents may need to hit children starting in infancy. This Times story today takes a thorough look at the controversy, including a statement from MH; the genesis of the demonstration was in this WSB Forum thread, followed by this one specifically about the protest plan (check it if you are interested in participating in the protest; meantime, MH’s seminar schedule is here – the “physical discipline” discussion is tomorrow morning).

18 Replies to "Today/tonight in West Seattle: Temp "parks"; punishment protest"

  • E September 19, 2008 (9:12 am)

    This guy is advocating child abuse. Though a mild swat may be appropriate for an older child on occasion, it is completely inappropriate to ever spank an infant.

  • Peter September 19, 2008 (9:43 am)

    “Rebellion can be something as simple as a small child struggling against a diaper change or stiffening his body when you want him to sit on your lap”

    …or angrily refusing to attend their parent’s silly church to pretend an omniscient being is guiding them.

  • Darla September 19, 2008 (10:01 am)

    How in hell did Mars Hill get so big so fast? There’s something very very strange about that “church”…

  • T September 19, 2008 (11:00 am)

    Have you read this article that appeared in a few years back? Pretty bizarre mix of hyper-conservative social values and hip sleek marketing.

  • Julie September 19, 2008 (2:37 pm)

    I still want someone with excellent investigative reporting skills (hint, WSB) to dig into their finances. Mustn’t they be public, since they get a tax break for being a church? (Our tax dollars at work….)

  • WSB September 19, 2008 (2:45 pm)

    I wish I had the time. Currently hurtling from story to story and 21 hours a day isn’t enough. I hope that when we are able to hire people later in the year, I can have help to get the quick simple stuff and then I could spend more time on indepth stories … but for now, we’re doing the best we can …

  • Julie September 19, 2008 (3:00 pm)

    …and you’re much appreciated. Didn’t mean to add to the burden. I just wish someone would take a look at this.

  • WSB September 19, 2008 (3:10 pm)

    It’s not a burden, we are blessed to be able to do this. But for all the media-world handwringing over the death of newspapers and so forth (we keep up with the industry discussions and this one is drumming loudly at the moment), this is the one place where they can make their mark if they so choose – even with staff cuts, the citywide papers have relatively HUGE staffs – and many people have one assignment per day, or even less. I’m not 100 percent sure who is doing investigative reporting these days but there certainly are still people assigned to that specialty. My vision of the perfect media world is where there are folks like us, and broadcast outlets to some degree, showing you what’s happening now – we also like to show “what is GOING to happen” – and then the “publications” such as newspapers and magazines can dive more deeply into the context, instead of wasting time trying to figure out how to replicate the small neighborhood-level stuff that sites like ours are specializing in. (But if they don’t, we’ll find a way!!!!)

  • Julie September 19, 2008 (3:45 pm)

    Your vision makes a lot of sense–and it’s true, investigating MHC’s finances isn’t really specifically a West Seattle topic, and doesn’t fit under this blog’s mission–it was an off-hand suggestion, and not well-thought-out. It’s just you do such a great job!

  • WSB September 19, 2008 (4:06 pm)

    funny, just a few minutes ago somebody with a different IP address from yours found an old WSB post by googling “mars hill church financing” … so somebody’s out there looking.

    Meantime, I found this page which purportedly is Mark Driscoll giving a financial accounting earlier this summer:

  • Kara September 19, 2008 (4:09 pm)

    I know that there is probably nothing I can say to stop people from pointing fingers at a whole group of people…thats what we live off of right.
    But just know that all Christians are different and even though I attend Mars Hill I don’t agree with Tripp, I find him quite disturbed, but I have to say having gone to so many churches and having been raised a Lutheran that got forced to attend Catholic school religion messed me up pretty bad…until I went to Mars Hill because for the first time in my life I truely heard the Word. I have never heard a pastor talk about Jesus so much and also a pastor that didn’t mind if you disagreed with him.
    So just be careful guys because we aren’t all bad….and I know I shouldn’t read these comments and I know I shouldn’t let it all get to me, but it does.

  • jana September 19, 2008 (5:26 pm)

    Here you go friends! This is the annual report from 2007 to 2008. All information on the financial stuff is public and right here for you to read. All I can say is that Jesus is alive and is the reason for the growth of this body of believers. Love you West Seattle, no matter what you say about my family at Mars Hill.

  • WSB September 19, 2008 (5:31 pm)

    Thanks, Jana.
    I had a little trouble finding the actual PDF download from that page but here’s the direct link to that:
    Fiscal numbers begin on page five of the document.

  • Kristina September 19, 2008 (5:54 pm)

    I just read about the Tripp lecture today; I felt my blood pressure spike through the roof.

    I am appalled. Shocked. ANGRY. I believe in compassion toward others, and live and let live…but I can not condone spanking babies. Teaching fear to children is not the same as teaching them to love God, if that is your mission! There is so much research to back up what I say….and I am simply appalled that a church would support such a dangerous viewpoint.

    I am so sorry that I am not at the protest, which is happening now, because I’m home caring for my daughter (who, by the way, will never be spanked…and at age five is a FABULOUS kid with great ethics, compassion, and empathy for others).

    I will include the children impacted by tomorrow’s lecture in my thoughts and prayers.

    For shame, Mars Hill.

  • Kristina September 19, 2008 (6:12 pm)

    I couldn’t just sit here and do nothing, but I couldn’t attend the protest, so I sent an email.

    For those who wish to share their views with Mars Hill, I found an email address on their website:

    Please remember if you write to them to speak in a way which not only expresses your concern, but also allows that this is not a hate letter, but a letter of concern. The Mars Hill community has many people who are suspicious of them and their activities, and I believe that they are suspicious as a result. Show them that those outside of their community aren’t concerned about differences in faith, but in safety for children.

    Here’s my letter:
    Dear Mars Hill Church,

    I am a member of the West Seattle community, and I am a parent. By profession, I am an educator, though I am currently a stay at home mother.

    I was made aware of the Tripp presentation through the West Seattle Blog and Seattle Times articles, and I am writing to express my genuine concern regarding your church’s endorsement of this individual’s practices. Surely God does not condone striking infants? Please reconsider your support of this lecture; please consider the damage that may be done to children as a result of parents following this terrible advice.

    Perhaps Tripp has some positive messages mixed in with the messages that the media is covering, but they are lost within the horror of supporting what amounts to child abuse. I can agree to disagree with spanking an older child, but when it comes to striking babies or toddlers, I think it is absolutely clear that this is a mistake at every level.

    I write with love, not hate. Please, reconsider your support of this lecture. Teach loving discipline, not abuse. Speak up for the children.

    Thank you.

  • Dawson September 19, 2008 (7:14 pm)

    Interesting, one of the tennants of the whole ultra religious, anti-abortion thing, is that babies are born pure. Tripp’s view, according to the PI piece, would seem to indicate that babies are born with original sin as a standard option. Just seems to me to kind of going opposite of what this group believes.

  • JanS September 19, 2008 (9:29 pm)

    Kara…please know that this protest is about Tedd Tripp. It could have happened at any church that had sponsored him. The fact that he is doing this at Mars Hill is secondary. While standing on the corner, we did get to hand out a few flyers with alternative information about parenting, although most refused, and we even got one or two thank-yous, and some waves and horn honks.
    We understand that you worship as you please…again, the protest was/is only about the teachings of Tedd Tripp.

  • JimboMeathooks September 19, 2008 (9:47 pm)

    Just how many weekends do we here in Ws have to “Say goodbye to summer” huh?

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