To paraphrase 1 Timothy 5, a church isn't a building; it's the people who God has called into community ... blah, blah, blah. Just don't tell that pious yada-yada-Bible stuff to the "do-gooder Christians" battling over the Bethel Baptist Hillside Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of the Perpetual Civil Litigation of Grover Beach Ain't Never Gonna Be a Homeless Services Center of God.
It would probably take my entire column to sort through the madness, but basically there's a whole lot of un-churchiness going on in Grover Beach at a building the 5Cities Homeless Coalition (5CHC) and Peoples' Self-Help Housing (PSHH) had hoped to purchase with state grants totaling $2.7 million. They're currently in escrow to purchase the property from the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA), a national Protestant denomination that acquired the Bethel Baptist Church in October of 2018, when it was also known as the Hillside Church, I guess. The name changed in 2012, but the tax identification number remained tied to Bethel Baptist throughout the various ownerships.
Anyhow, a dude named William John Fleming, who said he's been attending the church since 2014, wasn't cool with the sale, so in a move I'm calling slick as hell, he filed paperwork with the SLO County Clerk-Recorder's Office claiming he's the church president (Is that a thing? Church Prez?), and transferred ownership from CMA to himself under the aegis of the Bethel Baptist Church. Look at you, dude! You own a church! That's weird, right? That's some go into the temple and overturn moneychangers' tables weird!
Now the CMA is suing Fleming to get "their" church back so they can sell to the 5CHC and PSHH, so they can make it into a homeless services center, which the NIMBY neighbors around the church don't want because who wants a bunch of dirty vagrants like that wandering homeless dude Jesus Christ of Nazareth stinking up their neighborhood, amirite?
Jesus! What a mess!
Couple of questions. Can I just walk into the county clerk's office and transfer a building's ownership to me? I'm asking because I have a dream of staying in every single room of the Madonna Inn, and it would be a lot cheaper if I owned the joint.
Also, what's going to happen with that $2.7 million in grants for homeless services? Will it disappear in a puff of smoke like the $5 million grant the county had lined up in January from the state's No Place Like Home Program, which Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA) had hoped to use to buy a 12-unit apartment complex in North County as permanent supportive housing for the homeless?
Water into wine? Yeah, that's pretty good, Jesus, but the county seems to be turning grant money into thin air, which is where homeless people live.
And speaking of the county, how did Public Works Department Director Daniel "Colt" Esenwein, who recently resigned amid a flurry of harassment complaints filed against him, manage to stay in a position of power for a full year despite his inappropriate behavior with female staffers (Just the "cute" ones!), who—no, Colt—don't want to "bend over and take it" or "grab their ankles," thanks for asking. To be fair, that's how good ol' Colt describes his management style, but female staffers accused him of ongoing harassment, stalking, and invasion of personal space. Gee, he sounds dreamy!
The county released some of the heavily redacted complaints, one of which described Colt as "an immature high school boy who likes attention but doesn't have ... social awareness." He's management material! Hire him! #MeToo.
As far as I'm concerned, it's about time women are able to stand up and say, "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore!" However, one of our letter writers this week thinks these "girls" may have taken things too far with their man hatin'!
"I just came home from the SLO Women's March protest on the courthouse steps and I am a little disappointed," Bryan Parker wrote about the May 21 gathering to rally for abortion rights, which have been under attack in states such as Alabama. Pro-life Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey declined to stop the execution of convicted murderer Michael Brandon Samra the day after she signed a bill into law that would put abortion doctors in prison for 99 years, even if they performed an abortion on a rape and incest victim, because as Ivey said, "every life is precious and ... every life is a sacred gift from God"—except for that reprobate Samra!
Parker went on to complain that "as an 'old white man' (one of four monikers with strikethroughs on the main banner), I thought I would sort of be welcomed as a sympathizer from the other side. Not so much: 'Male interloper,' one person said."
Damn! That's not cool. The totally "woke" Parker went on to write, "I'm 100 percent on your side, girls. Don't treat me like the enemy just because I have a Y chromosome. It's not my fault, I swear."
Um, "girls"? Dude! We're in some sensitive times, boy! I'm pretty sure most women would rather not be dismissed as "girls." Just sayin'! Δ
The Shredder does what Jesus would do ... drink wine and hang out with sex workers! Send ideas and comments to email@example.com.