I don't understand what the big deal is. Here's the important story: Mars Hill Church, Downtown Seattle, is now based out of the first church in Seattle. We're continuing the work of a congregation that began in 1910—the church of Seattle's founding families. That's a story! The Seattle Times saw how exciting this was, and they ran a nice big piece about it in their Sunday edition, recognizing all the great things Mars Hill has done.
They even did real journalism when they asked our lead pastor, Tim Gaydos, about the controversies Mars Hill has faced over the years. He told them, "I know I'm a failure. I say dumb things all the time. I know I don't represent Jesus as well as I should." See? The Times got both sides of the story. That's journalism!
So what does The Stranger do with the same story? They obsess over a little aside in a press release about the new church where Pastor Gaydos says, "Being closer to Capitol Hill is a blessing as we are serving and ministering to those who are infected with AIDS on the hill." Apparently, it's politically incorrect to talk about AIDS nowadays? That's the only reason I can find for DOMINIC HOLDEN's crazy-pants rant against Gaydos's statement of charitable intent. Here's a guy saying something nice about helping homosexuals, and Holden shakes down an AIDS organization into saying something mean about Pastor Gaydos? I can take a good piece of objective criticism every now and again, but this is just mean.
Where's the controversy here? Gay people have AIDS. Now that the church is closer to Capitol Hill, where all the gay people are, we're going to try to clean up Capitol Hill, because Jesus said that we should be good neighbors. Considering that 99 percent of their readers are gay and live on Capitol Hill, The Stranger should be thanking us, but they're just plain bullying us instead.
Anyway, because I raised a stink about Holden's so-called reporting in a blog comment, The Stranger invited me to take a look at this week's issue before it was published and give my "two cents" about the Mars Hill story. But I have to also say something about another thing I read: PAUL CONSTANT writes a really long (I mean way too long) story about all the problems with President Obama—conveniently published three months after the election, I notice—and all his arguments have to do with a bunch of dead foreigners? Not once does he mention the butchering of precious unborn lives that takes place in America every day? Again: Maybe a real journalism teacher needs to visit The Stranger's offices and teach a refresher course or two, because this sounds like not seeing the "forest for the trees" to me.
What's up with the priorities of this organization? Here's a tip: Like most busy moms, when I wake up in the morning, I make a to-do list. The first item on the list is always "Praise Jesus in my thoughts and deeds." If an item on the list doesn't have anything to do with number one, I just scratch it out. Maybe you should try this, Stranger—it makes things a little simpler.