Showing posts with label Hypocrisy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hypocrisy. Show all posts

Thursday, September 26, 2019

How Does This Square With Forcing Mike Out of The Church?

In his most recent sermon posted to the church website, perjuring priest Bob Malm bloviates on about caring for those who feel cast out. So how does that square with Bob Malm forcing Mike out out of the church?

Here is the relevant part of Bob’s sermon:

And here is Bob’s email, in which, in true passive-aggressive Bob Malm fashion, Bob announces that Mike needs to find a new church:


And here is a photo of Mike being received into the church 16 months earlier, along with our friends Tony and Diane. All three have left the church, along with me and the rest of my family.


So, I have this to say about Bob Malm’s sermon: Total BS. Absolute hypocrisy.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Looking for Jesus? You Won’t Find Him in the Discourse at Grace Church

As Grace Church prepares for Dysfunctional Bob’s departure and the arrival of an interim rector, one thing is painfully clear: Any interim brave enough (or perhaps foolish enough) to take the position has her work cut out for her. Specifically, after 30 years of Dysfunctional Bob and his sordid example, the way people in the church talk about each other, and to each other, is appalling.

To be sure, it took me a long time to spot this issue myself. Indeed, it was a member of the Grace Episcopal School staff, herself Episcopal, who pointed it out to me in 2014. Her exact words: “I would never belong to your church, and it’s because of the way people talk to each other. And it goes right to the top. And I’ll tell you right now, Bob will never say anything about it. And because he engages in a certain amount of it himself, he shows people that it’s alright.”

At the time, I foolishly came to Bob’s defense; it was more than a year later before I finally realized that she was absolutely correct.

Now, with the advantage of hindsight, and having seen firsthand that Dysfunctional Bob is morally bankrupt and a perjurer as well, I realize that this ugly discourse does indeed permeate every aspect of Grace Church. Whether it’s Alison Campbell and her fun and games with the altar guild; Lisa Medley and her bullying/bitchy behavior; Teresa Preston and her gestures that indicate she believes I’m mentally ill; Eric Waskowiscz, Amy Medrick and others with their one-gun salutes to Jesus, or Bob Malm in his emails to the vestry and the diocese, there is a profoundly un-Christian attitude within the church that comes to the surface when parishioners talk to each other.

Before we go further, I am not the only one to notice it. Kyle Babin, himself the target of bullying by choir members, called it an “evil spirit” at Grace Church.  Former member John Cunningham posted to Facebook, saying he left the parish due to bullying and other abusive conduct (screen cap below).



Additionally, folks at the Wartburg Watch commented on ugly comments from Lisa Medley and Leslie Malm; the former didn’t even have the courage to post under her name. Their comment: “[these parishioners] seem sane to themselves, they seem immature and hateful to outsiders looking at their behavior.” (Screen cap below)


Going right to the top, we have Dysfunctional Bob’s email to the vestry, in which he describes me as a “sad individual...starving for attention.” While this is an interesting bit of projection from Bob Malm, who regularly curries adulation in order to support his shaky sense of self, the fact the he feels comfortable talking about a former parishioner to the vestry in this manner is telling and illustrates the church culture that Bob has promoted during his 30 years with the parish. (Screen cap below.)




Of course, there also is the comment from a college-aged member of Lisa Medley’s family, in which she urges me to commit suicide. (Screen cap below.)


So what can an interim do to address this situation? Establishing written norms would be helpful, but unpacking and fixing 30 years’ of Dysfunctional Bob’s toxic behavior and lessons learned within the parish about conflict resolution will probably take professional intervention. Even then, it’s an uphill battle, and both the diocese and church members like to sweep such issues under the rug and deny that an issue exists. Indeed, toxic parishioners like Lisa Medley not only deny that an issue exists, but also attack anyone who raises these issues. (Screen cap below.)



It should also be noted that Dee Parsons, publisher of the Wartburg Watch, herself experienced Bob Malm’s efforts at bullying and manipulating her. First, Bob tried the noisy bluster approach, which didn’t work at all. Then he tried flattery. Then he tried manipulation, claiming that Dee had promised to take down any posts about me, all the while ignoring Dee’s recommendation to work towards reconciliation.

As one looks at other correspondence from within the parish, including Jean Reed’s speculation that I am mentally ill, as well as former friend Kemp Williams comments, one reaches the same conclusion that user Ishy, a commenter on the Wartburg Watch, came to as she asked church members:

“What kind of Christians are you? I don’t see any love or concern for Eric in your posts. I don’t see that you tried to do anything about it other than make sure Eric couldn’t come back either. (Emphasis added. Original in screen cap above.)

That conclusion holds true for Bishop Susan Goff on down to the Grace Church vestry and membership. Nowhere is there any evidence of any real concerns including for Mike and my other family members hurt by Bob Malm’s conduct, and that of the church. 

So, if you are a prospective interim and you are reading this, just know that if you take the job you are going to have one toxic mess on your hands, and one that requires professional outside intervention.

On the other hand, if you are a church leader reading this and contemplating hiring Bob Malm as supply clergy, you should know that this is part of the baggage that comes with Bob Malm. Caveat emptor.

Lastly, if you are a prospective member, it is important to know that right behind the beautiful, friendly exterior, this is the sort of internal rot that runs rampant at Grace Church. If you join the parish, this is part of the package deal. To quote Proverbs, “in the tongue is the power of life and death.”

Grace Church is just plain bad karma.




Sunday, June 2, 2019

My Response to Susan Goff, Melissa Hollerith, and Sven vanBaars: Your Next Pharisee Merit Badge Awaits!

As I’ve said many times, one of the positive things about my kerfuffle with Dysfunctional Bob is that it has made clear that, at every level, The Episcopal Church is morally bankrupt. I mean, where else can you find a bishop, a priest who teaches ethics, and a parish rector, all of whom are prepared to conclude that perjury by clergy is actionable only if there’s a conviction? Or who don’t have a problem with a priest who is so much a bully that he drives up to former parishioners, climbs out of his vehicle, then screams and makes threats? Who think it’s okay to try to drag a dying woman into court? 

It’s good to know what the church is really about, before I waste any more time or money on it.

With that in mind, here is my response to Bishop Susan Goff, Disciplinary Chair the Rev. Melissa Hollerith, and the Rev. Sven vanBaars. I was on the road when Melissa’s letter came through, so it has a few typos and mechanical issues, but it does the trick. 

And yes, just like the Scribes and Pharisees, all three are utter hypocrites. They are invested in the business of The Episcopal Church, look forward to generous defined benefit plans in retirement, and can feel good about their largely meaningless support for LGBTQIA+ rights and other social issues. But when it comes to actually living a moral life, resisting injustice and oppression, ensuring the ethical and mission integrity of the church, and following Christ, forget it. All three are full of crap, and you can quote me on that. The sooner The Episcopal Church goes away the better the world will be.

Oh, and lest you had any doubt, no pastoral response this time, either. So the CANA/GAFCON crowd can say in all fairness that they are entitled to ignore Episcopal canons. After all, the Episcopal church itself ignores its own canons when it finds it convenient to do so.

A final observation: The best way to avoid being criticized for being a hypocrite is to not be a hypocrite. When you lie under oath, make false representations of law and fact to court, try to drag a dying woman into court, go after Mike, engage in smear campaigns, and lie to parishioners (like claiming I left Grace church on my own), you can only go on so long before people call your bluff. 




Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Melissa Hollerith:Truth in Advertising?

Check it out—a screen cap of Melissa Hollerith’s Twitter account, in which she claims to be sharing “love, forgiveness and grace.” 

To that, I say bullshit.

How can she make this claim when she just signed off on the notion that perjury is okay for Episcopal clergy as long as they’re not convicted? When she and other officials repeatedly ignore church canon law in order to avoid dealing with abusive clergy? When it’s okay for clergy to try and drag the dying into court, to threaten people, to bully other Christians and more?

Jesus would have no use for Melissa and the other modern-day Scribes and Pharisees of the Episcopal Church, where criminal conduct is okay. 

Just don’t get convicted.

PS Amusingly enough, Melissa teaches ethics at St. Albans school. If that’s where our future is leading, the Episcopal Church is already as good as gone.




Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Grace Church Members to Renew Baptismal Vows at Easter. I Call BS

Okay, so I’m a little slow at times.

Bob Malm and many others will be part of the Easter Vigil at Grace Episcopal this year, where inter alia they will renew their baptismal vows.

So how exactly does that work? Bob Malm commits perjury, tries to drag a dying woman into court, goes after innocent family members, lies repeatedly, and refers to people entrusted to his pastoral care as “sick and twisted,” and yet he’s standing up there in front of hundreds proclaiming the Gospel and renewing his vows to “respect the dignity of every human being?”

Given Bob’s track record, he should put a sock on it. Jesus may be Lord, but Jesus has nothing to do with Bob’s conduct, nor Jeff Chiow’s actions, nor much of the church’s behavior.

So, while Bob proclaims “Jesus is Lord,” I proclaim, “Bob Malm is a fraud.”



Saturday, January 5, 2019

A Working Covenant: Bishops’ Promise Proves Hollow

Last summer, the bishops of The Episcopal Church, having heard the #churchtoo testimony, entered into a covenant to work for justice and inclusion for all. A copy of the covenant follows.

So is this covenant consistent with my experience with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia? Answer: It isn’t.

Engaging in retaliation for asking the diocese to mediate a dispute with clergy? One that involves workplace harassment? Clergy committing perjury in court? Illegally misusing funds? And telling me that the matter isn’t of “of weighty and material importance to the ministry of the church?” If that’s the case, what on earth qualifies? Rape, mayhem and murder? 

Let me just say this: Thus far, The Episcopal Church has shown that it is utterly broken and hypocritical at every level. And that includes both Bishop Susan and Bishop Shannon. Their only interest to date has been in protecting the reputation of the church.

Here is the text of the covenant that Bishop Goff presumably voted to approve, emphases added:

A Working Covenant for the Practice of Equity and Justice for All in The Episcopal Church

Giving thanks to God and listening deeply to the recent outcry expressing pain and brokenness in our church, we recognize the urgent need for change. The church as both community of faith and workplace is not immune to abuse, harassment and exploitation of people of varying gender, racial and cultural identities. As pastoral and prophetic leaders of the church, we bear the responsibility to continue the healing and transformational work that has yet to be fully realized. Together, we commit ourselves in our local contexts to strive daily, transforming the culture of our church into a more just, safe, caring and prophetic place for all. We are grateful for the substantial and insightful memorial offered at General Convention, 2018 by Gathering the Next Generation, 2016. We seek to shift our institutional life from one which benefits a few at the expense of others, and more determinedly live our baptismal vows following the way of Jesus.

Leading with greater awareness of God’s dream, deeper courage and integrity, we plan to engage our diocesan cultures and structures in the following ways:

Recognize and respect the official as well as unofficial power given to us by our office, exercising it with humble care and in loving service with all God’s people;

Participate in regular self-examination and seek amendment of life in our personal and systemic use of authorized, relational and positional power;

Increase our awareness of, listen to, and take to heart the stories that reflect the biases deeply embedded in our structure;

Create a culture of empowerment, giving space for leadership based on equity, not tokenism;

Make room for varying cultural and gender-based leadership practices, nurturing an ethos of cooperation and collaboration, exploring and supporting a broad range of leadership models;

Eliminate pay and benefit inequities among all persons;

Create and enforce equitable parental leave policies;

Utilize formational opportunities for congregational search committees to examine bias and make responsible choices regarding their selection and call of clergy into ministry with them.



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Statement by Bishop Adams Underscores Bob Malm’s Hypocrisy

The Episcopal Church in South Carolina recently made an interesting statement apropos the Lawrencian dissidents. The statement underscores the fact that there is absolutely nothing Christian in Bob Malm’s current smear campaign and effort to avoid accountability by falsely claiming that he’s been threatened.

Here’s what loyalist bishop Skip Adams said:
The break in fellowship within The Episcopal Church that occurred in 2012 must certainly grieve the heart of God. Ever since the break, reconciliation has been our constant prayer. We of The Episcopal Church want to be able to explore every possibility for making reconciliation a reality. 
We have no desire for any member of a congregation to leave his or her church building. Our aim is restoration and unity. We want to work together in mutual respect for the benefit of all, so that we can continue to be about the Good News of Jesus.
That contrasts sharply with Bob’s false police reports and his efforts to force a dying woman, my mother, to testify on his behalf. You’d think that, having lost his own mother (sorry Bob, not a proper noun. It’s lower-case.) only a little over three years ago, he’d have some respect for the dying.

My opinion: Bob Malm is a priest in name only. And like Jesus’ description of the Scribes and Pharisees, Grace is pretty on the outside. But inside it’s rotten and full of decay—like Bob M<alm’s conduct. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bob Malm: Laughable Hypocrisy

One of the things I find amusing in all of this is how Bob Malm can trot out the “priest speak” (what one friend terms “Jesus gas,” as in, “Here comes another gust of Bob’s Jesus gas.”), then turn around and shun the very people entrusted to his care. Add to that Bob’s multiple lies (“Don’t worry about it, they’ll be retiring this year,” “Having resigned from the vestry, you were no longer eligible to serve as a trustee.”), his indifference to the stewardship of the resources entrusted to the parish, his failure to supervise parish employees, his false claims that he has been threatened, and his lack of respect for my mother, and the whole thing becomes a laughable moment of cognitive dissonance.

To see just how sharp the juxtaposition is between Bob’s words and his actions, check out his sermon, “The Easter Community,” found here, where Bob prattles on about the Great Commandment, which is to love God and your neighbor, and about perfecting love, never once mentioning his own hate-filled behavior or his indifference to the welfare of the “Easter Community” he is called to serve.

So my question is this: Is it healthy to have such a thorough disconnect between one’s words and one’s actions?

Jesus actually spoke to that, reserving his harshest criticism for those who “on the outside look righteous to others, but on the inside...are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” See, e.g., Matthew 23. Clearly, Jesus would have had little use for Bob Malm and his empty words, and even less use for Bob’s invocation of deity in support of his hypocrisy.

Meanwhile, I feel bad for all who are misled by Bob’s fine words and superficial engagement. But faith requires more than incense, a pretty church, and an engaging but hypocritical priest.


Monday, March 5, 2018

“Let Go and Let God” — More Hypocrisy From Bob Malm

One of Bob Malm’s favorite phrases is, “Let go and let God,” a hackneyed and trite bit of jingoism. Leaving aside the inherently suspect nature of pseudo spiritual babble of this sort, it is ironic to see how little credence Bob places in his own advice.

In the instant case, few would contend with a straight face that there is, at this point, any possible upside for Bob or Grace Church. Bob’s repeated misconduct and abuse of power has forged an ardent alliance of opponents, none of whom are going to ratchet back their opposition any time soon. Meanwhile, details of Bob’s actions are well known to the public, and will reflect badly on The Episcopal Church for years to come.

In his most recent moves, Bob has shown an utter lack of scruples that has only exacerbated the situation. Family members have found renewed energy, and more than one major news outlet is now looking into the story. Additionally, the time, stress, pressure and drain on resources caused by Bob’s actions can only serve to further erode the increasingly shaky paradigm at Grace Church.

Yet Bob continues to pretend and try to bluff his way through things. In so doing, Bob leads the church into an increasingly unhealthy situation—one that will prove damaging to the parish over time.

Maybe it’s time for Bob to take his own advice and simply give it a rest.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

It’s Lent: Is the Irony Lost on Bob Malm?

As I get older, one of the things I increasingly appreciate is the irony of life. That includes the fact that it’s Lent, and Bob Malm seemingly is good with standing in front of a congregation, talking about introspection and repentance, all while trying to bully me and my family.

Adding to the irony is that, when we met in Fredericksburg with the bishop, Bob expressly acknowledged and agreed that he understood and was good with the fact that I was the only person in my family who was stopping blogging. Not even a year later, Bob has broken his word—even though he knew full well that most of my family is still angry with him.

Then there’s the delicious irony of Grace church’s website carrying on about how all are welcome at services this Holy Week. That’s facially dishonest—I am not welcome, and somehow I doubt any member of my family would be welcomed.

Why even celebrate Easter if, as a church, Grace, its clergy and members aren’t willing to live the Easter message?