Two additional comments on the Christ Church minutes issue as they relate to Paul Kimmell. Those who have raised the question quoted those minutes as follows — “Doug Wilson reported that Paul Kimmell, in his role as County Commissioner, is open to oversight from the elders on certain issues.” Having being given the date by one of those who has been yelling about this, we found the minutes in question, dated April 8, 1999. The entire sentence reads this way:”Doug Wilson reported that Paul Kimmell, in his role as County Commissioner, is open to oversight from the elders on certain issues, such as the current domestic-partner issue.” If anyone is curious about what we would have said had that issue ever come to us, such a person may check on our recent Credenda devoted to this issue. Hint: it is not exactly what some might expect.
But the second aspect of all this is far more important. This needs to be stated in the strongest possible terms. The minutes of our elder meetings are frequently pastoral in nature, and could not have been come by honestly. Those who want to use them as a political football need to understand that what they are doing is the ethical and moral equivalent of breaking into a psychologist’s office, stealing files of clients, and then using them in a public dispute. The minutes of our elder meetings are by no means limited to “business matters,” and are filled with pastorally sensitive information. I don’t expect those who are currently involved in this to alter their behavior at all because they don’t care about such things. But for those of you who are not authorized to have them, the only honest thing to do with such minutes in your possession is refuse to read another word from them, and shred them immediately.
Those reasonable people who are watching this local saga unfold need to understand that because of the irresponsible publishing policies of the Daily News, our church government is no longer able to function the way we desire it to. Our church leadership no longer has the freedom to communicate fully with our members because Nathan Alford has frequently allowed his newspaper to be manipulated by nutjobs. And now, because a handful of spite-mongers have taken over the Myopia 20/20 discussion group, we are faced with the prospect of confidential pastoral minutes circulating contrary to our wishes, and contrary to the privacy rights of every person in Christ Church who has ever sought pastoral help. The question is worth remembering. Have these people no shame?