Anglican Watch

St. Paul’s Montvale update

Rusty Miller Montvale

It’s been a while since we posted about St. Paul’s Montvale, as we wanted to avoid tramping on any judicial toes while litigation is under way. With that in mind, we have a couple of updates.

Heterophobia lawsuit

First, Rusty Miller’s “heterophobia” lawsuit, aka “The Dumbest Lawsuit Ever Filed,” has been dismissed. No surprise there, both due to First Amendment issues and the sheer stupidity of the claim.

Indeed, the only useful aspects of the suit are:

  1. It belies the assertion by the dissident that their actions are not motivated by prejudice. Indeed, even were “heterophobia” a recognized, actionable tort, neither Miller nor any party connected to him has produced a scrap of evidence reflecting such bias.
    • No one has said, “straight people are unwelcome here.”
    • There are plenty of straight people in the parish.
    • We have seen no conduct that would suggest such a connection. Indeed, the church and pastor Jill Williams have been remarkably patient with people whose conduct does not warrant it.
    • Simply put, Miller’s lawsuit is prejudice, pure and simple, both on his part and on the part of those who support him. As for those dissidents who say, “Well, he didn’t know better,” they DO know better. It’s called respecting the dignity of every human being, and it is something sorely lacking among the dissidents. Louise and Martine Miller, here’s looking at you.
  2. It creates a public record of the conduct and prejudice of the dissidents. We encourage those considering to business with Jeff Piatt, Rusty Miller, or anyone else in the sordid group of dissidents to consider this prejudice and hatred when making their buying decisions. Moreover, there is ample reason to question the integrity of individuals in the group, including Steve Hopper and Beth Abrahamson. Once bitten, twice shy!

Criminal trespass

The other development is that the criminal trespass cases have gone to court. The judge ordered mediation, which undoubtedly was a well-intentioned effort to get at the root cause of the matter.

Anglican Watch believes the judge overlooked the fact that the matter already has been to mediation with the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. The latter pulled the plug on mediation on the basis that the dissidents simply are not interested in mediation.

Instead, the dissidents want to prevail and don’t care about the rights of others.

And they are willing to overlook the questionable conduct of Beth Abrahamson and Jeff Piatt, including what looks like efforts to use the church as part of a tax evasion scheme.

Anglican Watch believes a full tax audit of Jeff Piatt and his related businesses is warranted. We further believe criminal charges against Piatt, Abrahamson, and at least one other dissident may be warranted.

Thus, we predict that Marc Denbeaux will lead the charge to use mediation to try to avoid criminal liability.

Will he and the other dissidents mediate in good faith?

We doubt it. Indeed, many of the past issues raised by the dissidents violate Episcopal canons. Simply put, they fail to recognize that the church is not congregational in polity. Thus, they are simply not doable, and they reflect a sense of clueless entitlement that would be difficult to overcome.

Thus, we predict that, no matter how well-intended, mediation will go nowhere. If nothing else, it is very difficult to negotiate successfully with a group that evinces the lack of integrity we have seen in this matter.

We therefore believe the matter will ultimately go to trial, and our hope is that sentencing reflects the gravity of the dissidents’ behavior, including Steve Hopper’s lies in his communications with Mayor Mike Ghassali.

Church officials were unavailable to comment on this article.

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