do not appear to have a very great measure. Now, this is no sort of accusation but, as we are admonished to do, to speak words of reproval to your brother in love and compassion, in the hope that he will hear and actaccordingly. You have quite an opportunity and responsibility to give a lead to thosewho seem to think that they are doing no wrong in bringing lawsuits and restrictionson those who only wish and long for the best for the Church.What can courts of law know about the practice of love? Very little, if anything. If they show evidence of it, that is incidental and almost accidental, seeing how courtsare constituted, based on law, on 'yes' and 'no,' and restrictions of one sort and another,with confrontational and controversial attitudes at their center.This may be more or less alright for those merely wanting to score points and 'win'debates. It is no good for those who claim their lives and activities are based on love,on that overworked, marginalized and denigrated quality which is only partiallyunderstood by so many, yet by its very emphasis, showing how everyone recognisessome of its aspects.This begs the question: "Well, do I understand all of its implications?" Of course not. No one individual can. Yet I comprehend enough to know, see and have experiencedthat to prevent, threaten or otherwise debar those who would seriously wish and longto sit down with you, and maybe others, and discuss outstanding questions in anatmosphere of sharing, is an aspect of love which, up until now, has not been affordedto those who long to avail themselves of it.So who am I to comment on these things? Ah, no one, yet I did spend fifteen years inthe communities and I can modestly claim to have some understanding of how loveworks. Certainly not along the lines that you and others, up to now, practice. This ison the evidence.Alright, so Ramon and others, according to you, may not have acted rightly on someissues. Do you not see the possibility for this could well arise from exasperation,restriction as to what they wish in all honesty and rightness to do, or from an inherenthuman weakness that we are all subject to? However, for the strong it is incumbentupon them to help and uplift the weak. We are all so constituted that we have strengthsand weaknesses. As it was claimed at times, "We all sit on the same bench." Is it notsaid there is joy in heaven for every sinner that repents? That he who is without sincast the first stone? What happened? All the accusers quietly dispersed. So are we notall in the same boat? I look forward to hearing the good news that all who can, areable and want to, resolve the present and past divisions and difficulties in a mutuallyforgiving, practical atmosphere.
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12/19/97: Judy and I went to New York on Dec 17 for the depositionthat I was scheduled to give on the Bruderhof's copyright lawsuit. Stephen J. Obie
Page 3 of 42former Bruderhof members/residents KIT Newsletter January 1998 Volume X #127/10/2007http://www.perefound.org/KIT1_98.html