During a six-hour meeting Sunday in which females were not permitted to vote or speak, male church members voted to terminate the principal of a Baraboo Christian school.

The suspension of St. John's Lutheran School Principal John Hartwig earlier this month sparked a public outcry from a group of parents that said he was being unfairly targeted.

And supporters of Hartwig said they were shocked to learn that female church members would not be permitted to speak during a meeting Sunday to decide the principal's fate.

"That was terrible," said Pete Klaech, who voted in support of Hartwig and says the controversy may divide the church.

Though an official vote tally could not be verified by an official source Monday, several who attended the meeting said the vote was 76-74 to fire Hartwig.

Details of the principal's alleged wrongdoings are murky, and church leaders have been unwilling to be interviewed. In a letter to school parents announcing his suspension, church pastors said Hartwig had promoted materials that questioned the church's teachings and had engaged in conduct "unbecoming a called worker."

Hartwig's father, a former pastor, authored a document years ago questioning Lutheran doctrine that says women shall not have authority over men. Church members say Hartwig, who has been principal since the summer of 2003, was accused of distributing that document to several in the congregation.

Several parents who support Hartwig have said they would remove their children from the school if he were terminated.

Roughly 300 people attended Sunday's meeting, which was closed to school parents who are not members of the church, Klaech said.

Females do not have voting privileges, but are generally allowed to speak at meetings. Sunday's meeting was the first time in recent history that St. John's Council President Don Finseth exercised his authority to prevent females from speaking, church members say.

Finseth did not return a phone call Monday, and repeated attempts by the Baraboo News Republic over the last month to interview church leadership about the Hartwig matter have been unsuccessful.

When reached by phone Monday, Associate Pastor Carl Schroeder said he could not comment on any church discipline.

Hartwig has also declined to speak publicly, and did not return a phone call Monday.

Those who attended Sunday's meeting said discussion about Hartwig's possible termination began with Pastor Tom Fricke describing details of his interactions with Hartwig over several years.

That followed a period in which church members were allowed to comment and ask questions of Hartwig and church leaders.

Women who wanted to ask questions were told to write them on a piece of paper and have a man read them aloud. But some, including Hartwig's own daughter, said their questions were never read.

"I actually passed three or four questions to a church council member and none of them were read," said Emily Rae Hartwig. "I guess the way I felt about it, and the way many others felt, was that they were afraid of us (women). A lot of my dad's supporters are women."

Emily Rae Hartwig said she is not upset with the congregation, but is disappointed with the church's leaders and feels her father's future career has been jeopardized by his unjust treatment at St. John's.

Rev. Fricke released a prepared statement Monday saying Hartwig was "regretfully terminated" on doctrinal grounds after more than two years of discussions with church leaders in an effort to resolve the issues.

"While congregational leaders acknowledge Mr. Hartwig's fine administrative skills and recognize the personal admiration many parents have for him, our overriding concern is for maintaining sound biblical doctrine and practice," Rev. Fricke's said in the statement. "The decision is difficult for everyone involved. We remain deeply concerned for Mr. Hartwig and his family and will continue to pray for them and the St. John's family."

Church member Doug Zimmerman said a leader from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod who attended Sunday's meeting was asked if any other churches had rejected the recommendation of their leaders to terminate an employee.

Zimmerman said the WELS representative replied that he could recall one church doing so, and said that church later left the Synod.

"To me that was a threat to our church directly," Zimmerman said. "That's how we all took it. I'm sure they're going to say, ‘Oh no, we never threatened anybody.' But it was in the man's voice."

Send e-mail to tdamos@capitalnewspapers.com

 

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Malapert
Malapert

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

Malapert
Malapert

"Lord, what fools these mortals be!"

Ecc
Ecc

I did not realize that Baraboo had went back to the dark ages, when women were not equal to men.

abc
abc

Women could not speak. The vote was totally screwed up with the church chairman, Don Finseth. He changed how to vote repeatedly. Procedures were not followed. Unfair amount of talking times were given

abc
abc

Fricke would follow the WELS more than the Bible. If the church synod told him to jump off the cliff at Devil's Lake, he would do so. He was jealous of the principal and the success of the school

abc
abc

Hartwig took the high road at the meeting, not getting defensive or angry despite the lies that were being said about him. He continued to try to put Fricke in a good light despite Fricke's lies.

kfp
kfp

Hartwig took the high road at the meeting, and didn't become angry or defensive despite the lies being said. He continued to put Fricke in a good light, despite Fricke's lies about him.

jeo
jeo

I now understand why my mother belongs to the good branch of the Luthern Faith. He would have kept his job if women had any type of equal rights....They should be ashamed!

jeo
jeo

Maybe public schools are not such a bad thing after all. At least women and children have a voice!

jmc
jmc

I was not allowed to attend with my husband a member, Mr. Fricke allowed another member to threaten to call the police if I didn't leave. After 8 years of attending my crime was I hand't joined.

wide_stance
wide_stance

I'm just glad they didn't vote to have him stoned or put into stocks on the town square. What century is this church living in and who would trust it to educate their kids?

boocap
boocap

[quote]Ecc said: "I did not realize that Baraboo had went back to the dark ages, when women were not equal to men."[/quote]

It's not Baraboo itself stuck in the dark ages. It's religion.

openeyes
openeyes

By "Fools" is Malapert referring to the pastor who stands behind "doctrine" to promote personal warfare against another and his family, or a church/school counsel who follows for the "sake of church"?

openeyes
openeyes

Or is Malapert referring to "fools" those who don't seek out the whole truth on their own and follow the words of "fools"- then fools they are- But the Lord has nothing to do with this-nor do women!

think4yourself
think4yourself

This is unbelievable! I've lived in Baraboo over 8 years, raising 3 daughters in this community - and I'm appalled that in 2010, women are not allowed to speak or vote?? Are we living in Afghanistan?

doublebarrel
doublebarrel

WOW! and to think that I used to belong to a church in this synond. I was taught that the words 'all men are created equal' to mean all men women and children. Glad Im not a part of it any longer.

ihaverights
ihaverights

The church will stand by their beliefs regarding women, that is what they believe. However, the line was crossed with the abuse of power to not allow women to even speak. Cowardly comes to mind.

ihaverights
ihaverights

The church will stand by their beliefs and position per their doctrine. However, the line was crossed with the abuse of power (again) to not allow women to even speak. Cowardly, embarrassing, shameful

kfp
kfp

Church pres.Finseth totally screwed up vote.Another proposal was thrown in during the vote that should've been voted on earler.People had no idea what they were voting bc he kept changing vote

all5
all5

The most pathetic thing (that hasn't been mentioned) is that "teenage boys with minimal if any life experience" were able to not only have their voice heard but they were able to vote!

amy
amy

Mr. Finseth, You must believe that women have no voice or don't deserve to be heard. What century are you living in and what does this teach young girls in your church? What about your children?

kfp
kfp

This is for all5: Yes, but it took 2 of those kids to brave the adults and stand up and say:1) Stop the bashing and personal attacks against Hartwig. 2)Ask Fricke if he is blameless through all this

cbbcjp
cbbcjp

To JMC and all5:Everyone was told of the informational meeting open to all. Your crime, you didn't join, I never see you with your spouse and kids. Young mem allowed to vote, they were confirmed!

tyerks
tyerks

This is a matter that is between the individual and the church. It's sad to see how many times the 8th commandment has been broken in these comments. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

all5
all5

I believe that EVERYONE should have the right to speak but I beleive the voting should be left to people age 18 and above. That's just my opinion though........

cbbcjp
cbbcjp

To JMC:It was public knowledge that women would not be allowed to speak or vote at the meeting on 3/21/10. If your husband is a member he attended BIC, he knows what doctrine is taught.

cbbcjp
cbbcjp

To JMC:It was public knowledge that women would not be allowed to speak or vote on 3/21/10. If your husband is a member he attended BIC, he knows what doctrine is taught.

Darlene
Darlene

It's interesting that St John's allowed "women" to organize and run the St. John's School fundraiser as long as it was off St.John's property and accept all the money that was raised with no problem.

EmilyH
EmilyH

It was NOT public knowledge that women could not speak. Finseth said at the beginning of the meeting that he had just decided this. We all knew women could not vote, but not speaking was unprecedented

kfp
kfp

To cbbcjp: Finseth decided on his own, prior to the meeting, that women could not speak. That was not public knowledge. Another example of Finseth making up the rules to suit his own personal agenda

jmc
jmc

To cbbjcp: 1. when not at work I am there. 2.BIC covers VERY little of this 3.while bylaws are SUPPOSED to be given they have NOT been given to any new members we have spoken with! Check YOUR Facts

amy
amy

Women of St. John's you deserve a voice! Is there a "Rosa Parks" somewhere in this congregation? People pay to go to the school to learn not have a voice? "Well behaved women rarely make history"

Ln
Ln

I remember when people were asked to make a decison on having a bible study with different religions or resign from St Johns. They resigned. You people follow a pastor not God!

Darlene
Darlene

What about the single parents out there raising their children alone? I'm widowed and female. I make all the decisions as I'm the head of the household. A teenage male can vote and not me?I dont agree

Watchcat
Watchcat

See, WELS? This is what it's like to share ideas openly, and hear all voices, even those that speak in soprano and alto.

harry455p
harry455p

Wow another cult raises it ugly head.
was it a secret vote by the men? If it was then they could go home and tell their wives that "no honey I voted to keep him"

harry455p
harry455p

WOW another cult raises its ugly head

harry455p
harry455p


Wow,,, another cult raises its ugly head.

harry455p
harry455p

WOW,,, Another cult raises its ugly head.

harry455p
harry455p

WOW,,,another ugly cult raises its ugly head.

all5
all5

To KFP: I commend the boys that stood up for Mr. Hartwig. In fact, my own son asked Pastor Fricke "who's definition of blameless" was being used as it also means "sinless" which applies to none of us.

proud2bfemale
proud2bfemale

The crime does not fit the punishment. Seems that there is a hidden agenda here. There have been teachers that have done far worse and they are still there.

cbbcjp
cbbcjp

Women are appreciated, they are ushers, finance committee, altar guild, they are not hidden. Men will listen to women. We don't follow pastors, we follow God's Word!

PEACE
PEACE

Being a humble member of the Church, I would like to say that the meeting that took place on Sunday consisted of lies,bashing, and more lies. Finseth did NOT know what he was doing,Fricke-embarrassmet

Rosa
Rosa

Finseth should not have told everyone over and over again on Thursday night that they should save their comments until Sunday. Women expected to get a chance to speak!

Mimi
Mimi

So i went to pick my kids up from school today and my 9 year old daughter came out and said that only boys are aloud to speak and vote. I have always taught my kids that men and women are equal.

Mimi
Mimi

in the bible and in the amendments it clearly states women are to be as equal as men. I guess Mr.fenseth hasnt read either.
and to JMC:i cant believe they threaten to call the police if you didnt leav

proud2bfemale
proud2bfemale

To Mimi: I would be very interested in where she heard this. I am concerned about the dynamics changing in the class room. As parents we need to stay on top of this.

Asmith
Asmith

Ask Mr. Hartwig why he was asked to leave Jefferson 8-9 years ago from St. John's Lutheran Grade School. Same scenario, only different city. Seems like a pattern here....God Bless all of you.

jmc
jmc

Mimi: they did, it was stated that the next step after the visit by the pres, two past and last guy that pres wanted police called to remove me. That is when I got up and left

Rosa
Rosa

@Asmith they did ask the synod and Mr.H why he left his former school. They stated his resignation there was unrelated to the kinds of things we are currently dealing with. ???? Can you elaborate?

Mimi
Mimi

jmc : you shouldnt of been treated that way its wrong on every level . Im embaressed to say that im a member at this church .

wide_stance
wide_stance

How can parents be willing to send their children to a school that is being run by a church this oppressive and backwards? What a horrible and wrong message for young girls.

EmilyH
EmilyH

I am John's daughter. What happened in Jefferson was 100% a different scenario. It can't be explained in these 200 words. Stop spreading hateful rumors and lies - or stop calling yourself a Christian.

OMG
OMG

Come on People!! You CHOSE to send your kids here. Don't you read the mission statement on the memo sent home every week? If you didn't understand the doctrine, you should have never sent them there!

amy
amy

Exactly Wide_stance! Why would parents believe

bears
bears

i was a student of mr h's b4 he was fired and i think that we lost more than just a principal. i lost a dear friend and a history teacher and i tought he was the best we lost a man who little

bears
bears

kids came up to and said thanks and looked up as a role modle

proud2bfemale
proud2bfemale

To OMG: Yes we choose - they don't tell you this detail at time of enrollment, in the Monday memo or in the mission statement. Even life long members don't know this stuff in great detail.

proud2bfemale
proud2bfemale

Even those who go to BIC don't know the fellowship rules and womens roles in great detail. The school is a great place and I don't regret sending my daughter or son there one bit. That is when they

proud2bfemale
proud2bfemale

had a leader that cared about them and make an environment that nurtured them. The school has several GREAT teachers as well. It is sad to think what will happen to the school now that the yahoo's at

proud2bfemale
proud2bfemale

the church are destroying it. I will continue to raise both my children to have a voice use it wisely and stand up for the wrong in the world regardless of gender!

sly
sly

Maybe they should throw the Pastor out too.

megs
megs

wow i never knew that baraboo could be sexist WE have a say for president but not principals??? I will not be sending my child to that school that is JUST WRONG!

Malapert
Malapert

Big story? yep. On Drudge, O'Reilly, or Madow? Not yet. Will it be? You bet. Faces will be red. Many wish they stayed in bed. Shouldn't have left things unsaid. Open a dialogue instead. ~ Burma Shave

Terry Keskey
Terry Keskey

I am shocked and sorry to have ever been a member of this church for this kind of conduct. Whats next? wrong skin color to have a say or attend. Get out the crosses and gasoline. But give 10%bs

Asmith
Asmith

Should all be in the minutes why Mr. Hartwig left St. John's. Emily...we are all Christians...you know what is was like growing up and living in that household.

OMG
OMG

So the very person you defend did not give you the information you needed? Is that your fault or his? The mission statement says that the school is an extension of the church. Buyer beware!

EmilyH
EmilyH

You're right! I have a wonderful father and a loving and supportive family. Thank you for reminding me of all the great things I have, despite this trying time. :-)

OMG
OMG

So you defend the person that should have given you the information about the doctrine and what the church was about? Mission statement says that the school is an extension of the Church.Buyer beware!

abc
abc

Hartwig CLEARLY said he believes in the WELS doctrine. He asked questions privately with Fricke about the applications of those doctrines in different churches and why some WELS churches are different

Cathy
Cathy

It saddens me to see how incorrectly this has all been handled. The pastor, church president and other church leaders are not representing Jesus correctly. Jesus would be ashamed!

Cathy
Cathy

This has been handled so incorrectly that it gives Christians a bad name.This is not how real Christians would behave! Mr. Hartwig deserves better. He has behaved with great Christian love and honor.

formerWELS
formerWELS

WELS own website says:"When a woman has no one to represent her at voter's meetings, it is very important that the congregation look for ways to gain her input."

formerWELS
formerWELS

WELS website also says:
The wisdom and insights, the questions and concerns of everyone in the congregation, men and women, are important.

NOWAY
NOWAY

I am so very upset by this, I just came home from a trip to find my children amidst all of this1 It is sad we are telling our children someone can't be forgiven??? Isn't that what church is about????

NOWAY
NOWAY

My children will not be going to school tomorrow, they are ill and I am unsure if they will be going back.

abc
abc

Fricke even said Hartwig was a fine school administrator and a good teacher but I guess Fricke and Finseth couldn't get past their vindictiveness. How devastating. They won, but an entire school lost

kfp
kfp

The vote was SO confusing. Finseth throws in another vote that should have been presented earlier. A very reasonable proposal. Finseth screwed up the whole vote by changing his mind over and over.

kfp
kfp

People found out they had voted the wrong way bc Finseth couldn't make it clear what yes or no meant. How come there were more votes than people present? So much has been mishandled through all this

Rosa
Rosa

I am still bothered by the fact that Mr H recanted his comments on women's rights and said he believes what the doctrine says about women! What does he believe?

realist
realist

St. John's is not the only church in the area. Not the only WELS church either. All WELS churches are not the same. Sometimes, it breaks your heart but you have to leave in order to help the church.

EmilyH
EmilyH

See: http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/article_932a56c8-36d4-11df-a17e-001cc4c03286.html?mode=comments

Ln
Ln

You people who are members know what the wels stand for, women can't vote it is biblical. The way the pastor and finseth acted should be dealt with maybe it is time you do something.

Ln
Ln

Follow God not man!

tuckerj
tuckerj

Rosa is right. Mr H was paid to support the doctrine of his church. If he could not do his paid duty (support doctrine), he should have resigned to support his beliefs. you cant trust a flipflopper.

jeo
jeo

Once again, religion strikes it's ugly head creating strife. The battle lines are drawn and war has begun. Reminds me of the middle east. 2nd Lutheren church in Baraboo with a war in process.

Rosa
Rosa

Thx 4 posting the link Emily. What a difficult time this is for our church and for your family.
Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Rosa
Rosa

My heart breaks 4 everyone in this situation, the congregation, Hartwig, Fricke, the school kids, etc.

equalpeople
equalpeople

I quit going to church. I worship at home. Our church is the same--women are fine for cleaning up, making funeral food, bake sales and our 10%.

PEACE
PEACE

What everyone seems to be forgetting is that Mr. Hartwig apologized MANY MANY times for questioning doctrine. Why should he continue to get crucified?

PEACE
PEACE

Yes, his job was to uphold doctrine. But he NEVER, EVER gave these papers to students or laypeople in the church. Only church leaders.

PEACE
PEACE

If he can't go to his own pastors for questions on doctrinal applications, who should he go to?!?!

PEACE
PEACE

Also, his daughter just posted a great response on the Wisconsin State Journal site. Everyone should read it.

tuckerj
tuckerj

Peace, Mr H admitted to handing out the papers to parents at the school. The pastor got them from parents who passed them on.

IRB
IRB

Separation of Church and State in it's original form means the church is pretty much free to hire and fire who they want and is free to discriminate against whomever they want. Life is about choices, we all make choices concerning how, what and where we worship. I am a former member of this church who left 20 years ago when there were issues. I now worship at my home. Some will say I may go to hell over that. But, however and where ever I worship, I do not discriminate against and degrade women! I see all people as my equal with equal rights and opportunities. It is outrageous that in 2010 we allow women to be degraded and stepped on in OUR society! When the members of that church stand in judgment, let it be known they all are in full support of the degradation of and discrimination against not only women but of young girls everywhere. Life is about choices, enjoy your church, members of Discriminator of Women aka St. John's.

Frank
Frank

Not only does the Wisconsin Synod (WELS) have this long standing policy of disrespecting women, but their ministers and teachers health insurance is paid for by the taxpayers: Badgercare!

ssb
ssb

Let's look at the facts objectively,regardless of your faith. He agreed to his contract, he didn't follow it, he was given 2 chances,

fac
fac

Principal Hartwig went through WELS called worker training by choice as did his pastors,being a called worker by his call he is to follow and teach God's Word he is free to disagree and leave...

ssb
ssb

Shame on the Cutrell woman for fueling the fire w/ inaccurate statements. Shame on the journalist for writing a story w/out checking the facts first.

jack flash
jack flash

women can't vote, it is biblical. So thy should take off all there clothing and put on the fig leaf. That's biblical, Adam.

NOWAY
NOWAY

When it comes down to it, I don't care what anyone says about what is right or wrong here. Sexual discrimination is what it is, and my children will not be attending next school year.

NOWAY
NOWAY

My niece was already signed up for public schools yesterday. I will let mine finish out the year because the 1st grade teacher is amazing, and he needs her right now. However if anything more comes of

NOWAY
NOWAY

this my children will be pulled immediately. I'm afraid of some crazy person trying something at the school but I know it is locked down pretty tight during the school days.

OMG
OMG

Amazing, send your children to a religous school with out even understanding or investigate what the church is all about, then complain when you don't agree with something. Who's to blame?

Haven1
Haven1

Maybe we've sent our children there looking for guidance and hopes of understanding
Great Job to the Cutrell Women for having Guts to try to stand up for someone she believes in!!!

Haven1
Haven1

My daughter asked me why Mr Hartwig wasn't forgiven for his "bad choices" isn't that what we are taught? She also asked why it wasn't okay to ask our Pastor questions if we have them?

Haven1
Haven1

Why is it that my daughter understands that nobody is Perfect, other than God, but our church leadership punishes our principle for it. We are taught that we are not perfect that is the reason....

Haven1
Haven1

Jesus died on the cross for us, isn't it?

You people act like Mr Hartwig handed out porno for heavens sake and should be banished he didn't do anything even remotely evil

Haven1
Haven1

I hope the reporters and media continue to cover this story, that way the church can't try to sweep this unjustice under the rug.

Gewehr98
Gewehr98

As a former member of St. John's in Baraboo, a graduate of that grade school, and a graduate of Martin Luther Prep in Prairie du Chien, I highly recommend that one look at St. Paul's down the street.

tuckerj
tuckerj

haven1, The pastors did say many times that they forgave John and that they gave him communion earlier in the day. The issue was not about forgiveness. If you do not understand the issues........

tuckerj
tuckerj

please do what the bible says and go to the source. Do not learn from 2nd or 3rd hand sources. Go to Pastor to find out why. Both Pastor and Mr Hartwig deserve respect and .......

tuckerj
tuckerj

should not have their names dragged thru the mud here. I regret and apologize for what I said earlier. This is an internal affair and we should not air our dirty laundry.

Observer
Observer

Different items to address, but hopefully to the point. First to the media, know the facts and give all the facts if you are going to do a story. Don’t manipulate to the way you want to cover it. You omitted that there was an open meeting (where all voices could speak) a couple of days before. Second, to the person who commented about the health care, each congregation in the WELS pays the premiums to an insurance company and it isn’t Badgercare. Third, I will say that I am a very outspoken woman by nature and I don’t have any problem being a member of the WELS. Neither at the time I was single or now. WE ARE HEARD, just not directly at all times. Fourth, general rule in the work place. -If you don’t do what is asked of you at most jobs you can easily be shown the door. In many of those situations in the public workplace it is the decision of one or two people who can let you go. So congregations of the WELS have the decision made by the (voting members) the congregation is a lot better than the general workplace.

Observer
Observer

Fifth comment and the most IMPORTANT, by all the comments that have been going back and forth and the continued coverage of the media - the Devil wins. He wants the destruction of the church and ...

Observer2
Observer2

and this is one of the best ways for him to do his work. He is secretive and underhanded in his ways and I don’t think that is what anyone involved with this truly wants. Turn your focus to where it should be at this time in the church year. REMEMBER THE SUFFERING AND DEATH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, AND THE FORGIVENESS OF ALL. HE PAID THE PRICE FOR OUR SINS AND BECAUSE OF GOD’S GRACE, ETERNITY IN HEAVEN IS OURS THROUGH FAITH. This is what we are taught in the Bible and by the WELS. What more important message can be taught to us? Don’t continue to breed more hatred towards each other. Think of GOD’s great forgiveness and do the same amongst each other. Also, remember, if our children do something wrong there is usually a consequence. We make them aware of the wrong behavior; we forgive our children and hope they have learned from it so they don’t continue the behavior.

GOD’S BLESSING TO YOUR CONGRAGATION AS YOU GO THROUGH THIS TRYING TIME!

observertoo
observertoo

Thank you, previous observers, for your insights. FEW if any of us on the outside don't have or need to know all the details. Speak the truth in love=always speak to build up, not tear down.

observertoo
observertoo

Oops. Please delete the "don't" from my previous post.

scuba
scuba

Hey Gewehr98, would that be the same St Pauls that has a women pastor which is forbidden in the Bible? For someone with your education you should know what the Bible teaches.

scuba
scuba

I am hoping you mean St Pauls in North Freedom.

scuba
scuba

I really hope you were talking about St Pauls in North Freedom which would make my last comment meaningless to you.

scuba
scuba

What saddens me is people STILL believe everything the media says. They didn't cover the whole story only the piece they knew would sell. Learn ALL the facts first before speaking about something.

jeo
jeo

so scuba, what is the real truth. I went to the WELS website and it is crystal clear woman do not have the right to influence a man's decision. Why did Hartwig get terminated?

jeo
jeo

I always that the Bible was an interpretation of God's will. Maybe I am wrong. I encourage all Women to read the WELS website to know where you really stand! My wife has a voice at St.Pauls in Bara

WTF
WTF

WTF...is this 2010 or 1910.....this church is out of touch and should be out of business!

Gewehr98
Gewehr98

No, I meant St. Paul's in Baraboo. St. John's told me by very personal letter that they didn't need me in 1987 after joining the military, so my family moved to St. Paul's. We've never looked back.

SassyBrunette
SassyBrunette

I don't belong to this church

SassyBrunette
SassyBrunette

Go without the children that the WOMEN who weren't allowed to vote carried and gave birth to. How well will things such as fundraisers run without the WOMEN there? Please, stand up for yourselves and

SassyBrunette
SassyBrunette

for your children - teach your sons that women deserve the same respect as men and teach your daughters that they are just as valuable as men.

T Hawk
T Hawk

Folks who wonder why church attendance is dropping among younger people need look no further than St Johns. It's like a bad episode of Little House on the Prairie.

WELSLifer
WELSLifer

http://mogallant.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/lutheran-women-not-allowed-to-speak/

WELSLifer
WELSLifer

I hope Fricke does not get away with this. There needs to be accountability for him.

truth
truth

Those of you who compared this to Afghanistan, this country was founded on freedom. One of those freedoms is the freedom to practice religion. You are persecuting the WELS exercising their

truth
truth

constitutional right to practice religion. This is why there is a separation between church and state! Would you criticize the Amish for their chosen lifestyle?

truth
truth

Also, the Bible is not an "interpretation" of God's will. The Bible is the inspired word of God. In the Bible, God tells us exactly what God's will is.

kfp
kfp

Let's get the facts straight: Hartwig gave out some doctrinal papers to about 6 people. A year ago he was told not to, SO HE DID NOT DO THIS ANYMORE. His crime? He gave someone an admission policy

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

EmilyH - You really don't want people to investigate why your Father resigned from Jefferson - do you?? Did you try and tear down the church for that one or did you hope that it would just go away?

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

EmilyH - After the Jefferson incident didn't St. John's welcome your family it it's congregation and install both of your parents Mother

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

How did this become a women's rights issue? Mr. Hartwig stood in church before God and this congregation and said yes he believes and will follow all of the doctrines of WELS.

kfp
kfp

for enrolling in a Lutheran High School. That's it. IT DID NOT CONTAIN DOCTRINE! He was told to to retrieve the doctrinal papers. He got back the ones he could. So his crime? An admission policy

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

He did not follow the doctrines and after 2 years of pastoral counseling was asked to resign.This is about his belief and choices. He must be held accountable for his actions as a called worker of God

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]GodsPeaceStJohns said: "EmilyH - After the Jefferson incident didn't St. John's welcome your family it it's congregation and install both of your parents Mother and Father as teachers"[/quote]

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

KFP Don't simplify his actions.There is far more then diseminating the papers.I know one woman who received the paper(still has it).So it wasn't just given to leaders of the church either as stated

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

The news media has been irresponsible with their reports by reporting information from women who don't even belong to St. Johns that made this a womens rights issue instead of doctrinal as should be.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

Cathy-Jesus would be saddened by this whole situation especially with the discension within our congregation. Shame on Mr.Hartwig for bringing this upon our church. He knows the truth of Gods teaching

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

JMC this was a congregational meeting.The women was not part of the congregation and asked to leave.She was being distruptive.At that point a church member took it upon himself to step in.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

He also happened to be an off duty officer.Pastor did not ask for his help or control what he said.Shame on her for coming in the first place - sheer disrespect for our congregation

jeo
jeo

In our Free Country we allow women equal rights. What would have happened if the women were allowed to vote? I bet Hartwig would still have a job. The taliban is alive at St.John's(WELS).

dwchick
dwchick

"shame on her for coming in the first place" Why do you say this? I thought women could at least show up even if they had to be silent and not vote. She showed and talked. The nerve!
Find a new church

jeo
jeo

Nice threat by member of the St.John's clan. Try to bully Emily by investigating her father. It is the WELS doctrines that need to be investigated. You will lose members and rightfully so.

dwchick
dwchick

"shame on her for coming in the first place" Why do you say this? I thought women could come to meetings even if they can't talk or vote. The nerve of her! She came and talked. She's disrespected!

OMG
OMG

dwchick - she came to a meeting that was for members only and she is not a member. She knew this after going to the "public" meeting on Thursday, so her purpose was to disrupt the vote.

dwchick
dwchick

Even so-the whole situation is disrespectful to the women members of the congregation who should have had a voice and a vote. What an embarrassment for the entire church, school and community!

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

DWchick-The women had a voice and they spoke loud and clear in the informational meeting on Thursday.This was a voters meeting and the women still had a voice through their husbands or council members

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

DWC I am a female member of this congregation and do not feel disrepestected. There were 300 people there I was fine with my husband speaking.It lasted 6 hours if we all spoke we may still be there

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

DWC - I support the decision and would have voted the same.This isn't about womens rights this is about a WELS teachers beliefs and actions that go way beyond the womens rights to vote

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

DWC Let me ask you this if he were a murderer (a sin against the 5th commandment) would you feel the same way?Or would you still say shame on St Johns for not letting women vote. Same principles apply

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

One question I would like to ask is why do you send children to a christian school? Is it because of one teacher or the teachings based on scripture?

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

jeo-there was no threat to Emily.I wasn't the one who brought it up.She also responded negatively when a person asked about it. Please note I did not say why he resigned.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

jeo - if people leave because of this they were a member of that congregation for the wrong reason. Even Mr.Hartwig told people it would be wrong if he left.So who are you hurting

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]Malapert said: "Big story? yep. On Drudge, O'Reilly, or Madow? Not yet. Will it be? You bet. I'd be carefull about that one.The Hartwigs might not want all the truth to be told.Best ask them

dwchick
dwchick

GPSJ, obviously you are an obedient and submissive woman which is what your church expects and requires of you. You're heating up in this discussion. I expect a male from your church will quiet you.

observant1
observant1

Wow "God's Peace"..that's twice today you made such peaceful, yet threatening statements about the Hartwigs.Starting to sound a bit personal.Who are you looking out for now??

jeo
jeo

GPSJ--The Hartwig's past will be exposed no matter what happens at this point so your threat is mute! If it is so terrible...shame on St. John's for hiring in the first place!

jeo
jeo

GPSJ--Who is it huring if members wise up and leave....hmmmmm....you better ask your MAN. Membership drop = Less Money. Your MAN can explain the rest...you can give him a note with the question.

Malapert
Malapert

Ah, the emergence of insidious insinuations, innuedoes, and intimations! Can sheer invective be far behind?

dwchick
dwchick

Poor GPSJ will most likely be used as a prime example of why WELS won't let women speak or vote after she aired their dirty laundry in public. They twist everything to justify their beliefs.

donkeyguy
donkeyguy

I considered joining this church and sending my two young children to this school before this. Why would anyone want to send their kids to something like this??

T Hawk
T Hawk

This all is why I don't go to church. They are a business out to make money. I don't believe that when God created Heaven and Earth, He forgot to create for Himself enough cash.

T Hawk
T Hawk

It's more important how you live the other six days than just Sunday. Walking into a church no more makes you a christian than walking into a barn makes you a farmer. Don't act nice. Live nice.

foolish
foolish

Choices.

The Bible is God's word for humanity or it is merely a collection of human words attempting to answer Why.

foolish
foolish

Choices.

The Bible is God's word for humanity or it is merely a collection of human words attempting to answer Why.

foolish
foolish

If God can create the universe, from the smallest particle to the largest galaxy, esp. the wonders of our Earth in 6 real days of evenings and mornings, then maybe we should take his word seriously.

foolish
foolish

Because no one was alive to document how it really all began, we all have to take someone else's word for it. It's even hard to wrap your brain around the big bang. Job 38-42. Psalm 8.

foolish
foolish

Why does God tell us he is one God yet describes himself as three distinct persons? Why would God the Father send his Son, as the GodMan, to die a cruel, agonizing death?

foolish
foolish

...On behalf of all people, most of whom could care less. During the 40 /- hours before he bodily came back to life, why did he go on a rampage thru hell? To destroy the power of death and evil!

foolish
foolish

If God asks us to believe the whole Bible as the sacred Truth, even though much of it doesn't make sense, then perhaps we should also trust him when he says it is relevant for all time.

foolish
foolish

Why does God, speaking through St. Paul, ask us to be like the Bereans, who searched the scriptures and verified the truth of his ministry?

foolish
foolish

Why does God ask men to emulate him, to give up ourselves - our desires, efforts and possibly our lives, for the well-being of our wife? To keep our eyes and hands only on her?

foolish
foolish

...And to not exasperate our children, but living as an example of kindness and forgiveness, pass on to them our spiritual treasures?

foolish
foolish

This is why St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church includes St.John's Lutheran School. There cannot be any spiritual demarcation between the two buildings.

foolish
foolish

Pastor Fricke and Pastor Schroeder were called by the members of St. John's congr. to serve as the shepards for the entire church. They are accountable for the spiritual safety of all of these souls.

foolish
foolish

Come what may, the shepard must still guide the entire flock, including the wanderers and the rebellious, through life's dark chasms to a table prepared for feasting.

foolish
foolish

John Hartwig knows all this...

He has had years of training in the same doctrines our pastors must uphold. There are God-pleasing ways to privately discuss one's personal spiritual struggles.

foolish
foolish

For all of us; if the assurance of God's promises doesn't end your doubts, please don't give up. Study the Word. Challenge yourself before you challenge God. Attend Bible classes.

foolish
foolish

...Talk with one of the pastors of the several other WELS churches in our area.

Doctrine must matter.

Malapert
Malapert

This thread has recently been inundated with foolish comments.

foolish
foolish

M:
but we preach Christ crucified:a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles...For the foolishness of God is wiser then man's wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

Sunshine
Sunshine

[quote]Malapert said: "This thread has recently been inundated with foolish comments. "[/quote]

That waw funny. I just have to give you props.

baraboob
baraboob

This "church" sounds more like a cult. C'mon,... they won't let women speak?!? What is this, the 9th century? We should round up the congregation, take their guns,

jeo
jeo

I can't figure if David Koresh, James Jones, or the Taliban inspire the WELS doctrines. I think I am leaning towards James Jones....brain washed and Cult.

SEP
SEP

I went to this school, never learned about women's roles. never talked about at the pulpit. failure by the pastors. when i DID go to the pastor, he couldn't give me a concrete answer.

SEP
SEP

when you refer to this being in the bible, you're correct, but it is a letter from Paul to a church that was having issues with disorder, so he tells them to have the women remain silent

SEP
SEP

and also suggests many other rules, which are not practiced in today's time. have you ever read the preface to the NIV bible? many denominations came together to translate and some of the translations

SEP
SEP

are still being challenged! the point is the vote was held unfairly and it was very evident that this is a very personal issue between fricke and mr h. they did tell mr.h he was forgiven in Christ...

SEP
SEP

NEVER once did they look him in the eyes and say, I forgive you. prayers to the hartwig family

mrlundt
mrlundt

Those who disapprove of the rules of the club, aren't compelled to join the club. I would never be in this club, but don't really care who joins.

stvincent
stvincent

Will the reading at St. John's this Sunday include the part about women being the first to discover the resurrection? Just wondering.

john134
john134

If you allowed the women to vote it would be like politics..nothing would get accomplished.

dwchick
dwchick

The unspeakable would have happened if the women had voted. Mr. Hartwig would have kept his job. Something positive would have been accomplished.

SeaSea
SeaSea

I GO TO ST.JOHNS SCHOOL!!!!!HOW DARE YOU PEOPLE JUDGE US!!!YOU DON'T KNOW US!DON'T JUDGE A WHOLE SCHOOL BY ONE PERSONS ACTIONS!!!IM 11 YEARS OLD.EVEN I KNOW THIS.ITS NOT RIGHT THAT FRICKE DIDNT LET

SeaSea
SeaSea

GIRLS VOTE.BUT DONT CALL US A CULT IT WAS 1 PERSON.THE TEACHERS TEACH THAT WE ARE ALL EQUL AND THAT WE SHOULD LOVE EACH OTHER.DO YOU KNOW US?NO.SO DONT ACT LIKE U DO.IT MAKES ME VERY ANGERY THAT BOTH

SeaSea
SeaSea

FRICKE DOESNT BELIEVE WE CANT VOTE AND U PEOPLE JUDGE STRANGERSWITH OUT KNOWING THEM.AGAIN IM 11 YEARS OLD AND I KNOW THAT.ALSO WE SHOULDVE KICKED FRICKE OUT INSTEAD.HES SOO BORING AN NO ONE LIKES HIM

SeaSea
SeaSea

TO:JOHN 134 ACUTALY, EVEN THOUGH I THINK EVERY ONE SHOULD VOTE, YA HAVE IT BACKWARDS BUDDY.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]SeaSea said: .ALSO WE SHOULDVE KICKED FRICKE OUT INSTEAD.HES SOO BORING AN NO ONE LIKES HIM "[/quote]If you truly are a student at St. John's then shame on you for writing this

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]abc said: "Women could not speak.Women spoke loud and clear at Thursdays meeting.How to vote was never changed. Hartwig was allowed the longest time.Are you sure we were at the same meeting?

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]abc said: He was jealous of the principal and the success of the school "[/quote] You are way off base here.This about Mr. Hartwig not following doctrine not Pastor Fricke.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]abc said: "Hartwig took the high road at the meeting. Hartwig spoke high of Pastor because he thought it would win him votes.Pastor Fricke never lied about anything.Mr. Hartwig skirted around

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

every issue and got very loud at times. Again, were we at the same meeting?

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]jeo said: "I now understand why my mother belongs to the good branch of the Luthern Faith. What branch is that? The ones that let homosexuals be pastors. Clearly against scripture.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]kfp said: "Hartwig took the high road at the meeting, Sheer manipulation on his part. After all he's got people believing he should still be a teacher despite his beliefs.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]observant1 said: ..that's twice today you made such peaceful, yet threatening statements about the Hartwigs.Not threatening just speaking the truth which no one seems to care about here.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]EmilyH said: Stop spreading hateful rumors and lies - or stop calling yourself a Christian. "[/quote]People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]SeaSea said: "TO:JOHN 134 ACUTALY, EVEN THOUGH I THINK EVERY ONE SHOULD VOTE, YA HAVE IT BACKWARDS BUDDY. "[/quote]
OK What 11 year old says you have it backwards buddy?

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]dwchick said: You're heating up in this discussion. Not yet but just may. I don't need a vote to honor God. How about you?

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]dwchick said: . What an embarrassment for the entire church, school and community! "[/quote] You can thank Mr. Hartwig and the media for that.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]Rosa said: "I am still bothered by the fact that Mr H recanted his comments on women's rights and said he believes what the doctrine says about women! What does he believe? "Hmmmm manipulator

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]SeaSea said: "GIRLS VOTE.BUT DONT CALL US A CULT IT WAS 1 PERSON. That person was Mr. Hartwig not anyone else.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]Gewehr98 said: The ELCA church that allows women and homosexuals as pastors. Totally against scripture. Guess you didn't learn much in your christian educations.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]NOWAY said:and my children will not be attending next school year. "[/quote]Then obviously you don't care if they receive a christian education and didn't send them there for the right reason

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]jeo said: "I can't figure if David Koresh, James Jones, or the Taliban inspire the WELS doctrines. "[/quote] Ask Mr. Hartwig

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]Haven1 said: "My daughter asked me why Mr Hartwig wasn't forgiven She also asked why it wasn't okay to ask our Pastor questions if we have them?"[/quote] Who told her these lies???

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]jeo said: "GPSJ--Who is it huring if members wise up and leave Membership drop = Less Money. The Hartwigs would get hurt the most. The church will remain.

dwchick
dwchick

GPSJ, do you have the permission of the male leaders of WELS to spew your wrath here or are you acting boldly on your own? In any case, I doubt God feels honored by your behavior.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

If this is all about female rights Did you notice some of the mascots for the girls BB tourney?Norsemen, Lady Popes(LOL) I wonder if they feel discriminated against. Better put that in the headlines

jeo
jeo

GodsPeace has alot to say! You must be the cult leader as you have all of the answers. Thank you for your insightful recap. You are the bitterest person here having to defend such outdated doctrine

jeo
jeo

Hartwig has to be on his best behavior as a pending lawsuit is in the works. Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.

jeo
jeo

Nobody will win this discussion as no one ever wins a religious battle. I guess Gods Peace does not love all men and women as he has an issue with Homosexuals and Women Leaders.Oh yeah.Bible says so!

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]jeo said: I guess Gods Peace does not love all men and women as he has an issue with Homosexuals and Women Leaders."[/quote] Wrong on all of the above even the "he" has an issue.

stvincent
stvincent

I'm paraphrasing here but "We are following God's word the right way" and "our doctrine is the only correct one" arguments are thousands of years old. Well-intentioned people with differing views

stvincent
stvincent

have used the "we're following the Bible" argument against each other for a very long time. I suggest that those who feel strongly one way or another step back and look at this debate in that context

fac
fac

Like politics there are conservative and liberal churches, yet we're Americans,as members of Christian Churches we're Christians. We differ on doctrine but not on salvation. Matt 7:3-5 Matt

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]fac said: We differ on doctrine but not on salvation. Matt 7:3-5 Matt "[/quote] You are correct-thank you for your post.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]dwchick said: "GPSJ, do you have the permission of the male leaders of WELS to spew your wrath here or are you acting boldly on your own?"[/quote]Now who is trying to silence a women?

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

dwchick: Again, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Your post have never honored God.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

jeo - He can appeal the churches decision within WELS but he will more than likely lose a public lawsuit, personlly,financially and publically. Also, his non supporters are not his enemies.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

I am a non supporter and do not look at him as an enemy. That is the difference between thinking as a non christian and a christian.He will also tell you he should have honored the churches doctrine

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]SEP said: Were you there? Pastor Schroeder looked right into Mr. Hartwigs eyes and forgave him and said this isn't about forgiveness. Why don't people understand that?

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]jeo said: bitterest person here"[/quote] First I was submissive and now I am bitter.Must be what happens when women have a voice(hmm?)or speak the truth that no one wants to hear or accept.

LB
LB

I grew up and was confirmed at St John's. I do have to wonder where they get their doctrine. It isn't biblical. The Bible clearly states the requirements for church leadership and their roles.

LB
LB

You can read it in 1 Timothy. Women can be deacons, just not Elders (Pastors). Women very much had leadership roles, were teachers, and had voices in the Bible. I don't know why St. John's does it.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]jeo said: "Hartwig has to be on his best behavior. Could have prevented all of this by "being on his best behavior in the first place"

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

lawsuit? That sounds like his arrogent self. Wonder if he considers himself a christian. Also what kind of christian act is that? Wonder what his Father thinks earthly and heavenly?

Malapert
Malapert

Would, if someone could, please tell me what the word "c-h=r-i-s-t-i-a-n" means. I cannot find it in any dictionary. It is bandied about, seemingly, with utter abandon. Is it merely a filler word?

dwchick
dwchick

GPSJ, you remind me of the energizer bunny who just keeps on going. Your anger is sad and frankly pathetic. I hope you'll let God's peace in and let Him help your calm your angry spirit.

dwchick
dwchick

Btw, Malapert, you are priceless!

jeo
jeo

390K WELS members vs. 7 Million ECLA Members. Gods Peace, you are the perfect spokesman why the majority are with ECLA. Bitter person defending outdated practices. WELS is a drop in the Bucket.

jeo
jeo

Gods Peace...if you are married...I personally think you are a closet homosexual...Do you let your wife vote freely in the general elections or do you dictate who she can vote for?

donkeyguy
donkeyguy

I am going to become a Jehovahs Witness after reading all of this crap. That way atleast my wife will be able to talk and vote... oh, and use the toilet! (without asking permission!!!)

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]jeo said: Bitter person defending outdated practices. . "[/quote] I am not bitter at all.You are interpreting me standing up for my beliefs as bitter.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

[quote]jeo said: "I think you are a closet homosexual[/quote] I am a married women.(to a man) My best friends brother is gay and a great guy.So for you ignorance is bliss.Feel free to keep bashing.

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

DWchick: Not angry...saddened about the whole situation...guess I did increase the strength in my posts...passionate about my faith which I am trying to explain is far greater than the ability to vote

stvincent
stvincent

GPSJ:
"passionate about my faith which I am trying to explain is far greater than the ability to vote"

I respect your passion, but you are sharing/explaining to a secular crowd with no voting power

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

This will be my last post.I sat next to a gentleman in church today that appeared to have been homeless and just come in off the streets.I said good morning and he as well.When the collection plate

GodsPeaceStJohns
GodsPeaceStJohns

came around he put in 1 penney.I thought how awsome! You see... it is all about hearing Gods word not about money or voting. This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice in it. Happy Easter!

realist
realist

Very sad about the entire situation. Turning away souls should never be the outcome, whether intended or not. Has turned out to be a real black mark on the entire WELS body, not just St. John's.

LB
LB

"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." James 1:19-21

LB
LB

"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." -James 1:19-21

OpenBook91
OpenBook91

I realize this story is old, yet I think a response is warranted, seen or not. I'm not Don Finseth, Thomas Fricke, or John Hartwig, but I can tell you firsthand that this issue, the constant misunderstandings on both sides, and vindictive comments on websites like this one and from neighbors and former friends drove members of my family to tears several times. I had to watch those tears fall, but felt powerless, without becoming another voice whining in the pack.

You have no idea how powerful your comments here are. I don't care about your religious standing; some of the blatant and ignorant bashing of people went too far and some of you ended up anonymously hurting those I care about. Looking back on these comments, you know who you are, and you should be ashamed. Hartwig and Finseth once were as close as brothers,and these petty differences drove them to a bitter,sad end. I ask that you don't let this happen in your life, and don't encourage it with your comments here. Show love.