Posted on August 20, 2012 by itccs
by Kevin D. Annett
The angry clergyman stormed out of his United Church to confront me and the aboriginal man who were leafletting his parishioners.
“Fucking assholes!” he screamed at us. “Why don’t you get a life?”
“This is about our children who died in your residential schools …” the native man replied politely, offering a leaflet to the minister, who grabbed it, crumpled it up and smirked at the Indian. Then he turned his back on us and began saying loudly to his flock,
“Ignore them, people! They’re just the looney tunes!”
It was a Sunday in the fall of 1999. The place: Ryerson United Church in Vancouver. The minister was Gary Paterson, who was just elected this week as the National Moderator of the United Church of Canada.
I suppose it’s completely appropriate that a little creep like Gary Paterson was chosen to be the head of the church that has, like Paterson, told those who as children survived rape and torture at their hands to get lost. For the man who offered a leaflet to Paterson was such a survivor, and he now languishes in a U.S. prison after being framed by the FBI on a murder charge. His name is John Graham.
John took Paterson’s assault in stride that day. He and I reconvened to a coffee shop afterwards.
“They’re all the same” he said quietly, in response to my outrage at Paterson’s behavior. “Asking them to come clean is a waste of time.”
“Yeah” I agreed. “But the funny thing is, the last time I saw that guy, he gave me a big hug and congratulated me on my ordination.”
“Naturally” John replied.
The Canadian media are all aglow this week now that “its first openly gay minister” – Gary Paterson – has been elected to steer the crumbling helm of what I like to call the “Untied Church of Canada”. The latter’s membership has plummeted, I’m happy to say, over the past five years. But Gary has all the right stuff to keep the dwindling mob happy: a winning smile, a deep, friendly voice that emits all the right words, and damn it, the fellow is a homosexual! Now who would dare to criticize an openly gay clergyman?
Besides, Gary is right at home in the United Church, with his trite sermons that keeps the crowd entertained with a kind of fast food spirituality – most recently at St. Andrew’s Wesley church, or “A and W”, as it’s commonly called in church circles.
A random observer named Dean Darling had a different take on Mr. Paterson a few years ago, after being similarly assaulted by him for passing out leaflets at A and W on the missing 50,000 residential school kids. Dean came up to me afterwards, all shaken, and said,
“That minister – the one who yelled at me. My god … I felt I was in the presence of pure evil.”
Montreal writer Ann Diamond noticed a similar malevolence when she sat in on one of Paterson’s services, in 2008: the same Sunday that my murdered friend Bingo Dawson led a peaceful, brief occupation of Paterson’s church with a handful of other Holocaust survivors. She was appalled.
“He was mocking that group of residential school survivors in his church that day by his clownish, patronizing behavior” Ann told me later. “I’ve never been more embarrassed and disgusted.”
For the next three years at a salary of $135,000 a year, Gary Paterson will have the chance to endulge his smugness before a world audience, now that his child killing church is posing as the savior of those little kids whose bodies it still hasn’t returned for a proper burial.
Nevertheless, I find it significant that native activists who trod on Gary Paterson’s turf end up dead or in prison: like Bingo Dawson and John Graham. The fact that Gary Paterson has something deeper to hide is suggested by the fact that his name appeared in May, 2001 on a public list of eight men alleged by The Child Protection League to be members of a group known as The Star Chamber: an elite network of child rapists and traffickers including judges, politicians and church lawyers in Vancouver.
Whether Mr. Paterson is in fact so implicated is not for me to answer. For he doesn’t have to have personally buggered children to be guilty of a crime against humanity, since he’s now the fiduciary officer of a corporation that planned and committed genocide – and for now, has gotten away with it.
And that’s the main point, of course. For generations, the United Church has actively defrauded the public by expecting them to pay for church crimes with their tax money. But now that the church’s murder, rape and sterilization of countless native children stands exposed, why in God’s or anyone’s name should Canadian taxpayers continue to prop up Gary Paterson and his blood soaked church?
Nobody seems to want to answer this question, especially the government and the slavish Canadian media.
The United Church, like the Catholics and Anglicans, are in flagrant violation of the Income Tax laws and rules of charitable societies, since they are corporations with criminal records that do not devote their revenue to solely charitable purposes. Indeed, on average barely 15% of these churches’ funds go to help the poor or charities. According to the law, that disqualifies them from not paying taxes. So how come these phoney churches are still tax exempt?
Every year, Canadians pay more than $8 billion so Gary Paterson and his crowd can continue to defraud and fleece the public and cover up the the graves of all those little kids they butchered.
Frankly, the whole mess is more than nauseating. Gary Paterson is nauseating. The people who elected him and their stupid pretensions, it’s all nauseating. And the fact that John Graham, and not Gary Paterson, is rotting in prison, is more than any moral or thinking person can tolerate.
So that’s why we’re going after Mr. Paterson. Sometime next month, the smiling Moderator will receive a personal legal summons to answer charges before an International Common Law Court that’s convening on September 15. And if Gary Paterson refuses to appear in this Court, he’ll be compelled to by Peace Officers; and he may find a commercial lien placed on his income and property by relatives of those murdered by his church – as well as by outraged Canadian taxpayers.
Hell, it’s the least we can do for John Graham, and Bingo Dawson, and 50,000 children.
He who smiles last, Gary, smiles longest.