(click to see the pdf of the document)
The belief systems, the worldview, of the people who claim to represent us at all levels of government deserve close examination. These belief systems reflect on their constituents. Check this out: on November 14, the Spokesman published a letter to the editor by Stevan Alburty of Liberty Lake:
Now that Matt Shea and his Biblical babble have enabled him to be re-elected, I am even more encouraged to proceed with my imaginary plan to hire about 100 bulldozers and raze the entire Spokane Valley from Freya to Barker in one cold swoop.
Start over, I say. It’s physically and intellectually a wasteland, a strip mall of gargantuan proportions. Its allegiance to a fanatic such as Mattt Shea is justification enough for my fantasy of its demolition.
Matt should spend less time trying to fulfill his prophecy about “killing all males,” and spend a little more time on urban planning.
Hmmm. That might be a little overblown. I did quite a lot of canvassing in the City of Spokane Valley in the two weeks leading up to the November election. I followed the national and local coverage of Matt Shea and his worrisome manifesto, “Biblical Basis for War,” a tract I first encountered in a Spokesman article on October 31st, just six days before the election. Regardless of the national news coverage of Mr. Shea’s extremism, many I spoke with in the City of Spokane Valley barely recognized the name, Matt Shea, much less any detail of his ideology.
I smiled reading Mr. Alburty’s letter to the editor, but his way of thinking is a trap. The re-election of an incumbent is more a matter of name recognition and party affiliation than a test of the incumbent’s belief system. We tend to imagine everyone is paying as much attention to these things as we are. We need to get over that.
When Matt Shea was confronted with his manifesto (reproduced above) his response was:
“First of all, it was a summary of a series of sermons on biblical war in the Old Testament as part of a larger discussion on the history of warfare,” Shea said in a Facebook Live video on Wednesday. “This document, in and of itself, was not a secret. I’ve actually talked about portions of this document publicly.”
Well, today I bring you the document itself. If you haven’t already read it where it is posted above, I urge you to do so. There is no question of it’s authenticity. I downloaded it from the link in the October 31st article in the Spokesman. Here is the direct link to the online pdf. Read it for the full effect. Shea’s defense of his outline as an academic exercise, one part of a series of sermons, is absurd. Sections “10 Rules of War” and “11 Organizational Structure for War” are not academic or sermonic, they are a modern day prescription with modern day issues and terminology,
The controversy over this document broke only in the last days of the election. It had a modest effect on the voting I will address in a later post, but the document did not have enough time or promotion to sink into the consciousness of the average voter. That will take time…and it will only happen if we absorb its contents and spread them.
Mr. Alburty’s letter to the editor is premature. His bulldozer fantasy neglects the nearly 30,000 LD4 voters who cast ballots for Ted Cummings, and others who voted for Shea only because he “Prefers Republican Party,” voters blissfully ignorant of Shea’s extremism. Even some staunch local Republicans have denounced the man, notably Sheriff Knezovich and Bob McCaslin Sr. (McCaslin Jr.’s father and a former Senator from LD4, now deceased.) Others have accepted Shea’s endorsement (McMorris Rodgers, for example) or even defended Shea’s document (Rob Chase). One hopes McMorris Rodgers’ lack of discrimination will eventually catch up with her, but for now she is too much a chicken to repudiate Shea risk losing the votes of his extremist followers. (Or does she agree with Shea while she remains careful not to be too open about it?)
Read “Biblical Basis for War.” Talk it up. Spread it around. [Download from here.] This document is no dry exercise in Biblical interpretation or academic discussion of the history of armed conflict. It is a prescription for modern day religious warfare. No denial from Shea should change that plain fact.
Keep to the high ground,
P.S. On a picky note, Mr Alburty’s bulldozers had better start at Havana St, not Freya. If they start pushing east from Freya they will plow up part of the City of Spokane and part of Legislative District 3 before entering LD4 and the City of Spokane Valley, the territory he says he wants to level. Review the LD boundaries using this interactive map. Orient yourself!