Here is an article about pro-abortionist Reverend Mary Erickson of the St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jackson, Wyoming. Mary Erickson is one of the more prominent Baal Worshipers in Jackson.
Faced with a perceived threat, Reverend Mary Erickson was compelled to act. As a mother of two kids, she felt immediate maternal instincts to protect impressionable children from the graphic imagery used by anti-abortionists which included militant members of Operation Save America. Her day job as an assistant priest at St. John’s Episcopal Church had given her the experience she needed to rally others, to organize the fears and aspirations of a group and direct them for good. Her vocation taught her hate is always fought best with love.
Jackson Hole United was formed in the face of the second coming of right-to-life protesters, including Pastor Mark Holick and his church along with OSA volunteers. Intimidated by a recent State Supreme Court ruling in the pro-lifers’ favor, Town of Jackson officials allowed their special events permit with some restrictions. It was obvious someone needed to step in and step up. It was Erickson, and others, who answered the call and provided Jacksonites with a quiet leadership that brought cohesiveness to a fractured community.
When OSA brought its repugnant revival to the town square during Elk Fest, its shock-and-awe campaign was met with civility, compassion, and love. Red-shirted proponents of fire and brimstone were calmed by the soothing ‘blue’ band of tight-knit locals who refused to let their town be hijacked. It was inconceivable that any one person or group could unite such a disparate clutch of citizens, yet here were 2,297 believers dedicated to a movement bigger than Facebook, each ready to pledge an allegiance to their kids and their community.
And the good reverend tended her flock with grace.
“I don’t think I anticipated it having as big an impact as it did. I think it was one of those perfect storm kind of things. The situation met the need,” Erickson says. “I like the fact that we allowed it to be what it needed to be, we agreed that it had to happen and grow organically.”
Still, Erickson acknowledged any inclusive group was going to have its own internal strife. There would be divisiveness. There had to be. JHU is made up of pro-lifers, pro-choicers, political lefts and rights, religious followers and the secular-minded. Each JHU member brought his or her own beliefs and baggage, and that was OK as long as members remembered the golden rule. When their emotions ran raw, when fear and hatred provoked rash rhetoric, they needed to be coaxed back on the path.
“We did have a lot of that on the Facebook side of things. [JH Weekly] was a target of that,” Erickson says. “My sense is to step in when things get ugly and remind people what we are about. It’s OK to disagree but not to get ugly. We may come from different places and backgrounds, but we should all be coming from a place of compassion and understanding. We respect our right for free speech and JH United is an open site intentionally. But we have a mission and goal. We don’t want to shut people up, we just want them to express themselves in a respectful way.”
Erickson admitted she continues to be somewhat surprised by how quickly the group came together and how it has now grown bigger than the issue it was born of. During the wildfire that threatened Jackson, anger occasionally surfaced again, nearly unraveling the threads of community. Some JHU members took up refuge in their safe place. The recent school shooting at Sandy Hook was another example of how horrid the world can be and once again a pacificator was needed to pilot our disquiet into calmer waters. Erickson, a gifted writer, penned an eloquent piece on the JHU Facebook page.
“I’ve had a lot of people tell me that [JHU] has continued to be a reminder for them to try to get back to that place of understanding and compassion for one another,” Erickson says. “The fact that this group has continued to grow shows the need in this world today for all of us to find a way to move back to a civil place when we are hurt or our emotions run high. If we can do that as a community then maybe we can have an effect globally.
“I don’t think it is over, I just don’t know where it’s going. There’s too much need for it in today’s world.”
By Tim Shey
My eyes weep blood.
Pharisees smile like vipers,
They laugh and mock their venom:
Blind snakes leading
The deaf and dumb multitude.
Where are my friends?
The landscape is dry and desolate.
They have stretched my shredded body
On this humiliating tree.
The hands that healed
And the feet that brought good news
They have pierced
With their fierce hatred.
The man-made whip
That opened up my back
Preaches from a proper pulpit.
They sit in comfort:
That vacant-eyed congregation.
The respected, demon-possessed reverend
Forks his tongue
Scratching itchy ears
While Cain bludgeons
Abel into silence.
My flesh in tattered pieces
Clots red and cold and sticks
To the rough-hewn timber
That props up my limp, vertical carcase
Between heaven and earth.
My life drips and puddles
Below my feet,
As I gaze down dizzily
On merciless eyes and dagger teeth.
The chapter-and-versed wolves
Jeer and taunt me.
Their sheepwool clothing
Is stained black with the furious violence
Of their heart of stone.
They worship me in lip service,
But I confess,
I never knew them
(Though they are my creation).
My tongue tastes like ashes:
It sticks to the roof of my mouth.
I am so thirsty.
This famine is too much for me.
The bulls of Bashan have bled me white.
Papa, into your hands
I commend my Spirit.
Iowa State University
Genesis 49: 10: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”