I read with some interest Brendan Williams’ recent letter to the editor about JZ Knight and the Ramtha followers in our community. I appreciate and agree with Williams that criticism of a religious leader’s hate speech should not be construed as an attack on any followers who may also disagree with that same hate speech.
However, I would strongly encourage Williams to take stronger action to protect these followers of JZ Knight and Ramtha from persecution than just a letter to the editor. At this time, the only real persecution of Ramtha followers is coming from the Thurston County commissioners’ offices and the Thurston County Auditor’s Office.
All four of these elected officials have been endorsed and supported by Williams, and it is possible they might listen to his wise advice.
The Thurston County commissioners are actively supporting aggressive and hostile rural land-use laws and plans that specifically harm the lifestyle many of these followers enjoy (along with their neighbors), and the Thurston County assessor has actively encouraged the targeting of these folk by his staff because they often have underground storage facilities.
There is no good justification to invent reasons to harass our fellow citizens just because you don’t like them or their leader. Perhaps Williams can convince the Thurston County commissioners and assessor to change their ways and stop the harassment. They certainly are not listening to anyone else.