Who is Brett Kimberlin and why should we care?
Today is Brett Kimberlin Day. This “activist” of the left has made it his business to threaten and intimidate. This has led to Stacey McCain taking his family to an undisclosed location outside of his home state (Maryland), and threatened Andrew Breitbart, as reported by Patterico. It is fairly clear that there is a campaign to harass bloggers in the US: Aaron Worthing shows how this got him involved, and his lawyer, ended up being threatened as well.
It is getting ugly.
There is a question here as to how Christians should respond. Madeline Fleming, who is a NZ Christian Blogger, has currently got a case in the civil court around defamation and harassment. She quite properly does not mention details as the case is sub judice, and In NZ it is contempt to publish data not given to open court — you can publicise what is said in court (excluding suppression orders: unlike Madeline, Aaron and Patterico, I am not a lawyer).
What is more interesting is the ethics of suing and defense. We are taught (Mt 18) to try to get a resolution. We are told not to use law courts. But we are also told that we can end up in them. The question is if the damage being causes is disproportionate. For professionally, reputation is an asset. As Madeline says.
The publicity was started by the Respondent who blogged about the case and supplied very limited extracts of our affidavits but not the evidence supporting them. I am replying in an effort to minimise harm.
With respect you are not party to the facts, I am and my call is that my reputation is at more risk if I do and say nothing.
The media already have this, the Respondent has been blogging for some two weeks about me and the other applicant unchecked.
Now, this concern about reputation is a reason that many of us use a nom de plume. If you are a professional (as I am) your name, your legal name, is your brand. You are known professionally by this name, and anything associated with that name is seen as affecting your professional reputation.
This is why I am pukeko. Finding my real name is trivial: in New Zealand we have not reached the point where people are making complaints to get the SWAT team to forcibly enter your house in the hope you will be injured or worse, so unlike McCain, I am not worried about by boys.
But our reputation has some value. Consider the text.
22Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. 23I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when through you I display my holiness before their eyes. 24I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. 25I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.
About 20 years ago my then wife and I decided that — after she sat her specialty exams — we were having a holiday. We booked accommodation in four resorts in four states, and spent a month in the US. The final stop was Martha’s Vineyard. While we were there, we visited Plymouth, and noted that the Congregational church had split in the mid 1820s due to Unitarianism.
The evangelical arm remains vibrant. But the Unitarians are moribund, and Mass. is a spiritual wasteland.
The warning here is that if we do not repent — individually and corporately — and act like the people of God, God. will. Act.
Which we will not like. It is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God. Because when he prunes, when he winnows, it hurts. We do not like it. If we do not listen to the quiet voice, God gets loud: as C. S. Lewis said, in suffering God is shouting. And out of that trial comes, time and time again through history, a more fervent and righteous people, who will glorify God.
This is a time of crisis. We have not been fated to live in unhistorical times. We need to look first at our own house, purify our lives, and then, and then, pray that we can still be salt and light for our culture. You can stake your life on the truth getting out, and on God being glorified.
But, you cannot ever pretend that there will be no opposition to this. There is more than one Brett Kimberlin, and the more damaging varieties do their intimidation in committee rooms, not by manipulating the police and courts.
Patterico and Aaron Worthing both have made it clear that Kimberlin has also threatened bloggers on the left end of the political spectrum. This is not as much about politics as using intimidation to shut people up.