Sunday, October 23, 2011

Patrice Servant needs to know I admire him

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Today’s Blog Post

Patrice Servant needs to know I admire him
I think you would appreciate “Patrice Servant”. I have never met him, but I read of what he did and I appreciate him very much. His one small action that turned the world around him upside down was reported, and my respect for him grew greatly – at least for a little while.

No one heard his name for a long time. He was hidden in all that he did. But in what did he was heard by millions. And now today you will not likely be hearing from him again but then again you might.

That kind of sounds like a riddle doesn’t it. I think I will keep that one for my grandkids.

His name is perfect for what he was known for doing. He was a servant for another famous person in Canada. That servant-hood didn’t take place in the 1700s or 1800s – but rather the years 2002 and 2011. And it was in 2011 that his one decision made headlines.

Patrice Servant lives in Quebec. His job was to write speeches for his very famous Boss, Jean Charest, the Premier of Quebec.

Whatever the Boss wanted he did. If the Boss was to make a speech in Montreal on next Wednesday, Patrice would have a speech ready for Mr. Charest to give. Mr. Charest is the top man in Quebec and a very important man in North America… but he has little time to write speeches… getting the information together and making it powerful and earth shaking. Patrice was very good at doing that for his Boss for the last 9 years.

But in the last while in Quebec there have been some major Construction problems revealed by reporters and citizens. It has become very evident that poorly built projects and buildings were done by not so good contractors and construction people. These not so good folk had apparently obtained important Government and Commercial Contracts by underhanded methods. The Government had also paid exorbitant dollars for all of this. With that happening it became more and more suspicion that an inquiry was needed to get to the bottom of what was going on. Regular Citizens were put in greater danger with some of these projects collapsing.

Not living in Quebec now(but once-upon-a-time having lived there) I follow the news reports that seep out over news service. And even being in the bordering province with Quebec – not much is coming our way about their problems… at least until Patrice did what he did.

Patrice quit his very important position of Mr. Charest’s speech writer.

As reporters tried to dig deeper they found that Patrice had left his post because of a matter of conscience. His Boss, Mr. Charest soundly refused to get into the matter of the province needing an inquiry into the construction world. In his speeches and material being put out from his office, Mr. Charest would have nothing to do with it. He would not hear of it.

And most all that Mr. Charest said were words that Patrice Servant prepared for him. Patrice took all that he was given and crafted great words to avoid any idea of an inquiry being launched.

BUT and it is a BIG BUT… Patrice had thought it through. He knew more than others perhaps. His own conscience was pricked by what had happened. Perhaps, (and that is my perhaps,) he knew people that were hurt or even killed by the poor construction methods and shoddy workmanship… or the over spending of the Government with the corruption that had taken place.

Patrice could no longer do the job. He could no longer “lie” to fellow Quebecers. His words were good and what he was required to say was not being honest. It was a matter of his conscience.

Now to have a guy like this quit such an important office was news making to say the least. To have him say very little about why… except the part about conscience… was even more revealing.

He could have said he was retiring… or moving to France to write speeches for the President there. But he didn’t.

I admire Patrice Servant for what he has done and how he has reacted.

Maybe I admire him more than others do. In my past working career I have had to not really tell the truth at times. I have been required to avoid the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have had to craft words that skirted around the issues that should have been dealt with – but weren’t. I have sat in meetings where the leadership has been less than forthright. Now notice that I have avoided using the work “LIE” or “lying”.

Now to have a former Minister state these things out loud is downright dangerous to the image of the Church. To have me get close enough to telling the whole truth about what I know is a threat to people that know what happened – but don’t want it told.

Even dropping these hints that something was wrong way back when… is dangerous for my personal well being inside the ecclesiastical world. I do not dare say that folk in that world are less than perfect.

I hesitate to write certain chapters of my future book just because of the stuff that I know… and the fact that some of it cannot be told for fear of marring the memories of “great” people that I worked near or with. They were a bunch of clowns that needed to get out of their powerful positions and get rid of the lies that they lived… but didn’t and everyone still thinks they are saints (of sorts).

Recently my cousin visited me. She reminded me of a character that we both knew of in the old days. This guy was a “children’s evangelist”. He was thought of highly by his peers and many people in leadership. But he was a creep in my mind and gave me weird feelings when I was young.

This creep traveled far and wide over the prairies and different parts of Canada.

He would go to church to do “children’s ministry” for pastors that needed help. He was a great entertainer.

He would also molest little girls when he slept in the homes of pastors… that was true of my cousin. He messed with her… and she has terrible memories because of it.

She told me that there may be hundreds of kids that he had messed with.

Another, and still another, lady told me the same about two other “evangelists” in our church work that were well known and had raped each of them, threatened them and then they reacted by not telling anyone about these dear, talented “men of God”!

As a boy I thought they were weird and I avoided them.

Later as a fellow minister I tolerated them but I didn’t know… they were still weird. They were also criminals hiding behind “the cloth”, their clergy-privileged life.

Nope – not all ministers are pedophiles. Some are simple liars. Some have affairs with other women and sometimes men. Others are power hungry men and women that want to control other people’s lives. But it doesn’t stop with ministers – some of the Churches’ Lay Leadership have been worse than the main man or woman.

Have you ever wondered why so many people don’t attend church anymore? Yikes! I have and I have a suspicion as to why.

That sounds like a terrible indictment on my part I am sure. It also sounds like I know more that I should. If you feel like that you are right.

I worked for and with men that have done all these things. Worse yet in some cases I was very close and knew way too much – but wouldn’t believe what I knew.

Unlike Patrice I couldn’t or wouldn’t walk away from the “paying job”. I had kids to feed and I wasn’t responsible for these stupid actions of the ministers that were clowns. I had to stick with what I was doing. Conscience or no conscience I had to work close by.

But in all of situations I did resign and move to a “better” place where I was away from the stupidity that I had witnessed. Unfortunately I soon found more stupidity at a new place.

I better stop becoming so truthful – even here. Too much can be said by someone like me… to make it dangerous.

Patrice I admire you. You may never read these words. You stood up for what you believe and took action. Way to go!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 


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