I have just received comment (open letter) from Mike Dubue, manager of the Mayfair Theatre here in Ottawa, of which I have decided to post and respond to despite the fact I closed the case in my last post.
It is the very kind of letter I wished I had received from the very start. It would have saved both sides much in the way of grief. I still do not agree with everything he says in it, nor do I have to, just as he does not have to agree with me.
But I, surely, now have a much better understanding of where he is coming from regarding his security issues and better understand his intial reaction and for his concern and place in all this.
I hold a higher degree of respect for Mr Dubue as a result of the approach and friendlier tone in which he wrote this letter to help clear this issue up. And for that, I am very grateful to him.
Here is his letter followed by my response:
mike dubue here - manager of the mayfair theatre.
nobody has asked me yet... so... i am a christian and have been for my whole life. end of story.
my position is this: my staff and myself have undergone quite a bit of abuse outside the mayfair theatre - from vandalism to being shot with paint balls to being attacked verbally and physically.
my dialogue with the police started a year ago. part of my dialogue is the kind of abuse we receive from protesters. concerning a small protest, large protest, abuse or whatever else, the police instructed me to call them right away! i was not working the front that night and my staff are not aware of this procedure. i was busy playing and directing this show.
now, it is illegal to stand within five feet of our building to solicit or protest. fine - paul wasn't protesting... but he was soliciting: he video taped himself doing it.
what if some angry patron of ours didn't like what he was hearing from paul and assaulted him? that's one of a million examples. we are liable on our insurance for every single person lined up for our shows. all i care about is my staff and my patrons when i'm at work.
where paul offends me is here: he called Night Of The Living Dead a Hollywood production. this couldn't be further from the truth. this film paved the way for independent film making. it invented technique. it has a tragic story, as it immediately became public domain on it's theatrical release. it's a story about the end. the only thing that this movie glorifies is how we can't figure it all out as human beings - which i think we can all agree is the truth.
what paul is doing is "judging a book by it's cover" instead of investigating what the film is actually about. i challenge this as being christian. as far as not educating himself on the subject that he is speaking out against - i challenge this as being sad and pathetic.
anyway, there you go.
It was good to have received your last comment. There was so much information in there that has helped me understand why you reacted so angrily when you learned of my presence at your theatre and how you could have easily come to conclude that my motives were devious in nature.
I am sorry to hear that you have had so much trouble in the past with your staff and establishment coming under attack in various ways, obviously by persons with a completely different agenda than mine. I can fully understand your reason for concern and your need for police protection.
I came in a spirit of peace, with a message of peace. The same gospel message of peace with God and salvation that I preach at all venues and events we attend or happen to come by.
I am pleased to read that you have come to understand that I did not go to your theatre with a purpose of defaming your good name (I don't even know you), your theatre or even the movie, for that matter. I came for one purpose and one purpose alone: to preach to a crowd of people.
In this case, I purposely went there because the theme of the movie had to do with "death" and the gospel message I preach has to do with the same. Only this one has definitive answers - from a biblical Christian perspective that is.
It is my hope, as well, that you will be able to see that I was not there to solicit anything from anybody. On the contrary, I was there to give not take. I gave a message and I gave out gospel tracts. That's it.
Now, had I of known about your security issues, I would have gone in to ask your permission first. Or, while I was preaching, if you had come out to confront me about the security issues you have had and had asked me to move for the reasons you stated in your letter, I would have gladly obliged with no questions asked.
I would have understood and moved across the street or further away from your building or something. I would have complied because I was not there to cause you or anyone grief. I hope you believe me when I say that.
As far as the "made in Hollywood" comment, I stand corrected. But that being said I would still have things to say about the actual movie and it's contents from a Christian perspective regardless of who made it.
But that was, again, not the main reason why I was there. It was simply to preach the gospel at a place that was, to my understanding at the time, public property...a free speech zone. There was no mean spirited intent at all.
I hope this concludes this episode with no hard feelings from either side. I have and hold nothing against you, Mike and if you were serious about wanting to meet me sometime in the future the invite is still open. You have my e-mail address.
May God bless you,
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