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David Roseberry Threatens Lawsuit
Sounds like a pattern. Roseberry hired a rent-a-cop who violated my
Constitutional rights by bullying me and telling me that I oculd not
speak to any AAC persosn even in the public areas of the hotel where
they were meeting last October. See Kevin Jones' account of that
Detective Taylor and his wife were my gracious hosts during that
L., Nwk 2, Member of Executive Council
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 11:54:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jack H Taylor Jr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: David Roseberry <email@example.com>,.....
Subject: David Roseberry Threatens Lawsuit
Refuses Interview Unless His Church Attended for ^—Several Weeks^“
Traditionalist Cleric David Roseberry,
Outspoken Critic of Episcopal Church,
Threatens to Sue Inquiring Journalist
© TR&I Publishing
DALLAS, Texas --- A leading critic of the Episcopal Church
hierarchy and a leader of conservatives who have been resisting
changes from ordination of women, revision of the prayer book to full
inclusion of gays and lesbians, has threatened to sue a Dallas
journalist because of research for a magazine article.
The Rev. Canon David H. Roseberry, often quoted in the secular and
religious media as a spokesman for traditionalists or so-called
Orthodox Anglicans in the church, threatened to sue Jack H. Taylor
Jr., a Dallas-based journalist and private investigator, apparently
because of inquiries being made about Roseberry to his friends, family
and others in the church.
Roseberry made his threats in a letter FAXed to Taylor by his
administrative assistant and forwarded to Taylor by a Dallas lawyer,
Douglas D. Fletcher, who made similar legal threats on Roseberry^“s
behalf. Fletcher, a former assistant district attorney in Dallas, is
now primarily a defense lawyer specializing in liability cases. He is
a founding partner of Fletcher & Springer L.L.P.
But Roseberry held out an unusual, highly unorthodox compromise. In
his unsigned communication on July 2 he wrote that he would ^”sit down
and talk with you sometime in August^‘ but only ^”if you would be
willing to come to Christ Church as a worshipper for the next several
weeks during our regular scheduled Saturday and Sunday services.^‘
Taylor declined to accept Roseberry^“s proposal unless Roseberry
could name any other journalist who had also attended several weeks of
worship at Roseberry^“s church as a condition of interviewing him.
^”I think it is highly improper of you to attach as a condition for
such an interview the requirement that I first attend Christ Church
^—as a worshiper for the next several weeks,^“^‘ Taylor wrote in reply.
^”Never in my 44 years of journalist^“s experience have I encountered
such an impertinent gesture from a public figure.^‘
Taylor already had attended services at Roseberry^“s church in
suburban Plano, Texas, and even received communion from Roseberry and
spoke with him after the service in June. In addition, Taylor had
obtained eight tapes of Roseberry^“s past sermons from Church Church^“s
Tape Ministry as part of the research for the magazine profile article
Roseberry stated in his letter that in his view attendance at his
services for several weeks ^”would allow you to experience our ministry
first-hand, and see the kind of witness that ids happening here^Ň You
would be welcomed here as a worshipper, as are all people.^‘
Roseberry made clear, however, that any such welcome at his church
as very conditional.
^”If you will not accept this offer, then I must demand the
following, effective immediately, and may be forced to seek
appropriate legal action against you if you do not comply: 1) Do not
contact me, the Christ Church staff or vestry, or any member of my
family for any reason, either in person or by mail or electronic
means; 2) Do not come onto the property of Christ Church, or my
personal property, or that of any member of my family or the Christ
Church staff or vestry.^‘
Roseberry is the only person who appears as reticent among those who
have been interviewed in connection with the research, according to
Taylor. Roseberry^“s mother, brother, son, former brother-in-law, other
relatives and associates, including former assistants and past and
current employees and parishioners all have been not only cooperative
but cordial and even helpful.
Roseberry^“s threat is not the first time a cleric in the Episcopal
Church has threatened to sue Taylor over his reporting about the
church and its personalities. In the mid-1990s, Bishop James M.
Stanton of Dallas became so enraged about Taylor^“s writings about him
and the church that he had an aide call one of Taylor^“s editors at a
Dallas newspaper and threaten a lawsuit. Stanton settled for simply
firing Taylor, also an Episcopalian, as his diocesan AIDS
Although there appears to be no precedent for requiring several
weeks of church attendance in return for interviewing a cleric,
attending church has been enforced off and on in different ways for
centuries, sometimes involving court orders, sometimes involving
well-meaning, but heavy-handed bosses.
In 2002, Marty Backus, the fired publisher of two small
newspapers in Arkansas, claimed in a lawsuit against his Alabama
publishers that he had been ordered to attend church weekly and to go
to bed with his wife every night after being summoned to corporate
headquarters in Gadsden, Ala., when he and his wife began experiencing
marital problems. His suit also claimed he was fired after 21 years
when his bosses began to question his faith in God and loyalty to
them. His publishers denied his claims and said he was fired for
In 2000, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed a
federal lawsuit in Cleveland when city safety officers were ordered to
attend Civic Appreciation Day held on a Sunday morning by the Parma
Heights Baptist Church. When several of the men objected, they were
told that attendance was mandatory and a direct order; something the
ACLUS said violated constitutional separation of church and state.
. Also in 2000 in Mississippi, a chancellor^“s court was said to have
ordered a divorced mother, Anita McLemore, to attend church as a
condition of having custody of her children. The Mississippi Supreme
Court ruled that was a misunderstanding, the chancellor^“s court meant
only the youngsters had to go to church.
In 1944, Elaine Monfredi, a 21-year-old Los Angeleno, was
sentenced to three years probation and ordered to attend church once a
month after she ran off to Arizona with Ellsworth "Sonny" Wisecarver,
the 14-year-old son of a neighbor.
A little further back in time, in the early Nineteenth Century,
convicts were ordered to attend church regularly in New South Wales,
and the Byzantine Emperor Jusinian ordered pagans to attend church and
to accept Baptism.
In Roseberry^“s letter to Taylor, he attempted to link Taylor^“s
current research with an incident last fall, shortly after Roseberry
helped to sponsor a meeting of the ultra-conservative American
Anglican Council in Dallas to consider reaction to the church^“s
acceptance of V. Gene Robinson as its first openly gay bishop.
Roseberry wrote that ^”This (research) follows the incident last fall
in which you sneaked into Christ Church sanctuary and inserted
unauthorized printed materials into our service bulletins.^‘
Taylor said, however, that Roseberry is exaggerating. He was told
at the time, when Taylor telephoned to apologize for any perceived
insensitivity, that the ^”inserts,^‘ a satirical reprint of the AAC^“s
^”Place to Stand^‘ inviting readers to join a fictitious AAC Chapter of
Integrity, the church^“s gay and lesbian ministry, were intended only
to call attention to the unyielding narrow views of church
conservatives and, in any event, Taylor did not sneak in anywhere, but
was invited in, and, in fact, never entered the sanctuary.
JACK H. TAYLOR JR.
Taylor Research and Investigations
7417 Whispering Pines Dr.
Dallas, TX 745248
(972) 503-3302 FAX
(214) 543-5389 Cellular