On November 30th, 2022 at the Community Place on Washington a Middletown English Teacher presented at a Common Sense workshop. Special guests included Parker Webb, a woman who believes she is a man, and Rev. Mark Harris, a local UCC pastor, to speak on advocating for queer minors. Among the crowd of approximately 30 people were local notables such as Kristy Moore and Kelly Fuddy(two prior school board candidates) as well as a number of locally notable conservatives. Moore and Fuddy are among the Common Sense officers that coordinated the workshop while a source reported that the local conservatives attended to seek understanding and to bring the light of Christ to the meeting.

Queer Workshop Meeting
Queer Workshop Meeting

The event is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that the event included two local teachers from districts which recently made big headlines. Kristy Moore is a teacher at Hempfield School District(yes, the same school that made headlines for it’s obscene drag show) and is know for her multiple failed school board bids in Elizabethtown. Beth Gannon, the presenter, is a Middletown English school teacher(yes, where the football hazing recently occurred) and she is also involved in the Gender & Sexuality club(Gender & Sexuality Alliance or GSA).

Beth Gannon with GSA Club members

Another interesting inclusion at the Common Sense workshop is Parker Webb. Parker Webb is woman that describes herself as a transman and is the president of Lititz Chooses Love(LCL) which is a queer advocacy group. Social media surrounding Webb and his group certainly paints a picture of the mental health being endorsed. The LCL page features a cover image of what is clearly a young child displaying queer pride flags along with pictures of mutilated and crossdressing people. Webb’s own instagram also offers some intriguing insights into lifestyles influencing the event. Webb’s instagram posts reveals Satanic imagery where she poses as Baphomet while connected to flesh hooks, bruised buttocks from a drag show where she was being spanked publicly, and a heterosexual relationship with extra steps(otherwise known as a transman dating a transwoman).

Lititz Chooses Love
What Common Sense looks like

Worth additional note is the Reverend Mark Harris who is the part-time pastor at the Salem UCC in Columbia, PA. Harris is also the cofounder of the Rivertown Pride Center which is also located in Columbia, PA. The pride center’s describes itself as a queer resource center. Based on Facebook posts it appears the center operates as a social club and the Facebook page has even encouraged followers to attend a protest at the Hempfield area school board meeting following Hempfield’s drag show fiasco.

In a world where children at drag shows and teachers spewing their pronouns has become commonplace what makes this story especially sad is the stamp of approval given by local churches. The UCC has apparently decided to “set aside our doctrinal beliefs” to the point where apparently even the sin of pride is now openly encouraged. Even the United Churches-Elizabethtown, the owners of the Community Place, have to this point provided no explanation for their apparent advocacy of this whole event. Perhaps there are some real churches left that will sound the alarm and restore actual common sense to our communities.

7 Responses

  1. Keep up the good work
    CPOW did not endorse this event the board is.going to work on making its.public space availae.to the community but not hijacked by fringe issues that will divide the base that is supporting this wonderful ministry

    1. Thank you Don for all your support in our local community as well as your comment here on this site. I beg to differ that the UCEA did not endorse the event. Merely supporting the event is an endorsement by definition and by merely providing the space to Common Sense they gave support as well as a nod of public approval. In fact, in their response to my inquiry afterwards the UCEA noted that they saw nothing which conflicted with their core values.

      It is truly sad that a group pushing to keep obscene books in school libraries has managed to inspire conflict in the church community. Whatever the circumstances surrounding this situation I believe the church is called to uphold and be upheld to a higher standard. In my opinion, seeing the secular world encourage sinfulness is bad enough. A church giving sin a nod of approval is far worse. James 3:1

  2. This article and website are rather confusing to me. The website has almost no real information on what this site is. PA Bears is an acronym which leads you to believe that this site is all about education accountability … but accountability to who? To what? By what standard is accountability being applied to our PA educational system? And what resources are being offered? None, unless, possibly, you want to become a member of the site.

    If you go to the “news” section of the site you can see various titles or lines of click bait. Almost all of the titles mention topics that are of concern to individuals with a conservative political leaning or a fundamental religious background. Based on this, one can only conclude that this is someones blog as no editor of a real news source would publish something so biased and based in Christian fundamentalism. As a conservative, I cannot understand the popularized need to fear monger people into belief, action or reaction. Personally, I think it would be far more transparent if you simply used a more creative name than PA Bears. Perhaps something like: “My Conservative Gaslighting Blog.”

    And while you may be troubled by churches who support United Churches of Elizabethtown or churches who support Community Place on Washington – I’m proud to support a ministry and a place that is doing essential work to care for those in the Elizabethtown community who are in need. Those needs range from physical (clothing, food, shelter), to educational (GED programs), to emotional (counseling) and spiritual (various open and diverse connections to local churches). A group, like Common Sense, whose eyes are open enough to see a community of students who are in need and work to find advocates and educated persons to help that group be bullied less and be safer in their educational and home lives – this is a group that should have space to meet.

    But go ahead, gas light whatever community you are writing to. Tear down the work that is being done by a collaboration of churches in the Elizabethtown area. Take the community back to a time when churches weren’t collaborating and when they were competing. To a time when there wasn’t a safe space on Washington Street for people of all creeds, colors, ages, economic statuses and of sexual orientation to meet. Undo the work of men and women who have sat aside their differences to care for the most underprivileged and forgotten. Gaslight us into a community bent on disagreement and destruction and Elizabethtown will be no different than many other places, towns, communities and congregations that exist. Perhaps that is your goal.

    1. Thank you Nicholas for stopping by our fairly new website. As an active member of the group I will do my best to address your questions and concerns. Keep in mind that my fellow members may hold different opinions than my own so I speak only for myself based on my best understanding.

      Yes, PA Bears is an acronym and our group is focused on maintaining the standard of truth in our schools. We believe accountability in our schools belongs to God first and parents second. Can we ever even be accountable to a what? To me the question is whom. To whom are we accountable? For every PA Bear the answer is Jesus Christ. We believe the standard of accountability we need to apply in our school is God’s word. The same standard which led to the creation of our public school system.

      Where is the basis for truth if not found in Christian fundamentalism? Do you consider it gaslighting to highlight news of the enemy advancing in our community? What good has a church accomplished if they feed, clothe, and counsel the entire world while that world goes to hell for lack of repentance?

      You believe Common Sense when they say queer youth are experiencing higher than normal bullying? Are you aware they also believe that exclusion is preaching a Godly marriage is only between a man and woman?, Did you know they view the call to repent as a threat? Were you also aware they think referring to person’s biological sex is harassment? Basically telling the truth is bullying in the eyes of Common Sense. Did you also know that Common Sense has been a vocal opponent of parents who stand for parents rights, transparency, and virtue in our schools? As mentioned, they even enlisted the aide of a Satanic woman. Did you know that woman expressed that she believes pride flags belong in the schools and Jesus does not?

      Perhaps my disappointment and the disappointment being expressed by others over this situation stems from the fact that we have trusted this organization to uphold a certain moral standard. I like other Papa and Mama bears have given fiscal, material, and volunteer support to an organization that failed a test. We as a group will continue to provide accountability by calling out groups that are actively seeking to pervert our schools and communities. Anyone who does not see the enemies assault on our children is either complicit or blind.

      1. I appreciate the explanation – it truly was helpful and did provide me with the information that left me feeling a bit confused as to who this article was written to when it was posted. Thank you for that.

        I do think that queer youth are experiencing higher than normal bullying and I think that there are trustworthy institutions that can provide data to support this but I’m not sure what members of this group will consider to be a trustworthy institution. A local resource would be Communities that Care. They tend to do a lot of great work with regards to bullying and substance abuse. I recently met with their director regarding this particular concern and it did seem to be shared.

        I cannot claim to know all that Common Sense stands for nor can I claim to know all that happened or was said “in the room.” But, I continue to see more and more organizations shy away from important conversations simply because they are awkward or entering into the complex conversations with a narrative already formed rather than ready to listen. I’d endeavor to be part of the solution even if the road walking there is hard. I sense that from you as well. Common Sense, at least, seems to be willing to talk with adults about many of the things that kids, ten years ago, were wishing they had access to. Perhaps adults will become better able to be the resources growing kids will need.

        As for the moral standard – I like those too. My experience with folks who are a part of Common Sense is that they also have a good moral standard. Perhaps not all moral standards are the same. I have not experienced the disappointment and hurt that you have. I am sorry that you and others have that experience. Their website says “We are committed to working with our schools and our neighbors to ensure that school policies come from a place of inclusiveness and understanding, not bias, and curriculum represents and celebrates the diversity of our community and our world.” And that seems pretty much in line with what I have seen and come to expect.

        I have chosen to try and stop seeing enemies everywhere. I found there was no future in it – only quite a bit of anger and a lot of pain. Instead, I would like to try to understand those who would see me as being on the opposing side. And I’d like to offer a humble apology if my initial comment came across in anger or as an enemy. Whether we do it all together or we do it in opposition to each other, we are all raising children in this world.

  3. Dearest Benjamin, before you go out critiquing someone’s website, you may want to spend some time on your own. Last published video was from 6 months ago. You may find the attendance of Conoy BIC increasing. You’ve literally spent more time here attempting to spread disdain, then you have on your own social media in the last 6 months, across all platforms combined. Do better.

  4. Dearest Deborah, just to make things abundantly clear for any future issue you may have with me – (1) the critique of the website was simply in the ambiguity of its intentions. (2) Any disdain that I spread was related to the fundamentalist approach by the author to use a faith that I love and subscribe to, to shame a local ministry for hosting a local group’s meeting.

    I will do my best to make better use of my personal time to write shorter comments or posts so that I can spend more of my time on social media, across several platforms, doing “a better job” to ensure that my content is not 6 months old.

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