Andy Pakula, minister of the Newington Green and Islington Unitarians in London, tells an interesting story in a recent blog post:
I received a very interesting email the other day:
“I am going to be in London over the summer with my girl friend Amy and we are interested in your fellowship. The issue is we are both people in the arts and grew up in conservative churches .. me Roman Catholic, she Protestant fundamentalist and we really got hurt. We found a Unitarian fellowship in America and this was healing for us both. Would we fit with you? We are ‘out there’ in terms of style. I (Chad) wear short skirts and tall boots and Amy goes bra-less and wears very very short dresses. We have been rejected in our home churches and wonder if we would be welcomed dressed as we are in your church. — Chad Bradford”
The message came through the British Unitarian Association’s web site contact system. My intention was to contact these folks and find out more about them. There are certainly people who are biologically men and identify as women and I would and do welcome them completely. This didn’t sound like that at all though. The story seemed – well – more than a bit odd.
And if you read the rest of Andy’s post, you’ll find out that the true story is indeed odd.
You are welcome to leave your thoughts and comments as to the motivation behind all this. Is it someone baiting religious liberals as Andy contends? Is it an in-the-closet transgender Canon as some of Andy’s commenters imply? Or is it a combination of northern New England inbreeding and cabin fever, which I find plausible?
See the first comment below: it’s all about Manny Ramirez!
I have figured it out. If you read on in Andy’s post, you can link to the website of Trinity Charismatic Episcopal Church, and there find Canon Mark Pearson’s profile. A small clue in the profile — that Pearson roots for “his beloved Red Sox” — may cause you to ask, hmmm, is the name “Chad Bradford” a clue?
Google “Chad Bradford” and you will discover that this may in fact be a clue revealing the roots of this odd little hoax. Bradford is the pitcher with the oddball sidearm throwing style who gave Manny Ramirez his 500th home run, in what would become Manny’s last season with the Red Sox. If you know Manny, as every Red Sox fan knew Manny, you know that after that home run, Manny’s career with the Sox unraveled, fans turned on him, and Manny was summarily traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The end of an era.
So. My theory is this: Pearson is not only a fan of the Red Sox, but was also a fan of Manny Ramirez; Pearson has remained bitter ever since Manny got traded. In some twisted logical maneuvering, Pearson now blames Bradford for Manny’s unraveling and subsequent Beantown dismissal, and has linked that chapter to the strange side arm pitching of Bradford, made some assumptions of the root of that pitching style (he MUST wear short skirts AND have a girfriend who eschews her Wonderbra) and is on a campaign to bring Bradford down and Manny back, while lobbing a few email stink bombs at Unitarians, worldwide.
Makes sense to me.
Jean — Your idea makes total sense to me. My goodness, I’d forgotten that whole sad saga of Manny Ramirez…. The only thing I’d add to your explanation, for those poor benighted souls who have never lived east of the Connecticut River, is that baseball in eastern New England is religion.
Now I hope Ms. M, reader of this blog and true expert on all matters pertaining to Red Sox and religion, will comment further on this.
Amazing. Perhaps the real Chad Bradford would want to know about this… could be defamation of character, especially in the UK.
Chad Bradford is really a Chadwick, and appeared in Moneyball. So, clearly, the answer to all this is Professor Plum, in the Conservatory with a hockey puck.