Opinion

Money muddles World Vision hiring policies | Q&A with Mr. Federal Way

Mr. Federal Way - File photo
Mr. Federal Way
— image credit: File photo

Q: Hey Mr. Federal Way, did you hear that World Vision moved into the 21st century and agreed to hire people who are in same-sex marriages only to reverse that decision two days later?

A: Mr. Federal Way was all ready to lay a big hunk of praise on World Vision’s new policy to hire Christians in same-sex marriages in the United States. But that all changed Wednesday afternoon when, after facing a ton of protest, the Federal Way-based relief agency caved in and reversed a two-day-old policy and will not be hiring any homosexuals.

On Monday, World Vision announced that, after years of prayer about how to handle the issue of same-sex marriage, they had agreed to hire them. But, like with most things in life, the money started talking.

Just two days later, World Vision sent a letter to supporters saying the board made a mistake and was returning to its “old” policy requiring celibacy outside of marriage “and faithfulness within the Bible covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.”

“We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness,” the agency said in the letter, signed by World Vision president Richard Stearns and board chairman Jim Beré.

It’s too bad. It looked like World Vision was ready to make a statement about not discriminating as an employer. But it didn’t end up that way. Now, World Vision just looks like the spoiled-rotten kid, who gets to do whatever they want to do.

World Vision currently has an operating budget of nearly $1 billion and conducts economic-development and emergency-relief projects around the world. There’s no questioning the work that World Vision does around the globe. They provide approximately 100 million people in nearly 100 countries hope and assistance.

World Vision doesn’t discriminate when serving the poor and oppressed, giving unconditional love to all people, and shouldn’t discriminate who can work for the organization.

“We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority,” wrote Stearns and Beré. “We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent. We are asking for your continued support.”

In short, there are a lot more donors who don’t condone same-sex marriage that give money to World Vision. The organization obviously found this out in just two days.

It’s too bad, World Vision. The poverty-stricken men, women and children that your organization assists without prejudice could care less who their benefactors are married to. Why do you?

Q: Mr. Federal Way, is it just me or does it seem like there’s a lot more kids smoking these days around town? I drive down 320th and always see multiple kids smoking at the bus stops.

A: It’s not just you. Mr. Federal Way has also noticed what looks like underage kids smoking heaters. With that in mind, Mr. Federal Way’s research staff did some research on the subject and came up with some interesting tidbits.

The key is always stopping kids from getting the cigarettes to smoke. It’s pretty similar to going after drug dealers. But, when it comes to cigarettes, the dealers are the retailers that sell them to minors.

And for the second year in a row, stores in Washington shows about 15 percent of tobacco retailers sold tobacco to minors in 2013. As recently as 2009, that rate was much lower, at about 9 percent.

“It’s unacceptable that more than one in seven retailers in our state illegally sells tobacco to minors,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “Stopping youth from buying tobacco is one of the best prevention tools we have. It only works when retailers follow the law. They must do better. The health of Washington’s youth is at stake.”

You’ve all heard the stats about youth who smoke are way, way more likely to die prematurely.

But kids who smoke are also more likely to have other challenges, such as poor grades and illegal drug use. About 85 percent of Washington adult smokers start at or before age 18.

In addition, if the rate of retailers selling tobacco to minors exceeds 20 percent, Washington could lose $13.5 million dollars in federal funding for drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention and treatment.

Q: You are obviously a “big hitter” around Federal Way. The sort of fellow who, by simply asking a question, can make something happen. Here is today’s opportunity. I think this would be directed to the city of Federal Way Public Works Department. What possible reason exists for the delay in the road widening project at 348th and 21st Avenue? It was supposed to be complete before Christmas, yet it lingers.

A: Mr. Federal Way appreciates the compliment. Mr. Federal Way obviously likes to think of himself as a big hitter around the city. Hence the title of Mr. Federal Way.

According to the city, the project was suspended in the fall due to weather, which shouldn’t shock anyone. The weather is bad every fall and spring and Mr. Federal Way assumes everybody knows this tidbit.

The city and contractor are now awaiting the needed weather conditions to complete asphalt overlay and striping. The end result of this project will be a widened Southwest 336th and Southwest Campus Drive to construct dual left-turn lanes eastbound and westbound and a right-turn lane westbound.

This project will include access control along Southwest 336th Street and also install a new traffic signal west of the intersection to allow for left turn access into the businesses north and south of the roadway.

The original timeline stated that all the asphalt overlay and striping would be completed by Oct. 1, 2013. However, there was a manufacturer delay in the delivery of key signal equipment parts and, in turn, that delayed the paving past Oct. 1.

Subsequently, the work was suspended for the winter. According to the city, the contractor on the project, SCI Infrastructure, is not owed any additional money during the work suspension. Which is something Mr. Federal Way could honestly care less about.

Mr. Federal Way would have much rather had the project completed during its original timeline. Driving around that intersection has been a hassle since work started almost a year ago.

Mr. Federal Way and his fellow drivers who use this intersection on a daily basis are still frustrated that they have to dodge orange cones, drive over bumpy asphalt and sit through very poorly-timed and confusing traffic signals.

Let’s hope the sun comes out, which will likely be sometime around the Fourth of July.

Q: The Seattle Mariners open their 2014 season Monday night on the road against the Angels. I think the addition of Robinson Cano makes us World Series contenders. What is your opinion, Mr. Federal Way?

A: None of your business.

Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com

 

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