Tuesday, August 7, 2001 about 3:30 pm
Marie Ann O'Hara
Dr. Jim Hill,
of the Missouri Baptist Convention
Jefferson City, Missouri
Dear Dr. Jim Hill:
Since I last communicated with you on the morning of July 10, 2001,
I have recovered -- as much as possible -- from the pesticide attack
of the night of July 9 upon my home (both the house and the yard).
As I advised you previously, I was spared more ruinous and irreversible
injuries due to the refreshing, diluting, and unexpected thunder showers
which promptly erupted (thank the Lord) following the assault.
However, this undeniably virulent, oil-based, and unmistakably
concentrated substance had already been arrogantly and haphazardly
broadcast, almost certainly without even the pretense of caution or
I am troubled by the thought that the perpetrator(s) may not have been
as fortunate as I was and may not have escaped an even more caustic
and dangerous exposure.
If you become aware of the identity of the perpetrator(s), I suggest that
you urge an expedited examination and consultation with an experienced
physician of Occupational or Environmental Medicine who specializes
in neurology and/or respiratory, allergy, and immunology.
As long as such an assault does not recur, I do not plan on pursuing
charges in this incident.
Nevertheless, this occurrence does provide a timely, tangible, and
trenchant demonstration of the treacherous minefield which my family,
friends, representatives, and I have continuously encountered and
been obliged to circumambulate for many years.
Our families, friends, finances, careers, health, and even our lives have
Each time we have ventured forward in equanimity to mediate a lucid
and cooperative compromise to this quandary, we have been confronted
with not only irascible and unseemly discourtesy, roiling and hectoring
scorn, or thinly disguised contempt, but with conspicuous, pertinacious,
and acerbic hatred, tyrannizing and terrorizing hostility, irrational brutality,
and an overt and injudicious call to criminal connivance and violence.
This violence -- which is wholly engendered, envenomed, and
emboldened by a few familiars affiliated with the administration
of the Southwest Baptist University and Missouri Baptist Convention --
has, on at least several occasions, evolved and escalated to the point
of seething, insidious, and potentially homicidal rage.
To counter these threats, I have written you today to ask that you act
as a temperate and reconciling emissary.
I would like to ask that you deliver a letter to each of the members
of the Board of Trustees of Southwest Baptist University and the
Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention.
Though I anticipate that a number of Board members may be presently
unavailable due to protracted vacations, I am confident, notwithstanding,
that even these few individuals are accessible by some form of practical
instrumentation (i. e., telephone, fax, or e-mail).
Further, so that I may receive an expeditious reply to my inquiry, I ask
that today you initiate and coordinate a means of prompt, bi-directional
communication between yourself and at least ten (10) representatives
of each of these two administrative organizations.
I have arranged to have the above-mentioned correspondence delivered
to your office in Jefferson City between 8:00 am and 10:00 am
in the morning on Thursday, August 9, 2001.
Please accept my apologies for not having communicated with you earlier;
I was engaged, however, throughout today and this week in discussions
concerning my transfer to a new university.
I have found acceptance at a new university -- acceptance not only
my abilities and talents, but also of my physical limitations.
I will be accommodated not as a "disabled" person, but as
a person created in the image of God and no less His creation
or His child because of what has happened to me at Southwest
Dr. Hill, I am called elsewhere. It is time for me to leave.
My new semester begins in just a few weeks. I would like to leave
as quickly as possible, and I would greatly appreciate your help in
Your prudent forbearance and efficacious assistance in this pressing
matter are sincerely, gratefully, and wholeheartedly acknowledged.
Marie Ann O'Hara
Letters to the Officials of the
Missouri and Southern Baptist Conventions