This letter is reposted from the I Support Tina Anderson blog.
I’ve been trying to understand why you have taken this so personal. You’ve latched your teeth into Tina and I wish I knew why. You commented on the I Support Tina Anderson blog and yes, I read your comments even though we did not publish them. You said some hurtful things but I won’t take that personal. If you believe that Tina is lying, that is your choice. You may post that wherever someone will let you. I fought for our country so that you might have that freedom. I have contemplated for days if I should or would respond to you. Well, I decided that I would address a few things.
First, please read http://www.scribd.com/doc/44495191/Tina-Anderson-s-Statement-to-the-Concord-Police. This is a copy of what Tina wrote to the police when they called us on my birthday about a year and a half ago and asked her to give a statement of what happened. We stand by what she wrote and what she swore under oath that her statement to the police was truthful.
Second, there were a couple things that the newspapers got wrong. Where it came from, I don’t know but someone said that Ernie was a deacon. You’ll notice in the police report that Tina never called him a deacon and never said that in the couple of interviews that she gave. That issue was quickly addressed and corrected in future articles.
Third, you say Tina lied when she agreed with Elizabeth Vargas on 20/20 that she “lost” her job. You are correct that Tina was not fired from being a teacher. We never said that she had been fired. I understand how you and others could understand it that way. There was no willful intent to deceive. The word lost was used in the context of “no longer in the possession, care, or control of someone or something” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lost) but it was not “lost” in the sense that it was taken away.
On purpose, we did not go into the details of why Tina put in her resignation. There were a lot of things that happened that made us realize that we could not continue at this church and school. This is the church that I grew up in since I was five years old. This is the place where I attended the Christian academy from kindergarten to 12th grade. This is the college that I achieved one of my bachelor’s degrees and almost completed my master’s degree (I’d have to complete three more classes). This is where I devoted over 20 years of my life. We chose to walk away. Although it’s been brought out by others, I don’t bring up the names of these organizations because I don’t want to drag them through the mud but it’s part of our life and it’s kind of hard to hide where you’ve spent about half of your life. I have deep feelings for that place. When I say I’ve “lost” friends, it means that us and them have chosen to part ways. It means that people I’ve known all my life and all the people that Tina got to know while she was there, don’t fellowship with us. Will some of those friendships be renewed? I don’t know, maybe. I still hold out hope. There are a couple families that we do see occasionally but six people out of hundreds is not very many.
Fourth, you’re concerned about The Tina Anderson Foundation and where does the money go and how much does Tina and I receive. There might be other concerns but I’ll address the one I know about. Tina and I do not receive any money from the foundation. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, during Christmas time, we were given gas money and our hotel room paid so that we could take a week’s vacation to spend time with friends out of state. The foundation also gave us some Christmas gifts that my kids still enjoy playing with. The purpose of the foundation is stated on the website. If people want to donate to help others, that is great! If people are not comfortable with donating to this foundation, don’t. This was set up to try and make a difference in people’s lives and to give a chance for others to help. I trust and support the people and their families who run the foundation. In fact, I love them like family. All of them have meant so much to me, my wife and my kids.
Finally, Ken. I know this will not answer all your questions and you may dismiss what I have to say. That is fine. I pray that God’s peace come upon you and that you have joy in your life. God has greatly blessed me and I pray that God will also bless you also.
P.S. Darrell, I know a couple of people have asked that you remove Ken Smith from SFL. You do not have to remove him on mine or my wife’s account. Ken says that he’s standing up for what he thinks is right. As long as you are willing to allow him to post, it will not bother me.