Friday, April 17, 2015

Angie's List, Christians, the Dominatrix & Why Family Research Council is dead wrong



In late February, after I gave Angie's list CEO a signed copy of Spanking City Hall, (which I'm honored he keeps in his office) the Star called me to get quotes about Bill Oesterle for an upcoming bio about business leaders in Indy.  This happened weeks before the Religious Freedom Restoration Act battle played out in Indianapolis.  I am not sure what happened to the bio they wanted to run, but they opted instead to publish my quotes when our CEO resigned ostensibly to insert himself into Indiana politics as an advocate for both personal and religious freedom. 

Melyssa Hubbard, a self-professed dominatrix who works in sales at Angie's List, said the company hired her in 2006 despite knowing about her work in sexual bondage. She wrote a book, "Spanking City Hall," about her conflicts with the city. 
"I wish every place on earth was like this," she said in a recent interview. "The employees come from various walks of life. That's important to Bill. I've always told him how grateful I am to be working here.
 "We have the conservatives and the liberals and really buttoned-up people and people with pink hair and tattoos. Bill creates platforms for people to self-actualize."
Oesterle said he keeps an autographed copy of Hubbard's book in his office.
"She found a job here. It's kind of a safe place for her. She is not being judged," he said.

The news item was picked up the next afternoon by Gannet's USA Today.  I'm thrilled the word "self-actualization" was included, for this is the crux of what we all should strive to give ourselves and to aid that path for others to achieve. 


While I am not pretending to be a corporate spokesperson for Angie's list, I stand by my quotes. Angie's list has been an elevating career experience for me for nearly a decade.  I was accepted there and given a platform to be a good citizen, advance my sales skills, and participate in an incredible corporate culture that I could not have experienced anywhere else.  I founded the Indiana Tea Party during my second year of employment.  I often say Angie's list is my family.   It's why I returned after taking a couple years off to write a book, that I felt guided by God to write. 

I dedicated my book to my late Grandmother Lola who is the greatest influence on my life and whose dedication to be a servant of Christ and love made a huge impact on my moral compass.




In October 2013 after the manuscript was written, I announced my name change to Grandma's maiden name of Hubbard to reflect that I am a member of her tribe, not just physically, but very much spiritually.

Sure the book is about sex and vicious politics.  But it is about so much more.  It's about fear liberation, owning one's individual power and self-actualization.

I don't stand by the false assertion made by Family Research Council that you can't be an "orthodox" Christian and work at Angie's list.  While I'm not orthodox, I am certainly a Christian and know many very conservative Christians who have enjoyed long term employment at the list working alongside the likes of me.  I have no doubt that even the most orthodox of Christian or any other faith are welcome at the list if they have a skill set to serve the goals of the company to "relentlessly elevate the local service experience".

A few years ago, some of them formed a morning prayer meeting and invited me because they knew I was a Christian.  Those mornings gathered in a big group outdoors on our inner city campus courtyard are fond memories.  It felt so good to have FREEDOM to openly pray with my co-workers and not be judged.

More than once found myself in that circle with tears in my eyes as we prayed for our ill friends, family members, and the well being of our company, our executive leadership, managers, its members, and our service providers.

The judgment must stop.

My prayer is that the prominent LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art serves as a reminder to everyone on earth to love and not judge.

Judgment is toxic and it impedes human well-being and self-actualization. 




Melyssa Hubbard founded the Indiana Tea Party in 2007 and won America's first national tea party prize.  In 2014 the Indianapolis Business Journal published her memoir, Spanking City Hall.

3 comments:

  1. Melyssa, tolerance needs to be a two way street. What I saw during the RFRA debate was incredible hatred and intolerance toward people who have religious beliefs. For some reason you're willing to give that a pass. Society needs to respect people's religion and let people practice those beliefs. RFRA had nothing to do with LGBT rights but was entirely about protecting religious FREEDOM. Countless liberal and conservative law professors explained that in extraordinary detail. But some people were instead interested in spreading demagoguery and disinformation about the law...and attacking religion in the process. Oesterle was just one of many who did that.

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  2. Right! Tolerance is a two way street! But that street isn't two ways for Micah Clark and Eric Miller who were pictured with our Governor in that weird photo op. Freedom Indiana submitted anti-discrimination legislation that was not given committee or a chance on the floor. But religious freedom (already protected) was given publicity. At this point, it is about perception. And the perception given was that Indiana places the freedom of religion above individual personal freedom.

    I advocate publicly via my public Facebook page and Twitter for both personal and religious freedom. I believe that is where the conversation needs to be and believe Indiana needs to protect both.

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  3. Yes, I am one of those she is writing about... "very conservative Christians who have enjoyed long term employment at the list working alongside the likes of me." Well written Melyssa.

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