This blog is concerned about politicization of the O Gauge hobby. This is happening at a time in our history when we need to come together as a nation. It appears from the information that this blog has obtained that Andy Edelman of MTH Electric Trains is the driving force behind this effort. This blog would like to ask a question. Can the O Gauge model railroad hobby be kept a-political?
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”
I spend most of my time writing about fundamentalism and the effects of it. This blog has written about some dark topics and let me illustrate with some examples. A Southern Baptist megachurch in the D.C. area allegedly covered up the predation of a child who attempted suicide. That was a story that this blog told which could have been written about in the Washington Post. You can read about the situation of Scott Woods and McLean Bible in, “How David Platt Never Learned From the Mark Aderholt Situation. The Disturbing Story of how McLean Bible Mishandled Scott Woods, an Alleged Predator in The Rock Ministries.” This blog also writes about Acts 29. It wrote about a disturbing story that took place at Fellowship Memphis in Tennessee. At Fellowship Memphis the worship pastor engaged in voyeurism and manufactured child pornography in the process within a church restroom by recording minors under the age of 18. The Neo-Calvinist church covered it up and let him go where he went to a Presbyterian church plant in Memphis and engaged in voyeurism for another three years before he was arrested. Today he is on the sex offender registry for the state of Tennessee. The local newspaper the Memphis Commercial-Appeal told part of the story and I worked with some of the victims to tell the rest. You can read that story in, “The Sordid Tale of Rick Trotter, Bryan Loritts, John Bryson and Acts 29 Fellowship Memphis and Downtown Presbyterian Church.” Then this blog writes about the Evangelical Free Church of America, a good sized denomination in the United States. It broke and covered a very dark story that took place in Pennsylvania that showed the vulnerabilities of congregationalism. An EFCA’s pastor’s son while allegedly intoxicated brutally raped his wife and pointed a loaded gun at her. In the domestic abuse situation the daughter-in-law of Steve Estes knew she could be dead. When she filed for divorce Community Evangelical Free of Elverson, Pennsylvania practiced church discipline on her. It tore apart the community and went all the way up to the EFCA corporate leadership in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can read that story in, “Steve Estes and Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, Pennsylvania: A Painful Story of Domestic Abuse, Inappropriate Church Discipline, and Failed EFCA Polity.” I have written about much more. From issues with Calvinism, 9 Marks at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, church planting problems, Christian nationalism and more. As of late I have been focused on writing about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting Evangelical Christianity. Recently I did a post about how the COVID-19 pandemic will reveal the systemic issues and the dark flaws of evangelicalism. You can read that in, “How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Going to Reveal the Dark Flaws and Systemic Issues of Evangelical Christianity.” I write this to say that religion is the main focus of this blog. I stick to issues that often look to the dark side of religion. After all if you really want to understand corruption I will tell you to look at religion and faith. So today’s post is a brief and only departure I plan to do at this blog.
Scott Smith’s wife pointing a shotgun at him.
D. Scott Smith Post and the Politicization of a MTH Facebook Group of Buying and Selling of Trains
Anyone who is in the O Gauge hobby knows who Scott Smith is. Scott has long been active on the O Gauge Forum that Rich Melvin operates. Scott is also a well known feature of York. Scott has always had colorful stories of how he smuggled trains into his house. I have a screenshot of Scott Smith’s wife pointing a shotgun at him in regards to another alleged train purchase. While it is probably a joke, when I saw the picture a few years back I honestly wondered if the law was being violated in Virginia because pointing a weapon at someone is often a crime. In some areas its called reckless endangerment. I learned this in writing about domestic abuse situations in religion. Earlier today Scott Smith promoted a new MTH locomotive that is being made in a Facebook group. It appears to be a Railking Scale ES44 with a Donald Trump picture and more. It was shared in a Facebook group that I was formerly involved in that deals with MTH buying and selling. The moderator I believe is Herb Baine if I remember correctly. He said no politics, and of course a lot of people made political statements that affirmed the item. Campaign phrases were popping up and being stated. Irritated about what was happening I made the following comment below.
I was booted out and blocked while other people were making political comments in the affirmative were allowed to continue. Nothing happened at all to others who violated the rules.
Andy Edelman My Request is to Have a Hobby Free of Politics
I want to be clear that what this is about is much different than a support of Presidents or honoring the troops which O Gauge has done in the past. Lionel’s American President box cars are historical and look at all 45 presidents. K-Line did an Iraqi Freedom, Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom cars. That was about rallying and supporting the troops. This current situation smacks of politics and it is needlessly divisive. In O Gauge to my knowledge no manufacturer has done and pushed a locomotive or car like MTH is doing. And yes I know about the George HW Bush 4141 on the Union Pacific. That is a model of a Union Pacific railroad locomotive. When Pat’s Trains in Wheeling, West Virginia did a variation on the 4141 to make a limited run of 4343 it didn’t have the push that this current locomotive is having done by MTH.
The MTH locomotive pictured above is going to cause needless division and create problems. It crosses the line and has pushed politics into the hobby. According to what I have heard the driving force behind these items at MTH is Andy Edelman. Andy tried to get one dealer who will remain nameless to make a Hillary Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein handcar. The dealer felt pressured by Andy and finally told him no. Would Andy Edelman have pressed another dealer to make a Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels handcar? I seriously doubt it. Now here is the deal we are in a middle of a pandemic. Over 10,000 people have died in this crisis in the United States that will get much worse. Many people like myself are ordered home due to medical reasons. In my case its due to asthma as a number of COVID-19 individuals with asthma are having problems and ending in the ICU. So here I am in the privacy of my home and I see a post that created a stir and caused needless division. Andy Edelman I hope you find this humorous. Perhaps you can have a good laugh from your home as all non-essential business in Maryland are closed. You probably have a lot to think about. But if you have spare time here is another suggestion. Should the O Gauge hobby be made political? Should that line be crossed? Should we take a great and solid hobby and cause division and tear it apart? As the O Gauge hobby is in decline already because many older people are dying off how would you like to drive other people away and make it smaller? What also troubled me is this, and Andy I will offer you a coffee if you want to meet and discuss this topic in the future. (After the pandemic is over of course) When I was a grad student at Marquette University in Wisconsin I studied 20th century European history. In the process I also looked at fascism and totalitarian regimes. Do you know what one of the indicators of an authoritarian regime is? Forcing people to choose sides and causing division in areas that were previously a-political. For example in some totalitarian regimes in Europe sports clubs and garden clubs were so politicized that is caused division and tore organizations apart. Andy Edelman think of that when you consider what your pushing for product at MTH and the division it is bringing about. Honestly as a member of the National Capital Trackers I probably have spent about $4,000 last year on MTH. That is a lot of money for me to spend. For the health of the hobby, and for our community in a dark time I ask you…is it possible to have a hobby free of politics? Can you do that? You can either be part of the solution or part of the problem. Compare this situation with the videos that are coming out by the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Minnesota where people are being encouraged to take care of each other and come together. In contrast MTH is coming across like it has an agenda that is causing needless division. If a person wants to engage in politics on their own time and on their own way that is one thing. But to force it in someone’s face especially when they are ordered by a doctor to stay at home and violate the sanctity of my home is another matter. That is unacceptable. This post will follow your website as well as Scott Smith’s business and will easily be found by people who Google MTH Trains.