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The Bible According to John Olerud: Former Mariners' First Baseman Defines What it Means to be a "Good Neighbor"

It's the ultimate debate that plagues suburban Seattleites, one that pits natural beauty against man-made art; one that raises doubts of neighbors' morality and allegiance to Christianity. Thus goes the tale of ongoing struggle of former-Mariners superstar, John Olerud. According to the feature story splashed across the front page of today's Seattle Times, Olerud is bickering with neighbor, one Rev. Bruce Baker in regards to removing a 50-year old Chinese pine tree from the yard.

The issue for the once all-the-time helmet-wearing first baseman is not that he has a particular aversion to trees. Rather, he contests that the giant tree in his neighbor's yard is an eyesore that "only an arborist would love". That, and it blocks his million-dollar views of the Space Needle.

As the Times details, Olerud and Baker have been long-time friends and this conflict has "strained the relationship of two men who have been in each other's homes, coached their sons' soccer team together, and put their Christian faith at the center of their lives." Now, both are "civilly" engaging in a bout of Christian trivia as they hurdle Bible passages defining what it means to be a "good neighbor" at one another. In an effort to remove the tree with a 2-ft trunk, Olerud has thrown out remarks like

"I'm just making the point that if you're willing to cut down your own trees to maintain your view and yet you aren't willing to offer that to your neighbor, how is that being a good neighbor?

The Bible says, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength, and your neighbor as yourself.' That's Jesus' commandment." Other neighbors have taken sides in the debate, some in favor of slight deforestation and others firmly against it, regardless of the views that it would offer. But Olerud can definitively prove that his view is unreasonably obstructed and said obstruction will decrease the value (and "enjoyment") of his property, he'll have no other choice than to live in his home on Clyde Hill, spending his days praying for the sinning, selfish souls of his bad Christian neighbors. Enjoy it while it lasts, he might say, because there are no trees in hell.

[Photo by lifeloomslarge]

· What's a good neighbor? It may depend on your view [Seattle Times]
· Listing: 9421 NE 20th St [Zillow]