03 June 2009

star chamber

Updated thought. I want to be clear about this. While I like a lot of other progressives in the church smell another B033 sell out in the works, we could be wrong. Possibly the star chamber committee will come up with a document I would otherwise think positive. It does not matter -- the method is simply wrong whether my views prevail or not. I do not see a lot of traditionalist blogging about this -- perhaps because they have given up, perhaps because they smell what I smell.

It does not matter, win loose or draw, this methodology is wrong and the chairman of the main committee's excuse is pathetic.

The theology committee of the House of Bishops has appointed a secret committee to 'study' the ministry of lesbian and gay persons. Given the existence of all sorts of lesbian and gay clergy and a large number of laity, studying the subject seems more than slightly ridiculous unless they propose to do something rather unfriendly. And then, it is a secret committee.

Why have secret membership lists? There are several possible reasons, none of them honorable. One is that some do not want to admit what they are doing. Another is a deliberate effort not to hear the voices outside the committee, either because the decisions are already made or because the group is extraordinarily elitist. A third is that the membership list excludes the subject persons. My hunch is all of the above.

So, suddenly I see a need for a new resolution and a new canon. We know this can be done, we have the horrible, heretical example of B033. This resolution can be very short.

Resolved: no study commission, committee, board or other body appointed from either house of General Convention or by any officer of this church (including the presiding and all other bishops) shall receive any funding from any fund, trust or agency of this church for any purpose unless its entire membership list is public. The executive committee and any interim agency of the church shall have no authority to alter this resolution or expend any funds in any manner contrary to it.

Be it further resolved that any action in violation of this resolution shall constitute on its face, an act of abandonment of the communion of this church and therefor resignation from any elected or appointed office (including bishop, deputy, presiding bishop and president of the house of deputies.

That should do it.

If the church does not nip this in the bud, it is on its way to the court of the star chamber. Secret committees running the church are not the model of TEC, and are significantly more destructive than other problems facing it.

The learning experience here is that the election of the presiding bishop was an error. We are faced with out of control elitism. Of course she can prove me wrong, all it takes is one press release. I am not holding my breath.



Anonymous said...

Well i can think of honarable reasons to be discreat if not secretive. Its possible if they were good people, To decide that this is a wedge issue that good people can have diffrent levels of comfort on, And therefore it is best discussed in private. if the matter must be public it can alwayse be regulated to a do nothing go nowhere comitte that might not even ever meet or commit much of anything. I guess id only start to be alarmed if they actully intended to make progress. I mean nobady wants the spanish inquistion, nor should anyone expect it. Who is going to fund this comitte anyway?

JimB said...

It is possible for a known committee to have executive sessions. Privacy does not require this sort of secrecy. I am fairly sure they will expect us to pay for it, they can tell us whom we are paying.


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