Friday, September 19, 2008

House Rules

Growing up, there was always some kid who played by different rules. In the spirit of the playground we developed the concept of "house" rules. This meant that when you were in my house, I could change the rules of the game at any point by declaring "House Rules." These rules changes usually were enacted when the home team was trailing.

Thursday's vote by the House of Bishops to depose Bishop Duncan of the diocese of Pittsburgh made me think about our childish ways of dealing with disputes.

For those who are not clear on the facts of the rules changes that were needed to get this deposition accomplished I refer you to the Anglican Curmudgeon's in depth analysis of the game. In this recitation the Curmudgeon has a,
"NEWSFLASH for the Chancellor and the Parliamentarian: The House of Bishops governs itself by Roberts Rules of Order in situations not expressly addressed by the House's own rules. And Roberts Rules Revised (latest [10th] edition) provides, at page 573:

'Each society decides for itself the meaning of its bylaws [here: Canons]. . . . An ambiguity must exist before there is any occasion for interpretation. . . . Again, intent plays no role unless the meaning is unclear or uncertain, but where an ambiguity exists, a majority vote is all that is required to decide the question.'"

The behavior of children and Bishops is why Robert had to write his rules.

The problem with T.E.C. and the H.O.B. is this make it up as you go along mentality they use to guide themselves (and us) through our inevitable issues and conflicts. I wonder if changing the rules of the game can be considered a manifestation of a "liberal" mindset, or is it considered "going where the spirit leads?"

The Majority of the voting Bishops present have gone astray (Bishop Henderson reportedly voted "No" and we are awaiting his blog comments). These Bishops are more than happy to let people "do the new thing" except when any parish or diocese dares stand up and tell the House that the new thing is wrong and those dissenters seek a new shepherd. Just try that and see how quickly "house rules" are applied.

This is the song of the H.O.B.,
"All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way. And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)


  1. Julian Smith III7:02 AM

    I guess what has me really confused is why you choose to spend huge amounts of your time here sniping, rather than pitching in and helping the rest of us build up.
    It doesn't help your case that you choose to do under a pseudonym.
    Hoping you someday have the self-confidence to sign your real name,

  2. Julian,

    Relax and have a beer. Remember "they also serve who stand and do nothing."

    But seriously, I think sniping is helpful and I encourage more snipers to open fire. Targets of opportunity are aplenty, and I have declared the entire theatre of operations a free fire zone.

    Before you tell me I don't have the authority to do so, remember, if it's a free fire zone for me the enemy better make it one for him too, and that goes for anyone wearing a uniform in theatre. As the Clint Eastwood character Muny in the film "The Unforgiven" replied when the local sheriff exclaimed,"you just shot an unarmed man!; "Well he should of armed himself if he was going to decorate his saloon with my (dead) friend."

    Mark your targets.

  3. At 815, the targets of opportunity are plenty. Start with those who violate their own canons and rules in order to lynch a righteous and God-fearing bishop. Julian, the sniping will stop when the alleged leadership returns to the faith once delivered. Until that time, the guerrilla warfare continues.

  4. Another example of abandoning the faith once delivered:

    The Bishop of New Hampshire, V. GENE ROBINSON has broken with tradition and endorsed a candidate for political office. In a letter published on "LGBT for Obama," a website that states it serves as the "lesbian, gay, bisexual and
    transgender community's online campaign to educate voters on John McCain's anti-gay policies", Bishop Gene Robinson called on all LGBT voters to "put our
    differences and disappointments aside, and get behind the one candidate who has
    our interests at heart."

    On Sept. 4 Bishop Robinson wrote that LGBT voters are "faced with the most stark choice in recent memory, with ramifications for our community like no other. If
    nothing else convinces you to vote for Barack Obama, surely the likelihood of the next president appointing one, two, or possibly even three Supreme Court
    justices should do it."

    While endorsing specific issues and or programs is not uncommon, lending the support of the episcopal office to a single candidate is uncommon and perhaps
    even illegal. It also skirts US tax laws, as clergy or church endorsements are prohibited by a 1954 amendment to the Internal Revenue Code. Nonprofit,
    tax-exempt entities may not "participate in, or intervene in . . . any political
    campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office."

    Not so long ago, All Saints' Church Pasadena, home to lesbian Integrity leader
    Susan Russell almost got its non-profit license pulled for opposing the policies of George Bush. The IRS failed in their campaign, (and should have), but it would seem that Robinson has stepped way over the line by openly endorsing a
    candidate for the White House!