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)