"... never waste your vote on 'making a statement,' even in the very first ballot. With nine ballots in each delegate's voting packet, it may seem that there will be a luxury of opportunity to eventually vote their ultimate intention. Unfortunate for the 'statement makers,' sometimes the earliest ballot sets an unexpected and undesirable trend that is never overcome."
"It has been famously said that politics is the art of the possible. The rule of thumb for wise voters must be: never vote for the impossible even at the beginning of what looks to be a many-balloted election."
As our election for the next bishop of Upper South Carolina draws near, this pewster is giving serious consideration to three men, each of which would make a good bishop. Ranking these men based on just their videos, their written responses, and their walkabouts remains difficult. Factor in the needs of this diocese for a new approach to change the 10% drop in Sunday attendance that we have seen over the past 6 years, and the reluctance of the clergy to accept the need to change their way of "being church," and the pewster is left with a dilemma. If clergy votes to continue the drift to develop rites for same sex marriages, and to ordain openly gay partnered clergy by choosing either David Thompson+, Andrew Waldo+, or Philip Linder+, then it will be clear that the majority of the clergy is committed to a path of continued decline of the diocese and of the national church. It is beyond belief that they would be so committed to "making a statement" that they would ignore the facts that revisionist churches are dying a slow death. This diocese needs someone who can not just hold the dying churches hands, but someone of vision who can turn things around. It may mean that the Episcopal brand name has to be rewritten. I understand clergy's fear of such a change, but come on guys, your way ain't working, and you still have a large number of conservative laity left in the pews and paying their dues who do not want this diocese to go the way of same sex blessings or openly gay, partnered clergy.
So which one of the remaining candidates, Stockton Williams+, John Burwell+, or Neal Michell+ is most capable of working with both a liberal clergy and a conservative laity and leading us out of the current downward spiral? Which one can garner enough votes from clergy to become our next bishop? Who do I vote for in order to make my vote count rather than just having it become a wasted a vote, wasted in making a statement?