Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tuesday Morning

To try to get through the legislative calendar, all special presntations have been suspended. President Werner asked that we consider the consent of Canon Beisner as bishop coadjuter of Northern California, as he has been in limbo for some days now, before returning to debate on A161. Deputy Rushing rose to suggest that we postpone the consent discussion until after the vote on A161, as that resolution may impact the decision of consents for Canon Beisner.

The issue is that Canon Beisner has been divorced twice and is now married for the third time. A161, as proposed, clearly asks us to "refrain" from the election of bishops who might add to the strains on the bonds of affection within the Anglican Communion. Due to the various stances of the Provinces on divorce and especially multiple divorces, giving consent to Canon Beisner would indeed be a problem for some Provinces. Deputy Rushing's amendment was adopted by the Deputies.

The significance of this is that if some form of A161 is passed, the first situation it will impact will have nothing to do with glbt persons. The precedent will be set to understand it to refer to all manners which will strain the Communion, which one would assume would include a nominee to the episcopate who did not recognize the ordination of women.

Shortly after continuing debate on A161, Deputy Cantrell moved a substitute resolution, which was passed out on the floor. It included all the language of Windsor; calling for a moratorium on glbt bishops and same sex blessings. The amendment was immediately challenged, but the Chair ruled that the amendment was within the Canons. Another Deputy rose to challenge the decision of the Chair, which required a vote. The decision of the Chair was upheld. Then another Deputy challenged if the proposed amendment was in order, as it calls for a moratorium, which our Canons do not give Convention the authority to impose. This required the Chairs of Constitution and Canons and the Parliamentarian to hold a discussion, after which it was announced that one of the resolves of the Cantrell resolution was not in order, but the other two were. Then another deputy arose to challenge that decision. At that point, since no one seemed too clear what was going on, the House adjournned for lunch so that Constitution and Canons could figure things out.

My impression is that the substitute amendment, with the "moratorium" language, will never pass. I think the extremists know this. They simply want the record to show that they presented it and it was rejected, so that they can say "See? They rejected Windsor!"

I predict the ploy is going to backfire. The words of this substitute sound harsh. I think the Deputies have had just about enough of gay bashing. By presenting this substitute with it's grating Windsor language, they have succeeded in turning some of those who were unsure towards being more prepared to have nothing to do with these proposals in any form. I'm now predicting that A161 will fail. Thank you Fort Worth for allowing the Deputies to see what a poor witness to Christ such exclusive and punitive language within this resolution portrays.


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