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RE: [HoB/D] ...direct and forthright...

> What I do not understand is how someone who stands for "direct and 
> forthright" and who argues that doing things through the back door 
> is not good for the church could have supported the confirmation of 
> Bp. Robinson when we had NOT approved on the issue of same-gender 
> unions/marriages.

> There are those who might well have supported Bp. Robinson, but not 
> when he became the back door. We should have dealt with same-gender 
> unions/marriages first -- and then Bp. Robinson's confirmation 
> became obvious or moot, depending on what we had done. As it is, the 
> confirmation became the issue rather than our church's formal policy 
> towards same gender unions/marriages.


General Convention did not elect Gene Robinson as Bishop; NH did.   We 
merely consented to their choice.  We did not give an imprimatur to 
his union with Mark Andrew.

The blessing of gay relationships was not at issue, despite those who 
still try to sneak it in through the back door.

The House of Deputies is involved in only a portion of consents, and 
only in the elections that occur within 120 days of GC.  Otherwise 
Standing Committees vote on consent.  When the House votes on consent, 
it is not an act of legislation.  It establishes no new canon, no new 
policy, anymore than does the vote of Standing Committees.

The House of Bishops does not even vote on consent; only Bishops with 
jurisdiction do, and they do not have to be present to vote.  Their 
vote is not the vote of the House of Bishops.  That is the same 
process they use when elections do not occur within the 120 window, 
with the exception that the vote is more public and occurs in a much 
shorter period of time.

People who vote to consent or not to consent may do so for any reason 
they want, and do not have to give an account of their reasons. 
Surely some have on occasion voted not to consent because "she's a 
female" or "he doesn't look like a bishop" or "he's a conservative" or 
"she's a liberal."

All kinds of agendas can sneak in to influence decisions.  Usually 
those voting on consent limit themselves to discerning wheter the 
electing diocese acted in fairness with good order with regard to the 
polity of the Episcopal Church.  No one faults NH on that criterion.

Few bishops are elected in dioceses where they have served for as long 
a time and with as much exposure as +Gene had in NH.  The Diocese of 
NH knew exactly what they were doing.

If anything was sneaky, it was the attempt by some to make the vote 
about Gene's sexuality and his partnership rather than about the 
decision of the Diocese of NH.

Bishops and clergy are not the only leaders called to live holy and 
exemplary lives. Surely the House of Deputies (and the House of 
Bishops through consents) knew full well that I married Ernest Clay on 
2/2/1974 when they gave me the second most votes in electing members 
of Executive Council in 2000.  Are you suggesting that vote sneaked 
through an imprimatur to gay marriage?

I don't think so.  Otherwise the House would not be continuing the 
debate, and you would no longer allow people here and on the floor of 
the House almost daily to excoriate how holy commitments as if they 
live down to lurid expectations of them.

>From 1991 onward GC has voted that we are not of one mind on 
blessings, that some who enter same-gender unions are faithful 
Christians, and that some Christians who oppose them are also faithful 
Christians.  Disagreement regarding gay unions likely to be with the 
church long after you and I are dead, and long after GC adopts 
liturgies to bless such relationships.  There are still some 
Episcopalians, even some bishops, who feel, albeit privately, that 
black people and women should "stay in their place."

Theologian Norman Pittenger often said:  "So long as there is death, 
there is hope."


Chair of the Newark Deputation.  Member of Executive Council

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