> 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. XXXXXXXXX, 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." Joy! Lutibelle/Louie Chair of the Newark Deputation. Member of Executive Council
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