Let me get this straight... South Carolina did what?

According to TitusOneNine, the special convention in South Carolina meeting today (Saturday October 24th) passed resolutions 1-4 with clear, large majorities.

Resolution #2 particularly stands out:

The summary given by the Post and Courier states

"South Carolina Episcopalians this week consider a resolution to distance the local diocese from the national Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina made up of churches in the eastern and lower part of the state meets in Mount Pleasant on Saturday.

One resolution would authorize church leaders to begin withdrawing from some of the councils of the national church, although there would not be a complete break.

"Resolution No. 2 calls for the diocese to distance itself from The Episcopal Church. Since "the governing bodies of The Episcopal Church have failed to operate within the boundaries of its canons and continued participation in such behavior would make the Diocese of South Carolina complicit in this dysfunction, be it resolved that this Diocese authorize the Bishop and Standing Committee to begin withdrawing from all bodies of The Episcopal Church that have assented to actions contrary to Holy Scripture, the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this Church has received them."

So the Diocese will "begin withdrawing from all bodies of The Episcopal Church that have assented to actions...." Since these are actions of the General Convention and are considered actions for the whole church binding them until such time as they are overturned by subsequent General Convention, I suppose this means withdrawal from ALL bodies of The Episcopal Church, period.

Well, there it is.

But then there is this. Having worked until about 3:00 in the afternoon they decided not to go ahead and affirm the last of the resolutions, Resolution #5. That resolution states (again using the description from the Post and Courier, "Resolution No. 5 resolves "not to condone prejudice or deny the dignity of any person, including but not limited to, those who believe themselves to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered," but to continue to "speak the truth in love as Holy Scripture commends." Consideration of this resolution was put off until the next meeting of Convention.

Assuming that we should always "speak the truth in love as Holy Scripture commends," surely the Convention could affirm a resolve "not to condone prejudice or deny the dignity of any person, including but not limited to, those who believe themselves to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered."

Perhaps their problem was with the phrase, "believe themselves to be." That phrase is a catch 22. Sane people who are who they are also believe themselves to be who they are as well. But certain folk think that being gay is only about who people "believe themselves to be." So if the problem is this phrase, we might understand why some time in perfecting the language might be in order.

But surely that could not have taken too long...or could it? What if it was difficult to get the delegates to convention to change the language? Then the best possibility of that resolution - that there be no condoning of prejudice - would get lost. It would be OK to be prejudiced against gay people who really were (as opposed to believing the were) gay. That wouldn't do.

At any rate, for whatever reason, the Convention in South Carolina did not see fit to work through the resolution and come out the other end with a resolution soundly condemning prejudice against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered persons. It was felt that that was a battle for another day.

What we have then is resolutions distancing the Diocese of South Carolina from The Episcopal Church that has gone astray, and no resolution against prejudice against GLBT folk.

I have this right?


  1. Charleston tradition - boneheaded in 1860; boneheaded today. John B. Burwell, one of their boys, is a finalist for the Upper SC position. Fingers crossed!

  2. ...those who believe themselves to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered."

    Code du jour and Catch 22.

    So. Is the Diocese of SC in or out?

  3. Does that involve withdrawing from the Pension Plan? Surely they must because the plan supports pensions for GLBT folks.

  4. The fact that resolution 5 was the only one that failed is a window into the soul of this diocese. What looks to be seen through this window is pure rot.

    The fact that they could not bring themselves to pass this simple resolution (that any Christian with decency on any side of the sexuality divide would agree with) provides a clear answer to how they really feel. This action speaks with a volume that even their diocesan spin doctors can not control.

  5. The way I read the original Resolution 5 was that they wouldn't condone prejudice against LGBT people but they would still "speak the truth in love"--i.e., call it sin and advocate "spiritual healing" as an answer. Of course I could be wrong.

    A commenter at T19 says it was tabled because after being amended a couple of times it wasn't clear. Duh.

  6. Dahveed, you're right. The pension fund is surely tainted.

  7. Godspeed and I wish you well, SC bigots. Begone and leave the keys and the silver. I will pray for you. And now we can breathe a sigh of relief that there will be even less hostility, hatred, bigotry, and anger at TEC meetings. What a blessing this leaving stuff is turning out to be! Peace is flowing like a river.

  8. Father Mark,
    For brighter news tune to Off topic and Real Anglicans. The Epsicopal diocese of San Joaquin is meeting for the 50th time and is performing at a far higher level than the apparent deeds of South Carolina.

    If youre havin trouble with your diocesan head
    Hes givin you the blues
    You wanna split but not just in the head
    [...but not in his debt]
    Heres what you gotta do -
    Pick up the phone
    Im always home
    Call me any time
    Just ring
    36 24 36 hey [36 24 36 8]
    I lead a life of crime

    Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
    Dirty deeds and theyre done dirt cheap

  9. States Rights? 1860 all over again?
    If they bomb the church equivalent of Fort Sumpter....

  10. No sense dwelling in REALITY when there is so much goodfeel´n righteousness to be had from damning others to Hell (that is, in a good old fashioned ¨hospitablelike¨ way, naturally). This group takes the cake with their gentile falseness...who told them the´d be getting extra points for being bigots in Teacozies?

  11. What they're aiming for here, Priscilla, is to achieve a de facto break with TEC, while keeping the keys and the silver. They may well have managed it. Notwithstanding the result of the Pawleys Island suit, they know very well from that suit what risks they were facing.

  12. Oh I know that Lapinbizarre. They are trying their best to find some devious way to keep the keys and the silver while leaving. They won't succeed. They are consumed with the "TAINT" and having any contact with it at all is more than they can bear. This is just a delaying tactic and a poor one at that, IMO.

  13. I dunno...as someone who believes rather strongly in the Kinsey "scale" I think we should usurp that language and from here out refer to folks "who believe themselves to be heterosexual" (the poor dears just keep denying their inner homosexual side). Clearly those that believe themselves heterosexual are simply terrified of anything queer. Perhaps we should love the sinner but hate the sin (of their fearful bigotry). And, of course, wish them well on their spiritual journey. Don't forget to turn the lights out when you leave...

  14. What we have then is resolutions distancing the Diocese of South Carolina from The Episcopal Church that has gone astray, and no resolution against prejudice against GLBT folk.

    Funny. Is this anything like Executive Council joining an organization that is actively opposed to pro-lifers? Seems to me TEC itself has some major prejudices to which you contribute. I'm sure you don't see it that way, but the RCRC's "Words of Choice" document is one of the most hideous things TEC has ever done.

    David and John's comment- that they failed to pass a simple resolution- seems to remind me of some simple resolutions affirming Jesus as Lord and Savior that failed at GC'06, which you opposed because there was no need for them.

    Seems to me if you supported some simple resolutions, maybe it would be easier for dioceses like South Carolina to pass theirs.

    I think they should have passed it, but I see hypocrisy here.

  15. Chrisopher (P.)26/10/09 12:36 PM


    The resolution affirming "Jesus as Lord" are roughly equivalent to the American Meteorological Society considering a resolution that the clear sky is blue! Going on memory now and not able to check: you might want to look at Stephen Holmgren's Ethics after Easter (part of the Church's New Teaching Series). As I recall, Holmgren, who taught at Nashotah House, considered such resolutions as immoral, as not designed to affirm anything, but rather to set up debating points, as you are doing, and so not offered in good faith. It is precisely the stance of the South Carolina Diocese with respect to the dignity of GLBT persons that is in doubt, and has been for some years. There is no hypocrisy in the skepticism and lack of faith in SC that is shown here.

    As for the RCRC, for the life of me, I can't see what you're driving at, although your comment does serve to add abortion as a topic--more than a bit off-topic, I'd say.

  16. Christopher,

    My point is that a member of Executive Council sees South Carolina taking action that is closed-minded (or even in strong opposition) to LGBT persons. I see Executive Council as taking action that is closed-minded (or even in strong opposition)to pro-life persons.

    That's the closet apples-to-apples as I can come to two groups who feel strongly and emotionally that their position is one of basic justice (to either LGBT persons, or to the sanctity of unborn life).

  17. Christopher (P.)26/10/09 10:56 PM


    Many thanks for the clarification. I appreciate it.

  18. What did you expect?

    Bigots are bigots, and they want violence and prejudice, they want mistreatment for those they see as "sinning."

    It's what they do.

  19. I think you've misunderstood what South Carolina has done. My take is that they're responding to a sort of back-door change of doctrine that is becoming frightfully common in the Episcopal Church. SC's point is that in no formal way has General Convention actually changed doctrine - the Constitution and Canons haven't been changed with regard to any of the sexuality issues so dominating our church life. Everyone came away from General Convention so adamant that the resolutions were "descriptive." South Carolina is simply saying that such descriptions do not actually match our church's stated doctrine, which has not changed, and they have every right to distance themselves from a situation in which the church is calling something doctrine which is not doctrine.

  20. Fascinating. Ya'll claim to be tolerant, and yet you are intolerant to some elses intolerance - which simply makes you intolerant and inconsistent. And you claim to be for inclusivity and for an inclusive church - and yet you hate and want conservatives to leave unless they agree with you. Again inconsistent. And finally, how sad that your world and faith resolve around one diocese, and one convention and even one resolution . That is the saddest thing of all!

  21. The Resolution affirming Jesus is Lord also didn't pass because it affirmed substitutionary atonement and only substitutionary atonement as the doctrine of the Cross. The is an evangelical understanding of the cross rejected by the Eastern Orthodox and others. Traditionally the TEC doesn't clarify key parts of historic Christian doctrine using General Convention resolutions anyway.

    Andrew: You've built a nice strawman of both tolerance and liberalism. I doubt that anyone would accept it, though.

  22. Why the anxiety? Do they actually get asked to serve on anything? I guess Bishop Lawrence will not be at HOB meetings, but other than Bonnie missing their presence in front of her at GC, will their absence be anything other than ceremonial?

  23. The 'plan' if I understood the resolutions and the (incredibly dishonest) speeches correctly is to say (wery quietly as Bugs Bunny had it) they are TEC and do absolutely nothing about it. So Bp. Lawrence can claim membership in HoB but not attend, and they wont make province or other meetings (no loss there!) because they are too holy. But they are still TEC so they can't be deposed or worse yet loose all that lovely TEC property.

    It is devious and dishonest, but then read the speeches!


  24. Re: Resolution 5:

    If it's not deference to gays then it must be prejudice? Please.

    How about just the plain inability to condone behavior not being read as bigotry? Guess that big tent stuff was all just a lie to keep people in to pay the bills that the withering liberal dioceses can't fund.

    Hence the reason that there are thousands leaving.

    And look how glad that TEC's louder gay advocates are that they have fewer around to make them uncomfortable. That's pretty revealing...and very unattractive.

    It just doesn't matter that the one and ONLY TEC diocese that is growing in every category has just been broadsided with oversimplifications and dismissive comments.

  25. So Allen where will you be tomorrow when this happens:

    The White House announced President Obama will sign the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act on Wednesday, October 28th. To mark that historic act, Integrity calls members, friends and allies to join in a moment of virtual common prayer at 4:45 p.m. EDT--the time announced for the signing." (Shamelessly lifted from The Lead.)

    Perhaps SC is again planning to withdraw from the Union.

    And, since I live in Dio WNC, I will be praying that our neighbors in Upper South Carolina do not elect one of these bigots as their next bishops. Or if they do, that he will not receive the necessary consents.

  26. Allen: you say, "It just doesn't matter that the one and ONLY TEC diocese that is growing in every category has just been broadsided with oversimplifications and dismissive comments."

    This statement is incorrect. SC is not the only TEC diocese that is growing in every category (whatever that means). You keep saying this and it still is wrong. BTW, SC was up in ASA 2.2 percent, but down in members 0.6 percent. (these over the 2007-8 period.

  27. Aaaand Allen brings the circus back to town, playing the same tired songs on the same broken calliope.

    Rome's calling, Allen.

    You're a bigot, Allen. First step to recovery's acceptance.

  28. I would like to be able to thank Yawner personally, but I am forced to do it here. Thanks for the reference to the RCRC paper. I found it enlightening and not at all offensive. I do take exception to one point: although I understand that the "pro-life" may imply that I am pro-death, I make it my practice to use the labels that people choose for themselves. Perhaps Yawner can contact me with a critique of the document. I ma not hard to find.

  29. The bulk of these comments sound like the teenager whining how "hateful daddy is" because he has said "no." The self-centered myopic lad is completely unwilling to address why Daddy has said no.

    As one comment alluded to, they tabled the resolution that was intended to proclaim the transforming grace available to the "sexually broken." This is part and parcel of the Good News to all of us sinners, whatever one's disorderedness one needs to die to. They simply could not agree on the wording.

    Disagree with their understanding of the gospel, it is most certainly offensive but it is neither hateful nor bigotted.


  30. Fr. Weir,

    I will attempt to find time to write a complete response to you personally via the e-mail on your blogger profile. Forgive me if it takes a few days. As we all know, it's easier to write brief comments on blogs than complete responses.

    However, for anyone else following the conversation here, I would throw out one example of a term defined in the "Words of Choice" document that I find offensive:
    "Baby, or Unborn Child." The RCRC suggests that these terms are inappropriate for fetuses. So- to all you priests- you are going against the RCRC if you ask a pregnant parishioner about her baby, or refer to life growing inside of her, etc. Those affectionate references, the RCRC tells us, are simply manipulating terms that are designed to make that fetus (which the RCRC says is not life) seem like something cute and cuddly. And- the RCRC would have you know that a 36-week old fetus is NOT cude and cuddly, or a baby, or an unborn child. A 6-week preemie, born after 34 weeks, might be, but only because it's outside the mother. It might then be a "little guy" (to use their term). But at 34 weeks- it's definitely not a baby- if it's still inside the mother.

    My priest, who is of course pro-choice, makes these mistakes by affectionately talking to expectant mothers. Clearly, he needs some TEC re-education.

  31. Oh, same deal for "Mother/Motherhood" in the RCRC. Don't dare call a pregnant woman a "Mother"- that creates images of babies. It is an "anti-choice" action to use the term "Mother" for pregnant women with no children already outside her body. Make sure you don't bless pregnant women on Mother's Day- they aren't mothers yet.

    I'm sure Fr. Harris can weigh in on all this, since he voted to endorse this group.

  32. Yes, Rob,

    It is both hateful and bigoted.

    I'm sorry you didn't get the answer right, here's a lovely parting prize, the home version of "Trivial Schism."


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.