The mainstream media is South Carolina have spilled a great deal of ink on a special convention to be held today in the Diocese of South Carolina. I am not sure why. As nearly as I can tell, the five resolutions being considered will have almost no effect on the life of the diocese or the Church.
The resolutions amount to a lengthy exercise in gesture politics. But you'd never know that from the aura of manufactured drama that surrounds the convention. Note that is closed to the people of the diocese. Note that it is closed to the media. Note Bishop Mark Lawrence's call for prayer and fasting before the resolutions are considered. And note that Kendall Harmon, a member of the diocesan staff, has worked himself into a lather about the fact that Bonnie Anderson, the President of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies has written to members of South Carolina's deputation expressing concerns about whether they will continue to participate in the life of the house. In Harmon's book this is meddling. In my book his complaint is another example of the preciousness and exceptionalism that seems to have gripped South Carolina's leadership.
The authors of these resolutions are solipsistic even when they are trying to be magnanimous. Here is the payoff of resolution 5:
Resolve that this Diocese will not 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. Nevertheless, we will speak the truth in love as Holy Scripture commends for the amendment of life required of disciples of Christ. It is love of neighbor and the abiding concern for their spiritual well being that compels such honesty and will never allow us to remain silent.
It takes a special kind of arrogance to believe that millions of gays, lesbians, bi-sexual and transgendered people misperceive their sexual orientations, whereas the Episcopalians of South Carolina, know that this condition exists entirely in their minds. This resolution denies that certain kinds of people exist because their existence would be inconvenient. Solipsism is the kindest, but not the most accurate word for this kind of thinking.
For coverage of the convention check in during the day with the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina.