Friday, February 03, 2006

Open Cronyism but Not Open Meetings

Just when I thought the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) had pretty well defied the Open Meeting Policy to the fullest extent possible, I was proved wrong. It turns out they hadn't yet broken one of the provisions--the one about treating all observers fairly.

The Open Meeting Policy contains these two provisions:

(5) The provisions of this policy shall apply to visitors and representatives
of both church and public media, including print, electronic and photographic
journalists.

(6) All the provisions of this policy are to be applied equitably to
all persons and groups.


In other words, you can't privilege one group and bar another. At the actual ACSWP meeting, indeed PNS was treated as cavalierly as I was.

But then I read in the Presbyterian News Service article by Evan Silverstein: "ACSWP did not release copies of its documents to reporters during the session, but later reviewed the papers with the Presbyterian News Service." So, the next week, when I was safely out of town and no longer a factor, ACSWP Coordinator Chris Iosso provided the papers to Evan Silverstein to review, and Silverstein then was able to write his article.

So much for "All the provisions of this policy are to be applied equitably to all persons and groups."

Since that time, the Office of the Stated Clerk has been reviewing the Open Meeting Policy and will be issuing a ruling soon. This practice that ACSWP has begun--both withholding information in the meeting and then passing it on only to fellow Louisville staff members in the press--cannot be allowed to continue.

Shouldn't Presbyterians be able to expect simple fair play--play that is by the rules--from those whose salaries they pay?

3 Comments:

Blogger Derek Simmons said...

Jim: You ask--perhaps only rhetorically--"Shouldn't Presbyterians be able to expect simple fair play--play that is by the rules--from those whose salaries they pay?" The clear and only answer is "NO!"
Presbyterians--and here we are talking of those of the PCUSA stripe--can no more expect fair play from the "Lords of Louisville" than travellers to Wichita in winter can expect sunshine and roses. Those in charge of our denomination are L I B E R A L; P R O G R E S S I V E; P O L I T I C A L L Y C O R R E C T; etc etc. Those--especially those on Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy--who rule over us understand their calling to the perfection of man for Christ, not the perfection of man in Christ. Why, Jim, if you were treated "fairly" according to your standards, you might write something that moved some of us who view Louisville with the credibility due a stopped clock--both are right twice a day--to withhold per capita or some such mean-spirited un-Christian act that would stymie their efforts to make the Kingdom come on their time table.

Jim--lest you forget: the answer is NO!!!

1:10 PM, February 03, 2006  
Blogger Presbyman said...

Hello Jim: I wish I could say I am surprised by what you have encountered, but I am not. And I will not be surprised if nothing is done about this outrageous abuse of the PCUSA Open Meetings policy. That's just life in our denomination: frustration compounded upon frustration. I HOPE I am wrong about the consequences of the ACSWP's behavior. But I am not very confident.

8:52 PM, February 05, 2006  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

Thank you for making the effort to learn the truth. I doubt if you had been able to see what was being written, it would have surprised those who understand what is going on. I suspect it is an ongoing practice that has gotten so engrained by progressives, they couldn't tell the truth to save their lives. It is like Clinton, who seemed to always lie by telling the truth. They have gotten so used to hiding what they are doing it is now second nature.

I got a glimpse of this attitude, when I asked people at Presbytery about essentials. Several liberals said they were afraid to say what they really thought. They feared somehow it might be used against them. Yet they control this presbytery! This is the fear of the paranoid. So what happened to you is not surprising, just business as usual. I see the same thing going on around here.

Information is power. Those who love power will always seek to control information. Just keep speaking and writing the truth.

2:14 PM, February 13, 2006  

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