Please, grow up and let’s not hear so much whining. It’s not a good look. Over the years dissenting groups have made plans to stack the mics with those friendly to their cause. It’s part of what you get when you have a democratic mass meeting like our Annual Meeting. I don’t particularly like this but I don’t know of a better system than the one we use.
But, what if you are really keen on a motion or resolution and feel compelled to speak to the assembly? Here’s one way to do it.
The best thing, perhaps the only good thing about Central Time, is that there is daylight very early. As an early riser, I beat the sun up every day and in Nashville I waited until it was light enough and hit the streets. There were legions of orange-shirted, hard-hatted construction workers headed to their jobs, a few joggers and yours truly. That’s about it.
Except on Tuesday morning I’m walking around the convention center, pretty big block, and here comes a familiar face, Todd Benkert, one of the SBC Voices team.
The difference between Todd and me is that he was headed to the convention hall very early, before 6 am, in order to get inside and position himself by one of the floor mics. I was on a recreational walk. He was on a mission to make a motion about sex abuse and get it referred to the ERLC. It was important enough to him to go to considerable trouble to be sure he was first in line to speak.
In the old SBCAM days, important people could approach the platform and be permitted to address the crowd. We’ve been on a random, rotating mic system for some years. You decide at the last minute you want to enthrall the assembled body with your wisdom and insight and you might have to get in a line.
On that morning the convention center was closed and security wouldn’t let Todd inside. That gave us a chance to visit at the Dunkin Donuts. I asked questions about what he planned to do and he took time to explain. I’m not uninformed but I learned a few things on the issue.
Todd had worked on his motion for some time prior to the convention. Because of his extreme effort he was able to make the motion and see that it was referred. His is a longer term matter. Another Voices contributor, Brent Hobbs, explains Benkert’s motion well here. It’s number 1 in his list. An excerpt:
Todd made his motion Tuesday morning. [Full text here.] This motion called for the ERLC to hire a 3rd party to receive voluntary reports of abuse and mishandling of abuse from churches, victims, and witnesses. This is much wider in scope than the Gaines/Parrot motion and has a different aim: “to provide broad-spectrum data and analysis on rates of abuse allegations, mishandling of abuse allegations, and patterns related to said allegations”.
This motion may well prove to be more effective in the SBC’s response to abuse. We will see.
My friend Todd would probably vote against this article. He’s not interested in personal attention. And, I’ll probably disagree with some of his goals but I’ll happily use him as an example on this: If you want to be heard you might expend some effort and do some planning…and quit your whining.
Good work Todd.
We used to brag about how the SBCAM is the largest democratic assembly in the world. I don’t hear much bragging these days and there are difficulties and complaints about how we do things. Voting is one issue, about which more in due time.
But, if you have complaints about SBC21 and think remote participation would help, your coffee is too strong.