The King's Marquee

Election Day is finally here! Let's get out there an seal the deal for Trump and the American people! And don't forget to support the CTGOP under-ticket!

Friday, March 23, 2007

New Connecticut Episcopal Bishop's Election is Cause for Concern; Courant article misrepresented the facts.

If you missed it last week, the Hartford Courant published a story that completely missed the mark on it's reporting of the recent election for Bishop in the (Episcopal) Diocese of Connecticut held on Saturday, March 10, 2007. While the Courant came across as giddy and distracted by the election of the first female Episcopal Bishop, Laura Ahrens, it failed to report that the election was far from a slam-dunk. And moreover, it didn't report the details which clearly highlight that only due to some clever eleventh hour election-engineering by "politicos" at the Diocese, Ahrens may not have ever been elected.

Surprisingly, the detailed election results by ballot can be found on the Diocese website election results page. The fact is that during the first round, Rev. Canon Thomas Furrer won the majority vote of the Clergy by a count of 83 votes; he also overwhelming won the Lay vote by capturing 101 votes (with Ahrens coming in distant second with a mere 68 votes). The fact is that Furrer was clearly the first choice by the Laity in the first, second, third and fourth rounds of balloting. And despite the political climate, Furrer also took the majority vote of the Clergy during the first three ballots.

It wasn't until the Diocese leadership persuaded Dr. Barbara Cheyney and the remaining candidates to throw their votes to Ahrens that Ahrens finally pulled out the victory in the fifth and final round. She won the Clergy vote 145-98, and the Laity vote 139-118.

Rev. Mark Pendleton, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, and the man who nominated Ahrens for the post is quoted in the article as saying, ""I think it really demonstrated that the desire for a female bishop is really what moved this process." That looks good in the press from his political standpoint, however - the reality is that without some arm twisting, and a nod here, and a wink there, there is no telling how this election might have gone.

And considering the state of upheaval and disunity in the Connecticut Diocese under Bishop Andrew Smith, and his servant Bishop James Curry, it was a foregone conclusion that the only electable candidate would had to have been someone close to them in liberal political thinking, who was blindly willing to spearhead their pro-gay rights agenda. With that in mind, Canon Furrer didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of winning this election. Furthermore, several blogs reported (and predicted accurately) that due to her "insider status" that Laura Ahrens had won the election long before the nomination process officially started.

It's disappointing that Courant which considers itself the "newspaper of record" seemed to neither mention Furrer by name and his initial balloting victories, nor the fact that Ahrens' long-time, close working relationship with Curry and Smith made her a lock for the win. The only thing really shocking about this election, is how long it took for the Smith/Curry/Ahrens team to pool together the majority to engineer the win.

As a subnote, I'm in the process of writing an in-depth essay at the state of the Episcopal Church. Because it's a complicated, personally emotional, and difficult article to write, I anticipate that it will take some time before its ready for public viewing.

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