Fatigue and Comic Relief
  • Thursday, July 12, 2012

By Lauren Anderson

As patience started to wane and jokes became little punchier, the House of Deputies passed a host of public-policy resolutions during its final legislative day July 12.

After deputies passed resolutions urging refugee policy reform, supporting same-sex marriage, opposing unjust immigration enforcement, changing language regarding the war on terrorism, commending democratic movements in the Middle East and North Africa, and a clean airports act, some deputies began noting the trend in legislation.

“I keep hearing resolutions about politics,” the Rev. Danielle Morris of Central Florida said as deputies began discussing job-creation legislation. I have yet to hear resolutions about evangelism.” Her remarks drew applause from a group of deputies. Morris said she would vote down any further resolutions about politics matters.

Later in the discussion Elisabeth Langford of Springfield said deputies should be involved in politics individually and locally, rather than through resolutions at General Convention.

Others disagreed, saying the church’s involvement in politics is an expression of the gospel. “Evangelism includes helping people feed themselves,” said Lilith Zoe Cole of Colorado, referring to the job-creation resolution. “This is our work.”

Other deputies kept the mood light, seizing the last legislative session to gain points in Bonnie Ball, a competition among deputies to win points for offbeat behavior — wearing something strange while speaking, having to be reminded of the “decorum of the House,” addressing the chair by her first name.

Several deputies wore strange hats (five points). The Rev. Canon Robert Haskell of Albany referred to “the National Church” (two points). The Rev. Bonnie Perry of Chicago jumped up and down on the microphone platform while waiting to be called on (five points).

And, as the session drew to a close, one deputy waved his hand eagerly at the microphone stand while holding a stuffed animal on top of his head. Five points. 

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