Thursday, June 16, 2016

Convention winners and losers

From my distance, 597 miles, here's my winners and losers on the convention just completed in St. Louis.


1. J. D. Greear. He lost the most contested race for SBC president in many years but his withdrawal was a statesmanlike decision. He leaves St. Louis with a Mississippi barge load of goodwill that didn't arrive with him.

2. Steve Gaines. Hey, he won and is the voice and face of the SBC for at least the next year. Congratulations.

3. Dwight McKissick. He submitted the resolution on the Confederate Flag and spent a good bit of time over the past weeks explaining and defending it on SBCVoices. Although his original was heavily amended by the resolutions committee, it was and is his baby. Nothing in recent days has elevated the SBC as has this resolution.

4. James Merritt. Merritt had the moment, offering an amendment on McKissick's resolution on the flag. Good for him and well done.

5. Russell Moore. When asked about religious liberty, he gave a full-throated defense. We know there are always some among us who would drop kick religious liberty in a D. C. second. We need a guy who will stand up for it. Moore did his job and did it well.

6. Dave Miller. Miller is the new Pastor's Conference president. He and others came up with a plan that was persuasive enough to pry attendees away from the usual celebrity leadership. Just don't call him a small church pastor. His church is well above average attendance.


1. The resolutions committee. I know these people have a hard job but to report out McKissick's flag resolution with a timid and tepid call “to limit” the display of the flag and to “consider” stopping flying it altogether, completely missed the mark. 

2. Rick Patrick and unnamed amateur parliamentarians. By making noise about a possible challenge to the parliamentary ruling on what constitutes a majority, the main thrust of which was to declare Steve Gaines president without the additional vote that was announced and scheduled, an ugly cast was put on the convention. It concerns me that these people don't see clearly enough to understand the disaster that would have occurred.

3. Judge Pressler. I  didn't see it and don't want to see it. If Baptist royalty has to stand in the same line as Baptist commoners, that's not a bad thing.

4. Dave Miller. Guy has a new part time job and the pay is lousy.


Rick Patrick said...


Just because I posted a few comments on Voices suggesting a parliamentary challenge might be in order does not mean that I was "making noise." I never had any intention of going to a microphone. Barry McCarty himself tweeted after the convention, polling folks to see if they would support a Bylaw change ruling that "illegal" ballots not be counted. The majority in the poll favored such a rule.

A portion of RRO that McCarty copied did show a paragraph on BLANK ballots that were treated differently from ILLEGAL ballots. A case can be made that Gaines won the election outright if one interpreted wrong ballots as BLANKS and indecipherable ones as ILLEGAL. That was not the ruling of the chair. Fine. I was not going to raise the point, but I thought it deserved to be considered.

If it makes me a loser to consider that a parliamentary challenge might be in order when dealing with a particularly thorny and controversial vote—perhaps the most controversial voting result in SBC history, since this illegal ballot issue had never come up before—then fine. Call me a loser. I hope it makes you feel better.

How does it even contribute to unity to write a headline with "Winners" and "Losers?" How gracious is that? I may disagree with people about matters. I may offer a different point of view. But I don't call people losers. That's just name calling, and it isn't nice.

Bob Hadley said...

For the record, I would be the "untrained parliamentarian" that you made reference to. In fact, Rick's involvement was at my request as I was not able to be in St. Louis. Since I can read, my level of expertise is as good as anyone's. I had Roberts Rules of Order open and took the time to investigate the issue.

At issue were 108 ballots. The majority of those ballots were dismissed because they were written on lets say ballot 10 instead of the named ballot 15 for that particular vote. Some would argue, just count the votes and declare a winner. The problem there would be the possibility of someone voting with ballot 15 and then again with another ballot. Incorrect ballots were disallowed with no respect to the information contained on the ballot.

Roberts Rules of Order says that correct ballots that have incorrect voting information are to be considered as "illegal votes" and are to be counted with the vote total to compute candidate percentages.

My position was the wrong ballots were to be discarded and not counted to compute the final percentages for each candidate. If that had been the case, probably 10 or 15 would have been illegal votes instead of 108 and Gaines would have been the winner. Rules are the rules but in this case, the wrong count was taken and percentages were not correct even though it does appear that this is the way the convention has been doing it.

In this case, I believe the rules were inaccurately applied which could have forced a 3d vote. I did not believe that was necessary and did make that position known. I still believe the wrong ballots should have been discarded and not counted. I do also believe this issue needs to be addressed and an official position decided. Gaines had a 104 vote count advantage over Greear. 108 illegal votes aside, that would have forced another run-off. If the 108 were accurate, then it is what it is. I maintain it was not and I am teh one who made that issue, not Rick Patrick.

Bob Hadley

Anonymous said...

The results would have been disastrous. "Winners and losers" is a technique of reporting on events and people. Not to be taken as permanent or characteristic of any individuals.

I'm sorry to see, Bob' that you have disengaged and see SBC stuff as "hopeless" but I wish you well.


Bob Hadley said...

"Winners and losers" is a technique of reporting on events and people. Not to be taken as permanent or characteristic of any individuals.

It is not the "technique of reporting" that is taken as "characteristic of an individual" but the words used in that technique. You wrote those words and ought to own them.

Apparently I have not disengaged from the SBC or we would not be having this conversation, on several levels. Our dollars have not been going to the CP because of the direction the SBC is headed. We are meeting the minimum required to participate. I do see things as growing more hopeless every year as certain theological ideologies continue dominating the landscape of the convention and now charges of a top-down "do as we say or do not play" mindset being demonstrated.

William Thornton said...

I own them, Bob. You need not accept the use of terms and techniques that I intend. Put your own intent into them if you wish.

I read the CE article in which you were quoted. I think it is fair to say you have disengaged considerably, as is your and your church's choice.

ScottShaver said...

Looks to me like the Patrick side and the Thornton side are both "Losers".

Wonder what it looks like to 6 or 7 million other non-registered SBC types.

Three-ring-circus would be a mild estimate.