Interesting things are going on in our church.
If you're familiar with UMAction, you're probably familiar with the IRD. The IRD is the Institute on Religion and Democracy. They have been prominent in influencing General Conference by sending out materials and taking positions on generally conservative issues. They want to return the church to a more conservative mindset, focused on the sole authority of the Bible.
I get stuff in the mail from them all of the time. I do actually read it, just to know what they're saying. But I am always stressed out by it, and I become very frustrated at what is being sent out in the name of my church, because I do not agree with their exclusive mindset.
Well, word has gotten out at GC that the IRD has given free cell phones to the Central Conference delegates, along with printed information of who the IRD would like to see as members of the Judicial Council.
I'm sorry, but that sounds like bribery to me. Call it what you want, but if it looks like a duck and quacks (or rings...) like a duck, then it's probably a duck.
There was an article in the DCA that called the IRD on this. It was balanced - it had interviews from Central conference delegates who did not feel that they had been influenced in their vote, and others who did not accept the phones because they did not want their vote to be bought.
This morning in the session, someone made a motion that the 2012 GC Commission would study and present information regarding, basically, an Ethics Committee for the General Conference, a body to review issues like this, as there currently is nothing of the sort.
I think there is going to be some serious backlash to the IRD as a result of this. When the person made the motion and the bishop asked for a second, there was an overwhelming response. I will be interested to see where this goes.