Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Out of Order?

I am one day into the annual session of the Central Texas Conference. So far, so good. There has been the usual mix of meanignful, informative reports, and droning monotony.

Overall, it seems there are signs of life and promise in this particular version of American Denominational Bureaucracy. Patience, my son....

One of the things that I have learned in observing and participating in this and other such organizations, is that Parliamentary Procedure, presented as a tool or process to assure fairness, can easily become a weapon wielded to opppress dissension.

Of course it is not presented as such; the intent is the orderly process of discussion and debate. The assumption is that because it is a process it is neutral, objective, and fair.

With modernity wasting away, though, and increasingly small number of folks expect anything to be neutral, objective and fair. We postmoderns do not accept that there is such a place to stand and judge as neutrality or objectivity. The real challenge of fairness is whether or not those in power are really open to hearing the opposition.

I find there is a tendency in our setting, in the Central Texas Conference, to hear opposition as a personal threat. One person I know was asked why he wasn't "a team player" merely because he disagreed with the opinion of his superior on one particular matter. Does "being a team player" mean never disagreeing with the party line?

I'll keep you posted as to whether Parliamentary Procedure is a tool or a weapon in our setting.


At 8:24 AM, Blogger NMayes said...

It occurs to me that Jesus would not have been considered a good "team player" by his local Jewish bureaucracy. While we may or may not be vested with the same authority he was, we're certainly called to act as he would...


At 7:47 PM, Blogger the_Tmac said...

hey you, who steal all my husband's microphone moments...

why can't you just be a team player?!?

whatever. hey, we had a great time at the cohort and i loved getting to talk to you a bit. you should move up here and be our friend.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger John said...

I don't think that this has anything to do with modernism or post-modernism. It's just bullying. And bullies can come from both worldviews.


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