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Appeals committee reverses church trial verdict in Stroud case

Many of you will have already heard that the Appeals committee has reversed the defrocking of Beth Stroud. Check out the UMNS article here. Follow this link for the actual text of the verdict/findings.

I'm not sure what to make of it all. I strongly suggest reading the verdict in full - it explains it much more clearly than a lot of the blogs and such I've seen so far, especially from those who disagree with the results. But for my own thoughts?

On the one hand, i am very wary of the appeal going this way on a errors of law - i fear the consequences this will bring in General Conference 2008 - i fear that this will encourage conservatives to seek for even more definitive and restrictive wording than there already is. With my whole heart and faith, i wait for the day that general conference changes positions on human sexuality, and i am confident that this day will come. This way - through an appeal - is not how i want it or see it successfully coming.

However, I understand the desire to see justice served (which is how i believe the liberals/progressives would view the 'intent' of the verdict, even if others don't see it that way) even if it has to be done in ways of finding loopholes. Sometimes you feel like that is the only option, and that it is better to get justice in a last-resort way than no justice at all. Just a thought. Of course, it all hangs on whether you think it is just or unjust to begin with to keep people who are gay and lesbian from ordained ministry...But that's how I think the argument plays out, at least for me.



ColeWake said…
Well, its true a lot of people don't understand the ruling. But with Annual Conferences on the way we may see a whole slew of "praticing homosexual" definitions. All of which will be different and several will be subject to appeal. We are faced with at least four more years of turmoil. But maybe by '08 the country and church will have realized that God loves gays and they make hella preachers.
John said…
Is this the end of the appellate process, or can the case be referred to a higher court?
Anonymous said…
Like you, I found the ruling somewhat confusing. Frankly, the prospect of Annual Conferences each trying to hammer out a definition of "avowed and practicing homosexual" is just not a discussion I relish. I have to say I am relieved that this isn't getting more media attention than it is - I'm still working on what to say to church members who might have heard and may have questions about it tomorrow!
Beth Quick said…
John - I think the decision can be appealed by counsel for the church to the judicial council. but i won't swear to it.

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