Brief Challenges South Central's Petition to Nullify Oliveto Election



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Just to clarify

I am not making argument for or against Bishop Oliveto's election and consecration. But I do believe it is important that one fact be made clear. The South Central Jurisdiction's delegates voted on whether to ask for the declaratory decision just after word of the election appeared via Twitter. It was quite late into the night and not late in the afternoon. It was not a vote based on an idea but rather information shared via Twitter. Again, I am not arguing one way or another on the issue, just trying to clarify one point from the story.

Todd Seifert more than 5 years ago

Correction acknowledged

Todd, at the time I was writing this brief, there was much confusion over when this case would be heard--which affected the deadline for submission of briefs. I used the best information a available at the time, from the Secretary of the South Central Nurisdiction. About two weeks after I submitted my brief, I received a very nice letter from Dr. David Severe, Secretary of the SCJ. He apogized for sending me erroneous information last July. He did affirm that the motion requesting a Declaratory Decision from the Judicial Council did indeed occur after 10:59 pm, after Karen Oliveto was elected to be a bishop in the Western Jurisdiction.
Because of that, I am drafting a replacement brief that will eliminate that section from the original brief.

Tom Griffith

Thomas H. Griffith more than 4 years ago


It would be better if after using the word, "homosexual" (both in our discourse and in the BoD), we added the word "person(s)". It is more properly an adjective that we treat as a noun. Our using this adjective as a noun means we are reducing persons to a category. We are, after all, talking about persons and ought to have no hesitation in saying so.

Wayne Albertson more than 5 years ago

Judicial Council has no jurisdiction

I applaud your legal brief; I wish someone might explore the lack of Jurisdiction by the Judicial Council over the issue of the election of Bishops--this seems to be solely the perogative of each Jurisdictional Conference and not something any other bodies in the church can do.

Glenn Bosley-Mitchell more than 5 years ago

Just shows

How absolutely divided we are. We are trying to deal with a structure that was put in place with an assumption that everybody was on the same page--which we are not. Because of the Jurisdictional set up which was designed to compartmentalize the regions and give them some leeway, I have been concerned that ultimately there is no way for the Judicial Council to rule on this. The Western Jurisdiction is showing their true colors: They are determined to force this on the church so suck it up and deal with it. Only consolation is their rate of numerical decline exceeds that of the denomination as a whole; they are already numerically smaller than some conferences in the Southeast Jurisdiction; chances are this stunt will accelerate their decline. Come to think of it the Western Jurisdiction is the poster child for failing to entice people into becoming a United Methodist and yet they are insisting that we follow their lead! What a joke! Absolutely unbelievable that anybody is giving them the time of day! Another indicator as to the sad shape we are in!

Betsy more than 5 years ago

Not too sure here

While the author pleas for reconciliation, I'm kind of questioning the need to make fun of the conservative signatory of the procedural document's name. Disclosure: though I am a Kansas United Methodist, I do not know this woman. My church is in the Flint Hills District and hers is in Wichita West. I thought maybe she was a woman who was in a lay servant training with us once, but, a quick search showed this Dixie Brewster's picture and she is not the person I was thinking of. I am originally from TX and "Dixie" is not an uncommon name or nickname of women of the Baby Boomer generation and older. It was frequently a nickname for Diane or Diana. There are other variations; I went to high school with a "Ditsie." Interestingly this Dixie Brewster is a girls' basketball coach and her particular occupational specialty has had to deal with issues of discrimination of LGBT players and coaches. Stereotypes being what they are it is not unlikely she herself has been incorrectly identified as LGBT because of what her job is, or else possibly correctly with all that would entail. Many LGBT people are self-hating in the same sense Jews who pretend to not be Jewish are said to be self-hating. A little empathy. This woman may just be a convenient mouthpiece for the christofascists in our midst, or merely acting on what is called a sincerely held religious belief. I agree, no reason to throw her out. But her name is not that unusual. It does seem to suggest a woman who is not overly eager to please others insofar as what we are called may affect our personas somewhat. One generally would not perceive of a "Dixie" as some delicate flower who's an emotionalistic ouch-cube, which also somehow goes along with the girljock sterotype.

BTW, when we lived in Barstow, California, it was a great pleasure to visit the Museum of Burlesque in nearby Helendale, which was operated by a retired stripper who has since passed on. In the heyday of burlesque, which ended around the time Joanne Woodward starred in a movie called "The Stripper" and Lee Harvey Oswald's murderer Jack Ruby was shown to be a strip club proprietor, this octogenarian lady was called "The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque." Her name was Dixie Evans. My understanding is after her death the museum was relocated to nearby Las Vegas, which is certainly appropriate.

George Nixon Shuler more than 5 years ago

Not sure to what you are referring,

Brother George. The only place the name of the person who made that motion even appeared in my brief was in the certification statement affirming the names of all the "Parties at Interest" had been sent a copy of my brief. That page was omitted from what appeared online, as it was not relevant here.

Thomas H Griffith more than 5 years ago


The post was meant as a reply to a different article which ridiculed the woman's name

George Nixon Shuler more than 5 years ago


Amazing how the progressives can accuse the traditionalists of being like the Pharisees when it comes to obeying the letter of the law and not the spirit and then comes something like this. A compilation of legal minutiae all focused on one thing, codifying that which is clearly prohibited by our BoD. Let's cross every T and dot every lower case J and then arrive at a decision that will destroy our connection.

Kevin more than 5 years ago

I don't think your assertion is supported

(that a legal technicality violated the intent of the writers)....For all you know, the safety valve was deliberately installed. It's not quite like the joke about the fellow who met a Saudi businessman who was in the hotel bar drinking a martini. The guy started talking to the Saudi and after learning what he was asked him, "I thought Muslims are not supposed to drink." The Saudi said, "Yes, the Koran states 'Thou shalt not drink one drop of liquor.'" He then stuck his finger in the glass, pulled it out, and shook it off and one drop tumbled to the floor. "That's the drop I didn't drink," the Saudi said.

George Nixon Shuler more than 5 years ago