Thursday, June 5, 2008

From One Boiling Kettle to Another

Just as one situation gets itself resolved, I get to go observe another boiling kettle of politics. This weekend is the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Think of it as the yearly legislative convention of the church.

And yes, it can be as boring and explosive as it sounds.

The General Conference - a quadrennial meeting of the United Methodist global districts - met earlier this year. Some of what will go on in Iowa this weekend will be somewhat influenced by the General. Of note was a guaranteed greater representation by the other UMC districts and countries at future General Conferences (take that American exceptionalism), and an upheld statement in the Social Principles that, "that homosexual practice is "incompatible with Christian teaching."" (Upsetting, but not surprising)

The Iowa Conference will have its own bloodletting regarding a funding plan that garrotes local church payments to the state assembly to a strict 10% 'tithe'. Currently, local churches are assigned an apportionment based on size, economic situation, local statistics of per capita income and so forth. If the Tithe sounds vaguely familiar, it should - the tithing plan has a direct sibling relationship to the national Flat Tax movement, which aims to replace income and social security taxes and the IRS, and drastically defund the Federal government. Last year, the Iowa conference voted to support the 10% plan and then the Bishop declared the plan against the Discipline (the UMC constitution) and rejected it because it violated the connectionalism tenet of Methodist theology. Connectionalism is the Methodist term surrounding the idea that the body of the church has several parts, as like the Body of Christ in theology. A committee meeting all year is supposed to present a compromise plan that is in accordance with the Discipline.

Seven of Six emailed us all that he's going to Mexico while I'm at Conference. I offered to swap. He wasn't having any of it. Bastard.

And to boot, my laptop crapped out last night after a Vista update - somehow it corrupted the boot table on the hard disk. It's a horrid omen.


Anjha said...

Wow do I not envy you, Id.

So, the only thing worth than church and politics is church politics, huh?

I've considered myself rather lucky to be a heathen with no "forced" faith to speak of.

Mom got a resentment against her Lutheran church a year or so before I was born (they wanted to collect dues for membership and she had volunteered and shit forever...having no money and feeling betrayed by the ruling, she said FU and never went back.)

I have only been to a church service (other than a funeral or a wedding) less than 10 times in my whole life.

It might sound like I missed some kind of foundation, but it actually has allowed for a rather eclectic mish-mash of different Spiritual principles and study that has formed a pretty deep connectedness. I have been allowed to define my own "God" - which is really freeing and very personal.

Sometimes I feel "far away" and sometimes I feel very connected; but I assume this happens with religous folks as well, feeling very connected to Christ or not so much.

SoS - we wish you a much needed re-set.

I converted to Vista last year, during a manic period, and have had a pain in my PC every since. I have considered uninstalling and going back to XP but I figure whatever patches and fixes etc will eventually be included the updates.

I think that my real problem is an incompatability issue with Norton and I was supposed to uninstall and reinstall the Norton and I just have not done it I have no room to bitch.

Anonymous said...

Vista is incredibly bad. I never actively hated Windows XP. Vista, though, was so awful I had to take the computer back to the store. (It can't do network printing at all.)

~ dj moonbat

idiosynchronic said...

The laptop - a tablet that I found with great stats and accessories for a great price - will only run Vista. I just bought it in December anticipating its use for classes, and it's been a less-than-good choice. The tablet functions suck, the screen is extremely glarey, and Vista . . well, Vista is a dog in performance without top-of-the-line hardware. And it's been over year since it was released; even the newest laptops are doggy draggers with Vista.

Next machine - MacBook that can run plain-jane XP in Parallels & BootCamp without an obscene amount of driver and 'functionality' overhead.