Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why have a book of rules ??

I spent 23 years in the military. From the very first day you were trained that there was a regulation that covers everything you do. While it may not have been true that everything was covered, it sure seemed like it to this basic trainee at the time.

If you did not follow the rules, well lets just say that there were specific corrective measures that were spelled out. However, in basic training, individual punishments were not normally meted out, they were usually applied collectively. So you learned that what you did affected the rest of the guys in the unit. This was a lesson in unit cohesiveness, that was very effective, as some in the unit found out when they didn't want to follow the rules.

Those who were in the military know what usually happens is called a blanket party. In its mildest form, the offender is wrapped up in his sheets and blanket (hence the term) and is given a 'party' to try to make him see the error of his ways, usually being left outside the dorm, in a very embarrassing manner, often without a stitch of clothing !!

In its worst form, the guy is beaten black and blue, or fragged. The worst form is usually reserved for battlefield violators who, through their offense, managed to have someone other then themselves maimed or killed. This is the sort of thing that was the basis for the movie A Few Good Men, where they labeled it a Code Red.

In my case, there was one guy who didn't want to shower, and found out how rough those toilet brushes really were. The DI (drill instructor) 'happened' to be staying at home that night. We wrapped him up, dragged him into the shower, turned on the water, poured on the liquid floor soap, scrubbed him down with toilet brushes. He showered daily from then on.

So, why am I bringing this up. Well, much is made of how the PC(USA) is a connected denomination. What one presbytery does, it does in the name of all presbyteries, and following that logic, in the name of all individual members of the PC(USA).

Well, John Knox Presbytery just did something that Bob Davis over at PresbyBlog calls a Constitutional Crisis. There is a link to the Presbyterian Outlook story in this post that can give you more background.

He continues that original post with a follow up talking about what to do about it. I fully expect that those Presbyterians who follow what is going on in the PC(USA) will be either up in arms, or clapping hands.

I'm firmly in the 'up in arms' camp, and wondering when the blanket party will finally happen, if ever.

And so it goes .....


  1. You wrote:
    "wondering when the blanket party will finally happen, if ever."

    Perhaps the only change might be to have capitalized "IF". Praying for you all in your situation. BTW good post, keep writing.


  2. It's a foul line of dominoes: first make the Bible optional, then move on to tipping the confessions as optional, then you are free to proceed to the Book of Order. They won the first two, so now it's in the final stage. Even a GAPJC victory (if it comes) will be short-lived, because as the last GA proved, they can just be deleted at the whims of those who get enough sob stories on the floor of the next GA to manipulate the body into getting what they want.

    The game is rigged.

  3. The blanket party will happen only when the "unit" sees the miscreant as a threat to the unit. There are a happy few in the PC(USA) who see that threat, but more and more of them are accepting permanent change of station orders to "proceed and report to" some other unit. The main body still seems to be willing to look the other way.

    And the real threat of nFOG is that it takes away real authority from the congregation and session, e.g., it does away with the "permissive powers of the congregation," and makes payment of per capita mandatory.

  4. ". . . you must be a pirate for the pirate's code to apply and you're not. And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules."


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