Thursday, May 14, 2009

Challenging "The Living Church" on their report regarding The Presiding Bishop on B033

In yesterday's webcast regarding the upcoming General Convention of the Episcopal Church (available in its entirety here) Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori had this to say in answer to reporter Rachel Zoll's emailed question (at 21:20 into the video) regarding "upholding or ending" B033:

My hope is that we not attempt to repeal past legislation at General Convention. It's a bad practice ... a bad legislative practice. I would far more prefer us to say where we are today in 2009 ... to make a positive statement about our desire to include all people fully in this church and that we be clear about who we are as the Episcopal Church.

That's the verbatim.

Here's how "The Living Church" reported the story ... with the headline: P.B. Opposes Revisiting Resolution B033

In response to a question regarding the repeal of B033, the resolution approved at General Convention in 2006 that recommends caution in consecrating bishops whose manner of life might cause distress to other members of the Anglican Communion, Bishop Jefferts Schori said B033 would be debated, but that she opposes its repeal."

“I would far more prefer that we say here is where we are today,” she said, adding that it was a more positive way to express the mind of the church."

Do you notice the part they left off the quote? The second half of the sentence that included "to make a positive statement about our desire to include all people fully in this church."

Probably not an accident. The Presiding Bishop -- in answering Zoll's question -- made it very clear that believes the way forward is a positive statement about inclusion ... and we know that such a statement would indeed move us beyond B033. And there are pending resolutions that do precisely that and we look forward to their adoption in Anaheim.

By leaving off that second half of her response, TLC reframes her comments to fit their headline. We're going to see more of this before we see less ... and the time to start challenging this kind of shoddy journalism is now.

The Presiding Bishop deserves the respect of having her quotes fully represented in ALL media outlets ... and an publication such as The Living Church has absolutely no excuse for not accurately reporting the news -- ALL the news -- even the news that doesn't work with the headline they've already written for the piece they plan to print.

Take a minute to write or call them today and urge them to raise their journalistic standards up a notch -- to rise to the ethical standards we expect from those reporting on the critical issues facing this church we all love and serve.

You can comment on the online article here.
You can email them here.
You can use their online "contact us" page to send feedback here.
Or you can call them at: 414-276-5420

Please join me in making our voices heard and let them know that half a quote is NOT better than none and that the challenges of being the church in the world demand better than we're getting from "The Living Church."

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