Behind closed doors

Sep 1, 2014 by

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Samuel Voth Schrag’s advocacy of secrecy in Mennonite Church USA Executive Board meetings (“Safe Space for All Voices”) is the same argument for “executive privilege” that Richard Nixon made in unsuccessfully seeking to block the release of the Watergate tapes. Since then, sunshine laws have been passed to further the goal of transparency among elected officials. While these laws do not apply to private organizations like MC USA, the principle is the same. We deserve to know what our elected officials are up to, whether in government or the church. Instead, all we get is the text of a resolution, filled with watered-down, euphemistic language designed to please everyone but which in fact pleases no one. We are not told anything about the deliberations. Those of us who advocate for greater inclusivity have a right to know if we have any supporters on the Executive Board. I suspect we do, but there is no way to tell from the limited information provided. They won’t even tell us what the vote was.

Jerry Weaver
Bluffton, Ohio

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