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April 9, 2004



I just finished writing the first draft of a rather arcane piece of research – an annotated list of all of the actions of the General Assembly relative to the issue of homosexuality from 1970 to 2003, where they originated, and how the various Assemblies voted on them. While it still needs some editing, it nevertheless makes for fascinating reading.

A quick “skimming” of the list, for example, suggests that the Authoritative Interpretation (AI) of 1978 has come under unsuccessful “attack” on at least twenty-five different occasions. These assaults came in the form of overtures, commissioners’ resolutions, and communications. In every single case, however, the General Assembly disapproved amending or eliminating the AI. It should also be noted that there were a large number of similar “attacks” that I didn’t count because they were referred rather than summarily disapproved – notwithstanding the fact that all of them eventually, in one way or another, suffered a similar fate.

I point to this data by way of responding to Dr. Tenke’s recent assertion that the 1978 Authoritative Interpretation was prepared by a single GA, and was intended only as a “guidance piece.” If that were the case, why has the AI suffered so many “attempts on its life?” What does Dr. Tenke make of the fact that so many GAs have successfully defended it? And, why has the Stated Clerk consistently stated that it is the law of the church?

Dr. Tenke wants us to believe that the AI is a historically dated statement with very little current value, and of insignificant contemporary import. So, why not just get rid of it?

He couldn't be more wrong!

Bob Dooling
Loveland, Colorado

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