Conference president quashes Forum advertising


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From an email by Adelaide Adventist Forum convener, Dr. Steve Parker: Hi everyone

I'd like to invite you, if you are willing, to spread the word about our upcoming Apologia: Apologia: Australian Eye Our next Apologia will be held on Sabbath, 29 September, 3:00-4:30 at Morphett Vale Church. The topic: Australian Eye. In December 2001, Jane Elliot came to Australia to conduct The Australian Eye, an Australian version of her unique discrimination experiment, Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes, in which participants are labelled inferior or superior based purely on the colour of their eyes. Rated: M (it contains some coarse language). The Apologia will consist of a viewing of the documentary (50 minutes) followed by a discussion about racism in Australia and the church.\u003c/p\>\u003c/span\>\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>\u003c/span\>\u003cspan\>\n\u003chr\>\n\u003c/span\>\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>\u003c/span\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>The need to advertise by word-of-mouth is \nbecause the Conference President, Garry Hodgkin, has banned me from advertising, \nin the Conference Newsletter, programs I am associated with (Apologia and \nForum). The reason Garry has given is: 'I am very concerned that the path \nyou are moving is taking you a long way from having confidence in \nanything.'\u003c/span\>\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>\u003c/span\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>Garry has never attended an Apologia and \nForum meeting (to my knowledge). Nor has he responded to my request to provide \nany examples of Apologia or Forum meetings that he has been concerned about. And \nhe most certainly has not discussed my personal spiritual journey with me. \u003cspan\>Nor has he responded to my request that he explain this \nrather vague reason. I assume, at this stage, that he must be operating on \nhearsay (gossip) or misunderstanding, or some other evidence of which I am \nunaware. Nor am I able to understand what this has to do with the Apologia and \nForum meetings. \u003c/span\>H\u003c/span\>\u003cspan\>e has made this \ndecision with no signficant dialogue with me, no email or call to set up a time \nto meet. And yet, he has taken the serious step to ban me from advertising in \nthe Conference Bulletin.\u003c/span\>\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>\u003c/span\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>I do not question Garry's right, as \nConference President, to decide what is included in the Conference Bulletin. My \nissue is related to the basis on which he seems to be making that \ndecision.\u003c/span\>\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>\u003c/span\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>I am pleased to inform you, though, that the \nupcoming Apologia is supported by my own Pastor at Morphett Vale, will be \nadvertised in our local bulletin, and will go ahead. So please spread the \nword!\u003c/span\>\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>\u003c/span\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>The details again:\u003c/span\>\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>\u003cspan\>\u003c/span\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv align\u003d\"center\"\>\u003cspan\>\u003cstrong\>Apologia: The \nAustralian Eye\u003c/strong\>\u003c/span\>\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv align\u003d\"center\"\>\u003cspan\>",1] );

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The need to advertise by word-of-mouth is because the Conference President, Garry Hodgkin, has banned me from advertising, in the Conference Newsletter, programs I am associated with (Apologia and Forum). The reason Garry has given is: 'I am very concerned that the path you are moving is taking you a long way from having confidence in anything.'

Garry has never attended an Apologia and Forum meeting (to my knowledge). Nor has he responded to my request to provide any examples of Apologia or Forum meetings that he has been concerned about. And he most certainly has not discussed my personal spiritual journey with me. Nor has he responded to my request that he explain this rather vague reason. I assume, at this stage, that he must be operating on hearsay (gossip) or misunderstanding, or some other evidence of which I am unaware. Nor am I able to understand what this has to do with the Apologia and Forum meetings. He has made this decision with no significant dialogue with me, no email or call to set up a time to meet. And yet, he has taken the serious step to ban me from advertising in the Conference Bulletin.

I do not question Garry's right, as Conference President, to decide what is included in the Conference Bulletin. My issue is related to the basis on which he seems to be making that decision.

I am pleased to inform you, though, that the upcoming Apologia is supported by my own Pastor at Morphett Vale, will be advertised in our local bulletin, and will go ahead. I'm sure that Elder Hodgkin has good intentions -- but he may not be aware that it is actually a logical impossibility to lose confidence in everything. I've emailed him (you might too: ghodgkin@adventist.org.au) as I'd like to know his reasoning in limiting discussion of contemporary issues in Adventism and to remind him that sometimes censoring academic debate and employing slippery slope paternalism can actually lead -- not to confident minds -- but to empty heads.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4124