by Rod D. Martin
September 29, 2021

Yesterday, after five hours of deliberations, the SBC Executive Committee adopted my motion by a vote of 77% to 23% to give the officers another week to find unity and consensus with Guidepost Solutions and the Task Force. My motion specifically asked the officers to negotiate that solution based on a proposal offered this past week by the Task Force.

As you might imagine, that important detail has not been widely reported.

The issue is not waiving attorney-client privilege, as continues to be reported by people who should know better, but rather how to do so consistent with our other legal duties. The law does not get “waived” simply because we want it to, and as the Convention’s fiduciaries, we are subject to an awful lot of law.

I offered my motion because (1) both the officers and the Task Force told us that consensus was within reach, and (2) because it is essential that the Executive Committee do the right thing in the right way. That includes meeting all, not just some, of the duties required of us both by the messengers and the law and also doing so in a unified way if at all possible.

If those things can be achieved in just a few more days, those few days are a small price to pay.

All of the discussion is about disclosure, and assuming there’s wrongdoing we should absolutely disclose it. But disclosure is only half of the picture. If there are victims, we need to be able to pay them. The EC’s budget is just 2.99% of CP. If by violating our other legal duties we thereby void our insurance (and that is far from the only consequence), we’re voting not voting to “care well”, but rather to tell any potential victims to “be warm and be filled.”

If the officers say they’re close to an agreement that avoids that, we should give them the time they need to reach it.

I’ve been told that “it seems that as victims speak publicly, they prefer transparency to money.” But the keyword in that sentence is “seems”, because that is not the history of this sort of thing. It’s also not right that we should send them away with little or nothing: where’s the justice in that?

It seems clear to me that as the fiduciaries for the Convention, it’s our job to consider what might actually happen, not merely what the loudest voices think could happen.

The messengers gave us this duty this year. But they gave us that fiduciary duty for the last 100 years. They did not repeal the one in adding the other. We must do everything we can to fulfill all of our duties. That’s complicated, but certainly not impossible.

But while everyone talks about caring for survivors, I would suggest that “caring well” is going to require more than mere lip service to James 2:14-17. And that’s why I offered my motion.

Caring Well originally appeared as a Facebook post by Rod D. Martin.