This past weekend, Robin Edgar attended the UUA Board meeting’s discussion on Excellence in Ministry, which he then covered on his blog.
Technically he was an observer, but he certainly wasn’t sitting there. As with so many UU meetings and events he has attended, he again tried to make it all about him. So while board and staff tried to talk about how to make sure the next generation of UU ministers are both qualified and supported, he constantly raised the question of “clergy misconduct.”
Apparently, Robin Edgar believes that, if an offending minister can be rehabilitated, and if a minister can appeal an adverse decision of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, then any and all complaints of alleged clergy misconduct should also be renewed as many times as the person complaining deems necessary. Forget whether it has merit, or whether there is evidence to support the complaint. If ministers can get a second chance, then in his mind anyone with an axe to grind should be able to swing it again and again until they finally get what they want.
Perhaps Robin Edgar doesn’t realize that not every complaint has merit, just as not every defrocked minister deserves to be reinstated. Perhaps he’s never heard of the concept of “prosecutorial harassment” – of using laws or regulations to go after someone over and over, distorting judicial due process and the pursuit of justice into a relentless demand for vengeance, just as destructive as the obsessive stalker going after the woman who rejected him (how dare she, I’ll show her!)
Perhaps Robin Edgar doesn’t really care about fairness, proof or balance. Perhaps all he really cares about is winning, of fulfilling his warped and grandiose fantasies.
We ourselves have our own criticisms of how the UUA has handled clergy misconduct, especially how it has dealt with the victims of such misconduct. But we also know that justice is about more than confronting and punishing others for hurting your feelings. It’s certainly not about browbeating others to get what you want, just because you believe that you can’t possibly be wrong.