I get tired of saying this, but I'll say it one more time. The idea that we can off-load the progressive radicals into a semi-connected Aff Aut Conf is a sheer pipe dream. Why should they desire to form one and join it? I know, I know, theologians as eminent as Billy Abraham express bewilderment over why people who disagree with everything we officially believe won't just leave. All respect to his immense brain and the depth of his holiness, he and everybody else fail to grasp the essential truth here:
The progs don't intend to leave. Their goal is to stay and take over the whole shootin' match.
Indeed, if GC 2019 opens this door, it is more likely that disaffected evangelicals will go through it. This will dissipate the orthodox majority in The UMC, making it far more likely that the progs eventually get the votes they need to control future Gen Confs and rewrite the Discipline to their liking.
There is only way to persuade/induce the progs to take this step. They must be pushed. If the alternative is trial, deprivation of office, and expulsion, then they just might go. But this means that we have to mean it when we say that if they stay, they will be put through the process and shown the door. Which requires that we demonstrate that we are ready to do just that.
So far, we have shown ZERO willingness to do what is necessary to discipline the disobedient. So there is no reason for the progs to believe us that this time, by golly, we mean it. If they don't go, then we'll, we'll -- we'll do something really radical, like pass another resolution or something.
I keep saying, "throw the bums out," not because I'm an obstinate old git, or a bigot, or whatever, but because until we are prepared to throw somebody out for something, we merely demonstrate our impotence and by our delay ensure the eventual progressive takeover of The UMC.
So, sure, I'll take the Platypus Plan. Why not? You want to be gracious, go ahead. But unless you are also prepared to be strict -- to do to others, to make yourself into the kind of person who will do to others, what our rules call for -- all your efforts will be in vain.
Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Who knew that Horace was a United Methodist?