What are the Odds?

As you probably know by now, two of the candidates for the post of Bishop Suffragan in Los Angeles are in sexual relationships outside of marriage, exactly the kind of thing that Rowan in his recent letter said was simply not acceptable for a priest, let alone a Bishop. Speculation is rife as to the likelihood of either candidate being elected (there are two available posts).

Speculate no more!! Thanks to the magic of mathematics, we can now calculate exactly what the chances are!! Let’s go.

  • The probability of both candidates being elected is (2/6 * 1/5) – 2 candidates out of 6 for the first post, and once the first candidate is elected the second candidate is 1 of 5.
    • This gives us a probability of 0.066r or 1 in 15
  • The probability of at least one candidate being elected is (2/6 * 4/5) + (4/6 * 2/5) – 1 candidate elected for first post with neither for second OR neither elected for first post with one for the second.
    • This gives us a probability of  0.533r or 16 in 30
  • Total probability that at least one of the two candidates will be elected is therefore 0.6 or 3 in 5

Let’s not stop there though. The Diocese of Minnesota has nominated a woman living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage for their vacant Episcopal post. So, even if Los Angeles pull back from the brink, Minnesota might do the deed.

  • The probability of electing a candidate who would put a cat amongst the pigeons in Minnesota or Los Angeles is 0.6 + (2/5 * 1/3) – Odds of electing a candidate in Los Angeles plus odds of electing one in Minnesota if Los Angeles doesn’t.
    • This gives us a probability of  0.733r or 11 in 15

What does that all add up to? Odds on, with the likelihood of a candidate being elected who is living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage being almost 3 in 4, we’re in for a fun autumn.

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