Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Lutherans Decide to Ordain Gay Folk, and to Stand With Them

Christ and St. John, German, circa 1330

The ELCA votes to ordain non-celibate LGBTs to the clergy, and to support committed monogamous same sex relationships. The margins for approval were not narrow, but substantial.

My favorite commentary on this is from Toujoursdan.

I agree with him when he says that this is a really big deal. This isn't some brave small band of peaceniks and freedom-riders like the Quakers. This isn't a denomination that is predominantly made up of NPR listening New York liberal elites (like me). The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the 4th largest Protestant denomination in the States. It is mostly centered in the upper Midwest. It has a lot of suburban and rural congregations. It is much more Wonder Bread America than any of the other gay-accepting churches. These decisions are another sign that mostly white middle class America now accepts its gay children.

I think this decision will strengthen ecumenical ties between the ELCA and the Episcopal Church. It may strengthen the hand of the Episcopal Church in dealing with its antagonists in the Anglican Communion and at Lambeth. It will certainly encourage LGBTs and their friends in other Protestant denominations.

The idea of full equality for LGBTs is getting a lot less radical as time passes.


June Butler said...

Ain't that the truth? These folks are not wild-eyed crazy libruls and commies. You couldn't get more Middle America than the Lutherans. This is so good in so many ways.

Brian R said...

The Lutheran Church in Australia is very conservative. They do not allow women to be pastors and it was a great deal of soul searching before they allowed them to vote in assemblies. They would be one of the last churches to affirm GLBT people. There are only about 250,000 of them in the country.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

There are many kinds of Lutherans - some not so, much like the Missouri Synod, which is Pietist (a form of Calvinism which dares not say its name, if you ask me)...

But wellcome to the club!

jasonbradyut said...

This is just appalling. If Luther, the late German Christian protester, would still be here…where the denomination “Lutherans” derived from, he would be stunned and completely disappointed in this horrible abomination to the Word of God and the Gospel. I totally am against this election. When God created “man” he created Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and STEVE!!! Hello people. This is a direct form of disobedience to God. And this is happening in a Church, a denomination that professes to know the Word of God???? Please, God will have to deal with you guys…and it won’t be pretty.