Draft ELCA Social Statement on Women & Justice Released

Started by RPG, November 22, 2017, 01:52:14 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

gan ainm

Quote from: MaddogLutheran on November 24, 2017, 02:20:37 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 24, 2017, 12:59:04 PM
Still no answer to my questions, Anonymous One, or a direct response to my concerns. I'm not surprised.
As you also have in the past avoided answering questions or responding to direct concerns, you have no standing to complain publicly that another is doing the same, to you.  I also won't be surprised at any response you may to me pointing this out.  The tribalism with respect to anything ELCA related makes engaging in a meaningful critique of anything to do with it impossible.

You didn't even remember, a few weeks back, that Pr. Speckhard authoried an entire Forum Letter article about the pitiful prose of the last ELCA social statement, when you accused him of not reading it.  You'd think as an English major you'd at least grudgingly acknowledge the poor writing skills of the authors.

Sterling Spatz
Someone for whom this social statement may be meant

I take it you are a Theologian of the Cross, calling a thing what it is.   ;)  ;D


Charles Austin

I readly acknowledge that most bureaucratic documents are, from a literary standpoint, badly written. (and I continue to regret that we allow cowards to post critical things here without giving their real name.)  But there are additional problems with the postings of the anonymous one, and it will be impossible to deal with them responsibly here.
ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. Former journalist. Former news director and spokesman for the LCA. Former LWF staff in Geneva, Switzerland.  Parishes in Iowa. New Jersey and New York.  Retired in Minneapolis.

gan ainm

Quote from: Charles Austin on November 24, 2017, 02:29:04 PM
I readly acknowledge that most bureaucratic documents are, from a literary standpoint, badly written. (and I continue to regret that we allow cowards to post critical things here without giving their real name.)  But there are additional problems with the postings of the anonymous one, and it will be impossible to deal with them responsibly here.

Charles Austin, if that is really your real name, you are definitely showing your colors today.  Take a powder, chillax, cool it, color a cat, attend an opera, tickle your groundhog (please insert your favorite term here if not covered) and relax. Try not be vexed.  It's a beautiful day that God has made and given for us to enjoy.  I'm still pondering Proverbs 12:16.   8)


Matt Hummel

#63
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 24, 2017, 12:54:46 PM
And, Mr. Hummel, the words of an ELCA social statement are not meant for you.
But it is good to hear that you do work with us when you feel you can, even though we know you feel it is beneath your moral dignity to do so.

Charles-

That you choose to misconstrue my words comes as no surprise. At least I hope it is a deliberate misconstrual and not a sign of dotage.

But I note, and suspect others do as well, that you choose not refute the points that I make, but instead decide to attack me personally. Were you as gifted a communicator as you seem to think you are, surely you would manage both.

So- you claim that the current draft is for ELCA eyes only and MYOB? Surely one part of the statement is to enable all persons of good will an entre into the view point of the ELCA? If probing eyes are not meant to see, then keep it in a members only page.

Are you saying that abortion as an instrument of coercion in sex trafficking, prostitution, sexual abuse of underage girls and the slaughter of babies simply because they are female is not an important issue, nor emblematic of the dark side of patriarchy and of sexism? Are you ignorant of the situation, or is it more important to stay in bed with ideological partners than to acknowledge the truth?

There are specific, concrete actions that the ELCA could take on each of its three interdependent levels even while maintaining a "Pro-Choice" position. But it consistently chooses not to. Now, in a Social Statement, which in the words of a former Vice President, "is kind of a big ****ing deal," you have a perfect opportunity as the ELCA on all three interdependent levels to show you mean what you say.

Cannot well wishers ardently hope that you do so?

Think of the great satisfaction you will have when I am forced to eat my words about the ELCA being Pro-Abort. Imagine the humiliations I will feel as I have to post to this site what a wonderful thing the ELCA is doing. What brings me to tears is the absolute knowledge that my pride will remain unscathed. Kyrie elieson.
Matt Hummel


"The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks."

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Matt Hummel

Matt Hummel


"The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks."

― J.R.R. Tolkien

gan ainm

Quote from: Matt Hummel on November 24, 2017, 02:58:05 PM
Quote from: John Koke on November 24, 2017, 01:59:10 PM

Leonard McCoy, "Friday's Child"  Well played, sir! ;)

Aww shucks... Glad you liked it.

This is a perfect example that Charles Austin (if that is his real name) could learn from.  Never spar with someone who is smarter than yourself.   Damn, now I have to go to confession and ask for absolution.  ;)




Pasgolf

Some initial thoughts upon reading the draft,  There are some very solid points made in the statement, particularly in the historical deficiencies regarding medical diagnostic and treatment practices that were normed on predominately male populations.  The same deficiencies have been noted regarding racial groups. Strong also are the statements on objectifying people in any form, both by presentation of bodies as commodities and by the marketing of products by use of stereotypical presentation.  References to worldwide issues of repression, e.g. inability to vote or participate in economic activity, human trafficking were also solidly presented. 

Less strong is the reliance on the language of identity and the use of the currently fashionable meme of "intersectionality."  Also less than strong are the statements regarding hearing the voices of women and girls, which could be interpreted as there being some particular wisdom that a group has as a group.  This would simply restate a common stereotype in a reverse direction, unintentionally reenforcing the very sexism being decried. I also do not see how the discussion is moved forward by interjecting the issues of the trans gendered and homosexual populations and linking them with the female issues being addressed by the very title of the draft. 

The economic components come off as weakest.  Paid time off for maternal/paternal leave always begs the question, "Who pays?"  In a private employment economy, the only way to do this equitably is through a social security like payroll tax to be distributed to meet this end.  Lacking this, the incentive to hire and retain women of the age of fertility diminishes considerably under such a policy, particularly for small businesses. (The draft does acknowledge that the issue of equal pay for equal work has been pretty much dealt with in our US economy, some studies suggesting that there may even be a slight tilt toward women in some fields.)  The second weakness regards the muddy distinction between finding a way forward to the neighbor getting what is needed as a component of justice and an implied desire to smooth out the economic and compensatory peaks and valleys across populations.  The study correctly notes that the church itself has problems dealing with compensation issues for rostered members and other employees. The same comment can be made of the political disparities, male and female.  The current crop of politicians seem to bear the same burdens of competence/incompetence regardless of gender.

The pattern of using a Biblical interpretive method of differentiating moralisms arising from dated cultural norms and present social conditions has been pretty consistently maintained in most of the ELCA social statements, and as such is not surprising.  I would have appreciated an exposition of how the study understands "sonship" in light of the deeply patriarchal "you are my son, today I have begotten you,"  and other statements in the Gospels, such as "this is my beloved Son, listen to him."  The study seems to avoid any legitimate gender languaged delegation of authority by framing such as sinful patriarchy. I do find it very difficult to de-gender "All power is granted to me in heaven and on earth, go therefore, instruct all nations, baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Or, perhaps even more difficult, "Our Father..." Both examples seem to me of a piece with the language of divine kingship.  I am not sure how you can get past that linkage without doing violence to a core understanding of the divine/human relationship. C.F.R. the recently publicized Swedish Lutheran Church's statements on the use of "he" and "lord" regarding God.  It seems only just to me that Christians ought to be able to address God using the same language as that used by Jesus Christ without being accused of the sin of patriarchy or sexism.   


 


Mark (retired pastor, golfs the pastures) Renner

Steven Tibbetts

#67
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 24, 2017, 09:34:18 AM
The Anonymous One writes (and I am reluctant to respond, but...):


Once again, gan ainm is pseudonymous.  And I think you also need to look up the word "reluctant," given the regularity and frequency with which you respond to him.

But we digress from the named topic, "Draft ELCA Social Statement on Women & Justice Released."

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Brian Stoffregen

#68
Quote from: George Rahn on November 24, 2017, 02:30:13 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 01:47:55 AM
Quote from: George Rahn on November 24, 2017, 12:30:44 AM
ELCA social statements are descriptive and serve the purpose for opinion only.  I don't believe that they help or hurt.  Like opinions of the court they may or may not influence the final verdict.  God is not happy with opinio legis.  God wants perfect, thorough and constant justice NOW.  God does not stand our opinions and is waiting angrily for us to do right.  Preaching of Gods law says that we need to all repent now!  See Romans 1 and 3.  ELCA social statements continue to put off the job of calling each person individually and collectively to repentance.  These statements as descriptive purport to set readers at a distance so that they can be the judges rather than be placed under judgment which is a sinner's proper place to be.   A church needs to do that instead of churning out more fodder for human-to-human activity which is the Kantian project and not Gods project.

Apologies requested for bad punctuation...my editor went to bed! Lol


The Law as a call that we can't perfectly keep the law which leads us to repentance is one use of the Law. The Law as a call to improve our civil righteousness, which we can do to some extent is another use of the Law.

Nope.  The accusatory nature of the law remains valid under both uses.  From Romans 3:   "...with the law comes the knowledge of sin."

The law is not simply informative.


And curbing and guiding behaviors remains valid. The knowledge of sin is not the only thing God uses the law for.


Romans 3:21 says that the law and prophets bear witness to the righteousness of God. Romans 3:31 says: "Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law." (ESV)


Romans 13:8-10 (boldface added)


"Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor, there love is the fulfilling of the law."


Paul expects believers to fulfill the law by loving one another. The difference is that we no longer seek to use the law to justify ourselves. We still use it to curb and guide our behaviors as we seek to love our neighbors as ourselves.


1 Timothy 1:8 states that "the law is good if one uses it lawfully." It then goes on to talk about how the law can curb the behaviors of sinners.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: DCharlton on November 24, 2017, 10:51:18 AM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 01:47:55 AM
The Law as a call that we can't perfectly keep the law which leads us to repentance is one use of the Law. The Law as a call to improve our civil righteousness, which we can do to some extent is another use of the Law.

Which should predominate in the Church, preaching that seeks to improve civil righteousness of preaching that points to the righteousness of faith?


Since the righteousness of faith was given to us in baptism and affirmed every week by God in Holy Communion, we might not have to say a lot about that in sermons. That gift of righteousness is already ours. A simple reminder each week along with receiving Christ's body and blood is probably sufficient. It's our relationship with other people that continues to be problematic.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: George Rahn on November 24, 2017, 11:48:42 AM
Preaching of God's law is more than setting forth descriptive or normative behaviors (civil righteousness as evident in ELCA social statements).  Preaching of the Law should be such that it kills the sinner and allows no wriggle room for self-justification.  To be set before God's righteousness is to acknowledge that one who is baptized into Christ is baptized into Christ's death, first.  It is to face one's lack of foresight into one's own tragic nature as a sinner who does not have a standing before God's face.  Descriptive or normative statements like pure science only set the sinner away from facing the truth of oneself under God's righteousness.  Descriptive statements like ELCA social justice documents presuppose the knowledge of God and proceed to tell the rest of us how to live (normative statements).  By describing and policing behavior, they only push folks into a dream-state in which one believes one is safely away from facing one's personal accountability before God in all things.  If folks realized their need for personal repentance constantly there wouldn't be time for making ELCA social statements.  As 1 Thess. 5 says: 

"Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters,[a] you do not need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 When they say, 'There is peace and security', then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!"


ELCA needs to quit placing us in a fantasy where we live in a neutral situation before God, quit following the rest of culture by self-medicating us, and do the real work of the church by doing the thankless job of exposing our situation as sinners so the real comfort of the Gospel can be heard!


We are in the midst of hearing three parables that seem quite clear that there are expectations of God's servants during the time we are waiting for Christ to return. Some of those expectations are about the ways we are to treat other people. There is no mention of "faith" in Matthew 25:31-46. The "sheep" inherit eternal life because of the help they have given to the needy. The question is whether or not the "sheep" are meant to represent believers (who help the needy) or if they represent pagans who act lovingly towards needy believers (Christ's brothers).
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: gan ainm on November 24, 2017, 02:24:27 PM
Quote from: MaddogLutheran on November 24, 2017, 02:20:37 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on November 24, 2017, 12:59:04 PM
Still no answer to my questions, Anonymous One, or a direct response to my concerns. I'm not surprised.
As you also have in the past avoided answering questions or responding to direct concerns, you have no standing to complain publicly that another is doing the same, to you.  I also won't be surprised at any response you may to me pointing this out.  The tribalism with respect to anything ELCA related makes engaging in a meaningful critique of anything to do with it impossible.

You didn't even remember, a few weeks back, that Pr. Speckhard authoried an entire Forum Letter article about the pitiful prose of the last ELCA social statement, when you accused him of not reading it.  You'd think as an English major you'd at least grudgingly acknowledge the poor writing skills of the authors.

Sterling Spatz
Someone for whom this social statement may be meant

I take it you are a Theologian of the Cross, calling a thing what it is.   ;) ;D


Sometimes the eighth commandment keeps us from calling a person thing what it is.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Charles Austin

It is just interesting to note here Steven, that it is apparently acceptable to challenge my sanity, my commitment to the Faith, my vocation, and my understanding of Scripture, all under the cloak of cowardly anonymity. (Although at times the usage of words makes me speculate on who he or she might be. Someone we have heard here before?)
And Mr. Hummel always wins my vote for pretentious snarkmeister of the week.  So I withdraw (standing up) from his attempts to put me down.
Carry-on. The statement is a draft, a first draft, which will be changed, probably even some of the things that twist the knickers of people in this modest and mostly non-ELCA forum.
ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. Former journalist. Former news director and spokesman for the LCA. Former LWF staff in Geneva, Switzerland.  Parishes in Iowa. New Jersey and New York.  Retired in Minneapolis.

DCharlton

#73
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on November 24, 2017, 04:42:37 PM
Since the righteousness of faith was given to us in baptism and affirmed every week by God in Holy Communion, we might not have to say a lot about that in sermons. That gift of righteousness is already ours. A simple reminder each week along with receiving Christ's body and blood is probably sufficient. It's our relationship with other people that continues to be problematic.

Sometimes you outdo yourself. ???  If the righteousness of faith is such a given, then the office of Word and Sacrament is obsolete.  In fact the Church is obsolete.  The Church has to find something helpful to do to justify its existence. 

In fact, this is exactly what I believe is happening to the ELCA and Mainline Christianity in general.  We have either lost confidence in the Gospel or have decided the that preaching the Gospel is unnecessary.  We then frantically seek out a role that will justify the time and money dedicated to the organization and the salaries that depend on it.  Social services and political advocacy is now our raison d'etre.  I'm not even sure if this rises to the level of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Richard Johnson

Quote from: DCharlton on November 24, 2017, 06:05:21 PM


In fact, this is exactly what I believe is happening to the ELCA and Mainline Christianity in general.  We have either lost confidence in the Gospel or have decided the that preaching the Gospel is unnecessary. 

Agree. A couple of years after I graduated from Yale Divinity School and begun parish ministry, I bumped into Prof. Paul Holmer at an event. "Well, how are you?" he asked, with the customary twinkle in his eye. "Are you preaching the gospel, or have you found something better?"
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk