Skip

"Quiet dear, the men are talking..."
March 24, 2010 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Women were not allowed to speak at a meeting held to determine the fate of suspended principal John Hartwig of St. John’s Lutheran School in Baraboo, WI. While women are normally not allowed to vote at such meetings, this is the first time in recent history that the St. John’s Council President exercised his authority to keep females from even speaking. Women who wanted to ask questions were told to write them on a piece of paper and have a man read them aloud. Hartwig was suspended for distributing a document questioning Lutheran doctrine that says that women should not hold authority over men.
posted by Consonants Without Vowels (129 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
[could a male mefite post my opinion on this please?]
posted by handee at 7:43 AM on March 24, 2010 [89 favorites]


First reaction: I'm sorry, what century is this?

Second reaction: This seems posted primarily as GRAR bait.
posted by jokeefe at 7:43 AM on March 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ah the ironing!!
posted by spicynuts at 7:43 AM on March 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


I very seriously expected to find a historical archive story at the other end of that link, something from 1910 or something. I was surprised.
posted by norm at 7:43 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think this is a great decision. Anything that hastens the inevitable fall of yet another primitive death cult is just super. :)
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:44 AM on March 24, 2010 [22 favorites]


Also, Comic Sans warning on their webpage.
posted by jokeefe at 7:45 AM on March 24, 2010


Well, obviously he's right. It says so right there in the Bible. I Corinthians 14:34 and I Timothy 2:12.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:46 AM on March 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Sometimes history feels like an odometer that flips back to 0 every so often.
posted by brain_drain at 7:46 AM on March 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


Oh how very quaint!
posted by Danf at 7:47 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


We're not gonna like what they have to say, so since we don't have to let them talk we might as well not.
posted by amethysts at 7:47 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is a very simple solution to this problem: at the next one of these meetings, the women should stand up en masse, interrupt the proceedings, and announce that because the church is so backward, they are quitting.

Then they should add "And we're taking our children with us," and then walk out.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:50 AM on March 24, 2010 [46 favorites]


Thank god you don't need to speak to "say" fuck you, Don Finseth.
posted by sallybrown at 7:51 AM on March 24, 2010


Christians who quote the Bible to deny the rights of homosexuals should be as consistent as these folks and deny the rights of women. Why do the lady folk get a free pass when it says right there in black and white that they should keep their yappers shut?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:52 AM on March 24, 2010 [13 favorites]


Anything that hastens the inevitable fall of yet another primitive death cult is just super.

i'll remember that when i file my taxes april 15
posted by pyramid termite at 7:52 AM on March 24, 2010


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by TrialByMedia at 7:53 AM on March 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


As a (lapsed) Lutheran, I feel the need to point out that this school and church is part of the Wisconsin synod. There are three basic "flavors" of the Lutherans in the US: ELCA, Wisconsin and Missouri. Wisconsin and Missouri synods do not permit women to be pastors. (The ELCA does.) While this doesn't excuse this turn of events, it can help explain the culture in which they happen.

(It can also help explain why the ELCA's membership is seventy billion times bigger than either the Wisconsin or Missouri synods.)
posted by FergieBelle at 7:53 AM on March 24, 2010 [19 favorites]


This isn't mainstream Lutheran doctrine though, is it? I was under the impression that the ELCA was actually somewhat progressive when it came to gender rights for a Christian organization. Women, gays and lesbians can become clergy, etc.
posted by zarq at 7:54 AM on March 24, 2010


Maybe if the women want to be treated like adults, they shouldn't belong to an organization comprised of children.
posted by gagglezoomer at 7:55 AM on March 24, 2010 [21 favorites]


I'm not going to deny that this is somewhat GRAR bait, but I was honestly shocked when I came across this story. I've heard of Christian movements that are all about the subjugation of women, but I'd always considered those groups to be fringe movements. Maybe I've been out of religion too long.

This is especially frustrating because this is such an obvious and direct slap in the womens' faces. It's already accepted that they couldn't vote in the meeting - and now they're being told to shut up altogether? The first stipulation is outrageous on its own, this is just dumping salt in the wound.

Anyways, do we have any Lutherans in the house? Is there really a strict Lutheran doctrine that says that women should not hold authority over men? Some admittedly quick research shows that some Lutheran synods allow women to be pastors which seems relatively forward thinking. Is there really a thread in Lutheranism that calls for the subjugation of women as such, or is this specific congregation just being a bunch of assholes?
posted by Consonants Without Vowels at 7:56 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Question answered. Thanks, FergieBelle. :)
posted by zarq at 7:56 AM on March 24, 2010


Its taking a lot of self control to resist the urge to send them a plethora of not so friendly emails.
posted by blaneyphoto at 7:57 AM on March 24, 2010


Anyone have a little more background on Lutherans of such a conservative ilk?
posted by desuetude at 7:57 AM on March 24, 2010


Women who wanted to ask questions were told to write them on a piece of paper and have a man read them aloud.

None of the women present did so, electing instead to flip the President the bird.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:58 AM on March 24, 2010


(It can also help explain why the ELCA's membership is seventy billion times bigger than either the Wisconsin or Missouri synods.)
posted by FergieBelle at 10:53 AM on March 24


What I want to know is, why are there any women in the other ones at all.

This is decidedly different from the Catholic Church not allowing women to become priests, because most people don't want to become priests in the first place. Here, this is an administrative meeting where women are being told they aren't allowed to speak, and a lot of women are agreeing to it.

If there was a meeting to decide something that directly affected me, but I wasn't allowed to speak, I would let the matches and the oily rags do the talking for me.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:59 AM on March 24, 2010 [10 favorites]


From Wikipedia: Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)
posted by sallybrown at 7:59 AM on March 24, 2010


Well, obviously he's right. It says so right there in the Bible. I Corinthians 14:34 and I Timothy 2:12.

There's a book of Timothy?! Like, in regular bibles?
posted by shmegegge at 8:03 AM on March 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wow. Just... Wow.

And anyone showed up to the meeting, rather than choosing to "voice" their opinion by joining a church from this century (or hell, even the last century)?
posted by pla at 8:04 AM on March 24, 2010


Pastabagel, the problem is that many of these women are similarly brainwashed. Many religious women really believe that they deserve to be subject to men. They really believe that sin was born from the weakness of women. They really believe that any desire they feel is born of Satan, that any time they feel anger at their husband they are being sinful. This arises from constant brainwashing, beginning in childhood, and provides “justification” for many abusive relationships that seem bright and chipper on their public face.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:05 AM on March 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


Is there really a thread in Lutheranism that calls for the subjugation of women as such, or is this specific congregation just being a bunch of assholes?

I grew up in Baraboo. This specific congregation is a bunch of huge assholes. In addition to these views on women, they restrict their members from joining fraternal organizations that cite God in their creeds. It raised quite a ruckus when members were asked to leave the church or the Elks' club, leave the church or Boy Scouts, etc. etc.

In junior high, I became interested in how worship went on at different churches in town, and attended a variety of services. This church's worship and sermon seemed very vanilla at the time (though I was young, perhaps there were nuances I missed), and I had singled it out specifically because of the "club controversy".

It never made sense to me what attracted people to the place. It seemed like the church doctrine and the Sunday service were sort of incongruous. I always figured people interested in hardline Christian stuff would get that in their worship service.
posted by rocketman at 8:07 AM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Why, exactly, would the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors care about this? I mean, they're totally on the other side of Lake Michigan.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:08 AM on March 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


Why yes, shmegegge, it's the First Epistle of Paul to Timothy in Ephesus, and constitutes part of the thirteen Pauline Epistles, which are the foundation of Christian orthodoxy. The others are Romans, I and II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Thessalonians, I and II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:08 AM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


If I was a woman, and a Lutheran, and at this meeting, I may have had the urge to write the following question on a prim little piece of paper and obediently pass it to an approved male:

"Why, exactly, are Lutheran penises so small?"
posted by elwoodwiles at 8:11 AM on March 24, 2010 [14 favorites]



This isn't mainstream Lutheran doctrine though, is it? I was under the impression that the ELCA was actually somewhat progressive when it came to gender rights for a Christian organization. Women, gays and lesbians can become clergy, etc.
posted by zarq at 10:54 AM on March 24


I'll shut up after this, I promise, but this is precisely the wrong thinking. It would be progressive to allow women to have the same rights as men if this was 1925. It's 2010. Equal rights for women is normal. Anything is is a regression, backward. If somebody tells me their church doesn't allow women to speak at meetings, I assume that sentence ends with "because we've all decided to go Amish."

If you don't take this position, then the fight for equality moves at a glacial pace, evolving over generations. Keep this in mind - no one is giving gays or women rights. They already have these rights. These rights are given at birth and they are inalienable. If you are content to wait generations to have the authority respect your rights, it implies that those rights aren't really that important to you, or that there isn't really anything you need them for.

What the fight for quality really is is about authority respecting the rights you have. Respect is earned, and it is earned by making the other guy pay a price for his disrespect.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:12 AM on March 24, 2010 [64 favorites]


Pastabagel, the problem is that many of these women are similarly brainwashed. Many religious women really believe that they deserve to be subject to men. They really believe that sin was born from the weakness of women. They really believe that any desire they feel is born of Satan, that any time they feel anger at their husband they are being sinful. This arises from constant brainwashing, beginning in childhood, and provides “justification” for many abusive relationships that seem bright and chipper on their public face.

You're using the term "brainwashing" incorrectly. Brainwashing is the use of coercive techniques to change someone's previously held opinion. One cannot be "brainwashed from childhood" unless as a child, they were forced to change their beliefs.

These women are being indoctrinated from childhood. The difference in terms matters a great deal. "Indoctrinated" means that they are being educated to a particular belief system, but discouraged from questioning those beliefs or examining them critically.
posted by zarq at 8:17 AM on March 24, 2010 [13 favorites]


Feminist theology has clearly not hit this branch of Lutheranism.

This kind of thing always makes me feel sorry for women who are devout in most major Western faiths. It's got to be hard to really believe in $DEITY and have all this tribal patriarchal stuff from hundreds or even thousands of years ago encoded into the DNA of your faith. It makes the cafeteria Christian mindset more comprehensible.
posted by immlass at 8:17 AM on March 24, 2010


fergiebells: As a (lapsed) Lutheran, I feel the need to point out that this school and church is part of the Wisconsin synod. There are three basic "flavors" of the Lutherans in the US: ELCA, Wisconsin and Missouri. Wisconsin and Missouri synods do not permit women to be pastors. (The ELCA does.) While this doesn't excuse this turn of events, it can help explain the culture in which they happen.

(It can also help explain why the ELCA's membership is seventy billion times bigger than either the Wisconsin or Missouri synods.
)

The last time I attended a Missouri Synod Lutheran service there was a female doing one of the readings. She had a title. It was not pastor. I do not know all the details but I presume she had a salary.
posted by bukvich at 8:18 AM on March 24, 2010


I'm surprised that there isn't some fringe Christian movement to remove Paul's epistles from the bible or otherwise totally disregard them. Hell, I would start it if I was still religious. Dude's an asshole that frequently contradicts the gospels.

Sadly, I'm not really shocked about a church telling women they can't speak. I'm surprised when a religion doesn't do everything possible to control its followers.
posted by giraffe at 8:19 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


True, zarq. Point conceded.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:20 AM on March 24, 2010


As a frequent visitor to Baraboo, let me just say that this should in no way influence you if you are thinking of going to the Circus Museum or the nearby Forevertron, which are both mind-blowing and probably deserve an FPP of their own.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:23 AM on March 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


There's a book of Timothy?! Like, in regular bibles?

Well, there are some who call it... Tim.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:24 AM on March 24, 2010 [22 favorites]


If I was a woman, and a Lutheran, and at this meeting...

...then it probably wouldn't even occur to you that there was anything wrong with this.
posted by hermitosis at 8:29 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


America is like a mixed salad. Sure there's the odd bit of bacon, but it's mostly bitter, wilted greens or canned corn. And there's a hell of a lot of it.

As my mother probably wouldn't say: concentrate on the bits of bacon, ignore the rest.
posted by flippant at 8:30 AM on March 24, 2010


I'm surprised that there isn't some fringe Christian movement to remove Paul's epistles from the bible or otherwise totally disregard them.

Really, though, the only people who would feel that things you disagree with should be removed from the Bible are the people who don't think of the Bible as 100%-written-by-God-in-His-living-room and literally infallibly true, i.e. fundamentalists, who are also the least likely to question anything they find in the Bible. Anyone who reads Paul and goes 'Hey, guy's kind of a dick, maybe I don't like him so much so I'mma gonna take what he says with a grain of salt' has a view of the Bible that it's basically a big ol' thelogical Norton Anthology written by a bunch of different people over a period of several thousand years and as such isn't supposed to be followed blindly, so they're fine with leaving Paul in for the good bits.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:30 AM on March 24, 2010 [14 favorites]


I was raised in the Wisconsin Synod, and, as I recall, women are (or were, when I was paying attention) indeed barred from any position where they would have authority over men. This extended to not having female teachers in the high school. To say they are reactionary is to be understating the case. I can confirm that there were many organizations (like the Boy Scouts) that were forbidden for having a dodgy relation to God.

I remember, when I was 14, listening to the vicar (in WELS this meant a seminary student who was undergoing a year of "on the job training") preach a sermon where he pointed out that, post resurrection, the first couple of people Christ appears to are women, and that showed that women had an important place in the church that should be respected. I whispered to my mom "he doesn't have much of a future in the Wisconsin Synod, does he?" She snorted and left the church (and my father) a few years later. I hung on until an unfortunate sermon about mittens drove me away.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:30 AM on March 24, 2010 [30 favorites]


giraffe, you should look at the The Dutch Radical Critics.
posted by fellion at 8:32 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hope that the other Lutheran churches in this area are doing some carefully-honed outreach to this church. A fervently agnostic heathen like myself isn't going to convince a conservative Wisconsin family that they can keep their faith but join a church that respects their followers. Others closer to their culture may be able to, though.
posted by desuetude at 8:33 AM on March 24, 2010


I hung on until an unfortunate sermon about mittens drove me away.

You can't just drop that on us and not explain.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:33 AM on March 24, 2010 [50 favorites]


let me just say that this should in no way influence you if you are thinking of going to the Circus Museum or the nearby Forevertron

Oh god - no.
posted by cashman at 8:33 AM on March 24, 2010


I'm surprised that there isn't some fringe Christian movement to remove Paul's epistles from the bible or otherwise totally disregard them. Hell, I would start it if I was still religious. Dude's an asshole that frequently contradicts the gospels.

Thomas Jefferson was way ahead of you.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:34 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, obviously he's right. It says so right there in the Bible. I Corinthians 14:34 and I Timothy 2:12.
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:46 AM on March 24 [2 favorites +] [!]


Yup. Here's what else it says
posted by toodleydoodley at 8:37 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow King Games needs to seriously lay off the -th endings. Edifieth?
posted by graventy at 8:41 AM on March 24, 2010


Damn three minute preview.

Though a King Games would probably be awesome.
posted by graventy at 8:41 AM on March 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


The last time I attended a Missouri Synod Lutheran service there was a female doing one of the readings. She had a title. It was not pastor. I do not know all the details but I presume she had a salary.

Probably a deacon. Many denominations that do not permit women to serve as pastors or priests allow women to serve as deacons. Precisely what deacons do varies from denomination to denomination, but they often assist during the liturgy and minister to prisoners, the poor, and other downtrodden or traditionally "outsider" people.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:41 AM on March 24, 2010


There are 3 major Lutheran denominations in the United States. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA) is the largest with 4 million members. The Missouri-Synod is next with more than 2 million. The third is the Wisconsin Synod with roughly 100,000 members. The Wisconsin Synod is stuck in the late 1800s in terms of confession, creed, and practices. Last year, they made the news because one of their high schools kicked out a teenage girl for putting questioning as her sexuality (or bisexual - I forget which) on her Myspace profile. The fact that a woman wasn't allowed to speak isn't a stretch for this denomination.

Saying "Lutheran Doctrine" in the FPP isn't necessarily correct. Rather, this is the doctrine of a small segment of the Lutheran denominations in the US. Lutheran doctrine, theology, and practice is not monolithic. The Missouri-Synod is to the right of the ELCA and doesn't allowed women pastors. The ELCA (and some of its ancestor bodies) has allowed women pastors for thirty years (with six currently serving as bishops). The Wisconsin-Synod is about 100 years behind the trend in terms of what I would consider to be mainstream Lutheran thoughts on gender, authority, and the role of leadership in the church. And even my home church (founded as Missouri-Synod, moved to AELC because of a scandal in the 70s, and is now ELCA) has a history of denying women the right to vote. In the 30s, our records show that a motion was made to allow women the right to vote at meetings but that vote wasn't extended until the 1970s. Traditionally, many church constitutions have it written that non-members are not allowed allowed voice at a meetings. So if women are not members, it is quite easy to invoke the rule that they should not be allowed to speak.

There are also dozens more Lutheran micro-dominations (many having evolved from the ELCA during the ELCA's recent ecumenical moves over the last fifteen years). And there are quite a few "denominations" which are really just one congregation (who probably left a larger denomination because their pastor was kicked out for behavioral misconduct).
posted by Stynxno at 8:43 AM on March 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'll shut up after this, I promise, but this is precisely the wrong thinking. It would be progressive to allow women to have the same rights as men if this was 1925. It's 2010. Equal rights for women is normal. Anything is is a regression, backward. If somebody tells me their church doesn't allow women to speak at meetings, I assume that sentence ends with "because we've all decided to go Amish."

If you don't take this position, then the fight for equality moves at a glacial pace, evolving over generations.


Part of the nature (and I suspect the appeal,) of religious organizations is that they can be extremely slow to change and adapt to modern times. Vatican II was groundbreaking for many reasons.

Keep this in mind - no one is giving gays or women rights. They already have these rights. These rights are given at birth and they are inalienable.

Taking into account the entire history of mankind, inalienable rights are a very, very recent concept, and inalienable rights for people of all genders are an even more recent concept. In fact, both concepts are so recent that it's still not recognized by a variety of secular and religious cultures across a large portion of our planet.

In other words, you're expressing is a more progressive opinion than that held by many. Which brings us back to my original point.

If you are content to wait generations to have the authority respect your rights, it implies that those rights aren't really that important to you, or that there isn't really anything you need them for.

It is obvious that in this particular case, the women involved most certainly do value equality and respect or they wouldn't be upset about being denied a voice by their Church.

But it's really not up to us to tell them when and how they should feel about it.

What the fight for quality really is is about authority respecting the rights you have. Respect is earned, and it is earned by making the other guy pay a price for his disrespect.

Tangential question: How do you feel about federal reparations for the families of Americans who are descended from slaves?
posted by zarq at 8:43 AM on March 24, 2010


graventy: "Wow King Games needs to seriously lay off the -th endings. Edifieth?"

That's essentially what the New King James Bible is. I tries to maintain the literary quality of KJV but make it slightly more palatable by removing stuff like that.

Toodleydoodley, can you just tell us what verse you were trying to link to? Your link seems to go to the bottom of a page.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:45 AM on March 24, 2010


You can't just drop that on us and not explain.

OK, since you asked:

It was perhaps my third year in college. My relationship with the church had been rocky for some time due to my finding some of their doctrines absurd and others deeply offensive (I thought pretty deeply about religion as a teen and seriously considered a religious vocation, so it was a long and fraught struggle for me). But I was home on a Sunday morning, and I thought that I would go to church and see how it went.

The minister was preaching his sermon, and he got around to the concept that "faith is like a pair of mittens." I should have left right then, but, no. "If you lose one of the mittens," he continued, "the other is useless!" And I thought "That is not really true. I could have one warm hand, at least. Or I could use the spare to clean off the windshield when it snowed or when the glass fogged up (this was in Wisconsin, after all, where such things are important). Or I could use the solo mitten as a pot holder or oven mitt. Or... I could get some felt and little googly eyes, and I could make a chicken puppet!" And I was feeling pretty darned pleased with myself. I was sitting in a congregation of people dismayed at their useless mitten, and I had myself a theologically-untested chicken puppet. Pretty nice, huh?

Sadly, the minister continued. "But then you find the other mitten! Now you have two mittens again!*" And I suddenly felt this enormous wave of panic and alienation. "Oh. My. Heavens. I am in a church full of people with two mittens, and I have a mitten and a chicken puppet! I am the sort of person who will never have two mittens again... I have a chicken puppet! I have to go!" And I got up, left the physical and spiritual church, and I have rarely been back in person and never in spirit.

This may be the stupidest conversion experience ever.

*To be fair to the minister, I think his point was that even when you lose your way, Christ is always there, like your other mitten, waiting for you, but it was still a really weak metaphor.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:53 AM on March 24, 2010 [529 favorites]


OP (and the linked article) buried the lede: Hartwig was fired for distributing a document written by his father questioning the doctrine against allowing women to speak or vote.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:55 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


So, the history of the American Lutheran church goes like this:

The mother Lutheran church in the US eventually became the ELCA.

The Missouri Synod (LCMS) separated from the mother church in the 1800s because it was getting too liberal.

The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) separated from the LCMS in the 1960s because they felt the LCMS was communing with liberals.

The Church of the Lutheran Confession (CLC) separated from the WELS shortly thereafter because they thought the WELS didn't separate themselves from the LCMS fast enough.

And as styxno said, there are a bunch of other tiny schisms along the way too.

The Lutherans never broke North-South because they were never all that strong in the South. So they've never had a major reconciliation within the fold. By comparison the Northern and Southern branches of the Methodist church merged in 1939 while the Presbyterian church reunited in 1983. So while the Lutherans have had mergers, they have never really had two opposing sections of the church reunite.
posted by dw at 8:57 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Women who wanted to ask questions were told to write them on a piece of paper and have a man read them aloud.

I think it's just adorable that those women are allowed to learn how to write.
posted by iconomy at 9:02 AM on March 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


Wow King Games needs to seriously lay off the -th endings. Edifieth?

Elizabethan English is awesome and you are a meanbutt.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:04 AM on March 24, 2010 [16 favorites]


And thus the "Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Chicken Puppet, Wisconsin Synod" (ELCCPWS) was born.
posted by Floydd at 9:05 AM on March 24, 2010 [21 favorites]


I think it's just adorable that those women are allowed to learn how to write.


Don't laugh too loud, when I was growing up, I heard people suggest that girls really didn't need education beyond grade school. To be fair, these same people felt that, outside of ministers, most men didn't need schooling beyond high school.

And I am not 90 years old.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:06 AM on March 24, 2010


This may be the stupidest conversion experience ever.

No way, most awesome conversion experience ever!!!!! (tee hee, chicken puppet ... snort)
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:07 AM on March 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


I hung on until an unfortunate sermon about mittens drove me away.

The devil finds work for idle, non-bemittened hands.
posted by zippy at 9:14 AM on March 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


The evangelicals have their "Biblical womanhood". The jews are starting to run segregated "modesty" buses in Israel. Islam hardly needs to be mentioned. Now the Lutherans? The fucking Lutherans?

Oh just fuck everyone. If you cling to any shred of the Abrahamic tradition, I'm done with you. Just go the hell away. Go pack yourselves into some other corner of the world and turn that into a smoking shithole with the male corpses on one side of the crater and the female ones on the other, but stop messing with the rest of us.
posted by Naberius at 9:17 AM on March 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


Oh just fuck everyone. If you cling to any shred of the Abrahamic tradition, I'm done with you. Just go the hell away. Go pack yourselves into some other corner of the world and turn that into a smoking shithole with the male corpses on one side of the crater and the female ones on the other, but stop messing with the rest of us.

No, but thanks, though!
posted by shakespeherian at 9:20 AM on March 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


Thank you so much for your mitten story GenjiandProust. Now, I will forever define my mehAgnostic faith issues as having one mitten and one chicken puppet.
You are awesome.
posted by teleri025 at 9:20 AM on March 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


shakespeherian: "Elizabethan English is awesome and you are a meanbutt."

Yeah, I suppose you would think that.

I don't really know if it's going anywhere, but I would expect the ELCA might schism over allowing openly gay and lesbian pastors. At least, there were a good chunk of bigots talking about it the last time I visited my lovely home church in South Dakota.
posted by graventy at 9:30 AM on March 24, 2010


My response to anyone who points at the exhortations in Timothy and Corinthians for women to keep silence is that there are several women in the Bible, all known to Paul, who were neither silent and or without authority. The most prominent were Lydia, a successful seller of purple cloth who offered her home as a base of operations to the Disciples in Phillipi, and there is Phoebe, a Deaconess, and who Paul himself sent to Rome to help with the ministry there.

So, by that measure there were churches operating 2000 years ago more progressive than St. John's today.
posted by Alison at 9:31 AM on March 24, 2010 [15 favorites]


I don't have any experience with the Wisconsin Synod Lutherans, but I am intimately familiar with another branch of Christendom that typically doesn't permit women to speak. I think it is really tempting to read this as an example of the men oppressing the women just for the sake maintaining their own power and control, but in my experience that's too facile.
It gives the men credit for more intentionality than has actually occurred. It was correctly stated up above that the majority of the women in these churches have been indoctrinated into this position and agree with it. Indeed, I've known several examples where it was the women of a congregation who vigorously insisted on their own silence in the assemblies much more so than the men. The specific case in the link involves a man's initiative to be sure that the women are silent, but we have no idea how many of the women are in full agreement with him. And, my point is, just like the women have been indoctrinated into this system since they were little, so have the men. The didn't have a huddle one day to agree on a hermeneutics approach that would let them silence their wives and daughters. They grew up in this system, it was handed down to them, and as little boys they accepted it, just like the little girls did. I think it's much more accurate to interpret these kinds of churches as a sort of primitive old-world tribe, with a strictly gendered culture. None of them planned this. It's just who they are, and the origins of it lie centuries in the past. Rather than excoriate the men as tyrants, better to realize that they, too, need some gentle nudges and gracious re-training if they are to join the modern world. And there are a lot of kind tribal elders in those primitive setting who deeply love their wives and daughters, and are going to deal with a lot of grief when they realize that the system they faithfully perpetuated because of all the good they saw in it, also had this element that hurt people they love, even though they didn't mean to hurt anyone, and those being hurt didn't even know it at the time.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:31 AM on March 24, 2010 [46 favorites]


Is this where, as a Christian, it's my duty to speak up and say that these people are assbutts and that this is exactly why it's a dumb idea to take the Bible as the inspired, inerrant word of God? I mean, it was Paul who said that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female, neither slave nor free, so the fact that he turns around and pulls the "women keep silent in the church" bullshit is just proof that, road to Damascus or not, he's still a flawed human being with his own historical prejudices and, uh, not God.

And that's not even COUNTING the fact that Paul did not do his teaching alone. He had another scholar who traveled with him, who was considered equally important to him -- you can find frescoes of the two of them all over the place, dating from the early Church, that show the two of them at equal heights and both of them with their fingers raised in the sign of a Teacher. Her name was Thekla, sometimes spelled Thecla, and the fact that she's been erased from the modern Gospel is proof positive that sometimes, human beings are so resistant to radical change that even the direct word of God on the subject isn't enough.
posted by KathrynT at 9:41 AM on March 24, 2010 [20 favorites]


pla: "...a church from this century..."

What church would that be, then? The FSM church?
posted by klanawa at 9:44 AM on March 24, 2010


I went to a Lutheran (Missouri Synod) junior high in between catholic elementary and high schools (needless to say I am now a confirmed atheist). The WELS make the Missouri Synod look like Unitarians in comparison.
posted by nestor_makhno at 9:45 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh just fuck everyone. If you cling to any shred of the Abrahamic tradition, I'm done with you. Just go the hell away.

No.

Go pack yourselves into some other corner of the world and turn that into a smoking shithole with the male corpses on one side of the crater and the female ones on the other,

No.

....but stop messing with the rest of us.

Some of us don't.
posted by zarq at 9:51 AM on March 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


I was raised WELS, left the church the moment I left my mother's house. It always bothered me that women were not seen as equal in the church, though it has never bothered my mother (who is still a member) except once.

For some reason, despite the fact that the local public high school was excellent, people in the congregation were urging my mother to send me to the church-run high school. They assured her my tuition would be managed and that my transportation (the school was pretty far) would be taken care of. So we toyed around with the idea a bit.

I'd taken French for two years in middle school, and the church school didn't offer French, which was a disappointment. They offered Spanish, but only two years, and they offered four years of German but I wasn't interested in German. So, I figured, no big deal, I'll take the four years of Latin they offer, that'll be useful if I go back to French or Spanish in college.

Then the school (not even having the good sense to be sheepish about it) told us that Latin was really just for the boys who were thinking about going to seminary. My mom was furious and the idea of sending me to church school was never raised again.
posted by padraigin at 9:52 AM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


And yea he didst look down upon his hand and saw that thereupon he didst have a chicken puppet with googly eyes. And he saw that it was good.
posted by Babblesort at 9:52 AM on March 24, 2010 [17 favorites]


Its taking a lot of self control to resist the urge to send them a plethora of not so friendly emails.

That would be a waste of effort; your emails would just be ignored. These are Lutherans -- if you want your objections to be heard, you need to print out a hard copy and nail it to the door of the church.
posted by nickmark at 9:55 AM on March 24, 2010 [37 favorites]


What's spectacularly ill-advised about this entire approach is that nearly every Christian church in the US relies on women to attend their basic functions. It's women who sew those altar cloths and cook the communion bread, do the cooking at church fundraiser breakfasts and, if there's no janitorial budget, end up keeping the place clean. There's a good chance that if the women who do all this for this guy get angry enough, the walls of his church might not crumble around him, but at least one male congregant will collapse during service from a dust allergy.
posted by medea42 at 9:57 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Weird, I lived right down the street from Wisconsin Lutheran High School (and I went to a Catholic high school less than a mile away) and everyone I knew from there seemed perfectly fine and not especially conservative.
posted by desjardins at 10:01 AM on March 24, 2010


Paul was a pretty interesting character, who was really fraught with a lot of inconsistent thinking when it came to his theology and vision of Christianity. I think part of it is based on a need to assert his leadership (a lot of his letters seem to be in that vein). But another part is, as I see it, an inevitable consequence of being an early Christian, and struggling to reconcile Jesus's actual message with the meat and potatoes part of structuring a new religion (not to mention the extraneous influences of Greek philosophical thinking that started to leak in fairly early on).

Also, I get the feeling he was kind of a pompous hardass.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 10:01 AM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The religion is named after one of the biggest bigots in history.

"Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow breasts, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children."

"God created Adam master and lord of living creatures, but Eve spoilt all, when she persuaded him to set himself above God's will. 'Tis you women, with your tricks and artifices, that lead men into error."

"God created Adam master and lord of living creatures, but Eve spoilt all, when she persuaded him to set himself above God's will. 'Tis you women, with your tricks and artifices, that lead men into error."

"Even though they grow weary and wear themselves out with child- bearing, it does not matter; let them go on bearing children till they die, that is what they are there for."

And don't even get him started on the Jews.

Anyone who belongs to any Lutheran church shares some blame for supporting this kind of thing, I don't care how tolerant your branch is.
posted by callmejay at 10:03 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


(Oops, sorry for the double-paste.)
posted by callmejay at 10:04 AM on March 24, 2010


Indeed, I've known several examples where it was the women of a congregation who vigorously insisted on their own silence in the assemblies much more so than the men. The specific case in the link involves a man's initiative to be sure that the women are silent, but we have no idea how many of the women are in full agreement with him. And, my point is, just like the women have been indoctrinated into this system since they were little, so have the men.

I was raised in the Pentecostal Church and was active until I had my own chicken puppet moment when I was 16, and I remember this dynamic there as well. Many of the women were active and willing participants in this kinf of separation between men and women. Although women were not restricted to the level described in the OP, the levels of misogyny were still pretty high and intolerable for me. In fact, they were the reason I left. I struggled a lot between feeling angry at the women of the congregation for falling into that trap, and sorry for them because I know how indoctrination can do a number on you.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 10:06 AM on March 24, 2010


DTMLA
posted by Sys Rq at 10:11 AM on March 24, 2010


I mean, it was Paul who said that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female, neither slave nor free, so the fact that he turns around and pulls the "women keep silent in the church" bullshit is just proof that, road to Damascus or not, he's still a flawed human being with his own historical prejudices and, uh, not God.

I had a college professor -- the class was something like "The Bible as Literature" but it was a lot more rigorous than that sounds -- who had done some very detailed and involved work on the New Testament (in the original). He had a very interesting theory that that passage from Corinthians was a quote rather than Paul's actual teaching. So, it would read something like:
...[Paul is teaching, and then he quotes the church at Corinth, "And you guys are saying,] 'Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.' What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? [i.e., you dudes are crazy]"
In retrospect, I'm not sure he totally bought that theory -- he knew Paul's letters inside and out, and would of course recognize the contradictions between Paul standing up for women here but denigrating them in Timothy, for instance. It's entirely possible he presented this idea to us as a way of showing us an example of how malleable the Bible is to a variety of interpretations. Either way, a good lesson.
posted by devinemissk at 10:11 AM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


In defense of stupid mitten-sermons, I do feel some very small sympathy for having to come up with a good sermon anecdote/Bible verse tie-in every damn week. You're not always going to hit it out of the ballpark.

Of course, that's why I think pastors should demand that parishoners show up in their blue jeans every Sunday and go out and feed some poor people, or anything more useful than sitting in a pew on their well-dressed behinds and wondering if they'll get home in time for the football game.
posted by emjaybee at 10:13 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow. There are going to be some really passive-aggressively bad casseroles at their next potluck.
posted by thekilgore at 10:14 AM on March 24, 2010 [12 favorites]


In defense of stupid mitten-sermons, I do feel some very small sympathy for having to come up with a good sermon anecdote/Bible verse tie-in every damn week. You're not always going to hit it out of the ballpark.

Many Reform and Conservative Jewish rabbis apparently use a database from which they pick and choose pre-written sermons, then personalize them slightly. When my wife was applying for jobs in synagogues in NY and NJ back in 2000, she dragged me to a bunch of services at different ones on consecutive Saturdays. So, one week we'd hear a sermon from one rabbi. In the weeks to come, we might hear the same sermon from a different rabbi at a different synagogue. The first time it happened, it was a bit disconcerting.

No chicken puppets / mitten metaphors, though. :)
posted by zarq at 10:22 AM on March 24, 2010


The religion is named after one of the biggest bigots in history.

The Lutheran church is not its own religion, but rather a denomination of Christianity. And, yes, Luther was a bigot, but so were any number of people for whom decent things are named (I'm not sure I adhere to everything Amerigo Vespucci stood for).

Anyone who belongs to any Lutheran church shares some blame for supporting this kind of thing, I don't care how tolerant your branch is.

I don't think this makes any sense. Why would I be held responsible for the believes of people who I disagree with, when the believes in question are the ones I disagree with?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:25 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone who belongs to any Lutheran church shares some blame for supporting this kind of thing, I don't care how tolerant your branch is.

Well, see, here's the thing. Luther was right in some ways, and wrong in others. Have you read the 99 Theses? A lot of his criticisms of the Catholic Church at the time were RIGHT FUCKING ON, and his conviction was pure. That he was at least as sexist as the other learned men of his time was due to the fact that he was a human being, NOT inerrant, NOT even divinely inspired in all things. The dude doesn't have to be 100% perfect and right in order to have had some meaningful things to say.

When you read religious or philosophical texts, it's often an interesting exercise to separate out what was the prevailing wisdom at the time from what was radical and new. Because Martin Luther's thoughts on women never would have been considered worth preserving if he hadn't been, you know, MARTIN LUTHER, who took on the Catholic Church. I'm not divesting him of responsibility for being a sexist assnut, but I do think you can cherry-pick and consider the relative worth of baby vs. bathwater. After all, do we only read stuff by people who are 1000% right out of the gate, or is it enough to be continuously striving towards truth throughout our lives?
posted by KathrynT at 10:25 AM on March 24, 2010 [8 favorites]


thekilgore: "Wow. There are going to be some really passive-aggressively bad casseroles at their next potluck."

No no no... That's Minnesota that does the casserole and the passive-aggressive thing. Well we Wisconsinites do like our casseroles too, but the hallmark is the casseroles (and the desert bars) of Minnesota. Don't rub that Minnesota nice crap on us. *shakesitoff*
posted by symbioid at 10:26 AM on March 24, 2010


My favorite Bible verse from the Pauline epistles:
You stupid Galatians! (Galatians 3:1)
Yup, real mature, that Paul. This is clearly a trend with me; I like my favorite book of the Bible because I think it's hilarious. The book of Tobit is a Job-like story, but Tobit's troubles start when he's taking a nap and birds shit in his eyes:
That night I took a bath; then I went into the courtyard and lay down by the courtyard wall. Since it was hot I left my face uncovered.

I did not know that there were sparrows in the wall above my head; their hot droppings fell into my eyes. (Tobit 2:9-10)
posted by ocherdraco at 10:29 AM on March 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


I'm not saying Luther shouldn't be read or that he didn't do anything good, just that he was an enormous bigot and the behavior of the church in question is 100% in line with what he would have wanted.

Calling yourself a Lutheran is not like calling yourself an American, is it? Does the average Lutheran care as little about Luther as the average American does about Vespucci? If so, I apologize. I assumed the name meant more than that.
posted by callmejay at 10:33 AM on March 24, 2010


I did not know that there were sparrows in the wall above my head; their hot droppings fell into my eyes. (Tobit 2:9-10)

But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. (matthew 10:29)
posted by pyramid termite at 10:35 AM on March 24, 2010


Much like Paul, Luther is a complex and difficult figure. He did and wrote a number of things I find inspiring. His gloss that not bearing "false witness" included "putting the best construction on everything" (assuming the best motives in people) was (and is) incredibly important to my moral development*. His "Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me. Amen." that ended his defense at the Diet of Worms (which may be apocryphal) is one of my benchmarks of principled resistance in the face of overwhelming temporal power (telling off the Catholic Church in 16th Century Germany was a somewhat braver thing to do than expressing similar sentiments on MetaFilter). Many of Luther's early writings were full of humane responses to serious problems of the time. And there is some evidence that a series of painful debilitating medical conditions fulled a gradual hardening and coarsening of his thinking and rhetoric as he aged. Were his later writings, especially about the Jews, noxious? Indeed. Did he buy into and support the common bigotries of his time? Undoubtedly. Would I have found him an arrogant and stubborn SOB? I imagine so. Were the political outcomes of his doctrines often horrible? Oh yessiree.

Does this mean that I cannot find value in his writing? I think not. I feel little need to embrace the whole man or his philosophy for the elements in his teachings that made me better than I might have been (and there are some). Just like I won't let him off the hook for those elements that made me (and others) worse than we might be.

Also, just to be clear: my beef with the Wisconsin Synod comes from long and bitter familiarity with their doctrine and the impact of that doctrine on actual people I know. I do not hold other Lutherans nor Christians in general at fault for these particular issues (they, after all, have their own crosses to bear and sins to answer for. But that is another post, and for others to testify).

*and, ironically, one of the few philosophical things I took from a notably "poor construction taking" denomination
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:41 AM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Calling yourself a Lutheran is not like calling yourself an American, is it? Does the average Lutheran care as little about Luther as the average American does about Vespucci? If so, I apologize. I assumed the name meant more than that.

I think we've been over this a few times on MetaFilter, and the general consensus is that it's fine to blame bad things on people who are doing bad things, but trying to blame bad things on other people who also fall under a self-application is careless and silly.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:45 AM on March 24, 2010


Don't rub that Minnesota nice crap on us

You've never tried my ham and broccoli parmesan casserole. Trust me, you would love to be rubbed all over with it. They're selling it at Bath and Body works as a lotion now.
posted by Think_Long at 10:45 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes, it's too bad for the women in that church. But really, why should anyone feel bad for those who willingly submit to such systems, and indeed are instrumental in being the actual enforcers of such discrimination? At what point do we acknowledge that they share responsibility for their fate?

I reserve far more sympathy for those who are victims of oppression and who are not co-conspirators in their own oppression and the victimization of others. I feel bad for the child molester who was molested as a child himself, but my empathy only goes so far.

These women are instrumental in the victimization of other women and their own daughters, not just themselves. They perpetuate a vicious irrational belief system that's socially damaging and a blight on this planet. In this they join the multitudes of other religions.

Then again, these women don't see themselves as victims, so who am I to insist on their victim status?

With limited resources, I'll reserve my efforts and sympathy for those who struggle against the injustice done to them - and to others. There are enough real victims in this world, without wasting one's sympathy on the co-conspirators in these atrocities.

I hope that the other Lutheran churches in this area are doing some carefully-honed outreach to this church. A fervently agnostic heathen like myself isn't going to convince a conservative Wisconsin family that they can keep their faith but join a church that respects their followers. Others closer to their culture may be able to, though.

You can lead a horse to the water, but you can't make him drink. And I'd argue, perhaps you shouldn't even try.
posted by VikingSword at 10:54 AM on March 24, 2010


Speaking as a Minnesotan, what the hell is a casserole?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:54 AM on March 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Speaking as a Minnesotan, what the hell is a casserole?

Hot dish.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:55 AM on March 24, 2010


Wow King Games needs to seriously lay off the -th endings. Edifieth?

Elizabethan English is awesome and you are a meanbutt.


Wouldn't that be "Jacobean English is awesome and thou art a meanbutt who licks figs?"
posted by desuetude at 10:57 AM on March 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


(needless to say I am now a confirmed atheist)

What is the confirmation process for an atheist exactly?

All I can imagine is weekly meetings in some underheated community center basement room with some sweater-wearing college professor drilling the confirmees on what atheists believe while pounding some dog-eared Bertrand Russell book every confirmation class has been using since the book was published 50 years ago. There is coffee, but it's drip.

And then, do you have to take an atheist confirmation name? How does that process go? Does the professor grill the confirmees on whether their names are atheist enough?

"You are John, who was an apostle. Not atheist enough. Choose another name."
"I was thinking Randall."
"LIKE RANDALL TERRY??"
"Uh, uh... Zazzoo?"
"Hmm. That sounds secular enough. You will be confirmed as John Edward Zazzoo McMaster, but among Free Thinkers you shall call yourself Zazzoo. Now, you, son, what's your name?"
"Uh, Jesus?"
"OH BOTHER."
posted by dw at 11:19 AM on March 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Speaking as a Minnesotan, what the hell is a casserole?

Hot dish.


That's what they call the pans at Dayton's for cooking your hot dish in.
posted by norm at 11:22 AM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Emo Phillips: Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"

Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.

posted by caddis at 11:33 AM on March 24, 2010 [28 favorites]


"until I had my own chicken puppet moment"

And I thought adding "hail Satan" on to everything was going to be the MeFiMeme of the week for me...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:54 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was raised as a Christian of various denominations, and my parents still attend a Lutheran church (though I don't know which branch). In my college days (late 1990s, early 2000s), my faith took an upswing for a while, and I went to bible study with other college kids. We met in small groups, with the groups lead by two people who planned things out. I didn't get involved with the leadership side of the group, but I remember there being a discussion about women being allowed to lead discussions. Not be a pastor or preacher, but the leader of a small group of friends, and one of the more persistent people against women as leaders was a lady herself.

College educated, living in California, land of privileges and freedom and all that jazz, but she came from some understanding based on her reading of the Bible. Maybe it was passed from her family or different church, or maybe it came from her own literal reading of the Bible. Either way, she didn't like the idea of women leading Bible studies. However it happened, she relied on the Bible, and this was how she understood it.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:57 PM on March 24, 2010


What franchise?"

Yup.
posted by Melismata at 1:02 PM on March 24, 2010


And don't even get him started on the Jews.

Anyone who belongs to any Lutheran church shares some blame for supporting this kind of thing, I don't care how tolerant your branch is.


Much can be said about Luther himself, but the Churches who bear his name have tried to address and denounce Martin Luther's antisemitism. All of the following links are from here, #12.

The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

A Declaration of the Lutheran Church of Bavaria

Statement by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

ECLA: Windows for Understanding: Jewish-Muslim-Lutheran Relations (pdf, page 7.) I must admit, I was surprised by this document. Not only is it a decent basic assessment of many current issues currently facing mainstream Judaism, it even accurately describes how many of us feel about J4J.

Also: Declaration of the General Synod of the Evangelical Church A.B. and H.B. in Austria regarding the Holocaust.
posted by zarq at 1:38 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


DTMLA
posted by Sys Rq


Shouldn't that oughta be DTFLA in this case.
posted by Babblesort at 2:38 PM on March 24, 2010


If you cling to any shred of the Abrahamic tradition, I'm done with you. Just go the hell away. Go pack yourselves into some other corner of the world and turn that into a smoking shithole with the male corpses on one side of the crater and the female ones on the other, but stop messing with the rest of us.

Send those babies right on down to the sewer with that dad-gum bathwater, why don't you.
posted by rahnefan at 3:25 PM on March 24, 2010


Wow. As a lapsed jew, I went to a Lutheran college. Luckily, it was ELCA, and honestly, it was my first real exposure to a form of Christianity that I felt might be okay with me being me, rather than trying to convert me or condemn me for not doing so. That our late campus pastor frequently spoke of eastern philosophy and religious ideas probably did a great deal to make me feel comfortable there.

That said, the second I saw this post, noticed the Lutheran connection, I knew it had to be Wisconsin Synod. It's like they took all the positive, egalitarian, friendly stuff out of the ELCA and replaced it with sexism, rules, and anger.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:45 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chicken puppets, three for $5. I mean, why stop at one?
They aren't made from mittens but I didn't look very hard
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 5:03 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sending them emails is silly and meaningless, this is their religion and they have the freedom to worship any way they please. It has nothing to do with us and what we think is of no consequence to them.

Take comfort in the fact that they will lose their best and brightest: any child with spirit, brains, or empathy will not stay a member once they are old enough to leave. This is a church for the losers in life-- the ones who fear change and don't want to be challenged. Stagnation is the kiss of death for any enterprise-- business, community or church.

Roughly 300 people attended Sunday's meeting, which was closed to school parents who are not members of the church, Klaech said.

Let that be a lesson to the parents who sent their children to a religious school run by a church that they did not belong to-- the church will take your money but you will always be an outsider.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:09 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Much can be said about Luther himself, but the Churches who bear his name have tried to address and denounce Martin Luther's antisemitism.

That's pretty cool Good for them.
posted by callmejay at 6:24 PM on March 24, 2010


Previously, on Metafilter.

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the most prominent public figure associated with the Wisconsin Synod yet.

Meanwhile, among actual mainstream Lutherans, what's been going on? ELCA Assembly Opens Ministry to Partnered Gay and Lesbian Lutherans. Some people might quibble with the details, but there's obviously a million miles of difference between the ELCA, which is something like 90% of U.S. Lutherans, and the Wisconsin Synod, which is a tiny minority of bizarro whackjobs, and not representative of the majority of Lutherans.

(And to be fair, also does not represent Wisconsin, which is a fine state with beautiful scenery, excellent dairy products and plentiful beer.)
posted by gimonca at 6:59 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


King Games said: "Let there be Pac-Man." And it was good.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:10 PM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


I hope that the other Lutheran churches in this area are doing some carefully-honed outreach to this church. A fervently agnostic heathen like myself isn't going to convince a conservative Wisconsin family that they can keep their faith but join a church that respects their followers. Others closer to their culture may be able to, though.

Don't count on it. The more conservative synods (Missouri and Wisconsin) don't consider more liberal branches of the Lutheran church to be part of their culture. The Missouri Synod Lutheran minister of our childhood church, who was to conduct our wedding, told us that he refused to have an ELCA minister (our campus chaplain) give the wedding sermon.

His exact words were: "Letting a man from another synod preach from my pulpit is like a man sleeping with a woman other than his wife."
posted by Quiplash at 10:43 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah but hotdish is NOT just another word for "casserole," which sounds french and is therefore too fancy and probably snooty too. As a 40-ish recovering Lutheran (ELCA) I have only recently become comfortable NOT having 3 cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup in the pantry at all times. I am however quite comfortable speaking at meetings and being in a position of authority over men.

And that bit makes me wonder: how on earth does a woman raise a son in that congregation, when he can say "you're not the boss of me" and have the full power of the church behind him?
posted by evilmomlady at 5:41 AM on March 25, 2010


I imagine she says, "Just wait til your father gets home!"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:58 AM on March 25, 2010


Send those babies right on down to the sewer with that dad-gum bathwater, why don't you.

Show me a baby! One damn baby! Everywhere I look, there's just more bathwater. I think it's just bathwater all the way down.
posted by Naberius at 6:13 AM on March 25, 2010


A baby
posted by shakespeherian at 6:38 AM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Show me a baby! One damn baby! Everywhere I look, there's just more bathwater. I think it's just bathwater all the way down.

Right...and if this had happened in AL instead of WI, you'd be saying there's not one damn baby in any southeastern state.
posted by rahnefan at 7:12 AM on March 25, 2010


I'm surprise no-one said it yet (and much apologies for the b-word, but...)

"99 theses, but a bitch ain't one."
posted by symbioid at 7:19 AM on March 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have a friend that belongs to a WELS church. This congregation believes that the Pope (no specific Pope, just whoever's in the Vatican at the moment) is the Anti-Christ, that everything in the Bible is literally true (yep, even that stupid ark story), and that the peace symbol is a Satanic symbol. My friend believes whatever the church tells her. Drives me a little crazy, because in other ways, she's an intelligent woman.
posted by LynstHolin at 8:51 AM on March 25, 2010


His exact words were: "Letting a man from another synod preach from my pulpit is like a man sleeping with a woman other than his wife."

"Every time I preach, my congregation gets screwed."
posted by straight at 10:55 AM on March 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does the average Lutheran care as little about Luther as the average American does about Vespucci?

One anecdata point: Raised Missouri Synod in the 1970s when the MS was somewhat closer to the Protestant mainstream, and in my experience, the average American Lutheran then was about as familiar with and invested in Martin Luther as the average American is with Amerigo Vespucci. He invented the denomination; he nailed stuff to a door; he told the Pope where to get off. That's about it.

This is less a function of being Lutheran than it is of the fact that most Americans don't know jack shit about the Reformation, or European history, or history.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:39 PM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]



Taking into account the entire history of mankind, inalienable rights are a very, very recent concept, and inalienable rights for people of all genders are an even more recent concept. In fact, both concepts are so recent that it's still not recognized by a variety of secular and religious cultures across a large portion of our planet.

In other words, you're expressing is a more progressive opinion than that held by many.


While I agree with you as far as the historical end goes, I find this phrasing kind of obnoxious. It's not an opinion that I have the same rights as any other human. I simply do.
posted by agregoli at 1:17 PM on March 28, 2010


he knew Paul's letters inside and out, and would of course recognize the contradictions between Paul standing up for women here but denigrating them in Timothy

If he knows Paul's letters inside and out, he will also be aware that the status of I and II Timothy's Pauline authorship isheavily contested.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:11 AM on March 31, 2010


« Older WEF Global Risk Report 2010: Risks Interconnection...   |   My name's Colin and I play in the Decemberists. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post