Saturday, November 22, 2008

The ELCA can Learn from the Mormons

The Mormons spent 25 million dollars in California and, with the help of the black churches, “saved” heterosexual marriage, as Proposition 8 passed. They also got what they probably see as a PR disaster. They are now firmly associated with bigotry, division, and discrimination, the very opposite of the Gospel.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) would also “save” marriage for heterosexuals, as it tries to get its “Draft Social Statement on Human Sexuality” approved. I pray that the ELCA will take the Mormons’ experience as a warning. If the ELCA approves the draft statement as it now stands, it can expect the same public derision that the Mormons are now receiving. The ELCA will be seen, not as a source for the Gospel, but as an enemy of the Gospel.


Franklyn said...

Just as the current national election was essentially the old vs the new, the churches refusal to look forward will ultimately hasten their ever growing irrelevance. The unfortunate part of this will be the loss of the positive contribution that organized religion could make. Look to western europe for an early example

Tom said...

The ELCA continues to struggle with the issue of GLBT Lutherans. I think the issue is that that the majority would support GLBT rights if the issue did also not center around money. The Church sees support one way or the other as reducing funds, the thing they fear most. Do, they are in this state of delaying action hoping that the issue will go away. Of course, it will not, but people will go away and seek a faith that is based on love and acceptance of all.

Pete M said...

Thanks for your comment. Yes, like so many churches, the ELCA is worried that its base, which is assumed to be very straight and homophobic, would go away if the ELCA came out for same-sex marriage. If they followed the Gospel of justice and equality, they might be surprised by all the new people this stance would attract. Will the ELCA be brave enough to follow the Gospel? Let us pray.