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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: peter_speckhard on January 12, 2021, 08:57:39 PM

Title: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 12, 2021, 08:57:39 PM
This letter was recently emailed out to VU students:

Dear Valpo Students,

Throughout the country, there has been much discussion about the appropriateness of various building names, statues, and mascots. Likewise, various Valparaiso University constituencies have raised concerns about the Crusader being Valpo’s mascot, given its frequent association with the Crusades and our desire to be welcoming to people of all faiths and backgrounds.

Therefore, as a member of the Board I was asked by Interim President Colette Irwin-Knott to lead a task force to thoroughly discuss this issue and make a recommendation to her about the disposition of the Valpo mascot. The charge of the Mascot Task Force is to consider the University’s use of the Crusader nickname and mascot as a representation of the University, its mission, and its values. The Task Force will objectively evaluate all arguments on this issue, both pro and con, and use that evaluation to provide Colette with conclusions and recommendations that they believe would be in the best interests of the University and its constituents.

I ask that you offer your thoughts by completing this brief survey on the Valpo mascot by the end of the day on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Thank you in advance for your assistance with this important issue.
Sincerely,

Mascot Task Force


Since Valpo is closely associated with the alpb over the years, I'd invite anyone in the board to share how you would respond to this request for feedback if you were currently enrolled at Valpo.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 12, 2021, 09:46:29 PM
So is their mascot, like, a rabbit?  Crusader Rabbit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3hHQvkUhJo&list=PLDpBlzgWMro0aDnOu4hZso4YBQL5LDbT2)
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: pastorg1@aol.com on January 12, 2021, 10:24:19 PM
Conejo Conquistador
Lapin La Force

Peter (How can you be a crusader if you don’t go to church?) Garrison
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Birkholz on January 12, 2021, 10:32:15 PM
Looks like both the Faculty Senate and the Student Senate are in favor of the change in mascots:

https://www.valpo.edu/student-senate/files/2020/11/SR005-FA20.pdf (https://www.valpo.edu/student-senate/files/2020/11/SR005-FA20.pdf)

According to Wikipedia, this is not the first time that Valpo's mascot has caused controversy.  The original choice of "The Uhlan" was dropped in the 1940s due to its connection to the Nazis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valparaiso_Crusaders (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valparaiso_Crusaders)
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 12, 2021, 10:56:48 PM
Whether it is reasonable or not, the Crusades have become a controversial subject. Changing mascots is not such big deal, though a complicated process.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on January 12, 2021, 11:46:09 PM
Whether it is reasonable or not, the Crusades have become a controversial subject. .

From the east bank of the Bosporus:  It depends on which Crusades are being ennobled and elevated

https://christianorthodoxchurch.org/the-great-crusades (https://christianorthodoxchurch.org/the-great-crusades)
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 12, 2021, 11:51:41 PM
I oppose the change for two reasons. A) "Crusaders" is a fine nickname. B) The essentially iconoclastic movement currently en vogue against all celebrations of our past stems from a sense of historical arrogance and anachronistic judgmentalism. Okay three reasons. C) The historical arrogance and anachronistic judgmentalism selectively targets symbols of Western Civilization for condemnation, with a goal toward undermining its moral authority and abolishing it. What follows amounts to rambling thoughts on the topic in general, meandering around the three points above.

When I grew up in Valpo, I played little league baseball for a team called the Valpo Colonials. What an insensitive name. No matter; we lost most of our games, probably because of karma and certainly not because of the play of the left-handed infielder who usually batted fifth. I think the other teams in the league were the Valpo Patriots and other such monikers anyway, so karma would have had a hard time choosing sides. I went to grade school at Immanuel Lutheran. We were the Valiants, which technically doesn't have to refer to soldiers, but if I recall correctly the logo was of a knight's helmet. So... celebrations of medieval militarism it was. Then I went to Valparaiso High School, the Vikings. I played a year of jv tennis wearing a uniform that celebrated roving bands of raping and pillaging marauders. Out of righteous indignation and for no other reason, I didn't play on the varsity team the next year. I was ahead of my time that way. I can indignate righteously like a bona fide studies major. At any rate, I went to VU fairly inured to hopelessly inappropriate and oppressive mascots.

Today I serve as pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School. "Stand up! Be proud! Say your name! Out loud! WE ARE THE SPARTANS!!!" (We sometimes play against my old team, the Valiants, and secretly tsk tsk their inappropriate nickname.) But what about our cheer? Why would we be proud to shout out that we are the Spartans? Shouldn't we be embarrassed instead? Indeed, it isn't a name I would have picked for a Christian school. The history I learned depicted the Spartans as comparatively crude, anti-intellectual, and unenlightened. In other words, pagans who weren’t all that into school. Despite being dedicated to physical prowess and militarism, they managed to lose to the Athenians, which would be like Bubba's Wrecking and Towing losing to Babette's Vegan Cafe in park league softball. But hey, the Spartans are what we were when I came here, so if I was to become part of this pre-existing "we" here in Munster, so be it: "We are the Spartans!" By the way, nobody names their team the Athenians. They stick with the Spartans. Or maybe the Trojans. Lots of teams are named after the Trojans (and have become embarrassed by it for other reasons) but the only reason anyone has ever heard of the Trojans is that in one of the founding epics of Western Civilization the Trojans lost a war by being duped. Yet nobody names their team the Greeks or the Macedonians or whatever. Chesterton chalked up that strange phenomenon (Why would Vergil write an epic poem celebrating the founding of Rome by linking it to the loser Aeneas instead of the winners Achilles or Odysseus?) as instinctive human recognition of the "almost divine dignity of the defeated." Why the makers of a prophylactic would choose to name their product after people whose main claim to fame was letting their defenses be infiltrated by a seemingly innocuous invader remains a mystery.

Of course, one can nitpick mascots all day. Buffalo Bills? Please. The Oklahoma Sooners? They're literally named after the people who not only stole land from the Native Americans, but stole it from their fellow white people, too, by blatantly cheating and disregarding the established rules for stealing land. Nobody would respect a Sooner back in the day. But nobody names their team the Landless Law-Abiders, either, so I guess there are exceptions to Chesterton's observation about the defeated. The most prestigious Methodist university in the nation is named for Blue Devils. One of the biggest Catholic universities is named after Demons, also Blue. Not sure why blue is so associated with the satanic, but somehow these Christians manage to stand up, be proud, and say their name out loud by shouting out that they are devils and demons.

Which brings us to Crusaders. Like many mascots, they were for the most part losers historically. But so what? They made history. They weren't evil even if they were misguided and somewhat backward and incompetent much of the time. More importantly, they were part of a particular history. They were part of OUR history. I wouldn't expect a Japanese team to be called the Crusaders. But history is always particular, and every particular history is imperfect. There is no abstract ancestry or identity, there are only particular, imperfect histories and identities. Any coming together of people is a coming together of separate histories and identities.

Valparaiso University has a history, and history is always a key to identity. What Valpo is losing is the ability to stand up and be proud of the particulars that make us who we are. Along with nearly everything rooted in Western Civilization, we are allowing haters of our particular history to define the imperfections of it as the essence of it. Valpo's history goes back further than its purchase by Lutherans and even its founding in 1859. Like it or not, Valpo is inescapably a product of the European colonizing culture, not Native American culture. It is Lutheran, not Methodist or Catholic, with inescapable ties to the LCMS and to German Lutheran culture. Which goes back to the Reformation, the Holy Roman Empire, the crusades, the various northern Barbarian conquests, the less holy Roman Empire, and Greece (Athens and Sparta, Go Spartans!) and into the Old Testament (Did you know the public school in Watersmeet, Michigan is named the Nimrods?) and to far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. We don't limit ourselves to our particularities, but we also ought not be ashamed of them, either. It is who we are. We don't demand that every school have our history and identity. How could we? But we ought not be ashamed of ours. We aren't everybody, but neither are we nobody. We aren't claiming to be perfect when we say that it is good to be who we are and to come from where we came from. Nearly every university on the planet has roots in late medieval Paris and Oxford, where the university in the modern sense was born. But they all have different, unique routes back to there.   

If Valpo had never been the Crusaders, I wouldn't be arguing that we should change it to that nickname. But I am arguing that because it is already our nickname we ought not change it now out of revisionist historical concerns. Nobody asks the teams named for demons and devils to change their mascot, and surely Crusaders were a moral step or two above them. It only seems to be mascots that celebrate Western Civilization and Christendom that have suddenly become unacceptable. That is not an accident of history. It is a campaign. A crusade, if you will. 

The problem with the Western world today is that we have lost the ability to stand up, be proud, and say our name out loud. We're embarrassed. We've undermined ourselves. We've second-guessed ourselves into oblivion. We have no confidence in who we are or where we come from. It is all 1619, no 1776, all trail of tears, no Thanksgiving, all witch hunts and heretic burnings, no saints and sages. We have come to believe our worst critics' opinion, that the very worst part of our culture is its essence. It is that craven nihilism about history and mission that suggests that a Christian University should be equally a university of other faiths, not take a side when those faiths clash, or even take the anti-Christian side as the morally better. At Valpo, there is no meaningful way to say that "we" are an Islamic university just as much as a Christian university. We aren't. Muslims are welcome, of course, to attend a Christian university, but not to change it into a Muslim university. There is much about Christianity to offend a Muslim, the Nicene Creed not the least among them. There is no getting around it.

Ethnicity need be no barrier to the story of Western Civ and Christendom. Racially I'm a mixed bag, a mongrel so to speak. Part Visogoth, part Ostrogoth. But in terms of identity, I'm a descendant of the Romans who variously crushed and then fell to them. Vergil, not Ooglog the Uffish, is my cultural inheritance. And I'm fine with that even though my ancestors probably fought for and preferred the odes of the latter. There is a thread that connects St. Paul's in Munster to the OT Israel and ancient Greece. There is no thread that connects it all the way to ancient China or pre-colonial, sub-Saharan Africa or pre-Roman northern Europe. The Crusaders are part of that thread. The goal of the critics is to sever the thread, but they do so by talking us into feeling chained and weighed down by it. Apologize for it, don't celebrate it. Change the Crusader mascot and you've accomplished nothing but put chum in the waters.

Anyway, this light-hearted but also serious response is just my $0.04 or by now $0.05. I might write up a more serious argument on the same basic themes if alumni get asked to express an opinion.     

 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: J. Thomas Shelley on January 13, 2021, 12:08:28 AM

The problem with the Western world today is that we have lost the ability to stand up, be proud, and say our name out loud. We're embarrassed. We've undermined ourselves. We've second-guessed ourselves into oblivion. We have no confidence in who we are or where we come from. It is all 1619, no 1776, all trail of tears, no Thanksgiving, all witch hunts and heretic burnings, no saints and sages. We have come to believe our worst critics' opinion, that the very worst part of our culture is its essence. It is that craven nihilism about history and mission that suggests that a Christian University should be equally a university of other faiths, not take a side when those faiths clash, or even take the anti-Christian side as the morally better....   



AXIOS!

That is deserving of a broader platform and a much, much larger readership.

Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on January 13, 2021, 09:28:05 AM
Whether it is reasonable or not, the Crusades have become a controversial subject. .

From the east bank of the Bosporus:  It depends on which Crusades are being ennobled and elevated

https://christianorthodoxchurch.org/the-great-crusades (https://christianorthodoxchurch.org/the-great-crusades)

A workout mate at the YMCA (back a year or so when the Y was open) who had great animosity toward Islam asked if I could help him understand the length of the Crusades and what happened over time.  The article you link is a good example of where that research leads.  What stuck with me was the Fourth Crusade, where Christians sacked Constantinople, took many relics and important religious objects across the water mainly to Venice, and so weakened the Orthodox Church that Islam ended up sweeping through that whole part of the world.  A lot of it was just totally corrupt, a matter of creating increased business and trade routes in that part of the world. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Pastor Ken Kimball on January 13, 2021, 10:39:35 AM
How about the Valpo Cancellers or the Valpo Woke? 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 13, 2021, 10:46:22 AM
I could offer the mascot of the High School my son attended out in Nebraska. Their mascot was "The Dusters" a tornado. Certainly that would offend no racial, ethnic, religious, or national group.  Or taking a cue from the kind of ethnic jokes favored by a couple of Lutheran speakers, they could call themselves the Hittites. As an ethnic group, Hittites were assimilated out of existence long, long ago and so are not around to be offended.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Steven W Bohler on January 13, 2021, 10:50:24 AM
Since some claim that Valpo has gone to the dogs, I suggest: vAlpo Prime Cuts.  vAlpo Chop House.  vAlpo Classic Chunky.  vAlpo Gravy Cravers. 

https://www.google.com/search?q=alpo+canned+dog+food&client=safari&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjNzszmoJnuAhURa80KHdQBAXgQ_AUoA3oECBMQBQ&biw=1482&bih=860
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 13, 2021, 11:07:27 AM
Whether it is reasonable or not, the Crusades have become a controversial subject. .

From the east bank of the Bosporus:  It depends on which Crusades are being ennobled and elevated

https://christianorthodoxchurch.org/the-great-crusades (https://christianorthodoxchurch.org/the-great-crusades)

A workout mate at the YMCA (back a year or so when the Y was open) who had great animosity toward Islam asked if I could help him understand the length of the Crusades and what happened over time.  The article you link is a good example of where that research leads.  What stuck with me was the Fourth Crusade, where Christians sacked Constantinople, took many relics and important religious objects across the water mainly to Venice, and so weakened the Orthodox Church that Islam ended up sweeping through that whole part of the world.  A lot of it was just totally corrupt, a matter of creating increased business and trade routes in that part of the world. 

Dave Benke
True. And Martin Luther, after whom our denomination is denominated, was an anti-Semite. Thomas Jefferson (who gave his name to the middle school where I went to 9th grade) owned and abused slaves. And so forth. Again, anachronistic judgmentalism. It just chums the waters for anti- Western Civ. iconoclasts.

In the medieval world, the crusades were a battle for the history of the world. Was Christianity or Islam the proper inheritor of salvation history as symbolically represented by the Holy Land? Did the internally warring Christian kingdoms in the wreckage of the Roman Empire have the wherewithal to fight for Christendom against the onslaught of Islam? They'd been on the defensive everywhere. Christian lands outside Europe had been wiped out. Finally came a time for an ultimately doomed counter-charge that nevertheless established a new sense of identity for Christians. It symbolically said, "We will not cower. We can and will fight for what is holy to us." It was a sign of courage and confidence in their worldview. The crusades were as important and as pointless and as provocative as an American flag planted on the moon. Picture Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting: “Hey Russia, do you like apples? Well our flag is on the moon. How do you like them apples?” Confidence in who we are and in our cause. The crusaders' medieval worldview eventually grew into something larger and better, but first it had to consolidate itself, and the crusades accomplished that.

Calling ourselves the Crusaders is not celebrating corruption and the sacking of Constantinople any more than it is celebrating the antiquated battle tactic of wearing a steel suit. It is celebrating a stage of our history when people gave of themselves for the greater glory of God as best as they could understand it with courage and confidence. You can go and sing in St. Ann's church in Jerusalem or other amazing stone structures, built by the crusaders to the glory of God almost a millennium ago and still more beautiful and awe-inspiring than any church built in the LCMS in the last fifty years. Why shouldn't we celebrate them and aspire to imitate the best of them? Why do we always go right to where the critics go-- look at how corrupt and incompetent and narrow-minded they were. Okay. but look also at how courageous, self-sacrificial, and devoted they were.  In the absence of those considerations, celebrating any soldier or battle becomes all about the poor people who fought against them.

Sure, someone could say that the pilots who flew into the Twin Towers were also courageous, self-sacrificial, and devoted. And if it were true that America is the great Satan and God told them to do that, then they would be worth celebrating. But it isn't true. The reason we wring our hands about the crusaders is that we lack confidence that Europe was on the right side of a conflict with Islam. If we follow the train of reasoning that leads to us ditch the crusader logo, we'll soon be teaching our grandchildren to sing, "Joshua oppressed the people of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho! Joshua oppressed the people of Jericho, and appropriated their town! Hey!" After all, if you take God out of it and just focus on the very flawed and sometimes monstrous actors in the drama, there is nothing worth celebrating, at least not from every angle or viewpoint.

Nobody is saying we should organize another crusade and go conquer the Holy Land. But we ought to have the humility to admit that we couldn't do what the crusaders did, not because we're so morally superior but because we have no confidence in our culture and probably would watch our communion vessels melted down to pay for public transportation by order of the governor rather than risk seeming contrary by objecting.

If we are ashamed of the crusaders, of whom are we proud? Someday the #metoo movement will remember MLK mostly for his flagrant womanizing. Someday Ghandi will mostly be known for his passionate defense of the caste system. None of the OT patriarchs seem like such good people by today's standards. Nor many of the saints, church father, and reformers. But who the hell are we to be so ashamed of the people through whom God bequeathed to us our role in His story?   
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: John Koke on January 13, 2021, 11:13:34 AM
Since some claim that Valpo has gone to the dogs, I suggest: vAlpo Prime Cuts.  vAlpo Chop House.  vAlpo Classic Chunky.  vAlpo Gravy Cravers. 

https://www.google.com/search?q=alpo+canned+dog+food&client=safari&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjNzszmoJnuAhURa80KHdQBAXgQ_AUoA3oECBMQBQ&biw=1482&bih=860

If we're going for animal mascots, how about the "Wild Boars"?  Aggressive and tough, and a definite Lutheran connection by way of Exsurge Domine.

I'll see myself out ...
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 13, 2021, 11:20:47 AM
Since some claim that Valpo has gone to the dogs, I suggest: vAlpo Prime Cuts.  vAlpo Chop House.  vAlpo Classic Chunky.  vAlpo Gravy Cravers. 

https://www.google.com/search?q=alpo+canned+dog+food&client=safari&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjNzszmoJnuAhURa80KHdQBAXgQ_AUoA3oECBMQBQ&biw=1482&bih=860

If we're going for animal mascots, how about the "Wild Boars"?  Aggressive and tough, and a definite Lutheran connection by way of Exsurge Domine.

I'll see myself out ...
Wild, it pains me to have to remind you, is a racist category because it employs the mental categories (domestication vs. untamed or civilized vs. savage) of colonialism. The people who whine about mascots should proudly wear the name Mild Bores though.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Randy Bosch on January 13, 2021, 12:06:51 PM
To avoid partisanship or cultural vagaries, and given the nature of Valpo's stands on many things:
Valpo Enigmas
Valpo Ambiguities
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Likeness on January 13, 2021, 12:19:28 PM
In the spirit of honoring the orange and black butterfly........

here is a suggestion: The Valpo Viceroys
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Randy Bosch on January 13, 2021, 12:24:03 PM
In the spirit of honoring the orange and black butterfly........

here is a suggestion: The Valpo Viceroys

Ah, but the #1 on-line definition of Viceroy is:

"a ruler exercising authority in a colony on behalf of a sovereign."

In order to invoke your #2 definition, the viceroys would need to be banned from campus, and reparations paid for catepillar damage in times past.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 13, 2021, 12:34:50 PM
I've explored potential mascots exhaustively. Trace elements of hierarchy, exploitation, violence, environmental degradation, competition, militarism, and appropriation inher in nearly all of them. You can't even extricate the place names from the conundrum. Valpo is named for a naval battle near Valparaiso, Chile (Porter County is named for one of the admirals, I believe) so there is colonialism involved with white settlers naming a town in the first place and also naming it after the doings of colonialism overseas, militarism (obviously), and appropriation, since Valparaiso, Chili, itself a product of colonialism, can nevertheless claim to be Hispanic. Putting a less offensive mascot after the disgraceful name of Valparaiso would therefore be an exercise in futility.

I've discussed it with several others, and the only name we can think of that would inspire universal approval among today's mascot nitpickers would be the Collective Collectivists.     
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: D. Engebretson on January 13, 2021, 12:38:49 PM
Here are 52 animals waiting to be mascots:
https://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/02/52-animals-that-would-make-fantastic-sports-mascots (https://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/02/52-animals-that-would-make-fantastic-sports-mascots)

Being from Wisconsin I'm partial to cows, but koalas are nice and peaceful too. I'd also be willing to go with the Blobfish. 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on January 13, 2021, 12:39:18 PM
Why not take an inoffensive animal as a mascot? Perhaps a koala? Or a bandicoot?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 13, 2021, 01:09:10 PM
Here are 52 animals waiting to be mascots:
https://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/02/52-animals-that-would-make-fantastic-sports-mascots (https://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/02/52-animals-that-would-make-fantastic-sports-mascots)

Being from Wisconsin I'm partial to cows, but koalas are nice and peaceful too. I'd also be willing to go with the Blobfish.

In the dementia unit where my mother-in-law spent her last years, there was a delightful lady named Sally. She told us in some detail one day that she had grown up in Wisconsin, and that in Wisconsin ALL the cows were named "Sally."

Is that really true?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 13, 2021, 01:10:05 PM
But koalas are not a good choice; they duplicitously try to pass themselves off as bears.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 13, 2021, 01:23:31 PM
But koalas are not a good choice; they duplicitously try to pass themselves off as bears.
Plus black and white implies binary rather than spectrum, thus lacking nuance.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 13, 2021, 01:38:59 PM
But koalas are not a good choice; they duplicitously try to pass themselves off as bears.
Plus black and white implies binary rather than spectrum, thus lacking nuance.
On the contrary, koalas exhibit delicate shadings from siler grey to chocolate brown. Since they are also typically sedentary they might be good mascots for teams more noted for being loveable than their aggression..
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Pastor Ken Kimball on January 13, 2021, 01:41:20 PM
Valpo Sloths?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 13, 2021, 01:57:14 PM
Valpo Sloths?
“Stand up! Or not! Say you name! In thought! (silence)”
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: jebutler on January 13, 2021, 02:14:03 PM
I like the Valpo Sheep.

I can hear the coaches now. "When you get on that field, you remember that you are Sheep! Let's have some Sheep pride, people!"

Or how about the Valpo Scapegoats?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: J.L. Precup on January 13, 2021, 02:21:18 PM
Koalas are sedentary because they are drugged.  Eucalyptus leaves are narcotic.  How much better to be named after a mighty hunter?  Go Nimrods!
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Daniel Lee Gard on January 13, 2021, 03:22:56 PM
Koalas are sedentary because they are drugged.  Eucalyptus leaves are narcotic.  How much better to be named after a mighty hunter?  Go Nimrods!

But Nimrod was a male. Not inclusive enough.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 13, 2021, 03:27:48 PM
Koalas are sedentary because they are drugged.  Eucalyptus leaves are narcotic.  How much better to be named after a mighty hunter?  Go Nimrods!

But Nimrod was a male. Not inclusive enough.
How do you know? Ancient Hebrew lacks the array of pronouns to account for all the possibilities.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Daniel Lee Gard on January 13, 2021, 03:30:42 PM
Koalas are sedentary because they are drugged.  Eucalyptus leaves are narcotic.  How much better to be named after a mighty hunter?  Go Nimrods!

But Nimrod was a male. Not inclusive enough.
How do you know? Ancient Hebrew lacks the array of pronouns to account for all the possibilities.

"My name is Nimrod and my personal pronoun identity is................."
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: George Rahn on January 13, 2021, 07:50:22 PM
I don't know whether the wombat was proposed as a suggestion for a mascot.  If not, consider this a possibility....or not.  lol
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: DCharlton on January 13, 2021, 09:21:27 PM
Capital University also has a Crusader as mascot.  They have begun a similar process of study.  (Unless they have already completed the process.) Capital is located in the heavily Jewish suburb of Columbus, Ohio, name Bexlley.  Since Capital is affiliated with the ELCA, I think it should definitely change its mascot.  In think Capital's divinity school, known as Trinity Lutheran Seminary, has a statue of Luther.  Given his anti-Semitism, I also think that is an insult to the Jewish community of Bexley, and should be removed.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on January 13, 2021, 10:15:56 PM
Pastor Charlton, you remember that the ELCA and the Lutheran World Federation has dealt directly and responsibly and with a great sense of repentance and sorrow with Luther’s writing concerning the Jews.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Rebekah Curtis on January 13, 2021, 10:16:44 PM
Marginally topical but starting a thread seems like such a commitment . . . does anybody know anything about The Cresset going out of publication?

(Strong but unobjectionable mascot suggestions: the Ball Bearings. The I-beams. The Wheels and Axles. The Femurs.)
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on January 13, 2021, 10:38:49 PM
To avoid partisanship or cultural vagaries, and given the nature of Valpo's stands on many things:
Valpo Enigmas
Valpo Ambiguities

I like the KulturKampf mascot suggestions, not with animals, but with hypostatic ideas:
Enigma = mascot/costume is a question mark (?)
Ambiguities = mascot/costume is two question marks (??) or two arrows pointed in opposite directions

Then Valpo could play Hillsdale, team
The Truth (or The Verity, same thing) = a belt (ephesians 6) or
The Absolutes = I haven't figured costume out yet or
The Absolute Truth = a belt with studs
The Answer = Exclamation points

We have a local team very near my home, St. John's University.  They switched from the RedMen (which if you think about it was doubly bad) to The Red Storm. 
My belief is they didn't want to change the school colors, so they came up with something that isn't an actual thing  =  The Red Storm. 
Haven't seen one, sounds fungal though.

Semi-finally, I have spent a calendar day with my siblings determining the mascot/name of our Lutheran Grade School, Christ Memorial in Milwaukee.  We wore black and gold, and my sister and sister-in-law could recite the cheers which ended "Hail to the Black and Gold."  But after serious outreach to old people who could still even remember the school at all, we were The Tigers.  Black and gold stripes.  Nice.  We won a lot.  We won in fact almost all the time. 
But we didn't remember that we were the Tigers.  We were Christ Memorial - CM.  Black and Gold Champions.

I think the same kind of thing is the case at Valpo.  That's what my family members, many of whom are graduates, go back to - Valpo.  Not as much the Crusaders; Valpo.  If the Cresset goes out of publication, that to me is a more serious topic and loss.  That's philosophical/theological/academic anchor.  Why stop that?  But the Crusader could be a Knight.  My favorite is SW's - The Valpo Alpos.

Finally, I grew up in Milwaukee in the 50s.  And we could go to the home team's baseball games for 35 cents.  So we went to every doubleheader - 17 1/2 cents per game.  There were a lot of those then.  And we went for batting practice and stayed til the final out.  So that's where we - the northside mates - learned the national anthem.  "The land of the free," we belted it out with our little hands over our hearts, "and the hoomme of the ...........Braves."  Play ball.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: James_Gale on January 13, 2021, 10:40:18 PM
Koalas are sedentary because they are drugged.  Eucalyptus leaves are narcotic.  How much better to be named after a mighty hunter?  Go Nimrods!

But Nimrod was a male. Not inclusive enough.
How do you know? Ancient Hebrew lacks the array of pronouns to account for all the possibilities.

"My name is Nimrod and my personal pronoun identity is................."


The legions familiar with Bugs Bunny but not with the Bible would envision the Nimrods as a bunch of Elmer Fudds. He definitely is an old white guy.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Rebekah Curtis on January 13, 2021, 11:06:50 PM
Quote
If the Cresset goes out of publication, that to me is a more serious topic and loss.  That's philosophical/theological/academic anchor.  Why stop that?

Forgot link. Just the note at the top of the page. http://thecresset.org/index.html
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Michael Slusser on January 13, 2021, 11:46:08 PM
Koalas are sedentary because they are drugged.  Eucalyptus leaves are narcotic.  How much better to be named after a mighty hunter?  Go Nimrods!

But Nimrod was a male. Not inclusive enough.
How do you know? Ancient Hebrew lacks the array of pronouns to account for all the possibilities.

"My name is Nimrod and my personal pronoun identity is................."
When I was at Duquesne University, our men's teams were the Dukes, the women the Duchesses. The male predominance took over and the Duchesses became Dukes. I worried about our conference foes--the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Massachusetts Minutemen. Rhode Island finessed the issue by dubbing their women the Wrams.

The University of Arkansas at Monticello fields the Boll Weevils and the Cotton Blossoms. On the basis of an overheard conversation at Mayo Clinic only, I believe that men also play under the Cotton Blossoms monicker.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Michael Slusser on January 13, 2021, 11:53:10 PM
Quote
If the Cresset goes out of publication, that to me is a more serious topic and loss.  That's philosophical/theological/academic anchor.  Why stop that?

Forgot link. Just the note at the top of the page. http://thecresset.org/index.html
Yes, that is a worrying question, I checked their site and can see that The Cresset is a real vehicle of expression of the University's mission and seriousness.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Norman Teigen on January 14, 2021, 06:39:33 AM
This has been an interesting diversion. 

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1063118-how-the-top-50-college-football-programs-got-their-nicknames

One of my friends is a Texas A & M fan.  Here is the scoop on the Aggies.

Rumor has it that the Aggies have a pretty violent origin.

"...when Lawrence Sullivan Ross became President of the Agricultural and Mechanical College, it was under the threat of being shut down.  Lucky, Governor Ross would not have this and he went down to the Legislature and fought to keep his school open.  He got so angry that he punched a senator over the issue.  From then on, we have been known as the “Fighting Farmers” that later became the “Fighting Aggies.”
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on January 14, 2021, 09:26:00 AM
Quote
If the Cresset goes out of publication, that to me is a more serious topic and loss.  That's philosophical/theological/academic anchor.  Why stop that?

Forgot link. Just the note at the top of the page. http://thecresset.org/index.html
Yes, that is a worrying question, I checked their site and can see that The Cresset is a real vehicle of expression of the University's mission and seriousness.

Peace,
Michael

"Hiatus for the foreseeable future," is the descriptive.  With a new President chosen, maybe the future is visible and the Cresset continues.  Let's hope so.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 14, 2021, 09:42:34 AM
To avoid partisanship or cultural vagaries, and given the nature of Valpo's stands on many things:
Valpo Enigmas
Valpo Ambiguities

I like the KulturKampf mascot suggestions, not with animals, but with hypostatic ideas:
Enigma = mascot/costume is a question mark (?)
Ambiguities = mascot/costume is two question marks (??) or two arrows pointed in opposite directions

Then Valpo could play Hillsdale, team
The Truth (or The Verity, same thing) = a belt (ephesians 6) or
The Absolutes = I haven't figured costume out yet or
The Absolute Truth = a belt with studs
The Answer = Exclamation points

We have a local team very near my home, St. John's University.  They switched from the RedMen (which if you think about it was doubly bad) to The Red Storm. 
My belief is they didn't want to change the school colors, so they came up with something that isn't an actual thing  =  The Red Storm. 
Haven't seen one, sounds fungal though.

Semi-finally, I have spent a calendar day with my siblings determining the mascot/name of our Lutheran Grade School, Christ Memorial in Milwaukee.  We wore black and gold, and my sister and sister-in-law could recite the cheers which ended "Hail to the Black and Gold."  But after serious outreach to old people who could still even remember the school at all, we were The Tigers.  Black and gold stripes.  Nice.  We won a lot.  We won in fact almost all the time. 
But we didn't remember that we were the Tigers.  We were Christ Memorial - CM.  Black and Gold Champions.

I think the same kind of thing is the case at Valpo.  That's what my family members, many of whom are graduates, go back to - Valpo.  Not as much the Crusaders; Valpo.  If the Cresset goes out of publication, that to me is a more serious topic and loss.  That's philosophical/theological/academic anchor.  Why stop that?  But the Crusader could be a Knight.  My favorite is SW's - The Valpo Alpos.

Finally, I grew up in Milwaukee in the 50s.  And we could go to the home team's baseball games for 35 cents.  So we went to every doubleheader - 17 1/2 cents per game.  There were a lot of those then.  And we went for batting practice and stayed til the final out.  So that's where we - the northside mates - learned the national anthem.  "The land of the free," we belted it out with our little hands over our hearts, "and the hoomme of the ...........Braves."  Play ball.

Dave Benke
A theologically significant nickname would be the Valpo Mysteries (or just the Valpo Mystery). The mascot could come out on the field floor wrapped in a riddle, (like the Batman villain), fling off that cape or disguise to reveal an enigma, which would be harder to pull off as a costume-- maybe the WWII enigma machine or something. Then fling that off and, like a magician, disappear in smoke. All the kids in the stands would be amazed. It would be a lot more entertaining than a lot of their football games. Plus, when the fans in the stand ask each other such things as "What the heck kind of a play call was that," or, "What was that guy thinking," there would be a a stock answer to redirect people's attention to the mascot, who would keep appearing and disappearing periodically throughout the game.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on January 14, 2021, 10:15:04 AM
Or maybe the mascot of any church-related college should be a big question mark. This represents the question that might be asked: what does this college get from all the money it spends on sports? How does this money advance or hinder the essential mission of the college?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peterm on January 14, 2021, 11:53:40 AM
How about Goliath from Davey and Goliath?  :D
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Rob Morris on January 14, 2021, 12:36:28 PM
See, I didn't grow up Lutheran, so I am going to go with Valpo's greatest claim to mainstream attention and propose:

The Valparaiso Bryce Drews.

Yeah, he's a white guy. So be it.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Daniel Lee Gard on January 14, 2021, 12:51:47 PM
Some years ago I served on a committee to begin a new Lutheran school. When it came time to name the mascot, I suggested (as a Notre Dame fan) that we call the teams the "Fighting Germans". Instead of a leprechaun, we could use a little guy in lederhosen.

I lost. They are the "Angels."
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on January 14, 2021, 12:57:59 PM
All joking aside, and it has been amusing, how did we let our society's thinking become so zero sum. I get it that resources of time time and money are finite and to an extent to devote more of that to one need takes it away from something else. But does respect, appreciation, or regard also have to be zero sum games? Does it really have to be that to give proper attention to and appreciation to say Black Culture we have to take attention and regard away from White European Culture. Indeed, it seems at times that in order to properly appreciate Black Culture we are called upon to denigrate White European Culture and trash it as just a bunch of dead white guys, no value. Is offering respect to a White who accomplished something really the same as ignoring the great contributions that Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans have made?


I have no doubt that the contributions of Africans and African Americans to our American culture and world culture has been much too much ignored and down played and needs more emphasis and appreciation. But does giving them the respect that they are due have to mean disrespecting others because of the color of their skin?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 14, 2021, 01:05:50 PM
To avoid partisanship or cultural vagaries, and given the nature of Valpo's stands on many things:
Valpo Enigmas
Valpo Ambiguities

I like the KulturKampf mascot suggestions, not with animals, but with hypostatic ideas:
Enigma = mascot/costume is a question mark (?)
Ambiguities = mascot/costume is two question marks (??) or two arrows pointed in opposite directions

Then Valpo could play Hillsdale, team
The Truth (or The Verity, same thing) = a belt (ephesians 6) or
The Absolutes = I haven't figured costume out yet or
The Absolute Truth = a belt with studs
The Answer = Exclamation points

We have a local team very near my home, St. John's University.  They switched from the RedMen (which if you think about it was doubly bad) to The Red Storm. 
My belief is they didn't want to change the school colors, so they came up with something that isn't an actual thing  =  The Red Storm. 
Haven't seen one, sounds fungal though.

Semi-finally, I have spent a calendar day with my siblings determining the mascot/name of our Lutheran Grade School, Christ Memorial in Milwaukee.  We wore black and gold, and my sister and sister-in-law could recite the cheers which ended "Hail to the Black and Gold."  But after serious outreach to old people who could still even remember the school at all, we were The Tigers.  Black and gold stripes.  Nice.  We won a lot.  We won in fact almost all the time. 
But we didn't remember that we were the Tigers.  We were Christ Memorial - CM.  Black and Gold Champions.

I think the same kind of thing is the case at Valpo.  That's what my family members, many of whom are graduates, go back to - Valpo.  Not as much the Crusaders; Valpo.  If the Cresset goes out of publication, that to me is a more serious topic and loss.  That's philosophical/theological/academic anchor.  Why stop that?  But the Crusader could be a Knight.  My favorite is SW's - The Valpo Alpos.

Finally, I grew up in Milwaukee in the 50s.  And we could go to the home team's baseball games for 35 cents.  So we went to every doubleheader - 17 1/2 cents per game.  There were a lot of those then.  And we went for batting practice and stayed til the final out.  So that's where we - the northside mates - learned the national anthem.  "The land of the free," we belted it out with our little hands over our hearts, "and the hoomme of the ...........Braves."  Play ball.

Dave Benke
A theologically significant nickname would be the Valpo Mysteries (or just the Valpo Mystery). The mascot could come out on the field floor wrapped in a riddle, (like the Batman villain), fling off that cape or disguise to reveal an enigma, which would be harder to pull off as a costume-- maybe the WWII enigma machine or something. Then fling that off and, like a magician, disappear in smoke. All the kids in the stands would be amazed. It would be a lot more entertaining than a lot of their football games. Plus, when the fans in the stand ask each other such things as "What the heck kind of a play call was that," or, "What was that guy thinking," there would be a a stock answer to redirect people's attention to the mascot, who would keep appearing and disappearing periodically throughout the game.


There are universities whose nicknames do not lend themselves to a mascot. Our son went to Miami. The "Hurricanes" use an ibis as their mascot. Stanford "Cardinal" (no "s" - it's for the color, not the bird). The students voted for "Robber Barons" as their mascot a negative homage to their founder. The school did not approve. While a Redwood Tree dances around at games, that is not their official mascot.


Thus, a schools nickname doesn't necessarily have to connected to the mascot (if there is one).
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: jebutler on January 14, 2021, 01:23:40 PM
Or maybe the mascot of any church-related college should be a big question mark. This represents the question that might be asked: what does this college get from all the money it spends on sports? How does this money advance or hinder the essential mission of the college?

That, dear Humble Correspondent, is an excellent question!
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 14, 2021, 02:01:24 PM
I went to San Francisco State in the late 60s/early 70s. I am pretty sure I never attended a single athletic contest, nor did anyone I knew. We were too busy going to class, going to demonstrations, and . . . well, other things.

Nonetheless, walking on the golf course the other day (we walk there in the morning before the golfers show up), we passed a guy about my age wearing a SFSU sweatshirt. "Go Gaters!" came out of my mouth. How is it that I even know that our teams were the "Gaters" and our mascot, um, an alligator? Mascots are images with a lot of power!

Yeah, I know, there aren't any alligators in San Francisco, except at the zoo. It's a silly pun, see? The "Golden Gaters." But how can a bridge be a mascot?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on January 14, 2021, 03:57:09 PM
I went to San Francisco State in the late 60s/early 70s. I am pretty sure I never attended a single athletic contest, nor did anyone I knew. We were too busy going to class, going to demonstrations, and . . . well, other things.

Nonetheless, walking on the golf course the other day (we walk there in the morning before the golfers show up), we passed a guy about my age wearing a SFSU sweatshirt. "Go Gaters!" came out of my mouth. How is it that I even know that our teams were the "Gaters" and our mascot, um, an alligator? Mascots are images with a lot of power!

Yeah, I know, there aren't any alligators in San Francisco, except at the zoo. It's a silly pun, see? The "Golden Gaters." But how can a bridge be a mascot?

What is the relationship between SFSU and USF (University of San Francisco), the Jesuit school?  Cordial?  Non-existent?  Both have "urban" in their motto - SFSU is "public urban university with a conscience" and USF is "Pro Urbe et Universitate."  In neither case, then, would the Mascot be "Aggies," I'm thinking. 

Dave Benke

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on January 14, 2021, 04:26:14 PM
Yuma High School may be the only school whose nickname is "The Criminals." Graduates are proud to call themselves "Criminals." They got the name when the school used the Territorial Prison for its school from 1910 -1914 after the school building had burned. The prisoners had been moved to a new facility in 1909.


https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk012kFcWj6moWK2r3JKJBn54OTjJvQ:1610659019097&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=yuma+high+criminals&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjG0L-1rJzuAhXWHDQIHd_MCmIQjJkEegQIAxAB&biw=1369&bih=764
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Richard Johnson on January 14, 2021, 04:31:28 PM
I went to San Francisco State in the late 60s/early 70s. I am pretty sure I never attended a single athletic contest, nor did anyone I knew. We were too busy going to class, going to demonstrations, and . . . well, other things.

Nonetheless, walking on the golf course the other day (we walk there in the morning before the golfers show up), we passed a guy about my age wearing a SFSU sweatshirt. "Go Gaters!" came out of my mouth. How is it that I even know that our teams were the "Gaters" and our mascot, um, an alligator? Mascots are images with a lot of power!

Yeah, I know, there aren't any alligators in San Francisco, except at the zoo. It's a silly pun, see? The "Golden Gaters." But how can a bridge be a mascot?

What is the relationship between SFSU and USF (University of San Francisco), the Jesuit school?  Cordial?  Non-existent?  Both have "urban" in their motto - SFSU is "public urban university with a conscience" and USF is "Pro Urbe et Universitate."  In neither case, then, would the Mascot be "Aggies," I'm thinking. 

Dave Benke

Dave Benke

They do have three words in common, but that's about it. Totally different schools, different locations (perhaps four or five miles apart). Big difference in size, as well. And cost.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Randy Bosch on January 14, 2021, 05:22:10 PM
I went to San Francisco State in the late 60s/early 70s. I am pretty sure I never attended a single athletic contest, nor did anyone I knew. We were too busy going to class, going to demonstrations, and . . . well, other things.

Nonetheless, walking on the golf course the other day (we walk there in the morning before the golfers show up), we passed a guy about my age wearing a SFSU sweatshirt. "Go Gaters!" came out of my mouth. How is it that I even know that our teams were the "Gaters" and our mascot, um, an alligator? Mascots are images with a lot of power!

Yeah, I know, there aren't any alligators in San Francisco, except at the zoo. It's a silly pun, see? The "Golden Gaters." But how can a bridge be a mascot?

What is the relationship between SFSU and USF (University of San Francisco), the Jesuit school?  Cordial?  Non-existent?  Both have "urban" in their motto - SFSU is "public urban university with a conscience" and USF is "Pro Urbe et Universitate."  In neither case, then, would the Mascot be "Aggies," I'm thinking. 

Dave Benke

Dave Benke

They do have three words in common, but that's about it. Totally different schools, different locations (perhaps four or five miles apart). Big difference in size, as well. And cost. 

But, some memorable heritage at each -- Bill Russell graduated from USF; Sam Hayakawa served as President of SFSU before going to the Senate.  Russell a genius with a basketball, Hayakawa a genius in semantics.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: DCharlton on January 14, 2021, 10:03:46 PM
Pastor Charlton, you remember that the ELCA and the Lutheran World Federation has dealt directly and responsibly and with a great sense of repentance and sorrow with Luther’s writing concerning the Jews.

Right.  So its about time that Capital get rid of its mascot.  Capital is behind the times.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on January 14, 2021, 10:50:37 PM
Pastor Charlton, you remember that the ELCA and the Lutheran World Federation has dealt directly and responsibly and with a great sense of repentance and sorrow with Luther’s writing concerning the Jews.

Right.  So its about time that Capital get rid of its mascot.  Capital is behind the times.
The name Capital comes from the word for head, which is inherently hierarchical. Only a truly hate-filled ignoramus would fail to be outraged by Capital anything.  I'm ashamed to be in the same online forum as you, DCarlton, you retrograde reactionary. You'll never be progressive enough for polite society.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Randy Bosch on January 15, 2021, 12:35:33 PM
Pastor Charlton, you remember that the ELCA and the Lutheran World Federation has dealt directly and responsibly and with a great sense of repentance and sorrow with Luther’s writing concerning the Jews.

Right.  So its about time that Capital get rid of its mascot.  Capital is behind the times.
The name Capital comes from the word for head, which is inherently hierarchical. Only a truly hate-filled ignoramus would fail to be outraged by Capital anything.  I'm ashamed to be in the same online forum as you, DCarlton, you retrograde reactionary. You'll never be progressive enough for polite society.

Of course, all Architects know that a capital is the device at the top of a column in physical hierarchy, as the head is the top of the body.  Can't have a column without a capital (or a base, et.al.).

In Neo-Ancient Google Greek, the only reliable source of course, the difference between capital and head is clear, so that intent might not be confused:
       κεφάλαιο ή κεφάλι .  (capital or head...)
So, elimination of a capital becomes "off with its top", and the column cannot support beams and architraves - structures are an integration of elements, all of which are required for stability.

Perhaps Capital University might consider renaming its mascot "Letters"... the Capital Letters.
Athletes could then have a legitimate basis for "Letters" on their jackets.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Michael Slusser on January 15, 2021, 01:32:06 PM
In Neo-Ancient Google Greek, the only reliable source of course, the difference between capital and head is clear, so that intent might not be confused:
       κεφάλαιο ή κεφάλι .  (capital or head...)
So, elimination of a capital becomes "off with its top", and the column cannot support beams and architraves - structures are an integration of elements, all of which are required for stability.

Perhaps Capital University might consider renaming its mascot "Letters"... the Capital Letters.
Athletes could then have a legitimate basis for "Letters" on their jackets.
;D ;D ;D

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on February 11, 2021, 12:01:18 PM
From our interim president:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGHrmYXNHJ0&feature=youtu.be
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 11, 2021, 12:57:54 PM
That's the problem with print media. You write an article in January that doesn't come out until March, and it is all old news. Oh well, I still think my article on this topic for the March Forum Letter will apply.

Valpo is where I was born and raised and where my family still lives, and VU is where my dad went to school and also worked most of his career, where I went to college, where my daughter went to college, and where I have another daughter headed in the fall. No matter how embarrassing VU becomes in its pathetic PC zeal to be just like everyone else only a little more so, it will always have a place in my heart.

I wish them well in their new incarnation as the Valpo Rainbow Unicorns.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 11, 2021, 01:43:30 PM
I like the idea of "retiring" the mascot.  Enjoy your retirement years, Crusader.  You'll need a storage unit for all that chain mail armor now.  And - bonus - you'll weigh maybe 200 lb. less. 
The next question is whether Crusader's was an honorable retirement.  The case could be made that it was forced.  On the other hand, the case could be made that the old heavyweight had outlived his usefulness to the cause.  Which is the what the process of determination confirmed. 

This precedes, then, the selection of a new mascot.  When the St. John's Redmen became the Red Storm, for one near my home, they must have had both a determination to dump "Redmen" which was made public, as well as a selection process with many possible choices.  I would think that's the same here, with lots of inputs. 

Theologically, Valpo is situated between the Bears and the Lions, the Bulls and the Bucks.  So an animal logo - Cougars?  Bobcats?  Or to go more multi-cultural - Toros/Vacas/ or Gallos (with the logo of a fighting chicken/rooster - very fierce, and a riff on "Gamecocks").  Plus you get to teach the student body how to pronounce the double "l".  Women's sports - Las Gallinas.  Men's - Los Gallos.  I like this one.

School colors are brown, gold and white - so Whole Wheat?  The Brown Storm (not appealing)?  Gold Standard? 

The possibilities are limitless.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 11, 2021, 01:50:40 PM
The interesting thing is to explore the nature of "inclusiveness." Chesterton talked about how tradition is the democracy of the dead. The  few thousand living people who had a voice in this decision are far outnumbered by the voices of the past that obviously liked the name crusaders. But the past gets no vote. The email that went out made clear this was being done to support Valpo's mission of inclusivity. So we're going to exclude (in the name of inclusivity) the crusaders from our identity, as well as people who chose the name in the first place. They don't count. But who, then, are we? We've excluded our past in the name in inclusivity. So what exactly are we "including" more people in?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Birkholz on February 11, 2021, 01:51:35 PM
I don't have a rooting interest in the Valpo crusade to retire their mascot.  I found it interesting that one of the primary reasons for the change was the association with hate groups, noting the connection to a KKK publication by the same name.  Here in Chicago one of the African American news outlets is also "The Chicago Crusader." (https://chicagocrusader.com/ (https://chicagocrusader.com/))  I was aware of some of the negative connotations of the word, but I did not realize that it was associated by some with White Supremacy and the like.  Apparently the connection is not close enough to give pause to the publishers of The Chicago Crusader.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 11, 2021, 02:07:20 PM
The interesting thing is to explore the nature on "inclusiveness." Chesterton talked about how tradition is the democracy of the dead. The  few thousand living people who had a voice in this decision are far outnumbered by the voices of the past that obviously liked the name crusaders. But the past gets no vote. The email that went out made clear this was being done to support Valpo's mission of inclusivity. So we're going to exclude (in the name of inclusivity) the crusaders from our identity, as well as people who chose the name in the first place. They don't count. But who, then, are we? We've excluded our past in the name in inclusivity. So what exactly are we "including" more people in?

I think the concept of "retiring" the mascot speaks to the "voices of the past that obviously liked" Crusader.  The mascot name becomes part of the history of the institution, and like other changes, stands there for the alumni to recall and remember.   This happens all the time with buildings.  I grew up in Wunder Dorm and then Pritzlaff Hall in Milwaukee.  Eventually those names bit the dust as the institution moved and became a Native American resource center.  But if you say "Wunder" to a bunch of your aging Lutheran pastors, they will immediately have 327 memories.  Not all of them pleasant.  But memories.  The Crusaders represented their age and time for a long time and going back, people will have those memories. The next generation will remember Los Gallos and Las Gallinas.  And they'll be next to one another in the Athletic Hall of Fame.  So they do count.  We're "including", in your words, all of the people who went to - not Crusaderville or Gallina Pueblo - Valpo.  Valpo is the inclusionary word anyway.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Jeremy_Loesch on February 11, 2021, 02:15:14 PM
Mascots represent values of a team, franchise, school? Since when?

Washington Team of Football was that banal, ridiculous video about?

Jeremy (Hail to the Redskins as a kid and now residing in Chiefs Kingdom) Loesch

PS- sorry for appropriating your bit Pete (all merciful) Garrison.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 11, 2021, 02:17:43 PM
I have no skin in this game, no dog in this hunt. I personally have no connection to Valpo, nor any family connection. I do not even remember being a part of a congregation with a visible Valpo Guild presence. So as an outsider I observe that the question of the mascot will always be a fraught one, and whenever there is a move to change the mascot in response to societal pressures, people are going to be unhappy. Those with a sentimental attachment to the mascot, especially as it connects to their nostalgic memories of happy college days, will bitterly resist removing that symbol of what they hold dear. Those who tend towards culture warfare and see such change as bowing to misreading of history and a further move towards the destruction of our cultural heritage and history will likewise bitterly resist. Those who see themselves as social justice warriors and see the mascot as a slap against their cultural heritage and history - or the heritage and history of those for whom they would advocate - will adamantly insist on the change and view those who resist as at least complicit in cultural imperialism and oppression, if oppressors themselves and insensitive to the pain of others. Certainly there is the temptation to listen only to ones own side and to be deaf to the reasoning and hurts of those with whom they disagree.


In times like these, it is important that stakeholders in the dispute listen to each other, try to understand the reasoning and feelings of others involved. Understanding does not always mean agreeing. But until people can understand why others are hurting, it will be very difficult honestly discuss the issue. Flippant dismissal of the position of those one opposes, comes across as simple dismissal of the other side as people who have value as people. That just drives the sides further apart and makes consensus more remote.


A mascot is a symbol. Symbols are powerful. But a symbol that no long serves the purpose for which it was created become useless, even the reasons its usefulness has waned were founded on false premises. I'm tempted to ask, "Is this a hill worth dying for?" Be careful of making the change or retention of a mascot the main battlefield in the culture war you feel called to fight.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 11, 2021, 02:29:04 PM
I don't buy the "association with hate groups" claim. There are people out looking for reasons to be offended so they can demand an apology. They are the sort of buffoons who fell for the "okay" sign secretly means white power kind of nonsense. They see everything in terms of the power struggles of identity groups. In conversation I've come across the idea that getting rid of the mascot was a free way to create more distance between us and the KKK, since apparently some white supremacists use crusaders as a symbol. Sadly, the KKK more commonly used crosses and torches, which account for a lot of the symbols on the VU campus. You can kowtow to people who are just trying to make a stink, or you can politely ignore them.     
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 11, 2021, 03:22:02 PM
Available mascots:
Hornets - Concordia, Selma
Cavaliers - Concordia, Portland
Clippers - Concordia, Bronxville

Others not yet available:
Cougars/Charlie T. Cougar - Concordia Chicago
Eagles - Concordia Irvine
(Here I interject that one of my parishioners has me watching a live you tube cam that is high above Big Bear in SoCal, where you can see a pair of bald eagles, with mom watching a newly laid egg - https://youtu.be/5zuZTsvnub0 - fascinating, and proof of the appropriate mascot name)
Golden Bears - Concordia St.Paul
Olaf Lion - St. Olaf.  Here's their motto, which may be something Scandinavian - Fram! Fram! Kristmenn, Krossmenn (Nynorsk)
- this being translated is "Forward, Forward, Christ men, Cross men!"  They apparently have no women's sports at St. Olaf, which is a shame.  Or maybe the motto is a Norwegian dating strategy.  Who can say?  Vikings, whaddayagonnadowithem?

What this does indicate is the variety of mascot names out there in Lutheran circles.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 11, 2021, 03:36:23 PM
How about the Hittites as the mascot. That is and ethnicity that is not currently being used by anyone so no question of offending any group. I've known Lutheran speakers who tell Hittite ethnic jokes about the Hittites Sven, Ollie, Lena, and Helga.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 11, 2021, 03:36:36 PM
The interesting thing is to explore the nature on "inclusiveness." Chesterton talked about how tradition is the democracy of the dead. The  few thousand living people who had a voice in this decision are far outnumbered by the voices of the past that obviously liked the name crusaders. But the past gets no vote. The email that went out made clear this was being done to support Valpo's mission of inclusivity. So we're going to exclude (in the name of inclusivity) the crusaders from our identity, as well as people who chose the name in the first place. They don't count. But who, then, are we? We've excluded our past in the name in inclusivity. So what exactly are we "including" more people in?

I think the concept of "retiring" the mascot speaks to the "voices of the past that obviously liked" Crusader.  The mascot name becomes part of the history of the institution, and like other changes, stands there for the alumni to recall and remember.   This happens all the time with buildings.  I grew up in Wunder Dorm and then Pritzlaff Hall in Milwaukee.  Eventually those names bit the dust as the institution moved and became a Native American resource center.  But if you say "Wunder" to a bunch of your aging Lutheran pastors, they will immediately have 327 memories.  Not all of them pleasant.  But memories.  The Crusaders represented their age and time for a long time and going back, people will have those memories. The next generation will remember Los Gallos and Las Gallinas.  And they'll be next to one another in the Athletic Hall of Fame.  So they do count.  We're "including", in your words, all of the people who went to - not Crusaderville or Gallina Pueblo - Valpo.  Valpo is the inclusionary word anyway.

Dave Benke
I don't think the analogy is apt. It isn't the mere passage of time, the aging of people, or the repurposing of buildings animating this change. If someone  had said we need to change the name because old Pritzlaff was a hateful jerk and the memory of him is offensive to us, I think people who thought otherwise would object.

The problem here is not that we need to be called the Crusaders. The problem is that we're going along with the iconoclastic mob that is sweeping the nation and seeking to purify the past of anything that doesn't live up to the moral standards currently en vogue. There is a fringe group that finds Christianity and Western Civ to be problematic if not toxic. They have no positive replacement for it. They are anti-everything. They hate nearly everything about the past. Pretending that changing the Crusader mascot is anything other than bowing to that fringe is simply being a useful idiot, to use the Soviet term for American Soviet apologists. 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 11, 2021, 03:39:14 PM
Or we could wax historical and look to the pre-reformation reformer Jan Huss for a Mascot. The sports teams could be the Hussies.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: jebutler on February 11, 2021, 03:44:57 PM
I have no ties to Valpo. I remember when I was at a service at a church in the 70s that had a "Valpo Sunday" and said "What's a valpo? Sounds like a dog food." Certain folks were not amused.

But I think "Valpo Sad Puppies" has an awesome ring to it.

As do:

Valpo Sheep

Valpo Rabbits

How about "Valpo Weathervanes"?

Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 11, 2021, 04:21:59 PM
The interesting thing is to explore the nature on "inclusiveness." Chesterton talked about how tradition is the democracy of the dead. The  few thousand living people who had a voice in this decision are far outnumbered by the voices of the past that obviously liked the name crusaders. But the past gets no vote. The email that went out made clear this was being done to support Valpo's mission of inclusivity. So we're going to exclude (in the name of inclusivity) the crusaders from our identity, as well as people who chose the name in the first place. They don't count. But who, then, are we? We've excluded our past in the name in inclusivity. So what exactly are we "including" more people in?

I think the concept of "retiring" the mascot speaks to the "voices of the past that obviously liked" Crusader.  The mascot name becomes part of the history of the institution, and like other changes, stands there for the alumni to recall and remember.   This happens all the time with buildings.  I grew up in Wunder Dorm and then Pritzlaff Hall in Milwaukee.  Eventually those names bit the dust as the institution moved and became a Native American resource center.  But if you say "Wunder" to a bunch of your aging Lutheran pastors, they will immediately have 327 memories.  Not all of them pleasant.  But memories.  The Crusaders represented their age and time for a long time and going back, people will have those memories. The next generation will remember Los Gallos and Las Gallinas.  And they'll be next to one another in the Athletic Hall of Fame.  So they do count.  We're "including", in your words, all of the people who went to - not Crusaderville or Gallina Pueblo - Valpo.  Valpo is the inclusionary word anyway.

Dave Benke
I don't think the analogy is apt. It isn't the mere passage of time, the aging of people, or the repurposing of buildings animating this change. If someone  had said we need to change the name because old Pritzlaff was a hateful jerk and the memory of him is offensive to us, I think people who thought otherwise would object.

The problem here is not that we need to be called the Crusaders. The problem is that we're going along with the iconoclastic mob that is sweeping the nation and seeking to purify the past of anything that doesn't live up to the moral standards currently en vogue. There is a fringe group that finds Christianity and Western Civ to be problematic if not toxic. They have no positive replacement for it. They are anti-everything. They hate nearly everything about the past. Pretending that changing the Crusader mascot is anything other than bowing to that fringe is simply being a useful idiot, to use the Soviet term for American Soviet apologists.

That last sentence is unquestionably your opinion, an immoderate one, taking the conversation "bakover."

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 11, 2021, 04:49:54 PM
The interesting thing is to explore the nature on "inclusiveness." Chesterton talked about how tradition is the democracy of the dead. The  few thousand living people who had a voice in this decision are far outnumbered by the voices of the past that obviously liked the name crusaders. But the past gets no vote. The email that went out made clear this was being done to support Valpo's mission of inclusivity. So we're going to exclude (in the name of inclusivity) the crusaders from our identity, as well as people who chose the name in the first place. They don't count. But who, then, are we? We've excluded our past in the name in inclusivity. So what exactly are we "including" more people in?

I think the concept of "retiring" the mascot speaks to the "voices of the past that obviously liked" Crusader.  The mascot name becomes part of the history of the institution, and like other changes, stands there for the alumni to recall and remember.   This happens all the time with buildings.  I grew up in Wunder Dorm and then Pritzlaff Hall in Milwaukee.  Eventually those names bit the dust as the institution moved and became a Native American resource center.  But if you say "Wunder" to a bunch of your aging Lutheran pastors, they will immediately have 327 memories.  Not all of them pleasant.  But memories.  The Crusaders represented their age and time for a long time and going back, people will have those memories. The next generation will remember Los Gallos and Las Gallinas.  And they'll be next to one another in the Athletic Hall of Fame.  So they do count.  We're "including", in your words, all of the people who went to - not Crusaderville or Gallina Pueblo - Valpo.  Valpo is the inclusionary word anyway.

Dave Benke
I don't think the analogy is apt. It isn't the mere passage of time, the aging of people, or the repurposing of buildings animating this change. If someone  had said we need to change the name because old Pritzlaff was a hateful jerk and the memory of him is offensive to us, I think people who thought otherwise would object.

The problem here is not that we need to be called the Crusaders. The problem is that we're going along with the iconoclastic mob that is sweeping the nation and seeking to purify the past of anything that doesn't live up to the moral standards currently en vogue. There is a fringe group that finds Christianity and Western Civ to be problematic if not toxic. They have no positive replacement for it. They are anti-everything. They hate nearly everything about the past. Pretending that changing the Crusader mascot is anything other than bowing to that fringe is simply being a useful idiot, to use the Soviet term for American Soviet apologists.

That last sentence is unquestionably your opinion, an immoderate one, taking the conversation "bakover."

Dave Benke
What would be a similarly immoderate statement from the other side? Comparisons to the KKK? Nazis? White supremacy? Bigotry in general? Because if you take those out of the equation, this task force never gets appointed and there is no discussion.

But so be it. Take the last sentence out and address the point. The analogy is not apt. People didn’t change the names in Milwaukee to appease those who were offended by Wunder and Pritzlaff.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: FrPeters on February 11, 2021, 08:03:19 PM
There was a time when I was ready to fight to retain Valpo within the larger circle of LCMS schools.  After that video, I am ready to renounce all claims.  That was a joke and an offense to a real university and real education.  Sure, there was the obligatory nod toward values and faith -- whatever faith means since Lutheran was not mentioned.  There was the obligatory research to find something objectionable to justify the retirement -- the lame association with a KKK paper.  And then there was the ridiculous idea that somehow this mattered to the school's identity, mission, and legacy.  Really?  It matters only to those who want it to matter -- those with a liberal agenda.  It does not matter to anyone else.  Welcome to cancel culture university edition.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Michael Slusser on February 11, 2021, 08:54:20 PM
Available mascots:
Hornets - Concordia, Selma
Cavaliers - Concordia, Portland
Clippers - Concordia, Bronxville

Others not yet available:
Cougars/Charlie T. Cougar - Concordia Chicago
Eagles - Concordia Irvine
(Here I interject that one of my parishioners has me watching a live you tube cam that is high above Big Bear in SoCal, where you can see a pair of bald eagles, with mom watching a newly laid egg - https://youtu.be/5zuZTsvnub0 - fascinating, and proof of the appropriate mascot name)
Golden Bears - Concordia St.Paul
Olaf Lion - St. Olaf.  Here's their motto, which may be something Scandinavian - Fram! Fram! Kristmenn, Krossmenn (Nynorsk)
- this being translated is "Forward, Forward, Christ men, Cross men!"  They apparently have no women's sports at St. Olaf, which is a shame.  Or maybe the motto is a Norwegian dating strategy.  Who can say?  Vikings, whaddayagonnadowithem?

What this does indicate is the variety of mascot names out there in Lutheran circles.

Dave Benke
Not to be forgotten: the Concordia (Moorhead MN, ELCA) Cobbers. Let's find someone offended by that, apart from the players' grandparents perhaps.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 11, 2021, 09:23:11 PM
There was a time when I was ready to fight to retain Valpo within the larger circle of LCMS schools.  After that video, I am ready to renounce all claims.  That was a joke and an offense to a real university and real education.  Sure, there was the obligatory nod toward values and faith -- whatever faith means since Lutheran was not mentioned.  There was the obligatory research to find something objectionable to justify the retirement -- the lame association with a KKK paper.  And then there was the ridiculous idea that somehow this mattered to the school's identity, mission, and legacy.  Really?  It matters only to those who want it to matter -- those with a liberal agenda.  It does not matter to anyone else.  Welcome to cancel culture university edition.
It definitely puts all the power in the hands of hate groups if we're going to get rid of any symbols they've coopted. No crosses, no torches, Gothic art and architecture. Certainly they must renounce the sale of Valpo hoodies, what with the connotations of hoods.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Likeness on February 11, 2021, 09:47:03 PM
In my lifetime, Valpo was blessed with 4 Presidents with LCMS credentials.
O.P. Kretzmann, Albert Huegli, Robert Schnabel, and Alan Harre. Three of
them were graduates of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and all of them
 taught at one of our Concordia Colleges or Seminaries.  Several of them
were also Presidents of one of our Concordia Colleges.

Those deep roots in the LCMS culture are no longer part of Valpo Presidents.
Valpo could lose their Lutheran identity and the ability to attract Lutheran
students to their campus. The 21st century will be a challenge for private
universities to survive and that includes Valpo.

 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 11, 2021, 10:03:01 PM
In my lifetime, Valpo was blessed with 4 Presidents with LCMS credentials.
O.P. Kretzmann, Albert Huegli, Robert Schnabel, and Alan Harre. Three of
them were graduates of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and all of them
 taught at one of our Concordia Colleges or Seminaries.  Several of them
were also Presidents of one of our Concordia Colleges.

Those deep roots in the LCMS culture are no longer part of Valpo Presidents.
Valpo could lose their Lutheran identity and the ability to attract Lutheran
students to their campus. The 21st century will be a challenge for private
universities to survive and that includes Valpo.
John Nunes explained the closing of Bronxville as a better option than the typical alternatives. Usually, a school either waters itself down into meaninglessness in order to appeal to as wide a customer base as possible just to stay afloat, or it circles the wagons to go all-in for a small, niche market and slowly dwindles into nothing. The banal example Valpo has consistently offered in choosing to do the former at every opportunity justifies the decision to close Bronxville.   
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on February 11, 2021, 10:46:11 PM
There was a time when I was ready to fight to retain Valpo within the larger circle of LCMS schools.  After that video, I am ready to renounce all claims.  That was a joke and an offense to a real university and real education.  Sure, there was the obligatory nod toward values and faith -- whatever faith means since Lutheran was not mentioned.  There was the obligatory research to find something objectionable to justify the retirement -- the lame association with a KKK paper.  And then there was the ridiculous idea that somehow this mattered to the school's identity, mission, and legacy.  Really?  It matters only to those who want it to matter -- those with a liberal agenda.  It does not matter to anyone else.  Welcome to cancel culture university edition.

FrPeters,
Interim-President Irwin-Knott referred explicitly to the Lutheran ethos at ca. 3 min. 30 sec. She knows the content of the Lutheran faith and reflects it in her words and actions.

I suspect there might be some Eastern Orthodox Christians among faculty, staff, students, and alumni who might welcome this retirement of the Valpo "Crusader," given what happened during the so-called Fourth Crusade (March 1204)....

Matt Becker
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on February 11, 2021, 11:39:09 PM
Available mascots:

Cavaliers - Concordia, Portland

Dave Benke

This week marks the one-year anniversary of when my former colleagues at Concordia Portland were informed at St. Michael Lutheran Church (on that campus) that that university was closing. The pain is still there for so many of us. Witness the "Goodbye Concordia" FB page....

When I was student-body president at CU-P in '82-'83, we had some discussions about whether "the Cavaliers" was an appropriate mascot/symbol for our Lutheran institution. We knew enough about the term to know that, in its adjectival form, it was synonymous with "reckless," "haughty," "disdainful," "contemptuous toward others." The mascot didn't seem to fit with the ideals of Christian leadership and service emphasized by Concordia's faculty and administration. Still, I had more important goals to attain that academic year, such as starting the school newspaper and trying to get better food served in the cafeteria, so we didn't pursue a mascot change at that time.

In my sections of Theology 200 ("The Christian Tradition"), which I have taught nearly every semester since joining Valpo's faculty in 2004, I always spend a few class periods examining "the Crusades," not merely because of Valpo's historic brand but because those two centuries marked significant cross-pollination between Europe and the so-called Middle East, between Latin and Greek Christendom, and between Latin Christendom and Islam. It's a mixed, ambiguous history, as far as I'm concerned, but one that has mostly negative connotations, if not entirely negative consequences. Luther's "cavalier" comments about "the Turks" a few centuries later complicate the imagery further, it seems to me.

So I have been among those who have been calling for a change of mascot for several years (as has my wife, who helps to run our library). We are welcoming the retirement.

What should replace the outdated image?

Valpo Light? (but that sounds too much like a low-cal beer or, worse, a suggestion that Valpo offers an inferior form of education)

Valpo Torch? (already the name of the school newspaper, but it could work)

Valpo Torchbearers? (too many letters; could suggest an angry mob, as in "Frankenstein")

Valpo Flamethrower? (also too militaristic--but, more importantly, too dangerous, given what students would likely try to do at sporting events....)

My wife and I are proposing simply "the Flame." "The Valpo Flame." That image fits with the school's motto ("In Luce Tua Videmus Lucem") and the title of Dick Baepler's recent history of our school, Flame of Faith, Lamp of Learning. "The Flame" is simple. It is elegant. And much of the school's current branding could easily be tweaked to fit with that image.

It takes us away from animals and martial symbolism. True, a "flame" can also be negative in some contexts--as can most any object, e.g., a knife in the hand of a murderer in contrast to a knife in the hand of a skilled surgeon or a knife in my hand when I'm eating a nice filet mignon--but the biblical symbolism outweighs the negative. And it ties directly to our biblical motto and Lutheran-grounded mission.

(I can imagine Valpo athletic contests being graced with students shouting and dancing to Cheap Trick's "The Flame," or to the songs of the same name by the Fine Young Cannibals and Arcadia. Tina Arena's "The Flame" was also the official song of the 2000 summer Olympics.)

Yes, I am aware of the other connections with the image of "The Flame" (cf. the Wikipedia entry), but none of these need necessarily tie to Valpo's use of the symbol.

Matt Becker
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 12, 2021, 12:18:24 AM
 I can’t imagine anyone who was taught the Christian Tradition by an ELCA professor voting to perpetuate it. But that says more about the professors than the Christian Tradition. If you didn’t teach the class as a class on how the light shines in the darkness, and instead taught it sociologically about how various human power structures interacted, you did nothing but lead people astray.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on February 12, 2021, 01:18:10 AM
I can’t imagine anyone who was taught the Christian Tradition by an ELCA professor voting to perpetuate it.

If you have a difficult time imagining such students, feel free to audit that course of mine so that you would not have to try to imagine them; you could see them and talk with them yourself.

If you didn’t teach the class as a class on how the light shines in the darkness, and instead taught it sociologically about how various human power structures interacted, you did nothing but lead people astray.

Whew! Good thing, then, that I don't teach that theology course as a sociology one!

Peter,
If you or anyone else on this list would like to get a better idea of the content that I teach in that course, please read my book, Fundamental Theology. I basically follow its outline over seventeen weeks.

Here are further details about that course's content, as I teach it. Bear in mind that this is merely an "introductory" course, aimed at the "general Valpo student" (all of whom must fulfill this Theo 200 requirement in order to graduate):

Session #1 (“Introductions”)
Session #2 (“Ways into Theology”)
Session #3 (“Defining ‘Christian’ and ‘Tradition’”)
Session #4 (“Traditions of Christianity: Placing Christian Traditions”)
Session #5 (“Traditions of Christian Theology I”)
Session #6 (“Traditions of Christian Theology II”)
Session #7 (“What Is Christian Theology?”)
Session #8 (“Varieties of Atheism”)
Session #9 (“The Persistence of God in Human Experience”)
Session #10 (“The Natural Knowledge of God”)
Session #11 (“Arguments for the Reality of God”)
Session #12 (“The Hidden God and the Risk of Faith”)
Session #13 (“Special Revelation”)
Session #14 (“Introduction to the Christian Bible and Biblical Hermeneutics”)
Session #15 (“Hebrew Traditions and Jesus: Abraham and the Ancestors”)
Session #16 (“Hebrew Traditions and Jesus: Moses and David”)
Session #17 (“Hebrew Traditions and Jesus: Prophets in a Divided Kingdom, Exile, and Post-Exile”)
Session #18 (“Sources for the Historical Jesus”)
Session #19 (“The Gospels and the Synoptic Problem”)
Session #20 (“The Mission and Ministry of Jesus: General Observations”)
Session #21 (“Distinctive Themes in the Gospel according to Luke – Part 1”)
Session #22 (“Distinctive Themes in the Gospel according to Luke – Part 2”)
Session #23 (“The Death and Resurrection of Jesus”)
Session #24 (“The Gospel according to John”)
Session #25 (“The Apostle Paul- Part One”)
Session #26 (“The Apostle Paul – Part Two”)
Session #27 (“Christian Sacraments and Worship”)
Session #28 (“Christian Monasticism and Mysticism”)
Session #29 (“Orthodoxy and Heresy in Early Christianity: Gnosticism”)
Session #30 (“Orthodoxy and Heresy in Early Christianity: The Development of Trinitarian Theology”)
Session #31 (“Orthodoxy and Heresy in Early Christianity: The Development of Christology”)
Session #32 (“Augustine of Hippo”)
Session #33 (“Christian Architecture through the Gothic Period”)
Session #34 (“Revisiting Thomas Aquinas”)
Session #35 (“The Development of the Papacy”)
Session #36 (“Theological Conflicts between Eastern and Western Christendom”)
Session #37 (“Latin Christendom and the Crusades”)
Session #38 (“Martin Luther”)
Session #39 (“Key Themes in Contemporary Theology: God the Creator”)
Session #40 (“Key Themes in Contemporary Theology: Theological Anthropology”)
Session #41 (“Key Themes in Contemporary Theology: Evil, Theodicy, and Soteriology”)
Session #42 ("Key Themes in Contemporary Theology: Church and Ministry")
Session #43 (“Key Themes in Contemporary Theology: Eschatology and Christian Hope”)
Session #44 (“Quo Vadis?”)

I'm sure I hit some "sociological" notes along the way, but the cantus firmus is theological, as you should be able to see here. I do think most students get a fairly solid grounding in the "Christian theological tradition," at least with respect to what can be done at a sophomore level over 17 weeks.

Peter,
Come and see. Don't speculate/judge blindly. You are always welcome as a guest in my classroom.

Matt Becker
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on February 12, 2021, 01:36:25 AM
I can’t imagine anyone who was taught the Christian Tradition by an ELCA professor voting to perpetuate it. But that says more about the professors than the Christian Tradition. If you didn’t teach the class as a class on how the light shines in the darkness, and instead taught it sociologically about how various human power structures interacted, you did nothing but lead people astray.

And here's the outline for the upper-division theology course on Luther and Bach that I teach every other year or so (very little sociology; much theology...):

Session #1 (“Introductions”)
Session #2 (“Luther’s Life and World to 1505”)
Session #3 (“Luther’s Crises and the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt”)
Session #4 (“Professor of Theology at Wittenberg: Luther and the Bible”)
Session #5 (“The Indulgence Controversy”)
Session #6 (“Luther’s Reformation Breakthrough”)
Session #7 (“Luther’s Theology of the Cross”)
Session #8 (“The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel”)
Session #9 (“Luther’s Hymn: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”)
Session #10 (“Luther’s Critique of the Papacy and the Roman Sacramental System”)
Session #11 (“The Freedom of the Christian”)
Session #12 (“Luther’s Understanding of the Two Kingdoms”)
Session #13 (“Luther’s Excommunication, the Diet of Worms, and the Peasants’ Revolt”)
Session #14 (“The Bondage of the Will”)
Session #15 (“Luther and the Jews”)
Session #16 (“Luther’s Theology of Music”)
Session #17 (“Luther’s Hymn, ‘Dear Christians, One and All Rejoice’”)
Session #18 (“Luther’s Reform of the Roman Mass: The Structure of the Liturgy according to Luther”)
Session #19 (“An Introduction to Luther’s Catechisms”)
Session #20 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: The Ten Commandments and the Law”)
Session #21 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: The Apostles’ Creed”)
Session #22 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: The Lord’s Prayer”)
Session #23 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: Baptism”)
Session #24 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: Confession”)
Session #25 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: The Lord’s Supper”)
Session #26 (“From Luther to Bach: Orthodoxy, Pietism, and Rationalism”)
Session #27 (“Age of the Baroque”)
Session #28 (“Introduction to Johann Sebastian Bach”)
Session #29 (“Bach’s Childhood and Spiritual Training”)
Session #30 (“Bach’s Adulthood”)
Session #31 (“Bach and Luther”)
Session #32 (“Bach’s Musical Language – Part 1”)
Session #33 (“Bach’s Musical Language – Part 2”)
Session #34 (“Introduction to Bach’s Cantatas and 'Wachet Auf'”)
Session #35 (“Bach’s Christmas Oratorio [Parts 1, 2, and 6]”)
Session #36 (“Introduction to Bach’s Passions”)
Session #37 (“BWV 245: Bach’s St. John Passion”)
Session #38 (“BWV 244: Bach’s St. Matthew Passion - Part 1”)
Session #39 ("BWV 244: Bach's St. Matthew Passion - Part 2")
Session #40 (“Bach and the Jews”)
Session #41 (“Introduction to the Mass from Luther to Bach and Bach’s B-Minor Mass”)
Session #42 (“The Gloria”)
Session #43 (“The Credo”)
Session #44 (“The Future of Luther and Bach?”)

Peter,
Perhaps you would like to audit this theology course when I teach it again? You are most welcome to sit in as my guest.

Matt Becker


Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 12, 2021, 02:07:57 AM
I can’t imagine anyone who was taught the Christian Tradition by an ELCA professor voting to perpetuate it. But that says more about the professors than the Christian Tradition. If you didn’t teach the class as a class on how the light shines in the darkness, and instead taught it sociologically about how various human power structures interacted, you did nothing but lead people astray.

And here's the outline for the upper-division theology course on Luther and Bach that I teach every other year or so (very little sociology; much theology...):

Session #1 (“Introductions”)
Session #2 (“Luther’s Life and World to 1505”)
Session #3 (“Luther’s Crises and the Augustinian Monastery in Erfurt”)
Session #4 (“Professor of Theology at Wittenberg: Luther and the Bible”)
Session #5 (“The Indulgence Controversy”)
Session #6 (“Luther’s Reformation Breakthrough”)
Session #7 (“Luther’s Theology of the Cross”)
Session #8 (“The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel”)
Session #9 (“Luther’s Hymn: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”)
Session #10 (“Luther’s Critique of the Papacy and the Roman Sacramental System”)
Session #11 (“The Freedom of the Christian”)
Session #12 (“Luther’s Understanding of the Two Kingdoms”)
Session #13 (“Luther’s Excommunication, the Diet of Worms, and the Peasants’ Revolt”)
Session #14 (“The Bondage of the Will”)
Session #15 (“Luther and the Jews”)
Session #16 (“Luther’s Theology of Music”)
Session #17 (“Luther’s Hymn, ‘Dear Christians, One and All Rejoice’”)
Session #18 (“Luther’s Reform of the Roman Mass: The Structure of the Liturgy according to Luther”)
Session #19 (“An Introduction to Luther’s Catechisms”)
Session #20 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: The Ten Commandments and the Law”)
Session #21 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: The Apostles’ Creed”)
Session #22 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: The Lord’s Prayer”)
Session #23 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: Baptism”)
Session #24 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: Confession”)
Session #25 (“A Chief Element in Lutheran Theology: The Lord’s Supper”)
Session #26 (“From Luther to Bach: Orthodoxy, Pietism, and Rationalism”)
Session #27 (“Age of the Baroque”)
Session #28 (“Introduction to Johann Sebastian Bach”)
Session #29 (“Bach’s Childhood and Spiritual Training”)
Session #30 (“Bach’s Adulthood”)
Session #31 (“Bach and Luther”)
Session #32 (“Bach’s Musical Language – Part 1”)
Session #33 (“Bach’s Musical Language – Part 2”)
Session #34 (“Introduction to Bach’s Cantatas and 'Wachet Auf'”)
Session #35 (“Bach’s Christmas Oratorio [Parts 1, 2, and 6]”)
Session #36 (“Introduction to Bach’s Passions”)
Session #37 (“BWV 245: Bach’s St. John Passion”)
Session #38 (“BWV 244: Bach’s St. Matthew Passion - Part 1”)
Session #39 ("BWV 244: Bach's St. Matthew Passion - Part 2")
Session #40 (“Bach and the Jews”)
Session #41 (“Introduction to the Mass from Luther to Bach and Bach’s B-Minor Mass”)
Session #42 (“The Gloria”)
Session #43 (“The Credo”)
Session #44 (“The Future of Luther and Bach?”)

Peter,
Perhaps you would like to audit this theology course when I teach it again? You are most welcome to sit in as my guest.

Matt Becker
I just might. I love the Great Courses series on Bach, and my dad once led a long study of the St. Matthew Passion for Immanuel in Valpo before it was performed on campus. I'm a big fan.

The problem is not the content of the course. I love the topic of, say, the proper distinction of Law and Gospel, or any of the six chief parts of doctrine. I have no confidence you will teach them correctly based on what you've posted in this forum over the years. You are comfortable in the ELCA. ELCA doctrine and practice is fine by you. You have a different spirit. Doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy your class, but I point that out to make clear that what I say about VU's mascot and my disagreement with your advocacy for changing it has nothing to do with the topics of your courses. It seems very clear to me that anyone who took to heart what you teach about the Christian Tradition would also want to change VU's mascot. If I taught a class with the same outline of topics and people took to heart what I taught, they would likely be on the side of keeping the Crusader mascot.

If you look at the most recent Lutheran Forum (recommended in this forum by several people) you'll find an article about the Great Tradition by a professor at Northwestern. It is full of cliches about power, marginalized voices, and how the Great Tradition is basically a codeword for exclusion and White Supremacy. The people advocating for the change in mascots would, in my estimation, read that article and think, "This isn't at all ridiculous and tiresomely wrongheaded." I am not one of those people.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on February 12, 2021, 05:03:15 AM
Simple end to the problem: get rid of college sports and there is no need for any kind of critter or personage.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on February 12, 2021, 12:04:12 PM

You responded to Matt Becker, in part:

… I have no confidence you will teach them correctly based on what you've posted in this forum over the years. You are comfortable in the ELCA. ELCA doctrine and practice is fine by you. You have a different spirit. …


From your perspective the only correct theology is found in the LCMS. The only proper doctrines and practices are in the LCMS. The only orthodox spirit is in the LCMS.


Do you wonder why people joke about the LCMS as thinking that they will be the only ones in heaven?


Do you ever consider that you could be trying to bind God with the ropes of LCMS's theology, doctrines, and practices. God will not be bound.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: FrPeters on February 12, 2021, 12:11:52 PM
The LCMS does not say we are the only ones who teach rightly but we are in fellowship only with those who do.  We don't even say that LCMS will endure forever.  But we do say that faith confessed in the Lutheran Confessions is true and will endure past human institutions and jurisdictions. 

To suggest that the ELCA has not deviated from the Confessions, from the faith of Luther and his cohorts, and openly adopted new doctrines not found in Scripture or taught in our Confessions is to ignore both what the ELCA has adopted (wherein they admit that such teachings are different from what Lutherans and Scripture was understood to say in all the time prior to their 2009 assembly) and why two new denominations were formed in response to its deviation from the faith once delivered to the saints.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on February 12, 2021, 12:44:45 PM
And there we have it again, clearly stated. The ELCA has deviated from "the faith delivered to the saints." We have adopted "doctrines not found in scriptures."
And folks wonder why we in the ELCA are tired of dealing with the LCMS. We had a few years of amity and hopefulness (before 1969), followed by years of dialogue, double-cross, paternalistic chiding which then turned to outright condemnation.
Experience "on the ground" some distance from the St. Louis dicasteries kept hope alive, but that was slowly squeezed out.
Closely involved in dialogue with and cooperation with the LCMS since the early 1960s, I hung in there. But I finally concluded official dialogue or hope for cooperation was not worth the time and would not happen.
I held out some hope for gentleness in language.
But nope. It didn't happen. Again and again we are told we have left "the faith delivered to the saints." The language of Pastor Peters goes far beyond the matter of fellowship or cooperation. It consigns us to the non-Christian nether regions.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 12, 2021, 12:46:17 PM

You responded to Matt Becker, in part:

… I have no confidence you will teach them correctly based on what you've posted in this forum over the years. You are comfortable in the ELCA. ELCA doctrine and practice is fine by you. You have a different spirit. …


From your perspective the only correct theology is found in the LCMS. The only proper doctrines and practices are in the LCMS. The only orthodox spirit is in the LCMS.


Do you wonder why people joke about the LCMS as thinking that they will be the only ones in heaven?


Do you ever consider that you could be trying to bind God with the ropes of LCMS's theology, doctrines, and practices. God will not be bound.
I think God is free to bind Himself to His Word, and in fact has done so. It isn’t a matter of what might be or could be, but what is. I’m perfectly comfortable talking with people who disagree with me on anything. But there is a matter of identity that flows from history and speaks to purpose.

We have several non-Lutherans who participate here. Frankly, I find their posts generally more valuable than those of a lot of the Lutherans. Great. No problem. But if they said they feel excluded by “Lutheran” in the name, I’d say, bummer, you can get over it or go somewhere else. We love having non-Lutherans here, but we aren’t changing who we are to accommodate them.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on February 12, 2021, 01:05:03 PM
The problem is not the content of the course. I love the topic of, say, the proper distinction of Law and Gospel, or any of the six chief parts of doctrine. I have no confidence you will teach them correctly based on what you've posted in this forum over the years. You are comfortable in the ELCA. ELCA doctrine and practice is fine by you. You have a different spirit. Doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy your class, but I point that out to make clear that what I say about VU's mascot and my disagreement with your advocacy for changing it has nothing to do with the topics of your courses. It seems very clear to me that anyone who took to heart what you teach about the Christian Tradition would also want to change VU's mascot. If I taught a class with the same outline of topics and people took to heart what I taught, they would likely be on the side of keeping the Crusader mascot.

Peter,
You are tilting at windmills, like that other famous "crusader." You are projecting your own prejudices and attacking imaginary enemies. I have no idea what I have posted in this forum that would lead you to lack confidence about the orthodoxy of my teaching with respect to the chief articles of the faith that we share in common. You have never met me, let alone had any significant theological conversation with me. You've never heard me teach or preach or conduct confirmation instruction. You think you see Zwingli here when all you see are your own biases and illusions.

In any case, you surely know that Luther himself criticized the cruciata and all "the heartbreak and misery" that they and indulgences (which historically had arisen to pay for crusaders!) and crusade taxes caused. "With these, Christians have been stirred up to take sword and fight the Turk when they ought to have been fighting the devil and unbelief with the word and with prayer" ("On the War against the Turk" [1529], LW 46.186). According to Christ's teaching (Matt. 5.39-41) and the theology of the cross, "Christians shall not resist evil, but suffer all things and surrender all things" (LW 46.164). Popes never intended to wage war against the Turks, but used "the Turkish war as a cover for their game and robbed Germany of money by means of indulgences whenever they took the notion." Moreover, Luther was angry that Christians and the princes were "driven, urged, and irritated into attacking the Turk, and making war on him, before they amended their own ways and lived as true Christians" (LW 46.165).

I agree with Luther: The image of a "crusader" is not a positive one. It certainly does not fit with the ethos and identity of a liberal-arts university that is grounded in the Lutheran tradition. The symbol of the crusader does not fit with Christian doctrine or Christian ethics. The Lutheran ethos, to which our interim president referred in her message yesterday, is antithetical to crusader militarism, bloodshed, destruction, and fighting. Nothing but ill fortune ultimately accompanies "the Crusader" image and idea. (Aside: Some of Valpo's athletic history supports that observation.) The crusader image inherently entails un-Christian, anti-Christian actions of pillaging, raping, and murdering; it inherently represents individuals who misuse the image of the cross to "fight against the infidel in the name of Christ," when, according to Luther's teaching, Christians should only be using God's gifts of word and Spirit, accompanied by prayer. The "Crusader" image contradicts the basic theology of the cross that is at the heart of Valpo's Lutheran identity. That theology opposes all crusading "theologies of glory." The latter turn the cross into a bludgeon and sword and spear, and they turn the cross of Christ into a symbol of hatred and violence.

In view of the violence and (culture) wars in our world that are so frequently tied to religious symbols, the leaders of Valpo have decided that now is the time to retire the Valpo Crusader mascot and to move to a more positive image, one that fits better with our Lutheran theology of the cross. (It is interesting to me that certain religious combatants in contemporary American "culture-wars" end up doing the same thing to the cross of our Lord that so-called "Christian" crusaders did between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries.) As a Lutheran theologian at Valpo, I want to use Luther's Heidelberg insights to criticize all such theologies of glory, medieval as well as contemporary.

CRUX sola est nostra theologia, not in the way of the cruciata, but rather according to Paul's teaching in First Corinthians.

Matt Becker
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on February 12, 2021, 01:10:37 PM
The LCMS does not say we are the only ones who teach rightly but we are in fellowship only with those who do.  We don't even say that LCMS will endure forever.  But we do say that faith confessed in the Lutheran Confessions is true and will endure past human institutions and jurisdictions. 

To suggest that the ELCA has not deviated from the Confessions, from the faith of Luther and his cohorts, and openly adopted new doctrines not found in Scripture or taught in our Confessions is to ignore both what the ELCA has adopted (wherein they admit that such teachings are different from what Lutherans and Scripture was understood to say in all the time prior to their 2009 assembly) and why two new denominations were formed in response to its deviation from the faith once delivered to the saints.


I state that the ELCA has not deviated from the Confessions; but that we have upheld Luther's salvation by God's grace through Jesus Christ better than others.


The admission you refer to was about same sex marriages. Talking about them and allowing them is something different from biblical times until the recent present.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on February 12, 2021, 01:14:56 PM
I think God is free to bind Himself to His Word, and in fact has done so. It isn’t a matter of what might be or could be, but what is. I’m perfectly comfortable talking with people who disagree with me on anything. But there is a matter of identity that flows from history and speaks to purpose.

We have several non-Lutherans who participate here. Frankly, I find their posts generally more valuable than those of a lot of the Lutherans. Great. No problem. But if they said they feel excluded by “Lutheran” in the name, I’d say, bummer, you can get over it or go somewhere else. We love having non-Lutherans here, but we aren’t changing who we are to accommodate them.


God is revealed by his Word. However, that Word gets interpreted by humans. God is not bound by our human interpretations. God is not bound by our Lutheran Confessions; which also go through human interpretations and thus we have many different Lutheran denominations within one country, e.g. the U.S. and Germany.


I'm not willing to say that God has not directed the thinking and writing of John Calvin or the Wesleys and others as they studied scriptures and came to some different conclusions from Luther.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 12, 2021, 01:47:51 PM
Brian, by your understanding and interpretation of Scripture (an understanding common in the ELCA) same-sex marriage is acceptable to God and should be blessed by the church with participants in such eligible for ordinations. Similarly, old prohibitions against women's ordination are no longer correct if they ever were. Am I correct?


By my understanding and interpretation of Sculpture (an understanding common in the LCMS) neither same-sex marriage, the ordinations of partnered homosexuals, nor the ordination of women are acceptable to God and should not happen in the church.


Both of these positions are understandings held by humans. They are contradictory understandings. Would you say that both are correct interpretations and understandings of Scripture? That both are acceptable and pleasing to God as governing rules for the church?


Could you suggest a practical way that a church body could embrace both interpretations as correct and governing?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 12, 2021, 02:15:07 PM
The problem is not the content of the course. I love the topic of, say, the proper distinction of Law and Gospel, or any of the six chief parts of doctrine. I have no confidence you will teach them correctly based on what you've posted in this forum over the years. You are comfortable in the ELCA. ELCA doctrine and practice is fine by you. You have a different spirit. Doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy your class, but I point that out to make clear that what I say about VU's mascot and my disagreement with your advocacy for changing it has nothing to do with the topics of your courses. It seems very clear to me that anyone who took to heart what you teach about the Christian Tradition would also want to change VU's mascot. If I taught a class with the same outline of topics and people took to heart what I taught, they would likely be on the side of keeping the Crusader mascot.

Peter,
You are tilting at windmills, like that other famous "crusader." You are projecting your own prejudices and attacking imaginary enemies. I have no idea what I have posted in this forum that would lead you to lack confidence about the orthodoxy of my teaching with respect to the chief articles of the faith that we share in common. You have never met me, let alone had any significant theological conversation with me. You've never heard me teach or preach or conduct confirmation instruction. You think you see Zwingli here when all you see are your own biases and illusions.

In any case, you surely know that Luther himself criticized the cruciata and all "the heartbreak and misery" that they and indulgences (which historically had arisen to pay for crusaders!) and crusade taxes caused. "With these, Christians have been stirred up to take sword and fight the Turk when they ought to have been fighting the devil and unbelief with the word and with prayer" ("On the War against the Turk" [1529], LW 46.186). According to Christ's teaching (Matt. 5.39-41) and the theology of the cross, "Christians shall not resist evil, but suffer all things and surrender all things" (LW 46.164). Popes never intended to wage war against the Turks, but used "the Turkish war as a cover for their game and robbed Germany of money by means of indulgences whenever they took the notion." Moreover, Luther was angry that Christians and the princes were "driven, urged, and irritated into attacking the Turk, and making war on him, before they amended their own ways and lived as true Christians" (LW 46.165).

I agree with Luther: The image of a "crusader" is not a positive one. It certainly does not fit with the ethos and identity of a liberal-arts university that is grounded in the Lutheran tradition. The symbol of the crusader does not fit with Christian doctrine or Christian ethics. The Lutheran ethos, to which our interim president referred in her message yesterday, is antithetical to crusader militarism, bloodshed, destruction, and fighting. Nothing but ill fortune ultimately accompanies "the Crusader" image and idea. (Aside: Some of Valpo's athletic history supports that observation.) The crusader image inherently entails un-Christian, anti-Christian actions of pillaging, raping, and murdering; it inherently represents individuals who misuse the image of the cross to "fight against the infidel in the name of Christ," when, according to Luther's teaching, Christians should only be using God's gifts of word and Spirit, accompanied by prayer. The "Crusader" image contradicts the basic theology of the cross that is at the heart of Valpo's Lutheran identity. That theology opposes all crusading "theologies of glory." The latter turn the cross into a bludgeon and sword and spear, and they turn the cross of Christ into a symbol of hatred and violence.

In view of the violence and (culture) wars in our world that are so frequently tied to religious symbols, the leaders of Valpo have decided that now is the time to retire the Valpo Crusader mascot and to move to a more positive image, one that fits better with our Lutheran theology of the cross. (It is interesting to me that certain religious combatants in contemporary American "culture-wars" end up doing the same thing to the cross of our Lord that so-called "Christian" crusaders did between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries.) As a Lutheran theologian at Valpo, I want to use Luther's Heidelberg insights to criticize all such theologies of glory, medieval as well as contemporary.

CRUX sola est nostra theologia, not in the way of the cruciata, but rather according to Paul's teaching in First Corinthians.

Matt Becker
I simply said that in my estimation, students who took your teachings to heart would likely want to change the mascot. Students who theoretically took classes on the same topics from me and took my teaching to heart would likely be more inclined to keep the Crusader mascot. I said you teach in accord with the ELCA. I don’t. None of that is particularly controversial. What windmill am I tilting at? What imaginary enemy? I might take you up on the offer of auditing your class sometime when things settle down for me schedule wise.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on February 12, 2021, 02:52:37 PM
Brian, by your understanding and interpretation of Scripture (an understanding common in the ELCA) same-sex marriage is acceptable to God and should be blessed by the church with participants in such eligible for ordinations. Similarly, old prohibitions against women's ordination are no longer correct if they ever were. Am I correct?


By my understanding and interpretation of Sculpture (an understanding common in the LCMS) neither same-sex marriage, the ordinations of partnered homosexuals, nor the ordination of women are acceptable to God and should not happen in the church.


Both of these positions are understandings held by humans. They are contradictory understandings. Would you say that both are correct interpretations and understandings of Scripture? That both are acceptable and pleasing to God as governing rules for the church?


Could you suggest a practical way that a church body could embrace both interpretations as correct and governing?


My suggestion (which I've posted before,) is to look at such differences the way Judaism and Roman Catholics do. They see the rules they glean from Scriptures (and tradition) as being for members of their Church; and not necessarily applicable to those outside of their group. As I've stated before, our female clergy have often felt and actually been more accepted by Roman Catholic priests (where they couldn't be ordained, but they aren't under their rules,) than by Protestant clergy who believe their ordinations have displeased God. Orthodox Jews have no problems with Gentiles eating bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with cheese, because Gentiles are not under the rules that God gave the descendants of Abraham.


I try to understand why and how Jews, Roman Catholics, and LCMS folks come to the interpretations that they do, even if I disagree with them; e.g., the celibacy of priests, closed communion. I hope that I can explain clearly enough our ELCA positions so that they can understand how and why we got to where we are in our practices. I don't believe that any of us is able to see the whole elephant yet. We all are a bit blind to the diversity of almighty God. Each of us are exploring one part of it. As we learn from each other, we all gain a greater understanding of the elephant.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: jebutler on February 12, 2021, 03:03:39 PM
Could you suggest a practical way that a church body could embrace both interpretations as correct and governing?

Actually, Dan, it's quite simple.

You admit that there are conflicting views in your church body. But you promise that those with differing views--let's call them "bound consciences"--will be respected.

That's what the Church of Sweden did with women's ordination. That's what the ELCA did with same sex issues. You can see how well those turned out.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 12, 2021, 04:19:00 PM
The problem is not the content of the course. I love the topic of, say, the proper distinction of Law and Gospel, or any of the six chief parts of doctrine. I have no confidence you will teach them correctly based on what you've posted in this forum over the years. You are comfortable in the ELCA. ELCA doctrine and practice is fine by you. You have a different spirit. Doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy your class, but I point that out to make clear that what I say about VU's mascot and my disagreement with your advocacy for changing it has nothing to do with the topics of your courses. It seems very clear to me that anyone who took to heart what you teach about the Christian Tradition would also want to change VU's mascot. If I taught a class with the same outline of topics and people took to heart what I taught, they would likely be on the side of keeping the Crusader mascot.

Peter,
You are tilting at windmills, like that other famous "crusader." You are projecting your own prejudices and attacking imaginary enemies. I have no idea what I have posted in this forum that would lead you to lack confidence about the orthodoxy of my teaching with respect to the chief articles of the faith that we share in common. You have never met me, let alone had any significant theological conversation with me. You've never heard me teach or preach or conduct confirmation instruction. You think you see Zwingli here when all you see are your own biases and illusions.

In any case, you surely know that Luther himself criticized the cruciata and all "the heartbreak and misery" that they and indulgences (which historically had arisen to pay for crusaders!) and crusade taxes caused. "With these, Christians have been stirred up to take sword and fight the Turk when they ought to have been fighting the devil and unbelief with the word and with prayer" ("On the War against the Turk" [1529], LW 46.186). According to Christ's teaching (Matt. 5.39-41) and the theology of the cross, "Christians shall not resist evil, but suffer all things and surrender all things" (LW 46.164). Popes never intended to wage war against the Turks, but used "the Turkish war as a cover for their game and robbed Germany of money by means of indulgences whenever they took the notion." Moreover, Luther was angry that Christians and the princes were "driven, urged, and irritated into attacking the Turk, and making war on him, before they amended their own ways and lived as true Christians" (LW 46.165).

I agree with Luther: The image of a "crusader" is not a positive one. It certainly does not fit with the ethos and identity of a liberal-arts university that is grounded in the Lutheran tradition. The symbol of the crusader does not fit with Christian doctrine or Christian ethics. The Lutheran ethos, to which our interim president referred in her message yesterday, is antithetical to crusader militarism, bloodshed, destruction, and fighting. Nothing but ill fortune ultimately accompanies "the Crusader" image and idea. (Aside: Some of Valpo's athletic history supports that observation.) The crusader image inherently entails un-Christian, anti-Christian actions of pillaging, raping, and murdering; it inherently represents individuals who misuse the image of the cross to "fight against the infidel in the name of Christ," when, according to Luther's teaching, Christians should only be using God's gifts of word and Spirit, accompanied by prayer. The "Crusader" image contradicts the basic theology of the cross that is at the heart of Valpo's Lutheran identity. That theology opposes all crusading "theologies of glory." The latter turn the cross into a bludgeon and sword and spear, and they turn the cross of Christ into a symbol of hatred and violence.

In view of the violence and (culture) wars in our world that are so frequently tied to religious symbols, the leaders of Valpo have decided that now is the time to retire the Valpo Crusader mascot and to move to a more positive image, one that fits better with our Lutheran theology of the cross. (It is interesting to me that certain religious combatants in contemporary American "culture-wars" end up doing the same thing to the cross of our Lord that so-called "Christian" crusaders did between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries.) As a Lutheran theologian at Valpo, I want to use Luther's Heidelberg insights to criticize all such theologies of glory, medieval as well as contemporary.

CRUX sola est nostra theologia, not in the way of the cruciata, but rather according to Paul's teaching in First Corinthians.

Matt Becker

Thanks so much for this post, Matt.  These thoughts take us to the substantial level of conversation theologically.  Of course Martin Luther was no fan of Crusader theology.  It's a theology of glory, of conquest, a mixing of the Realms, and outgrowth of Empire - which Luther also spoke candidly about - and it takes us away, most especially in these times, from our own roots in Divine reconciliation for the world through the foolishness of the cross.  The cross used as a symbol of war and conquest is 180 degrees from the cross as an instrument of the death of God's only-begotten Son and the Savior of the world.  The Empire began with the vision "in hoc signo vinces" during a battle with swords and staves.  In "post-Christian" times, we have a deeper cruciform message and witness to offer the world than the Crusaders.

I hope your theological insights can become part of the witness Valpo is making, certainly in the retirement of the mascot in addition to what's been said thus far, but also in the day to day spiritual life of students, staff and faculty. 

Dave Benke

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 12, 2021, 05:19:19 PM
Dave, Matt, et al. Yes, we all agree that the choice against the crusader mascot can be justified on serious theological grounds. But we also know for a fact the choice for the crusader mascot can be justified by the simple fact that people chose it in the first place. The Uhlan was too German for 1942. Crusaders are too European for 2021. It is simple reasoning, really. And if that were all that were happening, nobody would really care. But the context of 2021 is also a context of vicious anti-Western Civ iconoclasm. There is a reason the serious, theology-of-the-cross-minded theologians, faculty and staff didn't change it in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's, or 10's. That reason is that among sane people the crusader as a mascot in no way offends against Valpo's identity and mission. 

Look at it in context. When people come after a statue of, say, Abraham Lincoln, sure, a theologian can make a sound case against Lincoln’s poor sacramental theology, lack of church attendance, Biblical interpretation of American history, etc. and thus side with those who want the statue torn down. But everyone knows they aren't tearing it down because of Lincoln's poor sacramental theology. The iconoclasts are on a different kind of mission. The theologian siding with them is simply aiding and abetting an enemy, and the iconoclasts know that. That's why my useful idiot comment hit too close to home for you to accept in polite conversation. The people demanding the crusader go are simply kulturkampfing from the Left. You never call them out. You only see resistance to that kulturkampfing as really being bad.

If you really believe that this is about the theology of the cross vs. theology of glory, well, we'll see. If they pick a theology of the cross logo and mascot, in order to be more deeply Lutheran in their choice of symbols, I'll concede the point and be glad to be wrong. It seems to me that if the team is going to try to win, i.e. defeat the other team in some worldly competition, that a theology of the cross motif is going to be tough to figure out. But there are choices. They could be the Servant-leaders. They could be the Fighting Footwashers. You could make a great logo out of Cheekturners. In my lifetime, Valpo has demonstrated the theology of the cross by wearing ugly uniforms and losing nearly all their football games, yet still having a team the next year. That should be enough for anyone.

In short, nobody needs lessons on how awful the Crusaders were. We all know that already. Anachronistic judgments defy context. In 1942, we changed it from Uhlans because in context the Germans were the bad guys in the war for the future of Western Civilization. Today it is the iconoclasts who are the bad guys in the war for the future of Western Civilization. And you two are willing apologists for them. They're glad to have you on their team.     
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mark Brown on February 12, 2021, 05:38:44 PM
There is actually a Lutheran historical expert on the Crusades - Dr. Robinson at CSL.  He even teaches a high level historical elective on the subject that is fascinating. He's done a series of things beyond that course.  Here are a couple.

https://scholar.csl.edu/lbifightingcrusades/ (https://scholar.csl.edu/lbifightingcrusades/)
https://issuu.com/concordiasem/docs/cj_winter_2016_final/30 (https://issuu.com/concordiasem/docs/cj_winter_2016_final/30)

Dr. Becker's description of a crusader ("The crusader image inherently entails un-Christian, anti-Christian actions of pillaging, raping, and murdering") easily fits under Dr. Robinson's first myth of the Crusades that they were about, well, all that, instead of a religious vocation.  Now that is a complex statement, because it is possible to say they were deluded or otherwise misusing a religious symbol.  But a better question I would say would be what does it mean for the church as we find it today to rabidly turn on the image of Crusader and declare it universally bad?

Far from being a theology of glory, as dumb as that phrase has become, Christ tells us to put up treasure in heaven.  We are explicitly told to "take up the cross" which is given in the sense denying what it better to our own lives here and now.  What would be better for a young man's temporal life now?  To be like Joshua, militantly stating that "me and my house will serve God", or to join in tearing down the martial spirit within the church?  Which candidate would receive the tougher questions, the one who says "On Eagle's Wings" is his favorite or "Onward Christian Soldiers"?  The bible is not without images of fight.  This week is Transfiguration and the OT lesson is Elijah and Elisha.  Elijah's path traces backward the conquest (as Jeroboam's Baals have spread), but Elisha on the far side of the Jordan receives a double portion and the mantle and sets off on a reconquest.  And Elisha is the type of Christ, to Elijah's John the Baptist solo voice in the wilderness.  What was it about the Crusaders that made a good mascot?  Their spirit.  Even if misguided, they had it.  And it was real and incarnate.  Is now really the time we want to give up a symbol of Spirit and Courage, for what will inevitably be some gnostic symbol - "the flame?" Is that was today's church needs more of?  Or encouragement to live the Christian life with Spirit and Courage?

Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 12, 2021, 06:42:05 PM
Dave, Matt, et al. Yes, we all agree that the choice against the crusader mascot can be justified on serious theological grounds. But we also know for a fact the choice for the crusader mascot can be justified by the simple fact that people chose it in the first place. The Uhlan was too German for 1942. Crusaders are too European for 2021. It is simple reasoning, really. And if that were all that were happening, nobody would really care. But the context of 2021 is also a context of vicious anti-Western Civ iconoclasm. There is a reason the serious, theology-of-the-cross-minded theologians, faculty and staff didn't change it in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 00's, or 10's. That reason is that among sane people the crusader as a mascot in no way offends against Valpo's identity and mission. 

Look at it in context. When people come after a statue of, say, Abraham Lincoln, sure, a theologian can make a sound case against Lincoln’s poor sacramental theology, lack of church attendance, Biblical interpretation of American history, etc. and thus side with those who want the statue torn down. But everyone knows they aren't tearing it down because of Lincoln's poor sacramental theology. The iconoclasts are on a different kind of mission. The theologian siding with them is simply aiding and abetting an enemy, and the iconoclasts know that. That's why my useful idiot comment hit too close to home for you to accept in polite conversation. The people demanding the crusader go are simply kulturkampfing from the Left. You never call them out. You only see resistance to that kulturkampfing as really being bad.

If you really believe that this is about the theology of the cross vs. theology of glory, well, we'll see. If they pick a theology of the cross logo and mascot, in order to be more deeply Lutheran in their choice of symbols, I'll concede the point and be glad to be wrong. It seems to me that if the team is going to try to win, i.e. defeat the other team in some worldly competition, that a theology of the cross motif is going to be tough to figure out. But there are choices. They could be the Servant-leaders. They could be the Fighting Footwashers. You could make a great logo out of Cheekturners. In my lifetime, Valpo has demonstrated the theology of the cross by wearing ugly uniforms and losing nearly all their football games, yet still having a team the next year. That should be enough for anyone.

In short, nobody needs lessons on how awful the Crusaders were. We all know that already. Anachronistic judgments defy context. In 1942, we changed it from Uhlans because in context the Germans were the bad guys in the war for the future of Western Civilization. Today it is the iconoclasts who are the bad guys in the war for the future of Western Civilization. And you two are willing apologists for them. They're glad to have you on their team.     

Your agreement with the basic theological point is noted, Peter. 

As to your final paragraph, it misses the mark in the way that's consistent in your interactions here.  We agree with the change of the mascot name from Crusaders to something else.  We are now apologists for the End of Western Civilization.  In the same way in the alpb "bad summer," you told us that if we strung the three words together - black lives matter or Black Lives Matter - we were Marxists or Marxist tools.  Making those jumps, and in a consistent pattern, is destructive of dialog among us Lutheran Christians, in my opinion. 

Another school made the decision earlier in this century to change their mascot from Crusaders.  With a lot of the same wording after conversation that comes up at Valpo they said the mascot no longer gave the kind of Christian witness they wanted to bring to the world of their students and their geographical area.  So they changed their mascot to The Thunder.  The school is just across the border from Valpo. 

Wheaton College, in Wheaton, Illinois made that decision. 

So maybe Valpo should become The Lightning.  Or, Teutonically, Blitzen - The Blitz.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on February 12, 2021, 07:13:55 PM
There is actually a Lutheran historical expert on the Crusades - Dr. Robinson at CSL.  He even teaches a high level historical elective on the subject that is fascinating. He's done a series of things beyond that course.  Here are a couple.

https://scholar.csl.edu/lbifightingcrusades/ (https://scholar.csl.edu/lbifightingcrusades/)
https://issuu.com/concordiasem/docs/cj_winter_2016_final/30 (https://issuu.com/concordiasem/docs/cj_winter_2016_final/30)

Dr. Becker's description of a crusader ("The crusader image inherently entails un-Christian, anti-Christian actions of pillaging, raping, and murdering") easily fits under Dr. Robinson's first myth of the Crusades that they were about, well, all that, instead of a religious vocation.  Now that is a complex statement, because it is possible to say they were deluded or otherwise misusing a religious symbol.  But a better question I would say would be what does it mean for the church as we find it today to rabidly turn on the image of Crusader and declare it universally bad?

Far from being a theology of glory, as dumb as that phrase has become, Christ tells us to put up treasure in heaven.  We are explicitly told to "take up the cross" which is given in the sense denying what it better to our own lives here and now.  What would be better for a young man's temporal life now?  To be like Joshua, militantly stating that "me and my house will serve God", or to join in tearing down the martial spirit within the church?  Which candidate would receive the tougher questions, the one who says "On Eagle's Wings" is his favorite or "Onward Christian Soldiers"?  The bible is not without images of fight.  This week is Transfiguration and the OT lesson is Elijah and Elisha.  Elijah's path traces backward the conquest (as Jeroboam's Baals have spread), but Elisha on the far side of the Jordan receives a double portion and the mantle and sets off on a reconquest.  And Elisha is the type of Christ, to Elijah's John the Baptist solo voice in the wilderness.  What was it about the Crusaders that made a good mascot?  Their spirit.  Even if misguided, they had it.  And it was real and incarnate.  Is now really the time we want to give up a symbol of Spirit and Courage, for what will inevitably be some gnostic symbol - "the flame?" Is that was today's church needs more of?  Or encouragement to live the Christian life with Spirit and Courage?

Paul R., who was a year behind me at seminary, followed me to the University of Chicago, where we both learned about the Crusades from Bernie McGinn and Susan Schreiner and others. Certainly, there were some positive cultural, intellectual, and economic developments from that crusading period--hence my conclusion about those centuries: It's a mixed, ambiguous history, as far as I'm concerned, but one that has mostly negative connotations, if not entirely negative consequences. Maybe you missed that line, Mark.

I'm sure Paul would agree that despite whatever positive cultural and economic outcomes may have inadvertently developed from those crusaders, the Crusaders' overall impact on civilian Jews, Muslims, Orthodox Christians, and Syrian and Armenian Christians was on balance negative, to put the matter mildly. While the image of Crusader can be romanticized or interpreted in mostly Christian vocational terms, that does an injustice to the horrific actions I mentioned, which certainly happened in abundance and on a large scale. Given those facts, the image of Crusader cannot be whitewashed to shed those negative connotations.

Give me the Flame or the Lightning (Blitz) any day over the Crusader. "In Thy Light We See Light" is our motto, not "Onward Christian Soldiers." (Yes, I'm partial to the kind of "Gnostic" Christian theology that Clement and Origen and Gregory Nyssa et al. set forth.)

It's hard for me to imagine Paul R. downplaying the violence of the Crusades; he sat in the same classes I did at Chicago and learned from the same scholars. The literature on the Crusades that has been published in the last three decades does provide more nuance, but not at the expense of the horrific events and atrocities committed by Latin Christians in the name of Christ.

As Luther points out, what the Crusaders by and large did was contrary to the explicit teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. It rubs against the true theology of the cross.

Matt Becker
P.S. A few years ago, I had Paul's daughter as one of my students in my honors section of the Christian Tradition. I remember visiting Paul and his wife shortly after that daughter was born. Time has flown....
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 13, 2021, 12:52:17 AM
They made the change because the crusader mascot was somehow in a convoluted way associated with the KKK. And your problem is that those who object are somehow overstating their case by making far off, exaggerated, and tenuous connections?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on February 13, 2021, 11:36:17 AM
So maybe Valpo should become The Lightning.  Or, Teutonically, Blitzen - The Blitz.
Dave Benke

I like this suggestion for two additional reasons:

(1) It ties nicely with Luther's experiential-spiritual turning point, when lightning was the catalyst for his decision to enter the Augustinian monastery; and

(2) It ties nicely with one of Valpo's strongest degree programs, meteorology.

Last night I thought of two other symbols that also connect with these two points:

The Valpo Flash

The Valpo Storm

(The Valpo Tornadoes is a bit over the top, imo.)

I sent my suggestions to our interim president, who told me yesterday that she'll be forwarding them on to the committee that will make the mascot recommendation.

Matt Becker
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: jebutler on February 13, 2021, 11:49:13 AM

The Valpo Flash


With red suits and lightning bolts across the front!
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on February 13, 2021, 11:51:14 AM

The Valpo Flash


With red suits and lightning bolts across the front!

Ha! Indeed--not.

We'd develop our own symbol and keep our traditional school colors....

But you got to admit, "The Valpo Flash" does have a nice ring to it, nicht wahr?

M. Becker
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mark Brown on February 13, 2021, 11:55:12 AM
Now we might be getting to the actual point and can set aside such childish things as mascots, as useful as they might be in uncovering implied theology.

The problem is 20th century theology's, especially Lutheran, childish and yes gnostic understanding of the Christian Life.  And asserting that Clement, Origin and Gregory would agree is almost to proclaim that they haven't been read.  The entire Heidelberg "Theology of the cross/glory" is a language game that does two things: a) it passive-aggressively neuters the life of sanctification, b) by doing so condemns the active Christian life that is intended to flow from Christ's work to an eternal mental childishness.  Any passage of scripture that suggests what we do with this life is meaningful is written off as a theology of glory that doesn't mentally grasp the cross. But such a teaching is not one that helps the new man arise and live in righteousness and purity, but a gnostic game that helps us get away with evil.  It is the very essence of Paul's rhetorical lament, "Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?"  Hell no.

For example from Origen's commentary on Romans:
Quote
This faith, when it has been justified, is firmly embedded in the soil of the soul like a root that has received rain, so that when it begins to be cultivated by God's law, branches arise from it that bring forth the fruit of works. The root of righteousness, therefore, does not grow out of the works, but rather the fruit of works grows out of the root of righteousness, that root, of course, of righteousness that God also credits even apart from works.

Or from Clement:
Quote
The name alone, indeed, without works, does not introduce into the kingdom of heaven; but, if a man be truly a believer, such an one can be saved. For, if a person be only called a believer in name, whilst he is not such in works, he cannot possibly be a believer. “Let no one,” therefore, “lead you astray with the empty words of error.” (Eph_5:6) For, merely because a person is called a virgin, if he be destitute of works excellent and comely, and suitable to virginity, he cannot possibly be saved.

Which of course is simply Augsburg VI on the New Obedience.  And a good teacher, far from obscuring things with babbling about Theologies of Glory, would commend an intentionality in those in whom the Spirit dwells. For to desire holiness is to desire God who is our only lasting consolation. Which is the encouragement of the Sermon on the Mount.  What begins with the poor in spirit, those without the Spirit, those who know they are poor miserable sinners, being given the Kingdom by grace moves outward not as an enclosed mental light, but a light put on a stand.  And that light shines so that other real people might see the good works and give glory to the Father.  And what is this fruitful life?  You have heard it said...but I say to you; the law is a good guide.  And added to that natural law, prayer, fasting and almsgiving; humble acts of piety, of walking humbly with God the Spirit dwelling.  And is this life haphazard? No!  Lay up for yourself treasure in heaven.  You can't serve two masters.  Be intentional about Who you are serving.  And yes, you will not be perfect at this.  Do not be anxious, your Father knows what you need.  Seek the Kingdom and His righteousness.

So we really need to turn to Augsburg XXI - On the Saints at this time, because that is what a mascot really is, an image of a saint.  And what does that say?

Quote
Of the Worship of Saints they teach that the memory of saints may be set before us, that we may follow their faith and good works, according to our calling, as the Emperor may follow the example of David in making war to drive away the Turk from his country.

Would I rather the imperfect, as we all are, image of a crusader, who did have faith and was attempting to express it in good works as their Emperors and Popes where proclaiming at the time, or some disincarnate image?  And the initial crusade might even qualify under ACXXI's allowance to make war to drive away the Turk from his country, as "the Holy Land" had been Byzantine and it was the Byzantine emperor that requested military help.  As blurry an image as a crusader is, it is still an image that faith and good works can be held up.  Inevitably what will be chosen could be just as much a symbol of any other religion.  The motto is "In Thy Light We See Light", but the connection to the "Thy" is what is being erased.  Which is doing the same thing as the theology, putting the light under a bushel.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 13, 2021, 12:32:44 PM
I'm struck, not by the Lightning, but by the story of Wheaton College in the post-Christian era and in our current century.  Pretty much the same process of determination about the same mascot with the same outcome - that the mascot no longer fit the mission of the college in its Christian engagement with the world.  There doesn't seem to have been much pushback, and the reception of the new mascot was met with thundering approval, so to speak. 

The only difference in Wheaton's case could have been that their most famous ever graduate, one Bill Graham, pretty much branded the word Crusade, as in The Billy Graham Crusade.  And I'll bet he was one of those arbitrating that his use of the word was to lead people to the cross of Christ, so the change to a different mascot was OK - on theological grounds.

The question remaining is whether there is any hue and cry at Valpo about the change.  Or is this forum pretty much the only place where it's a "thing?"  Not saying it's a bad "thing" or inappropriate, but just as a matter of discourse, are there many voices opposing the change?

Sort of to the side, but I participated in a zoom meeting with regard to Concordia Bronxville's closing with 400 people, and there were ongoing and substantial questions in a 2 hour Q/A.  The Valpo mascot issue doesn't feel at all like that to me and in many regards doesn't feel (absent data) like it's controversial at all..

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 13, 2021, 12:47:14 PM
So maybe Valpo should become The Lightning.  Or, Teutonically, Blitzen - The Blitz.
Dave Benke

I like this suggestion for two additional reasons:

(1) It ties nicely with Luther's experiential-spiritual turning point, when lightning was the catalyst for his decision to enter the Augustinian monastery; and

(2) It ties nicely with one of Valpo's strongest degree programs, meteorology.

Last night I thought of two other symbols that also connect with these two points:

The Valpo Flash

The Valpo Storm

(The Valpo Tornadoes is a bit over the top, imo.)

I sent my suggestions to our interim president, who told me yesterday that she'll be forwarding them on to the committee that will make the mascot recommendation.

Matt Becker
They changed it from Uhlans because of WWII, and you think Blitz helps out on that front? As for Lightning, how is Zeus's power symbol more of a theology of the cross thing? You think no hate groups have used lightning as a symbol? If I complained to the administration that I was offended by the lightning symbol, that complaint would (rightfully) go into the circular file. Which is were the complaints about the crusader mascot should have gone.

There is very little that can't be misconstrued by someone who is trying to misconstrue it. But people who are looking to be offended should not be catered to. The paper here yesterday contained in interview from a Muslim Valpo grad who works in sportscasting in Chicago. He said the Mascot never bothered him in the slightest when he was at Valpo even though he knew the history, but he went to say if people want it changed, no biggie, may as well change it. So a historically informed Muslim who worked closely with all the aspects of athletics as an undergrad didn't care. So who cared? People who were retroactively offended on his behalf or who make a habit of finding supposedly offensive things.

Right now there is basically an industry of finding things to be offended about. It takes a little bit of backbone to resist that movement, because they are relentless. Valpo had a perfect opportunity to do that. Instead, they caved.   
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 13, 2021, 01:31:32 PM
I'm struck, not by the Lightning, but by the story of Wheaton College in the post-Christian era and in our current century.  Pretty much the same process of determination about the same mascot with the same outcome - that the mascot no longer fit the mission of the college in its Christian engagement with the world.  There doesn't seem to have been much pushback, and the reception of the new mascot was met with thundering approval, so to speak. 

The only difference in Wheaton's case could have been that their most famous ever graduate, one Bill Graham, pretty much branded the word Crusade, as in The Billy Graham Crusade.  And I'll bet he was one of those arbitrating that his use of the word was to lead people to the cross of Christ, so the change to a different mascot was OK - on theological grounds.

The question remaining is whether there is any hue and cry at Valpo about the change.  Or is this forum pretty much the only place where it's a "thing?"  Not saying it's a bad "thing" or inappropriate, but just as a matter of discourse, are there many voices opposing the change?

Sort of to the side, but I participated in a zoom meeting with regard to Concordia Bronxville's closing with 400 people, and there were ongoing and substantial questions in a 2 hour Q/A.  The Valpo mascot issue doesn't feel at all like that to me and in many regards doesn't feel (absent data) like it's controversial at all..

Dave Benke
You're right. The mascot should not be a big deal. Which is why a task force to study the mascot is/was a dumb thing. The majoring in the minors came from the side that couldn't abide the mascot and thought a comprehensive study of the issue was a good use of time. There are particular contexts (a predominantly German church related university in America during WWII with a German fighter for a mascot, Billy Graham's alma mater with the word Crusade, etc.) where a change could be salutary and a task force to consider might be a good idea. But no such particular context applies in this case. It is just 2021 and iconoclasts are on the march and looking for things to be first aggrieved about. That's the only relevant contextual change that makes this task force something that happened now rather than fifteen or thirty years years ago. 

Yet you never step in to point out that people are making controversy where none exists when it comes to those seeking change. You're quick to do it when it comes to those who oppose the change. The pattern contributes to giving the inertia/momentum of the status quo to those seeking change. That's what they feed on. They have demonstrated that they'll keep pushing until they meet resistance, and then they'll try to make an example out of that resistance. You can try to pretend this change at Valpo is not part of the nationwide movement of general iconoclasm against symbols of Western Civilization, but deep down you know better. This mascot change is just one more trophy for the iconoclasts. And that is all it is. It has nothing to do with the theology of the cross vs the theology of glory (Blitz, for heaven's sake) or Luther's view of the Crusades. "Yep, the mob came for us, and the mob won," is what a person trained to call a thing what it is does in this case.     

 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 13, 2021, 01:43:43 PM
I'm struck, not by the Lightning, but by the story of Wheaton College in the post-Christian era and in our current century.  Pretty much the same process of determination about the same mascot with the same outcome - that the mascot no longer fit the mission of the college in its Christian engagement with the world.  There doesn't seem to have been much pushback, and the reception of the new mascot was met with thundering approval, so to speak. 

The only difference in Wheaton's case could have been that their most famous ever graduate, one Bill Graham, pretty much branded the word Crusade, as in The Billy Graham Crusade.  And I'll bet he was one of those arbitrating that his use of the word was to lead people to the cross of Christ, so the change to a different mascot was OK - on theological grounds.

The question remaining is whether there is any hue and cry at Valpo about the change.  Or is this forum pretty much the only place where it's a "thing?"  Not saying it's a bad "thing" or inappropriate, but just as a matter of discourse, are there many voices opposing the change?

Sort of to the side, but I participated in a zoom meeting with regard to Concordia Bronxville's closing with 400 people, and there were ongoing and substantial questions in a 2 hour Q/A.  The Valpo mascot issue doesn't feel at all like that to me and in many regards doesn't feel (absent data) like it's controversial at all..

Dave Benke
You're right. The mascot should not be a big deal. Which is why a task force to study the mascot is/was a dumb thing. The majoring in the minors came from the side that couldn't abide the mascot and thought a comprehensive study of the issue was a good use of time. There are particular contexts (a predominantly German church related university in America during WWII with a German fighter for a mascot, Billy Graham's alma mater with the word Crusade, etc.) where a change could be salutary and a task force to consider might be a good idea. But no such particular context applies in this case. It is just 2021 and iconoclasts on the march and looking to be first aggrieved about. That's the only relevant contextual change that makes this task force something that happened now rather than fifteen or thirty years years ago. 

Yet you never step in to point out that people are making controversy where none exists when it comes to those seeking change. You're quick to do it when it comes to those who oppose to the change. The pattern contributes to giving the inertia/momentum of the status quo to those seeking change. That's what they feed on. They have demonstrated that they'll keep pushing until they meet resistance, and then they'll try to make an example out of that resistance. You can try to pretend this change at Valpo is not part of the nationwide movement of general iconoclasm against symbols of Western Civilization, but deep down you know better. This mascot change is just one more trophy for the iconoclasts. And that is all it is. It has nothing to do with the theology of the cross vs the theology of glory (Blitz, for heaven's sake) or Luther's view of the Crusades. "Yep, the mob came for us, and the mob won," is what a person trained to call a things what it is does in this case.     

 

First, I don't think Wheaton changed the mascot because Billy Graham asked them to.  They changed it because, after a goodly time of exploration together as a community, involving all of what we now call stakeholders, they thought it didn't fit.   Did the Iconoclasts shout out songs of victory when Wheaton changed?  I think people all along the spectrum said, "Hmm.  They took some time, made a decision, and it sounds like they believe it fits with their mission better to go a different way." 

Second, Thunder and Lightning are specific biblical symbols of Theophany.  This is not a bad thing for Baptist and Lutheran school mascots.  It's a good thing for Baptist and Lutheran school mascots.

Here's a nice little article explaining it:  https://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/RoskoskiJ03.pdf
Ergo in the end not a caving to the culture or a pandering to change but a powerful image of God over all cultures, Ruler of wind and wave.
 "Change and decay in all around I see/O Thou who changest not/abide with me." 

As you may gather, as a son of an alumna, I'm pushing for the theme of Light for the new mascot:
Flame
Lightning
Flash

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 13, 2021, 01:51:00 PM
If the problem with the Crusaders mascot is its association with the KKK, how could Flame with the image of flaming crosses be any better?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 13, 2021, 02:26:37 PM

First, I don't think Wheaton changed the mascot because Billy Graham asked them to.  They changed it because, after a goodly time of exploration together as a community, involving all of what we now call stakeholders, they thought it didn't fit.   Did the Iconoclasts shout out songs of victory when Wheaton changed?  I think people all along the spectrum said, "Hmm.  They took some time, made a decision, and it sounds like they believe it fits with their mission better to go a different way." 

Second, Thunder and Lightning are specific biblical symbols of Theophany.  This is not a bad thing for Baptist and Lutheran school mascots.  It's a good thing for Baptist and Lutheran school mascots.

Here's a nice little article explaining it:  https://www.biblicaltheology.com/Research/RoskoskiJ03.pdf
Ergo in the end not a caving to the culture or a pandering to change but a powerful image of God over all cultures, Ruler of wind and wave.
 "Change and decay in all around I see/O Thou who changest not/abide with me." 

As you may gather, as a son of an alumna, I'm pushing for the theme of Light for the new mascot:
Flame
Lightning
Flash

Dave Benke
Wheaton didn't change it during a nationwide iconoclastic uprising. Context.

Thunder and lightning are Biblical. They are also closely associated with other things, some of them decidedly bad. Swords and armor are also Biblical, like the Crusader mascot wore. If you're justifying the change from Crusaders because of association of the symbols, then it is not enough to point out that the replacement is fine and Biblical; it must not be similarly relatable to un-Christian things. Otherwise they're just applying criteria selectively to justify their desired outcome.

Call a thing what it is. This was surrender to a mob, not a reflection on the theology of the cross. Not a huge deal. It was a mascot, not the cross in the chapel. Just a little pinch of incense to the idol of wokeness. No biggie.   
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peterm on February 14, 2021, 11:21:38 AM
There was a time when I was ready to fight to retain Valpo within the larger circle of LCMS schools.  After that video, I am ready to renounce all claims.  That was a joke and an offense to a real university and real education.  Sure, there was the obligatory nod toward values and faith -- whatever faith means since Lutheran was not mentioned.  There was the obligatory research to find something objectionable to justify the retirement -- the lame association with a KKK paper.  And then there was the ridiculous idea that somehow this mattered to the school's identity, mission, and legacy.  Really?  It matters only to those who want it to matter -- those with a liberal agenda.  It does not matter to anyone else.  Welcome to cancel culture university edition.

In the last couple months I have spent many days on the Valparaiso campus with my son who is an incoming freshman.  For many years before that we visited campus both during and outside of the Lutheran Summer Music Academy.  I have found the Lutheran identity to be quite strong and quite evident in the chapel life, in the classes that my son and I sat in on and in many other places.  When we were there last week I engaged in conversation with both campus pastors, and many students involved in campus ministry.  I find the engagement with Lutheran identity to be at least as robust as other Lutheran colleges and universities I have visited or attended
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Likeness on February 14, 2021, 12:22:26 PM
It has been 20 years since I was on the campus of Valpo.  I was there to conduct
a wedding of one of the members of our parish.  The Chapel of The Resurrection
is the focal point of the campus and a beautiful building in which to worship our Lord.
The wedding was  on the main floor of the Chapel where numerous steps  lead to
the altar.  It would be  my fervent hope and prayer that the Chapel would continue to
be a source of Word and Sacrament to those students who worship there.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 14, 2021, 12:44:46 PM
There was a time when I was ready to fight to retain Valpo within the larger circle of LCMS schools.  After that video, I am ready to renounce all claims.  That was a joke and an offense to a real university and real education.  Sure, there was the obligatory nod toward values and faith -- whatever faith means since Lutheran was not mentioned.  There was the obligatory research to find something objectionable to justify the retirement -- the lame association with a KKK paper.  And then there was the ridiculous idea that somehow this mattered to the school's identity, mission, and legacy.  Really?  It matters only to those who want it to matter -- those with a liberal agenda.  It does not matter to anyone else.  Welcome to cancel culture university edition.

In the last couple months I have spent many days on the Valparaiso campus with my son who is an incoming freshman.  For many years before that we visited campus both during and outside of the Lutheran Summer Music Academy.  I have found the Lutheran identity to be quite strong and quite evident in the chapel life, in the classes that my son and I sat in on and in many other places.  When we were there last week I engaged in conversation with both campus pastors, and many students involved in campus ministry.  I find the engagement with Lutheran identity to be at least as robust as other Lutheran colleges and universities I have visited or attended

That's really great to hear - blessings on your son and on Valparaiso!

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: D. Engebretson on February 14, 2021, 01:42:26 PM
"The Lutheran identity."  It was mentioned with the definite article, which indicates a singular, more definitive identity under the banner of Lutheran.  Recently CTS-FW sent out its Concordia Theological Quarterly for January of 2021, and the last article in the journal is one written by Dr. Peter Scaer entitled: "At Home in the Body: Lutheran Identity."  But I suspect the "Lutheran identity" he describes will not be agreed to by all here. In fact, I know it won't.  Although we like to describe an institution of higher learning as having "the Lutheran identity," I think we all would admit that as we have discovered here, it is more like "a Lutheran identity." The indefinite article best describes the myriad of things we think define the Lutheranism of a school, but in no way create a unified picture, and sometimes describe clearly conflicting images under the Reformer's name.  Can we even give a good definition of what constitutes Lutheran identity to which most Lutherans might subscribe? I have my doubts.

Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 14, 2021, 03:53:39 PM
"The Lutheran identity."  It was mentioned with the definite article, which indicates a singular, more definitive identity under the banner of Lutheran.  Recently CTS-FW sent out its Concordia Theological Quarterly for January of 2021, and the last article in the journal is one written by Dr. Peter Scaer entitled: "At Home in the Body: Lutheran Identity."  But I suspect the "Lutheran identity" he describes will not be agreed to by all here. In fact, I know it won't.  Although we like to describe an institution of higher learning as having "the Lutheran identity," I think we all would admit that as we have discovered here, it is more like "a Lutheran identity." The indefinite article best describes the myriad of things we think define the Lutheranism of a school, but in no way create a unified picture, and sometimes describe clearly conflicting images under the Reformer's name.  Can we even give a good definition of what constitutes Lutheran identity to which most Lutherans might subscribe? I have my doubts.

Thanks for the reference, Don, and the thoughts on the difficulty of finding a "definite" article for Lutheran Identity.

A starting point for Lutheran identity might be Evangelical Catholicism and what that means and entails.  The last issue of Lutheran Forum gives good witness, with a half dozen articles on the topic.   Scaer's article, it should be noted, doesn't deal with the Gospel at all, nor forgiveness, nor the Sacraments, but is an extended catalog of cultural identity sins. 

Several years ago now the CUS system had each Concordia come up with its concept of Lutheran identity in its offerings and mission.  I had a copy of the Lutheran Identity outline that Paul Sauer and colleagues drew up for the almost-late-much-lamented Concordia Bronxville.  That then was put in context of the overarching Lutheran Identity effort by CUS itself, and will, I think, form the basis for the new arrangement to be coming out of LCMS Inc. at some time in the relatively near future.  That's my recollection.

I will say that if and as Lutheran Identity discussion strays in any significant way from the local assembly of believers gathered around the Gospel and the Sacraments it's going to lose its way quickly.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Augsburg Catholic on February 14, 2021, 04:46:48 PM
Lutheran identity was definitely much easier when church work programs were at the core and center of the school.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 14, 2021, 07:02:03 PM
Lutheran identity was definitely much easier when church work programs were at the core and center of the school.
I think a big part of it is simply a critical mass of students who grew up Lutheran. The classes are great, but you can take classes online. A lot of college is the experience, which means the Lutheran identity won't be expressed doctrinally so much as culturally. I remember in our Christ College freshman production one line that got a big laugh was when the main character in the musical was too into himself at the office to take a call from his mother, so he told the receptionist to talk with her. The receptionist did one of the Bob Newhart, one side of the conversation shticks, that included, "No, I don't think he has found a good Missouri Synod girl," and then putting her hand over the phone and turning to the audience and saying, "what is a Missouri synod?"

The CC freshman class wasn't heavily LCMS, but everyone sensed that it served as a cultural focal point. My in-laws me at Valpo in the 60's. He was from New York, she was from Florida, but VU was a place where Lutherans met other other Lutherans. The problem with the drastic drifting apart of the Lutheran synods doctrinally, the worship wars, and the general decline of Christianity in the U.S. is that shared Lutheranism doesn't say as much as it used to. VU has had a greater percentage of Catholics than LCMS Lutherans for a long time, and from what I understand, greater attendance and participation at the St. Theresa Catholic student center/congregation than at the chapel. And the new president is Catholic. What keeps VU's Lutheran identity is inertia. My incoming freshman daughter might meet peterm's incoming freshman son; that kind of thing. (Sorry, my daughter already has a boyfriend). This is what I think VU is squandering.

At church this morning I heard from several people who were VU grads themselves (we have tons of them at St. Paul's) or whose kids had gone to Valpo. I got precisely zero positive feedback about the change. It ranged from bemused eye-rolling to anger, but nobody said, "Thank goodness we finally got rid of that Crusader mascot."

As I said upstream, my connection to Valpo runs deep. But it is also being totally taken for granted, which irks me to no end.   
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 14, 2021, 07:39:38 PM
Lutheran identity was definitely much easier when church work programs were at the core and center of the school.

No doubt, at least in the Missouri Synod framework, and maybe (?don't know for sure) the WELS. 

First of all, though, the pool was so much deeper then, in terms of young people, family size, people connected for generations.  And even though they didn't pay that well, those positions - Lutheran teacher and Lutheran preacher - were respected and were paid at a level somewhat connected to the middle class, or at least the lower middle class.

How would/could you recruit girls and boys to a prep school for church work vocations today?  It would have to be a boarding school because you'd have to recruit well beyond one city or region.  The Concordia Prep schools were boarding schools, to large extent, but we had 100 boys (no girls so clergy only) in each prep school class.  At one of what was then 12 prep locations nationwide.  If all of us would have completed, we could have taken over the world.  Thankfully, I guess, the great weeding took place and about a quarter of us made it to the end. 

And now there are none. 

I don't know how the diocesan preparatory academies have gone in Roman Catholicism, but I think there are way fewer than there once were. 

I will say that Lutheran identity was pretty much coded into our being by the time we left Milwaukee after six years.  Although when we got there we were already well along the way.  Which is to go back to the main point.  Lutheranism was a substantial enterprise across the board 50 plus years ago.  That is no longer the case.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 14, 2021, 08:07:17 PM
Lutheran identity was definitely much easier when church work programs were at the core and center of the school.

No doubt, at least in the Missouri Synod framework, and maybe (?don't know for sure) the WELS. 

First of all, though, the pool was so much deeper then, in terms of young people, family size, people connected for generations.  And even though they didn't pay that well, those positions - Lutheran teacher and Lutheran preacher - were respected and were paid at a level somewhat connected to the middle class, or at least the lower middle class.

How would/could you recruit girls and boys to a prep school for church work vocations today?  It would have to be a boarding school because you'd have to recruit well beyond one city or region.  The Concordia Prep schools were boarding schools, to large extent, but we had 100 boys (no girls so clergy only) in each prep school class.  At one of what was then 12 prep locations nationwide.  If all of us would have completed, we could have taken over the world.  Thankfully, I guess, the great weeding took place and about a quarter of us made it to the end. 

And now there are none. 

I don't know how the diocesan preparatory academies have gone in Roman Catholicism, but I think there are way fewer than there once were. 

I will say that Lutheran identity was pretty much coded into our being by the time we left Milwaukee after six years.  Although when we got there we were already well along the way.  Which is to go back to the main point.  Lutheranism was a substantial enterprise across the board 50 plus years ago.  That is no longer the case.

Dave Benke
Both my parents went off to boarding school for 9th grade. My dad went for one year to Concordia-Milwaukee. Had the same dorm room that Walt Wangerin later had. But he hated it and was miserably homesick. My grandparents made him finish the year he'd started, but relented and let him come home for high school. My mom went from Canada to Seward, Nebraska for high school and college. She couldn't even always go home for breaks, and certainly couldn't afford a lot of long distance calls.

When I was in Green Bay the secretary asked about the differences between the WELS and LCMS. Her son wanted to go to the WELS boarding high school in Watertown, Wisconsin, but he'd have to become WELS to fit in. For whatever reason, he loved it there, and the family became WELS, which made sense since they had WELS roots and they lived much closer to a WELS congregation anyway. I think boarding high school cold be a great thing for a lot of people. But think of the costs. Just paying for regular Lutheran high school is way out of reach for a lot of people. Imagine adding room and board to that, and 24/7 supervision. I think that is an era that has come and gone for the most part. The WELS has a an admirable hard core dedication to keeping it alive. I wish them well, but I suspect they're behind the eight ball, too.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: jebutler on February 14, 2021, 08:19:00 PM

And now there are none. 


Correction: and now there is one. My alma mater, St. Paul's Lutheran High School in Concordia, MO (known as St. Paul's College and College High when I was there).

I was there from my sophomore year of high school to my sophomore year of college (or as we put it, from Quinta to Prima). I loved it. Whenever I'm in the KC area, I always try to stop by Concordia, see my old home of Biltz dorm, have lunch at Topsy's Cafe, and ice cream at Cree Mee Freeze. I developed friends that I've known ever since. I'm amazed at what many of my fellow Saints of that era have done.

Having been one of the last of the system guys, I really got to understand how awful the walk out era was for the LCMS. Many of the guys who were in that battle had known each other since they were 14. They survived the hazing, adolescence, first dates, and a host of other things together. To be arguing and divided then had to be a hard and emotionally difficult thing for them.

 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on February 14, 2021, 09:21:12 PM

And now there are none. 


Correction: and now there is one. My alma mater, St. Paul's Lutheran High School in Concordia, MO (known as St. Paul's College and College High when I was there).

I was there from my sophomore year of high school to my sophomore year of college (or as we put it, from Quinta to Prima). I loved it. Whenever I'm in the KC area, I always try to stop by Concordia, see my old home of Biltz dorm, have lunch at Topsy's Cafe, and ice cream at Cree Mee Freeze. I developed friends that I've known ever since. I'm amazed at what many of my fellow Saints of that era have done.

Having been one of the last of the system guys, I really got to understand how awful the walk out era was for the LCMS. Many of the guys who were in that battle had known each other since they were 14. They survived the hazing, adolescence, first dates, and a host of other things together. To be arguing and divided then had to be a hard and emotionally difficult thing for them.

Them = us = me.  Dave Likeness and I were at what I think was the zenith of the system in terms of its post-WWII output.   I was at St. Louis in the summer of '73 on my way out to NYC.  As it happened.  Boom. 

St. Paul Concordia, dude.  Those dudes were batpoop crazy.  Like us.  We hung out a lot.  One was the best man at my wedding.  But they were nuts.  When we all met up at Ft. Wayne it was amazing how different and yet how similar we were.  A guy like you who was not A Six Year Man, which was the definition of a Human Being, had a chance to become a Human Being, but had to kind of figure it out.  Same with those who came for Junior College.  Because by then we already had our various rat packs. 

Nobody much tells the stories of the prep system, the old junior college system.  Thinking back, as Peter's dad found out, the first months there were really hard on us 14 year olds.  The rule was zero trips home and zero trips from home to you for the first six weeks.  Maybe through October.  Cold turkey.  Lots of late night sniffling.  And then of course the hazing and the rituals of adolescence, the Animal Farm of it all.  In that sense it was great in its way - unique. 

At some point the prep hoops team (Milwaukee was all about varsity hoops and varsity swimming - Ackmann's pool, and in its way was a jockocracy) played St. John's Military Academy in Delavan.  We beat 'em, of course, but spent time in their rooms.  It was dead-on absolutely the same system with uniforms and military nomenclature.  Plus we got the catechism and all those languages.  But same lifestyle. 

The thing I will say is that there was an understanding that we were adolescent males, would act out and sow some wild oats, and within pretty well-known boundaries, that was OK.  The school was in that era 'in loco parentis.'  And the unspoken agreement was that if the school didn't tell the parents all the stuff we did, we wouldn't tell the parents all the stuff the school did.  And we did have, in abundance, the Lutheran culture. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 14, 2021, 10:23:19 PM

And now there are none. 


Correction: and now there is one. My alma mater, St. Paul's Lutheran High School in Concordia, MO (known as St. Paul's College and College High when I was there).

I was there from my sophomore year of high school to my sophomore year of college (or as we put it, from Quinta to Prima). I loved it. Whenever I'm in the KC area, I always try to stop by Concordia, see my old home of Biltz dorm, have lunch at Topsy's Cafe, and ice cream at Cree Mee Freeze. I developed friends that I've known ever since. I'm amazed at what many of my fellow Saints of that era have done.

Having been one of the last of the system guys, I really got to understand how awful the walk out era was for the LCMS. Many of the guys who were in that battle had known each other since they were 14. They survived the hazing, adolescence, first dates, and a host of other things together. To be arguing and divided then had to be a hard and emotionally difficult thing for them.

Them = us = me.  Dave Likeness and I were at what I think was the zenith of the system in terms of its post-WWII output.   I was at St. Louis in the summer of '73 on my way out to NYC.  As it happened.  Boom. 

St. Paul Concordia, dude.  Those dudes were batpoop crazy.  Like us.  We hung out a lot.  One was the best man at my wedding.  But they were nuts.  When we all met up at Ft. Wayne it was amazing how different and yet how similar we were.  A guy like you who was not A Six Year Man, which was the definition of a Human Being, had a chance to become a Human Being, but had to kind of figure it out.  Same with those who came for Junior College.  Because by then we already had our various rat packs. 

Nobody much tells the stories of the prep system, the old junior college system.  Thinking back, as Peter's dad found out, the first months there were really hard on us 14 year olds.  The rule was zero trips home and zero trips from home to you for the first six weeks.  Maybe through October.  Cold turkey.  Lots of late night sniffling.  And then of course the hazing and the rituals of adolescence, the Animal Farm of it all.  In that sense it was great in its way - unique. 

At some point the prep hoops team (Milwaukee was all about varsity hoops and varsity swimming - Ackmann's pool, and in its way was a jockocracy) played St. John's Military Academy in Delavan.  We beat 'em, of course, but spent time in their rooms.  It was dead-on absolutely the same system with uniforms and military nomenclature.  Plus we got the catechism and all those languages.  But same lifestyle. 

The thing I will say is that there was an understanding that we were adolescent males, would act out and sow some wild oats, and within pretty well-known boundaries, that was OK.  The school was in that era 'in loco parentis.'  And the unspoken agreement was that if the school didn't tell the parents all the stuff we did, we wouldn't tell the parents all the stuff the school did.  And we did have, in abundance, the Lutheran culture. 

Dave Benke
Well stated. The past has glories all its own. Every funeral is the burial of an era. There are time I wish I were fifteen years older, and times I wish I were fifteen years younger. Or thirty years either way. But as Gandalf would say, that is not for us to choose. The only thing we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. For a pastor and family man, to be 51 in 2021 is something of a wild ride.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Likeness on February 14, 2021, 10:56:20 PM
Bishop Benke is correct.  The old LCMS System of 12 years for pre-ministerial students
was built on Lutheran culture.   The fact is that many of my classmates and I at Concordia
High School, Milwaukee had graduated from 8 years of a Lutheran Elementary School.
This adds up for me sitting in LCMS classrooms for 19 years plus 1 year of vicarage.

My only co-education took place in grade school and after that it was all male classrooms
with all male professors.  The good news is that we received a top-notch classic education.
In Milwaukee, my Christian Doctrine class as a freshman in college was taught by Prof. Ewald
Plass, a Luther scholar.  It was really an in depth look at Lutheran doctrine that made a lasting
impression on me.  He also held up the pastoral ministry as a calling that God would bless.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on February 15, 2021, 01:24:26 AM
"The Lutheran identity."  It was mentioned with the definite article, which indicates a singular, more definitive identity under the banner of Lutheran.  Recently CTS-FW sent out its Concordia Theological Quarterly for January of 2021, and the last article in the journal is one written by Dr. Peter Scaer entitled: "At Home in the Body: Lutheran Identity."  But I suspect the "Lutheran identity" he describes will not be agreed to by all here. In fact, I know it won't.  Although we like to describe an institution of higher learning as having "the Lutheran identity," I think we all would admit that as we have discovered here, it is more like "a Lutheran identity." The indefinite article best describes the myriad of things we think define the Lutheranism of a school, but in no way create a unified picture, and sometimes describe clearly conflicting images under the Reformer's name.  Can we even give a good definition of what constitutes Lutheran identity to which most Lutherans might subscribe? I have my doubts.


Lutheran Identity as well as Christian Identity might be pictured as a series of circles, like a target (see attachment). The essential core beliefs are in the center then increasingly less important ones moving towards the outer circles. I believe that the ELCA's Confessions of Faith does that.


In the core circle are:
     Confessing the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
     Confessing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
     Confessing the Gospel as the power of God for salvation for all who believe.
In the next circle is the acceptance of Scriptures as the inspired Word of God.
Next is the acceptance of the three ecumenical creeds: Apostles', Nicene, & Athanasian.
Next is the acceptance of the Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel.
Next is the acceptance of the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord.


Other may put these in a slightly different hierarchy or subtract or add things to them.


How far out from the core does one have to go to maintain a "Christian Identity." I do not consider Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses to be Christians because they do not confess the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.


Yet, I can consider those earliest believers to be Christians even though they did not have the New Testament as the inspired word of God; and almost no one had copies of the Old Testament (and few would have been able to read it). They did have their confession about the Trinity, e.g., baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Matthew and in the Didache, Jesus as Savior and Lord, and knew the power of the Gospel for salvation.


There are denominations today who do not confess the ecumenical creeds; others who include them with some other credal statements they use. I don't consider them outside of the Christian identity.


Does one have to go to the outer circle, all the documents in the Book of Concord for a Lutheran Identity? Not all of them are accepted by all Lutheran denominations around the world.


Who establishes the identity? Zion Lutheran Church in Worland, WY had been E&R which merged into the UCC. That's what they were when a friend served the ELCA congregation in town. Since then they've become independent, but self-identify as "Lutheran." From what I know, that means they used Luther's Small Catechism in confirmation classes. My friend said that it was hard to convince new-comers to town that Zion was not a Lutheran Church, when the big letters on the sign in the front of the building says, "Lutheran."


The folks at Valpo (as well as all the other Lutheran universities) identify themselves as "Lutheran." I would think that those who question that would have to show where they fail to be Lutheran. That is, what are they doing that would disqualify them from calling themselves Lutheran?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on February 15, 2021, 01:41:49 AM
Bishop Benke is correct.  The old LCMS System of 12 years for pre-ministerial students
was built on Lutheran culture.   The fact is that many of my classmates and I at Concordia
High School, Milwaukee had graduated from 8 years of a Lutheran Elementary School.
This adds up for me sitting in LCMS classrooms for 19 years plus 1 year of vicarage.

My only co-education took place in grade school and after that it was all male classrooms
with all male professors.  The good news is that we received a top-notch classic education.
In Milwaukee, my Christian Doctrine class as a freshman in college was taught by Prof. Ewald
Plass, a Luther scholar.  It was really an in depth look at Lutheran doctrine that made a lasting
impression on me.  He also held up the pastoral ministry as a calling that God would bless.


When I went to Concordia-Portland back in '69-'71, I believe all 180 students were members of Lutheran Congregations. They only offered two tracks: education (with students usually transferring to Seward,) and pre-seminary (with students transferring to the Sr. College at Ft. Wayne). (I got married and transferred to a State school in Washington and got my BA in one year.) There was also a high school on campus. Some of the students had never attended a non-LCMS school.

A relative, a few years ago, went to Concordia U in Portland to get her Masters in Education. I believe that they had around 6000 students when she went. She had never belonged to a Lutheran Congregation (or even a mainline congregation). She had no plans of teaching in a Lutheran school. It was an easy way to get the advanced degree in her hometown. The school's identity had changed.

Another school I attended went through an identity change, too; and it no longer exists. The Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle was a non-credited two-year Bible school. (I only went one year.) In the mid 70s they expanded and working with a college in Seattle, offered a credited Bachelor's Degree. They'd become a four-year school. They moved to a larger campus in Issaquah, WA, changed their name to Trinity Lutheran College. They ended up selling that campus, moved to an office building in Everett, WA. They closed up shop in 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_Lutheran_College_(Washington)
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Jeremy_Loesch on February 15, 2021, 06:32:44 AM

And now there are none. 


Correction: and now there is one. My alma mater, St. Paul's Lutheran High School in Concordia, MO (known as St. Paul's College and College High when I was there).

I was there from my sophomore year of high school to my sophomore year of college (or as we put it, from Quinta to Prima). I loved it. Whenever I'm in the KC area, I always try to stop by Concordia, see my old home of Biltz dorm, have lunch at Topsy's Cafe, and ice cream at Cree Mee Freeze. I developed friends that I've known ever since. I'm amazed at what many of my fellow Saints of that era have done.

Having been one of the last of the system guys, I really got to understand how awful the walk out era was for the LCMS. Many of the guys who were in that battle had known each other since they were 14. They survived the hazing, adolescence, first dates, and a host of other things together. To be arguing and divided then had to be a hard and emotionally difficult thing for them.

Cree Mee Freeze. Their kid cones are huge! My littlest ones think they are big kids because of the size.

I do a committal service out at St. Paul's cemetery every so often and if it's summertime, that is where I get my daily bread. And since my parents relocated to KC, we have about ten St. Paul's students or Concordia residents in our congregation.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: John_Hannah on February 15, 2021, 09:25:43 AM
"The Lutheran identity."  It was mentioned with the definite article, which indicates a singular, more definitive identity under the banner of Lutheran.  Recently CTS-FW sent out its Concordia Theological Quarterly for January of 2021, and the last article in the journal is one written by Dr. Peter Scaer entitled: "At Home in the Body: Lutheran Identity."  But I suspect the "Lutheran identity" he describes will not be agreed to by all here. In fact, I know it won't.  Although we like to describe an institution of higher learning as having "the Lutheran identity," I think we all would admit that as we have discovered here, it is more like "a Lutheran identity." The indefinite article best describes the myriad of things we think define the Lutheranism of a school, but in no way create a unified picture, and sometimes describe clearly conflicting images under the Reformer's name.  Can we even give a good definition of what constitutes Lutheran identity to which most Lutherans might subscribe? I have my doubts.

Thanks for the reference, Don, and the thoughts on the difficulty of finding a "definite" article for Lutheran Identity.

A starting point for Lutheran identity might be Evangelical Catholicism and what that means and entails.  The last issue of Lutheran Forum gives good witness, with a half dozen articles on the topic.   Scaer's article, it should be noted, doesn't deal with the Gospel at all, nor forgiveness, nor the Sacraments, but is an extended catalog of cultural identity sins. 

Several years ago now the CUS system had each Concordia come up with its concept of Lutheran identity in its offerings and mission.  I had a copy of the Lutheran Identity outline that Paul Sauer and colleagues drew up for the almost-late-much-lamented Concordia Bronxville.  That then was put in context of the overarching Lutheran Identity effort by CUS itself, and will, I think, form the basis for the new arrangement to be coming out of LCMS Inc. at some time in the relatively near future.  That's my recollection.

I will say that if and as Lutheran Identity discussion strays in any significant way from the local assembly of believers gathered around the Gospel and the Sacraments it's going to lose its way quickly.

Dave Benke

I will say that if and as Lutheran Identity discussion strays in any significant way from the local assembly of believers gathered around the Gospel and the Sacraments it's going to lose its way quickly.

AMEN to that!

The last issue of Lutheran Forum gives good witness, with a half dozen articles on the topic.

Right! I got mine only yesterday (thanks for nothing, USPS) but a quick review suggests it will be rich in resources for understanding Lutheran identity.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Likeness on February 16, 2021, 08:49:31 AM
Yesterday, the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper had an article on its sports pages about
the demise of the Valpo mascot.  Part of the headline read "The Power of Words".
The article stated that for the past 79 years Crusaders has been part of the Valpo sports
scene.  Adam Amin was interviewed for the article.  He is the Chicago Bulls play by play
announcer.  Adam is also a Valpo grad and a Muslim. When asked about the name change
he stated: "It all depends on how important symbolism is to you"

This sports page article mentioned that Crusaders were Christian Warriors in the Middle
Ages who killed Jews, Muslims, and non-Christians.  Valpo is only 55 miles east of Chicago.
It seemed strange to see this article in the sports section of a major newspaper.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 16, 2021, 09:20:06 AM
Yesterday, the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper had an article on its sports pages about
the demise of the Valpo mascot.  Part of the headline read "The Power of Words".
The article stated that for the past 79 years Crusaders has been part of the Valpo sports
scene.  Adam Amin was interviewed for the article.  He is the Chicago Bulls play by play
announcer.  Adam is also a Valpo grad and a Muslim. When asked about the name change
he stated: "It all depends on how important symbolism is to you"

This sports page article mentioned that Crusaders were Christian Warriors in the Middle
Ages who killed Jews, Muslims, and non-Christians.  Valpo is only 55 miles east of Chicago.
It seemed strange to see this article in the sports section of a major newspaper.
Amin also said (in another paper several days ago, not the Sun-Times, but either the Tribune or the NWI Times) that he knew all about the history of the crusades before he went to Valpo, and spent his academic career in sports broadcasting working closely with the Crusader teams and the nickname and mascot never bothered him in the slightest.

The key whether people come to a place willing to adjust themselves and become a part of the pre-existing identity of the place. Amin obviously was able to do that. Too many people today are on a campaign to reform a place before they've been formed by it. If I went to a Muslim school and they were the Saracens or some such (as believe some teams are named), I would never ask that they change it for my sake.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 16, 2021, 03:46:18 PM
https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/suicide-of-the-humanities-dan-el-padilla-peralta-classics/

While this article deals specifically with Classics, I think the crusaders brouhaha fits into the framework of the same discussion. 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 18, 2021, 10:44:00 AM
https://www.thecollegefix.com/valparaiso-shuts-down-facebook-comments-amid-backlash-for-ditching-crusaders-mascot/
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on February 18, 2021, 11:01:56 AM
One might conclude that the level of opposition to the change is covered in the comment of the person who said the change represented a “complete Islamic takeover“ of the school.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Steven W Bohler on February 18, 2021, 11:45:09 AM
https://www.thecollegefix.com/valparaiso-shuts-down-facebook-comments-amid-backlash-for-ditching-crusaders-mascot/

What I most enjoyed about the article was this note at the bottom of the page:

"The College Fix has temporarily suspended comments, as independent-minded websites like ours try to survive cancel culture and social-media hostility. In the meantime, please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble and Parler. Also follow us as we grow our social media presence on alternative platforms such as MeWe, Telegram, Rumble and others."

Isn't that the same thing (and probably for the same reason) as what they are writing Valpo did?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: therevev on February 18, 2021, 11:48:54 AM
I read the article on college fix. I think the lack of transparency on the survey is troubling. I know I filled out the survey and in the comments section I made sure to point out that this change is a distraction from the real work of identifying and maintaining the mission of the school.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 18, 2021, 11:53:01 AM
One might conclude that the level of opposition to the change is covered in the comment of the person who said the change represented a “complete Islamic takeover“ of the school.
It has become an all too standard response to controversy to paint those who hold a position opposed to ones own with the brush of those on the most extreme fringe of that opposing side. Thus all those who opposed the change in mascot hold the outlandish position that it represented a "complete Islamic takeover" of the school. And those who supported the change were simply caving into the cancel culture and ignoring true history. Thus one can simply dismiss opposing views as those of the ignorant, the craven, the foolish, the apostate, or the lunatic fringe. One need not engage in honest discussion or try to see their concerns.


So no, Charles, we should not conclude that the level of opposition to the the change is all on the level of the "complete Islamic takeover" of the school comment. That you cannot see the issues being raised as worthy of consideration says something about your ability to see beyond your own opinions or empathize with those who do not think just like you.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 18, 2021, 12:22:49 PM
Something that I have failed to understand is how the European Christian invasion of what had become Muslim Palestine in the Crusades was a crime against humanity, an indelible black stain on the honor of Christianity and the West, while the Islamic invasion of Palestine, the destruction of the Christian communities of North Africa, conquest of Byzantium, conquest of Spain, conquest of the Balkans and Greece, and invasion of Eastern Europe was apparently just fine and dandy? Were they not the Islamic Crusades?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Michael Slusser on February 18, 2021, 12:23:54 PM
According to the Valpo Torch, the campaign to change the mascot was driven by two alumni:
Quote
The issue of whether the Crusader has reflected Valpo values has been an ongoing conversation for decades. It recently gained momentum in June 2020 when a Facebook group composed of alumni, students and faculty gained popularity.

The group entitled “The Coalition to Retire the Crusader” was spearheaded by alumni Mike Nevergall and Kevin York both of whom dedicated their time to organize the Valpo community through petitions and letter-writing campaigns.

“I mean I feel good about the direction of the university now, I feel like with the retirement of the crusader we can come together as an extended campus community and really unify around a new mascot that is more inclusive of the place that Valparaiso University is and what it really stands for,” York said.

These guys, whether one agrees with them or not, seem to have standing.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Steven W Bohler on February 18, 2021, 12:29:07 PM
https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2021/02/universities-demonize-and-disavow-christian-self-raymond-ibrahim/
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on February 18, 2021, 12:51:07 PM
Pastor Bohler reports that the website said:
College Fix has temporarily suspended comments, as independent-minded websites like ours try to survive cancel culture and social-media hostility.
I comment, laughingly:
Aww! The poor people there! Folks out in the world don’t like them! The poor things!
Grow up.
Some of us have endured hostility from the right for decades. Some people are eulogizing the late Rush Limbaugh. Others are remembering his mean, nasty, words towards people on the liberal side of things, his denunciation of women, including specific women. He had the largest mouth in all of talk radio, and he used it to put people down, to make fun of them, and to attempt to spawn further hatred towards them.
You worry about “cancel culture“? Consider his record over the years.
I simply point out that it is a tough, argumentative world. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: therevev on February 18, 2021, 12:55:11 PM
According to the Valpo Torch, the campaign to change the mascot was driven by two alumni:
Quote
The issue of whether the Crusader has reflected Valpo values has been an ongoing conversation for decades. It recently gained momentum in June 2020 when a Facebook group composed of alumni, students and faculty gained popularity.

The group entitled “The Coalition to Retire the Crusader” was spearheaded by alumni Mike Nevergall and Kevin York both of whom dedicated their time to organize the Valpo community through petitions and letter-writing campaigns.

“I mean I feel good about the direction of the university now, I feel like with the retirement of the crusader we can come together as an extended campus community and really unify around a new mascot that is more inclusive of the place that Valparaiso University is and what it really stands for,” York said.

I don't know either of these men. Mike is a gift planning counselor at Gustavus and Board President for the VU Alumni Association. Kevin York heads up a communications firm. They both attended around the same time about 15 years ago. It would seem that experience and position gave them an opportunity to create momentum for this change.

These guys, whether one agrees with them or not, seem to have standing.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 18, 2021, 12:55:58 PM
According to the Valpo Torch, the campaign to change the mascot was driven by two alumni:
Quote
The issue of whether the Crusader has reflected Valpo values has been an ongoing conversation for decades. It recently gained momentum in June 2020 when a Facebook group composed of alumni, students and faculty gained popularity.

The group entitled “The Coalition to Retire the Crusader” was spearheaded by alumni Mike Nevergall and Kevin York both of whom dedicated their time to organize the Valpo community through petitions and letter-writing campaigns.

“I mean I feel good about the direction of the university now, I feel like with the retirement of the crusader we can come together as an extended campus community and really unify around a new mascot that is more inclusive of the place that Valparaiso University is and what it really stands for,” York said.

These guys, whether one agrees with them or not, seem to have standing.

Peace,
Michael
That's the kind of thinking that plagues our culture. We weren't united before because I wasn't getting my way. Now that I got my way, I feel like we can all really unite and rally around this new thing.

Obviously, the coming together of the campus community, unifying and rallying around the new, more inclusive mascot can only happen by marginalizing everyone who doesn't rally around the change as somehow a problematic part of the "campus community." That's how it always works. My way is unifying. Your way is divisive.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on February 18, 2021, 12:57:52 PM
Pastor Fienen:
Something that I have failed to understand is how the European Christian invasion of what had become Muslim Palestine in the Crusades was a crime against humanity, an indelible black stain on the honor of Christianity and the West, while the Islamic invasion of Palestine, the destruction of the Christian communities of North Africa, conquest of Byzantium, conquest of Spain, conquest of the Balkans and Greece, and invasion of Eastern Europe was apparently just fine and dandy? Were they not the Islamic Crusades?

Me:
Who says those things were “fine“? They were not. Any violent conquest of a people is not good. But neither can we justify what we have done in retribution and revenge, or for the excesses of the crusades some of which were also aimed at Byzantine Christians, our fellow believers.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 18, 2021, 12:58:52 PM
One might conclude that the level of opposition to the change is covered in the comment of the person who said the change represented a “complete Islamic takeover“ of the school.
One might if one were stupid.

Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Michael Slusser on February 18, 2021, 01:00:34 PM
According to the Valpo Torch, the campaign to change the mascot was driven by two alumni:
Quote
The issue of whether the Crusader has reflected Valpo values has been an ongoing conversation for decades. It recently gained momentum in June 2020 when a Facebook group composed of alumni, students and faculty gained popularity.

The group entitled “The Coalition to Retire the Crusader” was spearheaded by alumni Mike Nevergall and Kevin York both of whom dedicated their time to organize the Valpo community through petitions and letter-writing campaigns.

“I mean I feel good about the direction of the university now, I feel like with the retirement of the crusader we can come together as an extended campus community and really unify around a new mascot that is more inclusive of the place that Valparaiso University is and what it really stands for,” York said.

These guys, whether one agrees with them or not, seem to have standing.
I don't know either of these men. Mike is a gift planning counselor at Gustavus and Board President for the VU Alumni Association. Kevin York heads up a communications firm. They both attended around the same time about 15 years ago. It would seem that experience and position gave them an opportunity to create momentum for this change.

Kevin York's firm has put out a press release for the Coalition. (I automatically distrust it when people call themselves a Coalition; too many sad experiences. But I've got to beware of generalizing my experiences.)
https://www.openpr.com/news/2234372/coalition-of-valparaiso-university-students-alumni-faculty (https://www.openpr.com/news/2234372/coalition-of-valparaiso-university-students-alumni-faculty)

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 18, 2021, 01:19:13 PM
Pastor Bohler reports that the website said:
College Fix has temporarily suspended comments, as independent-minded websites like ours try to survive cancel culture and social-media hostility.
I comment, laughingly:
Aww! The poor people there! Folks out in the world don’t like them! The poor things!
Grow up.
Some of us have endured hostility from the right for decades. Some people are eulogizing the late Rush Limbaugh. Others are remembering his mean, nasty, words towards people on the liberal side of things, his denunciation of women, including specific women. He had the largest mouth in all of talk radio, and he used it to put people down, to make fun of them, and to attempt to spawn further hatred towards them.
You worry about “cancel culture“? Consider his record over the years.
I simply point out that it is a tough, argumentative world. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
And you seem to relish applying that heat to those you disagree with. How horrible what Rush Limbaugh said to and about people that he disagreed with. (Actually I never did like the man or his public persona, much of what he added to public discourse was not beneficial, but I digress.) And you rejoice when such is applied to those on the conservative side of things. Serves the right!
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 18, 2021, 01:25:06 PM
Pastor Fienen:
Something that I have failed to understand is how the European Christian invasion of what had become Muslim Palestine in the Crusades was a crime against humanity, an indelible black stain on the honor of Christianity and the West, while the Islamic invasion of Palestine, the destruction of the Christian communities of North Africa, conquest of Byzantium, conquest of Spain, conquest of the Balkans and Greece, and invasion of Eastern Europe was apparently just fine and dandy? Were they not the Islamic Crusades?

Me:
Who says those things were “fine“? They were not. Any violent conquest of a people is not good. But neither can we justify what we have done in retribution and revenge, or for the excesses of the crusades some of which were also aimed at Byzantine Christians, our fellow believers.


Yet there is much sympathy for the victims of the Crusades and much wringing of the hands over them. Where is the reminder that the aggression exhibited by Jihadist Islamic Militants and Terrorists today reflects Islam's very militant past? No, we are assured that Islam is actually a religion of peace, that we should consider Islamic terrorism as an aberration, and as possibly a justified response to the Christian Crusades. I do not excuse the excesses and atrocities that were committed by the Christian Crusades, but do they justify the terrorist atrocities of today? 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 18, 2021, 02:00:20 PM
According to the Valpo Torch, the campaign to change the mascot was driven by two alumni:
Quote
The issue of whether the Crusader has reflected Valpo values has been an ongoing conversation for decades. It recently gained momentum in June 2020 when a Facebook group composed of alumni, students and faculty gained popularity.

The group entitled “The Coalition to Retire the Crusader” was spearheaded by alumni Mike Nevergall and Kevin York both of whom dedicated their time to organize the Valpo community through petitions and letter-writing campaigns.

“I mean I feel good about the direction of the university now, I feel like with the retirement of the crusader we can come together as an extended campus community and really unify around a new mascot that is more inclusive of the place that Valparaiso University is and what it really stands for,” York said.

These guys, whether one agrees with them or not, seem to have standing.
I don't know either of these men. Mike is a gift planning counselor at Gustavus and Board President for the VU Alumni Association. Kevin York heads up a communications firm. They both attended around the same time about 15 years ago. It would seem that experience and position gave them an opportunity to create momentum for this change.

Kevin York's firm has put out a press release for the Coalition. (I automatically distrust it when people call themselves a Coalition; too many sad experiences. But I've got to beware of generalizing my experiences.)
https://www.openpr.com/news/2234372/coalition-of-valparaiso-university-students-alumni-faculty (https://www.openpr.com/news/2234372/coalition-of-valparaiso-university-students-alumni-faculty)

Peace,
Michael
From the article: “Not only does the Crusader mascot not align with the University’s mission and values, but by choosing to maintain the status quo, it is essentially saying that it can afford to alienate a certain percentage of its pool of prospective students and their families,” said Mike Nevergall, Immediate Past President of the VU Alumni Association and a Coalition leader. “In the hyper-competitive world of college admissions, that seems like a bad gamble.

Good thing the choice to change the mascot had no chance of alienating prospective students and their families.

More broadly speaking, the article gives the lie to the claim that this change was brought about by appropriation of the crusader image by hate groups. The people who were really animated to make this change find the crusader mascot offensive in itself, not because an otherwise okay symbol was appropriated by KKK types. It isn't a matter of honorably retiring a mascot that time has passed by. It is about officially declaring that mascot of symbol of bigotry.   
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Jeremy_Loesch on February 18, 2021, 03:00:06 PM
Glad to hear that VU is feeling some heat through social media
 It certainly makes it fun to observe as an outsider.

And I hope that Evan's comment doesn't get lost. Why is the administration not more forthcoming about the survey results?

Jeremy
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on February 18, 2021, 03:18:16 PM
There is heat, Pastor Fienen, then there is mean-spirited mockery, lying and calumny. And the latter is what Mr. Limbaugh practiced with a vehemence for many years.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Likeness on February 18, 2021, 03:43:30 PM
William Buckley Jr. died in 2008, and with his death,  genuine conservatism.lost a voice.
He graduated from Yale University and eventually founded the journal "National Review".
Buckley was an intellectual who could present the principles of conservatism in a winsome
manner.  From 1966 to 1999, he hosted the public affairs TV program "Firing Line" and
the 1,429 episodes.  He debated with various guests on the issues of the day.  He was
well-respected by those at the opposite end of the political spectrum.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 18, 2021, 03:54:52 PM
There is heat, Pastor Fienen, then there is mean-spirited mockery, lying and calumny. And the latter is what Mr. Limbaugh practiced with a vehemence for many years.
So, so long as your diatribes and those of the ones with whom you align do not in your opinion reach the level of Mr. Limbaugh's rants, they are perfectly fine and great additions to discourse. In fact the more ridicule that is heaped on those with whom you disagree the better. Limbaugh justified it. Tit for tat is great so long as you are the one dishing?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on February 18, 2021, 04:49:14 PM
I do not “dish.“ William S. Buckley was a perfect example of a staunch conservative who could be intellectual, engaging, polite and humorous even as he was being critical of those of another stripe. He was not mean. He was not nasty. And he did not mock people in a mean spirited way. On one occasion, I interviewed him and RJN together. And I always learned something from his television show, because he was not out to make fun of the other side or to bring out and play to the worst side of his audience. Unlike the late Mr. Limbaugh.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dan Fienen on February 18, 2021, 05:01:45 PM
Look, Charles, just because I am not a liberal as you, that does not mean that I approved of Mr. Limbaugh. Far from it. I considered him much more of an entertainer than a newsman or even a news commentator. Quite frankly, I thought that Don Rickles did that whole insult comedy schtick better than Rush. I realize that it is very handy for you to assume that everyone who does not fall in line with the liberal/progressive party line idolized Trump and took their daily instruction from chairman Rush. That allows you to simply dismiss us as being barely worthy of your instruction, certainly unworthy of listening to or actually discussing with. We are not all White Supremacists no matter what the orthodox political thinking is. But who am I to disturb your smugness?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Steven W Bohler on February 18, 2021, 05:36:20 PM
I liked Rush's show, although I have not listened to it for several years.  His "mockery" paled in comparison to what is said by those on the left on their radio and TV shows. 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: RDPreus on February 18, 2021, 06:10:15 PM
I liked both William Buckley and Rush Limbaugh.  Both were entertaining, but in different ways.  While Buckley's Firing Line was a great success, he never connected to the common man the way Rush did.  Limbaugh angered people who took themselves too seriously.  Like Trump, he wasn't interested in the approval of liberal elitist snobs.  He reveled in mocking them to the delight of his conservative audiences.  Buckley beat them at their own game.  Limbaugh wouldn't play their game.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Charles Austin on February 18, 2021, 06:23:12 PM
Pastor Fienen:
I realize that it is very handy for you to assume that everyone who does not fall in line with the liberal/progressive party line idolized Trump and took their daily instruction from chairman Rush.
Me:
Not everyone did, but some did. Actually, a lot did.

Pastor Fienen:
That allows you to simply dismiss us as being barely worthy of your instruction, certainly unworthy of listening to or actually discussing with.
Me:
If I thought that, why would I take all the time I take to respond do you? There are people not worthy of my instruction. I don’t respond to them.

Pastor Fienen:
We are not all White Supremacists no matter what the orthodox political thinking is.
Me:
I never said you were. And there is no “orthodox political thinking.” But why do you keep protesting that I think you are?

Pastor Fienen:
But who am I to disturb your smugness?
Me:
If I have that quality, it’s not the part of me that you disturb. Now you get the final word.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: George Rahn on February 18, 2021, 06:28:07 PM
Pastor Fienen:
I realize that it is very handy for you to assume that everyone who does not fall in line with the liberal/progressive party line idolized Trump and took their daily instruction from chairman Rush.
Me:
Not everyone did, but some did. Actually, a lot did.

Pastor Fienen:
That allows you to simply dismiss us as being barely worthy of your instruction, certainly unworthy of listening to or actually discussing with.
Me:
If I thought that, why would I take all the time I take to respond do you? There are people not worthy of my instruction. I don’t respond to them.

Pastor Fienen:
We are not all White Supremacists no matter what the orthodox political thinking is.
Me:
I never said you were. And there is no “orthodox political thinking.” But why do you keep protesting that I think you are?

Pastor Fienen:
But who am I to disturb your smugness?
Me:
If I have that quality, it’s not the part of me that you disturb. Now you get the final word.

...until you get the final word.  Lol
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on February 18, 2021, 07:05:05 PM
Can we not let Charles’s ill-informed and mean-spirited trashing of the recently deceased Limbaugh sidetrack the thread, please?
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Michael Slusser on February 18, 2021, 08:27:48 PM
According to the Valpo Torch, the campaign to change the mascot was driven by two alumni:
Quote
The issue of whether the Crusader has reflected Valpo values has been an ongoing conversation for decades. It recently gained momentum in June 2020 when a Facebook group composed of alumni, students and faculty gained popularity.

The group entitled “The Coalition to Retire the Crusader” was spearheaded by alumni Mike Nevergall and Kevin York both of whom dedicated their time to organize the Valpo community through petitions and letter-writing campaigns.

“I mean I feel good about the direction of the university now, I feel like with the retirement of the crusader we can come together as an extended campus community and really unify around a new mascot that is more inclusive of the place that Valparaiso University is and what it really stands for,” York said.

These guys, whether one agrees with them or not, seem to have standing.
I don't know either of these men. Mike is a gift planning counselor at Gustavus and Board President for the VU Alumni Association. Kevin York heads up a communications firm. They both attended around the same time about 15 years ago. It would seem that experience and position gave them an opportunity to create momentum for this change.

Kevin York's firm has put out a press release for the Coalition. (I automatically distrust it when people call themselves a Coalition; too many sad experiences. But I've got to beware of generalizing my experiences.)
https://www.openpr.com/news/2234372/coalition-of-valparaiso-university-students-alumni-faculty (https://www.openpr.com/news/2234372/coalition-of-valparaiso-university-students-alumni-faculty)

Peace,
Michael
From the article: “Not only does the Crusader mascot not align with the University’s mission and values, but by choosing to maintain the status quo, it is essentially saying that it can afford to alienate a certain percentage of its pool of prospective students and their families,” said Mike Nevergall, Immediate Past President of the VU Alumni Association and a Coalition leader. “In the hyper-competitive world of college admissions, that seems like a bad gamble.

Good thing the choice to change the mascot had no chance of alienating prospective students and their families.

More broadly speaking, the article gives the lie to the claim that this change was brought about by appropriation of the crusader image by hate groups. The people who were really animated to make this change find the crusader mascot offensive in itself, not because an otherwise okay symbol was appropriated by KKK types. It isn't a matter of honorably retiring a mascot that time has passed by. It is about officially declaring that mascot of symbol of bigotry.   
It sounds to me like it's a campaign driven by market forces as perceived. It's the way of the secular world. I see RC institutions omitting to say anything too Catholic because they've got it in their heads that it won't sell. This goes back 40 years; it isn't a product of today's political posturing.

Peace,
Michael
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Likeness on February 23, 2021, 12:12:18 PM
In the 1960's and 1970's Valpo had the reputation that 90% of their graduates
had a job within 6 months after they got their diploma.  Corporate America
liked the education their students received as well as the high moral standards
of the Valpo grads.

I had one cousin who got a job with General Motors as an engineer and another
cousin who was hired by All State Insurance Company.  Both of them liked their
jobs and stayed with the company for their entire careers.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: JEdwards on February 23, 2021, 01:07:49 PM
It sounds to me like it's a campaign driven by market forces as perceived. It's the way of the secular world. I see RC institutions omitting to say anything too Catholic because they've got it in their heads that it won't sell. This goes back 40 years; it isn't a product of today's political posturing.

Peace,
Michael

A couple years ago, one of my sons looked at Capital University.  On his campus tour, the guide somewhat sheepishly mentioned the Lutheran affiliation, but immediately reassured that group that this wouldn't really affect their college experience.  My son ended up going to Gannon University, an RC school that seemed more willing to embrace its identity as a religious institution.

Peace,
Jon
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Likeness on February 23, 2021, 01:44:53 PM
 Men's basketball coach Paul Meadows at Valpo came to Davenport, Iowa
to recruit my cousin for the Crusaders team.  My cousin was 6' 4" forward
 in his Senior Year of high school.  Coach Meadows wanted to look at my
cousin's hands and feet because he thought he could tell how much more
my cousin would grow.  My aunt believed this was nonsense.  However,
my cousin did get a basketball scholarship to play at Valpo.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Richard Johnson on February 24, 2021, 09:09:45 AM

A couple years ago, one of my sons looked at Capital University.  On his campus tour, the guide somewhat sheepishly mentioned the Lutheran affiliation, but immediately reassured that group that this wouldn't really affect their college experience.  My son ended up going to Gannon University, an RC school that seemed more willing to embrace its identity as a religious institution.


This is hardly just an ELCA problem, nor is it new. Oh, I have stories. When my daughter was looking at colleges nearly 20 years ago now, we visited a Methodist school. On the tour, I asked (as I always did), what influence the school's church relationship had on life on the campus. In this case the guide actually denied that the school was church-related. (I'm sure she simply didn't know.)

My daughter toured a Presbyterian school at the behest of our friend Joe Robinson, then principal oboist of the NY Philharmonic and an alum (and one-time trustee, I think) of that school. He came with us on the tour. The guide (who was actually an employee, not just a student, though a recent grad) explained that the Presbyterian affiliation didn't mean much, and made a point of saying that the chapel was utilized by the Muslim students and anyone else who needed a place to gather. As we walked on the tour, Joe at one point quietly introduced himself to the guide, who later said, "Well, we've had a distinguished alumnus with us this afternoon on our tour! This is Mr. Robinson from the New York Philanthropic Association." That about killed it for my music major daughter (and her father).
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on February 26, 2021, 01:57:37 PM
From our interim president today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb5xY8mSnAA&feature=youtu.be

Our new president officially begins his leadership/service on Monday. We would welcome your prayers for him and for the ongoing mission of our Lutheran university.

Matt Becker

P.S. The "Molly" to whom our interim president refers in her video is one of our physician-assistant students who happens to be taking my Luther-Bach course this term. She's taking it to fulfill her upper-division theology requirement. I just finished meeting with her via Zoom. She's writing her midterm paper about Luther's hymn on the Lord's Supper, "Gott sei gelobet und gebenedeiet" (WA 35.452-53 [text]; WA 35.514-15 [melody]; LW 53.252-54; TLH 313; LBW 215; LuthW 238; CW 317; ELH 327; LSB 617; ELW 498). We had a good discussion about Luther's sacramental theology and about the points of contact between this hymn and the section on the Sacrament of the Altar in his Small Catechism. The morning got off to a good start....
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Michael_Rothaar on February 26, 2021, 04:14:12 PM
Quote

A couple years ago, one of my sons looked at Capital University.  On his campus tour, the guide somewhat sheepishly mentioned the Lutheran affiliation, but immediately reassured that group that this wouldn't really affect their college experience.  My son ended up going to Gannon University, an RC school that seemed more willing to embrace its identity as a religious institution.

Peace,
Jon

Capital University (Columbus, Ohio) also recently eliminated the "Crusader" mascot and moniker. My wife and I -- both graduates -- replied to the survey when the change was under consideration, and are now being contacted regularly, to urge us to go to the website gathering suggestions for a new symbol. Two of my kids are Valpo graduates -- and the third used to work there -- so CrusaderCanceling has had an impact on our family (however slight).

Since Trinity Seminary is now part of Capital again (after becoming independent in the 1960 TALC merger) perhaps campus tour guides will be more willing to embrace the university's traditional roots (however unlikely).
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Mbecker on March 01, 2021, 11:06:20 AM
The problem is 20th century theology's, especially Lutheran, childish and yes gnostic understanding of the Christian Life.  And asserting that Clement, Origin and Gregory would agree is almost to proclaim that they haven't been read.  The entire Heidelberg "Theology of the cross/glory" is a language game that does two things: a) it passive-aggressively neuters the life of sanctification, b) by doing so condemns the active Christian life that is intended to flow from Christ's work to an eternal mental childishness.  Any passage of scripture that suggests what we do with this life is meaningful is written off as a theology of glory that doesn't mentally grasp the cross. But such a teaching is not one that helps the new man arise and live in righteousness and purity, but a gnostic game that helps us get away with evil.  It is the very essence of Paul's rhetorical lament, "Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?"  Hell no.

For example from Origen's commentary on Romans:
Quote
This faith, when it has been justified, is firmly embedded in the soil of the soul like a root that has received rain, so that when it begins to be cultivated by God's law, branches arise from it that bring forth the fruit of works. The root of righteousness, therefore, does not grow out of the works, but rather the fruit of works grows out of the root of righteousness, that root, of course, of righteousness that God also credits even apart from works.

Or from Clement:
Quote
The name alone, indeed, without works, does not introduce into the kingdom of heaven; but, if a man be truly a believer, such an one can be saved. For, if a person be only called a believer in name, whilst he is not such in works, he cannot possibly be a believer. “Let no one,” therefore, “lead you astray with the empty words of error.” (Eph_5:6) For, merely because a person is called a virgin, if he be destitute of works excellent and comely, and suitable to virginity, he cannot possibly be saved.

Which of course is simply Augsburg VI on the New Obedience.  And a good teacher, far from obscuring things with babbling about Theologies of Glory, would commend an intentionality in those in whom the Spirit dwells. For to desire holiness is to desire God who is our only lasting consolation. Which is the encouragement of the Sermon on the Mount.  What begins with the poor in spirit, those without the Spirit, those who know they are poor miserable sinners, being given the Kingdom by grace moves outward not as an enclosed mental light, but a light put on a stand.  And that light shines so that other real people might see the good works and give glory to the Father.  And what is this fruitful life?  You have heard it said...but I say to you; the law is a good guide.  And added to that natural law, prayer, fasting and almsgiving; humble acts of piety, of walking humbly with God the Spirit dwelling.  And is this life haphazard? No!  Lay up for yourself treasure in heaven.  You can't serve two masters.  Be intentional about Who you are serving.  And yes, you will not be perfect at this.  Do not be anxious, your Father knows what you need.  Seek the Kingdom and His righteousness.

So we really need to turn to Augsburg XXI - On the Saints at this time, because that is what a mascot really is, an image of a saint.  And what does that say?

Quote
Of the Worship of Saints they teach that the memory of saints may be set before us, that we may follow their faith and good works, according to our calling, as the Emperor may follow the example of David in making war to drive away the Turk from his country.

Would I rather the imperfect, as we all are, image of a crusader, who did have faith and was attempting to express it in good works as their Emperors and Popes where proclaiming at the time, or some disincarnate image?  And the initial crusade might even qualify under ACXXI's allowance to make war to drive away the Turk from his country, as "the Holy Land" had been Byzantine and it was the Byzantine emperor that requested military help.  As blurry an image as a crusader is, it is still an image that faith and good works can be held up.  Inevitably what will be chosen could be just as much a symbol of any other religion.  The motto is "In Thy Light We See Light", but the connection to the "Thy" is what is being erased.  Which is doing the same thing as the theology, putting the light under a bushel.

Mark,
I will ignore your insult about my understanding of Clement and Origen and simply state that you seem to have misunderstood my use of the term "Gnostic" in reference to those Alexandrian theologians. I would prefer their version of Christian theology and discipleship to that which supported and shaped medieval Christian crusading and the theology of glory/(re)conquest that was near the heart of it. It is difficult to imagine Clement or Origen celebrating "the Christian disciple" who sought to lop off the heads of infidels in the name of Christ and who welcomed the booty and other rewards/prizes (material and purgatorial) that were promised to come from such militaristic pilgrimage and conquest. The crusades reflect the pagan Germanization of Christendom, the melding of anti-Christian militarism and Christian discipleship, a synthesis that is at odds with Jesus' teaching of discipleship in the Sermon on the Mount. That Germanic tribal-pagan holdover of militarism and its influence upon medieval understandings of Christian discipleship represent a different kind of syncretism than that which took place among the Alexandrians. Instead of "blessed are the meek, the poor in spirit, the peacemakers, etc.," for the Germanic Christian of the crusading type, the beatitudes were changed to become: "Blessed are the rich, for they will possess the earth and all its glory," and "Blessed are the war-like, for they shall win wealth and renown" (to cite the hyperbolic quip of one historian). As important as Karl der Grosse was for the historical development of European Christendom, he, too, reflected this pagan ideology that would directly contribute to the rise of the ideal Christian disciple as "crusader."

I was using the term "Gnostic" merely in the manner of those non-militaristic, cerebral Alexandrian disciples of the incarnate Logos. Against Tertullian-like Christians, who distrust pagan learning and philosophical argument and who can find no use for them, I would rather take my cues from the "Gnostic" theology of Justin Martyr (who referred to Saint Sophocles and Saint Plato), of Origen (who made use of Greek philosophy to support and defend Christian teaching, and who sought to be martyred for the faith rather than to take up arms against pagan infidels), and of a whole host of other ancients, e.g., Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas (just to mention the "A" team), who discussed, accepted, and affirmed truths wherever they were discovered. How else to commend the Christian faith to educated people today? Commending "crusader discipleship" and the ideology/theology that supports it are contrary to the Christian faith and counter-productive in the mission to non-Christians, e.g., those who are students in a university like the one in which I teach.

I obviously agree with your point about AC VI. I just think it is difficult to square what is taught there with the historic crusader ideology that praises the killing of infidels in the name of Christ and that rejoices in the (re)-taking of property and turf for the sake of the church's earthly power and glory.

BTW, our local sports reporter, Paul Oren, who also teaches communications at Valpo, didn't like my suggestions for a new mascot (although he respectfully took note of a few of them in a recent article he wrote for the "NW Indiana Times," in addition to another article he wrote on the decision to change the mascot, in which he quoted yours truly). His top three: The Valpo Shield, the Valpo Golden Knights, and the Valpo DuneHawks.  I could live with the first or the third, but I still favor the Valpo Flash or the Valpo Lightning.

Matt Becker
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Randy Bosch on March 01, 2021, 01:56:28 PM
Stay with me here...
Historians are (and may forever be) uncertain about the actual origins of "Germanic" peoples.
Most agree that the "Franks" were first known to migrate from the area now known as Denmark/Schlesweig-Holstein (before then, who knows?) into the currently known northwest Germany, then areas now known as Holland/The Netherlands, Belgium, then into what is now known as France, then into a takeover of a sizeable portion of the Italian peninsula.
Most agree that the "Lombards" were first known to migrate from the area now referred to as of Scandanavia (before then, who knows?), then into what is now known as Hungary, then into what is now known as Northern Italy, then into a takeover of a sizeable portion of the Italian peninsula.  Does this make the Italians actually Germanic?

Most other "peoples" have migrated here and there over time, often using military force to take over pre-existing peoples lands, sometimes driving out their predecessors, sometimes assimilating over time.
Most often, the people conquered had conquered the people before them, etc. ad nauseum.

Remember Abraham was from Ur, not the Jordan River Valley or coastal Palestine.
Some Chicago style pizza recipes arrived with Italian immigrants who may have descended from the Franks or Lombards or others in their homelands in Italy. Does that make Chicago style pizza either Germanic or an import from a militaristic people?

However, to make a long story slightly more relevant, since Valparaiso University occupies land that, at least in the recorded part of North American history, was the home of the Potawatomi, perhaps Valparaiso would best be renamed Potawatomi University, and their descendants petitioned to provide a culturally appropriate team name....

Back to your Neo-Lutheran cultural wars...
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on March 02, 2021, 08:56:05 AM
Stay with me here...
Historians are (and may forever be) uncertain about the actual origins of "Germanic" peoples.
Most agree that the "Franks" were first known to migrate from the area now known as Denmark/Schlesweig-Holstein (before then, who knows?) into the currently known northwest Germany, then areas now known as Holland/The Netherlands, Belgium, then into what is now known as France, then into a takeover of a sizeable portion of the Italian peninsula.
Most agree that the "Lombards" were first known to migrate from the area now referred to as of Scandanavia (before then, who knows?), then into what is now known as Hungary, then into what is now known as Northern Italy, then into a takeover of a sizeable portion of the Italian peninsula.  Does this make the Italians actually Germanic?

Most other "peoples" have migrated here and there over time, often using military force to take over pre-existing peoples lands, sometimes driving out their predecessors, sometimes assimilating over time.
Most often, the people conquered had conquered the people before them, etc. ad nauseum.

Remember Abraham was from Ur, not the Jordan River Valley or coastal Palestine.
Some Chicago style pizza recipes arrived with Italian immigrants who may have descended from the Franks or Lombards or others in their homelands in Italy. Does that make Chicago style pizza either Germanic or an import from a militaristic people?

However, to make a long story slightly more relevant, since Valparaiso University occupies land that, at least in the recorded part of North American history, was the home of the Potawatomi, perhaps Valparaiso would best be renamed Potawatomi University, and their descendants petitioned to provide a culturally appropriate team name....

Back to your Neo-Lutheran cultural wars...

Nice work, Randy - I was thinking about the Germanic concept and the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, and of course the various Scandi-Vikings.  All were also called barbarians, not having been civilized at the end of the Roman empire, which was corrupt anyway, but by then Christian.  Many of the Germanics had been catechized by the followers of Arius, so were not only deemed lawless but also heretics. 

The Potawatomi did purchase my own personal home institution, Concordia Prep and College in Milwaukee, and make it a cultural center.  That's located only a few blocks from Marquette University, which changed its name some years ago from the Warriors to the Golden Eagles.  If the Potawatomi heritage holds at Valpo, then I would suggest the team mascot be The Gold Coin, based on casino income, or the Sure Bets, or the Wheels.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 02, 2021, 09:11:31 AM
Someone suggested VU be the Kernels, which would play into the "Home of Orville Redenbacher" and Popcornfest themes, also speak to learning being sowing seeds, and would be pronounced the same as Colonels, for a nice military connection for the sake of the sports teams. I suspect there would be a fair amount of Colonel Klink humor, though, assuming that too doesn't get banned. The bookstore could sell VU monocles.

The real key is to choose a new mascot every year, sort of like a yearbook theme. That way you never, ever have to face the disgrace of having a mascot someone disapproves of, because by the time they gathered their petitions the name would be changing again anyway. You could also introduce yourself by the mascot of your graduating year. "I'm Pete, of the Brown Giants of '92." "Hi Pete, I'm Bob. Why would your class mock those who suffer from giantism?" 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 02, 2021, 12:36:47 PM
Someone suggested VU be the Kernels, which would play into the "Home of Orville Redenbacher" and Popcornfest themes, also speak to learning being sowing seeds, and would be pronounced the same as Colonels, for a nice military connection for the sake of the sports teams. I suspect there would be a fair amount of Colonel Klink humor, though, assuming that too doesn't get banned. The bookstore could sell VU monocles.

The real key is to choose a new mascot every year, sort of like a yearbook theme. That way you never, ever have to face the disgrace of having a mascot someone disapproves of, because by the time they gathered their petitions the name would be changing again anyway. You could also introduce yourself by the mascot of your graduating year. "I'm Pete, of the Brown Giants of '92." "Hi Pete, I'm Bob. Why would your class mock those who suffer from giantism?"


The Kernels is the nickname of Mitchell High School in Mitchell, SD. https://www.themitchellkernels.com/


For those who may not know it, Mitchell is also the home of the Corn Palace. https://cornpalace.com/


I had a member in a congregation who was "The Kernel" (the high school mascot).
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on March 02, 2021, 12:55:47 PM
Someone suggested VU be the Kernels, which would play into the "Home of Orville Redenbacher" and Popcornfest themes, also speak to learning being sowing seeds, and would be pronounced the same as Colonels, for a nice military connection for the sake of the sports teams. I suspect there would be a fair amount of Colonel Klink humor, though, assuming that too doesn't get banned. The bookstore could sell VU monocles.

The real key is to choose a new mascot every year, sort of like a yearbook theme. That way you never, ever have to face the disgrace of having a mascot someone disapproves of, because by the time they gathered their petitions the name would be changing again anyway. You could also introduce yourself by the mascot of your graduating year. "I'm Pete, of the Brown Giants of '92." "Hi Pete, I'm Bob. Why would your class mock those who suffer from giantism?"


The Kernels is the nickname of Mitchell High School in Mitchell, SD. https://www.themitchellkernels.com/


For those who may not know it, Mitchell is also the home of the Corn Palace. https://cornpalace.com/


I had a member in a congregation who was "The Kernel" (the high school mascot).

After a little online check, it turns out the Kernel has a name  - Cornelius (get it?) - and is a winking Kernel voted the best mascot in South Dakota.   A veggie mascot also works with the Lutheran connective tissue to Veggie-tales. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on March 02, 2021, 07:19:10 PM
Don't know if they still exist but the Cedar Rapids Kernels were a Class A minor league team.  I think they still are but I know that covid hasn't been kind to the minor leagues. 

I kind of hope that VU does pick the Kernels as a name because then the Cedar Rapids Kernels could charge them for the name and then keep the team afloat while fans aren't allowed into the games. 

Jeremy
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 02, 2021, 07:30:37 PM
Some other unique mascots I've run into. Yuma High School students are known as "the criminals." From 1910-1913 the high school met at the abandoned territorial prison in Yuma. An opposing team started calling them "criminals" and the name stuck. It became official in 1917. (The high school is older than the state. Arizona's statehood came in 1912, the last of the coterminous states to enter the union.)

Yuba City High School are "the Honkers." Named for the Canadian Geese that migrate over the city each season.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 02, 2021, 07:46:27 PM
Some other unique mascots I've run into. Yuma High School students are known as "the criminals." From 1910-1913 the high school met at the abandoned territorial prison in Yuma. An opposing team started calling them "criminals" and the name stuck. It became official in 1917. (The high school is older than the state. Arizona's statehood came in 1912, the last of the coterminous states to enter the union.)

Yuba City High School are "the Honkers." Named for the Canadian Geese that migrate over the city each season.
Criminals, that's fine. Pirates. Vikings. Just so long as it isn't Crusaders. They're beyond redemption.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on March 02, 2021, 07:48:31 PM
Don't know if they still exist but the Cedar Rapids Kernels were a Class A minor league team.  I think they still are but I know that covid hasn't been kind to the minor leagues. 

I kind of hope that VU does pick the Kernels as a name because then the Cedar Rapids Kernels could charge them for the name and then keep the team afloat while fans aren't allowed into the games. 

Jeremy

So here's the deal for oldster baseball fans in NY Metro.  We have a Mets team in Brooklyn - the Cyclones; and a Yankee team in Staten Island - the Yankees, and an independent team on Long Island - the Ducks, plus the two teams playing at those big stadiums in Queens and the Bronx.  Plus a team in Dutchess County about an hour north.

The Cyclones are by far the best bet for the money because they're on Coney Island (a part of Brooklyn) and you get the rides (including the Cyclone), and the Nathan's hot dogs, and normally fireworks at the end, and a ton of giveaways, and a cheap ticket right near the beach on a summer night.  Ambience is unmatchable, really.   Lots of regulars. 

The Mets - we have a partial season ticket package, so with the small percentage of fans allowed they're telling us we may see some games from seats somewhere inside the stadium at some time.  Hello?  We've already paid for those tickets LAST year.  Get those shots in those arms, Joe Biden!  We're hoping to see maybe half the games we paid for.  But they have given us all-device access to the games on TV, for whatever that's worth.  I think the minors will by and large make it. 

When it comes to mascots, one of the Mets latest additions had always worn the number 00(Zero), but when he found out Mr. Met had the number he agreed not to wear it and took 99.  Mr. Met has 00.  In other words, Mr. Met the Mascot received the privilege given to a hall of fame player.   That, my friends, is a powerful mascot.  In fact, one of my buddies who is a dead-bang, dead-wrong Yankee fan told me that he had lost his children to the Mets.  What?  How?  They want to see Mr. Met, was the answer.  He's their guy.  They love him.

I should state for the record that my wife and I have photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Met, which are are right there next to our Mets Bobblehead Collection, which is next to the Atlantic District Praesidium Bobbleheads - me and my two homeboys.  Yes, mascots do count for something.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: DeHall1 on March 02, 2021, 09:08:53 PM
Some other unique mascots I've run into. Yuma High School students are known as "the criminals." From 1910-1913 the high school met at the abandoned territorial prison in Yuma. An opposing team started calling them "criminals" and the name stuck. It became official in 1917. (The high school is older than the state. Arizona's statehood came in 1912, the last of the coterminous states to enter the union.)

Yuba City High School are "the Honkers." Named for the Canadian Geese that migrate over the city each season.

My daughter is a student at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas.  The Ichabods.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: J.L. Precup on March 02, 2021, 09:55:35 PM
The students at the University of California San Diego are the Tritons.  It makes sense living alongside the Pacific Ocean.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Jeremy Loesch on March 03, 2021, 09:34:21 AM
Don't know if they still exist but the Cedar Rapids Kernels were a Class A minor league team.  I think they still are but I know that covid hasn't been kind to the minor leagues. 

I kind of hope that VU does pick the Kernels as a name because then the Cedar Rapids Kernels could charge them for the name and then keep the team afloat while fans aren't allowed into the games. 

Jeremy

So here's the deal for oldster baseball fans in NY Metro.  We have a Mets team in Brooklyn - the Cyclones; and a Yankee team in Staten Island - the Yankees, and an independent team on Long Island - the Ducks, plus the two teams playing at those big stadiums in Queens and the Bronx.  Plus a team in Dutchess County about an hour north.

The Cyclones are by far the best bet for the money because they're on Coney Island (a part of Brooklyn) and you get the rides (including the Cyclone), and the Nathan's hot dogs, and normally fireworks at the end, and a ton of giveaways, and a cheap ticket right near the beach on a summer night.  Ambience is unmatchable, really.   Lots of regulars. 

The Mets - we have a partial season ticket package, so with the small percentage of fans allowed they're telling us we may see some games from seats somewhere inside the stadium at some time.  Hello?  We've already paid for those tickets LAST year.  Get those shots in those arms, Joe Biden!  We're hoping to see maybe half the games we paid for.  But they have given us all-device access to the games on TV, for whatever that's worth.  I think the minors will by and large make it. 

When it comes to mascots, one of the Mets latest additions had always worn the number 00(Zero), but when he found out Mr. Met had the number he agreed not to wear it and took 99.  Mr. Met has 00.  In other words, Mr. Met the Mascot received the privilege given to a hall of fame player.   That, my friends, is a powerful mascot.  In fact, one of my buddies who is a dead-bang, dead-wrong Yankee fan told me that he had lost his children to the Mets.  What?  How?  They want to see Mr. Met, was the answer.  He's their guy.  They love him.

I should state for the record that my wife and I have photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Met, which are are right there next to our Mets Bobblehead Collection, which is next to the Atlantic District Praesidium Bobbleheads - me and my two homeboys.  Yes, mascots do count for something.

Dave Benke

I love minor league baseball!  Growing up in MD and VA meant that we were in the Carolina League (Durham, Kinston, Winston Salem NC, Salem VA, Hagerstown MD, and a few others that came and went.  Dad was a pastor in Hagerstown MD and the Hagerstown Suns became a franchise when we were there.  They were the Orioles' A Ball team.  In a few years, the Frederick (MD) Keys were the AA team in the Eastern League.  For a few years the A Ball team would play a game at 10am, the Frederick game would begin at 3p and the day would end with the Orioles playing at Memorial Stadium at 7 or 7:30.  Buses from Hagerstown and Frederick were busy that day.  Francis Scott Key was from Frederick, so they became the Keys.  Have no idea why Hagerstown was the Suns, but we loved them. 

Dad was the team chaplain for the Suns.  He led weekly worship in the bullpen for the Suns and whoever from the other team wanted to be there.  In the summer Dad would drop my brother and I off at the ballpark and then Dad would go to make a visit or have a meeting or something and then come back when that was over.  My brother and I had the run of the ballpark but we also had to work.  There was a covered grandstand with a little fence at the back to keep balls from rolling off onto fans at the concession stand below.  My brother and I would walk on the roof of the grandstand and fetch the foul balls.  The GM would then determine if the balls would be returned to play or would go in the batting practice ball pile.  We were paid in Coke and Esskay hot dogs, the official hot dog of the Bal'mer Orioles. 

Maybe the best moment was on a Monday or Tuesday night.  The Orioles had the day off.  Cal Ripken's brother Billy was playing for Hagerstown.  The Orioles' GM and Cal Ripken drove from Baltimore to watch Billy and the others.  Cal was sitting in the press box and when I walked in at the 3rd inning to do my work.  The Suns' GM says, "Hey Jeremy, want to meet Cal Ripken?"  "Good evening, Mr. Ripken.  Um...Was your trip from Baltimore okay?"  "It was just fine.  Thanks for asking.  This is a nice ballpark your team has here."  Then he signed a baseball for me.  And he called the team MY team as I was standing with the GM and assistant GM as if I was a part of that!  It was so awesome!

Dad took a call to Woodbridge VA, which is in Prince William County, VA.  They had an A Ball team in the Carolina League as well.  That team had been the Alexandria Dukes, a Pittsburgh farm team.  Then Prince William County built a bigger stadium and lured the Dukes there.  But then Pittsburgh found a different team and the Yankees reached a deal with the now-Prince William Cannons.  The Manassas battlefield is in PW County.  They had pinstripe uniforms and a PW hat that had interlocking letters like the NY hat.  Somehow the Yankees got a different franchise and PW was the affiliate for the Cardinals.  Dad was thrilled because he and Mom love the Cardinals.  But then the Montreal Expos became the Puerto Rico Expos and then became the Washington Nats.  It became natural for the PW Cannons to be the affiliate for Washington. 

The original mascot was Prince Willie, which was a person wearing a baseball uniform and a gigantic foam rubber head, which smelled like sweat, and yes, in high school, I was second string Prince Willie.  My regular job was selling beer in the stands- $2 for a can of Bud Light or Miller Lite.  Then to connect to Cannons a little more, Boomer was born and he was a giant cannonball.  He became Prince Willie's sidekick for a time until Prince Willie just stopped showing up.  (His head was probably too rancid.)  Then they stopped being the Prince William Cannons and became the Potomac Cannons, as a way of being more regional to include Fairfax CO a bit more.  And when they became the affiliate for Washington, they became the Potomac Nationals, or the P-Nats.  I have no idea what their current mascot is. 

All of that is to say, VU should still be the Crusaders.  I realize it impacts me in no way, but it is just so dumb. 

Jeremy
 
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on March 03, 2021, 10:36:32 AM
Don't know if they still exist but the Cedar Rapids Kernels were a Class A minor league team.  I think they still are but I know that covid hasn't been kind to the minor leagues. 

I kind of hope that VU does pick the Kernels as a name because then the Cedar Rapids Kernels could charge them for the name and then keep the team afloat while fans aren't allowed into the games. 

Jeremy

So here's the deal for oldster baseball fans in NY Metro.  We have a Mets team in Brooklyn - the Cyclones; and a Yankee team in Staten Island - the Yankees, and an independent team on Long Island - the Ducks, plus the two teams playing at those big stadiums in Queens and the Bronx.  Plus a team in Dutchess County about an hour north.

The Cyclones are by far the best bet for the money because they're on Coney Island (a part of Brooklyn) and you get the rides (including the Cyclone), and the Nathan's hot dogs, and normally fireworks at the end, and a ton of giveaways, and a cheap ticket right near the beach on a summer night.  Ambience is unmatchable, really.   Lots of regulars. 

The Mets - we have a partial season ticket package, so with the small percentage of fans allowed they're telling us we may see some games from seats somewhere inside the stadium at some time.  Hello?  We've already paid for those tickets LAST year.  Get those shots in those arms, Joe Biden!  We're hoping to see maybe half the games we paid for.  But they have given us all-device access to the games on TV, for whatever that's worth.  I think the minors will by and large make it. 

When it comes to mascots, one of the Mets latest additions had always worn the number 00(Zero), but when he found out Mr. Met had the number he agreed not to wear it and took 99.  Mr. Met has 00.  In other words, Mr. Met the Mascot received the privilege given to a hall of fame player.   That, my friends, is a powerful mascot.  In fact, one of my buddies who is a dead-bang, dead-wrong Yankee fan told me that he had lost his children to the Mets.  What?  How?  They want to see Mr. Met, was the answer.  He's their guy.  They love him.

I should state for the record that my wife and I have photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Met, which are are right there next to our Mets Bobblehead Collection, which is next to the Atlantic District Praesidium Bobbleheads - me and my two homeboys.  Yes, mascots do count for something.

Dave Benke

I love minor league baseball!  Growing up in MD and VA meant that we were in the Carolina League (Durham, Kinston, Winston Salem NC, Salem VA, Hagerstown MD, and a few others that came and went.  Dad was a pastor in Hagerstown MD and the Hagerstown Suns became a franchise when we were there.  They were the Orioles' A Ball team.  In a few years, the Frederick (MD) Keys were the AA team in the Eastern League.  For a few years the A Ball team would play a game at 10am, the Frederick game would begin at 3p and the day would end with the Orioles playing at Memorial Stadium at 7 or 7:30.  Buses from Hagerstown and Frederick were busy that day.  Francis Scott Key was from Frederick, so they became the Keys.  Have no idea why Hagerstown was the Suns, but we loved them. 

Dad was the team chaplain for the Suns.  He led weekly worship in the bullpen for the Suns and whoever from the other team wanted to be there.  In the summer Dad would drop my brother and I off at the ballpark and then Dad would go to make a visit or have a meeting or something and then come back when that was over.  My brother and I had the run of the ballpark but we also had to work.  There was a covered grandstand with a little fence at the back to keep balls from rolling off onto fans at the concession stand below.  My brother and I would walk on the roof of the grandstand and fetch the foul balls.  The GM would then determine if the balls would be returned to play or would go in the batting practice ball pile.  We were paid in Coke and Esskay hot dogs, the official hot dog of the Bal'mer Orioles. 

Maybe the best moment was on a Monday or Tuesday night.  The Orioles had the day off.  Cal Ripken's brother Billy was playing for Hagerstown.  The Orioles' GM and Cal Ripken drove from Baltimore to watch Billy and the others.  Cal was sitting in the press box and when I walked in at the 3rd inning to do my work.  The Suns' GM says, "Hey Jeremy, want to meet Cal Ripken?"  "Good evening, Mr. Ripken.  Um...Was your trip from Baltimore okay?"  "It was just fine.  Thanks for asking.  This is a nice ballpark your team has here."  Then he signed a baseball for me.  And he called the team MY team as I was standing with the GM and assistant GM as if I was a part of that!  It was so awesome!

Dad took a call to Woodbridge VA, which is in Prince William County, VA.  They had an A Ball team in the Carolina League as well.  That team had been the Alexandria Dukes, a Pittsburgh farm team.  Then Prince William County built a bigger stadium and lured the Dukes there.  But then Pittsburgh found a different team and the Yankees reached a deal with the now-Prince William Cannons.  The Manassas battlefield is in PW County.  They had pinstripe uniforms and a PW hat that had interlocking letters like the NY hat.  Somehow the Yankees got a different franchise and PW was the affiliate for the Cardinals.  Dad was thrilled because he and Mom love the Cardinals.  But then the Montreal Expos became the Puerto Rico Expos and then became the Washington Nats.  It became natural for the PW Cannons to be the affiliate for Washington. 

The original mascot was Prince Willie, which was a person wearing a baseball uniform and a gigantic foam rubber head, which smelled like sweat, and yes, in high school, I was second string Prince Willie.  My regular job was selling beer in the stands- $2 for a can of Bud Light or Miller Lite.  Then to connect to Cannons a little more, Boomer was born and he was a giant cannonball.  He became Prince Willie's sidekick for a time until Prince Willie just stopped showing up.  (His head was probably too rancid.)  Then they stopped being the Prince William Cannons and became the Potomac Cannons, as a way of being more regional to include Fairfax CO a bit more.  And when they became the affiliate for Washington, they became the Potomac Nationals, or the P-Nats.  I have no idea what their current mascot is. 

All of that is to say, VU should still be the Crusaders.  I realize it impacts me in no way, but it is just so dumb. 

Jeremy
 

A Cal Ripken ball is a serious item in the scheme of life.  I have a Hank Aaron and a Warren Spahn.  Those are serious items in the scheme of life for a Milwaukee Braves fan.  You'd like the Cyclones - they have a guy with a King's crown who kind of emcees the between innings stuff - Kings County; one nite we took our church folks and it was Merengue Night - which was very satisfactory for the members from the Dominican Republic.  And most of the players on the teams, not by chance.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Likeness on March 03, 2021, 11:27:55 AM
One of the perks of attending Concordia Jr. College in Milwaukee was that we were
within walking distance of Milwaukee County Stadium, Home of the Braves.

One night I waited outside the Milwaukee Braves locker room and got free autographs
from Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Eddie Matthews, Del Crandall, Johnny Logan, Billy
Bruton, Lew Burdette, Andy Pafko and 10 other Braves.

The next night I stood outside the L.A Dodgers locker room and received free autographs
Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Duke Snider, Junior Gilliam, Gil Hodges, Johnny Podres,
Frank Howard and l2 other Dodgers.

Bottom Line:  After the game when the players are showered and shaved and wearing
suits and ties,  they enjoy signing autographs for free.......that was true in 1960
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on March 03, 2021, 11:46:45 AM
The Hagerstown team were the Suns because they were originally based in Myrtle Beach, SC--supposedly the place with the most sunny days on the east coast.  The team was part of the minor league purges this year.  They hadn't been doing well for years because the owners kept trying to move the team and finally people just stopped going.  Some folks are attempting to start a team associated with a non-MLB related league.  I've always found Class A ball to be rather like really good Legion ball.  When I was growing up there were all sorts of amateur leagues around and I spent many a Sunday afternoon watching guys play baseball who would go back to being mechanics, insurance salesmen and factory workers on Monday.  I wish we could recover those days.  Maybe we'll have a league in the New Jerusalem  :-\
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Likeness on March 03, 2021, 11:47:30 AM
The night I got the Dodger autographs, one of Frank Howard's fraternity brothers from
Ohio State University was standing outside the locker room for Frank.   He said to me
that he had a car and was driving Frank to his hotel downtown. He asked if I wanted to
go with them and I said yes.  So I got to talk with Frank Howard for awhile.
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on March 03, 2021, 12:53:28 PM
As an aspect of our culture, it's amazing how well I/we remember any encounter with stars/celebrities, and consider them something like a blessing, to have been inside the ropes where they live, and we remember these things. 

One of the agencies on which I serve on the board takes a box at a Mets game, and when Mr. Met comes in (which he does, to the luxury box folks), everybody was up and at 'em immediately for those pics.  And Mr. Met answered us with not one word.

At the same time in the luxury box area, the old Mets will show up, and then you can hobnob with John Franco or Tim Teufel or Darryl for example among the Mets luminaries.  So the last time, they came in, and I went over to Teufel and asked where he played in HS.  Which I already knew.  I told him that I was the baseball coach at Martin Luther in Queens when he was playing.  And we were in the same league, the Thruway League.  He remembered Martin Luther for that reason.  So, I told him, which was true, that we had heard all about him.  At the time he was a third-baseman.  And we were told, do not let that guy beat you - he will take you downtown in a heartbeat.  John Franco, listening, says, "Teufel had power?  When was this?"  Teufel replies - "he's right - I hit cleanup and I could take any of you idiots out of the yard."  Lots of laughter. So I go on, "Well, not that day.  Because I told our pitcher to walk you every time you came up.  Which we did.  And we won, 3-2."

Notable to me is that
a) I remember that event clearly, and - so do the members of that team, who are now 65. 
b) I remember the score of the game, and that we beat Tim Teufel's Team.

And I have no idea what I had for breakfast this morning.  Who's on first?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Jeremy_Loesch on March 03, 2021, 05:59:03 PM
A Tim Teufel story...he bounced around to various teams. In 1992 he played for the Padres. The Padres were in Chicago in early September. I was at RF for Kapelle practice for the opening service. It was a beautiful day, sunny, not too hot. My two best friends and I decided to skip choir practice to go to Wrigley to watch the game. We bought tickets way up high. The game wasn't too memorable except that the game went 14 innings. Harry Caray sang the 7th inning stretch twice. Many fans were leaving, so we ended up sitting in box seats in the 11th inning
 The Padres won because Tim Tuefel hit a solo home run in the top of the 14th. What a beautiful memory with my friends, baseball, and Old Style.

Jeremy
Title: Re: Valpo mascot task force
Post by: Dave Benke on March 04, 2021, 11:36:39 AM
A Tim Teufel story...he bounced around to various teams. In 1992 he played for the Padres. The Padres were in Chicago in early September. I was at RF for Kapelle practice for the opening service. It was a beautiful day, sunny, not too hot. My two best friends and I decided to skip choir practice to go to Wrigley to watch the game. We bought tickets way up high. The game wasn't too memorable except that the game went 14 innings. Harry Caray sang the 7th inning stretch twice. Many fans were leaving, so we ended up sitting in box seats in the 11th inning
 The Padres won because Tim Tuefel hit a solo home run in the top of the 14th. What a beautiful memory with my friends, baseball, and Old Style.

Jeremy

Great story!  Oddly I have a 1992 Cubs game story in which Harry sang the 7th inning stretch twice - weird science.  This was earlier in the year, and the only time I have ever been to Wrigley.  It was my mother's 80th birthday, and we negotiated a family gathering - my brother Bob was in Chicagoland - to celebrate.  She had never been to a major league game before.  We had decent upper area seats.  We had set it up for her name to be on the birthday board which is part of the 7th inning ceremonial.  So  come the seventh, Harry sings and up her name goes - Dorothea Benke 80th birthday - and she was completely amazed, as the cheers went up from the faithful.  "All for you, mom," we assured her.  And the game went 17 innings. So in inning 14, there she is again.  And they ran out of stuff to do, so her name came back up two more times before the merciful ending to the game.  I have no idea which team won, but she did.  For sure.

Dave Benke