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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Charles Austin on March 22, 2021, 01:16:03 PM

Title: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Charles Austin on March 22, 2021, 01:16:03 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/20/opinion/sunday/progressive-christians-politics.html?smid=em-share

Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Daniel Lee Gard on March 22, 2021, 03:04:26 PM
While I cannot read the NY Times article (I will not pay for a subscription), the headline is interesting.

True, he goes to Church. But it is also true that his public policy is in opposition to the faith he professes. The sanctity of life and the the family are strong Roman Catholic positions. His political positions serve to undermine his Church. Maybe he might start listening to his ecclesial leaders?
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Robert Johnson on March 22, 2021, 03:14:01 PM
A priest in South Carolina denied Biden communion.

abcnews.go.com/Politics/south-carolina-priest-denied-joe-biden-communion-abortion/story?id=66640658 (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/south-carolina-priest-denied-joe-biden-communion-abortion/story?id=66640658)
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Dave Likeness on March 22, 2021, 03:18:39 PM
Both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are Cafeteria Catholics.  They have picked what is
distasteful to the conservative Roman Catholic beliefs.....They believe in abortion
and homosexual marriage.  Biden and Pelosi like to boast of their membership in
the Roman Catholic Church.  Yet they pick and choose what they want to believe.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: D. Engebretson on March 22, 2021, 04:19:33 PM
Dr. Gard - I don't pay for a subscription to NY Time either, yet I was able to open the online article.

I read through the brief OP-ED piece, but noticed it really wasn't as much about the religiosity of Joe Biden, as it was a celebration of religious diversity, with hits on the religious right. The author appears quite supportive of "progressive Christianity," as he puts it, noting that "it began with Jesus." The premise is supported by observing that Jesus chastised those who were rich, yet apparently forgetting that a lot of people on the left are quite rich. 

He quotes the Rev. William Barber, a leader of the Poor People’s Campaign, saying: "Some folks hijacked Christianity and decided that they were going to put up a lot of money to promote the idea that to be a person of faith was to be anti-choice, anti-gay, pro-gun, pro-tax cut.” Barber calls that “theological malpractice.”

That last quote seems to sum up a stereotypical and simplistic view of the Christian right.  The quote by Billy Graham's granddaughter also echoes it: "“We have seen homophobia, hostility toward women’s rights, xenophobia and lack of concern for the poor.” She compares the damage right-wing Christian extremists have done to Christianity to the harm Muslim extremists have brought to Islam.

These are the labels placed upon conservative Christians today.  If we oppose abortion for the sake of unborn life we are "hostile toward women's rights." If we state that the Bible opposes same-sex marriage we are immediately labeled as "anti-gay" and thus deliberately and purposefully hateful.  The entire right side of the spectrum seems lumped into "right-wing Christian extremists."  One could argue that is not their intent, but it sure comes off that way. 

I understand that the US is a place of religious diversity.  I have no problem working side-by-side with people of other religious convictions.  I believe that we should treat all people respectfully.  But that does not arise simply out of embracing and celebrating the greater virtue of "progressive Christianity," which seems to be the thrust of this author's OP-ED.

Biden does reflect this new "progressive Christianity" in that he embraces the identity of being part of a church body while choosing to publicly disagree with significant moral beliefs of that body. Some Christians would wonder if that lacks integrity, in that if he does not agree with his church, then why does he work so hard to show his support of it?
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: RDPreus on March 22, 2021, 04:34:58 PM
I am amazed at how many Roman Catholic politicians there are that reject basic teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.  Biden used to show at least a little bit of respect for the consciences of fellow Catholics and others who did not want their tax dollars to fund abortion.  Now he is fully in support of the left wing agenda on abortion.  Well, that's the price you pay to get the Democratic Party to nominate you for president.  I wonder what Biden's pastor thinks about this.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Richard Johnson on March 22, 2021, 04:35:09 PM
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: John_Hannah on March 22, 2021, 04:48:42 PM
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

Yeah, if the Bidens (or any of those mentioned in the essay) were everyday citizens, I would love to have them as members. They seem to come to church every Sunday which is above average. I have always had members who didn't agree with official teaching but were most supportive in other ways. It's not a perfect world. I bet most pastors here would like to have more members like the Bidens, et. al.   ;D

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 22, 2021, 04:59:25 PM
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

Yeah, if the Bidens (or any of those mentioned in the essay) were everyday citizens, I would love to have them as members. They seem to come to church every Sunday which is above average. I have always had members who didn't agree with official teaching but were most supportive in other ways. It's not a perfect world. I bet most pastors here would like to have more members like the Bidens, et. al.   ;D

Peace, JOHN
I think there is a big difference between disagreeing with this or that teaching and deliberately, flagrantly, and publicly contradicting it. One can have reservations about some teaching that just seems off or that one simply struggles to understand.

In our statement concerning what we teach in the school concerning sexuality we list many things that we realize are controversial and difficult for some to accept. I'm under no illusion that every member of our community understands and believes our teaching. But if they publicly undermine our teaching or actively dissuade others from accepting it, they can be removed from our community. 
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Dan Fienen on March 22, 2021, 05:26:28 PM
Which is more important, to find a religious viewpoint and community that agrees with and supports my political philosophy, or the find a political philosophy that agrees with my religious viewpoint? It is a temptation of the right and the left to let their politics inform and determine their religion. We can certainly see that in some of the ways that Evangelicals assume that Jesus supports their fixation on Trump and right wing positions. But we can also see a form of that on the left when they pick and choose from the religion what supports their progressive ideology and leave behind what becomes embarrassing in their progressive secular circles. Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi flaunt their Catholic religiosity but are deaf to the Roman Catholic emphasis on life issues that progressives have eschewed.


Many politicians and public figures on the left who claim religion are often accused of practicing cafeteria religion. But with even a cursory look it become apparent that for many on the right also in their rush to wrap themselves in the flag and the cross are just as selective in what they are willing to learn from Jesus.


Somehow the spectacle of our those of our ruling class who vary daringly embrace their religion, or those portions of their religion that have been carefully vetted as acceptably progressive, does not bring me much encouragement. It's OK to be a progressive Christian! as they craft laws to enact progressive policies and specifically remove any consideration for those whose religion is not progressive enough.


I guess that Nicholas Kristof shows us that despite the attempts of those nasty conservatives to obscure things, Jesus was a good and faithful progressive Democrat after all.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Dave Benke on March 22, 2021, 05:44:46 PM
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke

Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 22, 2021, 05:48:18 PM
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke
What do you find objectionable about Sen. Johnson?
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Dave Benke on March 22, 2021, 05:59:23 PM
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke
What do you find objectionable about Sen. Johnson?

Pretty much this:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/21/us/politics/ron-johnson-wisconsin-misinformation.html. 

In our conversation venue, I wonder what congregation he attends and what his religious background is in Lutheranism.  Don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: RDPreus on March 22, 2021, 06:08:08 PM
I can't access the NY Times article, but I searched the internet for things about Ron Johnson and it seems the left can't stand him for the usual reasons the left can't stand conservatives.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 22, 2021, 06:09:53 PM
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke
What do you find objectionable about Sen. Johnson?

Pretty much this:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/21/us/politics/ron-johnson-wisconsin-misinformation.html. 

In our conversation venue, I wonder what congregation he attends and what his religious background is in Lutheranism.  Don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke
Really? He has “sown doubts” about the election, said the capitol rioters were not as frightening as antifa rioters (obvious), downplayed climate change, etc. There isn’t a thing there contrary to Christian teaching. On matters touching things Christianity actually has a position on, he is solid.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Charles Austin on March 22, 2021, 06:43:00 PM
Pastor Hannah writes:
Yeah, if the Bidens (or any of those mentioned in the essay) were everyday citizens, I would love to have them as members. They seem to come to church every Sunday which is above average. I have always had members who didn't agree with official teaching but were most supportive in other ways. It's not a perfect world. I bet most pastors here would like to have more members like the Bidens, et. al.
I comment:
Amen to that!
Do you guys actually believe that all of your members are side-by-side with you on the issue of abortion and gay marriage? Do you believe that all your parishioners will join you and all your “pro life“ marches? I doubt that.
And are you going to denigrate their faith and church membership if they happen to be on the other side of you on those issues? I doubt that.
So what is your problem then with the president?
Pastor Fienen takes this as another opportunity to whine that every progressive thinks that Jesus had to be a Democrat. That combines a whole bunch of categories, and it’s not really the case. It’s only used to cloud the issue and whine about how you are so abused.
If a conservative politician worked hard to pass anti-abortion laws, you would not complain.
So if progressive Christians try to preserve the present situation, what is your problem?

Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on March 22, 2021, 08:13:59 PM
Pastor Hannah writes:
Yeah, if the Bidens (or any of those mentioned in the essay) were everyday citizens, I would love to have them as members. They seem to come to church every Sunday which is above average. I have always had members who didn't agree with official teaching but were most supportive in other ways. It's not a perfect world. I bet most pastors here would like to have more members like the Bidens, et. al.
I comment:
Amen to that!
Do you guys actually believe that all of your members are side-by-side with you on the issue of abortion and gay marriage? Do you believe that all your parishioners will join you and all your “pro life“ marches? I doubt that.
And are you going to denigrate their faith and church membership if they happen to be on the other side of you on those issues? I doubt that.
So what is your problem then with the president?
Pastor Fienen takes this as another opportunity to whine that every progressive thinks that Jesus had to be a Democrat. That combines a whole bunch of categories, and it’s not really the case. It’s only used to cloud the issue and whine about how you are so abused.
If a conservative politician worked hard to pass anti-abortion laws, you would not complain.
So if progressive Christians try to preserve the present situation, what is your problem?

I can't speak for anyone else, but IMO support for abortion as it is today expressed by many, if not most, members of the Democratic party is satanic in nature, contrary to the will of God and horrifying to most people who actually understand what is going on.  Maybe there will be a third line on judgment day--sheep, goats and abortionists.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Dave Benke on March 22, 2021, 08:28:50 PM
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke
What do you find objectionable about Sen. Johnson?

Pretty much this:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/21/us/politics/ron-johnson-wisconsin-misinformation.html. 

In our conversation venue, I wonder what congregation he attends and what his religious background is in Lutheranism.  Don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke
Really? He has “sown doubts” about the election, said the capitol rioters were not as frightening as antifa rioters (obvious), downplayed climate change, etc. There isn’t a thing there contrary to Christian teaching. On matters touching things Christianity actually has a position on, he is solid.

Really what?  I'm asking if he is actually in the WELS, if he's a congregant at a WELS church.  As a said, I don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 22, 2021, 10:40:34 PM
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke
What do you find objectionable about Sen. Johnson?

Pretty much this:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/21/us/politics/ron-johnson-wisconsin-misinformation.html. 

In our conversation venue, I wonder what congregation he attends and what his religious background is in Lutheranism.  Don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke
Really? He has “sown doubts” about the election, said the capitol rioters were not as frightening as antifa rioters (obvious), downplayed climate change, etc. There isn’t a thing there contrary to Christian teaching. On matters touching things Christianity actually has a position on, he is solid.

Really what?  I'm asking if he is actually in the WELS, if he's a congregant at a WELS church.  As a said, I don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke
I was expressing mock disbelief at the NYT’s predictable screed against all things Republican as well as asking why you would use such purely political criteria to dismiss a senator when on all the things that actually matter in terms of Christianity he has an excellent record. I no longer live in Wisconsin, but I would gladly vote for Johnson if I could.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: D. Engebretson on March 23, 2021, 08:55:00 AM
I think that a distinction needs to be made between a Christian who is a major public figure - in this case a very major public figure - and the average member.  In the first case there is far greater ability to influence and lead.  Just as a pastor is in his own community.  I am very careful how I speak publicly because I know that my words carry more weight than the average person in my own area.  The president seems either unaware of that, or is counting on it, as he openly puts forth views that are in direct opposition to his own church body.  The president, more than any citizen, has a platform with greater and more powerful ability to persuade and convince. He is often the most known, the most photographed, the most quoted, the most followed.  Many regular Catholics, I suspect, watch his actions and listen to what he says and figure that this is in line with what the church believes and confesses.  They are not going to take the time to crosscheck what the pope says, or what encyclicals say on the subject.  They listen to the authority figures which they hear and see most regularly. 
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: John_Hannah on March 23, 2021, 09:11:14 AM
The fact remains that abortion law will not change until the public is convinced. Tinker with elections and judges all you want; we still need to convince, convince, convince in this democracy. Until it changes we as Christians remain faithful and still pray for change.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Charles Austin on March 23, 2021, 09:11:51 AM
I don’t think that most American Roman Catholics need President Biden to lead them to his take on the faith. I think the majority of Roman catholic Americans are already with him on it.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 23, 2021, 09:23:50 AM
The fact remains that abortion law will not change until the public is convinced. Tinker with elections and judges all you want; we still need to convince, convince, convince in this democracy. Until it changes we as Christians remain faithful and still pray for change.

Peace, JOHN

That having been said, the absolute least convincing witness a pro-life person can make is to vote for pro-choice candidates. It tells the public it doesn’t really matter that much or that it isn’t really murder. As long as pro-life people don’t rule out voting for pro-choice candidates, they are actively working against the “convince, convince, convince” phase of the campaign.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: D. Engebretson on March 23, 2021, 09:44:52 AM
According to the Pew Research Center:
More than half of U.S. Catholics (56%) said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while roughly four-in-ten (42%) said it should be illegal in all or most cases, according to the 2019 Pew Research Center survey. Although most Catholics generally approve of legalized abortion, the vast majority favor at least some restrictions. For example, while roughly one-third of Catholics (35%) said abortion should be legal in most cases, only around one-fifth (21%) said it should be legal in all cases. By the same token, 28% of Catholics said abortion should be illegal in most cases, while half as many (14%) said it should be illegal in all cases...

Two-thirds of Catholics who attend Mass weekly or more often (67%) said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while one-in-three (33%) said it should be legal. The ratio is almost exactly reversed for those who attend less frequently: Among Catholics who attend Mass less than weekly, roughly two-thirds said abortion should be legal in all or most cases (65%), while approximately one-in-three (32%) said it should be illegal in all or most cases...

Most Catholics who identify as Republican or lean toward the Republican Party (63%) said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while an even larger share of Catholics who identify as Democrats or lean that way (77%) said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, the 2019 survey showed. Still, roughly one-third of Catholic Republicans (36%) favored legal abortion, while 17% of Catholic Democrats opposed it, reflecting some dissent within both parties on this issue...

Roughly two-thirds of Catholics (68%) said they do not want the Supreme Court to completely overturn the landmark decision, while almost three-in-ten (28%) said the ruling should be overturned...

Even though most Catholics said abortion should generally be legal, a majority also said abortion is morally wrong. In fact, the share who said that abortion is morally wrong (57%), according to data from a 2017 survey, and the share who said it should be legal (56%) are almost identical...

...not all Catholics trust their clergy’s advice on abortion, according to a survey conducted in 2019. Roughly one-third of Catholics overall said they have “a lot” of confidence (34%) that their clergy can provide useful guidance on this topic, while an additional one-third had “some” confidence (33%). Among White evangelical Protestants, by comparison, 59% had a lot of confidence in their clergy’s advice on abortion, and another quarter (26%) had some confidence.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/10/20/8-key-findings-about-catholics-and-abortion/
 (https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/10/20/8-key-findings-about-catholics-and-abortion/)

Interesting that the more faithful one is in attending Mass, the more likely they are to be opposed to legal abortion.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: MaddogLutheran on March 23, 2021, 10:09:28 AM
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

How do they do that?

What basic church teaching do Lutherans ignore or pick and choose from?  First of all, our churches aren't as specific about such things as the Roman Catholic Church bishops are.  I don't perceive anything in the Lutheranism that allows such binding of consciences on matters of public policy that would pertain to elected officials who are members.

On abortion, certainly the Missouri Synod comes close (as the subsequent discussion amply demonstrates).  But the ELCA isn't the mirror image, because we haven't yet had the courage to officially embrace the pro-abortion position.  Okay, if anything, maybe progressive ELCA people "flout" out social statement on abortion...but do any ever face any repercussions?
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: RDPreus on March 23, 2021, 10:45:37 AM
As I recall, there was a Senator Simon from Illinois some years ago who belonged to the LCMS and took a public position in favor of legal abortion.  I believe he was the brother of a prominent minister in the LCMS.  At the time, the LCMS had not spoken as clearly against abortion as she has in recent years. 
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Dave Benke on March 23, 2021, 11:05:24 AM
I think that a distinction needs to be made between a Christian who is a major public figure - in this case a very major public figure - and the average member.  In the first case there is far greater ability to influence and lead.  Just as a pastor is in his own community.  I am very careful how I speak publicly because I know that my words carry more weight than the average person in my own area.  The president seems either unaware of that, or is counting on it, as he openly puts forth views that are in direct opposition to his own church body.  The president, more than any citizen, has a platform with greater and more powerful ability to persuade and convince. He is often the most known, the most photographed, the most quoted, the most followed.  Many regular Catholics, I suspect, watch his actions and listen to what he says and figure that this is in line with what the church believes and confesses.  They are not going to take the time to crosscheck what the pope says, or what encyclicals say on the subject.  They listen to the authority figures which they hear and see most regularly.

Therefore at least in the view of some here, the face of conservative Lutheran in influential public service leadership to God and country in these days and times is Ron Johnson.

Dave Benke
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: JEdwards on March 23, 2021, 12:10:55 PM
The president, more than any citizen, has a platform with greater and more powerful ability to persuade and convince. He is often the most known, the most photographed, the most quoted, the most followed.  Many regular Catholics, I suspect, watch his actions and listen to what he says and figure that this is in line with what the church believes and confesses.  They are not going to take the time to crosscheck what the pope says, or what encyclicals say on the subject.  They listen to the authority figures which they hear and see most regularly.
I agree with you that the president has an enormous platform to persuade and convince, but I seriously doubt that a significant number of Roman Catholics are in doubt or confused about what their Church teaches on hot-button issues like abortion.  I think a greater risk for the RCC is the perception that one set of rules applies to the influential and powerful, and another to the average person.  Divorced and remarried Catholics who have not received an annulment (either because they haven't tried, or because their petition was not granted) are generally not eligible to receive the Eucharist (with narrow exceptions); this is justified on the grounds that the Church's witness to the permanence of marriage is compromised by communing persons whose living situation contradicts that witness.  On the other hand, when a political leader's policy advocacy contradicts the Church's witness on abortion, it is rare for him or her to be denied communion.  I'm not arguing for or against either pastoral approach, just noting the apparent inconsistency.

Peace,
Jon
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on March 23, 2021, 12:16:54 PM
As many Jewish people have little or no involvement in the religion, so do many who self identify as Catholics are not truly Catholic, it's a kind of ethno-thing.  The voting differences between active Protestants and active Catholics are negligible. 
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: D. Engebretson on March 23, 2021, 12:20:01 PM
As I noted in my previous post from the quoted article:
"Two-thirds of Catholics who attend Mass weekly or more often (67%) said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while one-in-three (33%) said it should be legal. The ratio is almost exactly reversed for those who attend less frequently: Among Catholics who attend Mass less than weekly, roughly two-thirds said abortion should be legal in all or most cases (65%), while approximately one-in-three (32%) said it should be illegal in all or most cases..."

The president is obviously among the minority (33%) of those who attend Mass regularly who believe that abortion should be legal.  The greater number, 67%, who attend mass believe differently.  Is this due to what they hear at Mass and/or from their priests?  I do not know what is in our president's heart and mind, but I wonder how he reconciles what he hears at Mass and what he knows his church believes, teaches and confesses, with his conviction that abortion should be legal and fully available to all. Does he share their view of life?

That, I think, is the rub - how we define life.  The president, I suspect, must not share how his church defines life.  We have discussed that here previously, and I know that some believe that the life in the womb is either not fully human or not truly a viable life before it is born.  The freedom of a person to have a choice to keep or terminate this life is held as a more cherished and important right than the protection of this unborn life. 

I think that this has profound implications well beyond the issue of abortion.  The protection of all life is at stake, especially the terminally ill, the disabled, and the incapacitated.  But I know that my fears are not shared and will be seen as overblown. 

Again, I'm wondering how our president reconciles what he hears at church with what he promotes in public.  He hasn't given us an insight into that.  I wish he would.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Randy Bosch on March 23, 2021, 12:27:15 PM
Therefore at least in the view of some here the face of conservative Lutheran in influential public service leadership to God and country in these days and times is Ron Johnson.
Dave Benke

Interestingly nuanced restrictive qualifier, Dave "...at least in the view of some here..."  Well played.

You might at least also consider the work of Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.  She is a member of an LCMS congregation, at least in Wyoming when she was previously a Congresswoman when we were there.

She attended worship at the congregation to which we belonged on several occasions when she was visiting our part of the State on Sundays far from home.  No announcements, no press, no public relations "photo op" or talk.  Another Lutheran Christian worshipping on Sunday.  If you welcomed the visitor, she would share her name and participate in fellowship, without any political motive or politicking.  As a woman in leadership in the public square - and an LCMS Lutheran to boot - she did and continues to represent her constituents very well, not "at least in the view of some here"...
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Charles Austin on March 23, 2021, 12:28:18 PM
Excerpted from Living Lutheran this past January:
ELCA-affiliated members who won re-election to the Senate in 2020:
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.,
ELCA Lutheran incumbents continuing in the Senate:
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.,
WELS continuing in office
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
LCMS and  the Senate
Sen, Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., joined the chamber for the first time, whereas LCMS member Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., lost his bid for reelection. Sen. Lummis rejoins Congress after having retired from the House of Representatives in 2016.
Leaving at the start of the 117th Congress:
Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., and Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., announced their retirements last year and did not seek reelection. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-N.M.―lost their bids for reelection in 2020.
ELCA Members returning to the House:
Rep. John Carter, R-Texas; Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.; Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo.; Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif.; Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine; Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Pa.; and U.S. Delegate Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands. Other self-described Lutherans who will be returning are Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D.; Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich.; Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn.; Rep. Ron Estes, R-Kan.; Rep. Tracey Mann, R-Kan.; Rep. Donald Norcross, D-N.J.; and Rep. David Trone, D-Md.
WELS re-elected:
Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis.,
LCMS members re-elected:
Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind.; Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis.; and Rep. Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn.,
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Charles Austin on March 23, 2021, 12:37:17 PM
Having dealt with a number of members of the House and Senate on various religion-related matters over the years, I offer the following.
The elected officials are like any cross-section of a Lutheran congregation, no matter what flavor. Some are "active" some are not. Some are rather close to their Lutheranism, others are not. In office, most are interested in two things: getting the legislation they favor passed and getting re-elected. Most, especially Republicans, place a high value on "party loyalty;" some mavericks are present among Democrats.
Many do indeed listen when "the church" speaks, either through social statements or other means. They listen because they know that their constituents are part of "the church." But politics is the art of compromise and sometimes conceding. Those elected will compromise and on some matters they will concede that the legislation will not go their way.
Often, when hard-line "I have the will and word of God" politicians are elected, they fail in their office because when you have the "will and word of God," you cannot compromise; and if you do, those who elected you because you represent to them the "will and word of God" will turn on you.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 23, 2021, 12:48:30 PM
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) grew up LCMS and attended LCMS parochial schools. His parents are still members of an LCMS congregation in Nebraska. He married a committed Evangelical and now is, I believe, part of a non-denominational church. He gave the address at Concordia-Bronxville's graduation ceremony a few years ago.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 23, 2021, 12:54:28 PM
The Crossings Community will be discussing Ed Schroeder's article, "Is There a Lutheran Hermeneutic?"


[From The Lively Function of the Gospel, in The Caemmerer Festschrift, St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 1966, p. 81-97. Later published in The Promising Tradition: A Reader in Law-Gospel Reconstructionist Theology, ed. By Edward H. Schroeder, St. Louis, Missouri, 1973.]


Ed makes this argument (emphasis added):


As far as the history of Western Christian theology was concerned, Luther’s discovery brought St. Paul’s theology of the righteousness of God back into the center of theological conversation after a very long hibernation. Thus it is no surprise when the Lutheran Confessions in the following years give prime attention to this theology of God’s righteousness. But here something happens which Joachim Beckmann calls unique in the history of Christian theology up until that time.[1] The Lutheran confessors do not say: Here is one important element in the total package of Christian theology that has been lost, a brick that has fallen out of the edifice of the edifice of Christian theology, and now we desire to have it put back where it belongs so that the package may be complete. They do not treat this one as one article among the several important articles of faith, but they confess that it is the only article of faith. Even when we read the confessors’ discussions of other articles, we soon become aware that in all their varied assertions and affirmations they have only one confession, one article, which stands out as the recurring and monotonous theme under all the variations. Later it was even called “the article by which the church stands or falls” (articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae).


[1] Here and elsewhere below are reflected perspectives formulated in Joachim Beckmann, “Die Bedeutung der reformatorischen Entdeckung des Evangeliums fur die Auslegung der Heiligen Schrift,” Luther, XXXIV (1963), 20-30.

I bring this up because it seems that some Lutherans elevate other issues as articles of faith, e.g., pro-life positions, anti-same-sex marriages, etc. If "God's righteousness" given to us by God's grace through Christ (as he argues elsewhere in the article), the people in our pews might differ on these other issues - and not have it threaten the one article of faith. Pro-life and pro-choice members are sinners made righteous by the grace of God in Christ. Those on both sides of the homosexual relationship issues are sinners made righteous by the grace of God in Christ.


His whole essay can be found at https://crossings.org/table-talk/ (https://crossings.org/table-talk/)
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: John_Hannah on March 23, 2021, 12:57:27 PM
I think that a distinction needs to be made between a Christian who is a major public figure - in this case a very major public figure - and the average member.  In the first case there is far greater ability to influence and lead.  Just as a pastor is in his own community.  I am very careful how I speak publicly because I know that my words carry more weight than the average person in my own area.  The president seems either unaware of that, or is counting on it, as he openly puts forth views that are in direct opposition to his own church body.  The president, more than any citizen, has a platform with greater and more powerful ability to persuade and convince. He is often the most known, the most photographed, the most quoted, the most followed.  Many regular Catholics, I suspect, watch his actions and listen to what he says and figure that this is in line with what the church believes and confesses.  They are not going to take the time to crosscheck what the pope says, or what encyclicals say on the subject.  They listen to the authority figures which they hear and see most regularly.

Therefore at least in the view of some here, the face of conservative Lutheran in influential public service leadership to God and country in these days and times is Ron Johnson.

Dave Benke

Senator Johnson is not very conservative as far as I can tell. He describes the rioters of Epiphany 2021 as law abiding in spite of the clear and myriad public evidence that they broke into the capital and assaulted law enforcement officers. So far, 400 rioters have been arrested, 100 under the Trump administration. Some of these may be charged with sedition.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on March 23, 2021, 01:25:34 PM
Another paragraph from Schroeder's article.


If we have everything else in the Christian heritage, all the other articles of faith, but do not have this, we have nothing. At least, we have nothing specifically Christian to stand on. The opposite is also true. So long as we still have this one gratis gift, we may let everything else go— “life, goods, fame, child, and wife”—and we have not lost out on anything. In practice Luther applied this line from “A Mighty Fortress” to theology itself. If a supposed article of faith has nothing to do with this one article, it will become a competitor with the solus Christus. Whatever we let go without letting go of this one gracious gift is no real loss; we are still fully and truly Christian, and we dare let no one convince us we are not. If someone tries to do so, he is criticizing not us but our Lord Jesus Christ—the consequences of which, for the critic, are disastrous.


Are abortions and same-sex marriages part of what "we may let … go"? Going further, if they have nothing to do with the one article, are they in competition with solus Christus?


Discussions about the morality of abortions or same-sex marriages are good to have. To connect a position to Christianity ends up destroying the Christian faith.
 
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 23, 2021, 01:26:22 PM
The Crossings Community will be discussing Ed Schroeder's article, "Is There a Lutheran Hermeneutic?"


[From The Lively Function of the Gospel, in The Caemmerer Festschrift, St. Louis, Concordia Publishing House, 1966, p. 81-97. Later published in The Promising Tradition: A Reader in Law-Gospel Reconstructionist Theology, ed. By Edward H. Schroeder, St. Louis, Missouri, 1973.]


Ed makes this argument (emphasis added):


As far as the history of Western Christian theology was concerned, Luther’s discovery brought St. Paul’s theology of the righteousness of God back into the center of theological conversation after a very long hibernation. Thus it is no surprise when the Lutheran Confessions in the following years give prime attention to this theology of God’s righteousness. But here something happens which Joachim Beckmann calls unique in the history of Christian theology up until that time.[1] The Lutheran confessors do not say: Here is one important element in the total package of Christian theology that has been lost, a brick that has fallen out of the edifice of the edifice of Christian theology, and now we desire to have it put back where it belongs so that the package may be complete. They do not treat this one as one article among the several important articles of faith, but they confess that it is the only article of faith. Even when we read the confessors’ discussions of other articles, we soon become aware that in all their varied assertions and affirmations they have only one confession, one article, which stands out as the recurring and monotonous theme under all the variations. Later it was even called “the article by which the church stands or falls” (articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiae).


[1] Here and elsewhere below are reflected perspectives formulated in Joachim Beckmann, “Die Bedeutung der reformatorischen Entdeckung des Evangeliums fur die Auslegung der Heiligen Schrift,” Luther, XXXIV (1963), 20-30.

I bring this up because it seems that some Lutherans elevate other issues as articles of faith, e.g., pro-life positions, anti-same-sex marriages, etc. If "God's righteousness" given to us by God's grace through Christ (as he argues elsewhere in the article), the people in our pews might differ on these other issues - and not have it threaten the one article of faith. Pro-life and pro-choice members are sinners made righteous by the grace of God in Christ. Those on both sides of the homosexual relationship issues are sinners made righteous by the grace of God in Christ.


His whole essay can be found at https://crossings.org/table-talk/ (https://crossings.org/table-talk/)
Qn what you bolded, Ed Schroeder is simply wrong. Lots of non-Trinitarian folks and heretics who denied the two natures of Christ in various ways could easily believe in salvation by grace through faith as a stand-alone doctrine. Most Unitarian Universalists do, in fact.

Saying something is the doctrine on which the church stands or falls doesn't imply that it can stand even entirely separated from other doctrines. It is like a keystone that holds the arch up. But it doesn't float there by itself.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: MaddogLutheran on March 23, 2021, 01:28:43 PM
Senator Johnson is not very conservative as far as I can tell. He describes the rioters of Epiphany 2021 as law abiding in spite of the clear and myriad public evidence that they broke into the capital and assaulted law enforcement officers. So far, 400 rioters have been arrested, 100 under the Trump administration. Some of these may be charged with sedition.
Peace, JOHN
Perhaps you can provide the specific quote/citation, but I don't find this a fair characterization of Senator Johnson's opinion on what happened at the Capitol.  There's been a lot of that going around since then, to score political points.  Of course, there are fervent Trump supporters who are unrepentant and not contrite about what happened.

But again, since Stacey Abrams was celebrated for 2 years as the truly legitimate governor of Georgia by people outraged at Trump's stolen election rhetoric, I'm about done with everyone in the public square about this stuff.  No one has clean hands.

I'm only commenting on this point here because I think Senator Johnson's faith integrity is being wrongly impugned.  Otherwise I thought you and the powers that be at the ALPB weren't going to allow such political discussion.  Count me as confused as Pastor Bohler recently about that.  I've stayed silent since the "new" policy, and watched some of the same unpleasantness unfold like clockwork, from the same offenders.  Selective moderation is worse than no moderation, especially since you all chose to scapegoat anonymous posters when that clearly wasn't the primary cause of forum unpleasantness.

Sterling Spatz
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: David Garner on March 23, 2021, 01:35:24 PM
Senator Johnson is not very conservative as far as I can tell. He describes the rioters of Epiphany 2021 as law abiding in spite of the clear and myriad public evidence that they broke into the capital and assaulted law enforcement officers. So far, 400 rioters have been arrested, 100 under the Trump administration. Some of these may be charged with sedition.
Peace, JOHN
Perhaps you can provide the specific quote/citation, but I don't find this a fair characterization of Senator Johnson's opinion on what happened at the Capitol.  There's been a lot of that going around since then, to score political points.  Of course, there are fervent Trump supporters who are unrepentant and not contrite about what happened.

But again, since Stacey Abrams was celebrated for 2 years as the truly legitimate governor of Georgia by people outraged at Trump's stolen election rhetoric, I'm about done with everyone in the public square about this stuff.  No one has clean hands.

I'm only commenting on this point here because I think Senator Johnson's faith integrity is being wrongly impugned.  Otherwise I thought you and the powers that be at the ALPB weren't going to allow such political discussion.  Count me as confused as Pastor Bohler recently about that.  I've stayed silent since the "new" policy, and watched some of the same unpleasantness unfold like clockwork, from the same offenders.  Selective moderation is worse than no moderation, especially since you all chose to scapegoat anonymous posters when that clearly wasn't the primary cause of forum unpleasantness.

Sterling Spatz

In.

Deed.

Sir.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: RDPreus on March 23, 2021, 01:40:59 PM
Another paragraph from Schroeder's article.


If we have everything else in the Christian heritage, all the other articles of faith, but do not have this, we have nothing. At least, we have nothing specifically Christian to stand on. The opposite is also true. So long as we still have this one gratis gift, we may let everything else go— “life, goods, fame, child, and wife”—and we have not lost out on anything. In practice Luther applied this line from “A Mighty Fortress” to theology itself. If a supposed article of faith has nothing to do with this one article, it will become a competitor with the solus Christus. Whatever we let go without letting go of this one gracious gift is no real loss; we are still fully and truly Christian, and we dare let no one convince us we are not. If someone tries to do so, he is criticizing not us but our Lord Jesus Christ—the consequences of which, for the critic, are disastrous.


Are abortions and same-sex marriages part of what "we may let … go"? Going further, if they have nothing to do with the one article, are they in competition with solus Christus?


Discussions about the morality of abortions or same-sex marriages are good to have. To connect a position to Christianity ends up destroying the Christian faith.

Does not the Christian religion stand opposed to abortion and same sex "marriage"?  How does saying so destroy the Christian faith?  How does it militate against justification through faith alone?
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: peter_speckhard on March 23, 2021, 01:57:43 PM
Another paragraph from Schroeder's article.


If we have everything else in the Christian heritage, all the other articles of faith, but do not have this, we have nothing. At least, we have nothing specifically Christian to stand on. The opposite is also true. So long as we still have this one gratis gift, we may let everything else go— “life, goods, fame, child, and wife”—and we have not lost out on anything. In practice Luther applied this line from “A Mighty Fortress” to theology itself. If a supposed article of faith has nothing to do with this one article, it will become a competitor with the solus Christus. Whatever we let go without letting go of this one gracious gift is no real loss; we are still fully and truly Christian, and we dare let no one convince us we are not. If someone tries to do so, he is criticizing not us but our Lord Jesus Christ—the consequences of which, for the critic, are disastrous.


Are abortions and same-sex marriages part of what "we may let … go"? Going further, if they have nothing to do with the one article, are they in competition with solus Christus?


Discussions about the morality of abortions or same-sex marriages are good to have. To connect a position to Christianity ends up destroying the Christian faith.

Does not the Christian religion stand opposed to abortion and same sex "marriage"?  How does saying so destroy the Christian faith?  How does it militate against justification through faith alone?
St. Paul did so much destroying of the Christian faith, apparently. He said anyone who didn't care for his relatives had denied the faith and was worse than an unbeliever. Imagine denying salvation by grace through faith that way just because some otherwise good, faithful Christians were part of the pro-neglecting family camp.
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: John_Hannah on March 23, 2021, 01:59:48 PM
Senator Johnson is not very conservative as far as I can tell. He describes the rioters of Epiphany 2021 as law abiding in spite of the clear and myriad public evidence that they broke into the capital and assaulted law enforcement officers. So far, 400 rioters have been arrested, 100 under the Trump administration. Some of these may be charged with sedition.
Peace, JOHN
Perhaps you can provide the specific quote/citation, but I don't find this a fair characterization of Senator Johnson's opinion on what happened at the Capitol.  There's been a lot of that going around since then, to score political points.  Of course, there are fervent Trump supporters who are unrepentant and not contrite about what happened.

But again, since Stacey Abrams was celebrated for 2 years as the truly legitimate governor of Georgia by people outraged at Trump's stolen election rhetoric, I'm about done with everyone in the public square about this stuff.  No one has clean hands.

I'm only commenting on this point here because I think Senator Johnson's faith integrity is being wrongly impugned.  Otherwise I thought you and the powers that be at the ALPB weren't going to allow such political discussion.  Count me as confused as Pastor Bohler recently about that.  I've stayed silent since the "new" policy, and watched some of the same unpleasantness unfold like clockwork, from the same offenders.  Selective moderation is worse than no moderation, especially since you all chose to scapegoat anonymous posters when that clearly wasn't the primary cause of forum unpleasantness.

Sterling Spatz

Thank you Sterling. I agree that we have drifted into the political thicket again and we should not. I hesitated but commented because Senator Johnson is a Lutheran.

As to the source of my remark see:

https://wkow.com/2021/03/17/sen-johnson-defends-saying-jan-6-crowd-less-threatening-than-black-lives-matter-protesters/

Johnson told 27 News he was defending a peaceful majority of Trump supporters who were in Washington but did not enter the Capitol on January 6.

"By and large, they were people that respect law enforcement, that would never even think of rioting or breaking the law and that's just the point I've been trying to make." Johnson said. "I've been trying to push back on the broad brush that 74 million Americans are somehow suspected terrorists."

I hope this helps. Back to radio silence.   :)

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
Post by: Randy Bosch on March 23, 2021, 02:00:00 PM
The thread title, "A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration", seemed to invite consideration of professed Christians within the current Biden-Harris (as the White House now characterizes itself) Administration.
As the thread has progressed, its nature has been revealed - virtue signaling without meaningful content descending into besmirching of non-"conservative" Christians in the public realm.  Coming next?  Clishmaclaver and bavardage?

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."  Saul Bellow.

Stick a fork in it, please.