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Messages - passerby

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1
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran Forum
« on: November 05, 2020, 11:38:58 PM »
And I  forgot Lutheran Quarterly. Is very interesting, though focused on Lutheran (and Luther) history and runs too few articles on contemporary Lutheranism.

2
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran Forum
« on: November 05, 2020, 11:26:22 PM »
I get one present from my parents every two years...a su scription to LF/FL. They don't need to get me any gift, but this makes them content. I rarely read LF. I just don't find it that interesting.  I look at the table of contents to see if I recognize any names. If I do, then I scan the article. I do look forward to FL, because that is more interesting. (I recognize that this may say something about my attention span.) But I look forward to reading what Richard and Peter write.

FL is good.
LF has not much to offer.

The mobbing issue was tremendously disappointing. I know ganga ainm personally and the lack of journalistic integrity was, even for something like LF, was rotten.

Jeremy
I think it is quite a good journal. It was at its best under Sarah Hinlicky's editorship. It seemed to be staying within the bounds of orthodoxy while reaching out to other Lutherans and Christians outside the American evangelical Catholic fold (in contrast to Paul Sauer, Ronald Bagnal (sp.) Leonard Klein, and Paul Hinlicky, however venerable these churchman were/are). My verdict is not in on Nelson yet, though he seems closer to Sarah H. in editing under a broad orthodoxy, even if he is bringing in a more political element. It's not always going to please hard-line evangelical catholics (to the extent they haven't swam the Tiber or Bosphorous yet) or the LCMS conservatives.  But, hey, it's not a church body or a doctrinal statement the ALPB is making you sign or join; why not subscribe, especially during this time of shrinkage of Lutheran institutions and resources? Advertisement ended.

Thanks for the comments Passerby. I appreciate reading them.

I get four journals. I'll rank them in order of what I would read first: First Things, Concordia Theological Quarterly, Concordia Journal, Lutheran Forum.

LF is okay but it's just not at the top of my list of things to read.

Jeremy

Jeremy: I read the same Journals.  One difference, I rate them Lutheran Forum, Concordia Journal, Concordia Theological Quarterly and First Things.   I also read Christianity Today  - a good source to understand how Orthodox Evangelical Christians understand Biblical discipleship.

Marie Meyer

Nice! And with a lot of things, the issues of each one will vary in terms of my interest level. I think it was the most recent CJ that was quite interesting to me.

Jeremy
The Cresset put out by Valporaiso U, used to be  favorite, although I lost touch with it. Mockingbird is 'Lutheranish" and interesting reading, although quite expensive.

3
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran Forum
« on: November 01, 2020, 05:49:57 PM »
I get one present from my parents every two years...a su scription to LF/FL. They don't need to get me any gift, but this makes them content. I rarely read LF. I just don't find it that interesting.  I look at the table of contents to see if I recognize any names. If I do, then I scan the article. I do look forward to FL, because that is more interesting. (I recognize that this may say something about my attention span.) But I look forward to reading what Richard and Peter write.

FL is good.
LF has not much to offer.

The mobbing issue was tremendously disappointing. I know ganga ainm personally and the lack of journalistic integrity was, even for something like LF, was rotten.

Jeremy
I think it is quite a good journal. It was at its best under Sarah Hinlicky's editorship. It seemed to be staying within the bounds of orthodoxy while reaching out to other Lutherans and Christians outside the American evangelical Catholic fold (in contrast to Paul Sauer, Ronald Bagnal (sp.) Leonard Klein, and Paul Hinlicky, however venerable these churchman were/are). My verdict is not in on Nelson yet, though he seems closer to Sarah H. in editing under a broad orthodoxy, even if he is bringing in a more political element. It's not always going to please hard-line evangelical catholics (to the extent they haven't swam the Tiber or Bosphorous yet) or the LCMS conservatives.  But, hey, it's not a church body or a doctrinal statement the ALPB is making you sign or join; why not subscribe, especially during this time of shrinkage of Lutheran institutions and resources? Advertisement ended.

4
Your Turn / Re: Not voting
« on: September 01, 2020, 05:15:12 PM »
I agree with not voting in this election and think this article makes several good points (although I would add the pro-life concerns as among my reasons for not voting for Biden):
https://spectator.us/wont-vote-2020-election/?fbclid=IwAR1I2dwOSLQQA3WlCtGZ8AGSYNbIFXnAzZBSBwZk-eOPMGR6NjaDb2a_8wQ

5
Your Turn / Re: White Fragility
« on: July 09, 2020, 04:18:43 PM »
As she says, "Most white people do not identify with these images of white supremacists and so take great umbrage to the term being used more broadly."

I certainly agree with that sentiment.  It's a bait and switch from where I stand.

I'd wager most people who hear "TEh pRezIDenT is A wHitE SupRemICAST" on social media don't have in mind the "sociological meaning" (that is, the meaning sociologists attached to an already existent description of hate groups).
You're right, they don't. But of course you are no longer talking about the book under consideration--you've switched.

Peace,
Michael

Well, I am talking about your description of what the book argues, to wit, that ...

She does use the term white supremacy, but she clearly distinguishes its sociological meaning from the popular consciousness that solely associates it with radical groups (p. 28). As she says, "Most white people do not identify with these images of white supremacists and so take great umbrage to the term being used more broadly."

Your response doesn't really seem to take counter-arguments to that concept seriously.  I think you granted the book doesn't either, but that strikes me as a problem.  Re-defining terms, especially terms that have a rightly pejorative gloss, strikes me as problematic.

It's as if the term is now re-defined and cannot be un-defined or even explained.  Now that it is in popular use as a synonym for Klansmen and Neo-Nazis, we'll now just use it to describe broader concepts (like America), with no concern that the change in terms won't be well understood.  Worse, we'll blame those subject to the new pejorative for not making the distinction and objecting to the characterization.  Leftist thought policing tends to be a one-way ratchet that way, but those of us who find it dishonest aren't likely to simply concede the point, especially when the rhetoric is aimed in our direction.

White Fragility is just another popularized version of critical race theory that has found its way from academia into corporate life. The movement from universities to the workplace is not so surprising given that the same thing has happened with feminism and LGBTQ activism. Whatever one thinks of DiAngelo's ideas, keep in mind that this ideology (that systemic racism is baked into American society) has had a chilling effect in academic discourse and freedom. I will be teaching criminology in a summer course next week and feel I am stepping on to a minefield of topics where a the wrong phrasing of a concept (maybe I forgot to upper case "Blacks" in my Powerpoint presentations) or trying to portray policing realistically can get me in trouble with a very woke sociology/criminology department. I do not have the privilege of tenure and am hired on a year-by-year basis, so please keep this concern in your prayers.

6
Your Turn / The New Awokening
« on: June 25, 2020, 01:05:40 AM »
This is a very good analysis by demographer Eric Kaufmann (author of the great book WhiteShift on populism) on the current unrest. It's long but worthwhile: https://quillette.com/2020/06/22/toward-a-new-cultural-nationalism/

7
Your Turn / Re: SCOTUS ruling
« on: June 19, 2020, 07:24:05 PM »
I notice that earlier this week SCOTUS ruled for GLBTQ etc., regarding job discrimination.  One part of the case involved a male transgender funeral home worker who showed up on his worksite dressed as a female.  He was fired.  SCOTUS majority said that the 1964 Civil Rights act prohibiting discrimination between male and female, could be stretched to mean that transgender persons had protection. 

None of us want to see people mistreated, or hounded, or bullied, or fired.  But I am now wondering, where does this leave us?  There is usually an exception for religious institutions in these rulings, but I can see in society that great confusion and further destruction of marriage and family will result.  If my 17 year old son wants to play on the high school girl's volley ball team, and he now identifies as female, who can stop him from playing volleyball with girls and using their locker room?  Will my 22 year old daughter lose her rowing team scholarship at college, because a male transgender person took her seat in the boat? 

The Methodist Bishop of MD in the late 90s had a pastor make a sexual transition.  He/she was prevented from pursuing the ministry further.  I assume the ELCA applauds the ruling. 

God's design for us is good and Godly.  We are certainly making a mess of the created order.  1st commandment stuff: I want to be god...….


I understand Judge Gorsuch acknowledged that religious freedom concerns will be considered in applying this law. But given the politicized and polarized nature of society, I have the uneasy feeling that the ruling will be used to bludgeon anyone criticizing glbtq rights in the workplace, as well as a lot of suspicion that anyone not on board with the gender agenda will be charged with bias where none may exist ("Why didn't my boss or company contribute or attend the pride festival? I think he's biased against gays and transgender people."), and other such nonsense.

8
Your Turn / Re: Mockingbird on Confederacy
« on: June 14, 2020, 11:17:41 PM »
The NYT strikes again: http://www.nyt.com/2020/06/12/opinion/sunday/floyd-protests-white-supremacy-html. The reporter seems to draw a straight line between protesting police brutality and the legitimacy of illegally knocking down statutes, including Christopher Columbus,  and the notion that most Americans support the Black Lives Matter movement. On the latter point, have more than a small segment of  Americans read the goals and positions of the actual movement? It seems like it was written for a college newspaper.   

9
Your Turn / Re: Christianity and Marxism
« on: June 12, 2020, 01:00:07 AM »
What are you objecting to as “Marxist sloganeering and ideology” at civil rights marches?

M. Staneck

Communists and other hard-line Marxists regularly attach themselves to any group/event that they think is helping to challenge capitalism and the "ruling class" (actually, this strategy was advocated in The Communist Manifesto). That's why you still see copies of the Daily Worker distributed at large marches and protests. So it would be difficult to march in any significant protest event without having some signs and symbols from the far left.

10
Your Turn / Re: Lutherdom Has Become the Sleeping Pygmy
« on: June 11, 2020, 02:08:54 PM »
I don't remember Jackson but I do remember a LaMarr Blecker?  Could that be of whom you are thinking? 

Jeremy
Yes, David Becker was a regular columnist in Christian News, not so much commenting as much as citing other sources showing "apostasy" in Lutheranism and other Christian bodies.

11
Your Turn / Re: Mockingbird on Confederacy
« on: June 10, 2020, 06:24:34 PM »
Passerby writes:
For many people, it is about memory of ancestors and far from a tribute to slavery. But even if it will always carry the stain of slavery, it is still part of the history--for better or worse--of that city.

I comment:
For better or worse? It will always be worse.
A friend from South Carolina, full disclosure, he is a liberal, says that the monuments and the generals who are on those monuments are there because they were defenders of slavery. Period. If it is a “memory of ancestors“, it is not a memory that should be glorified but a memory which should be repudiated.
Slavery in the south and in our history is more than a “stain.” It is and remains a monumental atrocity. There should be no Monuments glorifying any part of it or the generals who defended it.
It should be noted that many, if not most of those monuments were directed during the latter part of the 19th century, the time when “the south shall rise again“ was in vogue and when laws continued the repression of the former slaves.
And we should not re-cast it in theological terms. Maybe some of those general repented, maybe not. But in terms of civil justice, their “crimes” against the people of their time, Not to mention the rebellion against The legitimate authority of the United States remains.

Public monuments and statues having different meanings and memories for different people. A statue of Theodore Roosevelt in New York may carry negative emotions for Italian-Americans who know of Roosevelt's anti-immigrant Italian sentiment and his approval of the lynching of Italians in New Orleans while environmentalists remember fondly his conservation efforts. 
It is true that these statues in the South were erected during the late 19th century and were related to the "South shall rise again ideology" (even if their descendants have not espoused  these ideas for 40 years!). But it is also the case that veterans of the Civil War were passing away during this time and these monuments were seen as memorials to them.

12
Your Turn / Mockingbird on Confederacy
« on: June 10, 2020, 05:06:19 PM »
I'm a fan of Mockingbird, but I feel a little uneasy about this article, at least during this time of unrest:
https://mbird.com/2020/06/under-robert-e-lees-shadow-growing-up-in-the-lost-cause/

I understand how venerating confederate history, statues, and flags can put up a big barrier to blacks hearing the gospel. But they have run this article during a time of moral panic, where it seems mob rule is in effect for determining which parts of our history should be erased and which should be kept. The defacement and now likely removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond is a case in point. For many people, it is about memory of ancestors and far from a tribute to slavery. But even if it will always carry the stain of slavery, it is still part of the history--for better or worse--of that city. It is part of this utopian urge that Lutherans (and Mockingbird people) should resist. I just heard they toppled the statue of Columbus in Richmond and threw into a lake. So the moral panic (and it has to be called that) has spread beyond black issues, and again we get to the matter of the everyday meaning that these statues and objects have for people. Whatever exploitation of natives Columbus participated in, these statues have other more beneficial meanings for people, and not only Italian-Americans. Where does it end? I read they want to remove the name of famous prime minister William Gladstone from Liverpool University because his father was involved in the slave trade! God help us.   

13

Another fan of our former mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Too bad he didn't enter the primaries earlier.   :)

Peace, JOHN
A tragically typical response ... attack and minimize the poster ... rather than respond constructively to the material facts of the post while falsely judging the poster.


The fact of the matter is that I was rather surprised at the contents of the article given the author as I rarely agree with him.


Perhaps a more careful evaluation of the body of my posts would have revealed that as a pro life Lutheran, I have little in common with your former mayor.

Apparently Judge not lest year be judged carries little weight in some circles ... and conclusions are arrived at with little thought or care for facts ... or the truth.


Bloomberg was a subpar mayor. He micromanaged things, like restricting sugary drinks, taking over the city's schools, even getting involved in gun control issues out of state. I wonder about him as the head of contract tracing in New York. While I am no fan of either candidates, I thiink his presidency would have been a disaster.

14
Your Turn / Re: Racism and the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry
« on: June 09, 2020, 07:12:07 PM »
I’ve never been much for boycotts. Or Ben and Jerry’s anyway, go that matter.

I don’t say racism isn’t real. I say it is hidden in people, not systems. Systemic racism is an idea that allows people to explain current conditions without letting go of Utopianism. In practical terms, it is a way to claim that conservatism is racist without having to discern real racism on the part of any conservatives. One does not become an “ally” of anyone until one promotes progressive politics. That’s why black conservatives aren’t really black; it isn’t a race but an ideology, to which Joe Biden’s party wants black people chained.

 I do not think Peter's comments are at all lucid.  Once again, LCMS pastors  please read the CTCR report Racism in the Church, Overcoming the Idolatry. 

The LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations is hardly liberal.  They are in every way a group of  conservative LCMS pastors and laymen.   

Racism is as hidden in systems and institutions including the churches.  The last thing we need to do as Christians is to  make this a political issue!

The CTCR did not shy away from calling racism an Ideology and a sin that we of the LCMS need to acknowledge.

I call attention to the section  Barriers to Overcoming Racism. 

"As we Christians - who are at the same time saints and sinners - confront the sin of racism, we must first of all realize that we have to over come a host of obstacles that are constantly being erected by the world, the devil and our own sinful flesh."

Barriers include:  Denial,  Untenable assumptions,  Paternalism,  Different Meanings and Frames of Reference,  Fear of Differences and  Fear of Change.


Keep reading the CTCR and forget this nonsense about who is a liberal (Utopian) and who is political conservative.

Marie Meyer
p.s.  The Lutheran Human Relations Association was considered to be a group of LCMS "liberals."  Without those men and women the LCMS would not have made the progress we have in race relations......  Just thought of it, LCMS persons associated with the LHRA were also supporters of the ALBP.  They wrote for the Forum Letter and Luthran Forum. Just another bunch of "liberals."

Peter Speckhard seems to be of the opinion of his late (and great) uncle Richard Neuhaus who once said that "systemic evil" is "just a lot of people sinning." But I think we can speak as racism as being systemic in the way specific laws, policies, and practices (real estate advertising) that are carried out by institutions that perpetuate discrimination. Yet it is also the case that racism is not the only or even main thing about the U.S. (which social justice warriors claim); there are also systems of integration, unity, social betterment that can--and often have-- counteracted racism.

15
Your Turn / Re: Fixing systemic racism
« on: June 04, 2020, 10:29:57 PM »
I think it might help to define what we mean by "systemic racism."  I believe it can also be called "institutional racism." So, I assume, we will be addressing how racism impacts institutions and groups, including, but not exclusive of law enforcement. 

Fixing much of this requires changes in structures that are often well above us.  We can vote in people we think will help influence this, but I'm not sure, short of holding a significant political position or office, that we can directly influence racism at this level. However, I realize many will say that organized mass protests help to influence change.  If that is the case we have to get a handle on those who are high jacking this form of expression.  Right now the waters are being muddied by fringe groups intent on injecting violence, destruction and mayhem into these gatherings. 

Churches, being institutions, certainly lie closer to our area of influence.  I live in a fairly homogeneous community, so I'm probably not the person to offer a lot of firsthand observations and suggestions.  That said, I think it is clear that the attitude of the pastor certainly helps to influence the overall attitude of a parish.

On the matter of systemic racism, I'm quoting a sociologist and journalist from Facebook (I don't have permission to use his name):
Systems and institutions are not unitary but often quite divided: racism here; equality there.Systemic racism doesn't mean the whole system is racist. It means that it is an element in the system, because systems are quite complex culture-wise and institution wise. Racism is just one element in the system. The egalitarian dna is there also. Otherwise, we can't explain most American history. We end up having to say every democratic advance in American history is an illusion, used by racists in a cunning scheme to keep African Americans down. Same with identity systems. "

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