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Messages - James_Gale

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1
Your Turn / Re: Christian Nationalism? No
« on: July 29, 2022, 11:47:09 AM »
.
For example, in the first community where I served, one could probably have recited the Lord's Prayer with little issue. Where I serve now, perhaps that wouldn't work.

As one who is now a Christian religious minority, I must ask:   Would the school recitation of the Lord's Prayer include the closing doxology--or not?

I'd appreciate hearing from Fr. Hummel on this as well.

I teach in a Catholic school, so no dozology. But where I live in DE I cannot imagine public prayer in school unless it something appropriated from Islam or some eastern religion. Not because of population, but because our benevolent progressive overlords know best.


I lived for years in DC and volunteered for a time as a mentor at a public charter school there.  The students were almost all black.  Prayer and discussion of God were pervasive.  I don't know that the school actually sponsored or led prayer.  But students certainly were very open about their faith, including during nearly every student graduation speech I heard.  The "overlords," many no doubt progressive upper-middle-class white folk, may have been a bit uncomfortable did they not intervene.

2
Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: July 27, 2022, 11:44:16 AM »
If you’re not knowledgeable about “Christian nationalism,“ then you do not know the religious history of our country, particularly of the 20th century. Read up on that, then we can talk. I’m not giving instruction here about things people should already know.


So very typical.  When pushed to make an actual argument, you deflect and refuse to engage over substance.  That's what people do when they know that they can't make an actual case for something.

3
Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: July 27, 2022, 11:40:21 AM »
And my serious question is once again missed. What about those candidates running on a “Christian nationalist“ platform? That platform includes a strong strain of white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Some evangelicals are drifting towards this “Christian nationalist“ point of view. Are we willing to speak up against them in favor of a multicultural non-theocratic nation?

And did I not say, Jim Butler, that I consider this strategy of supporting a supposedly bed opponent is stupid? Democrats should not do it.


You said that you oppose this kind of trickery, not because it's immoral, but because it's likely to be ineffective or even counterproductive.  People here would take you a bit more seriously if you could sometimes apply at least some of the same standards to your own tribe that you persistently ask others to apply to theirs.

4
Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: July 27, 2022, 11:34:36 AM »
And my serious question is once again missed. What about those candidates running on a “Christian nationalist“ platform? That platform includes a strong strain of white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Some evangelicals are drifting towards this “Christian nationalist“ point of view. Are we willing to speak up against them in favor of a multicultural non-theocratic nation?

And did I not say, Jim Butler, that I consider this strategy of supporting a supposedly bed opponent is stupid? Democrats should not do it.


Instead of urging everyone to condemn unnamed candidates who purportedly profess some point of view with which I'm not familiar, perhaps you could define "Christian nationalism" (I'm not familiar with the term) and we can discuss it.  That might actually be fruitful. 


Your approach is about as productive as asking "what about those candidates" running in support of legalized killing of unborn and just-born babies?  Or who favor racial preferences and discrimination in education?

5
Your Turn / Re: Would a Good Samaritan kill someone?
« on: July 18, 2022, 04:09:37 PM »
Yesterday, Sunday, at an Indianapolis Mall, an evil person killed three people with a gun, shooting randomly.  Then a patron in the food court pulled out his gun (owned legally and lawfully) and shot the perpetrator dead.  Now there is reaction.  Some called the armed citizen, who stopped the evil person from killing more people, a good samaritan.  Others object saying a good samaritan would never kill any one. 

I have thought about myself and what I would do, if say, a shooter shot at my family or friends, or congregation.  Would I leap on such a person and try to disarm them?  And in a wrestling match, who knows the outcome? 

Does killing an evil person who intends to do further bodily harm to other persons, make that person a good samaritan?  Am I trying to justify myself, as the lawyer in the story?

Would a Good Samaritan put down someone who is randomly killing people with a rifle as opposed to what?

Would it have been better for this person to stand aside and watch other be murdered while he had the capacity to end it?

I don't know if I'd call the patron a Good Samaritan. But I'd say he chose the lesser to two evils.


Don't forget that Dicken's choice wasn't as simple as either saving lives or standing aside.  He put his own life very much on the line for others.  According to police reports, he took steps to move others out of danger before engaging the shooter.


What Dicken did was tragic.  While evil most assuredly was at play, I would absolutely not say that Dicken's actions were evil.

6
Your Turn / Re: Would a Good Samaritan kill someone?
« on: July 18, 2022, 04:04:04 PM »

Call the young man what you like, he put his own life on the line to save many others.  He likely will pay a price for his heroic actions.  He did kill another young man.  That is a tragedy irrespective of the circumstances.

Here's what the local police said about the young man, named Elisjsha Dicken:

"His actions were nothing short of heroic," Ison said. "He engaged the gunman from quite a distance with a handgun, was very proficient in that, very tactically sound. And as he moved to close in on the suspect, he was also motioning for people to exit behind him."

7
https://saintpaul.cdlex.org/
https://www.wkyt.com/2022/07/01/ky-catholic-church-hosts-unprecedented-service-apology-lgbtq-community/
     They're not hiding from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, much less condemning it. They cite CCC #2358 on their literature. It's a difficult time to be a pastor (much less a bishop).

Peace,
Michael


It seems to me that sections 2357-59 must be read together. Focusing on any part of this three-section segment to the exclusion of the rest will lead one astray.

8
"Saint Paul Catholic Church in Lexington posted a copy of the program to its Facebook page saying the service was an apology to the community for 'the Church's lack of respect, compassion, and sensitivity and for unjust discrimination.'..

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that homosexual acts are ''acts of grave depravity.' It says 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered' and they are 'contrary to natural law.'"

https://www.foxnews.com/us/kentucky-catholic-church-apology-lgbtq-community


This service seems to me to be consistent with the outlook of Lexington's bishop.  Link 

9
Has anyone seen whether Bremerton's Head Coach has been forced to rehire Assistant Coach Kennedy, who was on yearly term contract?

Peace,
Michael


According to this linked report, it's unclear whether Kennedy will be back on Bremerton's sidelines.  Given the passage of time, a financial settlement might be as likely as anything. 

10
Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: June 25, 2022, 12:08:22 PM »
From today’s NY Times
Senators say Kavanaugh gave private assurances that he felt Roe should stand
WASHINGTON — During a two-hour meeting in her Senate office with the Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh on Aug. 21, 2018, Senator Susan Collins of Maine pressed him hard on why she should trust him not to overturn Roe v. Wade if she backed his confirmation.
   Judge Kavanaugh worked vigorously to reassure her that he was no threat to the landmark abortion rights ruling.
   “Start with my record, my respect for precedent, my belief that it is rooted in the Constitution, and my commitment and its importance to the rule of law,” he said, according to contemporaneous notes kept by multiple staff members in the meeting. “I understand precedent and I understand the importance of overturning it.”
   “Roe is 45 years old, it has been reaffirmed many times, lots of people care about it a great deal, and I’ve tried to demonstrate I understand real-world consequences,” he continued, according to the notes, adding: “I am a don’t-rock-the-boat kind of judge. I believe in stability and in the Team of Nine.”
   Persuaded, Ms. Collins, a Republican, gave a detailed speech a few weeks later laying out her rationale for backing the future justice that cited his stated commitment to precedent on Roe, helping clinch his confirmation after a bitter fight. On Friday, Justice Kavanaugh joined the majority in overturning the decision he told Ms. Collins he would protect.
   His seeming turnabout in the case on Friday prompted Ms. Collins and another senator, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, who gave Justice Kavanaugh crucial votes for his narrow confirmation to vent their anger, saying they felt their trust had been abused. Their indignation was echoed across the Capitol by lawmakers who said the court’s decision on Friday helped drain what was left of any credibility Supreme Court nominees have in their confirmation hearings.
   “I feel misled,” Ms. Collins said in an interview, adding that the decision was in stark contrast to the assurances she had received privately from Justice Kavanaugh, who had made similar, if less exhaustive, pronouncements at his public hearing.
   Mr. Manchin, the only Democrat to vote for Justice Kavanaugh, also expressed similar sentiments about Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who made his own strong statements about adhering to precedent during his confirmation in 2017.
   “I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans,” said Mr. Manchin, who himself is anti-abortion.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/24/us/roe-kavanaugh-collins-notes.html


I don't know whether Senators Collins and Manchin feel "conned."  We can't truly know what anyone said in private meetings.  Each person's notes will lack context and can include something of the notetaker's own spin.


What we do know is that in their confirmation hearings, Judge Gorsuch and Judge Kavanaugh both discussed stare decisis and the role of precedent.


Gorsuch said that Roe v. Wade is "precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court worthy as treatment of precedent like any other."  But he went on to refuse to uphold any particular precedent because in so doing he would be "tipping my hand and suggesting to litigants that I have already made my mind up about their cases."  Similarly, Kavanaugh testified that while it is important to respect precedent, you "listen to all arguments" in weighing whether to follow it.  Taking the record as a whole, it seems to me that Senaors Collins and Manchin failed to consider the whole record in forming any conclusions. 


This all is consistent with the Ginsburg rule under which nominees for the Supreme Court steadfastly refuse to disclose how they would rule on a particular question.


(Judge Barrett, when asked whether Roe v. Wade should be considered a "super precedent," which questioners had defined as being so well settled "that no political actors and no people seriously push for their overruling.  And I'm answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates that Roe doesn't fall in that category.")

11
Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: June 25, 2022, 11:47:40 AM »
Pastor Hannah posts an interesting commentary from a long-time pro-life activist.
I do not like the "Hooray! We won! Now we are in charge!" attitude of some pro-lifers. That is not true and the suggestion that "Now we're gonna get at gay marriage and contraception" is very misguided. (Coming from a Supreme Court justice it is downright scary.)
   Neither do I like the apocalyptic howls of some pro-choice people. Some of those noises mask hostilities to religious faith, along with some abhorrently amoral attitudes.
   We also need to avoid placing our concern for all of religious faith, patriotism, civil law, morality, team spirit and life itself on one issue.
   There are threats about us that go beyond opposing abortion or defending the right to have one. Some of these, I fear, are more destructive and if we rip each other up on this one issue, the others may do us in.


What's scary is a Supreme Court that considers itself empowered to read into the Constitution legal rules not even remotely supported by the Constitution's text.  When the Court has exercised this self-created power, it has removed matters from the political branches of the federal and state governments and in the process has subverted democracy.  We all should be wary of a Court that is willing to do whatever it pleases, the law be damned.  And we should laud any judge who promises to guide the courts away from such judicial tyranny.


One need only read Roe v. Wade and Casey to recognize that those decisions were not tethered to any coherent Constitutional principles.  Dobbs does nothing less or more than recognize that the Court's job is solely to interpret the Constitution and other laws.  Its job does not extend to making policy decisions that the Constitution by its silence plainly leaves to the political branches and to the people.


Dobbs obviously is about abortion, but only secondarily.  It is primarily about the preservation of our Constitutional system.  If the Court's conservatives had wanted to take the Breyer/Sotomayor/Kagan approach to Constitutional interpretation, they could have declared that the Constitution offers all its right s and protections to all persons from conception.  This would have been a pro-life analog to Roe v. Wade and Casey.  But the Court did no such thing.  Its opinion is absolutely neutral on abortion precisely because the Constitution is silent on the topic.  The Court therefore expressly held that the Constitution provides no basis for recognizing either a woman's right to an abortion an unborn child's right to be born.  Abortion policy therefore is to be made by the legislative branches of our federal and state governments.  It is up to the democratic process.


Why anyone, irrespective of political or social perspectives, would want nine old, unelected jurists to usurp the role properly exercised by the people's elected representatives is beyond me.

12
Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: June 24, 2022, 10:14:34 AM »

13
Your Turn / Re: Succession, Calls, and Vetting of Would-be Pastors
« on: June 15, 2022, 09:10:26 PM »
Community Church of Joy, formerly one of the largest ELCA congregations, withdrew from the ELCA, (unrelated to that,) it is now Dream City - Glendale Campus; a huge multi-site Assembly of God church.

From Living Lutheran:
20 Largest ELCA congregations in 2012 [I believe that these are their average weekly worship attendance]

Hope, West Des Moines, Iowa 9,539
Mount Olivet, Minneapolis 6,000
Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Irving, Texas 4,500
Hope, Fargo, N.D. 3,258
St. Philip the Deacon, Plymouth, Minn. 1,968
Shepherd of the Valley, Apple Valley, Minn. 1,920
St. Andrew, Mahtomedi, Minn. 1,894
Bethlehem, Minneapolis 1,698
Lord of Life, Maple Grove, Minn. 1,483
Good Shepherd, Naperville, Ill. 1,475
Sheridan, Lincoln, Neb. 1,432
Our Savior of East Mesa, Mesa, Ariz. 1,418
Prince of Peace, Burnsville, Minn. 1,389
Mount Calvary, Excelsior, Minn. 1,375
Southwood, Lincoln, Neb. 1,345
Community, Las Vegas 1,258
Our Saviour, Naperville, Ill. 1,222
Good Shepherd, Madison, Wis. 1,216
St. Paul, Davenport, Iowa 1,195
Hope, The Villages, Fla. 1,183

Hope Lutheran in West Des Moines is fairly new, having been organized in 1994. The latest figures (2019): baptized members 19,220 average worship 13,021. They have 10 clergy, Mike Housholder, was the founding pastor and is still the lead pastor.

Mount Olivet, had been the largest congregation for many years. It was organized in 1920. Its latest figures has 15,212 baptized members. Its in house average worship is 2550. I don't know about the tradition of their pastoral leadership, but I'm certain it hasn't been the same one for the past 102 years.


Mt. Olivet was led by Pr. Reuben Youngdahl and then his son Paul from 1938-1911. After an interim term served by Dennis Johnson, John Hogenson became senior pastor. He tragically died of cancer shortly thereafter. Pr. David Lose, former president at the seminary in Philadelphia, succeeded John and remains the senior pastor. It was the original Augustans mega-church, in some
ways. But worship and music are pretty traditional. However, services are too short to accommodate communion at most services.

14
Your Turn / Re: Church of Sweden elects new archbishop
« on: June 10, 2022, 09:00:00 PM »
The real story, though, is that only about a quarter to a third of the populations of those countries say that they believe in God.  Membership in the old established church remains high because the church still plays a valued role in marriages, funerals, and burials.  (A Swedish pastor I know told me that you can't be buried in a church-owned cemetery unless you are a church member.)

The mission of these ancient church bodies can't help but be influenced by the fact that very few church members believe the church's historic teachings, let alone practice according to those teachings.

My ancestors were part of the Pietist movement (Swedish Free Church and Swedish Mission Covenant Church). Do you know if those offshoots are still around in any number?


I believe that these and other bodies merged into the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden. But I’m not entirely sure.

15
Your Turn / Re: Church of Sweden elects new archbishop
« on: June 10, 2022, 10:21:10 AM »
How united are Lutherans in Sweden? Will Archbishop Modéus serve them all, or are there Lutherans who do not recognize him?
Over half the population still belongs formally to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden, which was the established state church until about 20 years ago. A very small number of Lutherans have broken away. The biggest challenge facing the old state church comes not from other Lutheran bodies but from those falling into agnosticism and secularism. Many maintain formal membership in honor of tradition and to gain access to church weddings, funerals, and burial.
Is there a split like the one in Finland, where the Lutheran churches don't seem to recognize each other much if at all? We had a thread here not so long ago about religious freedom in Finland where the difference was a factor.

Peace,
Michael


It’s not the same dynamic in Sweden. The former state church has no major divisions and there are very very few Lutherans outside the old state church.

How many Lutherans outside the old state church are there in Finland, Norway and, if it applies, Denmark?  I am remembering the accession of non-state Lutheran groups in those countries at LCMS conventions, but with very small numbers.  The SELK in Germany is roughly the size of a smaller district or ELCA synod, but is - again in memory - far larger than the Scandinavian outliers from the former state churches.

Dave Benke

Dave Benke


There are very few Nordic Lutherans outside the old established churches.  In each of Norway, Denmark, and Finland, between 55% and 70+% of the population belong to the old established church.  Only a smattering of self-identified Lutherans exist outside these bodies.


The real story, though, is that only about a quarter to a third of the populations of those countries say that they believe in God.  Membership in the old established church remains high because the church still plays a valued role in marriages, funerals, and burials.  (A Swedish pastor I know told me that you can't be buried in a church-owned cemetery unless you are a church member.)


The mission of these ancient church bodies can't help but be influenced by the fact that very few church members believe the church's historic teachings, let alone practice according to those teachings. 

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