Author Topic: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule  (Read 51268 times)

Charles_Austin

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #345 on: November 20, 2007, 01:15:32 PM »
Marshall Hahn cites the afflictions of homosexuals, medical and otherwise; and I ponder:
How many of these things are due to their sexual orientation and how many are because of the way they have had to live in society and the way society has treated them and the way they have had to either cover for or suffer for their sexuality?

David Charlton

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #346 on: November 20, 2007, 01:48:00 PM »
Once officially sanctioned, congregations will not be at liberty to refuse candidates based on sexuality any more than they could refuse a candidate based on gender or ethnicity.
Congregations have great liberty to refuse candidates. The Call Committee can refuse to consider a candidate, i.e., not speak to them on the phone, not interview them. Even after these steps, the Call Committee can refuse to recommend a candidate to the congregations. Even with a Call Committee's recommendations, the congregation can refuse to elect (by 2/3 majority) to Call the candidate. Even after more than 20 years, there are congregations who refuse to call a female pastor.

And the synod office can refuse to send them any more candidates until they are willing to call a woman or a person of color.  Synods do have that power and, since it is one of the few points of leverage that they have, they often use it. 

I also think the refusal to consider all candidates approved for ordination in the ELCA is an act of bad faith by the congregation.  I therefore would not suggest it as a viable alternative for congregations that don't want to call those in committed same gender relationships.

David Charlton

Dave_Poedel

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #347 on: November 20, 2007, 02:09:15 PM »
Marshall Hahn cites the afflictions of homosexuals, medical and otherwise; and I ponder:
How many of these things are due to their sexual orientation and how many are because of the way they have had to live in society and the way society has treated them and the way they have had to either cover for or suffer for their sexuality?

Perhaps some of these negative effects are the result of shunning by the culture at large.  I question whether the placing of homosexuals in relationship as the pastor of a congregation will aid the process of mainstreaming this arrangement into the culture.  For those who do not wish to argue or debate or "become enlightened", the wisdom of bringing in a gay or lesbian couple into the leadership of their congregation may simply provoke a voting with their feet.  Besides, most Lutherans are "nice" people and very tolerant.  When their tolerance quotient is exceeded, they will likely just leave for somewhere else.

The medical complications of being a gay man are not the effect of any societal pressures.  My years in medicine give me the impression and judgment that the sex life of a gay man is very stressful on the human body.  Besides the abuse noted above (and I saw a lot of that as a paramedic, some of the violence very severe) the peri-rectal abscesses are very threatening to life and health.  It is a simple matter of anatomy...God did not design the rectum for the kind of trauma that occurs in gay sex.  Yes, the same can occur in heterosexual couples engaging in anal sex, but that is not the norm of behavior as it is in male homosexual couples or the gay culture.

Sorry for being explicit from a medical viewpoint, but to blame these complications on society is not fair.

BeornBjornson

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #348 on: November 20, 2007, 02:18:15 PM »
Responding to jmiller's observation of the effect of the "new" orthodoxy (pro-glbtq) at ELCA seminaries:

1.  In general, you're right about the general product from our seminaries for the past 10-15 years (I'd even go back further than that) stamped with the pro-glbtq ideology.

2.  However, there have and continue to be wonderful exceptions--of young orthodox-traditional pastors coming out of revisionist dominated seminaries, including Wartburg and Gettysburg.  I was greatly heartened at the recent STS General Retreat at the large number of young pastors (of course, at 47, "young" is growing in relative range ;)).  

3.  On the reform side of things, we do need to support and help and connect with orthodox-traditional seminarians--and find ways to deal with the problem of "revisionist-dominated" seminaries.  That would also include responding to the concerns raised by Pr. Hughes. 

Pastor Ken Kimball, STS  
Lutheran CORE Steering Committee

MMH

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #349 on: November 20, 2007, 03:07:40 PM »
Marshall Hahn cites the afflictions of homosexuals, medical and otherwise; and I ponder:
How many of these things are due to their sexual orientation and how many are because of the way they have had to live in society and the way society has treated them and the way they have had to either cover for or suffer for their sexuality?

Charles-

Your point is a good one.  It was my original inclination when given the data. 

But- as per my note upstream, there are studies that take into consideration those problems to factor them out.  Also, the data come as well from countries/areas where there is acceptance & tolerance of the behavior.  So, one can conclude that it is the behaviors engaged in that lead to the problems, behaviors that are destructive no matter how committed the couple.

I know a physician who had a committed gay couple in the apartment above him (this was in the 50s in NYC way prior to HIV).  One of the couple ended up dying because of the terrible destruction of his anus and colon through repeated acts of sodomy with his committed partner.  They had turned to this doctor for help (he was a surgeon) but there was not enogh left with which to work.

Now- I realize this is anecdotal evidence and not statistical.  But, as my P&S prof taught me as an undergrad- statistics are what you get when you add up the anecdotes.  And maybe the stats we see are just that.

So- every time someone on the floor of my Synod assembly brings up the wonderful homosexual couple they know, can I stand up & share this story?








John Dornheim

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #350 on: November 20, 2007, 03:16:59 PM »


And the synod office can refuse to send them any more candidates until they are willing to call a woman or a person of color.  Synods do have that power and, since it is one of the few points of leverage that they have, they often use it. 

I also think the refusal to consider all candidates approved for ordination in the ELCA is an act of bad faith by the congregation.  I therefore would not suggest it as a viable alternative for congregations that don't want to call those in committed same gender relationships.

David Charlton

It may be bad faith indeed but would you really want to place a candidate in a congregation where you know that their life will be made miserable for the duration of the call?
I think that most Synods can find places for their candidates although I know that my former one was pretty ticked at the congregation who voted down the one candidate which they were offered-first call woman from the midwest to an urban African descent congregation. While I wasn't particularly impressed with her credentials or her answers to their questions, I thought it a poor match all around. Did they reject her based upon ethnicity or gender? No. The synod told her that they would send her papers anywhere she wanted and they did.
John Dornheim

Marshall_Hahn

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #351 on: November 20, 2007, 03:40:09 PM »
Pastor Austin ponders as to the causes of the afflictions of homosexuals, and I respond:
These ponderings are addressed rather comprehensively in Gagnon's work, particularly, and in great detail in "The Bible and Homosexual Practice" but also in subsequent replies to responses to this work that can be found on his website.  In his exploration of the data, his conclusion is that the level of acceptance of homosexual practice does not have an appreciable effect on these afflictions, especially the medical and health risks.

Marshall Hahn

John Dornheim

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #352 on: November 20, 2007, 03:52:44 PM »

Perhaps some of these negative effects are the result of shunning by the culture at large.  I question whether the placing of homosexuals in relationship as the pastor of a congregation will aid the process of mainstreaming this arrangement into the culture.  For those who do not wish to argue or debate or "become enlightened", the wisdom of bringing in a gay or lesbian couple into the leadership of their congregation may simply provoke a voting with their feet.  Besides, most Lutherans are "nice" people and very tolerant.  When their tolerance quotient is exceeded, they will likely just leave for somewhere else.

Given the current state of affairs, a seminarian in a partnered relationship would probably not be certified and would need to purse the route that Jen Rude did. A partnered pastor currently serving would probably stay put unless there was a sure fire opportunity to (as openly) serve elsewhere.

John Dornheim

John Dornheim

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #353 on: November 20, 2007, 03:56:56 PM »
Responding to jmiller's observation of the effect of the "new" orthodoxy (pro-glbtq) at ELCA seminaries:

1.  In general, you're right about the general product from our seminaries for the past 10-15 years (I'd even go back further than that) stamped with the pro-glbtq ideology.

2.  However, there have and continue to be wonderful exceptions--of young orthodox-traditional pastors coming out of revisionist dominated seminaries, including Wartburg and Gettysburg.  I was greatly heartened at the recent STS General Retreat at the large number of young pastors (of course, at 47, "young" is growing in relative range ;)). 

3.  On the reform side of things, we do need to support and help and connect with orthodox-traditional seminarians--and find ways to deal with the problem of "revisionist-dominated" seminaries.  That would also include responding to the concerns raised by Pr. Hughes. 

Pastor Ken Kimball, STS 
Lutheran CORE Steering Committee

If 2. is a reality, then it would appear to make 3. a moot point.

John Dornheim

Mike Bennett

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #354 on: November 20, 2007, 04:12:20 PM »
Sorry. Having nothing "substantive" or "pertinent" or "scriptural" to add, I'll lay low.

That would be "lie low." I should have expected a "journalist" to know that - particularly one who makes a point of correcting others' writing errors.

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

Charles_Austin

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #355 on: November 20, 2007, 04:27:37 PM »
Mike Bennett writes:
That would be "lie low." I should have expected a "journalist" to know that - particularly one who makes a point of correcting others' writing errors.

I comment:
But one who never says he is error-free himself on any matter, unlike some who post here.

Marshall_Hahn

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #356 on: November 20, 2007, 04:34:08 PM »
But one who never says he is error-free himself on any matter, unlike some who post here.

Can't be me.  I made a mistake once.  Thought I was wrong about something.  Turned out I wasn't.

Marshall Hahn

Mike Bennett

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #357 on: November 20, 2007, 04:42:19 PM »
But one who never says he is error-free himself on any matter, unlike some who post here.

Can't be me.  I made a mistake once.  Thought I was wrong about something.  Turned out I wasn't.

Marshall Hahn

Reminds me of a time when a subscriber was asked if he could be wrong about The Issue.  Why of course! he admitted - in fact I used to be wrong about it, but now I'm right! True account.   :D

Mike Bennett
“What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?”  2 Kings 9:22

frluther1517

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #358 on: November 20, 2007, 04:48:46 PM »
Sort of switching gears here....

I have my own thoughts on this subject but would like to hear what some of the rest of you think...

It seems to me that the ECP, the candidates, and those congregations which call said candidates outside of the authority of the ELCA are schismatic.  I am not as worried about this testing the Celibacy rule or the "restraint" resolution, but more worried that this is a deeper and more problematic act of schism.  I know that I could no longer see these "pastors" as colleagues nor see any concrete unity or fellowship with these congregations.  I couldn't not in good conscience participate in worship services or share the Eucharist in these congregations from these pastors.  This is not a donatist argument, but rather about discerning the body.  If the Eucharist is in some way a sign of the unity, to receive in these congregations would show unity where there isn't.  

What are some of your thoughts.  Is this an act of schism?  If so what are the implications of this?  If not, then what is it?

John Dornheim

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Re: Lesbian Pastor Tests ELCA Celibacy Rule
« Reply #359 on: November 20, 2007, 04:49:37 PM »


Reminds me of a time when a subscriber was asked if he could be wrong about The Issue.  Why of course! he admitted - in fact I used to be wrong about it, but now I'm right! True account.   :D

Mike Bennett

I am not quite sure if that is what I said when I was asked that question. I have said that I grew up with the understanding that gay people were to be avoided, that they were icky, that they were going to hell, etc. Over the years, I have studied The Issue and changed my position. I do not know if I will learn in this life if I am right. I think that I am on the right side now and was not before. I might be wrong. Only God knows.

John Dornheim