Author Topic: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal  (Read 11408 times)

Charles_Austin

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2009, 10:18:39 PM »
Well, I decided my small subscription fee wouldn't "hurt" that much, and if I pulled out, I would lose my standing to correct and fuss about what is actually done. You gotta pay to play. In New Jersey, we know that.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2009, 10:45:49 PM »
Well, I decided my small subscription fee wouldn't "hurt" that much, and if I pulled out, I would lose my standing to correct and fuss about what is actually done. You gotta pay to play. In New Jersey, we know that.
Are suggesting you've only done $21.99 worth of fussing and correcting? ;)

Richard Johnson

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2009, 11:05:17 PM »
I will acknowledge that it demonstrates Richard's superior wisdom.

Well, I AM my own food group, you know!  ;D

The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Richard Johnson

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2009, 11:05:58 PM »
Well, I decided my small subscription fee wouldn't "hurt" that much, and if I pulled out, I would lose my standing to correct and fuss about what is actually done. You gotta pay to play. In New Jersey, we know that.

Whew!  ;)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

LutherMan

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2009, 12:55:21 AM »
People here will not be surprised when I say:
Read it.
Hated it.
Believe the author should repent of it.
Seriously considered canceling my subscription to Forum Letter because of it.

If I were to write something linking the LC-MS with the Spanish Inquisition or Soviet Russia, lacking only the thumbscrews and the gulag, would Forum Letter print it? All in good fun, of course. Not.  >:(
While I don't repent of the article, I will acknowledge that it demonstrates Richard's superior wisdom. If you almost cancelled your subscription after reading what the editor printed, it is a slam dunk you would have cancelled your subscription had it been printed the way I originally submitted it.

So... how much would it cost us to get our hands on the "unauthorized" version of the article?    ;D

+1

Harvey_Mozolak

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or is it an immodest proposal
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2009, 06:54:04 AM »
I said I would say no more and I will go against my once intention to say the following because it does grieve me and maybe no one else....   not to see that there is another side.  This salt was not meant for purity or healing but for pain. 

When someone is bothered or offended by what I say or by how I say it, my immediate response is to defend myself not to attempt to see how I have hurt, intentionally or unintentionally, the other person.  When it is something I am proud of, something I have written or devised, it is even harder to step back and see if I have overstepped the bounds of speaking well of… defending in the kindest way…  those urgings to defend must be confronted immediately.

The point of comparison, carried out at great length, not merely in some brief mention of similitude, compares two quite different matters doesn’t it?  Would you rather deal with, in theological discussion, as a prospective janitor in your parish or neighbor to your house-- someone who espouses the Lutheran ordination of a PALM person or someone who is or supports Lutheran parish prostitution?  One is a real issue and the other off the radar, if only in the sense that no one is espousing such a thing.    While everyone likes to bash HerChurch in California, there is only really one (OK maybe there are two or three) but a truly limited number of such places and the people who are our opponents are of a different camp all together.  Again, as I have argued before, if we begin to liken the doctrinal error or heresy (call it what you want) of fellow Lutherans and liken it to an altar to Baal (as done repeatedly at CORE this summer) or liken it to Temple prostitution--- then I want to see how you liken Roman Catholic departure from the truth in works righteousness, much of Protestantism’s denial of the presence in the sacrament or the need for infant baptism, even LCMS’ limitation of communion distribution or women’s ordination or for some among us the use of Eucharistic prayers.  Would the same among us dare or want to call these things a prostitution of the truth or an altar to a false god?

On the Athenian hill, St. Paul observed false worship not with sarcasm but with an eye to make something of the devotion to an unknown god in order to reveal the Christ.  Haven't we all marveled at such a sharp-mouthed guy's cool there?

Lowering the rhetoric to respectful rejection and other evangelical options  is both pastoral and faithful. 

Harvey Mozolak
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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2009, 07:03:01 AM »
This is a part B to what I want to say and maybe this is not the right discussion matter but I sure would like this topic to turn elsewhere as you all know. 

Have any of you done in your mind at least what I have been doing on paper.  I have begun a list of clergy (you could add laity too if you wish) that I know well, respect, with whom I have collegial relationships, friends and the like.  Then I place them on a continuum of where they stand on the issue at contest in the ELCA.  I find that most on my traditional side are people I do not know or hardly know and on the opposite side or leaning that way are all the people I know well, are my friends and trusted colleagues.  Now maybe you can say I should have been more careful in making friends and finding foes…. But, it does put one in a sweet and sour pickle, do others find it so?  Does God want us to find this so and what does God want us to do about it?   We are becoming very solo about the issue as we take our stands and once we do that we are looking for the same relish flavor in others for new canning and shelving….   

Thoughts?

Harvey Mozolak
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Charles_Austin

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2009, 07:35:14 AM »
Wise words, Pastor Mozolak, wise words.
Over the years, I have counted many clergy and members of the LC-MS as friends and colleagues in every conceivable way. But in recent years, this has not been the case.
I am, of course, less active than before, and my circle of friends and colleagues is not so large as before; and the LC-MS pastors in my region tend not to be collegial with ELCA types.
And in some parts of the ELCA, I am now hearing a greater dissonance 'twixt myself and those who should be my colleagues than ever before. At the same time, there are those in the "dissident" factions of the ELCA, both those who approve the recent decisions and those who oppose them, who share many of my ecclesial and theological concerns.
I've said it before. Church life and theology is messy.

Scott6

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2009, 07:49:04 AM »
Would you rather deal with, in theological discussion, as a prospective janitor in your parish or neighbor to your house-- someone who espouses the Lutheran ordination of a PALM person or someone who is or supports Lutheran parish prostitution?

First two caveats.  One is that I haven't read the actual article (yet) but remember quite vividly what Peter posted here when he began the satirical comparison.  It was brilliantly done, and I can imagine how the article itself went.  The second is that satire is satire, and it only works if there's considerable truth behind what is said -- which is why a well-done satire will raise hackles and arch backs.  But in any case, I don't think it would be wise to forget the genre of the article.

That said -- and I will (eagerly) read the article as soon as I get my hands on it -- perhaps it would be helpful to outline where Peter's presentation of the logic / reasoning of the (outlandish and ridiculous) proposal re: temple prostitution well reflects how someone (who, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't exist) might argue for it but fails to reflect the line of reasoning that has actually been expressed re: PALMS ordination and the idea of the "bound conscience."

Without such a presentation of the failures of the article in its satirical mission of comparison, questions will endlessly revolve around taste and miss satire's true bite -- pointing out comparisons that lie latent within an argument or event.

After all, your rhetorical question comes down to taste as to an individual's preferences, and it is entirely possible to answer it in favor of either one, if both are shown to rely upon the same reasoning.  Pointing this out is one of the functions of satire.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 08:21:23 AM by Scott Yakimow »

Lutheranistic

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2009, 08:04:50 AM »
It has been a source of great consternation for me over recent years that, almost without exception, I find that my closest friends, spiritual advisors, family, those I respect in online communities..nearly all are to their core social conservatives and Republican. I am neither. But to be fair, I find the attitudes, values, and spirituality of many of those with whom I should feel an affinity to be often vacuous, intolerant, and parochial to a fault. Relating to the topic at hand, I am in agreement with most of my friends, in and out of the faith...but that is often the only issue on which we agree. So go figure...the God I will be worshiping in the sanctuary in a few hours is often a God of mystery. Thank you Pr. Mozolak, for giving voice to the contradiction. I don't understand it, but I have experienced it. Perhaps it's another example of God's sense of humor...mostly I just move on, shaking my head, living life amongst the Body of Christ...no matter how they vote.

Richard Johnson

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2009, 09:34:02 AM »
Somehow in trying to respond to a post from Pr. Falk, I managed to delete his comment, which was as follows:

People here will not be surprised when I say:
Read it.
Hated it.
Believe the author should repent of it.
Seriously considered canceling my subscription to Forum Letter because of it.

If I were to write something linking the LC-MS with the Spanish Inquisition or Soviet Russia, lacking only the thumbscrews and the gulag, would Forum Letter print it? All in good fun, of course. Not.  >:(
While I don't repent of the article, I will acknowledge that it demonstrates Richard's superior wisdom. If you almost cancelled your subscription after reading what the editor printed, it is a slam dunk you would have cancelled your subscription had it been printed the way I originally submitted it.

So... how much would it cost us to get our hands on the "unauthorized" version of the article?    ;D
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Richard Johnson

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2009, 09:36:04 AM »
Somehow in trying to respond to a post from Pr. Falk, I managed to delete his comment, which was as follows:

People here will not be surprised when I say:
Read it.
Hated it.
Believe the author should repent of it.
Seriously considered canceling my subscription to Forum Letter because of it.

If I were to write something linking the LC-MS with the Spanish Inquisition or Soviet Russia, lacking only the thumbscrews and the gulag, would Forum Letter print it? All in good fun, of course. Not.  >:(
While I don't repent of the article, I will acknowledge that it demonstrates Richard's superior wisdom. If you almost cancelled your subscription after reading what the editor printed, it is a slam dunk you would have cancelled your subscription had it been printed the way I originally submitted it.

So... how much would it cost us to get our hands on the "unauthorized" version of the article?    ;D


To which my response is: Sorry, you're too young.  ;)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

peter_speckhard

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Re: or is it an immodest proposal
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2009, 07:12:21 PM »
I said I would say no more and I will go against my once intention to say the following because it does grieve me and maybe no one else....   not to see that there is another side.  This salt was not meant for purity or healing but for pain. 

Harvey, my article was not meant to inflict pain. It was meant to make a valid theological point (and one I stand by) and also, I'll admit, to encourage orthodox Lutherans with something that shows their resistance to the direction of the ELCA is not uncharitable, homophobic, theologically dated, or any of the other things they might have been beginning to suspect it was. Think of it like Mark Twain's famous cat-and-rocking chair satire of Christian Science. He wasn't doing that to hurt the feelings of Christian Scientists, but to illustrate what he found absurd about Mary Eddy's theology. Many people who otherwise might have been sucked in to her nonsense were innoculated, so to speak, by having it come to them pre-debunked. 

To your point that nobody advocates church prostitution, that is the whole point. But consider this. Both of my grandfathers were pastors. If either of them had been told, say, in 1940, that Lutherans churches would be doing homosexual weddings, they would have been at least as amused/offended at the idea as pastors today are about temple prostitutes. One of the strengths of satire (among many pitfalls, I'll be the first to admit) is its ability to throw into sharp relief some absurdity that was beginning to look normal. A gay wedding in a Lutheran church ought to be a comical idea, or a loathsome idea if seriously proposed. The whole idea merits every ounce of the reaction that people have to the proposal for temple prostitutes in the narthex.

Mel Harris

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Re: or is it an immodest proposal
« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2009, 10:20:58 PM »

I said I would say no more and I will go against my once intention to say the following because it does grieve me and maybe no one else....   not to see that there is another side.  This salt was not meant for purity or healing but for pain. 

When someone is bothered or offended by what I say or by how I say it, my immediate response is to defend myself not to attempt to see how I have hurt, intentionally or unintentionally, the other person.  When it is something I am proud of, something I have written or devised, it is even harder to step back and see if I have overstepped the bounds of speaking well of… defending in the kindest way…  those urgings to defend must be confronted immediately.


Many years ago, I read an article, in the same vein as Peter's, that seemed very seriously to argue for blessing cannibalism and ordaining practicing cannibals.  As I recall, the article was much longer than Peter's article being discussed here, and very carefully followed all the arguments being used to support accepting and blessing homosexual sexual behavior in the church.  I did not think that article, or Peter's, were intended to inflict pain, or to be humorous at someone else's expense.  I took that article, and Peter's, as attempts to demonstrate that those arguments do not stand up to rational thinking.

As I see it, since those who have been arguing for the acceptance and blessing of homosexual sexual behavior in the church have not been able to convince many with their interpretations of Scripture, or with their theology and logical reasoning, they have turned to trying to persuade others that it is persons that are being either accepted or rejected.  If we buy that, (that we cannot reject their arguments without rejecting a group of people), then on what basis would we not accept and proclaim God's blessing upon any possible human behavior that some people claim they sincerely see as central to their identity?

To put this very simply, I do not think it is being insensitive, uncaring or mean spirited not to accept and buy into someone's reasoning.  So, I do not agree that

Quote

This salt was not meant for purity or healing but for pain.


Mel Harris     

Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: Temple Prostitution: a modest proposal
« Reply #44 on: November 09, 2009, 07:05:56 AM »
I stand corrected, I do not know the intention of the salt, I should have said, the article, in my opinion, presses less of purity and healing and more of pain...    I accept the fact that the author did not mean to inflict pain but evidently, by the response, only a few sense that this is a new kind of writing for the FORUM and while some may consider it a high form of literature, unless my memory betrays me, we have not seen it before and I hope we do not see it again.    It will be interesting to see if the readership of the mag find it as justifiablem and helpful a form of response to our present ills.   Harvey Mozolak
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