Author Topic: LCMS Lutherans Marching and Quoting Black Liberation Theologist James Cone  (Read 1624 times)


Rev Geminn

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For the record and to defend President Nunes as well as the others who were in attendance I was the one who referenced James Cone and how he likened the Cross of Christ to the lynching tree of the American South.  This was not somehow planned by the group of pastors, these were my own words. 

If you want to get a sense or idea of what I was articulating you can go to this link of this past Sunday's service here at VLC. The sermon starts at 15:15: https://youtu.be/Sw-o393dmHw

Peace,
Scott+

peter_speckhard

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Black Lives Matter is not an organization I would ever support due to its stated objectives. (It might change over time, but when I've dug around in their literature it has been entirely hostage to a revolutionary movement that has nothing to do with race, including calls for elimination of the nuclear family, acceptance of abortion, blah blah blah). But people don't always associate for the same reasons. The idea that Nunes being there is a problem seems to stem from the author's idea that the LCMS should be an institutional force for the other side of that issue. In other words, the author "downgrades" the LCMS because it isn't four square on one side of the culture war. If I had to guess, I would say I'm probably on the same side of the culture war as the author of the article. But I don't view it as the mission of the LCMS either way except in cases clearly covered by the commandments, such as abortion and marriage/sexual morality issues.

There is no way Nunes agrees with most of the goals of BLM that I disagree with. He and I might differ about the pros and cons of showing support. But he would do it at the level of ideas and within a theological framework. If there is anything un-Lutheran about what he is doing he would be the first to want to discuss that with an open mind with anyone and everyone.

I've done 40 Days for Life protests and marches, and anything in the pro-life movements will put you on the same side as Bob Jones University, or Mormons, or whatever. So seeking equality for black people (and again, I think I would disagree with Nunes about the BLM association) which is a perfectly legitimate LCMS thing to be doing, can put a person on the same side as Al Sharpton, liberation theologians, and assorted crackpots. Nunes has thought it through, I'm sure. We don't always agree (he is a Bills fan) but I know without checking that he is not supporting rioters and looters, anti-police, or otherwise trying to cop-opt the LCMS into a force for Marxist revolution.   

Rev Geminn

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I understand your concerns and for the record have also taken part in 40 days for life protests and marches. 

That said, I want to take a step back and just focus on the article itself because I think it is relevant to our efforts at discourse.  It is of interest to me that they simply did what the identarian left tends to do.  Based on a Tweet which did not have much information they painted with a broad brush the LCMS folks in attendance.  Moreover, they took it as an opportunity to rail against James Cone and infer some sort of degradation of the LCMS because a handful went out and marched and then prayed in the name of Jesus.  I understand what you say about BLM but this wasn't an official BLM march, nor was it some sort of official endorsement of BLM as an organization.  One can say, "Black Lives Matter" while not endorsing the organization.  I understand, though, that that's a fine line. 

This, in many regards, highlights what is so problematic today.  As you note, it's keeping things in the realm of ideas that is the challenge.  Can I read something from James Cone, glean some important insights, while also disagreeing with him in other areas? Yes. And that to me is what is so glaringly problematic with discourse today, especially coming from the left at the moment, but also on the right.  We do a poor a job of allowing for the complexity of human experience throughout all times and places and coming to things with an open mind.  I think in one sense that is why it is important for clergy to be at such events, some sort of behavior has to be modeled that is not the result of what Jesuit theologian Bernard Lonergan called truncation; a conceptualism that results in an ideology that is simply closed off to anything new.  We all suffer from this, but we must strive for it not to be so, starting with ourselves.  In part this is why I decided to take part, there are certainly things going on right now that I am incredibly uncomfortable with (what happened to the Minneapolis mayor being a perfect example), but I felt compelled to engage. 

Peace,
Scott+

peter_speckhard

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I agree with this analysis. The issue isn’t so easily dealt with in our context because there are two sides. Being for anything is to be seen as against something. And sometimes that is perfectly fine. Planned Parenthood is correct to interpret my presence at a 40 Days event as my standing in opposition to them. It is when people want to stand with/for something without being interpreted as being opposed to something that it gets complicated. It generally doesn’t work.

Today, the SF transit authority said they’d no longer transport police to demonstrations. Which is manifestly absurd. But they were taking criticism. Silence is violence, etc. Unless you are visibly, demonstrably uncooperative or opposed to the police, you are systemically racist. And no bus company wants to be racist. That is the sort of nonsense that passes for thought.

James J Eivan

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Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor, City of New York

 “Ninety percent of all people killed in our city —  and  90  percent  of  all  those  who  commit  the murders and other violent crimes — are black  and  Hispanic.  It  is  shameful  that  so  many elected officials and editorial writers have  been  largely  silent  on  these  facts  ...  Instead, they have argued that police stops are discriminatory because they do not reflect the city’s overall census numbers.

By that flawed logic, our police officers would stop women as often as men, and senior citizens as often as young people ... To do so would be a colossal misdirection  of  resources  and  would  take  the core elements of police work — targeting high-crime neighborhoods and identifying suspects based on evidence — out of crime-fighting ... .

The absurd result of such a strategy would be far more crimes committed against black and Latino New Yorkers. When it comes to policing, political correctness is deadly."

Another thought expressed in the article - New Perspectives in Policing: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/centers/wiener/programs/pcj/files/PoliceandPublicDiscourseBlackonBlackViolence.pdf

"Further,  tensions  between  the  police  and  minority  communities  are  worsened  when  frustrated public officials hold press conferences following  high-profile  homicides,  chastising  residents  of  black  neighborhoods  for  not  coming forward with information, unwittingly calling  into  question  the  black  community’s  fundamental sense of decency or commitment to citizenship."

"The available research suggests that community policing  has  been  unevenly  implemented  within police departments, with responsibility for  community-based  initiatives  sometimes  relegated to specialized units comprising a small number  of  officers  rather  than  spread  across  police  departments" 

John_Hannah

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quote author=James link=topic=7500.msg480524#msg480524 date=1591761375]
Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor, City of New York

 “Ninety percent of all people killed in our city —  and  90  percent  of  all  those  who  commit  the murders and other violent crimes — are black  and  Hispanic.  It  is  shameful  that  so  many elected officials and editorial writers have  been  largely  silent  on  these  facts  ...  Instead, they have argued that police stops are discriminatory because they do not reflect the city’s overall census numbers.

By that flawed logic, our police officers would stop women as often as men, and senior citizens as often as young people ... To do so would be a colossal misdirection  of  resources  and  would  take  the core elements of police work — targeting high-crime neighborhoods and identifying suspects based on evidence — out of crime-fighting ... .

The absurd result of such a strategy would be far more crimes committed against black and Latino New Yorkers. When it comes to policing, political correctness is deadly."

Another thought expressed in the article - New Perspectives in Policing: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/centers/wiener/programs/pcj/files/PoliceandPublicDiscourseBlackonBlackViolence.pdf

"Further,  tensions  between  the  police  and  minority  communities  are  worsened  when  frustrated public officials hold press conferences following  high-profile  homicides,  chastising  residents  of  black  neighborhoods  for  not  coming forward with information, unwittingly calling  into  question  the  black  community’s  fundamental sense of decency or commitment to citizenship."

"The available research suggests that community policing  has  been  unevenly  implemented  within police departments, with responsibility for  community-based  initiatives  sometimes  relegated to specialized units comprising a small number  of  officers  rather  than  spread  across  police  departments"
[/quote]


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

Peace, JOHN
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 07:48:44 AM by John_Hannah »
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Dave Benke

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Thanks to David Becker for shining a light on Pulpit & Pen, which has been called "The Rolex of Polemics Blogs." It is THE foremost polemics ministry on the Internet, and produces daily reporting on the Modern Day Downgrade, the dumbing down of Christian doctrine and the perversion of Orthodox Christianity.  Anyone in their estimation making any connection at all to Black Lives Matter is wrong and dumb, including the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, among others.  You can subscribe - pay money for - their offerings, at BTWN, which is an acronym for Bible Thumping Wingnut Network (really).  It is the Protestant-fundamentalist-religion-equivalent of One America News, favored now by Trump, who channeled it in accusing the 75 year old white protester hospitalized in Buffalo for falling hard on purpose to crack his skull open for publicity against the cops.  Same news-stream as pulpit and pen. 

Begin with the event in question.  The first statement is that Missouri Synod Lutherans are visibly marching in protest for justice.  And according to the article, they shouldn't be.  Who's ever done that in the Missouri Synod's history?  Richard John Neuhaus in his LCMS days marched in the South with the then national black leaders protesting injustice.  And spoke of it often.  And encouraged action for social justice in his living room gatherings in Brooklyn regularly, even religiously, as a Lutheran clergyman. 

So who's marching now?  There's an interesting photo montage of Missouri Lutherans at the event last Sunday.  Should they be reported to their ecclesiastical supervisor?  Can a white Missouri Synod Lutheran hold a Black Lives Matter sign at a march?  What violation has taken place?

Second, the march was peaceful, prayerful even, and ended at the shrine to Mother Cabrini, the Roman Catholic saint patroness of immigrants.  People of other religious backgrounds were in attendance, as would be expected at a march such as this, and as has been covered across the globe by the thousands in recent days.  Some attendees were black, many were not.  Again, this is being reported across the globe, with the majority of marchers in many even most cases being white.  There's an actual movement, a durable movement including prayer and scripture across the globe speaking against racial violence and for the establishment of equitable justice, with not only the permission but the endorsement of religious leaders.  As Pastor Warren Lattimore, President of the Missouri Synod Black Clergy Caucus, indicated, the connection to the events of the 60s which gave rise to social change are direct. 

A result of these marches, I believe, will be the institution of stronger and vibrant versions of community policing across the board.  The example now quoted of the initiative in Camden New Jersey is illustrative.  Community policing is the direction being taken by the NYPD, the nation's largest municipal force.  Also, greater emphasis will be placed on putting funds in place for better social service and youth programs, more relational and interactive community involvement, which in the end is what drops the crime rate, and has paved the way for the drop in crime rate in New York City over the past number of years.  Even with some bad police behavior as witnessed during the protests, the overall direction toward community policing is working - and I can say that from the perspective of a leader in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city. 

My encouragement, and I'm sure Scott's, would be for members including clergy of our little forum to join a march, to participate and listen and learn, to accompany those who are bruised and torn, and to work for racial justice and yes, systemic racial justice in your corner of the world.

Dave Benke



James J Eivan

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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.

Dave Benke

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Trolling wingnut Pulpit and Pen came upon the Faith March for Justice through a tweet by Prof. Anthony Bradley, an African American professor at King's College in NYC.  King's College is a conservative school headquartered in its New York version in lower Manhattan.  Here's the statement of purpose:  Faculty and staff are confessing Christians and seek Christ’s preeminence in all things, giving students a model of full-bodied Christian faithfulness.   In other words, the troll-nutters picked up a very positive comment on the march and attempted to turn it against Missouri Synod participants. 

Prof. Bradley has written most recently Faith in Society, many other books about various topics in Christian theology from a black perspective.  This is a person we should invite to our little forum for some conversation.  I don't know him myself, but will look into it.

Dave Benke

James J Eivan

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Who's ever done that in the Missouri Synod's history?  Richard John Neuhaus in his LCMS days marched in the South with the then national black leaders protesting injustice. 
Interesting that you would cite someone who probably already had at least one foot outside Lutheranism at the time ... and definitely made more of a name for himself AFTER he left Lutheranism.
Quote

So who's marching now?  There's an interesting photo montage of Missouri Lutherans at the event last Sunday.

Perhaps in the interest of the transparency, a link to this photo montage would be helpful.
Quote
Should they be reported to their ecclesiastical supervisor?  Can a white Missouri Synod Lutheran hold a Black Lives Matter sign at a march?  What violation has taken place?
Why the sniping and sarcasm  ... who has criticized those who have participated? How are your comments 'placing the best construction' on your fellow Christians?
Quote
Second, the march was peaceful,
Thankful for the peacefulness of the rally ... it's tragic that all rallies are not peaceable... even more tragic that some on this forum appear to condone if not encourage violence and destruction.

Dave Benke

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The Pulpit and Pen Screed in the initial post contains the necessary photo information for anyone interested in photo-shopping.

Speaking with our parish deaconess, who is African American, she made the point that there's a word in the description of our ordained and commissioned workers which is applicable in times of local, regional and national distress which applies.  We are ordained and commissioned into the Office of the Public Ministry.  What marchers do is in public.  What I write here is in public.  What we do in church on Sunday is public worship.  Both the people and the workers leave the sanctuary and engage in public ministry, by what they say and/or do, and by what they do not say/and or not do.

Dave Benke

Rev Geminn

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Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor, City of New York

 “Ninety percent of all people killed in our city —  and  90  percent  of  all  those  who  commit  the murders and other violent crimes — are black  and  Hispanic.  It  is  shameful  that  so  many elected officials and editorial writers have  been  largely  silent  on  these  facts  ...  Instead, they have argued that police stops are discriminatory because they do not reflect the city’s overall census numbers.

By that flawed logic, our police officers would stop women as often as men, and senior citizens as often as young people ... To do so would be a colossal misdirection  of  resources  and  would  take  the core elements of police work — targeting high-crime neighborhoods and identifying suspects based on evidence — out of crime-fighting ... .

The absurd result of such a strategy would be far more crimes committed against black and Latino New Yorkers. When it comes to policing, political correctness is deadly."

Another thought expressed in the article - New Perspectives in Policing: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/centers/wiener/programs/pcj/files/PoliceandPublicDiscourseBlackonBlackViolence.pdf

"Further,  tensions  between  the  police  and  minority  communities  are  worsened  when  frustrated public officials hold press conferences following  high-profile  homicides,  chastising  residents  of  black  neighborhoods  for  not  coming forward with information, unwittingly calling  into  question  the  black  community’s  fundamental sense of decency or commitment to citizenship."

"The available research suggests that community policing  has  been  unevenly  implemented  within police departments, with responsibility for  community-based  initiatives  sometimes  relegated to specialized units comprising a small number  of  officers  rather  than  spread  across  police  departments"

James,

In one way I am not entirely sure why you decided to post this here, maybe it has to do with Peter’s comments about SF police.  I would think you would have posted this on the defunding the cops thread. I’d be the first to express that I was never all that keen on Mayor Bloomberg, oligarchs just aren’t my cup of tea and greatly impede democracy.  I was relieved when he dropped out of the presidential race. 

That said, I don’t want to dismiss what you say nor do I want to give the impression of doing so.  The challenge and burden of being a Christian in an “age of quarrel” (nod to the Cro-Mags iconic album) is discerning the spirits.  That’s what I believe to be incumbent upon me at this time and it is something that I feel the weight of each and every day. Discernment cuts across the ideological lines of both the left and the right. But there also comes a moment when one has to make and decision and act, understanding that often there is no perfect choice.  That things will get lost in translation and be misunderstood.  Such is life. 

I just keep going back to Paul’s words in Romans 12-13, about the call to not be conformed to the spirit of this world, to offer ourselves as sacrifices holy and acceptable to God.  Some believe that Paul wrote these words to keep the Roman Christians from becoming involved in the Jewish insurrections that were taking place in the city at that time.  Paul encourages the peaceful way that retains Christian identity while also not succumbing to what we might call “the eye for an eye” way.  Praying for enemies, respecting authorities, but entrusting all to God.  I think that’s why Christian presence is needed in our context, because as citizens we have the right to a peaceful protest and also the call to provide a witness to such behaviors.  Certainly, it’s a tricky place to be, which is why constant discernment is needed.   

Peace,
Scott+

Pasgolf

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip3nV6S_fYU&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1USr0oF1FSXcAvKbObTHW8qXwK7RORg6wxJdKkZVOcsaBZ-PCM3PJ3IgE

This link was shared by a college classmate.  Thought the content relevant to the discussion.  About an hour, worth it.

Mark (retired pastor, golfs the pastures) Renner

peter_speckhard

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip3nV6S_fYU&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1USr0oF1FSXcAvKbObTHW8qXwK7RORg6wxJdKkZVOcsaBZ-PCM3PJ3IgE

This link was shared by a college classmate.  Thought the content relevant to the discussion.  About an hour, worth it.
Very powerful talk. Thanks for sharing. I'd recommend it to anyone who is genuinely interested in understanding.