Author Topic: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration  (Read 1956 times)

Charles Austin

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2021, 06:43:00 PM »
Pastor Hannah writes:
Yeah, if the Bidens (or any of those mentioned in the essay) were everyday citizens, I would love to have them as members. They seem to come to church every Sunday which is above average. I have always had members who didn't agree with official teaching but were most supportive in other ways. It's not a perfect world. I bet most pastors here would like to have more members like the Bidens, et. al.
I comment:
Amen to that!
Do you guys actually believe that all of your members are side-by-side with you on the issue of abortion and gay marriage? Do you believe that all your parishioners will join you and all your “pro life“ marches? I doubt that.
And are you going to denigrate their faith and church membership if they happen to be on the other side of you on those issues? I doubt that.
So what is your problem then with the president?
Pastor Fienen takes this as another opportunity to whine that every progressive thinks that Jesus had to be a Democrat. That combines a whole bunch of categories, and it’s not really the case. It’s only used to cloud the issue and whine about how you are so abused.
If a conservative politician worked hard to pass anti-abortion laws, you would not complain.
So if progressive Christians try to preserve the present situation, what is your problem?

Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

Pr. Terry Culler

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2021, 08:13:59 PM »
Pastor Hannah writes:
Yeah, if the Bidens (or any of those mentioned in the essay) were everyday citizens, I would love to have them as members. They seem to come to church every Sunday which is above average. I have always had members who didn't agree with official teaching but were most supportive in other ways. It's not a perfect world. I bet most pastors here would like to have more members like the Bidens, et. al.
I comment:
Amen to that!
Do you guys actually believe that all of your members are side-by-side with you on the issue of abortion and gay marriage? Do you believe that all your parishioners will join you and all your “pro life“ marches? I doubt that.
And are you going to denigrate their faith and church membership if they happen to be on the other side of you on those issues? I doubt that.
So what is your problem then with the president?
Pastor Fienen takes this as another opportunity to whine that every progressive thinks that Jesus had to be a Democrat. That combines a whole bunch of categories, and it’s not really the case. It’s only used to cloud the issue and whine about how you are so abused.
If a conservative politician worked hard to pass anti-abortion laws, you would not complain.
So if progressive Christians try to preserve the present situation, what is your problem?

I can't speak for anyone else, but IMO support for abortion as it is today expressed by many, if not most, members of the Democratic party is satanic in nature, contrary to the will of God and horrifying to most people who actually understand what is going on.  Maybe there will be a third line on judgment day--sheep, goats and abortionists.
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Dave Benke

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2021, 08:28:50 PM »
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke
What do you find objectionable about Sen. Johnson?

Pretty much this:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/21/us/politics/ron-johnson-wisconsin-misinformation.html

In our conversation venue, I wonder what congregation he attends and what his religious background is in Lutheranism.  Don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke
Really? He has “sown doubts” about the election, said the capitol rioters were not as frightening as antifa rioters (obvious), downplayed climate change, etc. There isn’t a thing there contrary to Christian teaching. On matters touching things Christianity actually has a position on, he is solid.

Really what?  I'm asking if he is actually in the WELS, if he's a congregant at a WELS church.  As a said, I don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke

peter_speckhard

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2021, 10:40:34 PM »
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

It should be noted on the pages of our American Lutheran site that a name more and more highly recognizable, Senator Ron Johnson, is listed as a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, hailing from the greater Oshkosh, Wisconsin area.  There are other Lutheran senators, all of whom are ELCA.  Cory Gardner of Colorado was an LCMS Senator, but lost his re-election bid.

I should state for the record that Ron Johnson is not my cup of tea.  At all.

Dave Benke
What do you find objectionable about Sen. Johnson?

Pretty much this:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/21/us/politics/ron-johnson-wisconsin-misinformation.html

In our conversation venue, I wonder what congregation he attends and what his religious background is in Lutheranism.  Don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke
Really? He has “sown doubts” about the election, said the capitol rioters were not as frightening as antifa rioters (obvious), downplayed climate change, etc. There isn’t a thing there contrary to Christian teaching. On matters touching things Christianity actually has a position on, he is solid.

Really what?  I'm asking if he is actually in the WELS, if he's a congregant at a WELS church.  As a said, I don't really have a strong data base on that. 

Dave Benke
I was expressing mock disbelief at the NYT’s predictable screed against all things Republican as well as asking why you would use such purely political criteria to dismiss a senator when on all the things that actually matter in terms of Christianity he has an excellent record. I no longer live in Wisconsin, but I would gladly vote for Johnson if I could.

D. Engebretson

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2021, 08:55:00 AM »
I think that a distinction needs to be made between a Christian who is a major public figure - in this case a very major public figure - and the average member.  In the first case there is far greater ability to influence and lead.  Just as a pastor is in his own community.  I am very careful how I speak publicly because I know that my words carry more weight than the average person in my own area.  The president seems either unaware of that, or is counting on it, as he openly puts forth views that are in direct opposition to his own church body.  The president, more than any citizen, has a platform with greater and more powerful ability to persuade and convince. He is often the most known, the most photographed, the most quoted, the most followed.  Many regular Catholics, I suspect, watch his actions and listen to what he says and figure that this is in line with what the church believes and confesses.  They are not going to take the time to crosscheck what the pope says, or what encyclicals say on the subject.  They listen to the authority figures which they hear and see most regularly. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

John_Hannah

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2021, 09:11:14 AM »
The fact remains that abortion law will not change until the public is convinced. Tinker with elections and judges all you want; we still need to convince, convince, convince in this democracy. Until it changes we as Christians remain faithful and still pray for change.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Charles Austin

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2021, 09:11:51 AM »
I don’t think that most American Roman Catholics need President Biden to lead them to his take on the faith. I think the majority of Roman catholic Americans are already with him on it.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

peter_speckhard

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2021, 09:23:50 AM »
The fact remains that abortion law will not change until the public is convinced. Tinker with elections and judges all you want; we still need to convince, convince, convince in this democracy. Until it changes we as Christians remain faithful and still pray for change.

Peace, JOHN

That having been said, the absolute least convincing witness a pro-life person can make is to vote for pro-choice candidates. It tells the public it doesn’t really matter that much or that it isn’t really murder. As long as pro-life people don’t rule out voting for pro-choice candidates, they are actively working against the “convince, convince, convince” phase of the campaign.

D. Engebretson

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2021, 09:44:52 AM »
According to the Pew Research Center:
More than half of U.S. Catholics (56%) said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while roughly four-in-ten (42%) said it should be illegal in all or most cases, according to the 2019 Pew Research Center survey. Although most Catholics generally approve of legalized abortion, the vast majority favor at least some restrictions. For example, while roughly one-third of Catholics (35%) said abortion should be legal in most cases, only around one-fifth (21%) said it should be legal in all cases. By the same token, 28% of Catholics said abortion should be illegal in most cases, while half as many (14%) said it should be illegal in all cases...

Two-thirds of Catholics who attend Mass weekly or more often (67%) said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while one-in-three (33%) said it should be legal. The ratio is almost exactly reversed for those who attend less frequently: Among Catholics who attend Mass less than weekly, roughly two-thirds said abortion should be legal in all or most cases (65%), while approximately one-in-three (32%) said it should be illegal in all or most cases...

Most Catholics who identify as Republican or lean toward the Republican Party (63%) said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while an even larger share of Catholics who identify as Democrats or lean that way (77%) said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, the 2019 survey showed. Still, roughly one-third of Catholic Republicans (36%) favored legal abortion, while 17% of Catholic Democrats opposed it, reflecting some dissent within both parties on this issue...

Roughly two-thirds of Catholics (68%) said they do not want the Supreme Court to completely overturn the landmark decision, while almost three-in-ten (28%) said the ruling should be overturned...

Even though most Catholics said abortion should generally be legal, a majority also said abortion is morally wrong. In fact, the share who said that abortion is morally wrong (57%), according to data from a 2017 survey, and the share who said it should be legal (56%) are almost identical...

...not all Catholics trust their clergy’s advice on abortion, according to a survey conducted in 2019. Roughly one-third of Catholics overall said they have “a lot” of confidence (34%) that their clergy can provide useful guidance on this topic, while an additional one-third had “some” confidence (33%). Among White evangelical Protestants, by comparison, 59% had a lot of confidence in their clergy’s advice on abortion, and another quarter (26%) had some confidence.


https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/10/20/8-key-findings-about-catholics-and-abortion/


Interesting that the more faithful one is in attending Mass, the more likely they are to be opposed to legal abortion.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

MaddogLutheran

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2021, 10:09:28 AM »
Of course Lutherans never do that, do they?

How do they do that?

What basic church teaching do Lutherans ignore or pick and choose from?  First of all, our churches aren't as specific about such things as the Roman Catholic Church bishops are.  I don't perceive anything in the Lutheranism that allows such binding of consciences on matters of public policy that would pertain to elected officials who are members.

On abortion, certainly the Missouri Synod comes close (as the subsequent discussion amply demonstrates).  But the ELCA isn't the mirror image, because we haven't yet had the courage to officially embrace the pro-abortion position.  Okay, if anything, maybe progressive ELCA people "flout" out social statement on abortion...but do any ever face any repercussions?
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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2021, 10:45:37 AM »
As I recall, there was a Senator Simon from Illinois some years ago who belonged to the LCMS and took a public position in favor of legal abortion.  I believe he was the brother of a prominent minister in the LCMS.  At the time, the LCMS had not spoken as clearly against abortion as she has in recent years. 

Dave Benke

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2021, 11:05:24 AM »
I think that a distinction needs to be made between a Christian who is a major public figure - in this case a very major public figure - and the average member.  In the first case there is far greater ability to influence and lead.  Just as a pastor is in his own community.  I am very careful how I speak publicly because I know that my words carry more weight than the average person in my own area.  The president seems either unaware of that, or is counting on it, as he openly puts forth views that are in direct opposition to his own church body.  The president, more than any citizen, has a platform with greater and more powerful ability to persuade and convince. He is often the most known, the most photographed, the most quoted, the most followed.  Many regular Catholics, I suspect, watch his actions and listen to what he says and figure that this is in line with what the church believes and confesses.  They are not going to take the time to crosscheck what the pope says, or what encyclicals say on the subject.  They listen to the authority figures which they hear and see most regularly.

Therefore at least in the view of some here, the face of conservative Lutheran in influential public service leadership to God and country in these days and times is Ron Johnson.

Dave Benke

JEdwards

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2021, 12:10:55 PM »
The president, more than any citizen, has a platform with greater and more powerful ability to persuade and convince. He is often the most known, the most photographed, the most quoted, the most followed.  Many regular Catholics, I suspect, watch his actions and listen to what he says and figure that this is in line with what the church believes and confesses.  They are not going to take the time to crosscheck what the pope says, or what encyclicals say on the subject.  They listen to the authority figures which they hear and see most regularly.
I agree with you that the president has an enormous platform to persuade and convince, but I seriously doubt that a significant number of Roman Catholics are in doubt or confused about what their Church teaches on hot-button issues like abortion.  I think a greater risk for the RCC is the perception that one set of rules applies to the influential and powerful, and another to the average person.  Divorced and remarried Catholics who have not received an annulment (either because they haven't tried, or because their petition was not granted) are generally not eligible to receive the Eucharist (with narrow exceptions); this is justified on the grounds that the Church's witness to the permanence of marriage is compromised by communing persons whose living situation contradicts that witness.  On the other hand, when a political leader's policy advocacy contradicts the Church's witness on abortion, it is rare for him or her to be denied communion.  I'm not arguing for or against either pastoral approach, just noting the apparent inconsistency.

Peace,
Jon

Pr. Terry Culler

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2021, 12:16:54 PM »
As many Jewish people have little or no involvement in the religion, so do many who self identify as Catholics are not truly Catholic, it's a kind of ethno-thing.  The voting differences between active Protestants and active Catholics are negligible. 
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D. Engebretson

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Re: A church-going president and liberal Christians in the Administration
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2021, 12:20:01 PM »
As I noted in my previous post from the quoted article:
"Two-thirds of Catholics who attend Mass weekly or more often (67%) said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while one-in-three (33%) said it should be legal. The ratio is almost exactly reversed for those who attend less frequently: Among Catholics who attend Mass less than weekly, roughly two-thirds said abortion should be legal in all or most cases (65%), while approximately one-in-three (32%) said it should be illegal in all or most cases..."

The president is obviously among the minority (33%) of those who attend Mass regularly who believe that abortion should be legal.  The greater number, 67%, who attend mass believe differently.  Is this due to what they hear at Mass and/or from their priests?  I do not know what is in our president's heart and mind, but I wonder how he reconciles what he hears at Mass and what he knows his church believes, teaches and confesses, with his conviction that abortion should be legal and fully available to all. Does he share their view of life?

That, I think, is the rub - how we define life.  The president, I suspect, must not share how his church defines life.  We have discussed that here previously, and I know that some believe that the life in the womb is either not fully human or not truly a viable life before it is born.  The freedom of a person to have a choice to keep or terminate this life is held as a more cherished and important right than the protection of this unborn life. 

I think that this has profound implications well beyond the issue of abortion.  The protection of all life is at stake, especially the terminally ill, the disabled, and the incapacitated.  But I know that my fears are not shared and will be seen as overblown. 

Again, I'm wondering how our president reconciles what he hears at church with what he promotes in public.  He hasn't given us an insight into that.  I wish he would.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI