Author Topic: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)  (Read 11021 times)

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #60 on: July 06, 2021, 04:49:25 PM »
DeHall1  ask the question....

Which of these resolutions SPECIFICALLY "do NOT contribute to teachable moments or opening minds to knowing the truth about our nation."?


RESOLVED, That the LCMS Mid-South District reject any doctrine that teaches:   

● One’s race, ancestry, or nationality are inherently superior to the race, ancestry, or nationality of another.
● Any individual is inherently racist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, because of his or her race, ancestry, or nationality;


In this resolve there is an assumption that the CRT supports the idea... Any individual is inherently racist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, because of his or her race, ancestry, or nationality."   

The Mid South rejects any doctrine that teaches "Any individual is inherently racist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, because of his or her race, ancestry or nationality."   That sounds to me as if the LCMS Mid-South District rejects the doctrine of original sin.

Might the CRT be on to something that is Biblical and in keeping with the Lutheran Confessions.  Seems to me that the CTCR report Racism connected racism with our human ancestry that goes back to the Fall.  The problem, according to the CTCR report, is both the denial and self-defensiveness of how we humans are inclined to erect barriers between humans on the basis of visual distinctions.

Marie Meyer

How does that statement deny original sin?  It denies that one is guilty of racism or oppression simply/solely on the basis of "race, ancestry or nationality".  It says nothing about original sin; it speaks to a specific and actual sin: racism/oppression.

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #61 on: July 06, 2021, 04:52:19 PM »
An additional parting thought on the proposition that CRT compelling all whites to feel complicit in non-specific racism...among the reasons that this runs afoul of U.S. civil law is that you have a constitutional right to be a racist bigot.  The government is not allowed to punish you for what you believe.  Only if you act upon them unlawfully, in an area over which the state has jurisdiction.  But to hear this latest generation of civil rights advocates talking gives me pause, demanding that we fight racism and that if you're not anti-racist then you are a racist, because we do not do re-education camps in the United States.  At least not yet.  So any such attempt at political indoctrination and testing, be it in the schools or the workplace, will be vigorously resisted as unconstitutional...so long as the 14th Amendment stands.  Yet some approach this issue as if it's the government's job to convert or punish bigots...no.

All this has no relation to God's law, which most certainly CAN convict you of sinful thoughts.  From my perspective, being a racist bigot makes you a sinner, for definitely not loving your neighbor as yourself.  It just doesn't belong to state's authority to punish you for that.  Of course the oppressed are always keen to become the oppressor.  That's something else God's Word teaches us.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2021, 04:55:44 PM by MaddogLutheran »
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Charles Austin

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #62 on: July 06, 2021, 04:59:23 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
The point, Rev. Austin, is that if you think that YOU benefitted unfairly by being white, that is one thing.  But for you to claim that ALL whites have -- and currently do -- benefit, that is another. And it would be flat-out wrong. 

Me:
No, it would not be wrong. You don’t get it. Yes, all white people have in various different ways benefited from the privileges given the white people. Did you read the book “Caste”? If you did, did you not see yourself, and everybody like you in it?

Pastor Bohler:
Get over it?  Tell that to the young white man who was denied admission to the college of his choice simply because he was a white male.  Or the young white man who was passed over for promotion in favor of one less qualified, simply because he was a white male.
Me:
It is almost never that “simply” done. You make a caricature of the situation. That shows you do not understand what is really involved.

Pastor Bohler:
If you want to do penance for unfair advantages you personally received, go ahead.  But do not tell that young white male who has been denied equal treatment that it is fair -- HE did not benefit from "white privilege", YOU did.
Me:
See above. If he is white in today’s society. He has benefited from being white, often at the disadvantage of those who are not.

Pastor Bohler:
And now you want him to not only pay the piper for your unfair advantages, you want him to say "thank you, sir, may I have another?".  My goodness, man, do you not see the evil of that?  YOU benefitted unfairly (so you say), but now another (not YOU) should suffer for it.
Me:
See above. We all need to “pay” in order to make our society more just and equitable. Do you not see the mercy and care for neighbor in that? I have watched numerous situations and known of several others. Your caricature is wrong. It’s not that someone gets a job or a benefit simply because they are not white. It may mean that if people of relatively equal competence are seeking a job or in need of something, it may be time to consider whether one’s race, or ethnicity, or economic status might be a factor in decision making.
It applies to situation concerning gender also. A friend from years ago was denied a teaching job because she was a woman. The job went to a man, because, of course, “he has a family to support.“ As if she, at the time caring for elderly parents, did not.
I have no hope that you will understand any of this.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #63 on: July 06, 2021, 05:01:21 PM »
DeHall1  ask the question....

Which of these resolutions SPECIFICALLY "do NOT contribute to teachable moments or opening minds to knowing the truth about our nation."?


RESOLVED, That the LCMS Mid-South District reject any doctrine that teaches:   

● One’s race, ancestry, or nationality are inherently superior to the race, ancestry, or nationality of another.
● Any individual is inherently racist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, because of his or her race, ancestry, or nationality;


In this resolve there is an assumption that the CRT supports the idea... Any individual is inherently racist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, because of his or her race, ancestry, or nationality."   

The Mid South rejects any doctrine that teaches "Any individual is inherently racist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, because of his or her race, ancestry or nationality."   That sounds to me as if the LCMS Mid-South District rejects the doctrine of original sin.

Might the CRT be on to something that is Biblical and in keeping with the Lutheran Confessions.  Seems to me that the CTCR report Racism connected racism with our human ancestry that goes back to the Fall.  The problem, according to the CTCR report, is both the denial and self-defensiveness of how we humans are inclined to erect barriers between humans on the basis of visual distinctions.

Marie Meyer

How does that statement deny original sin?  It denies that one is guilty of racism or oppression simply/solely on the basis of "race, ancestry or nationality".  It says nothing about original sin; it speaks to a specific and actual sin: racism/oppression.

There is another theological piece of this that needs to be addressed as well: sin by association.  It's one thing to acknowledge that we are all sinners because of the Fall.  Yes, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Got it. We are inclined to sin in thought, word and deed. But CRT appears to bring the 'sin' of racism and attach it to a group of people because of their "whiteness" simply because those from said group committed horrible racist acts in the past, which impacted our government, economy and civic structure, and now, far down the line, I am benefiting from that, even if unaware.  The fact that I supposedly benefit from that, I am, if I'm getting this straight, 'complicit' in the sin of my white forebearers. And now I must feel guilty over it and repent. 

Something isn't lining up theologically for me here. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #64 on: July 06, 2021, 05:25:10 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
The point, Rev. Austin, is that if you think that YOU benefitted unfairly by being white, that is one thing.  But for you to claim that ALL whites have -- and currently do -- benefit, that is another. And it would be flat-out wrong. 

Me:
No, it would not be wrong. You don’t get it. Yes, all white people have in various different ways benefited from the privileges given the white people. Did you read the book “Caste”? If you did, did you not see yourself, and everybody like you in it?

Pastor Bohler:
Get over it?  Tell that to the young white man who was denied admission to the college of his choice simply because he was a white male.  Or the young white man who was passed over for promotion in favor of one less qualified, simply because he was a white male.
Me:
It is almost never that “simply” done. You make a caricature of the situation. That shows you do not understand what is really involved.

Pastor Bohler:
If you want to do penance for unfair advantages you personally received, go ahead.  But do not tell that young white male who has been denied equal treatment that it is fair -- HE did not benefit from "white privilege", YOU did.
Me:
See above. If he is white in today’s society. He has benefited from being white, often at the disadvantage of those who are not.

Pastor Bohler:
And now you want him to not only pay the piper for your unfair advantages, you want him to say "thank you, sir, may I have another?".  My goodness, man, do you not see the evil of that?  YOU benefitted unfairly (so you say), but now another (not YOU) should suffer for it.
Me:
See above. We all need to “pay” in order to make our society more just and equitable. Do you not see the mercy and care for neighbor in that? I have watched numerous situations and known of several others. Your caricature is wrong. It’s not that someone gets a job or a benefit simply because they are not white. It may mean that if people of relatively equal competence are seeking a job or in need of something, it may be time to consider whether one’s race, or ethnicity, or economic status might be a factor in decision making.
It applies to situation concerning gender also. A friend from years ago was denied a teaching job because she was a woman. The job went to a man, because, of course, “he has a family to support.“ As if she, at the time caring for elderly parents, did not.
I have no hope that you will understand any of this.

Your female friend who lost the job to a man -- when was this? 

Dave Benke

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #65 on: July 06, 2021, 06:42:35 PM »
First, I think we should be thankful for a dialog in which original sin is part of the discussion.   So thank you, Marie Meyer.   Ask Average Joe about that anymore.  It's a non-starter.  So what is the essence of original sin and how does it relate to racism?  Some say pride - being as God.  I think power and control.  The need to have the same Weltanschaung as God - I run this place.  Don't tell me which trees are good and bad.

Race as an aspect of that in these latter times become a way to keep people in their place, and to determine pecking order according to the power grid.  We get locked into our American perspective, to be sure, because of slavery and the way "we" ran over the indigenous people on our way to our Manifest Destiny.

The folks I am with on a daily basis, though, were in large part connected to the various European colonial enterprises, by the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English.  So some of the antagonism between those of Indo-Asian heritage and African heritage through the Caribbean come from the way the colonial British set the system up, with those from India who were placed as those who were in middle management and one/two steps above the indigenes and the African-based indentured.   To this day the power and control granted brings a differentiation between/among those groups.  All of it - all of it, is about power and control.  It is "racial" as well, because the lighter melatonin folks held sway (even the Spanish/Portuguese/Italian are included, although to us Teutons they are "swarthy").

At the end of the day, however, the original sin returns to its source, power and control as a god. 

Jesus is the Upside-Down Kingdom of God initiator, isn't He?  Servant - not the person AT the table, but the person WAITING on the table.  That guy - in those days no tipping required, by the way. 

So maybe we could open up a dialog on Servant Leadership as the alternative to Power and Control in the Realm of God.  Maybe someone might even tune in.

Dave Benke

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #66 on: July 06, 2021, 07:51:54 PM »
But to hear this latest generation of civil rights advocates talking gives me pause, demanding that we fight racism and that if you're not anti-racist then you are a racist, because we do not do re-education camps in the United States.  At least not yet...

Actually, isn't the teaching of CRT in our public schools becoming virtually that? Except the students get to go home every night.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2021, 09:04:09 PM by Donald_Kirchner »
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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #67 on: July 06, 2021, 07:55:08 PM »
So you are putting God's Word and CRT on the same level?

God's law, as a mirror, shows me my sins, sins noted by specific divine prohibitions.


 God uses any commands from anyway to be a mirror. It does not have to be only "God's law."

Quote
CRT points out a number of issues believed to be associated with racial discrimination, especially those connected with discrimination against blacks.  But it also wrongly demands guilt from those not guilty.  It condemns people for benefiting from supposed advantages based on their race, not their personal actions.  Guilt by association.  How is that equivalent to the divine Law making me feel guilty?


Who is not guilty? All have sinned. That's what God's law says. Also, "If we say we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

So, I guess by your reasoning that all are generically guilty, I am guilty, by association, because of my "whiteness" of all apparent sins of racism.  God's law does not have to condemn me in this case, just the unfortunate burden of my whiteness and its connection with the past sins of those I never knew.  The implications of this are enormous.


You are generically guilty because you are human. You will sin against other people because you are human. It's part of our nature. Related to CRT, our sinfulness means that we will nature view life from our own (selfish) perspective. Hearing about the civil rights movement from a Black man or a Black woman who were involved, is quite different from hearing it from a white professor who studied it in books. Or, in another context, having a Roman Catholic tell us about their faith and their church is different than having a Lutheran professor tell us what Roman Catholics believe and do. Conversely, a Roman Catholic friend asked me about Lutheranism because he didn't quite buy what the priest had told him Lutherans believed.


When a white lawyer says, "These are neutral laws," and a Black man says, "They are not." I think critical race theory says that we need to listen to the Black man and learn why the laws may not be as neutral as we think; and how the application of the laws certainly haven't been neutral.


Wiki article on Critical Race Theory lists common themes.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Terry W Culler

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2021, 08:02:34 PM »
There is a reason why reputable academics do not allow their students to quote Wiki-anything
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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #69 on: July 06, 2021, 08:02:47 PM »
So you are putting God's Word and CRT on the same level?

God's law, as a mirror, shows me my sins, sins noted by specific divine prohibitions.


 God uses any commands from anyway to be a mirror. It does not have to be only "God's law."

Quote
CRT points out a number of issues believed to be associated with racial discrimination, especially those connected with discrimination against blacks.  But it also wrongly demands guilt from those not guilty.  It condemns people for benefiting from supposed advantages based on their race, not their personal actions.  Guilt by association.  How is that equivalent to the divine Law making me feel guilty?


Who is not guilty? All have sinned. That's what God's law says. Also, "If we say we have not sinned, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

So, I guess by your reasoning that all are generically guilty, I am guilty, by association, because of my "whiteness" of all apparent sins of racism.  God's law does not have to condemn me in this case, just the unfortunate burden of my whiteness and its connection with the past sins of those I never knew.  The implications of this are enormous.


You are generically guilty because you are human. You will sin against other people because you are human. It's part of our nature. Related to CRT, our sinfulness means that we will nature view life from our own (selfish) perspective. Hearing about the civil rights movement from a Black man or a Black woman who were involved, is quite different from hearing it from a white professor who studied it in books. Or, in another context, having a Roman Catholic tell us about their faith and their church is different than having a Lutheran professor tell us what Roman Catholics believe and do. Conversely, a Roman Catholic friend asked me about Lutheranism because he didn't quite buy what the priest had told him Lutherans believed.


When a white lawyer says, "These are neutral laws," and a Black man says, "They are not." I think critical race theory says that we need to listen to the Black man and learn why the laws may not be as neutral as we think; and how the application of the laws certainly haven't been neutral.


Wiki article on Critical Race Theory lists common themes.

Then to be fair, if this is simply because we are "human" and doesn't relate to my "whiteness," then CRT should be broad enough to indict all races and hold all races guilty instead of just one category that isn't even a 'race,' per se.
Pastor Don Engebretson
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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #70 on: July 06, 2021, 08:05:46 PM »
So maybe we could open up a dialog on Servant Leadership as the alternative to Power and Control in the Realm of God.  Maybe someone might even tune in.

Since a major theme of the thread involves CRT, how do you see "Servant Leadership" in the context of our current time and culture as related to CRT?
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #71 on: July 06, 2021, 08:12:18 PM »
There is another theological piece of this that needs to be addressed as well: sin by association.  It's one thing to acknowledge that we are all sinners because of the Fall.  Yes, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Got it. We are inclined to sin in thought, word and deed. But CRT appears to bring the 'sin' of racism and attach it to a group of people because of their "whiteness" simply because those from said group committed horrible racist acts in the past, which impacted our government, economy and civic structure, and now, far down the line, I am benefiting from that, even if unaware.  The fact that I supposedly benefit from that, I am, if I'm getting this straight, 'complicit' in the sin of my white forebearers. And now I must feel guilty over it and repent. 

Something isn't lining up theologically for me here.


You might consider Exodus 20:5c-6 where God says:


I punish children for their parents’ sins even to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me. But I am loyal and gracious to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.


It sounds like there is guilt by association - or at least blood lines.



Consider also how often the prophets pronounced oracles against nations - not individuals. (Ezekiel is a bit of an exception.)
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #72 on: July 06, 2021, 08:19:14 PM »
There is a reason why reputable academics do not allow their students to quote Wiki-anything


A good Wiki article contains footnotes where researchers can look up the source material and quote from them.


I think that CRT would ask if any student should be able to quote a white author talking about the Black experience. Or, as a white man tried to do here, to teach us about Native American spirituality.


If Wiki is an unreliable source, than so are folks who talk about races and genders that are not their own. That, I believe, is what is being critiqued. Let those who actually live the experiences tell their stories rather than "experts" who theorize about them.

"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #73 on: July 06, 2021, 08:31:43 PM »
There is a reason why reputable academics do not allow their students to quote Wiki-anything


A good Wiki article contains footnotes where researchers can look up the source material and quote from them.


I think that CRT would ask if any student should be able to quote a white author talking about the Black experience. Or, as a white man tried to do here, to teach us about Native American spirituality.


If Wiki is an unreliable source, than so are folks who talk about races and genders that are not their own. That, I believe, is what is being critiqued. Let those who actually live the experiences tell their stories rather than "experts" who theorize about them.

So, you are saying that any non-white person ought not talk about white privilege since they haven't lived that alleged experience?  And Mrs. Meyer cannot talk about LCMS men and how they are oppressive to women or patriarchal or whatever anymore?  Cool.  That settles that.

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Re: Mid-South District of the LCMS rejects Critical Race Theory (CRT)
« Reply #74 on: July 06, 2021, 08:34:51 PM »
There is another theological piece of this that needs to be addressed as well: sin by association.  It's one thing to acknowledge that we are all sinners because of the Fall.  Yes, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Got it. We are inclined to sin in thought, word and deed. But CRT appears to bring the 'sin' of racism and attach it to a group of people because of their "whiteness" simply because those from said group committed horrible racist acts in the past, which impacted our government, economy and civic structure, and now, far down the line, I am benefiting from that, even if unaware.  The fact that I supposedly benefit from that, I am, if I'm getting this straight, 'complicit' in the sin of my white forebearers. And now I must feel guilty over it and repent. 

Something isn't lining up theologically for me here.


You might consider Exodus 20:5c-6 where God says:


I punish children for their parents’ sins even to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me. But I am loyal and gracious to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.


It sounds like there is guilt by association - or at least blood lines.



Consider also how often the prophets pronounced oracles against nations - not individuals. (Ezekiel is a bit of an exception.)

So the interpretation of Exodus 20:5c-6 is about guilt by association?  Would you like to draw out the implications of that exegesis?  The resulting list would be endless.  Do you anticipate being directly punished for your parent's sins? Or do you think you have?  Or let's just consider your ethnic heritage.  What in your family tree causes you great guilt?  Should you be punished for their sins? Or do you believe that you are?

Or might the passage mean that sin often corrupts whole families and is often handed down through learned behavior from their parents and the generations prior? Notice that the text mentions that these "generations" were those who "hated" God.  They were idolaters, not faithful believers. When Luther interpreted this section at the end of his explanation of the commandments, he said that "God threatens to punish all who transgress these commandments."  He did not say that we are all guilty of other's sins by mere association.   
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI