Thursday, February 09, 2006

I do think the powers that be are trying to drive us away

I don't know about you, but our congregation ended the "Every Home" plan of The Lutheran a long time ago. No, not over the gay issue, it was this-is-so-boring-and-it-has-nothing-good-to-with-me-and-my-congregation thing.

So, know that the last editor has been made Dean of Spirituality at LSTC (made perfect sense to me), the new one weighs in:

Change starts now-All the news of the ELCA that’s fit to print

[Well, I'd say he's off to a bad start: they print things that, as Paul says, it is a shame for us to have to speak aloud, and then they do not print what they need to, news of reform movements around the ELCA, though to be fair, they do a drip and a drab of that]

Since you’ve found me, you’re already aware some things are changing at The Lutheran.

The column of Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson relocated to the last page of the magazine, where the editor’s column used to run. This gives him more space (an additional 300 words) and affords him the last word as he strives to carry out his leadership role in our church.

Well, he will need all the help he can get...

The change also lets me “introduce” the magazine in a number of ways. Usually that will mean comment on the articles in the current issue, what the staff is working on and why, and noting trends and emerging issues. Editors’ musings rarely “sell” magazines: overall content and highly talented and thought-provoking writers do. So this editor moved out of the lead columnist role and into a more traditionally journalistic one of editorial assessment and professional observations on the church.

This month, with the start of the Lenten season of introspection and reflection, the staff’s cover story focuses on doubt. That may sound a little odd, but take time to digest the collections of faith-affirming testaments to confrontations with this age-old affliction. Then pause awhile with the article on “receptive” prayer: prayer that listens for the Spirit’s direction.

There is one item that may spur comments. A review in “Spiritual practices” lauds Brokeback Mountain. [Surprise!] This film sparked a wide range of reaction upon release. The opinion of the film critics is just that—their opinion. The Lutheran is charged with carrying pieces showing the width and depth of thought within the ELCA. The anticipated response, surely promoting other views, will be featured on future “Letters” pages.

Why wait for "Letters"? Let's see, high praise for a movie that praises adultery and the break-up of two families while two "I'm not queer, no me either" guys "find themselves." Makes perfect sense for a church magazine, that is, if you are a denomination that has seriously lost everything that is holy...

That brings us to spotting trends. I have noted in just under two months as editor a number (but not a deluge) of charges that The Lutheran features an editorial bias, is involved in a conspiracy to hijack the denomination [Gasp!-you jackass, do you think if you make a joke about it the truth will go away?] or promotes unsound theology. [He woould have a deluge but only a few are deluded enough to think it would matter] Examples: One reader saw a subliminal message in the colors of the stole used in the January cover photo [Yes, the ship is sinking and we go on about such importatn things as the colrs of the season], while another chided the article itself for promoting clericalism.

Read the magazine in its totality and over multiple issues. [Sorry, I'm afraid it has been deemed bad for one's health] The Lutheran remains committed to serving all members. We affirm the magazine’s concluding editorial guideline, urging its use by everyone: In all matters, the concept of “speaking the truth in love” must prevail. [Ya wouldn't know it if it came up and hit you over the head with a 2 by 4]

Do I sound angry...? Soory about the "jackass" ejaculation, but for someone I've never read before, you are the horse's patoot. How dare you make light of the loyal opposition in your lead-off column?

© 2006 The Lutheran is the magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [that part is true]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No need to apologize, Shrimp - you said exactly what needed to be said. I happened to read the column last week, and had the same reaction. Whenever my blood pressure needs elevating, I peruse The Lutheran staff blog. These people just don't get it.

The good ship ELCA...

The good ship ELCA...
Or the Shellfish blog...