LGBTQIA+

Review: David J. Kundtz and Bernard S. Schlager’s, Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk

[1] On first glance, Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk seems dated (especially its title, doubtless inspired by the hip Showtime television series “Queer as Folk” running from 2000–2005). And perhaps unsettling is the term “queer people”—used constantly, almost interchangeably with “LGBTQ people.” Although the word’s use in our times is an attempt by sexual minorities […]

Scarred Epistemologies: What a Theology of the Cross Has to Say about the Gay Marriage Ban

[1] I live and teach religion and ethics in Ohio, one of the eleven states in the 2004 election that passed constitutional amendments effectively precluding any legal and civil recognition or institution of gay marriage. The passage of this state amendment dubbed colloquially as the ‘ban on gay marriage’ generated much local controversy within my […]

JLE Portfolio: Sexuality: Law and Gospel

[1] I take some comfort in knowing that the ELCA is by no means unique in its struggle to hear God’s call and find its way when it comes to same-gender committed relationships and ordination, consecration, and commissioning of people in committed same-sex unions. We keep company with many other denominations, not to mention our […]

Christian Eye for the Queer Guy

[1] Human beings, as far as we know, are unique in their ability to engage in moral choice. The endeavor to do this is an ancient and sincere striving; one that makes living a happy and fulfilling life a real possibility. But in trying to make moral decisions we often become overwhelmed by the immense […]

Conscience-Bound or Conscience-Liberated: What’s best for the ELCA?

[1] Since the release of the ELCA Task Force recommendations in January 2005, the focus of the conversation has shifted in part toward the concept of conscience. In its recommendations, the Task Force refers on numerous occasions to “conscience-bound positions” as the focal point of differences concerning the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination […]

Martin Luther’s Understanding of the Conscience, “Coram Deo” (…and the ELCA’s Sexuality Study)

“…Conscience is not the power to do works, but to judge them. The proper work of conscience (as Paul says in Romans 2[:15]), is to accuse or excuse, to make guilty or guiltless, uncertain or certain. Its purpose is not to do, but to pass judgment on what has been done and what should be […]

More than Principles Are Needed

[1] Having been invited to respond from a Lutheran World Federation perspective (although not speaking officially for the LWF) to the recent JLE articles on just peace/peacemaking, I begin by strongly affirming JLE for having taken this initiative to invite further theological-ethical thinking that can contribute to ongoing LWF concerns. The LWF Department for Theology […]

Solus Christus or Sola Viscera? Scrutinizing Lutheran Appeals to Conscience

This article appeared in the summer issue of dialog. Published with permission. [1] In the wake of recommendations from the ELCA Task Force on Human Sexuality, one commentator worried that Lutherans would fall prey to bitter “red synod/blue synod” squabbles reminiscent of the November, 2004 election. Let’s hope we have recovered from the fallout of […]

Yet Another Chance to Be Lutheran

[1] One can only extend a grateful hand and a word of appreciation to the Task Force for Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Studies on Sexuality. Its assignment was daunting, not to say volatile, and its work exacted long hours. Yet despite the most conscientious efforts, the Task Force did not reach consensus on the […]

If God Gives Them the Same Gifts, Who are We to Hinder God?

[1] I have been engaged in the subject of homosexuality and the church, as both ethicist and teacher of church governance for many years. Formal engagement with the subject began in 1978, when I was the primary writer for a paper prepared by the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary faculty for the Executive Council of the […]