August 14, 2012

Presiding Lutheran Bishop Touts Liberal Policies at Pro-LGBT Rally

by Matthew Hamilton

ELCA’s Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson (Photo credit

Several weeks ago, Mark S. Hanson, the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), gave the keynote address at a pro-LGBT rally in Washington, DC. It was organized by Reconcilingworks, an organization within the ELCA that, according to its website, exists for the sole purpose of “affirming sexual diversity” so that people can “reconcile their spirituality and sexuality in an uplifting way.”  the rally was at historic Luther Place Memorial Church.

Hanson began with thanking his audience and praising the ELCA as a “church committed to welcoming all while valuing our differences and respecting diversity.” Hanson further proclaimed that the ELCA’s accepting of “diverse” sexuality and the ordination of LGBT ministers is a witness to the gospel: “Our diversity (in sexuality) gives strength to the unity we have in our bearing witness in word and deed to the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

The ELCA abandoned its expectation of traditional sexual ethics by its clergy in 2009.

Most of Hanson’s speech was simply praising the audience for their work in a range of liberal causes and encouraging them to continue under the auspice of “God’s ministry of reconciliation.” Of this ministry of reconciliation, Hanson said that it was the calling of the ELCA to fight against ” a culture and world that continue to fortify borders and erect barriers to protect and preserve power and privilege, be that power and privilege by virtue of our gender, race, sexual orientation, economic class or citizenship.”

Hanson added that “there is a steely resolve to protect and preserve privilege by perpetuating and adopting attitudes and actions, policies and practices that exclude.” Essentially, according to the bishop, the church has a Biblical mandate to affirm “diverse sexuality,” engage in class warfare, and fight for amnesty for illegal immigrants. Of course also included was fighting racial and gender discrimination, which more often than not tends to involve witch hunts to find racists and gender discriminators where they don’t exist.

Hanson went full steam ahead with the social justice theme saying: “We will not always agree on what justice is called for. Some will argue restorative justice, others might say distributive justice, still others retributive justice. What is given is that, as the baptized, we will be engaged in the struggle for justice.”

Even more troubling from the leader of the ELCA, Hanson triumphantly touted the ecumenical posture of his denomination by recounting how he had Muslim activist Sayyid Sayeed come to speak at the ELCA’s 2011 Churchwide Assembly. During that speech, Sayeed praised the ELCA for its work in supporting the Palestinian Arabs and for fighting the ostensible phenomenon of “Islamophobia.”

ELCA’s Churchwide Assembly Conference 2011 (Photo credit

What’s so troubling about that? Well, Sayeed is the interfaith officer for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization that was birthed in the early 1980’s from the Muslim Student Association (MSA), which itself was founded in part by the Egyptian based Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. ISNA was declared an “unindicted co-conspirator” in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Justice during the Holy Land Foundation investigation, a trial that unearthed evidence that the Muslim Brotherhood had been orchestrating a campaign through dozens of Islamic organizations on American soil to fund Islamic terrorist activities. Sayyid Sayeed’s ISNA was among those organizations with collaborative links to terrorist organizations overseas.

That fairly well sums up the spirit of Bishop Hanson’s address: homosexuality, social justice, class warfare, amnesty for illegals, and befriending allies of overseas Islamists.  Of course there were a few other liberal issues that got left out like abortion rights (which the ELCA supports), but he got pretty close to covering the full gambit. With all that on their hands, one could well wonder where they find the time for worship, discipleship, or preaching the Gospel to the lost. For our regular readers, it may therefore be no surprise to find that within just the last decade, the ELCA has lost around 1 million members and now hovers at around 4 million parishioners. At the rate the ELCA is going in terms of real numbers, the denomination may not even exist by 2050.

4 Responses to Presiding Lutheran Bishop Touts Liberal Policies at Pro-LGBT Rally

  1. Mark says:

    Bishop Hanson aligns himself with para-terrorists, many of whom actually advocate exterminating homosexuals, while condemning those within his own religion who only want to follow the traditional dictates of their faith in preserving marriage. He sees the world upside down. The less attention paid to such people the better.

  2. Jim T says:

    And they wonder why their pews are emptying, and their coffers depleted! I’ll just leave up to Him to take care of things. As a lifelong Lutheran, I’m saddened to say that this is no longer my church. My pastors chickened out on supporting a move to leave the ELCA. A few weeks ago one of them preached a sermon on Mark 6 1-13 discussing the price to pay for choosing convenience over the Word. Can anyone say hypocrite? It was tough to sit through that one!

  3. rhema says:

    In its continuous effort to rewrite the Bible, why does the ELCA arbitrarily stop with its endorsement of homosexuality?

    The ELCA has been practicing invidious sex discrimination, picking and choosing denominational favorites in its “how can we get the world to like us better” repudiation of Bible injunctions like those in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, . . . nor adulterers, . . . nor homosexuals, . . . will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Since extending its post-August 2009 welcome to Pastors Bjorn and Cindi, who solemnly attest they are in ELCA-approved “publicly accountable, life-long, monogamous” same-sex relationships with their respective partners, how can the ELCA deny the same effusive approval to, say, Youth Pastor Joey, who vows that his fornication with live-in girlfriend Tammy will be life-long and monogamous? Marriage is so yesterday, say these thoroughly modern sophisticates and their circle of friends.

    Similarly, how can the ELCA turn a cold denominational shoulder to, say, Pastor Ted if he swears that his adulterous relationship with church organist Marjorie will be life-long and monogamous? After all, it’s not Ted’s and Marjorie’s fault that their balky spouses have refused to grant them a no-financial-strings-attached divorce, and those donations and membership numbers at Ted’s church *have* declined rather precipitously since the August 2009 ELCA convention.

    (For that matter, how can the ELCA subjectively exclude from its pastoral ranks the unrepentant idolators, thieves, revilers, drunkards, and swindlers also named in 1 Corinthians 6?)

    If the ELCA really wants the world’s unstinting approval it’s been earnestly seeking for decades, it needs to wholly expunge 1 Corinthians 6 from its Bibles and pledge total fealty to the world’s “there’s no sin in any kind of consensual sex” creed. It’s clearly time for another sin-whitewashing, Bible-bowdlerizing, let’s-be-even-more-inclusive ELCA convention vote.

  4. J S Lang says:

    The article forgot to mention that Bishop Hanson is into channeling. His speech sounds like it came directly from the pen of Karl Marx.

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