Gay Lutheran clergy lead fight against church’s celibacy rule

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The celibacy rule is expected to be voted on tomorrow or Friday at the 4.9 million-member denomination's Churchwide Assembly in Chicago. The Evangelical Lutherans also will vote on whether to authorize blessings for same-sex unions.

The Word Alone Network, a conservative Lutheran group, opposes the proposals on the belief that gay sex, and all sex outside of marriage, is sinful, according to a spokesman.

Debate over the status of gay people has roiled other mainline Protestant denominations in recent years. In 2003, the Episcopal Church's decision to ordain a noncelibate gay man as bishop nearly caused a split in that church and has led to division within its worldwide body, the Anglican Communion.

Two other Lutheran ministers from New Jersey also came forward yesterday: the Rev. Gary LeCroy, of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Teaneck, and the Rev. Bruce Davidson, director of the Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry in New Jersey.

LeCroy, 46, said he has not been in a committed same-sex relationship since he became a pastor in 1991. "I'm technically in accordance (with the celibacy rule)," he said. "But I have no intention of staying that way."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran

46 Comments
Posted August 8, 2007 at 8:54 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

In 2003, the Episcopal Church’s decision to ordain a noncelibate gay man as bishop nearly caused a split in that church…

Nearly? We shall soon see just how this article might have been re-written if it were published post-September 30th.

August 8, 10:18 am | [comment link]
2. Harry Edmon wrote:

If the ELCA votes to remove their celibacy rule, it will be interesting to see what the LCMS will do in response.  It may be the end of the few joint ministries currently in place between the two denominations.  I doubt it will affect the relations between the ELCA and TEC!

August 8, 10:39 am | [comment link]
3. Newbie Anglican wrote:

“Enable our sin or we’ll have a self-righteous hissy fit!”

August 8, 11:00 am | [comment link]
4. Augsburg wrote:

I must say, as an ELCA seminarian, that this is downright depressing.  The revisionists will not stop until they have their way.  And those of us who wish to uphold the historic, biblical faith must decide whether heresy or schism is the worst of two evils.  Pray for us.

August 8, 11:01 am | [comment link]
5. Summersnow wrote:

I guess all that “watching TEC” that has been done the past few years has taught the ELCA very little.  Today’s vote should be interesting.

sjengelhardt

August 8, 11:02 am | [comment link]
6. Larry Morse wrote:

The question remains: How oes one stop what appears to be a genuinely powerful liberal momentum? The priest says he has no intention of staying celibate, so he has said that he is going to do what he wants regardless of church principles. What church can be run this way?

  On another entry, John Scholasticus asked me what damage such a small number (of homosexuals) can do? And here it is: the Christian churches are being forced into making a choice between whether the scriptures are the foundation of Christianity or not. This is a disaster and it is fundamental. Those churches that maintain that scripture provides the positions which are fundamental to core belief, these churches will be pilloried, called bigots and homophobes, and, even worse, fundamentalists, meaning narrow minded literalists who have shut out the rest of the world in order to pretend that they are RIGHT and everyone else is wrong. This makes orthodoxy a dirty word, and it presents an utterly false picture. But what can one do?

  For the churches who go with the flow, they have cut themselves off from scripture permanently because they are saying to their parishoners, you can believe whatever you want. Don’t let scriptural limitations or restrictions get in your way. These churches will simply vanish at last, for the have no standards - precisely what is happening to TEC. ANd the homosexuals will prove Gresham’s Law again to thei loss, that bad money drives out good.  LM

August 8, 11:25 am | [comment link]
7. Brian of Maryland wrote:

Summersnow,

One the contrary, I would argue that “watching TEC” has done a great deal for the advocates in my church.  It has taught them it is possible to contend with a church and win.  In case no one is paying attention, the advocates have just about taken over all mainline denominations in the US.

It is what it is.

MD Brian

August 8, 11:31 am | [comment link]
8. Ed the Roman wrote:

Gay and clergy should not appear together (the former modifying the latter) in the same sentence.

Sure they should.  “Celebrating the golden anniversary of his ordination, Father Paul X. O’Malley displayed a puckish gaiety belying his experiences as a Ranger in the Korean War after his wife had been killed in a traffic accident on their honeymoon.”  That use is perfectly fine.

August 8, 12:57 pm | [comment link]
9. Enda wrote:

#4 Augsburg, I will pray for you.  Pray for us, too, who need a parting of the sea.  A miracle, in other words.  We need a miracle.  God will provide.  Somehow.  Some way.  Prayers!

August 8, 1:02 pm | [comment link]
10. Billy wrote:

ECLA is seeing what TEC has seen and experienced, the same as Adam and Eve experienced, those building the tower of Babel experienced, the Israelites in the wilderness experienced, on ad infinitum:  human being trying to elevate themselves to the level of God.  Look at the quotes from some of our bishops about the supposed inspired Word of God:  “The Bible is a book of nice verses (or was in poetry).”  “We wrote it and we can rewrite it.”  All the revisionist don’t like what the Bible says about homosexual activity, so they change the subject to make it a social justice issue.  It’s no longer for them about what God has said, but it is about fairness and justice for humans.  As we learned in last week’s gospel, when Jesus refused to become a mediator between the two brothers, God doesn’t necessarily care about human wants and desires or even what humans think is fair.  He wants us to put Him first.  Can this Lutheran priest, who is now not about to remain celibate simply because God’s church has a rule, or can VGR or any of the bishops that voted to approve him really claim they are putting God first or are they putting human desire first.  I think we (and they) all know the answer to that question.  Idol worship is the devil’s workshop, and the devil is plenty business in our world today.

August 8, 2:36 pm | [comment link]
11. Jim the Puritan wrote:

#6:  As we speak, the Lord is winnowing the wheat from the chaff.  We each individually need to make a decision with whom we will stand, with Him or the world.

Churches that remain true to God’s Word are growing greatly.  The church I began attending after I left ECUSA in 1998 has grown from about 700 to more than 2000 attenders on Sunday.  Many of us are “refugees” from mainline churches that have jumped off the cliff. 

My former church, on the other hand, is largely empty, down to putting up banners on some weekends announcing they are canceling services.  Their female priest has “retired” abruptly.  It once had 900 members.  It still has 750 on the rolls, but if they get 200 (split among 3 services) now they are lucky, and a recent church newsletter I saw pleaded with absent members to come to church and be “engaged.”  This is how a recent church bulletin article talked about those like me who have left:

“But **** [a recent guest speaker giving a talk to the church about how they as “stayers” should look for diversity, not growth in the church] notes the development of
this new [inclusive] congregational pattern
moves at a snail’s pace because
mainline congregations tend to have
older members and baby boomers
have not replaced leadership in congregations.
Many flock to evangelical
churches—warm and
prayerful, Christmas cards with
evangelistic messages like “Jesus
Christ was born to die for your
sins”. There is a kind of simplicity,
clarity, and peace to popular evangelicalism
that orders life and death
in practical, unambiguous ways.”

In 10 years or so these spiritually dead mainline denominations will be largely gone.

Yes, we may be entering a time of persecution, but as Christians we are told by Scripture that is inevitable.

August 8, 3:10 pm | [comment link]
12. Reactionary wrote:

#6 Larry,

The question remains: How does one stop what appears to be a genuinely powerful liberal momentum?

God will sort it out.  Dysfunctional people who can’t reproduce themselves will be replaced by Roman Catholic latinos.

August 8, 3:24 pm | [comment link]
13. Harry Edmon wrote:

Augsburg - many of us in the LCMS do pray for the faithful in the ELCA and TEC.  Deciding what to do, to stay in and fight, or to leave either through a split or finding another denomination, is always very difficult.  Martin Luther faced the same dilemma, but in his case the choice was made for him when Rome threw him out.  Whatever your choice, I pray the God enables you to stay true to the faith once delivered as revealed in the Scriptures and that God strengthen you in your chosen path.

August 8, 3:34 pm | [comment link]
14. Augsburg wrote:

Thank you Enda and Harry for your thoughts and prayers.  God will lead.

August 8, 4:26 pm | [comment link]
15. Mike Bertaut wrote:

Yep, don’t be surprised if some of us are granted an early exit by the “tolerant” reappraisers who have hijacked the faith received.  Frankly, it would be an honor to be tossed out on my ear.

KTF!...mrb

August 8, 5:52 pm | [comment link]
16. Summersnow wrote:

MDBrian,
I am truly very sorry.  I had hopes that Hanson would learn from TEC—I guess he did, but not in a good way.

So far the Chi Tribune is not reporting any news from todays meeting.

sjengelhardt

August 8, 5:52 pm | [comment link]
17. physician without health wrote:

Dear Augsburg and Harry, First, Augsburg, you are in my prayers as well.  This is truly a difficult situation for you.  Remember that when you labor and are heavy laden, you can count on Jesus’ rest.  On another thread, may have been on SF, I speculated that there would be a mass migration to LCMS if ELCA caves on this.  Someone mentioned that there were other factors that separated the two denominations.  What are the differences, ie: why would say an ELCA orthodox not feel comfortable in LCMS?  I am asking out of ignorance, not to be argumentative.  Thanks so much and God bless you.  PS: I wish we in Anglicanism were confessional like y’all.

August 8, 6:29 pm | [comment link]
18. Harry Edmon wrote:

The “biggy” is the issue of Women’s Ordination (women pastors), which the LCMS continue to hold as contrary to Scripture.  I have also heard some in the ELCA reject the LCMS (and historic) practice of close(d) communion.

August 8, 11:45 pm | [comment link]
19. Harry Edmon wrote:

The Chicago Tribune now has a report on today’s session:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-lutherans09aug09,1,1951278.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Not looking good for orthodox Lutherans!

August 9, 12:19 am | [comment link]
20. Harry Edmon wrote:

From the Tribune article:

Jeffrey Herman-May of the New England Synod said the answer for church growth is evangelization, and a policy of inclusion would attract new members.

“[They say] this would be a disaster for membership and stewardship that the ELCA simply could not survive,” he said. “Let’s be graciously frank. . . . For our survival, the policy must go.”

(For clarification, the policy is the celibacy requirement for homosexuals.)  Gee, inclusion of gays in a Christian denomination hasn’t help growth anywhere else!  But I’m sure the ELCA will be different grin

August 9, 12:27 am | [comment link]
21. Harry Edmon wrote:

For the official differences between ELCA and LCMS (from the LCMS viewpoint), see http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2146.

August 9, 1:18 am | [comment link]
22. Jim the Puritan wrote:

Jeffrey Herman-May of the New England Synod said the answer for church growth is evangelization, and a policy of inclusion would attract new members.

“[They say] this would be a disaster for membership and stewardship that the ELCA simply could not survive,” he said. “Let’s be graciously frank. . . . For our survival, the policy must go.”

For the results of this policy at my former church, see my #14 above.

August 9, 3:58 am | [comment link]
23. physician without health wrote:

Thank you Harry for the information.  As I think about it, ELCA has appeared to be in a state of decline for a while now.  Here’s a small example taken from the children’s program “Davey and Goliath.”  In the original plots from the 1960s, it is clear that truth comes from Christ and His Gospel.  I happened to see a more recently produced Christmas special, in which Christianity is portrayed as essentially equivalent to Islam and Judaism, much the same message we hear from KJS.  This was very painfuil to watch. In that context, the current goings on are hardly surprising.

August 9, 8:06 am | [comment link]
24. Augsburg wrote:

Physician without health and Harry,

I am more comfortable within the ECLA conservative wing than in the LCMS because I believe a good, strong biblical argument can be made for women’s ordination.  I do not believe that a sound biblical argument can be made for gay ordination.  Therein lies the rub for me.

August 9, 8:27 am | [comment link]
25. physician without health wrote:

Dear Augsburg,  I agree with you about WO, but also would be willing to part with it for the sake of a strong orthodox church.  Interestingly, every orthodox female clergy I have ever spoken with feels the same way, and would be willing to step aside for the good of the body of Christ, if that is what it took.

August 9, 8:31 am | [comment link]
26. Augsburg wrote:

Physician,
My hope is that it does not come to that.  If the ELCA chooses to follow that path of the TEC and UCC, our polity allows for congregations, who own their own buildings, to leave without much difficulty if they join “another Lutheran body.”  I would imagine that a confessional movement from the ELCA would emerge to receive those congregations.  My prayer is that it doesn’t become necessary.  Interestingly, our denomination’s fissure lines look very much like the red/blue state demarcations in the presidential elections.  The coasts, and large cities, are far more liberal, with the midwest and heartland being much more traditional.  I could see that being the shape of the future.

August 9, 8:40 am | [comment link]
27. Larry Morse wrote:

#27: PLease make that argument for WO. LM

August 9, 9:00 am | [comment link]
28. Augsburg wrote:

Larry, I’m at work, and I don’t have time to write an exegetical piece here, but let me briefly summarize what I believe the best argument to be: 1) Paul declared that in Christ (i.e., in baptism) there is neither man nor woman, slave nor free; 2) Jesus elevated the status of women by speaking to them directly (in contravention of Jewish practice), and by choosing to appear first after the resurrection to a woman (who was not a legally qualified witness), ordering her to be a witness, etc.  While Paul and Peter both declared that woman should not preside at worship, given the clear equality of women before Christ, these statements must necessarily be seen as issues of church order and not distinctions in the eyes of God regarding qualification for presidency at the eucharist.  If so, then if the church can maintain good order with female presidency, then it is free to do so. 

Remember, however, that the Lutheran view of the priesthood is not the same as the Anglo-Catholic (or Catholic), meaning that we do not believe that the presbyter, by his or her actions or status, changes the bread and wine into Body and Blood, but instead that this is accomplished by Christ’s promise at the Last Supper.  The presbyter presides as a matter if eucharistic discipline.  Therefore the “in persona Christi” arguments against female presidency are simly not applicable from the Lutheran theological perspective.

August 9, 9:17 am | [comment link]
29. Harry Edmon wrote:

The LCMS takes the view that Paul’s declaration of neither man nor woman, slave nor free, has to do with our equality in regards to salvation; but does not apply to men and women having different functions within the church.  We take Paul and Peter’s words as distinctions mandated by God and not just a matter of church order. Yes Jesus elevated the status of women, yet he did not choose a women to be one of the Apostles which I believe is excellent evidence for only men being pastors.  There is also an argument to be made based on the order of Creation, that man came first and women comes from man.  If you want to dig further, I would suggest you to read the following two links on the LCMS web site:

http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2702
http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/LCMS/wa_ordinationofwomen.pdf

August 9, 9:56 am | [comment link]
30. Augsburg wrote:

Hi Harry.  I understand and respect this argument, and those who believe that it is dispositive of this issue, although I utlimately don’t agree.  What is important to me, however, is that we who may disagree on the issue of W.O. agree very strongly on the issue of human sexuality, the authority of Scripture, salvation by Grace throgh Faith, and the uniqueness of Christ.

August 9, 10:03 am | [comment link]
31. Brian of Maryland wrote:

Summersnow,

Actually, I think Hanson does get what’s going on.  I think he’d prefer we wait until the 2009 sexuality study was released and then make decisions.  Now, that study group is basically packed with revisionists so it’s a done deal.  In point of fact, the process leading up to the 2005 vote on whether we should change our policy on openly gay and lesbian   clergy made clear a majority of the respondents did not want to change the policy (a change meaning allowing ordination).  However, the study group basically made three proposals advocating change ... anyway.

That previous study cost the ELCA 2.5 million.  And the end result was the writing/study group did what they wanted anyway.  The latest issue of The Lutheran had an article saying they have received few responses thus far from the current draft of the sexuality study.  Gee… you think maybe the people in the pews have learned their opinions don’t matter anyway?

IF the policy is changed at this assembly, I have a sense the ELCA will unravel much more quickly than TEC.  We own our property so we can easily move to another Lutheran body.  Well, I say easily ... we won’t be sued like TEC and PCUSA congregations are experiencing.

BTW, I served in the Bishop’s office in northern California before taking my current call.  Our RIC (reconciled in Christ) congregations in San Francisco have VERY few members. In even such a target rich environment with a number of our congregations being served by openly gay or lesbian clergy ... they aren’t reaching new populations.  We have all the data we need to put to rest the lie of “IF only we’d be more inclusive, look how we’d grow.”  Don’t need TEC examples in the least.

Maryland Brian
StJohnMD.org

August 9, 10:12 am | [comment link]
32. Augsburg wrote:

Maryland Brian -

I agree entirely with your comments.  The ELCA will come apart at the seams if this vote changes the standards.  In fact, I don’t think it will matter one wit if we wait until 2009 to make the change - it will unravel anyway.  The question is, will those who choose to leave form a new, orthodox body, or disperse into existing ones?

August 9, 10:17 am | [comment link]
33. Harry Edmon wrote:

Augsburg:

What is important to me, however, is that we who may disagree on the issue of W.O. agree very strongly on the issue of human sexuality, the authority of Scripture, salvation by Grace throgh Faith, and the uniqueness of Christ.

I agree whole heartedly!  We have more that binds us together than separates us.

I will just add one more comment on the WO issue.  My Pastor has always connected WO and acceptance of homosexuality - not because they are equivalent, but because he states that both conclusions come from the same hermeneutics.  I’m still not sure if I completely agree, but it seems that church bodies to go down the path of WO eventually end up with acceptance of homosexuality (TEC and ELCA as examples).

August 9, 10:36 am | [comment link]
34. Brian of Maryland wrote:

Augsburg,

I really can’t say.  I think all sorts of things will happen.  Some of our large congregations have already gone non-denominational or joined other Lutheran bodies.  The Evangelical Catholics among us will not want to go to a smaller denomination or non-denominational.  Some have already gone home to Rome (the pastors that is) and some of my friends are looking into CANA.  I think some may head off to LC-MS, but I think the closed communion policy will be more of a problem than the ordination of women issue.  There’s also the LC-MS isolation in the ecumenical scene that would deter me ... and as a denomination they aren’t doing much better than the ELCA transforming into an effective outreach church during these post modern times.

Hence I think buying a couple of years would be a good thing.  I have no need to allow the advocates any influence over what I or my congregation may or may not do.  What is God calling us to be and do during these times of truly global realignment?

A final comment; I grieve that you are coming into the church during these days.  It’s hard enough leading a typical first call congregation: most of them are small, deeply inwardly focused and dysfunctional.  Now on top of that will come the division that many of us have seen coming for years.  Know any large, orthodox church senior pastors looking for staff?  That might be a way to survive the next couple of years.
Brian
StJohnMD.org

August 9, 10:36 am | [comment link]
35. Brian of Maryland wrote:

Harry,

Actually, nearly all mainline denominations in the US are numerically declining and also throwing themselves off the cliff of homosexuality.  Those two issues may or may not be linked.  That many of them/us chose the path of WO is probably a sub-theme of our over arching problem of our ecclesiology.  Your denomination and mine gathers every few years and votes on biblical truth.  Thus far LC-MS has culturally resisted the gay and lesbian advocates and the pull of WO.  I think that’s probably because they’ve not yet targeted you and your denomination is pretty isolated from the larger ecumenical Body of Christ.  Once they have successfully co-opted or killed off the bulk of mainlines in the US, trust me ... you’ll be next.  And you’ll end up having the same problem.  How to stop them when we vote on truth every couple of years - or is it every three years for you folks?

Hence, I don’t believe US based mainline denominations of any type will effectively survive the corrosive effects of post-modernism coupled with aging Boomer activism.  Again, I think CANA and such are showing us the way - linking with the orthodox on a global scale.  The other alternatives are the complete isolation of the non-denominational movement or Rome.

Brian

August 9, 10:47 am | [comment link]
36. Augsburg wrote:

Brian, your thoughts are right on the money from my perspective.  I live in a relatively conservative synod, with a conservative bishop, so if I can get placed here, I might be okay for awhile.  Right now I just pray that God will lead me as I try to work, go to school, try to balance my family life with my other obligations, and go through the candidacy process.  (I’m second career). I have been very open, if amicable, about my traditionalist views in the seminary, and the faculty have largely been supportive and affirming.  So, I plug away.  Who knows what the world will look like when I emerge. . .

August 9, 10:49 am | [comment link]
37. Jody+ wrote:

Augsburg and MD Brian,

Any thoughts on how those of us who are orthodox and supportive of the closer connections between our two traditions can work together in the midst of these things?  Perhaps something positive will come out of it in the end.  It’s interesting that you have friends looking into CANA-it would be exciting to see orthodox from Anglican and Lutheran traditions coming together in a larger body of some sort.  I noted that the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology had several Anglican speakers at its annual conference this year (which I sadly had to miss, I had intended to go)—what would a more grass-roots cooperation entail I wonder?

I had the impression that many of the orthodox folks in the ELCA had not been in favor of the agreement between our two churches for ecclesiological reasons, is that true?

August 9, 10:53 am | [comment link]
38. Augsburg wrote:

Hi Jody -
I like the CCET as well. 

There is a group within the ELCA called WordAlone which is very orthodox, but opposes the mandatory episcopacy on traditional Lutheran ecclesiological grounds. (i.e., it’s useful, but not necessary).  I for one like WordAlone, but am favor of restoring an evagelical, gospel-centered episcopacy for the sake of the unity of the church.  Not all agree, however.

August 9, 10:59 am | [comment link]
39. Harry Edmon wrote:

For us it is every three years (thank GOD).  What the LCMS has going for it is that the orthodox (conservatives) are firmly in control of both of our seminaries, and have been since Seminex.  Given that and the equal representation of clergy and laity in convention it would be very difficult for the homosexual issue to get any traction in the LCMS.  The last time the issue came up was the 2004 convention, and the vote (which was on marriage being one man and one women) was 1163-22.  I still want to know why those 22 are/were in the LCMS!

August 9, 10:59 am | [comment link]
40. Brian of Maryland wrote:

Jody,

I think you are confusing the Evangelical Catholics in the ELCA with the Confessionlists.  We have many and various strands of understanding of ecclesiology in the ELCA.  Unlike the Anglican experience, we came to North America from several different European state churches.  Over time those differences no longer made sense and we’ve been merging together over the years.  But deep down some of those differences are still there.  For example, the Church of Sweden (Lutheran) because of how it came about can still claim apostolic succession.  BTW, I had one of “those” at my ordination ... just in case ... grin

Some in our tradition do not believe such things are all that important and hence the “Word Alone” organization.  That’s why our coming schism won’t be pretty.  We’re a merged church representing many different strands.  I think those strands will come apart in ways none of us can predict.

As far as local connections, I’d certainly welcome it.  Our congregation has thus far heavily financially supported an Anglican Orphanage in Tanzania so we already have deep connections internationally.  One of our twenty-somethings runs their web page for them.  A couple of our twenty something film people made the promo flick you can see on their site.  http://www.gsotanzania.org/

AND, btw, I’m planning to take a large group of our traditional service members to Truro this summer to experience their worship.  Who knows ...

Md Brian

August 9, 11:05 am | [comment link]
41. Brian of Maryland wrote:

Jody,

And the same Lutheran twenty something put together the video of members in Florida…

http://www.gsotanzania.org/help.html

Brian

August 9, 11:08 am | [comment link]
42. Sherri wrote:

Hence, I don’t believe US based mainline denominations of any type will effectively survive the corrosive effects of post-modernism coupled with aging Boomer activism.  Again, I think CANA and such are showing us the way - linking with the orthodox on a global scale.  The other alternatives are the complete isolation of the non-denominational movement or Rome.

Veering off-topic somewhat on a cold thread, but - is what is happening to our churches just another manifestation of a sort of splintering that is going on throughout our culture (in America, anyway). It seems like there are very few things that bring us together anymore. Individualism is supreme. (As a reader of contemporary fiction, I see this expressed more and more by extreme characters - “grotesques”.)

August 9, 12:24 pm | [comment link]
43. Larry Morse wrote:

Re: 45. I said some of this earlier and I hope you will bear with the repetition.

  What the liberals have done is institutionalize the extremes and by so doing, they havnormalized them. Normalize here has and special, peculiar and inventive definition. What the left has done is assert the rights of the extremes so firmly and successfully,so much legislation has been designed for them, that they have become standard setters, as if this were a genuinely statistical matter and the extremes actually form the bell shaped curve. I understand that this is not logical, but this has been the effect of the left’s successful lobbying. The word “normal” now, when it refers to the literal center of the curve, has become pejorative, hasn’t it? Isn’t this remarkable? Normal in this sense now means bourgeois, orthodox, conservative, traditional, and always with overtones of narrow minded, and intolerant. Words DO matter, don’t they, wdm?  The new normal means inclusive, and inclusive now means the successful integration of the marginal. Even our language now encourages euphemisms of a particularly nonsensesical sort to indicate the normality of the abnormal, e.g., the handicapped are called “differently abled.” One must never call the insane insane; they are at the very least mentally ill, for “ill” suggest something quite ordinary, quite normal - we all get ill and we’re normal, aren’t we?
And think of all the euphemisms for “stupid.” Elementary teachers now call them (and the social misfits) “needy.” Indeed, the notion that a student can be identified as simply stupid is, in the school systems, absolutely unacceptable. The collective effect of this euphemisms is to “mainstream” the class focused on. So the “grotesque” can be re-imaged and repackaged using the saran wrap of
sensitivity to make what has come to be seen as a standard product. While the true standard product is discarded,, PRECISELY because it is truely standard. LM

August 9, 8:06 pm | [comment link]
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