Saturday, May 21, 2005

GK on Gay Lutherans etc

Check it out.
“Pastor Ingqvist was so glad about the snow. He was thinking he might have to do a sermon on the Lutheran church, its announcement of its commission on its position on same-sex relationships and the ordination of same-sex people. But then he thought, “No, I don’t really need to do that. People are thinking about snow.” Nobody had really asked him about this commission report, which was a masterpiece of muddling through - just a masterpiece. It was a beautiful piece of writing. It’s a case where you establish a commission to take up a question that militants on either side are waving their bright shining swords, and they’re up in arms about. And you put a commission in there, and it takes three years to work at it, and it puts out a report which nobody can understand, which says that essentially nothing has changed, and yet, some things have changed, but we don’t approve of that, and yet if you went ahead on the basis of conscience and did what you wanted to do, don’t worry about us coming after you, because we wouldn’t do it. It’s sort of a “don’t ask, don’t tell, never mind” position.

“And it’s beautiful. It’s a Lutheran art to take a controversial subject, and to restate the question so that nobody understands it, and then to write the response so that it has to do with nothing whatsoever. And out comes the report, and nobody can really be that angry about it, because it’s made up of all of this mishmash, this beautiful mishmash, and these sentences that are like extruded marshmallow. And so all of the militants who would be tempted to go to battle over this… Peace is kept! On the basis of confusion! A Lutheran art, to achieve strength through indirection and vagueness. This is an irritating quality about Lutherans, and people have become angry at Lutherans. “Why don’t you say what you mean? Tell us what you think.” Well… no! No.

“No matter how many militants and absolutists there are, there’s a great tide of moderation in my little town of Lake Wobegon. Moderates are people who have experienced back pain. Lower back pain. That’s what makes a moderate. When you’re your age, when you’re young, you can be extreme on these things and pick up the flag and carry it forward. But you get to be my age and you’ve experienced lower back pain and you realize, this is the crucial thing. These questions of principle and so forth, these can be put off until later.

“That’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”

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