04 November 2009

Just because it's so darn funny

Once upon a time I worked in an office. A weird office. A weird office in which all my co-workers were women who attended churches with "Lutheran" on the sign out front. The sign outside our office building also included the word "Lutheran."

Occasionally in this office (it was an inbound call center), we office workresses would find ourselves trying to explain to confused callers what all the different kinds of Lutherans were. Here are all the different kinds of Lutherans:

ELCA: ordains women
LCMS: us (indicating the employer, not necessarily the worker)
WELS: doesn't let women vote

There you have it, folks. American Lutheranism as Lutheran women see it.


JenniferH said...

Let's be fair now, there was one worker-man among all those workresses.

Ewe said...

We are part of a LCMS tri-parish. One church let women vote before we got here, one changed to let women vote while we were here, and one is considering, but at this point still won't let women vote. I know this is rare in LCMS.

lisa said...

So, does that make us the LC Moderate Synod? :)

I don't know Rebekah - I take issue with the phrase "let" women vote :) That implies it's our right.

I'm just saying..

Rebekah said...

JenH, I always forget that! He was kind of second-wave for my tenure.

I'm with Lisa on "let." But then, I don't think we should let men breastfeed so I'm a chauvinist too. Lest we forget, the LCMS position on women's suffrage essentially amounts to, "If women vote in your parish, the Voters' Assembly is by definition not authoritative." More here on LCMS, WELS, and chicks:


lisa said...

Men nursing babies...***shudder***

Haha - Yes, I tend to preface statements to family and friends with, "Now, you know I'm sexist..."

I'm far worse than sexist - I'm a bigot. I think I'm right :)

I loved this reply by FH: "I think the female suffrage was a case of the church imitating the world. I think it is an example of viewing the Kingdom of God in terms of "rights" instead of seeking ways to serve. This same impetus is what led to women's "ordination" among our former brethren. Sometimes I think the modern Church is embarrassed by looking different than the world."

So - reflecting on your post regarding the "LCMS position in a nutshell" Rebekah, could I extrapolate that when female citizens vote it is also "not authoritative"? :)

(Crawling under the table as rocks and burning bras will soon be flying through my window :)

I appreciated his info on the WELS website. In-ter-uh-sting.

Rebekah said...

Lisa, I was thinking syllogistically within the greater LCMS theological framework insofar as one can be argued to exist. . . on the other hand, the kingdom of the left is such a joke that I guess I consider voting about as meaningful as trick-or-treating, so why not "let" everybody do it? Votes for budgies!

Anonymous said...

I need to have your stance clarified. You don't think women should vote on church issues?

Thank you.

lisa said...

I'm guessing Anonymous is asking you. I've hung up my hat with replying to Anonymous posts.

So, I had to look up "budgies" - OMGoodness, that's hilarious!! :) Random. But hilarious :)

I guess I haven't given up hope and pray to be a responsible citizen as best I can in my station. Que sera, sera.

Gauntlets said...

No, Anon. You need oxygen.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, oxygen?\
I sincerely would like to know what you think about women voting at church meetings.
Thank you.

Dakotapam said...

I'm a sexist too. I've not voted in a church meeting in years. Part of that is also my discomfort on voting on things like my husband's salary and benefits.

That, and, have you been to a voters meeting lately? Most I have been to have been a joke...the decisions are made long before they are brought to the voters...then random teens and other people who normally NEVEER attend such meetings are rounded up for the cause. I stay out of it.

Rebekah said...

Anon, I think the question of suffrage is a Modern American one, and that the people of God never function well within the social or philosophical paradigm of any secular culture. It just doesn't fit us. How's that for an answer?

I think Pam's description of church voters' meetings as generally being a time-wasting formality is pretty accurate; on the other hand, the usual consequence of "allowing" women to do something they haven't done before is that it becomes something men lose interest in and quit doing. So there are some pragmatic considerations.

But I definitely lack the brainpower to speak to how polity and ontology might affect this muddled matter. All I can say is, I've never voted at a church voter's meeting, and I never plan to. (I did attend a few in the political football capacity also described by Pam back in my own youth group days.)

Gauntlets said...

Sorry, Anon. It was just a joke. You know, what you need? Oxygen? :D

One of my husband's parishes includes women in the voters' assembly; one doesn't. Both assemblies run at about the same level of efficiency. I don't vote where I'm allowed or want to vote where I'm not allowed for many of the same reasons Pam mentioned. Too sticky, too distracting. I have a lot to do, and I think the menfolk are perfectly adapted to handle whatever might need handling via vote, sans my blubbed opinions.

Untamed Shrew said...

I have three perfect excuses to bow out of voter's meetings, and I'm ever so grateful. :-)

JenniferH said...

Besides, what pastor's wife wants to pay a babysitter to go to said voter's assemblies anyway? I mean, we don't even scrape the cash together for a date night. Why would I want to go and listen to all the haggling over things that involve whether or not I'll EVER afford that sitter?

Anonymous said...

In need of a babysitter and pastor's wife status is not my station in life. Also feel that my opinions are not blubbed.

Has '"allowing" women to do something they haven't done" such as vote in this American democracy for almost the past 100 years caused "men lose interest and quit doing it" ?

Where do I stand in the LCMS?

Thank you, I sincerely want a discussion.

EKGaunt said...

Anon, I know nothing. Seriously. I don't even have the benefit of being married to a pastor. So, grain of salt and all that.

But the more I study and learn and experience, the more I think my vocation is not to vote, but as mother, to raise the conscientious voters.

And I now defer to Smarter Lutherans Than Me.

MooreMama said...

"But the more I study and learn and experience, the more I think my vocation is not to vote, but as mother, to raise the conscientious voters."

Ditto that.

"I have a lot to do, and I think the menfolk are perfectly adapted to handle whatever might need handling via vote, sans my blubbed opinions."

And that.

And FTR - I do vote in public elections, just not church ones. Even then, it's mostly to cancel out the vote of the ding dong across the street.

Gauntlets said...

Anon, dear friend, you're cool in the LCMS gang, so don't feel sad. The girls commenting here are, by and large, in a different LCMS gang, and choosing to live their take on the Confessions, as it were. The LCMS is a crazy ship

. . . I think my quarters are somewhere around its scullery, which is fine by me. I don't want to live near the captain's chambers; I go to church to rest.

We are just talking church voters' assembly here, right? We're not getting all bogged down in Elizabeth Cady Stanton? Because I'm too in this life to care any longer about Stanton.

lisa said...

Gauntlets: I confess - I was also referencing Stanton as civil authority flows from the family, but boy, I hit an iceberg with just the church politics, so let's stop there :)
I don't vote at church because I believe that God instructed women explicitly in Scripture not to exercise authority over men. Voting is an authoritative action. We the people - we the parishioners, and all that jazz.

Are there times when a mixed assembly can raise hands to decide church carpet colors?

Sure. I STRONGLY encourage the women to get involved with that otherwise men would always pick brown!!

There are also many other appropriate ways for women to be active, productive and have a real "say" in furthering the work of the church.

I believe that when a man votes he does so on behalf of his family. We (as a couple) discuss issues within the home, I express my views and thoughts thoroughly (if the issue deserves that much attention), we deliberate and he votes. If we disagree (and it is clear that his view is not sinful), I defer to his view. If his view was in conflict with Scripture then I suppose we'd seek counsel from a respected Pastor. (It hasn't happened yet, so it's just my game plan).

An unmarried woman may defer to her father. A widow, if without sons, should (in my opinion) be given a voice by being assigned to a family at church - or, voice her opinion to elders who can publicly express her concerns and, if there is a spiritual dimension to them, direct them to the Pastor to be addressed.

I don't vote because I think the exalted position of woman does not include the exercise of such authority. It does seem a bit of a cross to bear to my modern mind, but to the humble bride within me, it feels good.

All the babysitter nabbing, awkwardness from finances, or driving men from doing their duty are, as I view them, side points to my larger understanding. They are practically true, but even if they weren't my situation, I would still be left with my fundamental understanding of the roles of men and women based on God's design in creation for family.

Golly you guys, I've got to get some local friends :) My fingers hurt from typing :)

Over and out.

EKGaunt said...

My conscience feels compelled to addendum, though few of you know me, let alone my husband. By "don't even have the benefit of being married to a pastor" I only meant that he spends the bulk of his days doing lay things for the sake of the kingdom. He's not immersed in confessions and Hebrew daily, but he does know where he stands and can give his answer.

And so he can carry our vote. :)

Oh, and I as well speak only to church voting. Democracy at large - still trying to work things out.

lisa said...

Self correction: When I said "decide" carpet color I meant polling, not voting. As in, who prefers blue, red, purple? :)

I understand this is minutia if you were reading my general point, but to be clear, "decide" was imprecise word choice on my part.