Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lutheran News Blackout?

So, I was perusing the New York Times today in between services, looking rather intently for an in-depth piece on the groundbreaking decisions made last week by the 4.5 million member Evangelical Lutheran Church. They voted to permit same sex blessings, to permit congregations to call clergy who are in same sex unions, and, to join into full communion with the United Methodists.

In other words, they went perhaps farther than the Episcopal Church recently did at its convention, either in the direction of including gay persons living in relationship, or in terms of ecumenism, and, to be clear, they are a much bigger denomination than we are. Indeed, the Lutherans and Methodists are both much bigger than we are.

Yet, surprise, there was nothing at all in today's paper about it. And when I googled the news last Friday, I also came up with relatively little in the media.

So here's my question: why do Episcopalians get so much press on all this kind of stuff, and the Lutherans very little? Is it because Garrison Keillor controls the media?

Theories welcome.


  1. Over at the GetReligion site they post on Episcopal newsworthiness vis a vis the other mainliners on a fairly regular basis. One theory is that the largely secularist journalists get a rush out of seeing people who dress and pray so much like Roman Catholics act so naughtily in other areas. I guess this makes sense if you're so secularist you know next to nothing about religion.

  2. I think it's a holdover from our former importance demographically, and of our continued pretensions to national importance (face it - do the Lutherans have a "National Cathedral"?).

  3. My short answer: because TEC, indeed the Ang Comm, has a large cast of drama queens.

  4. Ah, finally someone sees the reality, yes it is because we are known as world-wide and deemed powerful (with our English roots offense to the Celtic trad..) and indeed we look, dress, act like Roman Catholics. ER2 helps as well (not a drama queen as noted above..THE QUEEN!)...It is about power that has been seen as being part of being Episcopalian. The symbols, Bishops, Miters, priests, nuns, we are seen in a more mysterious way that Lutherans (my grandparents were high Lutheran, but not that if TEC and ELCA merged those of us on the catholic side would be pleased as this would bring the full catholic faith to Lutheranism (again) as demonstrated in Porvoo Churches.....and we would gain so much as well...we should use our "power" to convert, transform and help people find faith....good days ahead? Nick Bari

  5. My 2 cents worth: Could it be related to the fact that Episcopalians are most numerous in the eastern states, while Lutherans are most numerous in "fly-over country", and so the NYT doesn't much care?