Saturday, April 10, 2010

Telling the Truth, the Whole Truth

If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.  1 John 1:6-10

An unnamed ELCA seminary professor criticized Susan Hogan over at Pretty Good Lutherans for talking about suicide and domestic violence in the church.

Perhaps he thinks if we don't talk about it, it will go away.  Oh wait.  We tried that for generations.  Nope, it didn't go away.

In fact, sweeping it under the rug is what helps perpetuate it.  It reinforces the idea that there is something shameful about depression and suicide and therefore keeps people with depression from seeking help, adds to their despair and puts their lives in even more danger.  Pretending that there is no domestic violence in the church keeps women from seeking help because they assume there must be something wrong with them and puts their lives in danger.  

And lets not EVEN go into what damage sweeping sexual abuse in the church under the rug has caused. 

The Church is not perfect and Christians are not immune to the same sins, illnesses, and tragedies that befall non-Christians.  What we do as a Christian community is share one another's burdens, uplift, pray and care for one another.  We cannot do that if we are discouraged from sharing our burdens whatever they may be.

I am frankly disturbed that an ELCA seminary professor thinks this way and I believe he should be named.  Since he wrote to share his criticism I assume he is not ashamed of his position and should be held accountable for it. Oh but that's right.  He prefers the darkness.


  1. Stunning. Where is this brilliant humanitarian's criticism posted? I want to read it, in the same way that some people slow down to see a wreck on the highway.

  2. He sent a private message to Susan and she's not spilling his name.

  3. Ahh. Found it: the comments to her post on Pr. Grega. It's still stunning.

  4. Sad. But my respect for Susan grows even higher, watching her take the high road, but honestly call out the evil in remaining silent.