Minnesota Lutherans Divided Over Proposed Marriage Amendment

Here in Minnesota, we will be voting in November on the “Marriage Protection Amendment” to our State Constitution. If passed, this Amendment will give our state a constitutional definition of marriage as being between ‘one man and one woman’. (On the ballot, voters will be asked: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?”)

At current count, the Constitutional Amendment is being opposed by five Minnesota Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (postbulletin.com). (Whenever I listen to the news on my radio, I seem to hear that yet another Lutheran Synod in Minnesota has come out against this Amendment.) The opposition from these ELCA Synods comes as no surprise. If you have paid any attention to recent ELCA history, you will remember the historic change in which that body decided to make provisions to allow its clergy to openly practice homosexuality (albeit, those who do so are required to practice monogamously…).

While my radio keeps broadcasting the opposition to this Amendment, I am also aware of support from both Minnesota Districts of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. This year, both Districts in Convention passed resolutions that favor the State Constitutional Amendment with its definition of marriage as being between ‘one man and one woman’ (twincities.com).

At the Minnesota North Convention (which I attended as an Advisory Delegate), the resolution passed unanimously. The Convention encouraged the District’s “pastors, congregations and their members to actively pray for, support, promote, whenever and wherever possible, and vote for the passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment”. The Convention also directed the District President and the Mission and Ministry Facilitators to “provide encouragement and information through current District Publications regarding the Marriage Amendment to pastors and congregations of our District”. Finally, “all District pastors [are to] be encouraged to preach and teach on the purpose and importance of marriage and the need to protect the institution of marriage.”

I see that quotations from this Resolution have been relayed by President Fondow (Minnesota North) to the “Minnesota for Marriage” website (http://www.minnesotaformarriage.com). Quoting the resolution, Fondow says:

In states where marriage has been redefined, it has resulted in town clerks being ordered to solemnize same-sex marriages or be fired; Catholic Charities decided to abandon facilitating adoptions because they would not abandon their teaching in order to comply with state rules; a court ruled that parents were not entitled to be notified that their second grade children were being taught that boys can marry other boys and girls other girls, ruling as well that parents had no right to opt their children out of such instruction and marriage licenses have been changed to ‘Party A’ and ‘Party B’ rather than ‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’ (4th Whereas).

Marriage is a foundation of society that aids the state in carrying out its role of providing order and stability in society; and societal evidence establishes that children do best when raised by their married mother and father (6th Whereas).

For my part, I personally have passed along a press release to my local radio station. Hopefully, whenever the opposition makes the news, the newscaster will also say: “Yet, the Marriage Protection Amendment is being promoted and supported (not only by the Roman Catholic Church, but also) by the two Minnesota Districts of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.”


About Pastor Nathan Higgins

Pastor Higgins was a member of the Bemidji Circuit (one of the best in MNN) of the Minnesota North District when Pastor Joshua Scheer served as a pastor up there in the northland. He is also one of the assistant editors that produced Treasury of Daily Prayer for CPH. The Rev’d Nathan W. Higgins is a 2002 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has served as Pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Long Prairie, Minnesota (emmlp.org) since December 2008 and has participated for many years in the Lutheran Mission Association (lmamnn.org) which provides relief in Haiti.


Minnesota Lutherans Divided Over Proposed Marriage Amendment — 5 Comments

  1. “Whenever I listen to the news on my radio, I seem to hear that yet another Lutheran synod in Minnesota has come out against this Amendment.”

    Ah, yes… the biased press. To listen to them, you would never know that 30 states (30 out of 50) have passed similar constitutional amendments to ban homosexual marriage. When North Carolina recently joined the other 29, the press led us to believe that the people of that rural state were obviously just a bunch of rustic rubes. All you hear about on the news are all the states that have “joined the 21st century” and legalized homosexual marriage. Six. Only 6 states have done so, and 4 of them are clustered in New England. That’s 6 out of 50 compared to 30 out of 50. Six is only 20% of 30.

    A handful of states have legalized it, but five times as many states have gone out of their way to stop homosexual marriage. Yet the press is creating the impression that most Americans want to embrace sodomy…

    And we’re supposed to believe that the press merely reports the facts?

  2. But much of the press does report the facts. We just have to get away from the “old” press–those that keep cutting-and-pasting AP and Reuters articles. Please go to the blogs where the “new” press is growing fast. The real trick is to optimize which combination of blogs to tune-in for news. I’m just learning myself, with a little bit of a boost from hanging out at the RightOnline convention in Las Vegas this last weekend. RealClearPolitics is one blog that I’m taking a serious look at these days. It looks promising.
    The growing threat however, is that the “old” press and its allies may be threatening the “new” press with “SWAT-ting,” and other intimidation tactics against bloggers who recognize their vocations as citizens. Government Operated Broadbands (GOB) are another growing threat to the ability of citizens to pass real news to each other within the US. GOB’s were begun with the lie that it would assist the most rural-communities with broadband services that they would not otherwise have. To-date, none of the GOB’s in operation now are for the most rural-communities. The only other GOB’s in the world are basically totalitarian in nature.
    I suppose those who frequent Steadfast, should be amongst the first to know about the “new” press as an alternative to “official” mouthpieces of different influences.

  3. As I mentioned RealClearPolitics, an interesting link in there is the story of how ABC “old” press selectively edited what a certain “funambulist” said–to be confused with “fundamentalist?” There’s a new word for the day.
    Luther addresses vocations in “Whether Soldiers, Too, Can Be Saved.” Can funambulists be saved? :-)

  4. I am asking my fellows Minnesotans to vote ‘No’ on both of the amendment questions. The other amendment deals with voter ID.

    Norman Teigen, Layman
    Evangelical Lutheran Synod

  5. I would still like to hear from Norman Teigen on exactly where he stands on moral issues. I’m confused by his remarks.

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