Back in the USA

Got in just after midnight from my time in Canada. It’s a good country. I was impressed with what I saw of the Lutheran Church of Canada. Here is a helpful account of the convention from Alex Klages, a blogger I’ve long followed at A Beggar at the Table. I met him there, though missing his wife Kelly, another blogger of note, also an artist and satirical cartoonist. I didn’t even know they were Canadians!

Holocaust survivors

This mother had an abortion at 8 weeks. Eleven weeks later, she found out that she was still pregnant. Somehow the early abortion missed the baby, which reportedly happens with some frequency. The mother was “delighted.” The baby was born and, despite the original fears of a birth defect, is going to be fine. Read this article: Mother’s anger turns to delight after her baby survives an abortion. Here are the two survivors:

abortion survivor

Seeing my first gay pride parade

Outside of our hotel here in Winnipeg the annual Gay Pride parade marched by yesterday afternoon, and the journalist in me forced me outside to observe. Suggestion to the Gay, Lesbian, and Transgendered community: If you want to become socially acceptable, parade in business suits or go business casual. Lesbians and transvestites, wear nice dresses. Gentlemen, wear shirts. Also trousers. Everyone, keep your leather fetish gear in the closet, if I may use that term, and try to defy, rather than confirm, the stereotypes. If heterosexuals carried on like you do, they wouldn’t be allowed to get married either.

Even Canadians got da blues

I’m still here at the Lutheran Church Canada convention in Winnipeg. Their convention seems much less contentious than those I’m used to. Anyway, there’s a blues joint close to the hotel, so last night some like-minded pastors and I took our lives in our hands and went in. Here we found a hot band with a gravelly-voiced singer, name of Big Dave McClean, playing pure, traditional, 12-bar Delta blues.

Blues is a splendid art form. It has 12 measures, following a rigid chord progression, with lyrics in a strict poetic form. It is NOT pop culture, though pop culture as well as the high culture of jazz grew out of it, but is rather folk culture, highly traditional, conservative, and historically resonant and culturally rich. Blues is one of those highly-structured art forms–like the sonnet, the mystery novel, or (as one of the pastors pointed out) the liturgy–whose constants make possible infinite variety and total artistry.

Between sets we discussed theology, and the coolness factor was very high. I wish each and every one of you could have joined us.

John the Steadfast

The new organization supporting the new “Issues, Etc.” program is being named Brothers of John the Steadfast. I like naming things after people like that (he said from the Cranach blog). Here is a great account of who John the Steadfast was–the brother of and successor to Elector of Saxony Frederick the Wise, literally the first “protestant,” and the Prince who really protected and cultivated the Reformation–by Martin R. Noland. Picture by Cranach:

John the Steadfast

Get Service

This video was shown at the Lutheran Church Canada convention. Recall that the purpose of every vocation is to love and serve not so much God in isolation but, as He commands, your neighbor. (Luther: “God doesn’t need your good works; but your neighbor does.”) The video thus fit in well with my topic: