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Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:05 pm
by strange_person
Is it a parody? I can't tell!

Temple Prostitution: A Modest Proposal
Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 5:38 AM
Rev. Paul T. McCain

Last summer, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to accept actively homosexual persons as members of their clergy and to condone gays and lesbians living in “lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships.” This has caused a firestorm of controversy in that church body. In response, the American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, an independent pan-Lutheran organization that produces a magazine called Lutheran Forum, and a newsletter Forum Letter, published an article titled “Temple Prostitution: A Modest Proposal” by the Associate Editor of Forum Letter, Pastor Peter Speckhard, nephew of the late Father Richard John Neuhaus. I asked for permission to share this brilliant piece of satire here and they kindly granted it. And so, here is the article printed in the December 2009 issue of Forum Letter. Copyright 2009 American Lutheran Publicity Bureau. All rights reserved. For further information about Forum Letter, visit www.alpb.org. [Editorial warning: May be unsuitable except for mature readers]

Temple prostitution: a modest proposal
by Peter Speckhard, associate editor

November 2009 Forum Letter

Every now and then a new way of looking at things not only solves a problem but opens up unexpected opportunities for that one solution to lead to a whole host of related solutions. The recent decisions of the ELCA regarding homosexuality solved the problem faced by gay couples seeking church weddings. But even better, the new way of looking at the issue could solve several more perennial problems in the church with one grand innovation.

Facing our problems

What are the biggest problems, practical and theological, that Lutheran churches in America face today? I would submit the following:
—Inability to retain or reach out to young, single people, especially men. Think about it—on a typical Sunday in a typical Lutheran church, how many 28-year-old single men are sitting in the pews? How might we draw them in? What are their felt needs?
—Failure to use the gifts of the laity. Sure, it is easy to use the gifts of creative, educated, energetic, talented people. But many Christians are none of those things. Like the Little Drummer Boy, they have not much to offer. But if they sincerely, humbly, and faithfully offer whatever gifts they’ve been given, shouldn’t they expect their offering to meet the approval of their God?
—Declining revenue. Especially in a tough economy, we need new and creative ways to raise money if we’re adequately going to fund critical ministries such as feeding the hungry or blanketing Africa with condoms.
—Legalism. We can’t be a gospel-centered church with a do-this, don’t-do-that mentality. Legalism, a focus on rules and moralistic preaching have always threatened the freedom of the gospel.
—Biblicism. Too often we use selective proof-texts merely to maintain traditional opinions rather than really listening to the Spirit.
—Irrelevance. We need to address the real social needs in and of the world as it exists around us, not as it supposedly was in the 1950’s or how we might wish it were. We must face the joyful challenges of today.
—Worship without impact. Too often our worship is only a matter of words and music rather than an expression of radical freedom that encompasses the whole person.

Prostitution solution
Now imagine all those problems solved with one simple innovation. The answer: temple prostitution.

I know, I know. Outrageous and offensive. I can hear readers already dismissing the idea out of hand. And I admit that we may not be ready for it quite yet. But please hear me out on this.

First off, let’s address the common objections. Sure, there are a handful of Bible verses that might seem to condemn the practice. But all the condemnation of temple prostitution involves pagan practices or worship of false gods. The objectionable thing is the idolatry, not the physical act itself. Sanctified, faithful prostitution in service of the true God is a new thing. The Biblical writers never foresaw or contemplated sanctified, faithful, God-pleasing prostitution in the churches and thus never wrote about it. Attempts to find a Biblical injunction against the practice therefore fall short.

Interpretive nuance
Secondly, let’s not cherry-pick verses selectively. We don’t stone disobedient children to death. We don’t refrain from pork or sodomy merely because this or that verse says we should. We have to look at the whole Biblical witness in light of the freedom we have in Christ. For example, God ordered Hosea to marry a prostitute. Such Biblical precedent offers interpretive nuance to seemingly black-and-white prohibitions.

Thirdly, Jesus himself seemed to have a soft spot for prostitutes. Many reputable scholars today think he may have been married to one. And Jesus showed radical inclusivity, breaking taboos by hanging out with prostitutes. So he would want us to celebrate and affirm their prostitution and give them a venue for making it their true vocation, a way of serving God by serving man—selflessly and with their whole being.

Fourthly, some primarily Lutheran nations in Scandinavia have already legalized prostitution. Left-hand kingdom legalities need not stand in the way of the general idea of sanctified, faithful, God-pleasing, church-sponsored prostitution.

Science tells us
Lastly, the idea that church prostitution would cause any harm has been put to rest by a host of studies. The opportunity for a woman to explore her sexuality in a controlled, churchly environment surely beats the back seat or back alley. She would have the mutual trust of knowing her client is a fellow faithful Christian. There would be proper testing, protection, and hygiene standards in a suitably sterilized environment. What she might have done in service to the devil, the world, and her own sinful nature she would now do in service to God, whom we serve by serving our fellow man.

No more living a lie
And for the client there are similar advantages. Think of the number of single males who would be saved from living a lie concerning their deepest emotional and psychological desires. The plain fact is that most of the unmarried men in the congregation are sexually attracted to women. Right now their cruel alternatives are to deny those urges and live a lie, carry out those urges in secretive and destructive ways, or leave the church because their desires are not welcomed and affirmed. But with temple prostitution available, they could avoid dangerous, destructive behavior, help the church raise money, use the gift of sexuality in a God-pleasing way, and sit in the pew focusing on spiritual things without all that pent up desire and frustration getting in the way.

Love conquers all
So there are no valid objections to sanctified, faithful, God-pleasing prostitution in the churches apart from tradition and conservative morality, which are surely trumped by love.

Furthermore, even if there are some controversial points, they do not touch the heart of the gospel. This plan does not eliminate John 3:16; it exposes more people to John 3:16 on Sunday (or, more likely, the Saturday night service). And if there is some Biblicist objection that such behavior could be considered immoral according to traditional, puritanical mores, well, everyone is a sinner, right? Salvation by grace through faith says nothing specifically about prostitution, right? And Jesus never explicitly addressed the issue, either. Do we think we’re saved by proper sexual behavior? I think not. Nor are we saved by our interpretations of a few non-gospel related verses of the Bible.

Benefits abounding
Now think of the benefits. This program would attract the very demographic we have had such trouble reaching (young men). It would end our fiscal woes. Think of the money we could raise to feed the hungry! Or do you want them to starve because of your puritan hang-ups? It would also provide a teaching opportunity against the age-old heresy that the body is evil. God made us with perfectly natural sexual urges. Why are you so hung up on sex?

The Law is fulfilled in Christ; we are a free, gospel-centered people. We can serve Christ via sanctified, faithful, God-pleasing, church-sponsored prostitution.

Needn’t be church-dividing
But hey, I understand we’re all in different places on this. This needn’t be church-dividing. We can live together with diverse views on this. Some traditionalists may not be comfortable having temple prostitutes in church. They don’t necessarily hate prostitutes; they might just need time. They don’t have to offer it themselves; besides, what seems crazy at first might, with several years of repetition and refining, become perfectly acceptable. Must those of us who are in favor of it be written out of the body of Christ?

Some of us are ready now. I certainly don’t insist that anyone become a temple prostitute or worship God with the help of one. But I do say that there have always been willing prostitutes and willing clients who have been marginalized by traditional sexual mores, and the time has come to change that. And the way to change it is to stop the marginalizing. We’ll all benefit from being a healthier, more inclusive, more faithful, more forgiving, and more satisfied church body if only we’ll be open to the idea of God doing something new.
—by Peter Speckhard, associate editor

Copyright 2009 American Lutheran Publicity Bureau. All rights reserved.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:23 pm
by mwchase
I think the problem is, sometimes he says something sarcastically, but I agree with what he said. I mean, "tradition and conservative morality, which are surely trumped by love." Just because something was done in the past, is no reason to do it in the future (you must consider whether the reasons it was done will apply), and, well... I'm sure there are plenty of sincere conservatives, but let's face it... There's far too much protection of people who've contravened the 'morality' they claim to espouse, which looks pretty suspicious. (And, in the case of the Catholic Church, actionable.) So, in essence, without more information, tradition and morality, vs love, is a non sequitur that doesn't mean what he seems to want it to mean.

I think the idea of an open regulatory body overseeing prostitution is a good one, though it's not clear whether, if anyone said "He meant not have meant to be, but he's right." that such a system would fall into place. This reminds me of my thoughts on pitching unionization of prostitution etc to conservative politicians/pundits: "The adult industry is, by definition, an industry. Unionization destroys industries. You'd like to destroy the adult industry. Therefore, unionizing the adult industry would further your goals."

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:16 pm
by Idiot Glee
Why don't Protestants screw standing up?

They're afraid it might lead to dancing.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:29 pm
by Mitsukara
If my parents' church was full of people like this, I might not've left. >.> He's not a perfect speaker, but he's forward-thinking and actually has a lot of good, open-minded points.

Of course, I seriously doubt he's going to sell such a radical idea to anyone, and will attract a lot of ire, but that's really a shame.

That is, assuming this was as earnestly-meant as it reads.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:00 am
by Tychomonger
It is not meant to be taken seriously, it is an homage to Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" in which he makes a perfectly logical argument that the poor should sell their extra children to the rich as a delicacy to be eaten.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:10 pm
by Wic
Oh man, that'd be awesome... Wait, satire? DAMMIT!

He's wrong about Scandinavia though. It's illegal to buy sex in Sweden and Norway, but not to sell it. In Finland and Denmark prostitution is legal as long as it's not in public and no pimps nor brothels are involved.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:27 pm
by mwchase
I just thought of some other issues with his argument:

Mocking arguments against biblical inerrancy is all well and good, but without some amoral framework to distinguish metaphor from literality, or whatever, there's no way to derive morality solely from the bible. So far as I know, no framework along those lines exists that anyone today would find satisfactory.

"Failure to use the gifts of the laity. Sure, it is easy to use the gifts of creative, educated, energetic, talented people. But many Christians are none of those things. Like the Little Drummer Boy, they have not much to offer. But if they sincerely, humbly, and faithfully offer whatever gifts they’ve been given, shouldn’t they expect their offering to meet the approval of their God?" I'm presuming this line of reasoning is supposed to be flawed in some fashion, independent from its endpoint. Can anyone tell how that's supposed to be?

"blanketing Africa with condoms" Nothing to say about this, I'd just like to emphasize it because the mental image is (and I think he intended this) hilarious.

"Science tells us" (entire section) So long as the administrative hierarchy is subject to public scrutiny, and such, I don't see anything wrong with what he's saying.

"sit in the pew focusing on spiritual things without all that pent up desire and frustration getting in the way." I'll admit there's a good chance that specific goal might not be met.

EDIT: I just had a look at the comments. One guy was claiming that gay marriage is fundamentally different from interracial marriage because interracial couples can have children. Does that mean that infertile people are second-class citizens, and vasectomies, hysterectomies, and related surgeries are Of The Devil™?

EDIT AGAIN: I like how the point of the article is to discredit calls for equality by extending them to endorsing prostitution, which is supposed to be such an obviously terrible idea that none of the points involved need to be addressed, yet according to the comments, it's the pro-equality people who are guided by emotion instead of logic. Yes, I can see how a crazy person might think that.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:06 pm
by Coda
mwchase wrote:"Failure to use the gifts of the laity. Sure, it is easy to use the gifts of creative, educated, energetic, talented people. But many Christians are none of those things. Like the Little Drummer Boy, they have not much to offer. But if they sincerely, humbly, and faithfully offer whatever gifts they’ve been given, shouldn’t they expect their offering to meet the approval of their God?" I'm presuming this line of reasoning is supposed to be flawed in some fashion, independent from its endpoint. Can anyone tell how that's supposed to be?

That one's actually solid. It's parallel to the story of the woman who gave two copper coins as her offering, and her offering was more acceptable than the generous tithes given by the rich people.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:53 am
by Jennifer Diane Reitz
I support it. Seriously.

Satire my ass. This man is the first Lutheran to speak truly rational sense.

It is the nature of this world (the Planet of the Insane Idiots) that actual sanity can only be seen as a mere joke.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:03 am
by strange_person
mwchase wrote:"sit in the pew focusing on spiritual things without all that pent up desire and frustration getting in the way." I'll admit there's a good chance that specific goal might not be met.
It would be important to consider the specific services being provided in the context of the larger spiritual objective. Often, somebody thinks they need sex when what they're really craving is just some degree of intimacy unburdened by long-term commitment.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:50 am
by Zilla
Sounds pretty good, my atheist beliefs aside. If anything, using money from prostitution toward charity is awesome.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:49 pm
by masstreble
mwchase wrote:EDIT: I just had a look at the comments. One guy was claiming that gay marriage is fundamentally different from interracial marriage because interracial couples can have children. Does that mean that infertile people are second-class citizens, and vasectomies, hysterectomies, and related surgeries are Of The Devil™?

Selectively, yes, as soon as it becomes politically convenient. But it should be noted that this isn't the Catholic church, so they seem a bit less obsessed with the idea of blanketing the entire world with children. The only reason that would ever be your rational long-term goal is that you intend to predate on humans.

I guess that's a novel reason you should wrap it, eh?

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:50 pm
by Alfador
masstreble wrote:
mwchase wrote:EDIT: I just had a look at the comments. One guy was claiming that gay marriage is fundamentally different from interracial marriage because interracial couples can have children. Does that mean that infertile people are second-class citizens, and vasectomies, hysterectomies, and related surgeries are Of The Devil™?

Selectively, yes, as soon as it becomes politically convenient. But it should be noted that this isn't the Catholic church, so they seem a bit less obsessed with the idea of blanketing the entire world with children. The only reason that would ever be your rational long-term goal is that you intend to predate on humans.

I guess that's a novel reason you should wrap it, eh?


Actually the reason various religions, Catholicism in particular, vilify non-reproducing couples and hold up baby-making as the pinnacle of human achievement, is because the more the Catholics breed, the more Catholics there will be. They may not consciously think it, but the reason religions with this belief are successful is because they tend to crowd out others by virtue of sheer numbers.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:32 pm
by Plasman
strange_person wrote:Often, somebody thinks they need sex when what they're really craving is just some degree of intimacy unburdened by long-term commitment.

So in other words, people just want a hug? Way to state the obvious! ;] :lol: 8) Thanks for the interesting link, btw.

^*^

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:29 pm
by strange_person
Plasman wrote:
strange_person wrote:Often, somebody thinks they need sex when what they're really craving is just some degree of intimacy unburdened by long-term commitment.

So in other words, people just want a hug? Way to state the obvious! ;] :lol: 8) Thanks for the interesting link, btw.

^*^
The problem being that there's no polite way to ask for a hug that's two hours long and clothing-optional.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:06 am
by Plasman
strange_person wrote:The problem being that there's no polite way to ask for a hug that's two hours long and clothing-optional.


That right there looks like a pretty good example! :lol:

(ps. not interested, but you never know who else might be reading)

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:28 pm
by masstreble
Alfador wrote:
masstreble wrote:Selectively, yes, as soon as it becomes politically convenient. But it should be noted that this isn't the Catholic church, so they seem a bit less obsessed with the idea of blanketing the entire world with children. The only reason that would ever be your rational long-term goal is that you intend to predate on humans.

I guess that's a novel reason you should wrap it, eh?


Actually the reason various religions, Catholicism in particular, vilify non-reproducing couples and hold up baby-making as the pinnacle of human achievement, is because the more the Catholics breed, the more Catholics there will be. They may not consciously think it, but the reason religions with this belief are successful is because they tend to crowd out others by virtue of sheer numbers.

That's partially true, but is becoming apocryphal right before our very eyes: the Catholic church is against (in policy) all forms of contraception anywhere, which is quite different than forbidding their own followers from using any. It's become a political point of the Catholic church, something they fight over, as if they're trying to establish dominance over other groups on this issue... just because.

That could be all there is to it. I've asked a couple of Catholic clergyman about it, and that made them very nervous, and they didn't really give much of an answer on the subject.

Come to think of it, ***I*** was probably making them very nervous. Most Catholic, and their other Christian allies on the subject, don't really seem to be directly addressing this online, or at least what I can find. It's always in terms of something else, or sub-arguments, like "condoms will lead to debauchery" (oh if only!) or "teaching young women about birth control will make them promiscuous" (ha ha ha!), but nothing that gets right to the heart of the issue.

Perhaps there really isn't one. *shrug*

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 5:48 pm
by Coda
This is one reason that I'm not Catholic.

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:31 am
by Anna
Coda wrote:This is one reason that I'm not Catholic.

You mean, you're not cathoholic. :wink:

Re: Depraved Lutherans advocate the Vocation of Kay-Wai

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:59 am
by Idiot Glee
Anna wrote:
Coda wrote:This is one reason that I'm not Catholic.

You mean, you're not cathoholic. :wink:


I read that as "addicted to catheters".

I... don't know why.