My long-deceased uncle, raised in the back country of Louisiana in the 30’s and 40’s,  laughingly suggested he was twenty years old before he knew the phrase “damn Yankees” was two words.   This good ole boy couldn’t say or think “Yankees” without the adjective “damn”; it was a necessary coupling because “damn” defined the essence of “Yankees”.

And, I plead guilty to the same charge when the baseball team from the Bronx, the best team money can buy, is the subject.  The damn Yankees bought another world series last fall.

Oftentimes the adjective/noun coupling used by bloggers, commentators, columnists, etc. tell us more about the writer than the subject.  This is especially true in political discourse.  When we hear someone use the term “ultra liberal”, we know that the speaker really believes that all liberals are “ultra”.  This person can’t say liberal without thinking ultra.  It works for those of us on the left also.  When we say “arch conservative”, we betray our bias that all conservatives are “arch”.  The adjective doesn’t modify the noun but expresses the noun’s true meaning in the mind of the speaker.

Do adjective/noun couplings from Lutheran CORE spokesmen reveal a subtle sexism? 

Over the weekend at a CORE gathering in Sioux Falls, CORE speaker Ken Sauer criticized the ELCA (of course), and suggested that the ELCA began to go astray over twenty years ago when “radical feminism began pushing their views.”  [sic]  Does the coupling of the adjective “radical” with the noun “feminism” reveal more than Sauer may have intended?  Is Sauer betraying his belief that feminism is inherently radical?  Can Sauer say feminism without thinking radical?

Sauer is not alone.  Just a week or two ago, the much ballyhooed missive from CORE spokesperson Robert Benne entitled Why There Must Be New Beginnings blamed “hypersensitive feminism” as a significant problem for the ELCA from the beginning.  Can Benne say feminism without thinking “hypersensitive”?  Or, “militant feminism” as he states in a different article?

Nestingen in Sioux Falls The latent sexism of CORE / WordAlone spokesman James Nestingen is revealed, not by couplings of adjectives and nouns, but in his not-so-veiled criticisms of the 50% male-female gender quotas that produce voting members who lack “wisdom, fidelity and zeal” and are “the manageable, those eager to please” while those who are eliminated by the quota system (men?) “are the gifted and challenging”.  Benne openly states the obvious, “The losers, of course, are white male pastors”.

I have previously reported that CORE spokesmen promote a turn away from mainstream Protestantism (Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, UCC) which all ordain women, and toward the conservative Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), which does not.  What is it about the LCMS that CORE finds attractive, one wonders.  We presume Lutheran CORE doesn’t aspire to the heightened sexism of the Missouri synod (in some LCMS congregations, women may not even vote but are left to prepare coffee and cookies in the church basement while the men folk hold their elections upstairs).  After all, CORE boasts a pair of women on their advisory board.  And eighteen men.  Hmmm.

Meanwhile, the ELCA announces the following:

Ordaining women as pastors to serve Middle Eastern churches may become a reality. Delegates at the Fellowship of the Middle East Evangelical Churches (FMEEC) voted unanimously Jan. 12 to adopt a statement in support of this change.

The statement was drafted on the spot in response to a report by the fellowship’s theology committee, which found no biblical or theological reasons to oppose the ordination of women. The Rev. Munib A. Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), is president of FMEEC.

The vote occurred at the organization’s Sixth General Assembly. FMEEC is an association of evangelical (Anglican, Lutheran and Reformed) churches of the Middle East.

Sounds like the radical, militant, hypersensitive feminists are at work again.  Damn Yankees.