Conservative ELCA antagonists continue to rail about the ELCA decision making process in order to delegitimize the church wide decisions of 2009 (CWA09). The ELCA is too democratic and egalitarian say some. Failing to note the inconsistency of the argument, others claim that ELCA members and congregations are subservient to an autocratic regime in Chicago, disdainfully dismissed as “Higgins Road”. Over a thousand voting members, the actual electees from around the US who voted at CWA09, are alternately criticized as dupes of a well-organized and financed gay lobby or as independent spirits who followed their own whims rather than the will of their constituents (the “voting member” rather than “delegate” terminology argument).
Two weeks ago, I attended the NE Minnesota Synod assembly, and I watched and listened to the debate over a resolution to conduct a synod-wide polling of the attitudes of members and congregations regarding CWA09. If the ELCA only had a direct democracy, the sins of CWA09 would have been avoided; let the people decide! Then, this past weekend I listened to the debate over a resolution at the SE Minnesota synod assembly that called for synods to have a veto over the decisions of CWA voting members regarding social statements. A House of Lords to reign in the unbridled actions of the House of Commons?
Which is it? Too much democracy or not enough? Too hot or too cold, baby bear, or just right, Goldilocks?