The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Wangerin spot on, as seen in Matthew text

Mention of Alinsky, comment on capitalism draw reader objections

Walter Wangerin Jr.'s column (September, "Between us: Of urinals and the least of these") was the kind of article that I would have liked to hear as a sermon. I was only surprised he didn't support his text with the only important message of the entire New Testament: Matthew 25:31-46. In that text there is no mention of a profession of faith, doxology, homosexuality, liturgy, theology — just charity, also known as caritas, agape. It's all so simple, isn't it?

Dick Swenson
Walla Walla, Wash.

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I was shocked and surprised at the mention of Saul Alinsky and the Industrial Areas Foundation in the "Becoming the leaven" article (August). The congregation's transformation is astounding. However, according to the IAF website, it is nonideological and strictly nonpartisan but proudly, publicly and persistently a political organization. The congregation has become part of an organization that is not faith-based but rather one that "gathers power from many sources." True, IAF-based community organizations like the Leaven Project often do good things for communities, but please find out IAF's true motives. It was the creation of Alinsky, whose primary mission was to dismantle the capitalistic system that has made our country exceptional.

H.S. Lambert
Woburn, Mass.

Another lefty vs. righty?

When I began grade school in the 1940s, I remember a distinct prejudice against left-handed people. They were often subjected to "conversion" efforts by parents and teachers so they could be "normal" like us right-handers. In time, lefties weren't an oddity but one of us, born to be who they are. I wonder if this is analogous to the sexual identity controversy in our culture and religion. Does God have a list of "abnormal" people who must be changed or be damned? Is it another right vs. left issue on its way to resolution? I hope and pray so.

The Rev. Luverne A. Jacobson
Wilsonville, Ore.

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February issue


Embracing diversity