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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Effort to get it right

Taking a few lumps along the way

There's a saying in journalism: the readers always write and the reader's always right. Either way, it's a challenge to keep everyone happy. Take this magazine's coverage of sexuality issues. Since becoming editor in late 2005 through the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, more than a few readers voiced strong opinions that they were done with this topic. There appeared to be an undercurrent of hope that if nothing more was written it would go away. The magazine did dial back its coverage, publishing only official actions taken by the church. Then came August and the passage of the sexuality social statement and resolution opening the door to ministerial positions to gays and lesbians in committed relationships.

A clearly upset pastor from Arizona challenged the magazine about its coverage of the fallout from the decisions, whether it would do so forthrightly or attempt to sweep the matter aside. I responded: "The Lutheran will do all that the staff can to track membership and congregation loss - or gain. ... What we report will meet normal/usual journalistic standards: verified reports from people in positions of authority and knowledge. We won't report rumors, speculation, secondhand reports and the like."


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September issue

SEPTEMBER issue:

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