Wokeness in Conservative Lutheran Circles?

The LCMS Struggling to Agree on The LCACA

Worries over the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) going woke have been bubbling about since the publication of Luther’s Large Catechism with Annotations and Contemporary Applications (LCACA). Two or three laymen who have criticized LCACA have been either disciplined or excommunicated from the LCMS, and their stories have appeared on IM-1776 and in Tablet Magazine (among other places). None of these accounts tell the whole story. LCACA was the topic of interesting developments at the recent LCMS convention where critics of LCACA did not get the volume withdrawn, but they raised enough questions to dishonor the book. 

Synod convention approved the production of a new edition of Luther’s Large Catechism in 2013 and 2016. LCACA was released in January 2023. The contemporary applications section set off a firestorm, first on Lutheran Twitter and then among vigilant pastors and laymen. The complaints, hardly insubstantial, fell under three categories: (1) lack of clarity; (2) accepting the woke Left’s framing of issues; and (3) authorship. Others have ably cataloged the complaints. There was smoke and fire among them.  

LCMS Pres. Matthew Harrison suspended LCACA’s distribution on January 23, 2023, a day after the controversy exploded. He wanted to “evaluate the comments and critiques received and revisit our doctrinal review process.” On February 2, Pres. Harrison resumed distribution, claiming that he lacked authority to halt a publication after it passed doctrinal review. He also defended LCACA. Some things could have been “expressed more clearly,” he said, but “nothing in the volume” promotes “critical race theory (CRT), confusion of sexuality issues, or any theological position at odds with biblical and confessional Lutheranism.” He also condemned “unchristian attacks” on editors and contributors (coming from Lutheran Twitter), while welcoming “thoughtful critique and criticism” that will be considered moving forward. Critiquing ideas was in bounds, but attacks on persons were “unchristian.” 

Less than a fortnight later, Pres. Harrison condemned “a few members of LCMS congregations” who were “propagating radical and unchristian ‘alt-right’ views via Twitter and social media” and causing “local disruption and consternation for their pastors, congregations and district presidents.” Others at Synod echoed this critique, including the librarian at Fort Wayne Seminary and members of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) that approved LCACA. Laymen like Ryan Turnipseed, who started the LCACA controversy on Twitter, and others were disciplined. Blowing a few pesky Twitter folks out of the water with the howitzer of the Synod sent a message. Why such young men could not be handled with quiet pastoral care has never been explained. 

This is not where the story ends. 

Other critics objected to LCACA within official Synod channels. Several people submitted overtures to CTCR to be considered as floor amendments at the 2023 Synod Convention. Overtures included at least four about LCACA, two commending its use; one calling for Synod to “cease and desist” publication; and one (submitted by faculty at both LCMS seminaries) calling for “Christian collegiality” in discussing the issues (see pages 304-306). The floor committee produced one resolution for the 2023 Convention (5-15A on p. 308) commending use of LCACA. Debate at the floor committee open hearing was so heated that the committee withdrew the resolution (presumably) for fear that a debate on LCACA on the convention floor would be divisive and embarrassing.

On the convention’s floor, a very liberal delegate supportive of LCACA nevertheless moved that the commendation motion nevertheless be considered. That motion failed, with 53.52% of delegates voting to keep the question from the floor. Someone from the floor made a substitute motion to separate LCACA into two volumes (Divorcing LAC from CA) the following day and that failed too (p. 340). 

As a result of the vote, this official Synod production is neither commended nor rescinded. Pro-LCACA forces wanted the book commended and not condemned. Anti-LCACA forces wanted to have it rescinded but certainly not commended. Pro-LCACA forces entered the convention with the upper hand (so the speak), since only the motion commending the volume had an easy path to convention approval through the floor committee. But they were wary too. Anti-LCACA arguments in the committee hearings made it clear that the convention floor fight would be messy. The anti-LCACA forces proved strong enough to prevent LCACA from being commended, but not strong enough to have it rescinded. 

Those who saw the LCACA as flawed may take solace. Running an orthodox church body of nearly 2 million in revolutionary times involves compromises. Pres. Harrison, they might think, threw young men to the wolves in an election year, when a convention of mostly boomers would be deciding the next LCMS president. Pres. Harrison, they hope, hears their criticisms, but was constrained to respect the aids and colleagues so central to accomplishing Synod’s mission. Pres. Harrison, according to this line of thinking, is, secretly, pretty happy with the convention outcome. LCACA—available, but not commended. As peasants used to say of the Russian Tsar during times of famine—“If the Tsar only knew.” 

There is a less charitable construction. Those ruling Synod are beginning to have contempt for the people of LCMS, both pastors and parishioners. Pres. Harrison has only praised LCACA. The embrace of leftist framing is merely a “lack of clarity.” He and his institutions have ignored the issues of having authors from churches not in fellowship with LCMS. No one at Synod has ever really answered the serious objections that respectable pastors—and somewhere near a majority of Synod in convention—have made against the volume. And Synod’s leaders tarred some of those who raised criticisms with the brush of “alt-right” white nationalism. 

There are also logs in the eyes of LCACA critics, to borrow a phrase. People get credibility on the based right for being apocalyptic about our situation on Twitter or black-pilled (as they say). You think you have seen the truth. No, the truth is much worse than even you know. You think the LCMS is conservative? You are naïve. Against this view, there is much good in the LCMS. 

Indeed, contentions that the LCMS is going woke, derived from our current evidence, are overblown, and there are reasons to be optimistic about the LCMS’s theological direction. Things that were controversial like high liturgical worship are now settled practice. Pres. Harrison installed a conservative as president at the St. Louis seminary. Many pastors emerging from LCMS seminaries are quite conservative. Many LCMS pastors under forty—and a good many over—know what time it is. 

He has other accomplishments. In 1989, LCMS authorized the use of licensed lay deacons, which recognized a need for non-pastors to preach the Word and administer the Sacraments when an ordained pastor is not available. This ended up being a quiet way to liberalize the ministry. By 2015, nearly 250 lay deacons were serving as de facto pastors in the synod. Pres. Harrison helped end this practice in policy—either requiring lay deacons to attend seminary or finding workarounds at the district level. He supported pastors and circuit leaders who would identify continuing abuses. The work of squeezing out this practice is ongoing.

The Synod is turning the page on missional-liturgical controversies of the 2000s, but this only means that Synod must reprepare for the next set of controversies—and the LCACA controversy shows that LCMS is doing just that. Eternal vigilance is the price for orthodoxy. 

 Image Credit: Unsplash

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Scott Yenor

Scott Yenor is Director of State Coalition at the Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life and a professor of political science at Boise State University. His Recovery of Family Life (Baylor, 2020) is now out in paperback.

13 thoughts on “Wokeness in Conservative Lutheran Circles?

  1. The alarms over going or being woke is like listening to a famous trio chanting: ‘lions and tigers and bears oh my.’ The anxiety over a possible presence of wokeness in religiously conservative American churches shows the conflation of conservative politics with the Christian faith. Such conflation makes me wonder whether some are using Christian Orthodox beliefs to direct the Church’s political leanings and the votes of religiously conservative Christians.

    1. Curt,
      we are called to continually watch out for false teachings, especially in our church. It is no false conflation of politics and faith to call out questionable teachings.
      Once called out, it is the duty of the Synod to show exegetically through scripture alone how these teachings are true. If they are not true or cannot be scripturally proven, they should not be distributed.
      If they are not proven and still distributed, it is the job of every elder to not allow them in the church.
      To simply accuse someone who questions new material as a “sky is falling” hypochondriac is both myopic and demonstrably disproven. After all, we have the ELCA, and many other examples of “lions and tigers and bears”.

      1. Christopher,
        But it is conflation when conservative political views are not given the same scrutiny as what is considered to be woke, but are so heavily endorsed and spoken of as Biblically based by Christian leaders and influencers. Here we should consider whether living in the West in a Capitalist society might have had undue influence on what we consider to be Biblical. Not to conform to the world, the Western world for many of us, but be transformed by a mind being changed by the Spirit.

        As for the false teaching, what in wokeism is false? Is it what it has to say about the environment and climate change? Is it its claims about the continued existence of systemic racism? Is it its assertions that the LGBT community should receive full equality in society? What in wokeism should the Church consider to be false teaching? Is there anything taught in wokeism that can be considered to be valid?

        Finally, thank you for responding.

        1. Curt,
          Besides the fact that defining woke-ism is like nailing jello to a wall due its ever changing form and purposeful dissociation of and full denial of terminology, I will attempt to give you a shortlist of the ubiquitous errors generally attributable to woke-ism starting with the two examples you gave.
          1. Climate change – it is an error to worship the creation over the Creator or to place the Earth above man in the divine order, for the Earth was made for man, not man for the Earth.
          2. Homosexuality – it is an error to condone homosexuality for it is an abomination unto the Lord and against the divine order taught by Jesus in the meaning of marriage in Ephesians 5:22-30.
          3. Transexuality- it is an error of terminology and against God’s design to say that one can change their sex.
          3. Abortion – it is abhorrent and deceitful to promote a “women’s right to chose” to murder a child the day before he/she is born.
          4. Absolute Truth – it is an error and foolishness to deny absolute truth or to hold as true both sides of a contradiction. (i.e. holding that Christianity, Hinduism, Muslim, etc.. can all be true while holding contradictory truth claims).
          5. Racism – it is an error and against Christian teaching to hold bias against your fellow man for no other reason than his/her race… whether that be BLM against white people, colleges against Asians, Hamas or Nazis against Jews, or the KKK against blacks, etc…
          6. Classism – it is an error and against Biblical teaching to judge people based upon their wealth or class. (Lev 19:15) – It is concomitantly an error to have a two-tiered or biased justice system.
          7. Traditional Family – Combining several above errors causes attacks on the nuclear family to the detriment of ourselves, our institutions, our churches, our communities, and society at large.
          8. Diversity – It is an error to promote diversity simply for diversity’s sake. Diversity is weakness, Solidarity is strength. It is an error to equate having a diverse group of people coming to a common cause (which is good) with forced artificial diversity who cannot agree to any cause or even that there should be a cause – that is sheer foolishness the result of which being anarchy. This error destroys churches, communities, and society.
          9. Religion – it is an error for the church to sacrifice its self on the alter of secularism for it has no love for the church and one cannot be both a secularist and a Christian for you will love one and hate the other as nobody can serve two masters.
          -This list goes on and on and on, but I have used up too much time already and have only broached some of the most egregious examples that directly effect the church as that is what you asked for. Many, many more arguments against todays “woke” culture can be brought up that effect us negatively politically, rationally, economically, etc…

          1. Chris,
            Regarding the rest:

            6. Classism: Do you understand what Wokeism is saying about classism? When Wokeism addresses Classism, it’s talking about how some who are wealthy are exploiting other people to get their wealth. It is also talking about how those who are wealthy can exert power over government. And Wokeism is talking about how those with wealth have rights that others cannot afford to have. A wealthy person who is accused of a crime can afford better lawyers and fare better in the legal system than the poor. The poor have to depend on public defenders and are often threatened into accepting plea deals.

            Also, consider this, during the past few centuries, the predominant branch of the Church in many nations has sided with wealth and power. That was evident in the pre-revolutionary times of France, Russia, and Spain. It is evident in today’s Russia and, by virtue of who is supporting the Republican Party, it is evident here.

            #7. How is the traditional family being attacked today? How are the mere availability of other options an attack on the Traditional family? BTW, when mentioning threats to the Traditional Family, don’t forget that there is a relatively high divorce rate for evangelicals.

            On this point, conservatives seem to equate forced conformity with security for the Traditional Family.

            8. What does diversity have to do with Wokeism? Who among those who are woke want diversity for diversity’s sake? Remember the DEI includes both equality and inclusion. The context for diversity is to include those from groups that were formerly or currently marginalized. Diversity is there to combat marginalization. And the marginalization that Diversity is challenging is the kind that is based on bias and prejudice.

            9. Religion- for the last couple of objections, I feel that you are venting at the general situation rather than Wokeism. How is Wokeism promoting the kind of secularism that Paul warned against in Romans 12?

            We have to remember that we live in a democratic society. And because of that, we have a responsibility to guard the rights and equality of the other groups. And democracy itself calls on us to work side by side with unbelievers in creating a society where there is diversity, equality, and inclusion.

            Democracy is more than just majority rule. Thomas Jefferson said in his 1801 Inaugural Address that though the will of the majority should be carried out, the majority must never violate the equal status and equal rights of the minority because to do so would be oppression. Is it secularism to follow Jefferson on this point?

            Or are Christians being called on to rule over society either directly or through a proxy like government? Jesus’s instructions telling His disciples to move on if people don’t receive the message and His warning against ‘lording it over others’ tells us Christians not to seek a place of supremacy over unbelievers. At the same time, we can use Democracy to peacefully demand equality for ourselves.

            Just in summary, your lists indicates that there are areas of Wokeism that you really don’t understand. For some of your objections are not objections to something else besides Wokeism.

            Also, for some subjects, the main difference between you and what Wokeism promotes is that you have reduced the subject to the actions and behaviors of the individual. Wokeism deals with corporate actions and behaviors of groups such as different ethnic groups, economic classes, institutions, and society itself. That is most evident when you talk about racism but is apparent when you talk about classism, diversity, and the family.

  2. Chris,
    Regarding #1-5:

    #1. Who says that concern for and actions to combat climate change are acts of worship. Some who have that concern and take actions to fight climate change might do so out of some religious motivation. But the concern for and actions to mitigate climate change per se do not constitute the worship of the planet.

    #2. So Christians are required to believe that homosexuality in society must be criminalized? Here I would ask you to compare Romans 1:18ff with I Corinthians 5. Note that in Romans 1:18ff, Paul is not surprised by the presence of homosexuality among the unbelievers. In fact, Paul gives a cause and effect explanation for how homosexuality can exist in unbelievers. But when Paul discusses the sin of sleeping with the wife of one’s father in I Cor 5, Paul is shocked and says that this is not even done among unbelievers. And yet, what is Paul’s solution to that sin? It only consists of expelling the guilty party from the Church into society. He doesn’t call for society to punish the person. In fact, in I Cor 5:12-13, Paul’s concern is for purity in the Church only. He expresses no concern for establishing sexual purity in society.

    #3. I agree that transitioning from one’s biological sex to another is sinful. But are Christians required to believe that the gov’t must criminalize such transitioning? Wokeism isn’t about what the Church believes or what it requires from its own members. Wokeism, when it comes to people, is about promoting equality for those who have been previously or are currently marginalized.

    The Other #3. Abortion. This is where I fully agree with you. Wokeism is in error on this point.

    #4. Wokeism is about what society should promote or require, not what the Church should promote or require. So in a pluralistic nation, the New Testament wants us to require that everyone in society to agree with us on what is absolute truth? Think about what Jesus taught His disciples regarding those who do not accept what His disciples were teaching. And, btw, please note the atrocities that have taken place in efforts to require that those in society must believe what its Christians believe. Remember that a good number of Christians believed in white supremacy, slavery, and Jim Crow. In fact, prominent members of the Reformed community accepted at least some of those beliefs such as Jonathan Edwards and J. Gresham Machen.

    #5. Racism: Wokeism also teaches that racism is wrong so you should be able to at least partially agree with Wokeism on that point. But what Wokeism also teaches is that racism in American society is not just about individuals holding to prejudices, but about institutions and society putting those prejudices into both actions and the public perception of people. Wokeism says that racism includes individual bias against, racism practiced by Institutions, and how society in general practices racism by how it perceives, punishes, and rewards those from marginalized races. The politically conservative American limits definition of racism to what individuals falsely believe about others and how the individual treats those from other races. Wokeism has, based on what CRT did; CRT expanded the definition of racism so that it also includes Institutional racism and racism evident in the exercise of social power. Wokeism recognizes that anyone, regardless of their race, can be prejudiced against those from other races. But racism in Wokeism is about more than what an individual may believe or practice.

    So is wokeism wrong on everything it teaches and promotes so that any teaching that is identified as coming from wokeism must automatically be thought of as being completely false?

    1. 1. The radical “climate” policies promoted by the “woke” include such things as reducing the human population (though there is already an incoming population dive), banning oil which will cause untold suffering and actually cause environmental decay due to increased poverty and mandatory reversion to dirtier forms of energy, banning fertilizers and other goods which will cause starvation and further poverty among the poorest countries, defunding the police which causes crime to skyrocket, etc….
      It is a far cry from being a good steward to forcing environmental policy with such drastic ramifications. These are unbiblical because they are oppressing your neighbor for the perceived benefit of the creation.

      2. So Christians are required to believe that homosexuality must be supported? Who said anything about punishing anyone? The old “who cares what they do in their own bedrooms” line is demonstrably false. They do not keep it to themselves and want nothing other full and enthusiastic support or they WILL punish you for your non-support (like Jack Phillips or 303 Creative).

      3. I’m glad we agree that “transitioning” is sinful, therefore it should be banned in the church. Wokeism has no interest in equality. It wants special treatment and unquestioning fealty. Permanent disfigurement of underage children should be banned by the government. “Marginalized” is a woke term and some behaviors SHOULD be marginalized. I’m glad we are in agreement about abortion.

      4. The church is part of society, I am part of society, my family is part of society. Wokesters can promote what they like, but can never require anything of us. The church likewise, should promote what it wants. But lets call a spade a spade and realize that the woke mob have taken over our justice system and they are using it to attempt to require our participation in their delusions (besides my earlier examples, how about “misgendering” or the treatment of Jordan Peterson).
      Are you trying to surprise me that all Christians (and all people including those you mention) are sinners in need of redemption? Cast off that which is sinful and hold on to that which is good. There is a big difference between shaking the dust off of your feet and condoning that which is sinful.

      5. From one face wokesters say that racism is wrong, but from their duplicitous other mouth promote racism as long as it is “Anti-racist” racism. Groups of dimwitted individuals cannot simply change the definition of common words Orwellian style. Racism is still the simple commission of treating people different based on their race. “Unconscious racism” and “micro-aggressions” are not real. Institutional racism absolutely exists (affirmative action, native American hunting privileges, race based scholarships, race based financial aid, and woke supported reparations are all examples).

      There may be something that wokeism gets right, but I would suspect that whatever that may be, is probably not “sufficiently woke” or possibly just not attacked yet.

      The end goal of the woke agenda is nothing short of the full destruction of western society, a violent Mao Zedong-style cultral revolution, and the ushering in of a Marxist style utopia which will of course fail leaving their very promoters to death, despair, misery, and the pit of Hell. No church, patriot, or thinking person should condone this.
      Don’t believe me? Look how many woke people and groups are chanting “from the river to the sea” and “Hitler knew how to deal with these people”. How far does it need to go before YOU draw the line? You will know them by their fruit.

      1. Chris,
        The term ‘radical’ is just a relative term. What is radical depends on what is status quo. And calling something radical just means that it is significantly different from the status quo.

        The positive or negative value that the adjective ‘radical’ has depends on how good or bad the status quo is. And in terms of climate change, the status quo is self-destructive. We cannot environmentally afford to maintain the status quo. The acceleration of climate change effects have already caused unnecessary and expensive damage to America, let alone to the rest of the world.

        And, btw, who is banning oil when and why?

        So instead of calling climate change proposals or policies radical, why not just say why those policies are unnecessary and/or harmful. BTW, the world’s population is at 7 billion. And as more in the orient have moved up to middle class economic standards, the environmental impact has been nothing short of disastrous.

        #2. Doesn’t that depend on what is meant by support? We have freedom of religion here. Does that mean that Christians must support those who are practicing Islam, those who are practicing Judaism, or those who deny the existence of God? Since The Constitution has the Establishment Clause, supporting another religion other than one’s own means allowing it to operate unhindered. It doesn’t mean that we must agree with that religion or say that it has a portion of the truth. It simply means recognizing the right of people to practice that religion.

        Doesn’t the same principle apply to Christians when it comes to homosexuals. All that is being asked here is that, for equal rights sake, we recognize that homosexuals have a right to pick their own adult consenting partner, to marry that partner if that partner consents, to be intimate with their partner in the way they see fit.

        But none of that requires that we agree with their lifestyle. We just can’t speak about them in ways that bring back their marginalization. And so there is nothing that should stop us from preaching repentance and the Gospel to them.

        3. You make these absolute claims about wokeism which you do not know how to prove. In fact, it would be impossible to prove that Wokeism has no interest in equality because the statement is false. And, btw, wokeism isn’t talking about behaviors that are marginalized, it is talking about groups of people who have been marginalized. At this point, I wonder if you really have an adequate concept of what wokeism is about.

        And, what permanent disfigurement are you referring to. Don’t you realize that there are medical protocols to determine how children and adolescents are allowed to transition.

        Do you realize that there could be physical reasons why some experience gender dysphoria. And along with their own distress, alienation from family and friends causes a great deal of internal conflict that has a high degree of attempted suicides in those with gender dysphoria. Also, do you realize that some Native American tribes recognized up to 5 genders? And do you realize some of the possible physical causes for gender dysphoria?

        4. What those who are woke can require of us is the same as what we can require of them: to be treated as equals. And, btw, who are you to say that unconscientious racism and micro aggresses do not exist? Who are you to say that what someone who is from a marginalized group is experiencing? And again, what those from marginalized groups, especially the LGBT community want is not your agreement, but your lack of oppression and lack of robbing them of their equal rights and status.

        5. What is anti-racist racism? And your insulting manner communicates arrogance. Look up the scriptures and see how arrogance is viewed. Look up Romans 2 and see how those who would judge those mentioned in Romans 1 are viewed by God.

        Do you understand why CRT writers and defenders have changed the definition of the word ‘racism’ so that it no longer only refers to personal prejudice? It is because while whites might face racial bias from other individuals, Blacks face that individual prejudice from individuals along with Institutional racism and the racism that exists in social power. By and large, whites don’t face that kind of racism. That is why the definition changed.

        Sorry, but much of your comment here indicates that you really don’t know what being woke is about and that you are merely repeating the venting of others.

  3. 1. I considered the “Just Stop Oil” protestors in Great Britain to be radical as I figured that they are outside the mainstream of “Woke”, but I could be wrong. You would know who is main stream and who is not better than I. Just remember, todays woke fringe is tomorrows mainstream and will be far too traditional the day after.
    The climate has been warming since the Ice Age and it wasn’t caused by Mammoths farting, driving SUVs, or burning coal. To think climate change is merely anthropogenic and all we need to do is give loads of money to green energy companies is hubristic and foolish. But we have digressed on this topic far past what the church should support.

    2.&3. You keep speaking “wokanese” in terms of “marginalization” and completely sidestepped my main point that the woke DEMAND your compliance and will seek legal recourse, social shaming, boycotts, and possibly violence if you do not follow along. I gave examples. These are far more proof of my point than anything you have produced. There are MANY more examples of woke demanding unequal treatment for the sake of “equality”. So I DO know what I am saying and could care less if I know all the details of “wokeism” because they are simply not worth any more time.
    At least we agree that gender dysphoria is in fact a dysphoria. We also agree that the gender dysphoric can be suicidal. Why can we not agree that promoting gender dysphoria is destroying people?

    4. If unconscious racism exists, I should unconsciously care about it and if micro-aggressions exist, I should micro-care about them.
    Who am I to say? I am someone who cares about truth. I care about how this hollow and deceptive philosophy is destroying our society. And AGAIN, equal rights is NOT what they want as previous evidence suggests and more could be easily cited.

    5. “Anti-racist” racism is treating one race of people differently (racism) based off of their race in the pursuit to supposedly rooting out racism “anti-racist”. Example: BLM demanding white people apologize for the slavery that they did not commit or demanding reparations to people who were not victims.
    CRT writers are guilty of trying to change definitions as I said. Institutional racism exists in the ways I have listed and must be done away with. No need to change definitions, racism is racism and needs no descriptive adjective.

    Sorry Curt, but much of your comment here indicates that you really don’t know what being woke is about and that you are merely repeating the venting of others.

    1. Chris,
      Since people consider me to be woke, and since I’ve put in time to understand CRT and since I lean to Marx anyway, I think I understand what woke is.

      You mention the ‘just stop oil’ protests in Great Britain. Let me ask, many of those protests are there especially here in the US?

      Your comments about the climate warming not well informed. During the present time of the Holocene period, the climate has remained stable. And because of that, we have seen the greatest development in mankind. That would make you comment false. But also, you don’t understand what the danger is. The danger isn’t seen in a 1,000 or 100 or even 10 degree difference in average global temperatures. Rather average global temperature changes just 1.5 Celsius can significantly damage the earth’s ability to sustain and human life especially at today’s population of 7 billion people. But that isn’t the worse news. It looks like we will not be able to limit the increase in average global temperature to just being 1.5 Celsius.

      As average global temperatures continue to rise, we see sea levels rise because the average temperatures of the seas are also increasing. The warmer the ocean temperatures, the more disruptions there are in the ocean’s eco systems such as there are fewer fish the ocean because the oxygen levels decrease as the temperatures increase. We also have to worry about the CO2 content of the oceans. That causes acidification of the oceans. As the eco systems in the oceans and seas change because of climate change, the livelihood of those who make their living by capturing fish and other kinds of sea life for human consumption are significantly threatened.

      But rising seas also threaten the ways of life for the populations that live close to the oceans. In the less civilized areas, where people live has and will be compromised by rising sea levels. Along the Southeast coast of the US, some populated areas are seeing increases in non-weather related coastal flooding. That damages properties and roads. That can also damage facilities that provide drinking water to communities.

      The loss of ice at the polar ice caps means that less heat is reflected by into space. That accelerates the rise in global temperatures. The melting of the permafrost along the arctic circle results in a growing increase in the grounds release of methane, which is another greenhouse gas along with CO2. Of course, one of the differences between those two gasses is that methane doesn’t last in the atmosphere nearly as long as CO 2. While methane stays in the atmosphere around 12 years, CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. But both are greenhouse gases and thus have similar effects on the earth’s warming.

      In addition, as the permafrost thaws, there can be a release of viruses that have be contained in the frozen land. The release of those viruses can threaten human and animal life–even animal life which humans raise for consumption. So not only can that threaten the lively hood of those who raise such animals, it threatens our food supply. In fact, because of the current rise in the average global temperatures, land for grazing is being reduced and that is leading to the US importing more beef from abroad. That importation of beef means higher food prices.

      We might also want to look at the possibility that climate change and weather. Warmer ocean temperatures can lead to more catastrophic storms. But such warming can also shut down the North Atlantic Current that transports warmer water northward along the East coast and to other areas in the Atlantic. Though there are a few models of what that can mean for our weather, those models include an increase in severe storms. We should note that the severe weather we saw during this year has increased healthcare costs because it has increased life altering hazards. And it has increased insurance costs because the extreme weather, which climate change has contributed to, has produced more extreme storms.

      Climate change is only caused by human activity. But it is greatly increased by human activity. And your hypothetical statements shows a naiveté of what is economically and thus politicly involved in converting to renewable energy resources.

      Now if you want, there is more that I can say about the environmental impact that human activity has caused on climate change and other environmental concerns. Or I can comment on your other points. But it seems that there is a lot more to climate change that you have mentioned. Let me know if you want me to comment on the other points you made.

    2. Chris,
      After reading the rest of your comments on racism, I felt compelled to give a summary of them:

      Because you have listed all of the institutional examples of racism and know that treating people differently because of their race, you have everything to teach BLM, CRT, and others who represent views of Blacks and you have nothing to learn from them. And if you are white, think about what you are saying to Blacks. That even though you have never had their experiences with racism as defined by CRT, you have no need to listen to what Blacks have to say.

      Thus we don’t need no stinkin redefinition of racism, according to you. We can keep the definition as they are because you have listed all of the examples of institutional racism. And in fact, you have tried to reverse the roles. According to your examples, it’s whites who are experiencing institutional racism.

      The first paragraph speaks to your arrogance on the subject. The second paragraph speaks to your fear regarding racism. A fear that negates the need for any change in the subject even though systemic racism has been a part of our nation’s history since its very beginning.

      Was there systemic racism when we had slavery? Was there systemic racism during Jim Crow? Has there been systemic racism after Jim Crow as illustrated in our economic system, criminal justice system, law enforcement, laws regarding voting, and so forth?

      Do you really know what woke is about or do you just select individual practices, some of which are not carried out by the majority, according to the narrative you promote? Again, look at what you knew about climate change. A very similar situation exists with what you know about racism.

  4. My race is just as irrelevant as their race. It is foolish to translate my comments based on my race.
    Yes, we will keep the definition of racism as it is, because otherwise, it would not be racism.
    Whether I am arrogant or not is irrelevant. Please stick to the argument at hand.D
    Jim Crow was systemic racism. It was outlawed before I was born.
    What examples of systemic racism do you have today other than those I mentioned?

    Do you really know what woke is about or do you just select individual practices, some of which are not carried out by the majority, according to the narrative you promote? Again, look at what you knew about climate change. A very similar situation exists with what you know about racism. I.e: party propoganda.

    1. Chris,
      Your race isn’t irrelevant here, and neither is mine. I am not Black. And therefore I cannot adequately understand how Blacks have experienced racism here because I lack their experiences. And, btw, Blacks here have diverse experiences with racism, but there is commonality in their diverse experiences.

      Because I cannot adequately understand how Blacks here have experienced racism, the only way for me to learn what I can is to read and listen to them talk about their experiences. And even after listening to and reading what they have to say, I will not have the understanding of racism in America that they have. That is because of my race is not Black.

      Who is ‘we’ when you say that ‘we will keep the definition of racism’? Who are you speaking for? Is it those from the Reformed Traditions who are looking to replace what’s left of our democracy with some kind of religious ownership using the traditions from Reformed leaders and influencers whose thinking was governed by Christendom? If yous guys want to keep that definition of racism, that is fine. Just don’t lord your definition of racism over others by trying to silence what many Blacks say about racism–notice that I said ‘many,’ not ‘all.’ Also, if you want to listen to and read what many Blacks say about racism, you will have to tolerate how they changed the definition.

      BTW, I wasn’t born after Jim Crow. And though Jim Crow wasn’t in the North, segregation and prejudice were. I grew up in the Northeast. And I didn’t see a single Black student in school until my senior year. I was on the wrestling team in my sophomore year. When we were warming up to scrimmage a private city school, one of our star wrestlers started to tell a racist joke while we were warming up together. The irony was that there were not black wrestlers on other other team.

      And the discrimination wasn’t just against Blacks. My best friend had to change schools because of the physical and emotional abuse he suffered at a public school. BTW, he’s Italian.

      I went to a Christian college where most of the Blacks there were either foreign students or athletes. I saw the subtle signs of racism among my white Christian friends. And those signs were not just in my friends, they were in me too. We might share the same race, but you have no clue as to what my experiences were like to me. It took me decades to recognize the racism in my Christian friends as well as in myself.

      But here is the most telling point. The Black foreign students at my Christian college could not understand the American Black students. Why? It is because the Black foreign students did not share similar experiences as most of the American Black students had when they were growing up.

      Our races are very relevant in this discussion. And, btw, I already listed several areas in which there remains institutional racism in my previous comment.

      You think that you know what being woke is. And you think that you know that even though you are on the outside looking in. I don’t have an exhaustive view of wokeism even though I am on the inside looking out. But I do have a good general idea of what being Woke is about. And so tell me, would you tell a person who is thinking about becoming a Christian to watch Bill Maher’s movie ‘Religulous’? Or, as a Christian, would you share with that person what it means or refer them to other Christians to learn what it means to be a Christian?

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