Russell E. Saltzman is a former Lutheran pastor, transitioning to the Roman Catholic Church.

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Beware the Congressional Hordes

From First Thoughts

An NPR article on the prospect of creating a part-time Congress (unlikely) begins by describing “hordes of conservative Republican lawmakers” descending on Washington. Hordes? Yes, hordes of Republicans, all conservative, are about to fracture the previous hold that “hordes of . . . . Continue Reading »

From the ELCA to the NALC

From First Thoughts

I finally have applied to become a member of the clergy roll of the  North American Lutheran Church , which means leaving the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (Here is the NALC’s site .) About time, too, inasmuch as the NALC made me a dean back in early . . . . Continue Reading »

Pity the Downtrodden Billionaires

From First Thoughts

William McGurn has a piece at the online  Wall Street Journal asking exactly why Republicans have a hard time providing moral argumentation for tax reductions affecting billionaires. The other side, he points out, have their contentions well in place. In [Senator Bernie Sandners, Vermont] . . . . Continue Reading »

The Reverend and Russefeiring

From First Thoughts

A Norwegian reality show,  The Great Norway Adventure , takes American-Norwegians, some generations beyond their ancestral homeland, and initiates them by various contests to the true rites of passage real Norwegians are said to put up with in becoming authentically Norski. One of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Pope Endorses Monsanto

From First Thoughts

Along with his other dilemmas, Pope Benedict is also said to have a “genetically modified crop dilemma.” As New Scientist explained editorially: In a statement condemning opposition to GM [genetically modified] crops in rich countries as unjustified, a group of scientists including . . . . Continue Reading »

The Grave of a British Soldier

From First Thoughts

November is a strange time to reflect on the American Revolution, something more suited for July, but that is what I found myself doing touring Lexington and Concord with family over Thanksgiving while enduring a cold, uncomfortable wind. We visited many graves: Hawthorne, Alcott, Thoreau, among . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Can’t Lutherans Catch a News Break?

From First Thoughts

There are about 4,000 Lutherans living in the Republic of Chile, mostly of German descent found in two church bodies. One of those Lutherans, Pastor Martin Junge , will become the eighth general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation November 25. The LWF is a communion of 145 churches in 79 . . . . Continue Reading »

Reformation Day 2010

From First Thoughts

Lutherans celebrate Reformation Day, that day back in 1517 when Martin Luther stomped up to the Wittenberg church door and nailed up his  95 Theses . It’s a big day for us; used to be, at any rate. I don’t suppose Roman Catholics pay much attention to it, but then I wouldn’t . . . . Continue Reading »

Mean Lutherans

From First Thoughts

Over at Cranach , Gene Edward Veith (provost and professor of literature at Patrick Henry College) ponders the state of argumentation in a world of blogging, and for good reason. His . . . innocent little post has now chalked up a record 422 comments at last count. What happened is that a very . . . . Continue Reading »

Vibrantly Down-sizing

From First Thoughts

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America today took action, in the words of Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, to position “the churchwide organization to make a vital and vibrant contribution to the ministries of this [ELCA] church and the work of partners throughout the world . . . .” . . . . Continue Reading »