There is no "Lutheran Church". Various Christian denominations use the name "Lutheran", but they are still separate denominations just as Baptists and Methodists are separate denominations.We get it, Foxy -- you despise the Catholic Church. But what I don't get is why you single them out. Your particular little ELCA denomination may approve of equal marriage, but the worldwide Lutheran Church is in EXACTLY the same position as the Catholics, and so are the Evangelicals and myriads of other, including the Episcopalian Church in Africa (Anglicans). Here is a recent statement from the President of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church. I quote:
"I was in Seoul, Korea, for the biennial conference of the International Lutheran Council, an international association of 34 confessional Lutheran churches of which the Missouri Synod is a member. The ILC also addressed this issue, adopting unanimously a statement that said, in part,Rooted in the Bibles witness and in keeping with Christian teaching through 2,000 years, we continue to believe that the practice of homosexualityin any and all situations violates the will of the Creator God and must be recognized as sin.
Say it ain't so! Please tell me all these churches are not also, as a matter of policy, working to deny us our constitutional right just like the Catholics!
And you also haven't told me yet whether you despise the ILC as much as you do the Catholics.
ELCA is the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S.(and in the western hemisphere as well, I believe) and is a religious denomination separate and distinct from The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS)(also commonly called "The Misery Synod", and was the synod I was baptized into and raised in for more than 10 years), and is a separate and distinct denomination from The Lutheran Church-Wisconsin Synod, and any and all other Christian denominations, whether they have the name "Lutheran" in them or not.
And just as a point of info, I have also been an official member of The United Church Of Christ (once again, a separate Christian denomination) since 1996, I attended a UCC church regularly from 1995 - 2009, and presently attend a UCC church here in Arizona since I moved here in January, 2012.
The United Church Of Christ allows gay marriage in the church, as well as a gay clergy. Part of the roots of The United Church Of Christ come from Lutheranism (as well as Congregationalism), and ELCA and the UCC are in "Full Communion" with one another, meaning that the beliefs and practices of the 2 separate denominations have so much in common that clergy of each denomination are permitted to preach at one another's churches, and preside at the ceremonies of one another's churches.
I have been a Lutheran continuously since being baptized a Lutheran more than 50 years ago, and have also been a member of the UCC continuously since 1995.
While I understand that many people ASSUME hat any church with the name "Lutheran" in it's name is part of some large national, or world-wide "Lutheran Church", there simply is no such thing as a U.S. national "Lutheran Church" nor a global "Lutheran Church".
The ELCA and LCMS are 2 distinct and separate Christian denominations that are not related, nor do they cooperate with one another on any level that I am aware of. So any statements or policies of LCMS have noting to do at all with ELCA.(And besides that, ELCA Communion Beer is VASTLY SUPERIOR to LCMS Communion Beer.:))