Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America, said of the action by the Committee on Appeals, “We are deeply saddened, angry, and more determined following the artless and callous treatment of Pastor Bradley at the hands of the Committee on Appeals. The decision was delivered by email, no pastoral call was made or human contact given. The Committee actually noted as positive that they limited themselves to the transcripts of the hearing. They never met Pastor Schmeling or the members of St. John’s.
The ELCA's Committee on Appeals is afraid of something.
Are they afraid that they'll catch Rev. Schmeling's homosexuality? It is in fact hard to convert to homosexuality (assuming you are born heterosexual). Some say it's possible, with intensive prayer, to change one's sexual behavior. But it's very hard work to go against your sexual orientation, and the committee members would have to be willing to work very hard at living a gay lifestyle.
So, what are they afraid of?
Perhaps they're afraid they'll meet Brad, and change their minds.
We're afraid of associating with people who are different from us. We see it in the White parents who sued several school districts which were trying to keep their schools integrated. They allow their race to insulate themselves from the needs and realities of those who are not White. And they wish to keep doing so.
We see it in the executives of Exxon Mobil, who fund organizations that cast doubt on the veracity of global warming. They allow their great wealth to insulate them from the needs and realities of others who are not so wealthy, and who live in regions more vulnerable to climate change (albeit, even the US will be vulnerable). And they wish to keep doing so.
We see it in the Roman magisterium, which deliberately insulates themselves from the needs and realities of women by not admitting them to the priesthood. And they wish to keep doing so.
And, of course, the ELCA's Committee on Appeals wishes to keep on insulating itself from the needs and realities of LGBT people. However, their time of reckoning may come a lot sooner than those others I mentioned. The ELCA, at their churchwide assembly in August, may repudiate their previous position on homosexuality. If it does not, then some assembly at a later date will. The arc of the universe bends towards justice. In the long run, the opponents of justice are not going to make it.