From First Things and Forum Letter: “Temple prostitution: a modest proposal”

Want to have a chuckle while looking at a serious issue?

Serious for the Lutherans, that is.

You remember the ELCA decision last summer about homosexual clergy and same-sex unions?

I picked up on the site of First Things their replay of a piece in the Lutheran Forum Letter by the nephew of the late Fr. Neuhaus, Pastor Peter Speckhard, entitled … Temple prostitution: a modest proposal.

Pastor Speckhard may have learned from his uncle to be a master of the absurd to underscore a point.

First, he explains the Lutherans have some big problems, namely…

  • —Inability to retain or reach out to young, single people, especially men. …
  • —Failure to use the gifts of the laity. Sure, it is easy to use the gifts of creative, educated, energetic, talented people. …
  • —Declining revenue. …
  • —Legalism. …
  • —Biblicism. …
  • —Irrelevance. …
  • —Worship without impact. …

Big hurdles, nicht wahr?   Pastor Speckhard has a solution.

Temple Prostitution!

Sure, some will object.  Blah blah blah.  As he points out with deadly satire, there may be Scriptural grounds for objections but, hey…  

The Biblical writers never foresaw or contemplated sanctified, faithful, God-pleasing prostitution in the churches and thus never wrote about it.

We also have to consider "interpretive nuance" and "love", which conquers all.

Go read the piece and have a good time, for free!

In effect, this type of mordent commentary truly strips away the whatever clothing the emperor/ess may have retained.

I wonder if the whole wymyn priest movement thingie understands that this is the direction they are headed.

Just askin’

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  1. RR says:

    This seems to skirt the line.

  2. Jack Hughes says:

    proof that lutherans are insane :)

  3. TKS says:

    Shoot. And here I thought bingo was working for us…

  4. “By their Fruits you shall know them.” The warning from Jesus himself about avoiding being misled by false prophets.

  5. Maltese says:

    Funny! Very erudite in its analysis of the EGO prevalent in churches today: it’s all about what one experiences or “feels,” especially, i.e., with the charismatics.

    Contrariwise, at the Traditional Latin Mass, the focus is on honoring God, showing due respect to his propitiatory sacrifice in the unbloody Sacrifice offered on the altar. If all Christ wanted to do is offer a meal in the Upper Room, I think He could have forgone His Passion the next day. But, to most Lutherans AND catholics in most parishes in the world, the service or mass is all about making THEM feel GOOD–getting a good bang for your tithing buck. So, why not go for another bang while you’re at it?

  6. An American Mother says:

    The Episcopalians won’t be able to follow this line, because they already explained away St. Paul’s condemnation of homosexuality by claiming that he only meant temple prostitution.

    So this, if it occurs, would be the first time anybody managed to get out in front of the Episcopalians in the weirdness department . . . .

    . . . only barely kidding.

  7. Lee says:

    It’s amusing, of course, but writing parody in our day is a dangerous business. Nothing would surprise me less than people looking back forty or fifty years from now on this essay as the beginning of a religious revolution that led in fact to temple prostitution. There are plenty of people right now who are soft-headed enough to buy it and implement it. “Use serious and sober words to which no one can take exception, ” says St. Paul. And when St. Thomas Aquinas asked whether the jocose lie was a sin, the answer was yes. Once this escapes the context of First Things where it is understood for what it is, it may cause all manner of mischief.

  8. Dove says:

    Of course, it goes without saying that this parody is an imitation of the satire by Jonathan Swift called “A Modest Proposal” in which he suggests that the Irish eat their children to prevent them from becoming a burden on their parents and making them beneficial to their parents. He has various suggestions for eating them at different ages.

  9. Norah says:

    Good grief! Some Bishops Commission might read this and think it is a good idea!

  10. Being a “lame-brained” literalist, I thought this, was, in fact, an “apologia” for temple prostitution…Okay, I get it, I get it NOW!
    But really, isn’t this, in reality, is what is going on in the various denominations of Christians (and I use that word carefully, so as to not make rash judgment, nor to incur the wrath of anyone without cause).
    If you approve of openly partnered same sex couples; then approve that one (or both) of them as pastors, how does this even begin to square with the Christian tradition?

  11. markomalley says:

    In addition to temple prostitution, they could also support the sacrifice of infants to Moloch.

    Oh, wait…

  12. Jack Hughes says:

    And so the consequences of the Reformation did reach their logical conclusion……….

  13. Henry Edwards says:

    markomalley: In addition to temple prostitution, they could also support the sacrifice of infants to Moloch. Oh, wait…

    You mean abortion?

  14. markomalley says:

    Mr. Edwards,

    You mean abortion?


  15. Kerry says:

    But Father, But Father, think of all the jobs making temple garments!

  16. The Cobbler says:

    Not to necessarily insult any Episcopalians, but I do think the trouble is as with many a modest proposal: far too many people are far enough gone to take it seriously rather than be shocked back to sanity by it.

Comments are closed.