Where were the Democrats?

I just received and read the September issue of The Lutheran Witness. While there are many excellent articles, I as a Democrat and a Lutheran pastor am offended that The Lutheran Witness chose to only feature Republicans in the “[Lutherans] in the Public Eye” story.

My question: Since when did our LCMS church body decide to become “just another” who appears to believe that only Republicans have the correct knowledge to be called a Christian?

Rev. James E. Fleming, Emeritus
Rochester Hills, Mich.


I enjoyed the article about the eight Lutherans in the public spotlight. However, I was a little confused why four Republican representatives were highlighted and no Democrats. It got me to thinking—maybe there are no Lutheran Democrats. I was really wrong. There are quite a number that represent citizens in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Here is a short list:

  • Senator Byron Dorgan, North Dakota

  • Senator Sherrod Brown, Ohio

  • Rep. Gary Peters, Michigan

  • Rep. Erik Paulsen, Minnesota

I am not sure what criteria were used to determine who got in the story, but I trust it was a thoughtful decision. I do think it is vital that your readers finish the article with the knowledge that God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. God has complete sovereignty. The last administration was part of God’s plan, and so is the current.

James Jackson
Blue Springs, Mo.

We received many letters and telephone calls about our September cover story. They were about equally divided between “Thank you for a wonderful, informative, and inspirational story” and “Why did you ignore Democrats and the Democratic Party?” As noted in the introduction to the story, we limited our profiles to active members of LCMS congregations whose vocations placed them in the national arena or on the national stage. Where our 111th Congress is concerned, to the best of our knowledge, we have only the four U.S. representatives mentioned in the story. As Mr. Jackson correctly points out in his letter, there are many other Lutherans, both Democrats and Republicans, serving in Congress, but they are members of either the ELCA—e.g., Senators Dorgan and Brown, mentioned by Mr. Jackson—or the Wisconsin Synod. (On his Facebook page, Rep. Gary Peters lists his denomination as Episcopalian, and Rep. Erik Paulsen was one of the individuals we profiled.) Regarding other vocations, we attempted to include as many notable LCMS public figures as time and space would allow. If you believe we’ve missed someone, or overlooked someone, please let us know. —Ed.


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1333 S. Kirkwood Road,
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295;
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