Lutherans step back from the edge

We got a fair amount of e-mail on Friday from Lutherans who weren’t happy that we characterized a threatened split in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as a “backlash” against last month’s vote at its convention in Minneapolis to allow non-celibate homosexuals to serve as clergy. Many of the letter writers described widespread acceptance of gays in their church and the relatively few people — 1,200 — who were to gather on Saturday to decide whether to sever ties with the church.

They did meet today and decided to give it a year.

It would be impossible to have attended last month’s sessions at the Minneapolis Convention Center and still not realize that a split in the church — any kind of split in the church — worried most delegates on both sides of the issue.