I haven't really written about the whole Issues, Etc. debaucle because I have something shameful to admit. I don't listen to "Issues Etc." Or, I didn't. I have. I definitely have...and I liked it a lot. It isn't because of "Issues, Etc." I can't seem to manage to listen to "White Horse Inn," either anymore, and I used to drive 45 miles on Wednesday nights to attend a confession and absolution service/Bible Study led by Rev. Dr. Rod Rosenblatt....so if I were going to listen to anything.....
I (shamefully hanging my head)....don't have an Ipod. I don't even have an MP3 player, and I simply can't sit at my computer and listen to radio shows. I walk away too much, I get distracted, and my mind is already preoccupied.
But all the same, I know what "Issues, Etc." is, and I know that its purpose is to take the confessional Lutheran faith that I cling to and use it as a filter for viewing the current events that our world is dealing with. I really do WANT to listen to it.
But its gone. And knowing so many people who listen to it, knowing the good that it has done for our Synod, for the Lutheran faith, and for Christianity in general, I am dismayed that THIS is what our Synod chose to eliminate. I am not convinced that it is simply a budget issue. I also think it was very unChristian to decide to fire two devoted church workers on Tuesday of Holy Week, take the show off the air without so much as a howdy-do, and also take the archives off the website (it was put back up later after a tremendous amount of protest).
I have devotedly followed the response to this that has followed, so I will give you a few links:
Molly Zeigler Hemingway, a confessional Lutheran journalist and member of the blogging team at Get Religion, succeeded in getting the issue national coverage in the Wall Street Journal in the story "Radio Silence." She did an expert job of presenting the beauties of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and its theological strengths, as well as the struggles that we are going through.
Pastor Weedon has made it his purpose to keep us updated, as has Pastor Cwirla. Pastor Esget at Esgetology (I love that name) has a good article here, and Pastor Petersen at Cyberstones made some excellent points as well. The new Wittenberg Trail (basically Facebook for confessional Lutherans or those interested in it) has a strong update to it, and here is the link to the petition that has garnered over 5000 signatures in a week. And the Bring Back Issues Etc. blog has accessed the records of downloaded podcasts in the last 3 months, one vital statistic that was left out of Rev. Strand's recently released account of why Issues Etc. was cancelled.
There is so much more out there on this, so take a look around and figure it out if you haven't already (because I know I am way behind on posting on this). I believe Mollie Ziegler Hemingway got it completely right that the bottom line on this issue is about church practice, not about finances or ratings.