Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act
ELCA Church Council Action CC02.11.61
Passed by the 2002 ELCA Church Council.
To receive the resolution of the Division for Church in Society related to the Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act;
To acknowledge that, according to “Policies and Procedures of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for Addressing Social Concerns,” social-policy resolutions may be approved by the Churchwide Assembly or the Church Council “on matters of social concern” and must “rely on or be consistent with the teachings and policy of social statements,” (page 17), including those of predecessor church bodies (page 3);
To further acknowledge that the social statement “Christian Social Responsibility” (The American Lutheran Church, 1978) indicates, “The corporate church equips its members for mission. It assists, strengthens, and upholds them in their ministry. Through its teaching, pastoral, and fellowship roles it prepares its members to take their places wisely and responsibly in their various offices in society. Toward this end the corporate church, at its various levels of organizations structures itself to: . . . resist every effort which would make the church captive to a particular class, political, economic, racial, national, or ideological interest, keeping itself free to proclaim that counsel and bear that witness which it believes its Lord expects of [this] church”; and
To decline to approve a social-policy resolution related to the Houses of Worship Political Speech Protection Act, but to reaffirm the statement of The American Lutheran Church on “Christian Social Responsibility” and encourage the Division for Church in Society to undertake advocacy work related to this legislation.