Monday, March 20, 2006


The Shrine of the Holy Whapping (see link in sidebar) recently posted an article about the Ebenezer Lutheran Church (aka Her Church). I'd heard about their "goddess rosary" but wasn't going to comment, until I saw this video.

The church seems very communal and group-building, neither of which is a bad thing of itself. You'll notice they don't have any footage of liturgical activity until approximately halfway through the video; I'm not sure if it's designed to sort of warm up the viewers with a montage of cheery social images before showcasing a priestess saying what looks like a mass slanted towards the "sacred feminine" or...not.

I'm not sure if they and Dan Brown are cut from the same cloth or one inspired the other's ecclesial schema or if it's a coincidence. I'm leaning towards a fad rationale.

I think my favorite part was the "active liturgy" on the part of the laity during worship; it wasn't just folks from the pews taking the place of the priestess during the blessing of the bread and what appeared to be merely water, like a cynic would expect in this post-conciliar era, but kids playing musical instruments, making drums and mosaics, and adults going on "photo treks." Maybe the treks were for something else.

Quoth the pastor (maybe I shouldn't call her a priestess, what with being nominally Lutheran):

Ebenezer Lutheran Church, which is also known as Her Church, has taken it upon itself to integrate the heart of feminism and Christianity, which we believe really are interchangeable.

Is true feminism, in essence, compatible with Christianity? Certainly. Is it interchangeable with Christianity? Uh, no; it's severely lacking. In today's postmodern era, I don't think you can turn a gender-based demographic struggle philosophy into a religion until you add the dimension of race-based struggle.

My least favorite part is touched on in the Holy Whapping combox. Drew of the Shrine had accused these Protestants of worshipping Mary, and a commenter disagreed, pointing to a total absence of references to the BVM, Mary Magdalene, or Martha. True, there are no explicit references to the honored women in our tradition at Ebenezer's web site, but in the video they have a brief clip of a recitation of whatever they turned the Hail Mary into, referring to a "goddess full of grace" and the "Holy Cosmic Mother of the Risen Christ."

I think the case for a critically blurred line can be made.

The other thing I want to know is where a congregation that small got such a large and well-appointed church.

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