Friday, May 02, 2008

Kathlic, what Walther wrote.

To some Lutherites the word 'kathlic' is so precious, so much so that papists ministers play on this word to say that they have more things in common with Rome than anyone else. "Common" is a relative term, as in the phrase "common sense". Frankly "common sense", is not as common as some people think it is. The poor sheep is led to believe because they (the Lutherites and Catholic) look the same, and sound the same (say in worship), that their words must mean the same!

Here is what Walther said about Lutherans being 'kathlic'. You can check the full article here.

Now perhaps others will say: "So you don't want that! Fine, then call yourselves Catholic. But to this suggestion we say: God forbid! Indeed the laughable accusation is often made against Lutherans that they are very much like the Catholics. but who was it that first in public writings truly attacked the Roman papacy as the chair of the antichrist. revealed it to all the world, mortally wounded and killed it? Was it Zwingli? Was it Calvin? Was it Wesley? Wasn't it our Luther? Did not all other true and supposed reformers continue the attack on the enemy from within the fortress which Luther had taken in the heat of battle? How could Lutherans call themselves "Catholic" when the archenemy of the Lutheran church calls himself by this name so that with this beautiful name he might hold captive the consciences of the souls freed by Christ? For indeed the name "Catholic" is a glorious name for it means the universal Christian church which was established by the apostles and spread out upon all the earth outside of which there is no salvation. Obviously no one can be a Christian who would not confess himself as belonging to the church which is catholic or universal in the truth. And there was a time when the true church used this name and with this name separated herself from all false doctrines and their sects. And it has a glorious sound. How wonderful the name catholic sounds. For example, in the mouth of Athenasius or Augustine when they use it against the sects of the Arian, the Donatists and others. How glorious the name rings in the time of the Roman bishop Gregory the Great who completely rejected the title of the universal bishop of Christianity. Gregory wrote to Eulogius, bishop of Alexandria among other things: "You allowed a haughty designation in the title
of your letter in that you grant me the title of the universal pope. I ask that hence forth you do no such thing." (L. VIII. ep. 30). In another place this Roman bishop (who died in 604 AD) wrote that until his time no Roman bishops had been willing to carry this title for fear that the true faith would be lost and a bishop would become the forerunner of the antichrist. While the bishops of Rome still wrote in this manner and were appalled that by accepting the title of universal bishop over all Christianity Christ, who is the true head of the entire church, would be robbed of his honor - at that time there was still a true church which called itself the catholic or universal church. But what is the meaning of the word "Catholic Church" now? It is the fellowship of those who recognize the bishop of Rome as the head of the church, as standing in the place of Christ and God himself. They recognize him as infallible and give his commands unconditional obedience. They must therefore worship all the unquestionable errors of the papacy such as: the sacrifice of the Mass, praying to the saints, purgatory, the worship of images and relics, the pope's indulgence, human works unto salvation and self chosen works, the forbidding of the bible and marriage, tradition or the unwritten Word of God, compulsory fasts etc. etc. which all the confessions and catechisms of the new Roman Catholic Church teach along with the explicit explanation that outside of this faith no one can be saved. (Prof. fid. cath. e Conc. Trid. a S.P. Pio IV extracta, No. 28) Since from this it is now clear that the name "Catholic" has a new meaning, namely the Roman papacy with all its atrocities and in no way the universal Christian Church, and thus indicates a sect, obviously no one who recognizes the Word of God as the true rule of the Christian faith can trouble us to use this name.



This is one of Walther's best comments. I have his Law and Gospel book and I find very little success in testing my scepticism on what he wrote there. My skepticism often goes home, licked. I am sure I will find something I can disagree with, I have one but this is not one of them.

Here is my observation. Poping groups will first stress that you are a small c "catholic". Since they have the sophistic mentality already in place, it won't be long until the small c gets played up in the discussion and with a slight of word usage, you are now no longer talking about being small c "catholic", you are now transitioned to the big C, "Catholic". If that word is so precious to you and you idolized that word such that you must have it, well, I can only say, you are on your way to home sweet Rome.

I like what Pr. Mark said to me (one of our LCA pastors) on this blog and what Pr. Brett (my pastor) said in discussion: one day, they may even deny us the name Lutheran, and we would not even be shocked or awed or sorry for it. Why? Because we are not into a name, we are into the Gospel, it does not matter what they call or do not call us. When people are into JBFA i.e. the Gospel, they do not quibble about their labels, they are just convenient terms for quick positional identification and location.

It is not the name that counts but the meaning of what is behind it. That is the question.

34 comments:

Doorman-Priest said...

Most definately small "c" here. Don't like big "c" vat all.

Doorman-Priest said...

..or even "at all".

Xan said...

Perhaps I'm underestimating the threat from the "crypto-Papists", but I don't think we should be so hasty to throw out the word "catholic".

I still find it extremely jarring when the LCMS confesses belief in the "holy Christian church" when reciting the Apostles' Creed. It's not what the Creed says, so it's simply wrong. There's no reason why a deficiency of 16th-century German should make us throw out an important word like "catholic".

Every creedal denomination uses the word "catholic" in the Creed, from Presbyterians to ELCA to Anglicans to Methodists. It was hearing a group of Presbyterians confessing to being "catholic" that first got me to thinking there was more to being catholic than being Catholic.

As far as Walther's comments: he was writing in a time before acreedal megachurches. I think there is enormous danger in rejecting terms that connect us to historic Christianity, especially if they appear so prominently in what are effectively founding documents.

Basically, surrendering the word "catholic" to the Roman church is along the lines of surrendering historic Christianity to it, or at least would give that appearance. I think it's more important to have the discussion, to be able to point out that to be Lutheran is to be catholic and to be catholic is to be Lutheran.

steve martin said...

I'm with Xan on this one.

Should we not call ourselves Christians anymore because of what the fundamentalists have done to the name?

Let's not be ashamed of a word that has a legimate meaning...'universal'.

Thanks!

- Steve Martin San Clemente, CA

Sch├╝tz said...

You know, LP, Walther here talks a lot of sense, but it only shows how "non-catholic" his Lutheranism actually was.

"How wonderful the name catholic sounds. For example, in the mouth of Athenasius or Augustine when they use it against the sects of the Arian, the Donatists and others. "

But when the boot is on the other foot (ie. when you are the heretic and not the Catholic) it doesn't sound so nice, eh?

"How glorious the name rings in the time of the Roman bishop Gregory the Great who completely rejected the title of the universal bishop of Christianity."

And rightly so. Neither does the Bishop of Rome today claim such a title. He is a local bishop, the first among bishops, the "prius", the primate, and he has universal jurisdiction in the Church as Bishop of Rome, but not as a "universal bishop". He is not above his brother bishops as if like some sort of "super bishop". There is no such title as "universal bishop" in the Church, except, as Walther points out, perhaps Christ himself.

"But what is the meaning of the word "Catholic Church" now? It is the fellowship of those who recognize the bishop of Rome as the head of the church, as standing in the place of Christ and God himself."

Well, yes and no. First, lets be quite clear that the Pope is not the Head of the Church. Walther is right, and Benedict would agree: Christ is the Head of the Church.

On the other hand, there is no meaningful use of the word "Catholic" today which does not include communion with the Bishop of Rome.

"They must therefore worship all the unquestionable errors of the papacy such as: the sacrifice of the Mass, praying to the saints, purgatory, the worship of images and relics, the pope's indulgence, human works unto salvation and self chosen works, the forbidding of the bible and marriage, tradition or the unwritten Word of God, compulsory fasts etc. etc. which all the confessions and catechisms of the new Roman Catholic Church teach along with the explicit explanation that outside of this faith no one can be saved."

Well, what a show bag of horrors! If Walther were prepared to get down off his high horse and have a bit of chat to a real Catholic (rather than his straw-Catholic he sets up) he might learn that these horrors are in fact part and parcel of the Gospel, properly understood.

I would hope that no readers of your blog, LP, would simply accept this 150 year old accusation without entering into some sort of dialogue to understand what we actually mean by these doctrines.

L P Cruz said...

Xan/Steve

I can understand why congregations use I believe Luther's translation of the creed.

You see in my observation, some Lutherans when they say they subscribe to the confession, they mean the subscribe to THE WORDS.

I have learned that no, this is not true, we subscribe to the MEANING of the words, not the words per se.

For example, the modalist and arians subscribe to the Apostles Creed too! But we do not **mean** the same by those words!

You can see how the word catholic/Catholic plays up in discussion with RC e-pologist and papistic Lutherites, look at the comments in the 'Irenic' post.

In my work of re-evangelization, I attempt to go through the Small Cath. Pentecostal friends in my home bible study, stumble upon that word 'catholic', since they were former RC before becoming Pentys.

So I think Walther is correct. However, the word that should be recovered is not 'catholic', it is the word 'evangelical' because that is what the Reformers called themselves. They did not use any other label but that.

Blessings,

LPC

L P Cruz said...

Schutzie,

On the other hand, there is no meaningful use of the word "Catholic" today which does not include communion with the Bishop of Rome

But I should think you have proven his point in saying that.

Well, B16 might confess that CHrist is the Head of the Church, but is he not his Vicar for the whole Church, as claimed?

"Pontifex Maximus", is that title obliterated now in Roman History? Is that rejected now?

LPC

Past Elder said...

The Creed doesn't use Christian as an adjective for the church. It uses catholic, or rather a Greek word whose English cognate is catholic. Perpetuating a German mistranslation into English makes us look like we have something to hide, or something at which we cannot look.

So I disagree with you both. Actually, there is no meaningful use of the word catholic to-day which DOES include communion with the Bishop of Rome, or in the title he borrows from the Imperial Roman state religion he co-opts, pontifex maximus.

The word in the Creed is an adjective -- not a name, not a noun, not a proper adjective. Not that hard to explain. The church with some explaining to do -- and they're more than ready to do it -- is the church which appropriated and uses this beautiful adjective as a proper adjective and name.

The difference between catholic and Catholic is not word play. There is a difference, and an essential one.

Xan said...

LP,

If your Pentecostal friends are stumbling over the word "catholic" in the Creed, then it's the Creed they have an issue with, not a particular issue of Lutheranism.

This is a great opportunity to point out how the word "catholic" has been highjacked by Rome, and does not mean what they tell you it means. Lutherans say this about a lot of words that Rome uses; why should this one be different?

It's an issue that must be met head-on, and we DO have an excellent explanation. To gloss over the issue by picking another word we like better cannot be the answer.

As PE points out, when people then discover what the Creed REALLY says, they will wonder why the truth was covered up.

I really am astounded that LCMS still uses "Christian" in the Creed, and that anybody would argue in support of this. It is CHANGING THE CREED. Surely that's a Bad Idea (tm)?

L P Cruz said...

Xan,

It's an issue that must be met head-on, and we DO have an excellent explanation. To gloss over the issue by picking another word we like better cannot be the answer.

Do not worry, this is exatly what I try to do. They are comfortable now.

It is the MEANING and not the fixation to the word that matters though. Once the meaning of the word has been identified - the proper meaning of course, all becomes well.

As I said both modalist, arians and orthodox recite the creed that is why the Nicene Creed had to come in to clarify that, so we stick to the meaning of the words.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Xan, at the end of the day, use of the word, Catholic is NOT the issue.

The issue is the GOSPEL. Surrendering the Gospel IS surrendering historic Christianity.

Walther has every right in rejecting the use of the word, Catholic. And I profoundly disagree that he would have taught otherwise were he to be alive today. Of course, I will NEVER EVER concede the term, Catholic to the Roman Church in the authentic, true, historic, etc. sense.

But you would be mistaken if you think the battle if just over quibbling over semantics.

It is the Gospel. What is the heart and centre of the Gospel? JFBA.

What is JFBA? The SINNER is declared JUST. JFBA means you are a sinner and saint AT THE SAME TIME. Righteousness therefore is EXTRA NOS, an alien imputation.

Now don't tell me that aint a DIFFERENT religion from Rome.

Protestant Reformation (PR) is monergistic; Rome is synergistic.

Protestant Reformation is imputation; Rome is infusion.

Protestant Reformation is eschatological; Rome is ontological

Protestant Reformation is faith alone; Rome is grace alone

Augustinian Successor said...

"And rightly so. Neither does the Bishop of Rome today claim such a title. He is a local bishop, the first among bishops, the "prius", the primate, and he has universal jurisdiction in the Church as Bishop of Rome, but not as a "universal bishop". He is not above his brother bishops as if like some sort of "super bishop". There is no such title as "universal bishop" in the Church, except, as Walther points out, perhaps Christ himself."

You are lying through your teeth or plain ignorant. I doubt it is the latter. Walther has not mispresented Romanism at all.

The Bishop of Rome may claim he is the Servus Servorum Dei (Servant of the Servants of God), but he is the only "Vicar of Christ" on earth. And what does Vicar means? It means precisely that the pope is the visible representation of Christ as Head of the Church on earth. No other bishop or patriarchs can claim that title.

And this statement of yours is particularly ludicrous and risible: "the primate, and he has universal jurisdiction in the Church as Bishop of Rome, but not as a "universal bishop"."

How can the Bishop of Rome exercise UNIVERSAL juridiction as a LOCAL bishop? He can only do so if is he is the UNIVERSAL bishop!

READ VATICAN 1 *AND* VATICAN 2 AGAIN.

L P Cruz said...

Absolutely, we have no fixation to the word - catholic or to the term.

When I was a Roman kid, you hear people saying 'oh, yes, Jesus died for the world'. You hear this repeated over and over. It is good in that it is the truth.

The problem though is that they do not know what that means, because at the end of the day, they still hope that their novenas, their doing the Rosary, vows and what nots etc etc are the ones that merit them standing with God.

In fact they even consider that they are good people because they have fulfilled some religious devotion, for example like having a chapel built for a town.

It is true, when you teach people that they can pay for their salvation, they will try and do that and play tit for tat with God.

LPC

L P Cruz said...

P.E.

catholic and Catholic is not word play. There is a difference, and an essential one

The one playing word play is the RCC, and not the Protestants. That is my point.

It is not without wisdom that RCC has been charged with sophism by the Reformers.

The truth is the same with crypto-Papists, they have the skill of sophistry subtly ingrained already in their psyche because - a little leaven, leavens the whole lump.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

No doubt self-delusion is the one mark of apostasy in these days, the mark of the spirit of the last days Antichrist.

Rome teaches that the Roman Pontiff the "supreme teacher of hte universal church". No, converts to Rome like Schutz would insist. He is only a senior bishop by virtue of honour. That's all. Can you get any deluded than that?

Rome teaches that Protestantism is heresy. No, Rome-wannabes like the SSP insist that Lutheranism is not Protestantism and AC is a Catholic document. The Lutheran teaching of sola fide is precisely condemned as anathema by Trent. Can you get any deluded than that?

Rome teaches that there is no Mass unless celebrated by its priests. No, Rome-wannabes gloss over that. They keep a thundering silence on the Sacrifice of the Mass. There is a Timothy Day who claims to be a religious teacher. Day quotes from B16 and then try to applies it in a Lutheran context. I reminded him that the Roman Mass is a SACRIFICIUM. The movement is upward. The Lutheran Mass is a BENEFICIUM. The movement is down-to-earth. Participation is precisely participation in the eating and drinking.

Roman Mass is OFFERED up to placate God.

In CONSUMING the Lutheran Mass, God is placated.

How different can that be?

Augustinian Successor said...

The Roman Baptism is initial justification. It is divorced from penance, i.e. second justification.

The Lutheran Baptism IS justification is the Christian life. It includes penance.

The Roman Mass is re-presenting the Cross. It applies the Cross by RE-OFFERING.

The Lutheran Mass is extending the Cross. It applies the Cross by RE-DISTRIBUTING.

Roman grace is a thing INTO man.

Lutheran grace is a favour TO man.

The Roman sinner is stripped of grace, denuded, severely wounded, seriously weakened, etc. etc.

The Lutheran sinner is DEAD. Period.

steve martin said...

I believe we ought keep the adjective 'catholic', and educate the congregants as to it's meaning.

As pointed out, the RC's and others have different meanings for many of the same word we use; grace, sanctification, justification, yada yada yada. Where will we end up if we start changing words because we are afraid of the other's use of the word?

Thanks.

- Steve Martin

L P Cruz said...

Steve,

To educate the people is always beneficial. Point well taken.

I take the word means 'universal'. Meaning as found in Scripture, we are one body but many members. Hence we are diverse. It encompasses all tribes and tongues.

The Meiderlin quote embodies that catholicity in my thinking. It is also with 'pride' that that quote which is often quoted was originated by a Lutheran.

In essentials (the Gospel) unity, in non-essentials (adiaphora) liberty, in all things charity

When a non-essential has been turned to a divine command, there is where catholicism breaks.

Luther at the Smalcald Articles I note quoted Jesus words often - teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Blessings,

LPC

steve martin said...

l p cruz,

I do think you have something there. I do feel it is a shame to have to give up at a certain point and "get with it". Trouble is that "getting with it" often leads to more trouble.

The stream of history moves on and waits for none.

It is a different age.

Thanks L.P.!

- Steve

L P Cruz said...

Steve,

I must say that we have the habit of retreating and one of that would be in the area of labels. Perhaps our heart is in place correctly that is why we do not quibble. However we allow other easily to high jack our terms and we do not fight for it at least for the sake of accuracy in conversation.

Take the case for the word 'evangelical'. American Lutherans are allergic to this term because it has been high jacked by fundamentalist groups.
As a counter reaction, I notice that so called 'confessing' ones completely deny the 'evangelical-ness' of the BoC and our doctrines.

However, yet the German Lutherans in Germany upto today still maintain that label for themselves.

Over where I am, my Synod completely accepts for themselves the label Protestant. Of course we make a qualification, we are Protestant but 'not that kind of Protestant over there'.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

"I do think you have something there. I do feel it is a shame to have to give up at a certain point and "get with it".

The problem is not with the word, "Catholic", adjectival or noun, but the fact of the matter is that you must acknowledge is NEVER enough to retain the word, Catholic. To be a Catholic IS TO BE a Protestant. To be a PROTESTANT is to be a CATHOLIC.

Protestant and Catholic are NOT opposing terms, but COMPLEMENTARY. If you think you're a Catholic but not a Protestant, you've a thing going but it is not the right direction.

Remember, Protestant and Catholic are mutually INCLUSIVE terms.

Augustinian Successor said...

That's to say, if I have to choose between Protestant and Catholic, I'll take Protestant anytime of the day. But, I do NOT have to choose.

It's not enough to talk about Catholic, one must assert Protestant too. And this is precisely what we've been doing.

Christine said...

Perpetuating a German mistranslation into English

Mistranslation? What mistranslation? Back in Ostpreussen my Prussian Lutheran mother's congregation very deliberately used "Christian" instead of "catholic" to distinguish themselves as Evangelical Lutherans from the Catholic Church.

"katolische Kirche" and "eine heilige christliche Kirche " are two different nomenclatures, if you please!

Christine said...

The Roman Mass is re-presenting the Cross. It applies the Cross by RE-OFFERING.

Wrong.

Past Elder said...

Christine, once again, another I did not say, about something I did not say.

I did not say the German mistranslates itself. I said, the German christliche mistranslates the Greek. The Greek word does not mean "Christian". Some scholars argue that this usage in German text creeds pre-dates the Reformation, but all agree that using it took on additional meaning with and since the Reformation precisely for the reason you state, to distinguish oneself from the Catholic Church.

It is precisely this effort which has robbed Lutheranism, including and maybe particularly here in the US, of much that is its own -- the sign of the cross and on and on -- to the extent that their recovery in accordance with our Confessions strikes some, even if the do not operate out of a mindeset which takes itself to hold the Anglican, Reformed and Lutheran faith simultaneously, as Romanising.

BTW, the other day in my work it was my pleasure to speak with an American woman of German origin, who conferenced in her mother, the two of whom spoke in German -- and I enjoyed for the first time in quite some time a conversation in clear unaccented (=Bavarian, of course) German, and understood every word! Not only that, but as the conversation included reference to some things in Latin America, her Spanish pronunciation was quite good too! I could not resist, though it put a dent in my calls per hour, telling her about my French teacher as a kid -- the pre-Revolution Russian woman who spoke French since it was the language of the court, with the result that I am the only person I know who speaks really bad French (that's my part) with a Russian accent to boot (that's her part). On the other hand, I have been told my German is very nearly unaccented (=Bavarian, of course).

L P Cruz said...

P.E.

to distinguish oneself from the Catholic Church

If the German Lutherans of old chose this way of reciting the creed to distinguish themselves, then that is how Lutherans should understand the intent of their version of the creed.

The point is that ---they want to distinguish themselves. The Augsburg Confession has already stated that there are variations in rites etc.

Therefore, they are not as Romainzing as some want them to look and be.

I share the implication of what Christine said then, meaning they rather be Evangelical rather than Catholic, which you and the SSP seem to deny.

Whats is up with that?

LPC

Past Elder said...

What's up with that is the word is katholike, and that doesn't translate to Christian.

You sound like WELS. One time, I took this up with one of the Milwaukee crowd, who explained "Christian" was a valid translation of katholike because either word refers to the same reality of church. Oy.

In biblical translation, this business of pushing words to one side to translate meanings is the source of all these crap translations that abound. Who is to say your meaning is the meaning? And your meaning will be expressed in, holy crap, words! Using words in accord with their meaning is just part of leaving baby babble for spoken language.

Re the English cognate of the Greek katholike, if you want to ignore simple fidelity to the text and make some sort of statement, then use the word for what it means rather than concede it to the damnable appropriation of by an apostate church. It's ours, not theirs.

Xan said...

PE can answer for himself, but I believe he's saying that the original mistranslation was simply a result of a missing word in German, and then others who were concerned about appearing Roman, such as yourself, decided to declare it a distinguishing characteristic of the Lutheran faith. Which it isn't; it's a mistranslation.

Lito, you claim that it's Romanizing to use "catholic" in the Creed. But there's not much more anti-Roman than claiming to be catholic without being in communion with the Pope.

Why should confessional Lutheranism, which most everybody here (well, all the Lutherans :-) believes is closest to the true catholic faith, be the ONLY group to drop the word "catholic" from the Creed?

L P Cruz said...

Xan,

My point is that there was a deliberate attempt to distinguish themselves as per tradition - they used the word Evangelical.

SO my my point is that they recognized the fuzziness now that has happened with the word. Hence, this was the point of Walther too.

We know 'catholic' means universal but to the Roman Catholic, they find ways to say that word 'catholic' refers to them.

Let me give an example and this is funny. Back home we have a cult - Iglesia ni Christo, translated "Church of Christ". This is not the same as those you have there.

Now when they argue to convince simplistic folk, they would point to people that their churches have always existed 2000 years ago? What is the proof? They point to Romans 16:16. They say, who is this church that is mentioned here. They say, it is them, why? Because that is their name.

This is absurd reasoning but this cult is so successful it has been exported already in the USA in the 1950s and they have followers there.

It was not without reason that the Reformers charged the Romans of sophistry. Sophisty begins with "words" and how they can be explored due to their various meanings.


LPC

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, I have been told my German is very nearly unaccented (=Bavarian, of course).

You've probably got me beat there, my friend! When we left Germany I got very used to my mother's "Hochdeutsch" so when we went back home for visits I could hardly understand some of them dang Bavarians !!

I have no problem with associating Confessional Lutherans with the term "catholic" because they truly are. I may be a Romanist but there will never be a time I walk into a Confessional Lutheran congregation and not feel comfortable.

And I think the SSP is awesome !!

Christine said...

The prior post was mine.

Past Elder said...

What is sophistry is trying to make an authentic point by falsifying a text.

Christine, I wonder what you would have thought of "Stearns County Dutch". (Stearns County = wo die Abtei ist). Probably the only place in the world where you could go into the VFW and German was being spoken!

Perhaps the Pacific readers might enjoy a joke from that time and place -- don't know why the Catholics and the Lutherans thought they had any real differences, the first thing either one of them does when they land some place is set up a brewery.

Christine said...

Stearns County Dutch". (Stearns County = wo die Abtei ist).

Hi Past Elder!

Aha, die Abtei -- Stearns County, Minnesota! Are they anything like the "Pennsylvania" Dutch ??

don't know why the Catholics and the Lutherans thought they had any real differences, the first thing either one of them does when they land some place is set up a brewery.

Tee hee, but of course! That's why so many of us (including myself) have one Catholic and one Lutheran parent! Gosh, that makes me think back to my visit to the magnificent Benedictine Abbey of Weltenburg in Bavaria. Ah, das Klosterbier! Them thar monks sure know how to brew beer!! (and boy did the beer cellar smell good!!)

Past Elder said...

I believe some of them did come from Pennsylvania. Many came as draft-dodgers in the Franco-Prussian War. You know, of course, Mad Louie was the original benefactor -- and that Wagner for a time considered locating the Festspielhaus in Minnesota. The oldest were 48ers.

I am sure by now assimilation has worked its course and German is barely heard. And this in a place that responded to the anti-German hysteria in WWI with the slogan Bei uns draussen!

Oh well, it was once part of the LCMS constitution that all synodical conventions were to be conducted in German. Maybe we should go back to that -- it would shut a lot of our own idiots up!

Then again, some clown would shout Erleuchtet! -- which I think also carries connotations of enlightened. In Flammen vielleicht?