Dr. Christianson asks Dr. Daryl Black, new President and Executive Director of the Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum, the question, “Why do we have museums and should they do more than just collect “keepsakes”? Dr. Black describes the change in museums over the past two decades from emphasizing a collection of items, e.g. rifles, to interpretation of these items in the wider context of the need for human beings to make meaning of the past. He illustrates this with the conflicting ways North and South used the Bible and even viewed God in the Civil War.
In this episode, a theologian, Dr. Largen, and a historian, Rev. Dr. Maria Erling, talk about the construction of Lutheran identity, and how it relates both to theological doctrines and also social, historical context. The issue of slavery is discussed as one example of such identity construction.
Dr. Largen speaks with The Rev. Dr. Martin Zimmann, Pastor, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mechanicsburg, PA, about the importance of talking about issues of race and culture in the church. Pastor Zimmann offers some helpful strategies for beginning the conversation.
Shirley Armstrong, Psychological Counselor and Peer Education Advisor at Gettysburg College describes the goals of The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations. RIC recognizes Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender believers. She discusses the need for churches to make a statement on the subject, but stresses that the main objective is to get people talking with each other, not simply taking votes.
Recorded before a live audience at St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg PA, Dr. Christianson disusses with Kristin Rice how her office is a ministry as well as an essential public service, balancing justice with a fair trial and compassion. Publically financed defenders were established as late as the 1963 when the Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment guarantees legal counsel to poor defendants in criminal cases. She believes that the next frontier in her field must be the improvement of mental health services, and she continues her opposition to the death penalty.
Dr. Christianson talks to Stephen Niebler, Executive Director, Adams County Council for Aging about important issues around aging. How to avoid family conflicts over the right to die as in the cases of Casey Kasem or Terri Schiavo. What to do when you suspect abuse of an older person-- financial, physical, or emotional. The most important local issues that impact on the aging: transportation, housing, trying to understand complicated forms—in health, banking, Social Security, etc.
Seminarian Lamar Bailey describes his background in public policy to Dr. Largen, and offers a compelling argument for the church to be more involved in the world: “being a member of a congregation also means being a member of the community.”
Dr. Christian speaks with Kate Michelman, past President of Pro-Choice America and author, With Liberty and Justice for All. She believes that a woman’s reproductive rights are fundamental but that these rights suffer more restrictions today than at any time since the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade. Some progress is evident in wages and career opportunities for women, but far short of the goal of total equality.
Dr. Strobert talks with Dr. Charles Brown, Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics at Payne Theological Seminary about the background, work and continuing legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.