From the Editor

Here we go again

Michael L. Sherer

Michael L. Sherer

It’s time once more to explain what it means to be an independent journal.

Every so often I feel constrained to explain to readers exactly what it is we see our task to be at Metro Lutheran. Every time I think we’ve done that, more responses flow into our editorial office, convincing me we haven’t done it well, or convincingly, or effectively enough. So, just to keep things clear and open, here we go again.

This publication is not a house organ. We do not speak for any Lutheran group. In fact, we don’t technically speak for anybody but ourselves. Our readers speak for themselves, in our commentary and forum sections.

We are not in the censoring business. More than a year ago we had a flap over whether to publish an advertisement by a “pro-choice” group. The “pro-life” folks who took exception to that decision were almost vitriolic in their condemnation. Let me say it again: publishing an ad does not constitute endorsement of content by this publication. Those who are too intellectually or emotionally frail to deal with opposing points of view should not be reading an independent journal. When we print something you don’t like, there’s really no reason for you to take it personally.

Recently we were criticized for printing a story about what former President Jimmy Carter said at St. Olaf College. It happened in a Lutheran venue and it was news. But one reader accused us of being “left wing.” Help me to understand how printing a report about a speaker identifies us with that viewpoint. Clearly, it does not. If the Pioneer Press printed it, would that make them “left wing?” I hardly think so.

A reader in Wisconsin told us to stop sending the paper because we are “obviously pro-Arab and anti-Israel.” That came after we ran several stories explaining how Lutheran Palestinians are being treated unjustly by the Israeli government. (The Israeli government, by the way, is not to be confused with the Jewish people.) Help me to understand why reporting on the plight of oppressed Lutherans makes this publication “anti-Israel” or “anti-Jewish.”

Recently a reader suggested we are really a front organization for the ELCA because the LCMS gets only “token coverage” in Metro Lutheran. Although 70% of our constituency actually is ELCA, we make every effort to cover every Lutheran group in our readership area. I recently reviewed a year’s worth of our pages and discovered LCMS received a reasonable amount of coverage, even on our front pages.

The truth is, Metro Lutheran bends over backwards to give every point of view a fair hearing. We are not censors, and don’t intend to become such. Please, friends, cut us a little slack.

And, thanks for reading.