IRD: 'Theology' of angry, foul-mouthed Lutheran far from biblical

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Michael F. Haverluck (

Nadia Bolz-Weber (liberal theologian)A self-proclaimed "public theologian" is being taken to task for a profane tweet targeting a Christian businessman whose religious freedoms have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Since stepping down as pastor of a small church in Denver (affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), Nadia Bolz-Weber (pictured) has become a popular speaker and writer known for her "authentic" obscenity and vulgarity, as seen in her latest tweet.

Bolz-Weber recently aimed her vitriol at the Christian baker in Denver who won his U.S. Supreme Court case after being sued for declining to make a pro-LGBT wedding cake because it violated his sincerely held religious beliefs. Her following tweet (@Sarcasticluther) to her 93,000 followers included a photo of her middle finger extended as she stood outside Jack Phillips' bakery:

"My 12-step program is next door to Masterpiece Cake Shop (of anti-gay fame), so as an act of resistance, I always choose to take up their best parking places. It's the little things…"

Bolz-Weber is the founder and former pastor of an ELCA congregation in Denver, House for All Sinners and Saints. According to a BBC report in 2015, one-third of the congregation at that time was from the LGBT community – and a drag queen served as "minister of fabulousness."

In a blog on the Juicy Ecumenism website, Mark Tooley – president of The Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) – addresses Bolz-Weber's latest antics.

"Masterpiece is owned by Jack Phillips – an Evangelical Christian who in 2013 declined to bake a cake for a same sex rite, which led to five years of harassment by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission," he writes.

Tooley, Mark (IRD)"Hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation would have destroyed his business, but for the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, which took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 7–2 ruling in 2018, the court ruled for him, judging the human rights commission had disdained his religious beliefs as protected by the First Amendment."

In his blog, Tooley points out the Lutheran's hypocrisy.

"Evidently, Bolz-Weber also disdains the baker's religious beliefs and his rights to freedom of speech, which she rightly guards for herself and regrettably exploits for obscene and other dubious causes," Tooley contends. "That Philips is an Evangelical who upholds traditional marriage teaching makes him contemptible and an easy target for her and for much of secular culture."

He argues that the only religion she attacks is the one she's ordained to defend.

"Would Bolz-Weber have given her middle finger to Phillips if he were a Muslim upholding Islamic teaching? Or a Hindu? Doubtful," Tooley poses. "She likely portrays herself as a champion of non-Christian minorities, even while ignoring their traditionalist views. Evangelicals, in contrast, are uniquely viewed as justified targets, especially when upholding historic Christian teaching on marriage."

But Tooley maintains that the world isn't sold on a progressive worldview of Christianity.

"Angry critics like Bolz-Weber like to shame traditional Christians for not surrendering to secular demands, while forgetting that their own liberal Protestantism is itself a tiny and shrinking percentage of global Christianity," Tooley points out.

"Her own liberal denomination didn't liberalize its marriage teaching until about a decade ago, followed by accelerating membership decline. As less than 5% of Americans belong to denominations with liberal sexual teachings, the percentage of global population belonging to sexually liberal religions is even smaller, yet persons like Bolz-Weber – because they echo Western secular culture and its elites – presumptuously assume they speak from a majority perspective, and owe no respect to Christian traditionalists."

According to Tooley, "progressive religionists" like Bolz-Weber claim to advocate for minorities and underdogs – but only if they are of the "politically correct" genre.

"Religious people who are despised and mocked by secular culture are likewise despised and mocked by Bolz-Weber and her kindred progressive spirits," he explains.

The IRD president calls out the liberal theologian for always siding with politically correct activists.

"Purportedly, Bolz-Weber is a brave nonconformist, but she's not brave enough to defend the rights of unpopular persons," the head of IRD adds. "She presumably was just fine with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission – with its levers of authority and coercion – demanding that Jack Phillips relinquish his freedom of speech, and she apparently was fine when the commission tried to browbeat him into submission and/or bankruptcy."

He argues that secularists are more mindful of religious rights than the leftist ex-pastor.

"The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately had more respect for the humanity and basic rights of an isolated religious small business owner than did Bolz-Weber, the pastor/activist/advocate for the downtrodden who supposedly cares for the voiceless," Tuesday insists.

"Such is her contempt for Phillips and his small business that she tweets her middle finger aimed at him while noting she routinely uses one of his parking places, merely from spite. How very Christ-like."

And while Bolz-Weber supposedly promotes tolerance, Tooley argues she is anything but tolerant of anyone supporting biblical principles.

"According to her expletive-laden writings, Bolz-Weber wants to make room for non-conformists in Christianity, but she, in turn, evidently demands her own form of conformity and her own form of rigid orthodoxy – from which dissent is not respected," he explains. "They who are insufficiently progressive merit a big middle finger, and perhaps more."

Tooley concludes by acknowledging that Bolz-Weber ultimately did delete her middle-finger tweet – but questions her motivation in doing so.


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