In a rare editorial, I, Bergen Eickhoff, would like to speak from my role as the Proclaim Representative at Luther Seminary and Editor of The Concord.
Yesterday morning you were sent an email from President Robin Steinke detailing how the Executive Leadership Team has decided not to bring a proposal from the Student Council before the Board of Directors that would have asked the Board to become a Reconciling in Christ Seminary by 2024. Beyond being an incredibly disrespectful dismissal of the Student Council’s attempt to bring a proposal before the Board of Directors, it was also filled with misinformation and dangerous rhetoric that does not provide an accurate characterization of the Student Council’s efforts or the experience of LGBTQIA2S+ students at the seminary.
This email hurt my heart as a student committed both to justice and to clear and honest communication. So because I have been present with the current movement to see Luther become a Reconciling in Christ seminary, I thought that I would provide an annotated version of President Steinke’s initial message to let you know the full story and explain why the words of this message are so harmful. Though this is a long annotated response to President Steinke and a vulnerable one, I hope that you will read it. The President’s words have done great harm to a number of students, and I hope that my words can explain why.