Some concerns have been raised in various forums about the ELCA Draft Social Statement on Genetics. ELCA FactChecker examines these concerns and offers factual responses.
Concern: Did an ELCA congregation leave the church because of the content in the draft social statement?
Response: A November 11, 2010 story in The Forum, Fargo, N.D., reported that an ELCA congregation had made such a decision, but it should be noted that prior to the congregation’s decision, this reason was not cited as a concern. The Forum also raised serious questions about the reasons for such a vote in a November 17, 2010 editorial, “First, read the ELCA statement.” That editorial stated: “There is nothing … to suggest the statement is anti-farmer, anti-science or anti-genetic research and application. It’s not about stymieing new knowledge; rather it’s about how that knowledge is used and what could be the moral/spiritual implications of misuse.”
The editorial continued: “In other words, the ELCA draft social statement is in keeping with church tradition. The church has historically embraced its responsibility to develop frameworks for teaching and deliberating about issues that confront a modern, rapidly changing technological society.”