Monday, July 28, 2008

Lutherans to Apologize for 500-year-old Crimes

During the Reformation, there was only one thing upon which Lutheran and Roman Catholic forces could agree, at least in the political sphere:  that Anabaptists should be exterminated.  Much bloodthirsty warfare ensued, notably the Siege of Munster, not to mention widespread persecution.

The Lutheran Word Federation is making plans to issue a public apology to the Anabaptists, including Mennonites and Amish.  In the oft-ridiculed world of apologies for things that one's ancestors did, this qualifies as a comparatively reasonable and purposeful example.  It will help to heal an old wound, and allow smoother working relations between two modern church bodies with a strong commitment to works of peace and justice.

Our question, which will probably not help much with those things, is this:  When will Anabaptists apologize to the rest of Christianity for introducing the historically and theologically anomalous idea that we should withhold baptism from infants? 

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