ELCA is definitely not right wing Sparky. If anything, they are middle or left leaning. I was raised ELCA.
BRUTUS BUCKEYE WILL TAKE YOU DOWN...
If you don't mind my asking, what is your general opinion of the Missouri Synod? My wife and I were looking for a church recently (before joining our current ELCIC congregation) and we visted a Missouri Synod church, but they would not let us have communion becasue we were from a different denomination. My parents also gave me am an ELCA-bashing book written by people from the Missouri synod. I have fairly conservative theological beliefs myself, but that book was really fundamentalist in tone. I was a bit wierded out by the whole experience,
You are correct in that the LCMS will take communion with very few other religious denominations, and that is especially so with the ELCA. They, absolutely, will not take communion with ELCA members, as well as many other denominations.
The ELCA "began" sometime in the late 1980's as a direct split from the more fundamentalist, conservative tenants that were taught in the LCMS, as well as the Wisconsin Synod of the Lutheran Church. The split, in large part, was due to the LCMS' (and Wisconsin's) belief that the bible is the literal inspired word of God, which meant that there was no room for differing interpretations of scripture; it is the literal, inspired word of God. The ELCA's phrase that we use is that the bible contains the word of God, but is not necessarily the literal, inspired word of God. In short, this led to the split.
Rather than myself going into more detail, I have included the link below to the the LCMS' position on the split with the ELCA. The LCMS will not take communion with the ELCA because of these fundamental differences in doctrine, but the ELCA will take communion with them, as well as most other Christian traditions.
For the record, I am now an official memeber of an ELCA church, but still hold the LCMS dear to my heart, because of my first paragraph, and am still considered a member in my home church in Minnesota that I was raised and confirmed in, even though I am a fairly devout ELCA Lutheran.
UNI Panthers...Because it's just right.