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December 07, 2006

Episcopalian Fairness? File Not Found

In most instances when an institution or publication decides to withdraw an article on its Web site from public view, it redirects surfers to a page that reads "file not found" or "page not available."

Not so with the Episcopal Church.

Rev. Canon Brian Grieves, director of the church's peace and justice ministries, recently agreed to take down an article falsely accusing Israel of perpetrating a massacre during the battle at Jenin in 2002. Rev. Canon Grieves made the decision after being contacted by CAMERA over inaccuracies and bias on the church's Web site.

The article is down, only to be replaced with another article about a church resolution condemning Israel for accidently shelling a chapel in Gaza in 2003. A mere "file not found" does not suffice.

A coincidence? Maybe, but in light of what the denomination has been telling people about the conflict for the past few years (and longer), probably not.

The peace and justice bodies within the Episcopal Church have studiously ignored the issue of Muslim anti-Semitism and the role it plays in fueling the Arab-Israeli conflict. An Oct. 2005 report by the church's Social Responsibility Investments Committee devotes one sentence to the issue: "The SRI Committee also notes examples of hostility and anti-Semitism of certain Arab states in the region against the state of Israel."

If the Episcopal Church were publicizing Israel's security barrier, it could be trusted to describe in great detail its impact on Palestinians. For many years, when it came to talking about issues on the other side of the conflict, the Episcopal Church's prophetic voice stammered, and then fell mute.

It was not a coincidence.

It was a pattern.

Fortunately, there are signs that this pattern is changing. The Episcopal Church's Executive Council recently passed two resolutions about the Arab-Israeli conflict, one of which calls on Hamas to accept Israel's right to exist and for it to abide by previous peace agreements.

Sadly, the replacement of one anti-Israel article for another on the Episcopal Church's website brings into question just how much has changed at the denomination.

Posted by CameraBlog at December 7, 2006 04:24 PM


I am convinced that most people who attend church don't know what their leadership is doing and if they do and disagree, they don't feel that they, as true believers, have the right to ask questions.

The point is that if dangerous or damaging thinking gets in charge of a religious group it is like to never change. What typically happens is that the few with guts pickup and start a new church near by and take the people with them who are opposed to the previous leadership.

Posted by: betterpayattention [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 13, 2006 09:05 AM

The last comment posted by "betterpayattention" remind me about "good members of Nazi party of Germany" who didn't know what Hitler is up to and doing and a popular believe in Russian empire aboit "good" Tzars and dictators, who don't know what kind of atrocities are doing with their polulation their hanchmen.

Posted by: Think again at December 27, 2006 09:47 AM

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