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February 15, 2008

Philadelphia Columnist Condemns Biased Statement

Herb Denenberg, a columnist for The Bulletin, a family newspaper published in Philadelphia, takes on a dishonest statement issued by a group within the Presbyterian Church (USA).

In a piece titled, "Is The P.C.U.S.A. Peacemaking Or Promoting More Hatred?," Deneberg writes there's little difference betweeen the National Middle Eastern Presbyterian Caucus and the PC(USA) itself:

The PCUSA posts NMEPC statements on its Web site, provides it with logistical support and publicizes its work through its Presbyterian News Service. What's more, the general approach of the NMEPC is in line with the actions of the PCUSA's General Assembly. So although when asked, the PCUSA will not assume responsibility for the NMEPC, when all the dancing and dodging is over, the PCUSA lends its full resources, power and credibility to the NMEPC. So in this column I will usually refer to the statement, "A Call to End the Siege of Gaza," as the position of the PCUSA itself, without constant references to the NMEPC.

Now, one might disagree with Deneberg's reasoning, but the PC(USA)'s leadership has not disassociated itself from the statement issued by the caucus. And Denenberg is right when he states the denomination lent "its full resources, power and credibility to the NMEPC." A statement from Clifton Kirkpatrick, the denomination's stated clerk, distancing the denomination's leadership from the NMEPC's polemic, might have been helpful. Live and learn.

Deneberg then lists the words used to describe Israeli and Palestinian actions. Here's what he found:

* Description Of Israeli Occupation: Criminal; Inhumane; Immoral; Cruel; Collective punishment; Indiscriminate terrorization; Illegal; Confiscatory; Prejudicial; Reckless; Violation of international law; Violation of universal standards; of human rights; Targeted assassinations; Hurling region into chaos; Intimidation; Imprisonment (of Palestinians) Blatant savagery; Blockade; Siege; Punitive; Domination; Oppression

* Description Of Palestinian Violence: Militant methodology

Note the contrast. When describing the Israeli occupation, the PCUSA piles on every pejorative available in the strongest form of condemnation. I've listed 20 above, so this may go down with the record for bias set by USA Today (see box accompanying this story). However, when it comes time to describe Palestinian terrorism, suicide bombers, the deliberate slaughter of women and children and other civilians, the use of children and women as suicide bombers, the best the PCUSA can do is to speak of "militant methodology." "Militant" is the softest term possible for those preaching and practicing deliberate mass murder and even genocide. Joan of Arc has been described in one history book as a "Church militant." And then "methodology," which almost summons up some scholar putting together his theory of what is going on. If that doesn't show the clear bias, distortion and one-sidedness of the PCUSA's statement, I don't know what would. It's Israeli criminals versus Palestinian "militants." It's Israeli savagery and immorality versus Palestinian "methodology." No, the PCUSA isn't even satisfied with finding the Israelis to be guilty of "savagery." They make it "blatant savagery."

Read the rest.

Posted by dvz at February 15, 2008 04:20 PM


Most old mainline Protestant denominations consist of empty pews and irrelevant social messages nowadays, as their congragations continue to melt away to the evangelicals. Their leadership, failing as relevant religious teachers, have desperately grasped at political activism, with an emphasis on anti-Israel advocacy such as divestment, as a last ditch attempt at garnering attention and relevancy.A few, such as the Quakers and Mennonites, are simply vehemently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. They are true believers The rest, such as the Presbyterians, Methodists, or at least their political arms, are simply a like mind3ed pack of opportunists, who offer so-called 'moral beliefs" as flinsy camouflage for their Jew hatred.

Posted by: F R Silbey at February 24, 2008 01:01 PM

Re: Dennenberg's post on the language differences PC(USA) uses when describing the arab vs. jew conflict in the ME.

There are three types of peace persons: peacefakers who sue for peace at any cost; peacebreakers who take sides and divide; and peacemakers, who seek to help man reconcile with the God Who created man, and then man-with-man. The PC(USA) uses peacebreaker tactics.

Also, if you review the PC(USA) church hierarchy, you will discover that the primary persons advising re: ME affairs and relations, are christian arabs with an agenda of "cursing" the jew. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob noted in His Word that He "would bless those who bless Abraham (and his seed through Isaac and Jacob), and He would curse them that curse Abraham (and his seed through Isaac and Jacob). The christian arabs in judea, samaria and gaza, have placed themselves in solidarity alongside the muslim arabs, who are on the side of "cursing" the jews, and so they, the christian arabs, have heaped upon themselves similar "curses". If they, the christian arabs and the PC(USA)persons were wise, they would "bless" the jews, so they, in turn, could be "blest".

Moll, a messianic gentile

Posted by: Moll at February 24, 2008 02:16 PM

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