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June 11, 2008

Presbyterians Expand -- and Eviscerate -- Statement on Anti-Jewish Bias

In an obvious effort to stuff the cat back into the bag, The Interfaith Relations Office of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has issued an "expanded" version of a statement it issued during the first week of May, 2008.

While the expanded version, released today, is approximately twice as long as the original version, the meat of the document -- a profound admission that anti-Jewish bias had been present in the denomination's public speech about the Arab-Israeli conflict -- has been deleted and replaced with a diffuse admonition that the church needs to be careful about that sort of thing.

CAMERA blogged about the statement on May 5, 2008.

One crucial section of the original document that did not survive the "expansion" is posted below.

... [W]e are aware and do confess that anti-Jewish attitudes can be found among us.


Examples of such an anti-Jewish theology can unfortunately be found in connection with PC(USA) General Assembly overtures, such as the overture on Confronting Christian Zionism, adopted by the 216th General Assembly in 2004. Some of the authors cited in the rationale of that overture make use in their writings of arguments suggesting or declaring that the Jewish people are no longer in covenant with God, or make statements that echo the medieval Christian claim that the Jews are to blame for the crucifixion of Christ. The rationale and background sources cited in any overture are not General Assembly policy, but Presbyterians need to read such materials with awareness of these themes of classic anti-Jewish teaching.

This passage may no longer be part of the current "expanded" version of the document, but it is part of the historical record. It demonstrated that for one brief shining moment (just over a month), somebody inside the PC(USA) had the nerve to speak the truth about the anti-Jewish bias in the denomination's public speech about the Arab-Israeli conflict. The wrangling that took place within the PC(USA) to expand -- and eviscerate -- the original document does not change this fact.

Posted by dvz at June 11, 2008 01:55 PM


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