Monday, May 10, 2010

Slandering the Jewish people-more on overture 08-09

In my blogging post, An overture filled with fury: anti-Semitism again, I partly focused on the slander used by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network when they wrote their paper, “CHRISTIANS AND JEWS: PEOPLE OF GOD” AN EXAMPLE OF OCCUPATION THEOLOGY. The paper is a reference in overture 08-09 which has been placed in the Ecumenical Committee for the Presbyterian General assembly.

Part of the slander accuses the Jewish organizations, who opposed the divestment actions of the 2004 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) General Assembly, of sending a package to the Presbyterian Headquarters which might have been a bomb. The truth is someone sent a letter threatening to burn Presbyterian Churches. You can read about the letter and the arrest of the person who wrote it here at the
Presbyterian News Service. The man, Jeffrey A. Winters, had no connection to any legitimate Jewish organization.

You can also read about how all the various Jewish organizations denounced the threat as soon as it was aired,
Jewish Leaders Condemn Presbyterian Arson Threat. For instance, reporter, Pauline J. Chang of the Christian Post quotes Rabbi Eric Yoffie of the Union for Reformed Judaism who stated:

“We are disgusted and outraged by those who have threatened to use violence and arson against Presbyterian churches to protest the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s recent steps toward divestment from Israel,”

She also quoted Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. “The thugs who have made these reprehensible threats are far outside the mainstream of American Jewry, and we, the largest branch of American Judaism, condemn them forcibly, vigorously, and unequivocally.”

Chang also wrote, “The Simon Wiesenthal Center, one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the US, joined in the condemnation, saying it “repudiates any and all threats of violence against the Church,” in a statement.

The Jewish people in Germany during the time of Hitler were also accused of such things. Supposedly they were behind the horrible Versailles Treaty (but of course they weren’t.) But so many Christians in Germany preferred to listen to lies. They failed to stand up to Hitler and the Nazis, and the German Christians who helped propagate the lies. They aided the Nazis in killing six-million Jewish people.

It seems that the Church must always be confessing her sins. She did during the Nazi days. She will now need to again. Dietrich Bonhoeffer one of the Confessing Pastors in Germany who died rather than let such lies live, wrote a confession for the Church during those days. I have written parts of it here before. But now we, I, need this part now.

“The Church confesses herself guilty towards the countless victims of calumny, denunciation and defamation. She has not convicted the slanderer of his wrongdoing, and she has thereby abandoned the slandered to his fate.

The Church confesses that she has desired security, peace and quiet, possessions and honour, to which she has no right, and that in this way she has not bridled the desires of men but has stimulated them still further.

… By her own silence she has rendered herself guilty of the decline in responsible action, in bravery in the defense of a cause, and in willingness to suffer for what is known to be right. She bears the guilt of the defection of the governing authority from Christ.”

It is time to confess sin, while confessing Christ. It is also time to stand up for those who are slandered.

The Israel/Palestine Mission Network have lied about the Jewish people in the United States. And because I am a Presbyterian (U.S.A.) church member I have lied and must confess that I have hurt the Jewish people.


Anonymous said...

Viola: Please note that in the quote from Bonhoeffer, he does not use the first person pronoun. "The Church must confess" is not the same as "I must confess." You have not lied, and you have nothing to confess. You have done an excellent job of defending the Jewish people and Israel from those who would slander them, and a service to the church by standing up to the slanderers in her midst. Thank you for what you do.

David Fischler
Woodbridge, VA

will spotts said...

David - I agre that Viola has not lied, though part of the organization that has done so. But as you point out, that is because she has stood up to object to this lie. What about those who don't - who either support and defend it, or who, more like, just let it go? True, those who support and defend the statements Viola points to acquire their own responsibility for them. But I personally believe those who ignore the statements, pretend not to notice, don't say anything - also acquire ownership of the lie.

Will Spotts
North East, MD

Viola Larson said...

Several things led me to put it that way. The PCUSA is a connectional church what others do they are doing in my name. Also Bonhoeffer at the beginning of the confessions which covers all kinds of things including sexuality and the glorification of youth (something we also are guilty of)points out that we may not point to someone else but for the sake of the world must take that guilt and confess it. That is by the way from Bonhoeffer's book Ethics

Viola Larson said...

Confession demands action. I pray that others confession so that they may also act.

Debbie said...

"The Church confesses that she has desired security, peace and quiet...."


Pastor Bob said...

Although this is not in the IPMN response (with is terrible) what really makes me angry is the writings that say European and really Semites. If this is true then the Russians, Poles (in fact most of the countries in Europe) should not have killed Jews. And Germany killed a lot of people who weren't Jewish by birth. They didn't seem to ask if the Jews were really Jews. They just killed them all.