Skip to comments.When churches head left
Posted on 10/11/2004 1:20:12 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
America's mainline protestant churches are in trouble. One sign is shrinking membership. Another is turning their political policymaking over to fringe leftists whose deepest instinct is to blame America and pummel Israel whenever possible. The latest disgrace is the Presbyterian Church's plan for selective divestment in Israel--ending the church's investment in multinational companies that the church believes bear particular responsibility for the sufferings of the Palestinian people. For example, the Presbyterians say they may divest themselves of Caterpillar stock, because bulldozers made by that company are used to level Palestinian homes in Israel's antiterrorism campaign. Of course, these bulldozers can also be used to move debris after Palestinian suicide bombers have finished blowing up another round of women, children, and other civilian bystanders in Israel.
How do the Presbyterians go about adopting stances like this? Apparently they cast a stern moral glance around the world, look for possible abuses in China, North Korea, and Iran, and seeing nothing disturbing there, decide to focus once again on Israel. The conservative Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) released a measured and devastating report on the human-rights efforts of mainline churches and groups--the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Episcopal Church, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), plus the reliably leftist National Council of Churches and World Council of Churches. The report, covering the years 2000 to 2003, found that of 197 human-rights criticisms by mainline churches and groups, 37 percent were aimed at Israel and 32 percent at the United States. Only 19 percent of these criticisms were directed at nations listed as "unfree" in Freedom House's respected annual listing of free, partly free, and unfree nations. So Israel was twice as likely to be hammered by the mainliners as all the unfree authoritarian nations put together. The fixation on Israel left little time and inclination for these churches to notice the most dangerous violations of human rights around the world. Not one nation bordering Israel was criticized by a single mainline church or group, the IRD report says. No criticisms at all were leveled at China, Libya, Syria, or North Korea.
Human-rights groups are normally accorded great respect for the work they do. But the rights work of the mainline churches is basically a one-sided expression of ideology--America is essentially viewed as a malignant force in the world, while Israel is seen as nothing more than a dangerous colonial implant of the West. The IRD report says the mainliners' "pervasive anti-Americanism is demonstrated time and again in their public-policy advocacy, and one need not investigate far to find it." Later, the report says, "When U.S. policy cannot be blamed, the mainline denominations seem less interested in speaking up for the victims."
Anti-Americanism is an old story in the mainline church bureaucracies. During the 1970s and 1980s, these churches generally ignored human-rights abuses in the Soviet Union and focused instead on the United States as the primary source of abuse. One result was to scorn dissident movements, such as Solidarity in Poland, which were pressing Moscow for more freedom. The persistent folly of the World Council of Churches on this issue made news in July when its former president, Konrad Raiser, apologized for not supporting freedom movements during the Cold War. At this rate, a future president of the World Council might decide he's finally ready to apologize for ignoring severe abuses in today's vicious dictatorships, oh, sometime maybe around 2030.
The Presbyterian divestment plan seems to be an obvious effort to get an anti-Israel bandwagon rolling among the churches. The Episcopalians quickly obliged, letting it be known that divestment in companies doing business with Israel is now up for discussion. A high-level group from the church recently toured the Middle East, meeting with Yasser Arafat but not with any Israeli officials. Par for the course. The divestment movement is a pretty big issue on some college campuses, supported by Muslim students and aging professors committed to blaming the West for all the world's evils. As part of this effort, Israel is routinely equated with the apartheid regime in South Africa and, by implication, with the Nazi regime in Germany. Despite all the inflammatory and one-sided rhetoric, no university has ever come close to supporting divestment.
Many Jews see the divestment movement as an instrument of anti-Semitism. Maybe it is, but the efforts of the woeful mainline churches are better seen as classic knee-jerk leftism, an expression of hard-core loathing for the United States and the West, with Israel as a stand-in for America. The mainline churches believe they still stand for high moral purpose in politics. They don't. They can no longer be taken seriously on politics or human rights.
Yes, yes, yes. But for the most part the American Jews will still vote for John Kerry, along with most of America's muslim population. Kinda ironic, huh?
Ah, yes -- the Great Satan and the Little Satan. This is the apparently the Wahabbi branch of Presbyterianism.
I don't see how the WCC has any credibility at all. It has been conclusively proven from old KGB files released after the fall of the USSR that they were nothing more than a front group for the Soviet Union.
I mean, it's pathetic. *growl*
This really captures the essence of the problem. Radical leftist groups have insinuated themselves into the hierarchy of many of our mainline churches, and certainly the hierarchy of the NCC. The veil is being lifted, and the agenda of these groups is made clear for those who wish to see it.
Pray for those who are still in these dead churches, and practice "church choice" by joining a bible-based living church (such as PCA rather than PCUSA, AMIA rather than ECUSA, etc.!)
PS: The Roman Catholic Church is so huge, that perhaps someone else can comment on the current status of the battle between the pedophile Marxists and the faithful within the RC church.
I heard that the Vatican was implicated in the OFF scandal,
as well as past pedophilia. Unreal.
Fifty bucks says that Rachel Corrie's parents have insinuated themselves into the PCUSA (Myers Park Presbyterian?)
As always, the wheat and tares are mixed. It's a spiritual battle. In our years in the Catholic Church, we've always had good Bishops who believed the Christian faith. I really feel for people who haven't been as fortunate.
Do you know something that you can share?
What happens if you end up under a questionable bishop? What is the appropriate course for a Catholic of conscience to take?
And what would old Screwtape tell Wormwood was Satan's number one achievement?
You know, I'm not sure. The presence of, let's call him a nonbelieving bishop, doesn't change the Faith at all. In most dioceses, there would still be faithful priests available, and you could find out the "right" parish on the internet :-). There are channels for complaints about priests and bishops, if they're in violation of Canon Law, but I don't know what the procedures are exactly.
I thank most Catholics in areas with questionable Bishops just suffer along, knowing that he'll be gone eventually. The Church has been through it all ... if it survived Rodrigo Borgia as Pope, it will certainly survive Archbishop Roger Mahoney! The old leftists are OLD ... the times call for patient endurance.
Not being a Catholic, I really have no dogs in this fight, but I think the health of the church overall is dependent on all its parts.
Personally, I am praying that Cardinal Biffi or one of his group becomes the next Pope.
Because, you see, I happen to believe that the architects of Vatican 2 bought Satan's lie and believe he doesn't really exist.
NCSteve, the Rad-Trad ... doesn't quite fit ... When you've read the documents of Vatican II (I've got them in two handy paperback compendia, each about the twice the size of a college dictionary), then we'll see.
I want Cardinal Arinze for Pope :-).
Another thing you'd want to do in a liberal diocese is target your contributions carefully ... to your parish, if they're holding to the truth, and then very cautiously to Diocesan collections. All dioceses have a Bishop's or Archbishop's collection, and they have to tell you what it's used for, so you can make an informed judgment. If we were in, say L.A., I wouldn't contribute to the Archbishop's Appeal, but instead contribute directly to Priests' Retirement, to foreign missions, and to other needs of the Church outside the diocese.
Ralph McInerny (Thomist philosopher and also author of the Father Dowling mysteries) has done some interesting writing on Vatican II:
What Went Wrong With Vatican II: The Catholic Crisis Explained by Ralph M. McInerny
I love Ralph ... his latest mystery series set at Notre Dame University is outstanding. And his brother, D.Q. McInerny, teaches at the Fraternity of St. Peter seminary.
For not having a "dog" you sure do have a bite.
I pray an American - at least for now - doesn't become Pope.
The Bishops here are much too wishy washy.
And I really don't think you look into V2 very closely. Or you are Anti-catholic and just say what pops into your head.
NCSteve is not anti-Catholic ... I'd have smelled it long before now. I think he just accepted what he's heard in the general media about Vatican 2.
I know American Bishops I'd be happy to see as Pope ... Bishop Jugis here in Charlotte; Bishop Slattery or Archbishop Beltran in Oklahoma. However, none of them is a Cardinal, yet. Of those who are Cardinals, I can't think of one who's Popely.
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