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June 23, 2005

Methodists joins the ranks of the anti-semites

From AgapePress:

Two regional conventions of the United Methodist Church (UMC) have voted to divest from companies that do business with Israel. A conservative Methodist activist is critical of that decision coming from the two groups within the eight-million-member denomination.

Last year, the Presbyterian Church USA voted overwhelmingly to endorse a divestment campaign against the Jewish state. Now the New England and Virginia Annual Conferences of the UMC have called for their denomination to divest stock in firms whose products have been used to destroy Palestinian homes. In Virginia, the resolution was proposed by the state chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action.

The Palestine News Agency has lauded both of the Methodist conferences for taking action against what it calls "apartheid Israel."

Mark Tooley, who heads the United Methodist Action Committee for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, says mainline "church elites" are very hostile to Israel primarily because the Jewish state is an ally of the United States. He asserts that "through their lens of liberation theology, they want to see Israel as the 'western oppressor' of the Palestinians as the Third World 'victims.'

"But I think that perhaps among at least mainline church elite, there is at least unconscious anti-Semitism perhaps involved in some cases," he adds.

Liberal mainline leaders who embrace the divestment campaign, he says, must be challenged strenuously. "I think there possibly is an underlying issue of some latent anti-Semitism," Tooley says, "but more broadly I think it's a deep theological problem and an issue of a deep political bias."

The IRD spokesman points out that while the United Methodist Church has been quick to condemn Israel for alleged human-rights abuses, the denomination's General Conference has refused to consider resolutions on human-rights violations in China, North Korea, Iran, Vietnam, Pakistan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, and Egypt.

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” [emphasis added] Genesis 12:1-3

Maybe that's not in the Methodist Bible. But, I know it's in mine.

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 23, 2005 08:42 AM

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