Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just Like MY Church!

I just read this article at and it reminded me of the church to which I belong, a United Church of Christ congregation. This idea of divestment regarding Israel is an example of the horrible thinking that is typical of the UCC and apparently the Methodists as well (the article suggests other Protestant denoms also). In our denom they call it "Christian Zionism". Though I'm sure there is such a thing, which is some extreme belief in tying Israel to the Israel of the OT and the desire to convert them all to Christianity in order to hasten the end times, the position of these churches toward Israel is every bit as extreme & even more wrongheaded by quite a ways.

I'm going to go way out on a limb here and say that this attitude is entirely leftist, as in liberal, as in progressive, as in the goofiness we see from the leftwing of American politics every day. It is so typically liberal in the sense that it demonstrates the lefty notion that standing up to the good guys is somehow noble, which it is not considering the bad guys facing the good guys and the rest of us. These goofballs accuse Israel of being Nazi-like, as if we haven't heard that about our own president. In the meantime, the Pallies are lobbing mortars and sending suicide murderers with regularity, Lebanon's Hezb'allah is constantly thinking of new ways to portray Israel as ruthless, Iran wants to eliminate them from the world atlas, and Muslims and white supremists just hate them as part of their membership rules. So these liberal Christians think they are doing the Lord's work by insisting that Israel no longer protect themselves, and by insisting that American companies no longer do business with them.

Well I'm going on record as insisting that these pudding-brained liberal Christians pucker up and kiss ass, because they side with the real evil in the world by taking the position that the problems in the Middle East are caused by Israel's defensive policies, just as the lion's share of libs view our own of similar nastiness. May God grant them true vision and spines.


Neil said...

Good find, Marshall. Those people are an embarrassment to Christianity. They would rather nitpick and grandstand over Israel and ignore the atrocities of the Arab world than to go and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Oh, wait, they preach a false gospel . . . maybe it is good that they stay busy with politics?

Doc said...

I think that the UMC has been fairly clear on stating that it is for the rights of Palestine and Israel to exist. It has been a supporter of peace negotiations, and has not been ignoring atrocities of any terrorist group.
That being said, the Israel:Palestine A Mission Study (by the Womens division of the general board of global ministries- which seems odd to me) uses rhetoric that the ADL (a group which I usually find short on patience, and long on entitlement) is pitching a fit over, and probably rightfully so. Calling a jewish group "monsters" and noting that their tactics are similar to "nazis" seems to be in quite poor taste. I would think this rhetoric to be(at the least) counterproductive in the UMC's stated goals. Then again, if they vote to divest from any Israeli-connected business, well, then- their actions would speak louder than their words. The commentary by the UMC regarding criticism is to note: "The study analyzes political actions and aspirations. It seeks to expand the dialogue regarding this matter by including viewpoints rarely heard in public discourse."
I think there is room for dialogue on the methods used by Israel and Palestine, and certainly the church should stand for peace, even perhaps, independent of political exegesis. But the rhetoric used certainly stretches the definition of "expanding the dialogue."

Marshall Art said...

I just don't get it. If we were to concede that Israel is responsible for any of the nonsense for which they are accused, we're still left with the blatant fact that they are targets far more often than they are arrows. To concede that they are evil, they are still the lesser by multiple fractions. Why not deal with the greater evil? Why not show some stern looks in that direction? It just baffles me, particularly in light of the history of the situation that doesn't really favor the Palestinians. They could say, "We'd really like to support your cause, but YOU'RE KILLING TOO MANY JEWS!!!, and we don't think that's right."

Dan Trabue said...

Well I'm going on record as insisting that these pudding-brained liberal Christians pucker up and kiss ass, because they side with the real evil in the world

Well, then I'll go on record as insisting that those addle-brained Rightish Christians (they're not especially conservative in the classic sense) who insist on twisting words and demonizing folk based on strawmen arguments go ahead and kiss their own integrity goodbye, as they have gladly joined with the evil in the world by engaging in evil.

Thank God for Grace.


blamin said...

Tsk, tsk, Dan,

I think you can do better than that!

Why exactly don’t you think we should support our brothers in Israel? Besides the totally unsubstantiated accusations against the nation of Israel, besides the unfounded anecdotal evidence you may cull, what exactly pushes you to take this position? (Insert anti-semantic ramblings here)

Dan Trabue said...

Who said I don't support Israel? I was just disagreeing with Marshall's demonization of those he disagrees with.

"They" do NOT "side with evil," as Marshall has misrepresented it. Rather, we are opposed to siding with Israel when they employ evil policies or with Palestine when they employ evil policies.

I, for one, am quite convinced that the best way to support Israel is to support BOTH the Israel and the Palestinian people.

It is the bearing of false witness I was objecting to here.

Does that clear my position up?

Marshall Art said...

So Dan,

You're saying that the UMC and UCC are not "taking the position that the problems in the Middle East are caused by Israel's defensive policies"? Is that the false witnessing to which you refer? Perhaps you should study the positions of these two misguided denominations and then get back to me, for that is exactly where their foggy heads are at. Israel's policies are defensive in nature. That means that one of their neighbors, in this case the Pallies, have attacked them. They have every right to defend themselves as they see fit. I support their decisions absolutely and that includes allowing for their human failings to result in the occasional bad moves, assuming they've made some.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, having no legitimate claims to any land whatsoever, never mind Israeli land, have proven time and time again that they are unworthy of support, never mind the land, by virtue of their incessant attacks on Israel. They can go pound sand, and there's plenty there to pound, for all I care if the total destruction of Israel is an attitude they choose to maintain.

So the best way to support the so-called Palesinians is to ask them if they want to die. If they don't, insist that they overthrow the goons they've elected because their hatred for Israel will indeed get a lot of them killed. Once they've proven they no longer seek Israel's destruction, once it can be confirmed that they no longer teach their children to hate Jews, then talks can begin in earnest. But even then, it will be, and should be, a long, long time before establishing their own state comes to pass. And that should come from Arab lands, not Israel's.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, what they've actually said is, in the case of the UMC:

That resolution said the church "should not profit from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land or the destruction of Palestinian homes, orchards and lives..."

"Selective divestment is consistent with the United Methodist commitment to a just and sustainable peace for all the people of the Middle East"

So what they're supporting is NOT that Israel not defend herself. Rather, they think as I do - that supporting Israel in the way it currently is "defending" itself is not a way that will lead to peace for Israel or Palestine.

In so doing, they are siding AGAINST "real evil" and in support of peacemaking efforts and you, for your part, have bore false witness.

Stop it. It's just tiring and predictable.

Marshall Art said...

What's tiring and predictable is your insipid and over the top sanctimony in using such phrases as "bearing false witness" where it doesn't apply. The lie is in stating that Israel is illegally occupying someone else's land. They've "annexed" lands that have been used to stage attacks, lands that have a strategic defensive value to them. This is totally acceptable to rational human beings who understand that negotiating with assholes is a recipe for one's own destruction. As I've stated previously, and has been documented by all those not anti-Jew/Israel or living in a fantasy world of happy talk and phony peace initiatives, Israel's actions have been for self-preservation and all divestment should be aimed toward the real villains in this equation, which is and always has been, the Arab-Palestinians and other neighboring haters in the region. There's an expression, the exact words of which I don't readily recall, but it goes something like this: If the Israeli's lay down their arms, they will be destroyed, but if the Palestinians lay down their arms, then real peace can be achieved. This is the absolute truth of the situation and history supports it to the hilt. There has been no destruction of Palestinian lands (they never had any), homes or lives that wasn't preceded by a cowardly and murderous attack by them upon the Israelis. The Palestinians, or rather their leaders and the people who support and elect them, ARE the real evil in this situation and for their position on the issue, the UMC, UCC and you are full of crap. False witness indeed.

Dan Trabue said...

Hey Brother, whatever helps you sleep at night...

Marshall Art said...

Sleeping is not a problem, my friend. Blaming Israel for the deeds of Palestinians is. Peace for them will never be achieved by putting the onus on them to take more chances on the whims of the Palesinians. That you can't see or understand this obvious truth is troubling. But then, your perspective has always given one pause.

BB-Idaho said...

Apparently, the Pharaoh should never have let the Philistines settle in the Gaza area. Started with spears and slings and has continued to rockets and helicopters. Suspect it will another 3500 years...