the 221st General Assembly


It is probably not a good sign when repeat Dexter episodes are both more appealing and more uplifting than the PC(USA)’s 221st General Assembly.

I have been silent for the most part this time around.  This a partly a product of personal factors.  But it is mostly a function of my desire not to discourage those Presbyterians and others who are fighting for fairness and to avoid PC(USA) antisemitism – whatever I might think of their prospects.

The fact remains that the arguments being offered for divestment and other actions are basically either daft, facile, dishonest, or don’t follow logically.  The fact remains that commissioners are likely – as they have been in each GA from 2008 on – to give these arguments far more credence than they deserve.  Fairness has lost ground at each assembly – in part because commissioners tried to ‘split the difference’, in part because commissioners tried to oversimplify the situation (and the entire debate), in part because commissioners overestimated their own competence and importance, and in part because the process is immorally skewed by many officials and permanent committees within the PC(USA)’s corporate organization.

This year, it seems, the arguments boil down to … “Do justice …”, “Jewish feelings versus Palestinian suffering and oh so objective Presbyterian facts…”, “Desmond Tutu is for BDS so we should be too…”.  All of these have in common a reliance on official and unofficial PC(USA) false information about the situation on the ground, about the nature of divestment, about the global BDS movement, about the actions of Israelis, about the actions of Palestinians, about the placement of blame.  The basis is unbalanced.  It cannot yield an accurate, moral, or ethical result.  Period.

If you want to have this discussion, you need to actually present the facts … all the facts, and you need to actually listen to the many perspectives – not hold a Presbyterian Passion Play every two years with good Jewish villains and innocent victims.

Be that as it may, the fact is, I have expected this GA to do something shameful – to continue the trend since 2008 – perhaps divest, perhaps do something equal offensive. And since that expectation is discouraging to those who are trying to help, I have remained rather quiet.

Will Spotts

 

 

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