Archives: September 2006
This page lists reports and commentary from September, 2006
All postings from
Our coverage of the 2006 General
Assembly is indexed on a special page.
For links to earlier archive pages,
We must still resist
House Republicans pass legislation to allow torture – by whatever name
Yesterday the House passed a bill that would allow the
Bush administration to use interrogation methods that certainly look a lot
like torture, even though the President has been careful to call them
something a little less than torture. The bill also would allow the
President to prosecute detainees accused of terrorism, with little regard
for the niceties of basic and constitutional rights.
The Senate is likely to act soon on a similar bill, which
has been allowed to move forward because some of the leading Republican
"moderates" reached a compromise with Bush.
It seems unlikely that any mere citizens can resist this legitimizing of
torture and abandonment of basic human rights, but just in case you want to
try – or at least do informed grumbling about it –
here are some
helpful resources >>
Got suggestions?? Please let us know of other
helpful reports or resources.
Just send a
New mixes in
faith and politics
As the election draws
near and the Religious Right raises voices again in favor of the values it
holds dear, it’s clear that other people of faith are speaking out as well.
Various faith-based groups -- often inter-faith -- are holding conferences
to focus on the relevance of progressive perspectives to current political
Two conferences we mention are planned for Tennessee and
And we link to a report of the growing numbers of
"moderate evangelicals" who are more concerned about poverty and AIDS and
global warming than about "protecting the family" and all that.
On the other side, a new Christian camp is training
children to be soldiers for Christ, ready to bring in Christian control of
For links to all
of these >>
Former moderator Rick Ufford-Chase and four PC(USA)
ministers arrested protesting Iraq war
Antiwar protest part of national 'Declaration of Peace'
A former Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly moderator and four
Presbyterian ministers were among 71 people arrested in Washington, DC,
during a series of peaceful protests against the Iraq war on Tuesday (Sept.
Rick Ufford-Chase, 42, moderator of the PC(USA)'s 216th General Assembly
in 2004, confirmed by cell phone that he was taken into custody while
leading an interfaith anti-war procession on Capitol Hill.
"This one is really personal," said Ufford-Chase, an elder at Southside
Presbyterian Church in Tucson, AZ and currently executive director of the
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. "It just feels like I've spent three years
trying to find proactive ways to insist on our (Christian) values about war
and the situation in Iraq is getting worse. I finally decided it's time I
have to do something to say no."
Also arrested were the Rev. Roger Scott Powers, 47, associate pastor of
First and Franklin Street Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, MD; and the
Revs. Gwin E. Pratt, 57, and Tim F. Simpson, 43, both pastors at Lake Shore
Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, FL. The Rev. Andrew Foster
Connors, pastor at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in
Baltimore, was also arrested.
For the full
report from Presbyterian News Service >>
announces No Turning Back declaration and strategy statement
The Board of Directors of More Light Presbyterians has just released a
declaration that they will continue to work "to
delete the anti-LGBT G-6.0106b from the Book of Order." They lay out
the reasons for this intention, and some of the strategies they will
What are the
true "markers" of the Christian life?
The Rev. Aurelia Fule, who
served for many years on the staff of the Office for Theology and Worship
in Louisville, explored this vital question in a recent sermon. Our
debates about ordination and sexuality are distorted, she suggests, when
we fail to recognize that Jesus and the early church shifted radically
from the "markers" that were used by the ancient Hebrews to distinguish
the "real people of God" from all others. It's no longer
circumcision or ritual purity that serve as markers, she says, but baptism
as a mark of God's grace, and the gift of the Spirit.
Single-payer healthcare is gaining support --
and needs more support
Healthcare Now is urging people to support genuine health
care reform, even as the healthcare insurance industry presses harder to
keep things as they are or make the system even more profitable for them.
They are encouraging people to bring suit for
"insurance company malpractice" for denial of
needed medical service, and to tell their stories for a new film being
planned by Michael Moore.
Ex-GOP senator John Danforth says ‘good Christians’ can be liberals,
Berry Craig lives in western Kentucky, where being
Christian and being conservative Republican are pretty much the same
thing. So he appreciates a book by John Danforth, a retired U.S.
Senator who says that ain't necessarily so. Danforth is both
Christian and Republican, but says you can be both without being narrowly
Danforth's book is titled Faith and Politics: How the
"Moral Values" Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together.
Read Craig's review >>
(You can order the book from that page, too.)
Interfaith Alliance plans
seminar-by-phone on elections and houses of worship
This announcement comes from the Interfaith Alliance
Please Join The IRS, Rev. Welton Gaddy of The Interfaith Alliance &
NATIONAL PHONE SEMINAR
Legal & Ethical Guidance for Houses of Worship In An Election Year
OCTOBER 11th, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM EST
TOLL FREE 1-866-818-1393
The Interfaith Alliance Foundation has developed a campaign season
resource to help you understand that a partnership between religion and
government can and should preserve the autonomy of houses of worship and
ensure that religious institutions are not held hostage to the priorities
and interests of federal, state, or local governments. Download at
or email us your address to receive a copy via mail.
The IRS has published Fact Sheet 2006-17, which outlines how houses of
worship, and all 501(c)(3) organizations, can stay within the law regarding
the ban on political activity. To get timely, helpful information for
tax-exempt organizations (including houses of worship), subscribe to the IRS
e-newsletter, EO Update
Subscribers get direct links to latest IRS updates, including guidance
items, tax law changes, training materials.
To ensure we address as many issues as time allows, please email specific
questions or areas of concern
BY OCTOBER 10th to:
The Call Will End With A Brief Question & Answer Session
Participation is first come, first serve
WHAT IF I CANNOT MAKE THE CALL?
1. From 6:00pm EST, October 11th until Midnight, October 13th, listen to
Dial 888-266-2081, Access Code: 974280
2. On October 16th, the audio of the call will be placed on
WASHINGTON WEEKLY for Sept. 25, 2006, issued by the Presbyterian
Washington Office, suggests good resources on ways churches can
appropriately deal with political issues and candidates in this election
season -- and ways that are not so appropriate.
They also provide brief comments (and links to other
material) on these issues and events:
|Public Expression of Religion Act (H.R. 2679)|
|Urgent Alert: Take Action for the Congo (S 2125)|
|Let Justice Roll Living Wage Days –October 7-8 or 14-15
|Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia – October 1-2|
|CAIR To Release Report On U.S.
Muslim Civil Rights|
|Election Season: "…provide useful non-partisan
information for voters."|
Theological Task Force member releases new book supporting
committed same-gender relationships
Stacy Johnson, professor of systematic theology at
Princeton Theological Seminary, and a former member of the Theological Task
Force on the Peace, Unity and Purity of the Church, has just released a book
entitled A Time to Embrace: Same-Gender Relationships in Religion, Law,
and Politics, in which he analyzes seven different ways that churches
have dealt with same-sex unions. His analysis leads him to offer
support of same-sex committed
relationships. You can look at the book, published by Eerdmans,
You can pre-order it on Amazon and save 34%
from the Eerdmans price.
For a brief
version of Johnson's analysis >>
New Presbyterian executive director starts work by dealing
with staff cutbacks
Courier-Journal reported on Sunday, Sept. 24, that Linda Valentine,
having recently moved into her new job as Executive Director of the General
Assembly Council, is spending most of her time reorganizing the newly
reduced staff. The report quotes Moderator Joan Grey as commenting that "She
has a great deal of fortitude and a very cheerful spirit. ... She doesn't
seem to let all this get her down."
The full report >>
'Values Voter Summit' supports GOP, Americans United charges
Dobson, Religious Right seek to 'lead evangelical flock
into Republican fold in November,' says AU's Lynn
[From an Americans United press release dated Sept. 22,
A Religious Right-sponsored "Values Voter Summit" this
week is nothing but an attempt to drum up evangelical support for Republican
candidates before the November elections, charges Americans United for
Separation of Church and State.
The supposedly non-partisan event, which takes place in
Washington Sept. 22-24, is sponsored jointly by political affiliates of
Focus on the Family (FOF), the Family Research Council (FRC) and other
Religious Right groups. It features a line-up of GOP officeholders and
No Democrats appear among the announced speakers, and
organizers such as FOF Chairman James Dobson and FRC President Tony Perkins
don't seem to have spent much time getting any to come.
The full statement >>
Urge Congress to stand firm against Administration pressure to permit
Both FaithfulAmerica.com, which is related to
the National Council of Churches, and the Friends Committee on National
Legislation, have issued calls for people of faith to raise their voices,
encouraging members of Congress to resist the pressures from the President
to legitimize the use of torture (which he may be moderating slightly in
response to the many Senators and Representatives, even from his own party,
who are refusing to support his efforts).
They both provide helpful information to use in writing to
FaithfulAmerica.org .... and/or to
Friends Committee on National
Added action against torture
coalition calls for ban on use of torture
Presbyterian-founded group publishes anti-torture newspaper ad
As Congress debates legislation this week on the treatment of military
detainees, a group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in the United
States has called on the U.S. government to forswear the use of torture
"without exceptions" and in all cases.
"Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all
religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear," the leaders say in a
statement published as a paid advertisement in the Capitol Hill newspaper
Roll Call on Tuesday (Sept. 19).
Originally published in the New York Times on June 13, the
full-page ad is part of a new initiative by the Presbyterian-founded
National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), which says it is
working "for the immediate cessation of torture by the United States,
whether direct or by proxy, within our territory or abroad."
The group was founded by the Rev. George Hunsinger, a Presbyterian
minister and theology professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, in
response to allegations of human rights abuses at U.S. detention centers in
Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
See the full
story from Presbyterian News Service >>
Office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
September 19, 2006
Many localities had mid-term elections on September 12. We
are beginning to get a sense of some of the issues the candidates view as
important. We have several weeks before the November 7, 2006 Mid-term
elections. If your issue is not one that seems to be on the agenda of the
candidates, you might want to go to a candidate’s forum in your area and ask
why. Call the candidate’s office to find out were the speaking engagements
This week’s issue items for this publication are—
* Call the White House
to Save Darfur
* Immigration: The
* Election Season-
Principle of Church and State’
A peaceful response to
Cynthia Adams, whose recent comments drew a
response from Dr. Earl Tilford, responds to him by reaffirming (as a
"pacifist grandmother") her own commitment to peace, and her appreciation of
and the Truth Behind 9/11 as she continues studying it.
Near the end of her note she says: "The answer to all of this is faith in
God. All the armaments, all the wars, will never bring true freedom or
justice. They have tried this before, many times. Someone always loses the
war, so suffers injustice, so there you are right back where you started
with people plotting revenge, which is how we got here today. The answer is
to break the violence/more violence cycle. Supposedly the Church should lead
the way of peace here, but they are the ones leading the war."
Two comments on the
We posted on Sept. 15 a
statement by Witherspoon’s
board, expressing dismay at the words and actions of some Presbyterian
looking toward some kind of separation, and affirming the call to
discernment and unity from the 217th General Assembly.
We invited comments on the statement, and
have received three responses so far. One affirms the Witherspoon statement,
while another points to the distrust among Presbyterians as a reason for the
talk of separation. The writer of the third note asked that it not be posted
Witherspoon Board reaffirms unity of the church, laments divisive moves
The Board of the Witherspoon Society, meeting from
September 13 through 16 at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, today
adopted a statement expressing dismay at the actions and statements by some
Presbyterians, congregations and presbyteries that seem to violate the
spirit of "harmony and covenanted partnership" that were fostered by the
Theological Task Force and experienced by many at the 217th
General Assembly in Birmingham.
The statement concludes: "We pledge to join with all
Presbyterians in carrying out the letter and the spirit of both the AI and
our broader Presbyterian tradition: to defend our Constitution against
anarchy and misinterpretation, to seek more thorough discernment, and to
assist candidates and committees as we all try to live our way into the new
opportunities brought to us by the Theological Task Force, the actions of
the 217th General Assembly, and the Reformed heritage upon which
the Presbyterian Church (USA) stands."
The full statement >>
On 9/11, Christian leaders
call for an end of fear-based religion, and welcome of all people
On September 9-11, 2006, Christian leaders whose organizations touch the
lives of 98 million Americans gathered in Dallas, Texas, for the Bishops and
Elders Council to end the homophobia and heterosexism in churches and to
reaffirm Jesus' message of love, welcome, and acceptance of all people.
More Light Presbyterians was represented in the gathering by Dr. Michael
Adee, and That All May Freely Serve by the Rev. Janie Spahr, and there was a
special display from the Shower of Stoles Project.
The story, and the leaders'
torture -- and calling for CIA accountability
Witherspooner Rev. Betty Hale writes:
I would think the
Center [for Victims of Torture] would be one of the best sources of
perspective we can find.... It's still hard to believe that
America is having a debate about this.
shalom, salaam, peace
As the Administration presses for more freedom to use
torture, it’s time to speak out together:
The Center is urging people to contact their
representatives in Congress, calling them to hold the CIA accountable for
the torture methods they have used.
And based on their own years of experience in helping
people recover from experiences of torture, the Center describes
at stake in the US use of torture, and what are realities involved.
War and Peace in Israel/Palestine
Israeli and Palestinian warriors find a new cause to fight for: peace
The recent violence between Hezbollah and Israel seems
like another mile marker on the path to hopelessness, but as Dragonfire’s
Sara Toth reports, some have seized the debacle as a chance to stand up for
peace. When former Israeli soldier Itamar Shapira was jailed in August for
refusing to fight in Lebanon, a rally outside the prison revealed a
subculture in support of his decision. Among the pacifist protesters were
members of Combatants for Peace, a new anti-war group made up of former
warriors. Shapira is a member of the 60-strong organization of peace
converts from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Though they once fought in the frontlines of a
decades-long conflict, each "combatant" has concluded that violence cannot
resolve the Israeli-Palestinian clash over land and power. The group's
mission statement reflects its transcendent attitude: "After brandishing
weapons for so many years, and having seen one another only through weapons'
sights, we have decided to put down our guns and to fight for peace."
Check out what’s new at
Preorder these items today!
Pausing on the Road to Bethlehem: A Spiritual Journey through Advent
Biblical Accounts of the Crucifixion
New in Contemporary Issues
Christian Mission Impossible? The Global Role of U.S.
Other studies of interest (among many!)
Katrina: Flood Lines and Fault Lines
Where Is God When Disaster Strikes?
Hezbollah, Israel, and Lebanon: Why Should Christians Care?
Introduction to Spiritual Disciplines
Christian Faith and
the Truth Behind 9/11 – the debate continues
Prof. Earl Tilford says to Cynthia Adams, "I am angry and
here is why."
Cynthia Adams asks, "Why
is he (that would be me) so angry?" Then wishes someone would tell "the
imperial, dominion-oriented bunch" that Jesus did not tell us to take over
the world. Wow! I have just the demonstrably sloppy scholarship of one
process theologian in my intellectual cross-hairs and she accuses an entire
"imperial, dominion-oriented bunch" of wanting to take over the world! And
I'm the one guilty of "personal attacks"? Well, yes, I am attacking the
scholarship, motivations and conclusions of David Ray Griffin. ...
More from Dr. Tilford
NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar appearing on two important talk shows
Media Alert from
Today: Don't miss former
Congressman and fellow FaithfulAmerican Dr. Bob Edgar today on these two
important (and politically conservative) broadcasts:
4-5PM (ED): The Michael Medved Show
8-9PM (ED): The O'Reilly Factor (Fox
News Television Channel)
(repeated 11-12PM (ED) )
Dr. Edgar will go head to head with two of
the nation's most conservative hosts to talk about reclaiming the moral
values of the faithful majority from the religious right - which is the
subtitle of his new book, "Middle
Authoritarian, Benevolent, Critical or
Distant – Americans hold four different images of God
A study done by a team from Baylor University, published
recently, has been widely reported as revealing that Americans are a little
more religious than other studies have been claiming. But perhaps a more
interesting and helpful point revealed by the study is that Americans can
been seen as having four quite different "images of God" – as authoritarian,
benevolent, critical, or distant.
Which God one believes in shapes a
person’s social and political views, and personal religious life, more than
the usual categories of Protestant, Catholic and Jew, or even conservative
Sociologist Paul Froese is quoted as saying that the survey denies the
usual assumptions that conservatives are more religious and liberals more
secular. "Political liberals and conservatives are both religious," he says.
"They just have different religious views."
For the whole article >>
|Another reflection on
This Hole in the Ground
Sometimes a lament is the most
fitting (and healing) response to terrible evil and suffering. This moving
meditation, very different from
Rabbi Arthur Waskow’s, may be touching some of the same deep feelings,
and deep truths.
Keith Olbermann presented this on the MSNBC program Countdown.
The full essay >>
Rabbi Arthur Waskow’s 9/11
essay: One writer asks, 'Isn’t force necessary?'
The Rev. John Erthein, pastor of Elderton Presbyterian Church in Elderton,
PA, sent this thoughtful
comment on Rabbi Art Waskow’s Meditation on 9/11. We invite
your comments, too!
Charges filed against Rev. Janet Edwards in Pittsburgh
Presbytery for performing marriage for two women
Michael Adee, National Field Organizer for More Light
Presbyterians, has issued a call for prayers for her, her witness, her
family and her presbytery.
statement, along with an AP report >>
And see the
Presbyterian News Service report >>
A quick glimpse of Christian life in Palestine:
The Voice of Christ in the Birthplace of Christ
Matt Middleton, a Presbyterian Mission
Volunteer International serving in Bethlehem, offers a glimpse of hope in
the midst of the conflict in Palestine, through the gathering of a community
choir in Bethlehem.
|One response to
Dr. Earl Tilford's criticism of Griffin’s
Christian Faith and the Truth
Behind 9/11 – "Why is he so
We received a note from Cynthia Adams in which she asks "why is he so
angry? ... Why the personal attacks? People usually use personal attacks
when they can't figure out how else to gain the upper hand."
She adds: "I am thankful for any Christian who will simply tell the
imperial, dominion-oriented bunch that Jesus' message was not to take over
the world. His kingdom is not of this world. His followers should not be
seeking world domination."
Her complete note >>
'No gay clergy' is the message from Sacramento Presbytery
Witherspoon member Jill Sherrill has shared two news
stories from the Sacramento Bee, reporting on successful efforts by
conservative church leaders to pass four resolutions in the Presbytery of
Sacramento. All four were passed during the 4-hour meeting, although (Jill
reports) proponents of the resolutions were "warned repeatedly during the
meeting ... that their actions are unconstitutional and will not pass muster
in the PCUSA judicial system, nor the California courts."
The resolutions, as reported by the Bee, institute
these rules for the Presbytery:
- Candidates for ordination must comply with traditional
- The Presbytery must not recognize candidates who fail
to do so.
- Any congregation may withhold money from the national
church in protest, and the Presbytery will not make up the difference.
- The Presbytery must allow individual congregations to
withdraw from it with their property in protest.
first news report deals with church discussions leading up to the
reports on the Presbytery meeting and its
Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11:
Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection
by David Ray Griffin.
John Shuck says that the real "truth behind 9/11," and behind the new
American empire-building, is our need for oil and the impending decline in
the world’s supply of that precious stuff.
Another critique from the left:
The Nation magazine has published a short article
by Alexander Cockburn, dismissing Griffin and other proponents of this view
as "conspiracy nuts."
essay >> [Sorry, if you're not a subscriber to The Nation,
you can only read the first two paragraphs.]
9/10/06 -- In observance of September 11, 2001
A meditation for 9/11
Countless words have been spoken and tears shed in the
past five years, and we’ve been searching for appropriate words to share
here in observance of the fifth anniversary of a day that changed some many
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, co-author, The Tent of Abraham;
director, The Shalom Center, which
voices a new prophetic agenda in Jewish, multireligious, and American life,
wrote the first version of this essay wither in a week after the attack. It
has been published since then in such diverse places as the AARP magazine
and The Nation.
As he shares it again with friends, Rabbi Waskow says, "As
I listen to the endless arguments over what to build at Ground Zero,
sometimes I think: Forget the grandiose designs. Put up a leafy, leaky,
shaky, vulnerable hut . It will fall apart in every rainstorm, and we will
put it up again. And again. And again. It will teach all of us the truth
about the world we live in. No more Towers."
Sukkah of Shalom" >>
Presbyterian minister – and Witherspooner – runs for Congress in
The Rev. Jill Martinez, who was nominated for Moderator of
the 212th General Assembly in 2000, and who joined the
Witherspoon Society in the same year, is running for Congress in
California's 24th congressional district. That district covers Ventura and
Santa Barbara counties, and, she says, appears to offer a "winnable race"
for a Democrat in what has been a Republican district.
If anyone is interested in learning more about her
campaign, there’s information on
her website – including a brief bio sketch and policy papers on issues
such as education, health care, housing, the need to "change course in Iraq,
immigration policy ... and more.
She can be contacted at
or by phone at (805) 446-3000. Her Ventura office is located at 89
California Street in Ventura, and her Santa Barbara county office is at 1301
East Clark Rd, in Orcutt.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the
University of Hawaii, a Masters of Divinity from San Francisco Theological
Seminary. Martinez’ post graduate work at SFTS emphasized research in
examining the "Mestizaje process" where people of differing cultures come
together and form new cultural identities.
WASHINGTON WEEKLY issued for Sept. 5, 2006, by the Presbyterian
Summer breaks have come to an
end. Washington political leaders and advocates have begun their work. In
this mid-term election year, the end of this session will come quickly so
that all members of the House of Representatives and a third of the Senators
can spend time seeking your vote in the November elections. They have fewer
than 19 session days scheduled before Election Day.
It would appear that the war in Iraq, stem cell research,
tax cuts and immigration are among the hot topics of the electorate. A study
guide with excerpts from General Assembly policy on these and others issues
can be found at
www.pcusa.org/christiancitizen/newstudyguide . This is the Christian
and Citizen Election Year guide on the web page of the Washington Office
This week’s issues are:
The Torturer's Apprentice
This week, with just two months to go before the national
elections for Congress and many other offices, the President has focused a
number of speeches on the issue of torture and the detainment – in some
cases at secret locations outside the US – of alleged terrorists.
There have been many reports and comments on Mr. Bush’s
speeches, including one wide-ranging essay by Ray McGovern. McGovern works
with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the
Saviour. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer, then a CIA analyst
for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence
Professionals for Sanity.
He notes the interesting emphasis in Bush’s statements that "military
necessity" justifies less-than-humane treatment of prisoners, and points to
the President’s apparent concern that Americans, including himself, could
well be open to charges of war crimes on the basis of the treatment of
The article >>
|One minister says the
Griffin’s Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11 is "nuts."
Dear Friends, Why would the administration want to rebut such an
argument as is made here. It's nuts. Check out the excellent
PBS special (Nova,
Frontline?) which is out on DVD from PBS on "Why the Towers Fell". They
fell because of the unique construction of the Towers being struck by two
fully loaded and occupied jets. Let's get real.
Rev. Richard Craig
Webweaver's note: The PBS special was on Nova. I took the
trouble to check.
view, see one article summarizing the analysis by BYU physics professor
Steven Jones. Who argues that the collapse the the WTC building could only
have been caused by ‘pre-positioned explosives.’
Rick Ufford-Chase will join witness against the Iraq
war in Washington, Sept. 26
The former Moderator of the PC(USA), now
Director of the Presbyterian
Peace Fellowship, says " I will risk arrest to make it clear that I
believe the War in Iraq is a violation of my most fundamental beliefs as a
Christian." And he invites other Presbyterians to join in.
explaining his intended action >>
Criticism of Israel equated with anti-Semitism ... again
Presbyterians may remember rather clearly the accusations of
anti-Semitism that were leveled against the PC(USA) after the action of the
2004 General Assembly calling for a study of possible divestment from
certain US corporations involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and
supporters of Arab terrorist groups.
The accusations continue, though the apologies tendered by
the 2006 General Assembly seem to have had some effect in easing them. But
the church is in good company, at least.
Rosa Brooks writes in the L. A. Times about the
fierce criticisms of Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.
That highly respected group sent observers to Lebanon during the Israeli
invasion, as it does during most such conflicts.
An up-close look at
"Justice in a Global Economy" -- and what to do about it
just "out there" far away from us, but it certainly does seem to be an
overwhelming constellation of issues and problems, far beyond out reach.
This book offers a variety of materials dealing with globalization as it
impacts us in our daily lives, along with strategies for dealing with it in
our homes and communities, as well as in the public policy arena.
This should be a great resource for study and action in
provides a review of the book >>
A sharp rejection of Griffin's book on "the truth behind 9/11"
Earl Tilford, now Coordinator of Terrorism and
Middle Eastern Study Group at Grove City College, sets out his arguments
against Griffin’s Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11.
The review of the
book itself >>
Praying for the
Here's a good ecumenical listing of prayers for peace.
All postings from
Our coverage of the 2006 General
Assembly is indexed on a special page.
For links to earlier archive pages,
ratified (or not) by the presbyteries
A number of the most important actions of the 219th
General Assembly are now being sent to the presbyteries for their
action, to confirm or reject them as amendments to the PC(USA) Book
We're providing resources to help inform the
reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.
Our three areas of primary interest are:
which would remove the current ban on
lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as
possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.|
which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of
10-1, which would adopt the new Form of Government
that was approved by the Assembly. |
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Some blogs worth visiting
Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where
Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
politics, culture, travel, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New
York City and the Queens neighborhood of Ridgewood by a progressive
New York City Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the
Witherspoon board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian
Church in Flushing, NY.
John Shuck’s Shuck and Jive
A Presbyterian minister, currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., blogs about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
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