Archives: May 2007
This page lists reports and commentary from
For items from earlier in
All postings from
Our coverage of the 2006 General
Assembly is indexed on a special page.
For links to earlier archive pages,
Getting out of Iraq: not an
Gordon Shull, Wooster, OH
(Witherspoon member and former professor of international
As one who has opposed the Iraq
war from the beginning, I am frustrated by the tenor of the
debate on withdrawal. It is so often presented, even in long
stories in the New York Times, as an either-or
proposition: either get out or stay in. What we ought to be
debating is the strategy of withdrawal, with special attention
to the Iraq Study Group's recommendation for involvement of the
rest of the world, so that others who have more legitimacy than
the United States can lead the way to reconciliation and
For many decades US policy in
the Middle East has rendered us illegitimate as a dominant
figure in the reconstruction of any Arab country. That alone
should have kept us out of the war in the first place – and that
alone should prompt the Democrats to focus, not just on getting
out, not just on setting dates and benchmarks, but on finding a
collective substitute to lead the reconstruction task.
It was a virtue of the
Tikkun ad in the NYT that it saw this need, and focused on
An early version of the ad >>
Reflections after Memorial Day
A war memorial for all the victims
John Feffer writes for
Foreign Policy in Focus a reflection on Memorial Day that sees
the wider (or deeper) possibilities in such an occasion. It
On the island of Okinawa is a very unusual
war memorial. The Cornerstone of Peace resembles the Vietnam
War memorial in certain respects: large black walls
inscribed with names. But the Cornerstone of Peace has a
different shape: curved, concentric walls rather than an
angled slash. More importantly, the Okinawa memorial lists
all of those who died in the World War II Battle of Okinawa:
Americans, Japanese, Okinawans, Koreans, and others.
The rest of the
Thanks to Witherspooner
June 10 Rally in Washington, DC:
Calling for an End to Israel's
40-Year Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem
The Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle
East Peace (WIAMEP) and Friends of Sabeel North America invite
everyone to meet at 1 p.m. in front of the National Gallery of
Art, East Building, on 4th St. just south of Pennsylvania Ave.
We'll go together to the West Lawn of the Capital for the 2 p.m.
rally. For a complete list of events for June 10-11 and a list
of rally speakers, see
Immokalee workers continue progress toward greater justice
Yum! Brands expands deal with tomato pickers
to all its restaurants
Yum! Brands Inc.
recently announced that it has expanded its agreement with a
group of church-backed tomato pickers to cover all of its
restaurant chains: Pizza Hut, KFC, Long John Silver's and A&W
All-American Food Restaurants.
The rest of
the story, from Presbyterian News Service >>
WHY MEN ARE NEVER DEPRESSED
Men Are Just Happier People –
What do you expect from such
simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all
yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just
another snack. You can be President. You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO
shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth.
Synod PJC: presbytery can’t make ordination standards
skirts authoritative interpretation
We welcome your
comments about this decision!
Just send a note, to be posted here.
May 29, 2007 – A church court has concluded that Pittsburgh
Presbytery cannot "elevate" language from the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.) constitution to make compliance with ordination
standards "essential" and that it must apply the guidelines to
ministerial candidates on an individual basis.
The May 16 ruling by the Permanent Judicial
Commission (PJC) of the Synod of the Trinity followed a two-day
hearing in Camp Hill, PA, regarding a resolution that Pittsburgh
Presbytery adopted on Oct. 12, 2006.
The presbytery’s resolution called compliance
with the PC(USA)’s ordination standards from The Book of
Order, which require chastity in singleness or fidelity in
heterosexual marriage, an "essential of Reformed polity." It
stated that no exceptions would be permitted within the
jurisdiction of Pittsburgh Presbytery.
The resolution also said that clergy are
prohibited from conducting same-sex marriages within the
The resolution became the focus of a synod
court case after three Presbyterian ministers in Pittsburgh,
along with two of their church sessions, complained that the
middle governing body exceeded its authority to interpret the
church’s constitution by approving a "super standard" that
"supplants" the PC(USA)’s ordination standards.
The synod PJC ruled 8-3 that the presbytery
could not call the ordination standards "an essential" of
The rest of
the report >>
Learning to live with G-6.0108
and the Authoritative Interpretation
Before this decision
was issued, Witherspoon Society Issues Analyst Gene TeSelle
prepared an analysis of different strategies being used by those
who are opposing the 2006 GA action, which issued a new
"Authoritative Interpretation" that would allow candidates for
ordination -- and the sessions or presbyteries that make the
decisions to ordain them -- to respect the consciences of the
Even before the
Assembly took this action, and certainly since this action,
opponents have attacked it with various actions. All of
these measures are versions of the movement for "strict
subscription" that divided the Church of Scotland in the
early 18th century and was rejected by Presbyterians in the
American colonies from 1729 on. And all of them try, in
various ways, to offer interpretations of the Constitution
that would have the same authority as the Constitution
itself — a move that was rejected by the General Assembly of
1927 in approving the report of the Swearingen Commission.
The full article >>
A report from Israel/Palestine
Small steps toward a just peace
from Shannon O’Donnell
Shannon O’Donnell is a Presbyterian Volunteer in Mission,
serving in Jerusalem with the
Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation
For her earlier reports >>
In this report, Shannon begins:
This past month I’ve had a number of experiences that
continue to shape my thoughts, faith, and point of view. I was able to
help rebuild some houses that had been destroyed, serve as an Ecumenical
Accompanier in Yanoun, and participate in a protest in Bil’in. Each
experience taught me something about what it means to work for peace,
how to live out my beliefs, how to put actions behind my words, and when
to rest within silence. The rest
of the story >>
Easter Hope in a Good Friday World
Dr. Paul E. Capetz is joining
Douglas Ottati in the writing of "Theological Musing," a regular column for
Network News. He is Associate Professor of Historical Theology at
United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
by Paul E. Capetz
In this personal reflection on the events we
recently remembered and celebrated in Holy Week, he suggests that the heart
of the story is not the cheering story of Easter, but the painfully real
story of Good Friday. He writes:
It is not the doctrine [of atonement],
but the story of Jesus’ crucifixion that is essential. The gospel is,
after all, a story about a messiah whose victory does not look very
messianic. It is the story of a faithful Jew, whose fidelity led him to
the cross and who calls us to the same fidelity even if it might also
lead us to the cross. To illustrate what such fidelity means for modern
people we only need remember Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King,
Jr., and Oscar Romero. The story is as timely today as it was in ancient
The full essay
A Retreat for LGBT Presbyterian Seminarians, Candidates &
June 7 - 10, 2007
at a retreat center in rural Michigan*
This announcement comes from More Light
More Light Presbyterians is pleased to serve
as a co-sponsor with Presbyterian Welcome; Immanuel Presbyterian
Church, Montgomery, Alabama; and other LGBT affirming groups and
churches for this special retreat designed for LGBT Presbyterian
Seminarians, Candidates and Inquirers.
*For more information, registration or
scholarship information please contact
the Rev. Mieke Vandersall, Minister Director, Presbyterian
Welcome, by phone at (917) 441-8638 or email at
Co-Moderator, More Light Presbyterians, will be participating in
this retreat as a resource person and polity consultant. We are
also supplying educational resource packets for all retreat
participants. For more information about the retreat, the
ordination process, polity consultations, etc. you can reach
Bear via email at
"Speaking of Faith" for Memorial Day
For Memorial Day, you may want to revisit
Krista Tippet's 2006 conversation with Chaplain Major John
Morris on her respected NPR program "Speaking of Faith." He
offers challenging insights into the spiritual aspect of our
current conflicts, and the spiritual imprint that war always
leaves on soldiers, citizens, and a nation. The War on Terror,
he says, presents its own spiritual challenges.
An invitation from Rick Ufford-Chase
Come to a "cowboy camp meeting" for peace, justice and care
for creation at Ghost Ranch
The Week of Peace: co-sponsored by all the coolest organizations
working in and around the PC(USA) for peace, justice and
environmental sustainability, this will be an old-fashioned
"cowboy camp meeting." There will be worship every night in the
new worship space. Argentine theologian Roberto Jordan (who
co-wrote the World Alliance of Reformed Churches Confession from
Accra, Ghana) will preach four of the nights, noted
environmentalist/theologian Larry Rasmussen will preach one
evening. Sign up for one intensive workshop on a variety of
peacemaking concerns, which will meet each morning. Afternoons
will be free to enjoy the ranch. An intentional camp culture
will be created (led by Rick Ufford-Chase) for those who prefer
to rough it and share meal preparation together.
more information, and links to the Ghost Ranch site >>
From SOA Watch
Now's the time to urge your Representative to
co-sponsor the bill to investigate the School of the Americas/
Click here to send a message >>
More from SOA Watch:
As action against the School of the Americas/WHINSEC grows
stronger, the School is on alert and taking action against its
about SOA/WHINSEC >>
SOA Watch is organizing delegations to Colombia and Venezuela
– and you’re invited.
Read more about the
delegation to Colombia >>
Sorry -- we can't find any information about the Venezuela
delegation right now.
Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy sends new E-MEMO UPDATE
ACSWP is broadening its e-mailing list, and will be sending
update notes on its work "several times a year." According to the Rev. Dr.
Chris Iosso, Coordinator of the Advisory Committee, "We also welcome
suggestions of topics or notice of developments [of] which reflective social
justice practitioners should be apprised. We plan to communicate as well
with past Church & Society Magazine subscribers on new ways to
communicate the ethics work and thinking of the church."
This first memo includes notes on ACSWP’s report to GAC;
current work on the new Social Creed; the Ghost Ranch Week for Peace and
Justice; globalization; Iraq; the planned fall consultation on Peacemaking,
Religion, Violence and Terrorism; environmental concerns; and energy.
To join this e-list, send a blank e-mail message to
For more on the Advisory Committee on Social Witness
Policy, go to
Click here for
the full E-Memo Update >>
Democrats, the War, and
Congressional votes, allowing continued funding for the US war
in Iraq (etc., etc.) have raised many concerns and complaints.
Here are four varied responses for your consideration:
Buchanan says the Democrats "caved" because the didn't have
the courage to risk their political fortunes.
Michael Lerner says they gave in because they can't offer a
morally grounded responses to Bush's push for the war. And
more war. And more war ....
The Network of Spiritual Progressives (of
which Lerner is a founder and major leader) offers what we might
faith-based "talking points" on some of the major
social-political issues today: foreign policy, health,
Finally, Gary Dorrien, the new Reinhold
Niebuhr professor of social ethics at Union Theological Seminary
in New York City, discusses the apparent tension between
"Christian realism" and current value-centered approaches to
What do you think?
How do you balance political "realism" and moral values?
This is certainly something worth talking about, so
send a note and your voice to the conversation.
More staff cuts in Louisville
Office of the General Assembly announces reorganization
Seven staff positions eliminated to ease 2008 budget shortfall
The Office of the General Assembly (OGA)
announced plans today for a reorganization of the agency’s work,
effective immediately. Cliff Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk of the
General Assembly, made the announcement, which will involve the
elimination of seven staff positions.
Peace Fellowship reports on SOA protesters serving or just
finishing prison terms, and Costa Rica’s ending participation in
has been released from MDC Los Angeles; he is on his way to
lunch with his son and some local supporters in LA. He left a
message on my phone and sounded great. Welcome home, Phil!
Phil's email address is
In a related matter, SOA Watch has just
will no longer send students to the school. As you know,
they have no army but their national police had been going there
Thanks for your continued support of our two Presbyterian
prisoners of conscience still in prison. Don Coleman and
Julienne Oldfield reported to prison on April 17, so Don has
one more month to serve and Julienne will be in for 2 more
ARTHUR D. COLEMAN #92949-020
METROPOLITAN CORRECTIONAL CENTER
71 WEST VAN BUREN STREET
CHICAGO, IL 60605
JULIENNE OLDFIELD #92954-020
FEDERAL DETENTION CENTER
P.O. BOX 562
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106
Witness in Washington Weekly
This weekly bulletin, produced by the
Washington Office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), focuses
this week on some issues about which the PC(USA) has stated
policies, and which are now wending their way somewhere through
the halls of Congress:
• Tell Your Members of Congress to Vote NO on
Fast Track Renewal!
• Housing Vouchers: an important support for
• Stated Clerk's Letter to Congress Opposing
Free Trade Agreements
• Clarification of Presbyterian Policy Related
to the Supreme Court Ruling on Late Term Abortions
Click here to see the
of each of the items; to read the rest,
click here, and scroll down the page to that point.
The Legacy of Jerry Falwell is considered in a new, one-page
piece in the Thoughtful Christian series
John Dart, news editor for the Christian Century, looks
at Falwell’s influence on American politics as he linked
conservative Christians to the Republican Party, though his
influence has faded in recent years. He notes that Falwell,
unlike many other leaders on the Christian right, managed to
relate well with many of his opponents.
The study is produced under the aegis of Westminster John Knox
Press, and is available online for $5.
More – and to order >>
See other comments on the life
and work of Jerry Falwell >>
Don't forget two important
Witherspoon events coming soon:
FOR PEACE, GLOBAL JUSTICE AND CREATION
July 30 - August 5, 2007
Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico
An Invitation to Global Discipleship
A Witherspoon conference on global mission and justice
September 16 - 19, 2007
You can now register
online for this conference --
and even pay, too.
We're added new information for both events
-- so check 'em out!
on the life and work of the Rev. Jerry Falwell
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who died on May 15,
was a significant and polarizing figure in American politics and religion
during the last 30 years.
For many of us, his death is an occasion
for reflecting on the rise of the Religious Right in the United States, and
its current role in our society and our political life.
So here’s a survey of some of the
commentaries on Jerry Falwell and his significance for us today.
We've included comments from
We welcome your comments, or suggestions of others that
we might include.
Just send a note!
WASHINGTON REPORT TO PRESBYTERIANS
The 110th Congress has been in session for
four months, with little to show for its work in the way of
substantive legislative achievements. The budget for fiscal year
2008 has not been adopted, and other major issues await action.
This issue of Washington Report to Presbyterians discusses three
high priority concerns for the religious community that will be
the subject of debate and contention in Congress this year.
I'm back -- after 5 days on a very good silent retreat, and
five days of a challenging struggle with computer woes. Sorry for the
One result of the computer problems
was my loss of some files, including email and such. So if you have
sent me anything over the past month or two that has not been acknowledged,
please let me know!
Just send a note.
Your webweaver, Doug King
On God and Empire
We have posted and published discussions over the past few years about the
present efforts of the US to wield the power of Empire over the rest of the
world. As a reminder of this concern, we suggest you might want to look at
brief summary by John Shuck of John Dominic Crossan’s book on God and
Crossan sees Jesus as standing over against the majesty of Imperial Rome,
and against the strong threads of violence woven through the Hebrew and
Christian scriptures. Jesus confronts us, he says, with a choice between
seeking peace through victory, or peace through justice.
For some of our earlier posts on
the subject >>
Order Crossan's book from here
Warfare in orbit is only news when China does it
The Real 'Masters of Space' say so.
Back in January of this year, China was widely reported to have conducted
its first test of an anti-satellite missile. Karl Grossman, professor of
journalism at SUNY College at Old Westbury, and author of Weapons in Space
and other books, has published a very interesting article examining how US
news media reported that event. For instance, CNN’s intrepid Lou Dobbs
proclaimed, "Communist China tonight refusing to explain its motives for
conducting its first-ever anti-satellite missile test. That test, the latest
in a series of dangerous new challenges by the Chinese military to this
Read the full article >>
He examines reporting by the New York Times, various journals of the
space and nuclear industries, along with a few critical comments (from
He cites Bruce Gagnon, who for 15 years has been coordinator of the
Global Network Against Weapons and
Nuclear Power in Space, who provides a summary comment:
While China's ASAT test is troubling, it is also
hypocritical of the U.S. to criticize them for doing something that our
country has been doing since the 1980s. The Pentagon today is developing
a host of ASAT weapons technologies that would give them the ability to
knock out other countries’ satellites. Sadly, the American people don't
know anything about this because the corporate-dominated media refuse to
cover the story.
2007 issue of Extra! The Magazine of FAIR--The Media Watch
Rev. Jerry Falwell dies
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, who
founded the Moral Majority and built the religious right into a political
force, died Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in his office at
Liberty University, a school executive said. He was 73.
PJC says ordination standards include ministerial
The highest court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has affirmed that the
standards for ordaining non-celibate gays and lesbians extend to those
seeking to become candidates for the ministry.
The statement came in a ruling issued last week by the
PC(USA)'s General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) in the case
of George R. Stewart vs. Mission Presbytery.
The case involved a woman who in October 2005 was accepted as a candidate
for ministry by Mission Presbytery, which is based in San Antonio, TX. The
presbytery voted to approve her candidacy even though its moderator informed
members that the candidate "is a lesbian and lives in a committed (same-sex)
The full story from
Presbyterian News Service >>
Presbyterians for Restoring Creation names Rev. Renee
Marie Rico as new national Coordinator
Presbyterians for Restoring Creation – a nationwide network that responds to
the call of the Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA) to care for God’s creation
– has named The Rev. Renee Marie Rico as its new national Coordinator. She
replaces Rebecca Barnes-Davies who was PRCs first Coordinator (September
2001-May 2007), who will be moving on to attend Louisville Seminary in the
fall. Rico will begin her duties on June 1, 2007.
More Light Presbyterians recommends ...
OutFront Arizona Conference
Blessing All Our Families
June 1 - 2, 2007, Phoenix, Arizona
More Light Presbyterians is delighted to be one of the
national sponsors of this extraordinary 2-day conference celebrating and
offering education about LGBT persons, relationships and families within a
faith context in Phoenix, June 1 - 2.
This OutFront Arizona Conference is being offered by the
Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific
School of Religion, and No Longer Silent, Clergy for Justice coalition in
Arizona. First Congregational UCC Church, Phoenix, is the host church.
For those of you in the Southwest particularly, we
encourage you to participate in this conference. The worship, speakers and
workshops are a strong program which includes our Marvin Ellison, Professor
of Ethics and Presbyterian minister, Bangor Theological Seminary. The
conference flyer follows this invitation. Scholarships are available to
students and those on limited income.
For more information on the conference and registration,
please go to www.clgs.org or contact me at
email@example.com or the
National MLP Field Office (505) 820-7082.
With hope and grace,
Michael J. Adee, M.Div., Ph.D., National Field Organizer, More Light
Speaking of coming events --
Don't forget two major events sponsored (or co-sponsored) by the
16 - 19, 2007, in Louisville, Kentucky
An Invitation to Global Discipleship
A Witherspoon conference on global
mission and justice
A WEEK FOR PEACE, GLOBAL JUSTICE AND
July 30 - August 5, 2007
Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico
The Witherspoon Society is joining with the
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, Presbyterians for Restoring Creation and the
Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, along with Ghost Ranch, to provide
Presbyterians with a rich selection of leaders and topics centering on just
what the title says: peace, global justice, and the creation.
We'll be away for a while -- but this website will still be here, and
we'll be adding new items in just about a week. See you then!
Wolf's heart is
in the right place but her head is elsewhere
A comment from Berry Craig, who begins:
I like Naomi Wolf’s books. But if
a story posted elsewhere on the Witherspoon
website is an example of how she writes history, she should stick to other
The headline is a grabber: "Fascist America, in 10 easy steps." The story
Wolf claims history proves it takes "10 steps" to turn a democracy into a
dictatorship. "... Each of these 10 steps has already been initiated today
in the United States by the Bush administration," she added.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t vote for the
Union-Buster-in-Chief (or his daddy). My candidate in 2000 was Al Gore,
whom Wolf worked for.
Wolf’s heart is in the right place. Her head is
somewhere else if she thinks "George Bush and his administration are using
time-tested tactics to close down an open society."
Bush is not a big fan of the Bill of Rights (except for
the Second Amendment).
But that doesn’t make him a Fascist.
Time to support the Hate Crimes Prevention Act
Thursday, May 3, the House of Representatives passed the Hate Crimes
Prevention Act by a vote of 237 to 180.
People for the American Way suggests that the more
difficult challenge will be passing this bill in the Senate. They encourage
people to send a message to their Senators, urging them to pass this vital
Petition your senators today. PFAW will gather as many signatures as we
can with your help, then we’ll
compile the signatures from each state and make sure all U.S.
senators know that Americans support hate crimes legislation to help
ensure the prosecution of violent crime.
The latest human tragedy illustrating the need for this bill is that of
Ryan Skipper, a 25-year-old Florida man who was murdered in March for
being gay. His assailants stabbed him 20 times, cut his throat and left
his body on the side of the road. This level of brutality is painful even
to think about, and not remotely acceptable in the America you, I or any
of us want to live in.
Passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act will send the message that
anti-gay violence will not be tolerated in the United States.
Please sign PFAW’s
petition to the Senate today, urging passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention
After you sign, help increase the strength and effectiveness of the
petition by reaching out to your friends and family and getting them to
sign as well. Forward this note or direct them to this link:
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that the
"only effect [hate
crimes legislation] will truly have is to gag people of faith and
conviction who disagree with the homosexual agenda."
Although the Far Right was unable to
stop the Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the House, it will surely be
targeting senators with the same misleading line about how the bill
threatens free speech and freedom of religion –
despite the fact that nothing could be further from the truth and that
PFAW successfully debunked these claims with members of Congress and the
We beat the Right and won a hard-fought victory today in the House.
With your help, we’ll
do the same in the Senate.
Thank you for all you do for the American Way.
Ralph G. Neas, President
People For the American Way
Families USA has created a new Faith-Based Resource Center
This announcement comes from Families USA
We are happy to inform you that we have recently created a
new Faith-Based Resource Center
on our Web site. This new resource center is intended to empower those in
the faith community who wish to advocate for high-quality, affordable health
care for all and, at the same time, to help advocates seeking to reach out
to communities of faith.
To receive e-mails specifically related to faith-based
health care access efforts, click
here to sign up.
The tools and resources on the site outline specific
strategies for the faith community to use in achieving health care equity.
In the days to come, we hope to add additional resources to this list. Some
of the resources currently on the Web site include:
• Case studies on how specific faith communities have gotten involved in
health care advocacy;
• Sample bulletins on different health care issues that can be
distributed within the faith community;
• An activity to develop strategies for addressing health policy issues
on the local, state, and national level;
• A tip sheet on how advocates can effectively engage the faith community
on health care issues.
We would love to hear from you. If you have suggestions
for materials we should post or organizations we should link to,
please let us know.
For more on the issue of
health care >>
Restoring Creation Conference planned for October
The sixth National Eco-Justice Conference
of Presbyterians for Restoring Creation is scheduled at Mo-Ranch
Presbyterian Conference Center in Hunt, Texas, Oct. 25-28. At the
conference, participants will explore the themes of food and energy choices.
Speakers and workshop leaders will focus on several subjects including
biblical and theological foundations for eco-justice, social justice, and
scientific and political issues.
Presbyterians for Restoring Creation is an
affiliate, grassroots organization of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Details about the conference, "Earth Sabbath, Earth Justice: Protecting
God’s Gifts of Food and Fuel," can be
found at www.prcweb.org
The killings at
Virginia Tech -- 3 perspectives
The Virginia Tech "massacre" generates
lines of reflection
Witherspoon Issues Analyst Gene TeSelle
sorts out some of those lines – as a starting point for more reflection
is a poem in which the Rev. Bobbie McGarey transforms the pain of the
Blacksburg killings into a prayer.
Presbyterian pastors in Blacksburg tell of their experience and their
roles, and see faith, community and time as vital in the process of healing
. A report from Presbyterian News Service.
Presbyterian Witness in Washington Weekly for
April 30, 2007
The Presbyterian Washington Office provides updates on
current legislation in Congress dealing with issues of special concern:
This week’s issues are-
Farm workers movement says Thanks
We recently passed along a
request from the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO, for support
in their campaign to get the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
to press the Mexican government to guarantee the safety of farm labor
organizers in Mexico, after the murder of one of their staff members.
The campaign has achieved its goal – or at least a
significant step toward that goal.
terrorism: who’s doing it to whom?
Is the US
protecting terrorists like Luis Posada, while imprisoning Cubans who have
sought to protect their people against terrorism?
The Nation magazine has released a special issue
focusing on the future of Cuba. Guest editor Peter Kornbluh writes in this
Perhaps more than any other nation over the past fifty
years, Cuba has consistently faced both threatened and real assassination
attempts, sabotage efforts, armed attacks and bombings, infamous among
them the midair destruction of a Cubana passenger plane in 1976.
Yet even in the post-9/11 world, US soil continues to be used for such
In fact, the Five are better understood as counterterrorism agents
whose goal was to protect Cubans and other innocent victims from the
violence of committed terrorists like Luis Posada. The Bush
Administration's handling of these two historically inseparable cases is a
reminder that, when it comes to Cuba, US policy-makers refuse to recognize
the difference between those who commit acts of terror and those seeking
to counter them.
For Kornbluh’s article on "Terror and the
Counterterrorists," and more, go to www.thenation.com, and search for "Cuba"
40 Years in the Wilderness: 40 Years of Occupation
Sabeel announces 2nd
International Young Adult Conference to be held this summer, traveling
through Jerusalem and the West Bank, July 19-29.
Sabeel’s vision for this conference is
to gather, network, and further educate young leaders from Palestine and
around the world during this 40th year of the Occupation, so that
they may be trained, commissioned, and equipped with the tools to act in
advocacy to end the Occupation.
For items from earlier in
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
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!