Monday, June 27, 2005

Responsible Criticism of Divestment


For those of you interested in a constructive criticism of the PCUSA's controversial divestment Israel divestment policy, I am providing a link to the letter written to the Moderator, Clerk, GA and its commissioners by a group from my presbytery, New Covenant, which was also linked today on Presbyweb (which is by available by subscription).

I know most of these folks. They are representative of the whole church: liberal and conservative, small and tall-steeple church types. They did their homework and have made some thoughtful recommendations which I hope will gain serious attention and support.

10 comments:

will spotts said...

Thanks for the link.

As a matter of curiosity, what do you consider to be irresponsible criticism of divestment? (I'm legitimately curious -- not trying to be difficult.)

Quotidian Grace said...

Good point, Will. I think that irresponsible criticism of divestment (or anything else) occurs when the criticism degenerates into name-calling or ad hominem attacks rather than a reasoned informed argument or presentation of your point of view.
Personally I was appalled by this action of the GA and am sick at heart to see it used as a precedent for similar actions by other denominations.

will spotts said...

I agree with you about this.

I ask because I have been very critical of this action in particular. (I tend to think we're way too political to begin with, so I might grouse about a lot of political actions, but this one bugged me -- as it struck me as both thoroughly non-representative and the product of a biased process.) What I'm wondering is the best way to communicate that. I have no desire to be unfair in my criticism; but I also can't pretend I agree with this, or even that I consider it OK to keep quiet about it.

will spotts said...

I just followed this link -- I had seen the letter earlier. DID YOU SEE THE RESPONSE REV. KIRKPATRICK SENT BACK???

It was released on douglas dicks's email list (he is one of the big supporters of divestment).

will spotts said...

The response is available here:
http://www.palpres.org/article.php?story=20050616094035996

Quotidian Grace said...

Will,

Thanks for the link to Kirkpatrick's response. I think Presbyweb posted the response a while back but they didn't have access to the New Covenant letter so couldn't link to what Kirkpatrick was responding to. When I saw it before, I didn't realize the letter was from our presbytery.

It's clear Kirkpatrick is determined to defend the indefensible at all costs. As a matter of fact, I have heard the presentation this group has made around the presbytery, and they did see the electrified fence and the other things he accused them of not seeing.

Earlier this spring our presbytery ran an ad in The Houston Chronicle disavowing the divestment policy of GA publicly. Many people contributed to pay for that ad. That's how strong feelings are running against it down here.

will spotts said...

I'm kind of glad to hear it. I realize the action (running an ad) can be considered divisive, but unless we state otherwise, it is assumed that we agree with this policy.

will spotts said...

Quotidian Grace,

If you know the people who are part of this group, please convey to them that many of us appreciate the work they have put into this.

Thanks.

Quotidian Grace said...

Thanks, Will. I forwarded your last comment to our General Presbyter and I am sure he will appreciate the support and pass it on to the others in the group.

will spotts said...

Thanks