Saturday, August 06, 2005

Presby Church Boycotting the Wrong Bad Guys

The Presbyterian Church has gotten righteously indignant and plans to take a vote about divesting itself of holdings in: Caterpillar, Motorola, ITT Industries and United Technologies. The Presbyterians say that these companies are providing military equipment and technology to Israel to aid the occupation of the Palestinian territories. Not to seem biased, the Presbyterians are blackballing Citigroup because the church elders say Citigroup is connected to a bank that provides money from Islamic charities to the families of suicide bombers from Palestine. Laurie Goodstein's article in the NYT this morning (Threat to Divest Is Church Tool in Israeli Fight)reports that the Presbyterians got the goods on Citigroup from an article in the Wall Street Journal. Goodstein wrote that, “The Episcopal Church U.S.A., the United Church of Christ, two regions of the United Methodist Church, as well as international groups like the World Council of Churches and the Anglican Consultative Council have all urged consideration of divestment or economic pressure in recent months.” As you might imagine, Jewish groups are pissed and are saying Israel is being unfairly blamed and Palestine should be shown as perpetuating the violence in Israel. But conspicuously absent from the Protestant hue and cry about ungodly US corporations is The Carlyle Group. Why doesn't the moral outrage of the Presbyterians and the Episcopal Church et al. extend to the biggest promoter of war and violence throughout the world-the Carlyle Group? The Carlyle Group and its investment in war munitions plants (as in, Cheney's Halliburton) are the nice folks who gave us the war in Iraq. Where were these Bible thumpers on that morally repugnant assault on humanity? When you get Christian churches defending Israel or Palestine, what you have are special-interest groups obsessed with keeping the birthplace of Jesus sacrosanct for Christians. Goodstein quotes The Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, clerk of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., saying: "It's not a campaign to divest from the state of Israel. We're fully committed to the state of Israel. But it is a campaign to divest from particular activities that are doing damage and creating injustice and violence, whether that's the building of the separation barrier, construction related to the occupation, or weapons and materials that lead to suicide bombings." Christian churches are fully committed to the state of Israel because it's the birthplace of Christ. All the rhetoric about damage and injustice and violence is crap. The injustice and violence issue is only spin and justification. The real point is that Israel/Palestine is the location of all the action in The New Testament, and that location needs to be defended from all comers. It's not about morals it's about real estate. Let the Christian churches come out and loudly boycott the war in Iraq. Let the Christian churches demand truth-telling from the warmongering White House. Let the Christian churches stand up and stand for an end to the violence, lying and injustice promoted by the Republican Party and the Carlyle Group. Then, maybe, Christian churches will have some credibility. But until that day, they are just talking out their collective ass.

No comments: