Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

An Open and Discerning Mind

In preparation for the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), I used my radio program, Religion For Life, to inform the public and commissioners to the General Assembly about resolutions regarding Israel-Palestine that will be coming before the assembly.   I produced four shows.

Two interviews were with Rachel Fish, the Associate Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University.  One interview was with Jonathan Kuttab of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, and another with Brant Rosen of Jewish Voice for Peace.

I provided equal time to opposing views and allowed each guest to speak his or her truth.  Each was passionate, articulate, and intelligent.   I personally learned a great deal from each guest.  You can hear all four podcasts on the Religion For Life podcast page.  I trust you will listen to all four programs with an open and discerning mind.  

My "Thursdays with Jesus" study group also spent eight weeks with Zionism Unsettled, the study guide produced by the Israel Palestine Mission Network of the PC(USA).   The phrase used most often as we discussed the text and video clips was "eye-opening."   Again, if you read the study guide and watch the dvd, I trust you will do so with an open and discerning mind.

As a commissioner, I will hear a great deal of opinion regarding issues of divestment and opinion regarding this study guide.   I promise to hear it all with an open and discerning mind.   What more can we ask of one another?


  1. The topic of Zionism is very hard to discuss because the state of Israel has masterfully made criticism of anything it does to appear to be anti-Semitism, and most everyone in the Western world still feels guilty about the Holocaust. The question before Presbyterians however is not about whether Zionism is a good or bad thing, but about whether to divest from investments in 3 firms who make profits from destroying Palestinian settlements in lands Israel seized in 1967. Almost forgotten in all discussions are the Palestinian Christians who in one fashion or another have been squeezed, persecuted, vilified, and dispossessed for almost 70 years by the Israelis. Their efforts at peacemaking and bridgemaking need to be reinforced by the world's Christians who must stop buying Israeli propaganda hook line and sinker. Read Elias Chacour's book Blood Brothers.

    1. Yes, thank you for the reminder regarding the focus of these overtures.