Saturday, November 13, 2004

More Presbyterian Church Fallout

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is on alert as described:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Presbyterian Church (USA) (search) has stepped up security at its headquarters and advised its churches to be on alert after receiving a letter threatening arson attacks because of its policies in the Middle East.

The handwritten letter, received Wednesday at the church's Louisville headquarters, threatened to set churches on fire while people were inside in retaliation for "anti-Israel and anti-Jewish attitudes," Jerry L. Van Marter (search), director of the Presbyterian news service, said Saturday.

The letter had no return address, but it was postmarked from Queens, N.Y., Van Marter said. The letter gave a Nov. 15 deadline for the church to reverse its Middle East policies, he said.

Church officials are taking the threat seriously and have contacted law enforcement authorities in Kentucky and New York, Van Marter said.

The FBI (search) is investigating the letter with help from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and local authorities, FBI spokesman David Beyer said.

Van Marter said the church has received thousands of letters, e-mails and phone calls since the church's General Assembly decided in June to begin the process of selective divestment from corporations supporting the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.

I had an earlier post concerning this issue, that includes a link to an essay by Dennis Prager. Go read it for the background info on this issue.

The other day, after finding out that my internet friend, Politickal Animal, was a card-carrying, ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church, I asked him for his thoughts on this issue. He responded with a wonderful, comprehensive post. His post has many links to background information of what exactly occurred and also provides an insightful view of how the folks at the local church level feels about what has transpired by their corporate leaders. You should definitely go check out his perspective.

It is very concerning that a christian church has been hijacked by its own corporate office.