Will Spotts provides an admirable Fisking of an FAQ document provided by members of the Presbyterian Church to explain their divestment positions.
The original FAQ, full of reasonable sounding language, tries to make the case for continuity between previous divestment-related General Assembly decisions and this year’s choices (although they leave out rejection of divestment in 2006, 2008 and 2010 from their historic timeline – and seem to portray last Spring’s rejection of divestment by the Methodists as a decisions still pending).
This document also deftly avoids charges of hypocrisy by highlighting past church divestment activities that fell well within church consensus (Sudan and Apartheid South Africa), but avoiding an explanation as to why church investments in human rights disaster areas like China and Saudi Arabia remain unchallenged.
But what is most remarkable about this FAQ is that it avoids altogether the unquestionable consequences of any PCUSA 2012 divestment vote, consequences we know full well will happen because we’ve been here before in 2004.
So just in case anyone is listening, if PCUSA decides to pass this “humble, reasonable” divestment overtures they are being served by those smiling, friendly BDS advocates, here is what will happen minutes later:
* Those friendly BDS champions will immediately announce to the world that the Presbyterian Church is now fully onboard the BDS bandwagon in condemning Israel as an Apartheid state (i.e., a state made up of racist murderers)
* They will leave your hall and fan out across the globe to declare that every other church, city, school, union and other civic institution should join the Presbyterian Church in singling out Israel for economic punishment
* The Jewish community will react with outrage at being slapped in the face (yet again) despite a decade of broken promises that the endless propagandizing against Israel would cease (or at least be moderated)
* Thousands of church members, unaware of what is being voted on in their name, will be appalled and angered and wonder why divestment (which they thought was voted down time and time again) is once again the policy of a church they thought took their concerns into consideration
It would have been great had those pushing divestment within the church had the decency to let members know that this is what they will be voting on, rather than trying to wrap a radical departure from church policy in the appearance of continuity and moderation.
But, as noted before, PCUSA boycott advocates seem to be BDSers first, Presbyterians second. And if the church decides to rejoin the BDS “movement,” members of that movement will not stick around to help PCUSA deal with the fallout of such a decision. Rather, they will have left the hall to travel the planet finding the next sucker to buy their snake oil.