OK, about an hour after yesterday’s post, I realized there might be some irony, or hypocrisy, in complaining about a worship leader not using inclusive language and then, a few days later, getting offended when someone questioned whether Rev. Sharon Watkins’ gender had anything to do with my mention of her apparel in a news article during General Assembly. I’m still up in the air…is it a question of ‘big stuff’ vs. ‘small stuff’? A motto of the Disciples of Christ is “in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” So was it just a matter of someone else’s essentials not being my essentials? Hmm…

On another note, Martin Peretz, editor in chief of the New Republic, has taken a swipe at the Disciples and other mainline Protestant denominations who have taken stands of some form against Israeli policies and practices toward Palestinians. A group of Jewish organizations also sent a letter to Watkins, our new GMP, and to Peter Makari, of Global Ministries. (If you cannot view the whole article by Peretz and want to read it, email me.)

On July 12, the Associated Press reported that an Israeli cabinet minister acknowledged that the wall is meant to ensure a Jewish majority in Jerusalem, and is not just a temporary security measure.

During the General Assembly, protestors stood outside the convention center with signs, waving Israeli flags. I stopped to talk with them. The ones I spoke with hemmed and hawed about their religious affiliation before finally ‘fessing up that they were some form of evangelical Christians who came down from Washington state to protest. Then they started quoting the Bible to me, scarily including reminders from the book of Revelation that Israel must be restored before Christ’s second coming. I did not argue with them, even when they reminded me that “Jesus was a Jew.” I overheard them talking and apparently they knew very little about the General Assembly resolution or the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). I guess all it takes is an email telling you to go and defend the Chosen People (whose quest serves your own eschatology) and you get in the car and go?

Interestingly, the Institute on Religion and Democracy (a misnomer if there ever was one) somehow got involved in the issue and held a poorly-attended press conference. Perhaps they rallied the troops.

I suspect we’ll be hearing more about this issue – pro and con.