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The Episcopal Church’s Anti-Israel Media Campaign
By CAMERA
September 6, 2006

The Socialist Workers Party at Prayer
By Mark D. Tooley
July 16, 2009

Anti-Israel Zealots Chastise Episcopal Church
By Mark D. Tooley
January 25, 2013

 

 


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  • Seeks to promote “social justice” and to “transform unjust structures of society”
  • Embraces identity politics
  • Views America as a nation awash in white racism
  • Believes that “climate change” is caused by the carbon emissions associated with human industrial activity
  • Defends the rights of illegal immigrants
  • Claims that the American criminal-justice system is fundamentally racist
  • Is overtly hostile toward Israel and its principal ally, America

 

Consisting of 109 dioceses in 16 nations, the Episcopal Church (EC) was first organized in the late 18th century and is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion. In points of doctrine, worship, and ministerial order, it descended from, and has remained associated with, the Church of England. Today, approximately 90% of EC's two million baptized members live in the United States. For details about the Church's history and religious doctrines, click here and here.

In addition to spreading the Christian gospel and aiding the poor, EC's top priority is to promote “
social justice” and “transform unjust structures of society.” Viewing the United States as a nation awash in institutionalized racism, the Church embraces identity politics that distinguish nonwhite victims from their white oppressors. Consequently, EC has established a number of separate “ministries” geared toward the respective interests and concerns of Asians, Blacks, Native American/Indigenous Peoples, and Latinos/Hispanics. To complement these initiatives, EC's Antiracism Training program aims to help ministers and congregants alike to become “more aware of how society's racist past still haunts us today,” and to “dismantle” the “systemic racism” that gives “privilege to some at the expense of others.” The Church further addresses these issues through its Racial Reconciliation Ministry.

Likewise committed to the “
full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender” people, EC in 2012 voted overwhelmingly to allow the ordination of transgenders.

Another major
EC initiative is its constellation of Eco-Justice Ministries, which emphasize the “mounting urgency” of addressing “climate change” by regulating more strictly the human industrial activity that allegedly causes it. The climate crisis, says EC, is evidenced by the fact that “glaciers are disappearing,” “the polar ice cap is melting,” “sea levels are rising,” and “the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at an unprecedented rate.” Asserting that “the poor”—both in the U.S. and abroad—“suffer most” from climate change, EC's “environmental justice” initiatives advocate: (a) anti-pollution measures that specifically target poor communities, and (b) compensatory wealth-redistribution from the well-off to the poor within the United States, and from industrialized to non-industrialized nations globally.

EC's Migration Ministries strive to help refugee families in America obtain “vital services” such as English-language and cultural orientation classes, employment services, public-school enrollment, and “assistance with housing and transportation.” The Church also prides itself on defending the rights of illegal immigrants. For example:

  • In February 2013, EC's Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, condemned the “undignified and unjust” manner in which America generally treated illegals. Moreover, she demanded “the immediate termination of destructive enforcement programs like Secure Communities,” a federal information-sharing partnership that enabled ICE and the FBI to identify criminal aliens more effectively.
  • When scores of thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America flooded across the U.S.-Mexico border in mid-2014, EC implored the federal government to keep the “borders open” for these “vulnerable refugees,” and to provide them with “appropriate, child-centered care”at American taxpayer expense.

EC is also committed to helping inmates and parolees deal with the “painful and damaging process” of incarceration through its Prison Ministries, which advocate “reform not only of the prison system but of the criminal justice system” as a whole—on the premise that the system is fundamentally racist. Favoring “restorative” rather than punitive justice, EC maintains that capital punishment violates “the sacredness of human life” on the one hand, and prevents crime victims from “achiev[ing] true healing” on the other.

EC's position on Israel has evolved dramatically in recent decades.
In the 1950s and '60s, Episcopal leaders were staunch defenders the Jewish state and its right to exist. But in the '70s and '80s, the Church fell increasingly under the sway of Liberation Theology and its belief that the Palestinians were innocent victims of a ruthless Israeli oppressor. Today, EC is overtly hostile toward Israel and its principal ally, America.

Consider, for instance, that in 2009, Israel and the U.S. were the only two nations in the world that were criticized directly by any of the myriad resolutions which were brought before the Episcopal General Convention. Among other things, these resolutions condemned: (a) Israel's anti-terrorism security barrier in the West Bank; (b) the “crippling blockade” of Gaza by the Israeli “occupying power”; (c) Israel's “oppression” and “ghetto-ization” of the Palestinians; (d) the “individual and global injustices” that had resulted from America's “invasion and occupation of Iraq,” including the “death and maiming of countless Iraqi innocents”; (e) America's failure to endorse the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; (f) America's failure to ban cluster bombs; and (g) America's “use of torture and … extraordinary rendition.” “The United States needs to face as a nation its complicity and support, financially and emotionally, for [the Israeli] occupation,” said Episcopal Priest Richard Toll, chairman of Friends of Sabeel North America.

Another 2009 EC resolution quoted from the Free Gaza Movement (FGM) in characterizing Israeli policies as a “man-made disaster” that “continues to devastate the people of Gaza.” The following year, EC Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori denounced Israel’s deadly encounter with FGM's Gaza-bound flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea, stating that “the deaths of civilians working to deliver humanitarian aid could not have happened absent the counterproductive Israeli blockade of Gaza” that “intensifies human suffering and perpetuates regional insecurity.”[1]

By contrast, not a single resolution considered by the Episcopal General Convention in 2009 expressed support for Israel or concerns about Islamic terrorism.

On December 15, 2012, All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena, California hosted the annual
convention of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a group with Muslim Brotherhood origins. At this event, EC's Reverend Ed Bacon recounted the “heartbreaking” misery he had witnessed among Palestinians during his visit to the Gaza Strip ten years earlier. Bacon also asserted that “the history of Christianity is littered with acts of evil,” citing the Crusades, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow laws, and “Islamophobia.”

Notwithstanding
its low regard for Israel, prior to 2013 the Episcopal Church had never seriously considered participating in an anti-Israel divestment campaign. But in January of that year, a coalition calling themselves the Episcopal Voices of Conscience” drafted a “Prophetic Challenge” to their denomination’s Executive Council. “Just as this church stood with South Africa and Namibia during the dark days of Apartheid,” said the document, “so we recognize that we need to be standing with our sister and brother Palestinians who have endured an Apartheid that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has described as worse than it was in South Africa.” The signatories exhorted EC to “immediately” take measures to ensure that “our financial resources are not being used to support the infrastructure of this suffocating occupation.” When the question of divestment was raised again in 2015, however, the Church rejected it. 

Emblematic of EC's ties to the political left is the fact that Bishop Gene Robinson, the Church’s first openly homosexual bishop, became a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress after he retired from the Church in 2013.


For additional information on the Episcopal Church, click here.


NOTE:

[1] Those whom FGM described as "civilians" delivering "humanitarian aid" were in fact Turkish terrorists with ties to Hamas, al Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood. For details about these terrorists and their encounter with Israeli commandos, click here.



 

 

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