Skip to comments.The Anti-Semitism of the Presbyterian Church, USA
Posted on 04/14/2010 9:19:29 AM PDT by Judith Anne
With the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA scheduled to convene in June for the first time since the 2004 GA passed a notorious antiIsrael divestment resolution, supporters and detractors of divestment are discussing whether the Church's decision was antiSemitic, or somehow antiIsrael without being antiSemitic. Curiously, despite the storm caused by the divestment vote, most Presbyterians remain unaware of the extent to which the PCUSA leadership has involved itself in oldfashioned theological antiSemitism.
The antiSemitic alliances undertaken by the national church are particularly surprising in light of the wellknown openminded and unbiased attitudes of the overwhelming majority of Presbyterians.
One of the resolutions passed at the 2004 General Assembly included a list of recommended theological 'resources.' The most troubling 'resource' on the list is the Sabeel Center for Liberation Theology. Presbyterians are familiar with liberation theology, an approach that emerged after the Second Vatican Council, focusing on Jesus as liberator of the poor and oppressed.
As political theory, it is often characterized by opponents as 'might makes wrong,' positing, as it does, that the wealthy and the powerful are definitionally unjust, and that any claim made by the poor is necessarily just. Sabeel blends this theology with Replacement Theology, in which God rescinds His covenant with the children of Israel, replacing the Jews with Christians (rather than adding a New and more universal Covenant or Testament between God and the Church to the enduring Covenant between God and the Jewish people).
Replacement theology last resurfaced in the work of protoNazi theologians, notably Adolf von Harnack. It is also known as Supercessionism. Mainstream theologians perceive a worrying reappearance of supercessionism (Replacement Theology) in the work of the Sabeel Center.
In 1987 the PCUSA formally rejected Replacement Theology:
We believe and testify that this theory of supersessionism or replacement is harmful and in need of reconsideration....We affirm that both the church and the Jewish people are elected by God for witness to the world... We affirm the continuity of God's promise of land along with the obligations of that promise to the people Israel.
This official position has not stopped the leadership of the PCUSA from entering into a close relationship with the Sabeel Center and other proponents of supercessionism. The overtly antiSemitic Sabeel Center is an official partner of the PCUSA, and receives PCUSA financial support.
The lies being told are literally outrageous. The article certainly clarifies a lot of things about the Presbyterians. It's time the truth came out.
Thanks for posting...an eye opener.
You shouldn’t lump all Presbyterians with the PCUSA. PCUSA is a very liberal denomination. Like calling all Baptists American Baptists. I am not Presbyterian btw.
I don’t know why this should surprise anyone, Presbyterians were among the most outspoken supporters of slavery and later of segregation.
Well, it’s hard to keep all these idiots apart. After all, the anti-Catholic bigots can’t keep the various blogs separate from the Catechism, I can’t be bothered to look up all these misiscule sects.
They’re all Presbyterians. They should straighten out their own church before criticizing others.
Just ignore this baiter. She is on a tirade today digging up any old article she can just to bash Protestants.
Even though she dated the article April 14, 2010, it actually goes back to 2006.
IIRC, PCUSA is a bit more liberal than the more conservative PCA
Exactly. And I have suspected this while in discourse with some anti-catholic presbyterians here.
Well 2/3 of people who identify themselves as Catholic voted for Obama. Ever denomination has plenty of hypocrites and apostates.
Document your source for 2/3 of Catholics voting for Obama.
Well, it said April 14, 2010 at the top of the page. And how is this baiting? If the Presbyterians can’t handle the truth, they should just say so.
How is the article wrong?
I found this interesting article. http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ChJew_31/4578_31.htm Presbyterian Church Leaders Meet with Terrorists in Lebanon; ADL Says “Irresponsible” Decision Furthers Interfaith Rift
How is the article wrong?
Using the term "replacement theology" is a marker for a particular theological agenda. Frankly, I don't trust any source that uses it.
Actually, about 55% of Catholics voted for Obama. A cursory web search will bear this out. Even with this percentage the point the poster was making holds.
I stand corrected:
Catholic voters mirror general electorate in support for Obama
By Patricia Zapor
Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholics pretty much voted the way the rest of the country did Nov. 4, even backing Democratic Sen. Barack Obama a little more strongly than the electorate overall, according to exit polls.
What the exit polls don’t explain, however, is whether efforts by bishops in some dioceses to direct Catholic voters to base their vote only on the abortion issue are responsible for some deviations from the general trend.
Typically, the majority of Catholic voters mirrors the majority of the electorate overall. But this time, in a couple of battleground states that Obama won but where some bishops were particularly visible on the topic of how to vote, a majority of Catholics backed Republican Sen. John McCain.
Nationwide, 54 percent of Catholics supported Obama and 44 percent voted for McCain. Of the total population, 52 percent voted for Obama and 46 percent for McCain.
By comparison, 52 percent of Catholics in 2004 supported Republican President George W. Bush and 47 percent voted for Democratic Sen. John Kerry. The total vote in 2004 was 51 percent for Bush and 48 percent for Kerry. In 2000 Catholics also lined up with the popular vote and supported Vice President Al Gore by 50 percent to the 47 percent who backed Bush that year. Bush won the electoral vote but not the popular vote.
Political and sociological analysts in several interviews and teleconferences Nov. 5 pointed out that Obama’s vote among Catholics reflected a 7-point increase over the Catholic vote for Kerry.
The exit polls divided voters into “all Catholics” or white, non-Hispanic Catholics. In the latter group, the shift toward the Democratic candidate was less pronounced than among Catholics overall. Fifty-two percent of white Catholics supported McCain, and 47 percent voted for Obama. Majorities of white Catholics also voted for Bush in both his elections, by 56 percent in 2004 and 52 percent in 2000.
Approximately 40 percent of U.S. Catholics are Hispanic and another 3 percent are African-American. Asian and Pacific Islanders constitute about 4 percent.
Latinos nationwide voted for Obama by 67 percent to 31 percent for McCain. African-Americans voted for Obama by 95 percent to 4 percent. Asians supported Obama by 62 percent to 35 percent.
In some states, Obama’s gains among Catholics were more substantial than the general picture. In Indiana in 2004, for example, Catholics supported Bush by 56 percent to 43 percent. This year in that state, Catholics were split evenly between Obama and McCain.
Although McCain won a majority of voters who attend church most frequently, Obama also made substantial inroads into that group, noted John Green, senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, in one of several teleconferences in which he spoke. The Republican advantage of 64 percent to 35 percent of those voters in 2004 shrank to just 55 percent McCain voters to 46 percent Obama voters.
The analysts agreed that voters based their election choices primarily on issues such as the economy, health care and the war in Iraq, rather than on issues typically identified as major religious concerns: abortion and same-sex marriage.
But Stephen Schneck, director of the Life Cycle Institute at The Catholic University of America, said that “for Catholics the economy itself is a moral issue.”
Especially in hard times, he said in a teleconference sponsored by the organization Faith in Public Life, “Catholics are reminded that there are moral dimensions to the economy.”
Mark Gray, a research associate at Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, pointed to several states as examples of where a higher percentage of Catholics supported McCain compared to the rest of the state’s voters.
In Missouri, McCain and Obama each got about 50 percent of the vote. Catholics in Missouri voted for McCain by a difference of 55 percent to 45 percent.
In Pennsylvania, Obama won 55 percent of the vote and McCain 44 percent, but Catholics favored McCain by 52 percent to 48 percent.
What distinguishes those states, Gray noted, is that in each at least one bishop issued statements that leaned strongly toward telling voters they should vote only for candidates of the party that supports overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion virtually on demand.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in its political responsibility statement, “Faithful Citizenship,” emphasized the importance of abortion in voting. But it also left open the possibility that Catholics might in good conscience support candidates who do not favor overturning Roe. “Voting in this way,” it says, “would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.”
One bishop, Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton, Pa., issued a letter to his diocese and later a video saying abortion outweighed all other issues in voting. He also arrived unexpectedly at a political forum at a parish and said the USCCB document was not relevant in his diocese.
“The USCCB doesn’t speak for me,” the local newspaper, the Wayne Independent, quoted him as saying at St. John’s Catholic Church. “The only relevant document ... is my letter.”
Gray told Catholic News Service in a phone interview that after the 2004 election CARA analyzed whether Catholics were influenced in how to vote by that year’s interventions by bishops. Much media attention was given to statements by several bishops who said that Kerry, a Catholic, should not receive Communion because he has voted to support legal abortion. CARA looked at whether that affected how Catholics voted.
“But it didn’t hold up,” he said. “There might be a difference this time around because the statements by the bishops were more directed at voters than at the candidates.”
Schneck said it appeared that “efforts by Bishop Martino and others really did have an effect on raising the pro-life issue for Catholics in Pennsylvania.”
In Lackawanna County, where Scranton is located, 63 percent of voters supported Obama. Of the 12 counties in the Scranton Diocese, the three most populous supported Obama, while the other nine went for McCain. Exit poll breakouts by religion at the county level were not yet available.
Actually, the anti-Semitism exhibited by Presbyterians is surpassed by the Lutherans who were the dominant force in Germany since the ascendancy of Bismark in 1870. Taking their cue from Martin Luther, these Lutherans under the direction of Bismark and the Kaiser set the stage for two world wars in the last century. If the Jews need any further direction toward recent anti-Semitism let them look to their German Lutheran buddies.
How did the Presbyterians vote >topic
Which ones? I am sure the PCA and OPC voted against Obama as opposed to the PCUSA.
I can’t keep all these splinter groups straight. Why are there so many different “Presbyterians”?
There were divisions, factions and heresies since apostolic times. See 1 Corinthians 10:19. To reveal those who are approved.
And what are you basing that 55% on? Exit polling? The same exit polling that had Al Gore and John Kerry beating George Bush in consecutive elections?
LOL...talk about using questionable sources to back up a bigotry.
I will refer you to #23 so I don’t have to type the thing twice.
It’s better evidence than you’ve got. There’s a dozen Catholic sites that report the 55% number. That’s good enough for me. And what bigotry are we talking about? Believing the majority of Catholics voted for a candidate you disagree with is bigotry? Expecialy when the data comes from Catholic sources? I believe a majority of blacks voted for Obama also, does that make me a racist? Please connect those dots for me. Somebody’s got a king sized paranoid chip on their shoulder.
Not paranoid. We’re just used to people lying about the Church.
You know, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. No reason to believe a critic.
Nice try at changing the subject. This thread is about Presbyterian Anti-Semitism.
You may be sure, but do you have any source on how the various Presbyterian splinters voted? And which is the largest one? The PCUSA, I think.
He had no idea!
I told him, only partly in jest, that David Koresh (aka Vernon Howell) thought that when the Bible said “Zion” it meant “Waco” and when the Bible talks of the Jewish people it meant “Texans”.
He thought it was hilarious, but unfortunately these people are NOT joking.
Neo-antisemitism is rearing its ugly head all over Europe. It’s the influence of the Protties who always more or less hated Jews, combined with the Arab guest workers taking over the once-beautiful cities.
Leftists are reflexively antisemites. No surprise that as socialism has risen in Europe, so too has racism and anti-semitism. Some just want to be contrary and so will sign on to any ideology, even one like Islam contrary to every fiber of their being, so long as it is in opposition to the west.
Then, of course, as you point out, we have the European Islamic Immigrants; who were raised on a diet of anti-semitism from the cradle.
The Socialist roots of antisemitism.
An excellent read, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Thanks, I’d like to get to that article tonight, if I can.
Quit picking on us, we cannot even agree on how many Gods there are.Bug off
They are an apostate church that ordains women, gays supports abortion and is generally universalist in their doctrine.. nothing they do surprises me
I though it was more about Judith Ann Anti-Presbyterianism. Go figure.
I did a search on Replacement Theology..surprising the names that came up associated with it..Rick Warren and John Hagee, Hagee has denounced it.
Universalist in doctrine? Where do they stand on predestination? Scriptural authority?
So you’re saying you want to stay ignorant?
Read some John Calvin and pull yourself out of the darkness. Enjoy some grace and stop working so hard.
Solus Christus, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Soli Deo Gloria.
*sigh* For this I'm reading FR? I have a new book. A Dios.
Universalist in doctrine? Where do they stand on predestination? Scriptural authority?
I have, in my library, a copy of the PCUSA's "Book of Confessions". Look in there first. (PDF es aqui.) Lots of good stuff in there: the Apostles' and Nicene creeds, Belgic Confession, Heidelburg Catechism, Westminster Standards. And some modern "stuff". 20th century confessions and statements of faith coming from liberal bodies are carefully crafted, and should be read with an eye to what they say, and especially what they do not say. Paradoxially, if I understand the politics right, this collection, this "Book of Confessions", was a deliberate move to unmoor the PCUSA from confessional subscription.
For more on Protestant confessionalism, I point you to R. Scott Clark's Recovering the Reformed Confession. I don't expect you'll read it, but hey, I had to try.
What do they believe? "I dunno, somethin'." In practice, they're a bunch of raving theological liberals, not as far gone as the Episcopal Church USA. They harbor feminist worshipers of "Sophia" (not quite the "cakes of raisins for the Queen of Heaven" that the ECUSA was doing with their feminist liturgy a few years back. Not quite.), and the likes of Rev. Jane Spahr. (Look her up. A piece of work.)
Universalist? Not officially, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to find some. Predestination? Probably not even on their radar. Scriptural authority? Not the way your or I might think of it.
As is typical in these situations, there are sound congregations, and a conservative lay movement.
I do not defend their politics. For one, they effectively want me dead, so I can't help but feel cool towards them.
Has your church not claimed that it is the New Israel, the New Jerusalem? Such belief is historically identified strongly with Catholicism, tracing to church fathers such as St. Augustine and Tertullian, as it does. Origen, too.
lol. If this is all you can dig up to slander Presbyterians with then once again we must conclude the Roman Catholic apologist cannot mount a Scriptural defense of their faith.
Treading on the limit line of mind-reading there? How does replacement theology justify anti-Semitism? That's what the article is about. Not replacement theology. ANTI-SEMITISM. Replacement theology is disconnected from any flesh and blood, it's a CONCEPT. Anti-Semitism gets people killed. I could care less about what areas of agreement Catholics and Presbyterians have. And this is not about Catholics, is it? It's about Presbyterians using flowery language to justify mistreating people. Whatever flavor Presbyterians they ate, they are Presbyterians. By name. Do they agree with all sects of Presbyterians on their theological justification of anti-Semitism? I don't know. Which Presbyterians aren't anti-Semitic? Which one are you? I suspect I may know.
When the same belief leads a Catholic priest to give up his life for a Jewish man in a Nazi concentration camp as the Lutheran (or Presbyterian?) who put them both there, I have to wonder — are you sure they’re the same?
Thank you for your thoughtful and interesting reply. Have you read Scott Hahn? Just wondering.
Actually, if you wander too far from the first two commandments that Christ taught (Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, with all thy soul, and Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself) I really don’t claim to know much. And if you wander much past John 6 I don’t know much about salvation, but I DO know all I need. Your study at least has some life to it, and I enjoyed reading what you had to say about it on your home page.
You’re right, I probably won’t read your links, my time is limited due to a family illness. But your thoughtful reply is appreciated.
Anti-Semitism predates Protestantism, Judith Anne, as does Replacement Theology.
You’re very vocally Catholic, and have put up a thread regarding the putative anti-Semitism of a Protestant denomination, Presbyterians, with the final rationale for that putative anti-Semitism being Replacement Theology.
I’ve endeavored to point out the difficulties posed, by virtue of your having done so.
I’m not Presbyterian, by the way. My mother’s family were Moravian. My father’s, Primitive Baptist. We attended a nearby, historic church in my childhood, the “Old Dutch Meeting House,” which went through several denominations over the centuries, from Moravian to Reformed and then finally to Lutheran.
All anti-Catholic bigots are Presbyterians, to me.
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