My faith walk as a Christian began as a young man growing up in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward attending the Fort Street United Methodist Church – our family church. It was the place where I bid farewell to my mom and dad. I have so many great and fond memories from Ft. Street UMC that will never be forgotten and yes, I did sing in the youth choir.Today I am a non-denominational Christian. I do not seek out a certain manmade theology, just the preaching of God’s word. We were blessed to be under the pastoral guidance of Scott Eynon of Community Christian Church in Tamarac, Florida. Here in Dallas, we enjoy the pastoral mentoring and preaching of Todd Wagner at Watermark Community Church. Scott recommended him, and doggone, Pastor Wagner is spot on!
So, although I have fond memories of Ft. Street UMC, I’m glad I’m no longer associated with the United Methodist Church. As reported by my friends at Algemeiner, “The United Methodist Church (UMC) on Tuesday said that its pension board will exclude five Israeli banks from its investment portfolio due to concerns over human rights.UMC lists Israel and the disputed Palestinian territories as a “high risk” region with “a prolonged and systematic pattern of human rights abuses.” But UMC continues to invest in 18 other Israeli companies, according to M. Colette Nies, a spokeswoman for the pension board.
While many Methodist leaders oppose divestment, a coalition of UMC members called the United Methodist Kairos Response has been advocating for divestment from Israeli companies in Judea and Samaria as well as eastern Jerusalem.
“This is the first step toward an effort that helps send a clear message that we as a church are listening and that we are concerned about human rights violations,” Susanne Hoder, a leader of United Methodist Kairos Response, said Tuesday.The American Jewish Committee (AJC) denounced the pension board’s decision. “Targeting Israeli businesses is precisely what BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) activists seek, though this kind of action does nothing to bring about real Israeli-Palestinian peace,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s Director of interreligious and intergroup relations. “The Methodist Pension Board action against Israeli companies is deeply disappointing, and goes against the UMC’s rejection of BDS at its 2012 General Conference.”
Let me be clear, I find the actions of the Methodist Pension Board absolutely disgusting. If we want to talk about human rights violations, then explain to me what should the Israelis do when their people live under the constant threat of violence? And this is violence that the “Palestinian” authority, Fatah, under Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen, has hailed and incited.
How many stabbings, shootings, and bombings are the Israeli people supposed to endure? And to have an organization that is supposedly a Christian religious organization take such an action is appalling. It only serves to justify and embolden the actions of Islamic jihadists.I’d love for the members of this pension board to go spend a week in Judea-Samaria. I’d like this pension board to have to run to a bomb shelter. The action of this Methodist Pension Board validates the misguided ideal of “occupation” and gives credibility to terrorists and their funding.
And this “cherry picking” of “we exclude these five banks but these others are ok” is laughable. In other words, we will not stand with Israeli companies on the front lines. We will take a comfortable position. That folks is disconcerting, and weak.
Those Jewish businesses deserve our support and this is not about occupation. This is about honoring the commitment this nation made to Israel, the first one in 1948, when it recognized the Jewish State. Israel is not guilty of human rights violations — if anything these Fatah terrorists and their leaders are not just attacking Jews, they’re abusing their own people. The Methodist Pension Fund should cut off ties with those businesses financially supporting the government in Ramallah. After all, we know Abbas and his corrupt cronies provide subsidy payments to families of suicide bombers. Now tell me who’s violating human rights?
“The pension board had already voted in 2014 to divest from Israel by selling the stock of a security company, G4S, because the company supplies equipment to Israeli prisons.”
Apparently liberal progressive anti-Semitism has crept into the United Methodist Church. I can attest that the preachers I grew up with at Ft. Street UMC — Reverends Greer, Moore, Stovall, and Ennis — would stand with the Jewish people, the land of our Christian faith, Israel. I think someone should remind the Pension Board what has happened to Christians who once heavily populated Bethlehem.
Then again, maybe they don’t care, as their political agenda is more important than their acclaimed faith.
Doggone glad I go to Watermark Community Church.