By Viola Larson
It cannot be stated with any more forceful terms than Presbyterians For Middle East Peace have stated it. Until now the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has not been known for its ideological purges, but when the Stated Clerk, Gradye Parsons, and the Moderator of the General Assembly ousted Rev. Al Butzer from his week old position as Moderator of the 221st General Assembly committee on the Middle East, because of pressure from the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, denominational leadership slipped into a new and dangerous arena.
One of the disgusting contrasts in this issue is that just a few months ago the PC (U.S.A,) leadership during a controversy over a horrific publication, Zionism Unsettled, by the Presbyterian Israel/Palestine Mission Network, refused to speak against the booklet because, they wrote, the denomination is a diverse denomination with many different views. But apparently not diverse enough to allow a well respected Presbyterian pastor the right to moderate a GA committee because he manages to have friendships with both Jews and Palestinians. Horrors, what if he doesn’t agree with the BDS movement or the Presbyterian leadership!