Interpreting Episcopal/Jewish Joint Statement

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Tue Nov 13 01:46:55 EST 2001


By David W. Virtue

Recently a brouhaha developed in the Diocese of Massachusetts between
the local Jewish community and the three revisionist bishops of that
diocese. The meeting followed the participation of the Episcopal
Bishops M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, Barbara C. Harris, and Roy F. Cederholm,
Jr., in a demonstration before the Israeli consulate in Boston.

The result was a coming together of the parties who issued a joint

Now anywhere Episcopal bishops are involved with others requires
interpretation. Jews if nothing are consistent about the Middle East.
They believe in the long-term survival of Israel. They will never be
pushed back into the sea, they have some sort of nuclear deterrent,
they don't trust the Palestinians, they don't like and they distrust
Arafat but will work with him, and they will nail anybody who kills
there own.

The following is a joint statement they issued to the media by the
Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and the Jewish Community Relations
Council of Greater Boston. The agreed not to speak to the media. The
interpretation follows.

"We had a fruitful discussion that has brought us to a better
understanding of where each other stands on the issues that deeply
concern our communities. We heard each other's candidly expressed pain
and concern about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Both sides affirm in the strongest terms the mutual regard each has
for the other and the commitment to work together, as we have in the
past, on issues of social justice and common concern, locally and

INTERPRETATION: The Jews have their truth and we (the Episcopal
bishops) have our truth or is it our reality. Our "truths" will stay in
separate camps and we have no intention of mixing them up. Because if
your truth is not the same as our truth and clearly it can't be, then
there is no middle ground and we have no intention of changing our
minds. Furthermore if your truth happened to be true then it would
destroy our truth which might (gulp) be wrong and that would be

"We know that we will have disagreements about important issues, but
our meeting today showed both the depth of our feelings and the urgency
of our going forward together. We have lacked a venue in which to hold
necessary discussions and agree that we must create an environment in
which we can talk. We are in substantial agreement that we live
together in this community and need to, indeed must, and come to a
better understanding of our differing perspectives.

"We intend to move forward to have a more meaningful dialogue about the
issues that concern our two communities. It is expected that we will
enter the next stage of this dialogue with a broader meeting of
representatives from the leadership of the Boston area Jewish and
Christian religious communities before the end of November, to be
organized under the auspices of the Massachusetts Council of Churches
and the Jewish Community Relations Council. The date and location of
the meeting has yet to be determined.

INTERPRETATION: "Meaningful dialogue" is fine, we Episcopalians love
dialogue. We can dialogue you to death we're that good at it. We can
even go to a "deeper place" to dialogue, but we Episcopal bishops KNOW
that the Israelis are the bad guys and we know the Arabs are the good
guys because we have Anglican Arab friends and we will support them to
the bitter end even if you don't. And by the way take your tanks out of
the West Bank and stop killing innocent Palestinians, even if they do
shoot some of your people because an eye for an eye isn't going to cut
it and Palestinian hearts are purer than yours - we know because we
share their reality whatever that reality might be. Furthermore the
U.S. Government gives you two billion a year while the Palestinians get
nothing from the Americans.

"Both parties also agree that the eventual goal of this dialogue is to
engage not only leaders but lay people in our various communities in a
constructive educational process. We must know and learn to hear each
other better.

INTERPRETATION: We will engage anyone anywhere, but understand we don't
like or trust the Jews, we never have, and our sympathies are with the
Arabs, and if they push you into the sea we will look the other way,
because we really don't care. Our "truth" is ultimately all that
matters, and while we will sit down and dialogue with you till the cows
come home, we will never concede anything to the Israelis. Furthermore
we have no anti-Semitism training courses in the Episcopal Church but
you are always welcome to come to our anti-racism training courses
where you (the Israelis) can learn to become less racist about the
Arabs. We'll even be welcoming to members of the Mossad.

"Today's meeting is important in many ways. Most critically, it is a
statement to the religious community and the Boston community that Jews
and Christians can and will talk together about the issues that matter
most to them. We have begun a new dialogue. We look forward to
continuing it, knowing that the subject is difficult but trusting in
each other's good faith, as this morning's meeting so clearly

INTERPRETATION: We'll talk to death with you about anything regarding
the Middle East, but understand that your "truth" about the Middle East
will never be the same as our "truth" about the Middle East, unless of
course you want to open an INTEGRITY Chapter for Jewish homosexuals and
then we will change our minds about you. Maybe. If you did that then it
would mean we would have several more "truths" that might be in
conflict, (or is it realities, we forget) and while that would confuse
many Episcopalians, it wouldn't confuse us because we can juggle truths
like a conjurer with six balls in the air and never drop any of them.

"The parties to the morning's discussion agreed not to speak separately
to the media."

INTERPRETATION: Of course not, why tell them anything, we're just too
stupid to understand what's happening or to know what's going on.
Furthermore we don't have a brain in our heads to figure it out and we
don't have enough truths to understand all these deep thinkers
especially Bishop Barbara Harris who has no theological degree and got
to be bishop because she is a divorced, a woman and whose sexual
proclivities are clouded in ambiguity and silence and she strongly
objects to white males dripping blood from crosses. She does, however,
believe strongly in social justice for the Arabs.


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