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« on: October 31, 2004, 06:55:43 PM »

Radio Host Condemns Presbyterian Hezbollah Supporters

by Jim Brown and Jenni Parker
October 29, 2004

(AgapePress) - A Jewish theologian and media conservative says leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA) defame Christianity by blurring God's moral standard, and that Westerners who subscribe to terrorist lies deserve only contempt.

A delegation of the PC(USA) recently traveled to Lebanon and met with leaders of Hezbollah, a militant Shiite political party based in that country. Hezbollah, which in Arabic means "Party of God," maintains an active militia called the "Islamic Resistance" and has been designated by the U.S. and other Western nations as a terrorist organization.

The delegation sponsored by the PC(USA)'s Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) met with members of Hezbollah at a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon on October 17. Since that meeting, comments attributed to delegation members in the international press have garnered widespread censure, including a firestorm of condemnations from within the denomination and from the wider religious community as well.

During their meeting with Hezbollah, the Presbyterian delegates reportedly criticized Israel for having erected a security barrier to protect its citizens from Palestinian homicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. And one delegation member, recently retired Pittsburgh Theological Seminary professor Ronald Stone, was quoted in the press as saying, as an elder of the church, he found relations and conversations with Islamic leaders "a lot easier than dealings and dialogue with Jewish leaders."

Some PC(USA) leaders have tried to distance the denomination from the actions and expressed attitudes of the ACSWP delegation. Three top denomination officials issued a statement last week disavowing the actions of the delegates and saying neither their comments nor their visit with Hezbollah "reflect the official position of the Presbyterian Church (USA) on peace in the Middle East."

That disavowal notwithstanding, some observers believe the delegation's words and deeds are quite consistent with their denomination's liberal political leanings. Conservative radio talk-show host Dennis Prager says given the moral confusion that dominates the PC(USA), he is not at all surprised by the pro-terrorist sympathies expressed by the delegation's actions.

Prager, who is also a Jewish theologian, says the PC(USA) gives a bad name to God and Christianity by claiming biblical authority for moral inversion. "On all matters, including those not pertaining to Israel," he asserts, "these folks are on the left. They are leftists with a cross, indistinguishable from Michael Moore -- except that Michael Moore doesn't wear a cross and doesn't speak in terms of Jesus Christ."

The radio commentator says it is nothing short of "sickening" to see the PC(USA) single out a humane and democratic country like Israel for economic strangulation and not decry its Arab neighbors that murder in the name of "God," commit egregious human rights abuses, and seek the destruction of the Jewish State.

Prager says many liberal Presbyterians in America have bought into Goebbels-like propaganda and swallowed the "big lie" that Israel is an Apartheid state. For this reason, he remarks, "I have actually greater contempt for the person in the Western world who is sympathetic to Hezbollah than for Hezbollah. People in Hezbollah grew up in a hate-filled world of lies, but the people in the West, like that elder, grew up where truth is told and they prefer to believe lies."

The theology expert and talk-show host feels "coherent" Christians need to distance themselves from the PC(USA) because it is, he contends, a morally sick denomination. Prager says he considers the leftist leadership in the Presbyterian Church in America to be the moral relativists of present day society.



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