Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wednesday Morning Ruminations

As Beau Weston has pointed out, The Center is Holding.

This General Assembly is shaping up to more closely resemble the PC(USA) than in recent years. The members range from conservative to liberal (or evangelical to progressive) in a more or less bell-shaped curve, with a definite tilt toward the evangelical side of things, according to the Presbyterian Panel. Scroll down the page on the preceding link, and you can see the data presented in bar graph form. This skew to the conservative side is true for members, elders, and pastoral clergy. The specialized clergy skew is very pronounced toward the liberal side.

The actions of General Assembly so far seem to reflect the opinions of the PC(USA) membership, tempered by a healthy dose of centrism.

This afternoon the last of the "hot button" issues will come up in the form of a recommendation by Committee 11 (Peacemaking and International Issues) to modify the action of the 216th General Assembly with regard to divesting from multinational corporations that do business in Israel. This was a cause of hurt to the Jewish community, and many Presbyterians back in the congregations felt that the 2004 action was unduly punitive and one-sided.

The Peacemaking Committee is presenting a recommendation to the General Assembly Plenary this afternoon that would shift the focus from punishment to positive engagement, and would present a more balanced response to Middle East violence. This passed the committee 53-6-3, and I hope the Plenary follows suit.

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