Thursday, June 22, 2006
You read that correctly. A day after removing the language of divestment, this General Assembly continues getting the job done. The folks on the floor are doing their thing against the clearly desired results of the elites on the permanent committees. I'll have some closer examination of this later, but here's a quick snapshot. The bureacratese is here, in full: Commissioners' Resolution. On Declaring Suicide Bombing a Crime Against Humanity.
Below is the resolution they passed. Note that the committee in charge of the Middle East issues proposed this resolution after passing it amongst themselves. If I'm reading this correctly, the General Assembly voted it down in the original form, added a condemnation of "terrorism" (the changes are shown in bold brackets below) and then passed the resolution. This may be slightly problematic as "terrorism" in this context also includes "state-sponsored" terrorism, but this strikes me as a somewhat cynical nit-pick at this point. This is a striking resolution for this denomination to pass:
While international law, through various treaties and international consensus affirms the criminality of such acts when linked to a government, it is crucial that the church and the world affirm the culpability of individuals and groups that assist in carrying out suicide bombings [and terrorism] through financial or logistical support and that civil or military authorities who fail to exercise adequate powers of control over perpetrators and fail to take appropriate measures, be held accountable. The international community and faith community as a whole are obligated to prevent and call for international judicial prosecution of all those aiding and abetting these crimes.
We instruct our Moderator and Stated Clerk to encourage our leaders in the U.S.A., our ecumenical partners, our interfaith partners, the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, and the United Nations Security Council to make suicide bombing a matter of declaration and legislation under national laws, and to raise this issue with all appropriate international agencies as appropriate.
We hereby pledge and instruct the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Washington Office of the PC(USA), and the Presbyterian UN representatives to take every opportunity to publicly and officially condemn suicide bombings [and terrorism] and to help empower victims of such attacks to be able to bring those who plan and inspire suicide bombings to the bar of international justice. Further to instruct the Stated Clerk to notify the United Nations, the World Court, the U.S. State Department, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and other appropriate human rights organizations of the 217th General Assembly (2006)'s position on this topic, and ask for their collaboration in amending international law, especially international criminal court elements of crime; Article 7 entitled "Crimes Against Humanity."
Note also on that page that this resolution passed against the desire of the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) and the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns (ACREC) who both advised against this condemnation. My correspondent notes:
This is remarkable and contains much to chew on. Again, congratulations to the people in the pews at the PC(USA) who are finally getting their voices heard and showing that the 216th GA (the last one two years ago that passed divestment) really overreached. Two years ago, the PC(USA) made itself into a club which nefarious forces could use to bash Jews and the Jewish State. This General Assembly is in the process of removing that weapon.
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Presbyterian General Assembly Votes to Declare Suicide Bombing a Crime Against Humanity Over Objections of Social Witness Policy Committee.
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By Andrew L. Jaffee The Presbyterian Church (USA)’s 217th General Assembly has decided that suicide bombings are a “crime against humanity.” Duh. It took them until the year 2006 to figure this out? From Solomonia: A day after rem... Read More