Archive for the ‘Author’ Category

Israel Apartheid Week

March 3, 2010

In an unanimous vote (with 30 MPPs in attendance) the Ontario Legislature condemned Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) which began March 1. The attack on IAW is intensifying as a Conservative MP is poised to introduce a motion in the House of Commons condemning IAW when parliament reconvenes . This is the surest proof that the world is catching up to the unconscionable oppression of the Palestinian people.

Liberal MPP MIke Colle, usually a rational politician but who represents a large bloc of Jewish voters outdid himself in Toronto

This demonstrates a horrific example of what is really hate speech that has been put into a systematic attack on the only democracy in the Middle East. It’s called Israeli Apartheid Week. It’s just ludicrous.

Here is a small democracy surrounded by all these dictatorships. The organizers of this week never look at what is happening in Yemen or maybe Saudi Arabia or that regime in Iran. They don’t bother with those regimes and the incredible amount of torture and systemic abuse of people, their populations, but they pick on Israel. Why do they pick on Israel? It has nothing to do with Muslims, nothing to do with Palestine; it has to do with this long-time systemic hate against anything to do with the Jewish religion. That’s what it is.

Federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, terrified of the Israel lobby was caught out when an article of his in London’s Guardian appeared from 2002. Ignatieff stated the obvious

I knew I was not looking down at a state or the beginning of one, but ata a bantustan one od those pseudo-states created in the dying years of apartheid to keep the African population under control

In Israel, McCarthyite attacks are being levelled at Israelis of conscience who are pointing to the obvious and can no longer stomach the statist oppression. These brave citizens are veing singled out for dragging the country down to where it is today, a virtual pariah on the international stage.

Internationally the US and Canada are virtually alone in their support with Canada brooking no dissent from a rabid pro-Israel position.

Led by the Prime Minster and Jason Kenney the Harperites are ready to ratchet up the ante in the House they shut down in December.

That this House considers itself to be a friend of the State of Israel; that this House is concerned about expressions of anti-Semitism under the guise of ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’; and that this House explicitly condemns any action in Canada as well as internationally that would equate the State of Israel with the rejected and racist policy of apartheid.”

All of the brave people like Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Henry Siegman the former head of the American Jewish Congress who note the obvious parallels with apartheid are to believed over the political hacks most of whom have never seen what the above have witnessed.

Apartheid of course was sui generis. Israel’s shoving Palestinians into disconnected cantons (a word that Ariel Sharon used to describe them) is not the same as South Africa’s model. But it’s pretty damn close.

About Theology in the Vineyard

August 8, 2006

Theology in the Vineyard is a blog edited by Ted Schmidt a pure product of Vatican ll, the energizing reform movement in the Catholic Church.Growing up on a Jewish street in downtown Toronto, he was exposed to the searing experience of the Shoah at an early age. He was the first educator in Canada to institutionalize this in his teaching and the universal lessons of “silence and complicity” during the Shoah informed his teaching and writing. He is the retired editor of Catholic New Times and is active as a community theologian in his parish and community.

Theology in the Vineyard attempts to find God in the stuff of life where politics, history,culture and economics meet. It has both a virtual and a human face. When it hits the road as it has in the Picton area in two Vineyards, Chadsey’s Cairns and The Grange, it brings like minded Christians together who do not accept the present patriarchal and clerical domination of the Roman Catholic Church. This was of course before the reactionary papacies of John Paul ll and Benedict XVl. These good church men carried the predictable reaction against the revolutionary Council which  was the greatest cahnge in catholic thining since the 16th century .As herman Pottmeyer, German theologian stated “The work of Vatican ll has remained an unfinished  building site. I t is a  transitional council.”

There is more  movement in store as the Holy Spirit never stops renovating. as Vatican ll insisted: The Church is  semper reformanda, always in the process of renewing itself .The necessary change is the decentalization and democratization of the church towards “the people of God” metaphor which the Council insisted on. We are an absolutely egalitarian people, a communio, a discipleship of equals .Baptism assures this. It not Holy Orders which  is the first sacrament.

The Church is an institution and all institutions react to insulate themselves against change.The brakes applied by the last two popes  have failed. As Pope Francis has stated Vatican ll can not be reversed. This present pope  gives believers hope.

When the Vineyard began Catholics were losing hope. It began as an invitation to all to make the Church a more inclusive meeting place and a more credible witness to God’s reign among people. The bishops had failed terribly to hear the Catholic people. The John Paul ll bishops famously listened to only one voice, Rome. This has been an egregious failure. The brilliant martyred German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer warned :

The first service that one owes to others in community consists in listening to them. Just as love for God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God’s love for us that He not only gives His Word but also lends us His ear … Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and, in the end, there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words,”

The first Theology in the Vineyard (Sept.17, 2005) was inspired by the Vatican Council’s statement ( Lumen Gentium) which invited “lay people to express their opinions which concern the common good of the church.” These comments spoke volumes:

“I feel like a starving orphan …”

“I am exasperated by the institution …”

“There is a need for real change in Christianity. I need to step away from the institution to energize …”

“We can’t count on clergy in parishes. I came here to hear what people can do …”

“There is respect here for diverse opinions and a lack of fear …”

“I support a social justice church … how better to spend a Saturday …”

“I thirst for the days of Vatican II …”

“I am in dire need of spiritual nourishment.”

“We’re retreating into the past. There is real frustration and a need to renew. There’s something radically wrong when a pastor changes, everything changes. There’s something wrong. That power should not exist.

“I am disillusioned and in need of hope …”

“I have four kids and thirst for a relevant church …”

“I just love the dialogue …

“I feel frustrated, alone and unwanted and I have no intention of leaving …”

“I want to know where that great hope of Vatican II vanished …”

The dialogue continues. Stay tuned.