Tom Usher wrote or added | Let's cross-link some things so people may more easily know who's who:
This is the Facebook Page of the synagogue of Rabbi Laurence Kotok, B'rith Kodesh synagogue, Rochester, New York, USA. He's the Reformed rabbi who reportedly leaned on the Unitarians to cancel the Gilad Atzmon talk at the First Unitarian Church of Rochester: http://www.facebook.com/pa
This is Rich Siegel's Facebook Group: "On the Masada 2000 S.H.I.T list and lovin' it!!": http://www.facebook.com/gr
This is Gilad Atzmon's Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pa
The charges of anti-Semitism are sweeping, and most people charged with this so-called "crime" in Europe aren't allowed to debate on the merits and facts but are rushed off to prison for the very reason of suppressing discussions on the merits and letting the people decide from the basis of being more fully informed.
To be clear here, I am not a "holocaust denier." I am though aware of the "facts" that have changed over the years, such as that the Nazis made soap from the fat of Jews, along with other changed "facts." I take strong exception to anyone telling anyone else that he or she may not openly research anything he or she wants concerning the Nazis and Jews and others and to openly state findings or to wonder aloud about any aspect(s) thereof. The European laws on these matters are reprehensible and no favor to an informed citizenry. I denounce those laws. Let all sides present what they consider to be their evidence. Let the people decide for themselves. Telling people they can't research or discuss or form views and state them openly only to find out that the "facts" have changed and that Zionists had issued misleading and false information does not help the cause of the descendents of Jacob (Israel) anywhere. It rather makes things worse, as those who support the suppression of research, dissemination, discussion, and debate, etc., look to be masking even greater distortions for the sake of their own political and economic gain over the duped masses. Gilad's position on this point appears on its face to be in sync with mine.
This is the Facebook Page of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, New York, USA: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rochester-NY/Temple-Brith-Kodesh-Sharing-the-Reform-Movement-with-Jewish-Rochester/126259183731 As explained above, this church canceled the Gilad Atzmon, Rich Siegel appearance at their church. The church has yet, as of the time and date of this writing (July 5, 2010, 12:50 PM US Pacific Time) to issue a public statement fully addressing the issues surrounding this controversy and the church's position on Zionism, per se. I have encouraged them to issue such a formal statement to set thing straight as much as they are able.
The First Unitarian Church of Rochester just deleted all negative Wall posts on their Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/firstu?v=wall
Here's what the co-ministers of that church had to say:
"We appreciate the concern around a recent talk on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that was not able to be held at our church. We welcome any and all comments and/or questions about the details by contacting us directly at 585-381-6351. As we all know, facebook is not the best forum for these types of difficult conversations.
"Faithfully, Reverends Scott Tayler & Kaaren Anderson"
Now that's a deplorable, anti-transparent response to all the people who had posted genuine concerns and comments on that church's Facebook Page. I do not say that, that church does not have the right to delete comments that don't lend themselves to open and sincere dialoguing, but few of the posts were even questionable in that regard. Most were clearly on point and should have been answered right there on that Wall to stay.
What's more, I do not agree at all that Facebook "is not the best forum for these types of difficult conversations."
Deleting all the posts and comments and then asking for private phone conversations is just awful treatment of those posters and commentators.
After giving them a piece of my mind, I'd quit a church like that and shake the dust from my feet. Anyone who feels that this is an indication of good shepherding on the part of that church isn't soft-hearted enough but rather looking to his or her own comfort at the direct, negative expense of the Palestinians, many of who are/were Christians by the way, not that non-Christians should be trampled down by the Zionists either.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)