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Troubling Company

Betsy Childs writes on First Thoughts, a weblog of First Things:

I doubt anyone in the Church of England who knows Rev. Stephen Sizer was surprised that he would attend a conference critical of Israel. Sizer, the Vicar of Christ Church in Virginia Water, Surrey, is an outspoken critic of what he calls Christian Zionism, that is, Christian support for the nation-state of Israel on theological grounds.

What is surprising is that a vicar of the Church of England would attend a conference in Iran to speak to a group of anti-Semites on the subject of the Zionist lobby in England. Other attendees of the New Horizon conference in Tehran include a long list of Holocaust deniers and 9/11 truthers. The conference included a panel discussion called “Mossad’s Role in the 9/11 Coup d’Etat” with the subheading “9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist ‘Public Myths.’”

… Certainly, ministers should be allowed to hold political views and to speak about them. But the Church of England needs to give careful thought to the kind of moral hazards that can arise from behavior like Sizer’s.

Read the rest.

Image of Jerusalem by Berthold Werner (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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