The Presbyterians Did What?
The Presbyterian Church, USA has a publishing house. That house has published a nutter conspiracy book about 9/11. Now the head of the publishing house wants to distance himself and the PCUSA from the book. From the Washington Times:
“Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action” is already in its second printing after having sold 5,000 copies in its first month. It accuses the Bush administration — in power only eight months at the time of the 2001 terrorist attacks — of plotting September 11 to justify war with Afghanistan and Iraq, and to expand an “American empire.” The book has attracted volumes of criticism, boycott threats and attempted clarifications by various church officials.
“The views expressed in the book are Griffin’s alone,” says Presbyterian Publishing Corp. (PPC) Board Chairman Kenneth Godshall, referring to the author, David Ray Griffin, 67, a retired professor at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif.
“PPC provides a variety of viewpoints in the books we publish. A few of them from time to time are controversial. This particular book is the work of an independent author and in no way represents the views of the denomination or PPC itself.”
His statement was posted on the Presbyterian Church (USA) Web site (www.pcusa.org) directly under an ad for Presbyterian Publishing Corp. and the slogan, “All Things Presbyterian, All in One Place.”
As one who has been ordained as an Elder in the PCUSA, I am again obliged to apologize for having failed during my time on a Session to work to reform the denominational “leadership.” Serious Presbyterians have to demand a wholesale housecleaning of the Louisville bureaucracy, and invest the time in the often painfully slow and convulated governing process to make it happen. If that cannot happen, then the next General Assembly should at least outline the process of divorce so the rational congregations can go their own way. In the meantime, the local churches have simply got to stop sending money to Louisville. Subsidizing this foolishness is irresponsible. And the presbyteries across the country owe a sharp and public rebuke to this slander which extends far beyond the president and his Cabinet.
In case you think the description of author David Ray Griffin as a “nutter” is harsh, give a look at the Amazon.com reviews of the book. Here’s one brief excerpt:
In Chapter 2, Griffin quotes from and summarizes the extensive testimony by firefighters and other first responders at the WTC on September 11 which proves beyond any doubt that multiple bomb explosions occurred throughout both towers both before and after the buildings were struck by flying objects. Some of this testimony he has culled from news reports, but the majority of the accounts comes from newly released oral histories collected by the FDNY but suppressed until last summer by the City of New York.
In Chapter 3 Griffin demonstrates conclusively that the two towers as well as WTC 7, a 47-story steel-framed building, were brought down by controlled demolition. He exhaustively catalogues the characteristic features of controlled demolitions which were all exemplified in the collapses of the WTC buildings.
The PCUSA chose to publish this gibberish. It is responsible for it. The “it doesn’t represent us” rhetoric is as cowardly as the conspiracy theories are marginal.
What next? Ward Churchill for Moderator?