Unintended consequences


After over a millenium of persecution against Jews, the Roman Catholic Church ruled that contemporary Jews couldn't be held accountable for the murder of Jesus and thus were "forgiven."  Other Christian denominations soon followed with similar sentiments, and soon some grateful Jews were running around dialoguing with any Christian group that would have them. 
This was supposed to promote understanding and tolerance.  In some instances, it surely did, but so did general historical,sociological and cultural trends also. The new friendliness among religious groups, especially in the United States, is a landmark achievment to celebrate.

However, Jews who were mainly liberal and less religious were particularly enthusiastic fans of the "dialogue approach." Working with Christian groups, they often lent their combined voices to a variety of social and cultural causes of a liberal stripe. 
Now these same Jews are absolutely reeling from the announcement that Presbyterians, a liberal Christian denomination, is opposed to two core causes important to Jews and that has been dialogued and discussed and clarified numerous times:  Israel and conversion. 
Ironically, many of the Jewish dialoguers have refrained from getting together with conservative Christians who support Israel because of major disagreements with them over social and political issues plus fears of evangelicizing. 
Just goes to show that talking doesn't allways lead to understanding.

Ethel C. Fenig    9 29 04