PCUSA Stated Clerk Tries to Influence General Assembly on Divestment
I missed this yesterday, but it seems Gradye Parsons, the Stated Clerk (highest executive official) in the Presbyterian Church (USA) took to the pages of the Washington Post on Wednesday to try to influence his General Assembly to support the divestment resolutions. He wrote:
After initially identifying five corporations involved in the above practices and six years of corporate engagement and dialogue, the MRTI has recommended divesting from three of the companies that we believe profit from non-peaceful activities – Caterpillar, Motorola Solutions, and Hewlett-Packard.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s investing agencies hold stock in companies that do business in Israel and Palestine, including for example Intel, Oracle, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, IBM, Microsoft, McDonald’s and American Express. The MRTI’s dialogue has been focused, as the General Assembly has repeatedly directed, on companies it feels are engaged, in particular, in roadblocks to peace, profiting from non-peaceful pursuits in Israel-Palestine. Therefore, the General Assembly is not, nor has it ever been, asked to divest from all companies doing business in Israel and/or Palestine.
The recommendation to divest comes out of a strong faithfulness to the principles of socially responsible investing and a deep commitment to peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians alike.
So in the PCUSA, the chief executive is also a policy-maker, who does not just seek to carry out the directives of the denomination’s highest policy-making body, the General Assembly, but seeks to get the GA to do what he wants it to do. Pity they didn’t listen to you and your buddies at the Israel Palestine Mission Network, eh, Gradye?
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