Gradye Parsons, the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) is our very own reincarnation of the Man of La Mancha, Don Quixote. Riding on his tired old horse, Rocinante, whom he imagines to be a valiant charger, Don Quixote races into battle against ferocious giants that in reality are windmills. His sidekick, Sancho, tries to help Quixote see the truth, but the crusading knight will have none of it, and so becomes famous for “tilting at windmills.”
Gradye, in his apparent quest to outdo do other mainline religious leaders at curing all manners of social injustice, has been busy this last month, riding the tired nag of the PCUSA and leveling his lance at some of the ferocious giants facing our world. Notably, he has signed his name to letters seeking to extinguish some monumental evils:
On March 7th he penned a passionate missive to President Obama, urging him to participate in the signing of the international Paris Agreement on climate change to be held in NYC on April 22nd. According to Parsons, the PCUSA has been deeply encouraged by the Obama administration’s “…strong commitment to working for climate justice and environmental responsibility,” and the President’s presence is necessary to keep the momentum going in the right direction.
On March 9th he joined an amicus brief filed to support the Obama administration’s appeal to lift a court-ordered injunction against the President’s executive actions on illegal immigration policy.
On March 16th he joined his name (and that of the PCUSA) to a letter urging the House of Representatives to vote to “…end our long-standing and counter-productive embargo on Cuba.”
On March 29th, he put out a call to the governor and legislature of North Carolina to repeal a new law which bans people from using bathrooms that don’t match the sex indicated on their birth certificate. While this might seem a common-sense protection to most, in the eyes of social justice crusaders it smacks of discrimination.
No doubt the Stated Clerk’s lance is drooping after taking on such ferocious giants of evil, but if he has any energy left, I might suggest some smaller giants to tackle, now that he has trounced the varsity team:
How about a letter to the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar University, who is the reigning theological leader of Sunni Islam, calling on him to eliminate the dhimmi laws of Islam, which discriminate against non-Muslims in Shari’a-governed societies. At the same time, the Sheikh could be asked to ban the death penalty carried out against those who leave Islam, or who say negative things about Muhammad, the Qur’an, or Allah. While not as serious as the issue of who can use what bathroom, such a change would save thousands of lives annually and ease the sufferings of millions living within Muslim lands.
How about a letter to the Castro brothers, urging them to stop arresting Cubans protesting for democracy, and to release their political prisoners?
How about a letter to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed Caliph of the Islamic State, taking him to task for beheading Christian and Yazidi men, for raping and selling into slavery women and girls as young as nine, for throwing alleged homosexuals headfirst off the highest buildings in the city, for stealing others’ possessions as war booty and forcing them to convert, flee or face execution? Why not urge him to see the light of mainline Protestant social justice concerns? What strides could be made in cooling the planet, freeing up bathrooms from the gender Nazis, forcing recalcitrant churches to stay in the PCUSA, if only we could get the 30,000 Islamic State radicals to buy in to the PCUSA agenda!
How about a letter to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which calls itself “the collective voice of the Muslim world,” and is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the UN, calling on them to take action not just to denounce Islamic terrorism and genocide against Christians but to eliminate these evils from the face of the earth?
How about a letter to HAMAS, challenging them to remove from their Charter the jihadi commitment to destroy Israel and hunt down every Jew before the Day of Judgment?
How about a letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, or Grand Ayatollah of Iran, or the Presidents of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria (take your pick), urging them to wipe out Muslim-generated violence against innocents (including fellow Muslims), and to release prisoners of conscience, especially those arrested due to their non-Muslim convictions?
How about a letter to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, pleading with him to discontinue to financing of Wahhabi mosques throughout the world, including within the United States, and to renounce the teaching and spread of anti-Semitic and anti-Christian curricula through madrassas around the world?
Last but not least, how about a general letter of apology to the hundreds of thousands of former Presbyterians who have left the denomination over the last fifty years due to its “progressive” decisions to champion a “social gospel” and to downplay if not completely discard the gospel of the New Testament?
Certainly such issues do not rise to the level of bathroom rights, but perhaps if Mr. Parsons has some spare time before his term ends this June, he might take a crack at one or more of these minor “justice” problems.