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Michael Devolin

The United Church: The Ultimate Hypocrisy
By Michael Devolin
May 6, 2012 - 1:01:44 AM

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It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when the United Church began to transmogrify the basic dogmas of the Christian religion or, failing that search, where they ever grasped, in their long and convoluted history, the fact that those dogmas were divined for the purpose of remaining moral absolutes. But of course, in accordance with their "progressive" tradition, the United Church will meddle with just about any absolute, even the Zionist principle of Judaism. Just like the famous Pastor Bonhoeffer before them, certain members of the United Church, regardless the benignancy they profess to adhere to cannot conceal what Bonhoeffer's friend and biographer, Eberhard Bethge, referred to as "a theological anti-Judaism."

One of their more peculiar departures from Christian morality is the United Church's egregious treatment of Native Canadians in their residential schools. In a report titled Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust, it is recounted that during the year 1933, "...two major sterilization centers are established by The United Church of Canada on the west coast, in Bella Bella and Nanaimo, in which thousands of native men and women are sterilized by missionary doctors until the 1980's." Residential school Principals are made legal guardians of all native students. "Every native parent is forced by the law to surrender legal custody of their children to the Principal—a church employee—or face imprisonment." Below is a timetable, as written in this report, of the United Church's inculpation regarding its participation in its abuse of Native Canadians:

"1946: Project Paperclip - a CIA program utilizing ex-Nazi researchers in medical, biological warfare and mind control experiments - uses native children from Canadian residential schools as involuntary test subjects, under agreements with the Catholic, Anglican and United churches. These illegal tests continue until the 1970's.

"1948 - 1969: Offshoot programs of Project Paperclip are established in United Church and government hospitals in Nanaimo, Brannen Lake, Sardis, Bella Bella, Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia; in Red Deer and Ponoka, Alberta; and at the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital in Thunder Bay, Ontario. All of these programs use native children abducted from reserves, foster homes, and residential schools, with the full knowledge of church, police and Indian Affairs officials.

"1994-95: Eyewitnesses to murders at the United Church's Alberni residential school speak out publicly, from the pulpit of Reverend Kevin Annett in Port Alberni. Annett is summarily fired without cause within a month, and is expelled from United Church ministry without due process during 1996.

"February, 1996: The first class action lawsuit of Alberni residential school survivors is brought against the United Church of Canada and the federal government. The church responds with a counter-suit and an attempted "gag order" on Kevin Annett, which fails.

"1996-7: Further evidence of murder, sterilizations and other atrocities at coastal residential schools are documented by Kevin Annett and native activists in public forums in Vancouver. The number of lawsuits brought against the churches and government by residential school survivors climbs to over 5,000 across Canada.

"June 12-14, 1998: The first independent Tribunal into Canadian residential schools is convened in Vancouver by IHRAAM (International Human Rights Association of American Minorities), an affiliate of the United Nations. Evidence is submitted by dozens of aboriginal witnesses to crimes against humanity. The Tribunal concludes that the government of Canada and the Catholic, United and Anglican churches are guilty of complicity in Genocide, and recommends to the United Nations that a War Crimes investigation be held.

"1998-1999: Under strong pressure from the government of Canada, the United Nations refuses to act on IHRAAM's recommendation. Further evidence and reports of Genocide in residential schools is blacked out of the mainstream media across Canada. A concerted smear and misinformation campaign is launched by the United Church and the RCMP against Kevin Annett and his network's efforts to document and expose genocidal practices by church and state in Canada.

"October, 1998: The Vancouver Province reports the admission of United Church lawyers that their church has engaged in a joint cover-up with the federal government of crimes committed at its Alberni Indian residential school since at least 1960.

"January, 1999: The New Internationalist magazine in Great Britain reports the findings of the IHRAAM Tribunal, including the evidence of murder in Canadian residential schools, but is subsequently threatened and silenced by United Church and Canadian government lawyers.

"February, 2000: The number of lawsuits brought by residential school survivors climbs to over 10,000. The federal government introduces legislation limiting the number of such lawsuits. It also announces that it will assume primary financial responsibility both for residential school damages and the legal expenses of the churches which ran the schools, despite the fact that Canadian courts have ruled that the churches bear either a majority or an equal responsibility for crimes at the schools.

"April, 2000: The federal Health Department admits that it used native children from four residential schools, including Port Alberni, in medical experiments during the 1940's and '50's, including the deliberate denial of vitamins and dental care to them to study the effects. (The Vancouver Sun, April 26, 2000)

"August, 2000: The Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada is formed in Vancouver by forty-eight native and non-native activists, with Kevin Annett as its Secretary. Its mandate is to carry on the work of the IHRAAM Tribunal, and bring charges of Genocide against churches, the RCMP and the government of Canada.

"February, 2001: The Truth Commission publishes its six year study of Genocide in Canada, Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust. A second edition is published in June. Efforts by the United Church to legally prevent its publication fail."

So up until the year 2001, decades after the Jews of Israel fought for and won its independence after suffering the Nazi Holocaust, during which 6 million of their men, women, and children were systematically murdered, the United Church was involved in committing and covering up war crimes against Native Canadians of every age, even the unborn.

Enter into this brutal historical context Karin Brothers, a member of the United Church of Canada but a member whose activism and protestations against the State of Israel the United Church claims has no connection to the goals and visions of its leadership. Karin Brothers was co-chair of World Affairs Committee of the United Church of Canada's Toronto Conference where "resolution GS2" was written up. It defined "ethical investment" and listed "corporations engaged in non-peaceful activity in which investment should be avoided." Not surprisingly, corporations doing business with the State of Israel, resolution GS2 instructs, are those whom investors should avoid.

Karin Brothers is also included on a petition signed by 146 religious leaders organized by a group called "Religious Leaders for 9/11 Truth". One of these members, a certain Enver Masud, refers to Israel as "the Apartheid State". Enver Masud is the founder and CEO of The Wisdom Fund, "a think tank and information outlet" based near Washington, DC whose website proclaims of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks that 'Muslims Didn't Do It'. Of course, any member of a "truther" organization is suspect to the sane intellect, but what should be peculiar here in this regard is the fact that the United Church of Canada, even though denying any theological or ideological connection, tolerates Karin Brother's participation in this virulent and severely critical anti-Israel organization.

With just this small sample of the United Church's dark past, it should be easy for discerning minds to determine right off that this Christian organization will never be supportive of the State of Israel, not even in these present perilous times. As Eli Wiesel once wrote, so it is true: "Once an anti-Semite, always an anti-Semite." How can the Jews expect the United Church, with its repugnant history of abuse and genocide of Canada's Native peoples, to decide between good and evil, between light and darkness, when it comes to the affairs of the State of Israel and the Jewish people? The United Church is quite unqualified to judge others, any others, much less the Jews of Israel and the sovereign state they fought and died for, and which, even today, a glorious and singular democracy they still fight and die for. Look whose calling the kettle black.

Michael Devolin


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