by M. Theresa Basile
Nov 8 – Updates on this article:
A full page ad was published in the Kansas City Star on Nov 7th, a statement calling on Americans to protect free speech and the right to boycott, signed by by MFSA, UMKR and dozens of other faith-based organizations.
The day before, an open letter was sent to Congress by 20 top leaders of national Christian organizations, opposing the "Israel Anti-Boycott Act."
What does a schoolteacher in Kansas seeking a job have in common with survivors of Hurricane Harvey in Texas needing disaster relief? And what could either of those situations have to do with Israel?
Both the schoolteacher in Kansas and residents of Dickinson, Texas have been denied equal access to state benefits and opportunities, if they will not guarantee they do not support a boycott of Israeli products.
As absurd as that may sound, it is really happening in America today.
Something called “anti-BDS legislation” has been enacted in recent years in over twenty states. Reminiscent of the 1950’s, when people were asked to certify they did not belong to the Communist Party, Americans today are faced again with McCarthyist discrimination, this time in the Orwellian guise of opposing discrimination - that is, discrimination against Israel, with which the US has a “special relationship.” Special indeed, when it is used to penalize Americans who participate in a boycott that addresses injustice.
Imagine our citizens being punished for boycotting businesses that discriminate against African Americans. Oh wait, that did happen, in Mississippi! In the NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., the U.S. Supreme Court made clear that such a boycott is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment.
Read more: All Hands On Deck! Anti-BDS Laws Have Hit the Fan
From the Front Lines
The last few days have been unrelenting in not only the heat, but the rising anxiety levels as the news spins conjectures on potential decisions/non-decisions about DACA.
Fortunately our presence at 580 [Cafe] has provided a safe haven for many of our students and their families. I have spent most of the last three days meeting, praying, and crying with students as they come by to seek solace and a place to unpack the fear and release some of the anxiety they carry and have carried for far too long.
Read more: WMJM Justice Seeker: DACA Response - Special Issue
The Monthly Newsletter of the Western Methodist Justice Movement
Annual Conference Update
The annual conferences are over for this year, and nothing much has changed. In the West, we continue to make our witness on behalf of a church that fully embodies God’s life-giving love for all. So, we have taken strong stands through legislation and public demonstrations on a variety of issues related to our understanding of the call that Christ’s gospel places upon our lives:
- access to quality medical care;
- civil rights for transgender persons;
- access to public education for all sectors of our society;
More on AC Updates...
In This Issue:
- In The Know
- In The News
- Nuclear Weapons Treaty
- California Sanctuary Bill
- CA Attorney General Sues Dept. of the Interior
- CA Sheriffs Can Restrict Concealed Guns
- Becerra Challenges Trump Administration on Immigration
by the second Monday of each month.
Also email Stephanie with questions, comments, and suggestions.
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