Claire Hoy: Still making stuff up

The last time Claire Hoy managed to attract my attention was during that thing we loosely refer to as a referendum on voting reform in Ontario. At that time, he was playing a bit fast and loose with the truth. Now he pops up on my radar again, this time writing about the United Church of Canada and its new Moderator, Mardi Tindal, who also happens to be my mom. And again, he’s sayin’ stuff that simply aint true.

For example, regarding the United Church and Israel, Hoy writes:

But as we saw in the publicity leading up to the recent United Church gabfest, once again a host of seriously anti-Israel and yes, anti- Semitic resolutions were being pushed by church activists. To be sure, they didn’t get the church body as a whole to approve them, but then again, the church did the old typical United Church cop-out, and rather than denouncing some rather hateful resolutions, simply set them aside for further study.

Wrong, Hoy. The meeting didn’t receive the offensive material for study, it repudiated all of that background material in almost no time. Further, the way the church’s General Council handled the whole of the resolutions was “met with cheers by the Canadian Jewish Congress and its chief executive officer, Bernie Farber.”

Then, Hoy criticizes the Moderator claiming that she “dismisses the word ‘faith’ as ‘too static….'” Since Hoy did not actually interview the Moderator for his rant disguised as a column, one assumes he was attempting to quote a profile that appeared in the National Post. Problem is, the quote that he uses is almost the complete opposite of what Tindal actually said in the Post, which quoted her correctly:

“For me the word ‘faith’ is part of a new paradigm … the word belief sounds too static, where in fact in faith we are invited to participate relationally.”

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the required background knowledge to figure out which things Hoy makes up and which things are real. When someone’s writing is contaminated to such a degree, I think it’s probably best to just avoid it altogether.

9 thoughts on “Claire Hoy: Still making stuff up

  1. Aug 13 is the date of your link quoting Farber.
    See the later (18th & 26th) expressed disappointment, even kind of outrage, from .
    While what’s put out in the some newspapers one shouldn’t maybe tarry overly long over, it is harder to get away from historic & ongoing anti-Jewish/Israel feeling &c in the UCC (not to mention among Greens…). Good luck.

  2. @Daryl Vernon If you want to have this conversation, we need to start by drawing a distinction between being anti-Jewish and opposing specific actions and policies of the state of Israel. If you’re accusing any organization of having an ongoing history of being anti-Jewish, that’s an extremely serious allegation that should be backed up by specific examples.

  3. @Chris Tindal
    Hello, Chris.
    Got your attention with that one, eh.
    But I was not trying to initiate any conversation.
    Since a group of green bloggers bolted the main party site for a time & set up their own dissenting blogs, I’ve been checking up on them now & then, & yours is featured in a list I notice, so I glance at what you’re up to. No conversation sought, just commenting where i feel I could shed some light. But on the topic, you must have noticed some of yet another controversy I was in the middle of at that blogsite re some Greens’ gross expressions re Israel (and thanked profusely about it by some local Jewish Green candidates & activists). You can find where I stand by looking them over, it is a lot. I should provide links if you’re truly interested, because my own dissent would only come out clearly that way. Dissent, that is, from Israeli goings-on reflexively protected by people like Farber, Rabbi Bulka (if you read the link I suggested). Anyway, I certainly would not expect to see any anti-Jewish/Israel animus from yourself, nor your Mom, but just for starters, you must appreciate that any wildly disproportionate foreign affairs focus on Israel as it is, esp. by an heir to some sorrier aspects of Christian traditionally anti-Jewish ways, even as that heir distances itself to a degree from that sorry legacy, such disproportion doesn’t look too good, would it. That’s for starters. I think in the 60s particularly the UCC was involved via Palestinian advocacy that probably the vast majority of Jews found offensive. I don’t know much about it, but I feel enough about it to have broached the topic, I remember from my youth references to the local controversy, which flowed not only from the UCC leadership at the time but must have gone back decades to probable too close alliance with those who thought the Jewish discomfort would be cured by conversion & other restrictions. I recall not long ago talking with a Green who is involved in connexion with aboriginal communities with particular interest in spirituality, and sharing with her the thought that unless Christians can get a handle on just how important actual territory is to Jewish tradition (as aboriginal), which is not a likely handle that’ll be grasped soon, they’ll be prone to keep on unintentionally offending. I do think “Green” localist theory can contribute very much indeed to this discussion. I can identify groups of empathetically interested Christians I’ve come across in my readings. But if you want specifics, maybe best to stick to the Palestinian advocacy thing, and see how a generation ago the UCC left a bad taste. The separability of anti-Jewish attitude from opposition to specific actions is not always as easy as it seems. That’s a problem that risks an apparent patronizing attitude from Jews. But it is an enduring problem. I’ll check back to see if you want to take it from there.

    lucky i type out my thoughts quickly — maybe you are a quick reader, too, sorry i don’t get to an anticipated point more quickly

    “The United Church conference: a first-hand account”
    R. Bulka’s summation.

    But same issue, columnist Gerber’s pessimism on UCC:
    (in print edition i think it is properly credited to Gerebr, online version i think in error with Joseph)

    she maintains the dwindling denomination likely to be swayed by its youth who’ve bought into unfriendly attitudes towards Israel, from motives all-too-common & all-too-uncomprehending

    looks like you’re not interested in continuing with this here, i not really either, but would respond if you wished, just saw the print edition of the paper, mainstrean Jewish organ, and had to bring mention here

    note also R. Bulka’s mention of important friends of Israel in UCC (i’d bet it includes members of your own family)

    i’m much more interested in discussing how this would jive with a “green” perspective, though; looks like UCC suffers some similar ills to GPC

  5. one more, if you’re still watching (why no comment after i brought all i did above?), i can’t help thinking of my fellow Green when i come across questionable ucc business:

    “The principle behind this unprincipled move by the UCC is now clear for all to see,” said Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada. “The United Church has been caught red-handed funding organizations that create division and strife within the Jewish community.

    “The UCC has a long history of working against the Jewish state, and by extension the Jewish people. The same church that recently sanctioned that all of its congregations may boycott the world’s only Jewish state, is now revealed to have funded the creation of an organization that has repeatedly come out with despicable propaganda about events in the Middle East and has called for a boycott of the Jewish state.

    “In one sense, something positive has come out of this outrageous revelation. The UCC and the rest of the organizations working on demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish state can no longer hide behind the facade of ‘reconciliation.’ The wolves have now shed their sheep’s clothing.”

    The Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) is furious over the donation, calling it “shocking, outrageous, shameful and scandalous.” CJC?CEO Bernie Farber declared. “Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and the Canadian Jewish Congress or another mainstream Jewish organization were to have funded a Christian group to be critical of the UCC.”

    what was Chris asking about “specific examples”?
    no need to go back in history for inflammatory ones

    ucc & gpc do indeed have similar problems in this regard

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