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Commentary


Elián González Now A Hot Potato For United Methodist General Board Of Church and Society

by Michael L. Gonzalez


Well it looks like Thom White Wolf Fassett is learning a lesson about playing politics in the United States of America. As you know from previous E-mail from this writer, Fassett of the UMC General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) is the key player in obtaining money to pay Gregory Craig (former White House Impeachment lawyer) to represent Juan Miguel González. You know that the secular media broadcast the connections of Fassett, money, UMC, National Council of Churches (NCC), Joan Brown Campbell, Greg Craig, Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro, Elián, as well as other characters, and what did the media come up with? Well, a whole lot of questions concerning the whole lot of them!

Now the interesting part from the viewpoint of UMC members is that once the methodists were made aware of Fassett and his dealings, these methodist people wanted answers also, and the information provided didn't satisfy a significant number of members. Fassett and other such fringe elements of the UMC have not been used to such involved scrutiny by the membership of their own organization (the UMC). Fassett has been reported as being surprised by the membership and their level of having been informed of his dealings. Yes, Thom that's right, you generally are given the privilege of going about your agenda without the knowledge of the vast UMC membership. Gee, what would it be like if the UMC-controlled media (like the UMReporter) broadcast all of the dealings of Fassett (and other such radical fringe UMC leaders) to the vast UMC membership?

As a member of the UMC, you should feel the obligation to read the news printed by the official United Methodist News Service (the entire article) at http://umns.umc.org/00/april/223.htm "Legal fund for Elian's father shifts to NCC"

From this article, what have we learned, and what further questions do we now have?

1. It takes the secular media to inform the UMC membership of what is going on within the members' own organization. The media that is paid by the UMC to report news to its members has been very effective in minimizing the spread of information of events that could be considered controversial for the UMC leadership.

2. Fassett has experienced what it's like when the vast sleeping congregation of the UMC is awoken to what is really going on in the UMC--what their apportionment dollars are going to support (such as Fassett's salary).

3. There have been demands to know who is contributing the money for Greg Craig, and Fassett has come up with a politically correct spin as to why you're a bad guy if you want to know who's contributed (i.e.: Cuban Americans siding with Castro could be threatened).

4. Fassett plays the "class-warfare card." In order to make it politically incorrect to support the Cuban American freedom fighters, he insists that the fault all lies with the rich: "However, [Fassett] said that there is a tightly orchestrated effort by a wealthy group of people who are feeding lies into the Miami community, and those untruths are repeated in the media." Thus, Fassett insults the intelligence of the entire Cuban exile community in the U.S.

5. Fassett makes very clear the great extent to which the UMC (through him and the NCC) has been involved with numerous visits to Cuba and with Fidel Castro. Had he ever demonstrated that his efforts with Fidel had included trying to bring freedom and democracy to Cuba, I would image that the majority of UMC members and citizens of the U.S. would be applauding Fassett, the UMC, the NCC, and all involved. Guess why practically no one is applauding Fassett & Co.

6.. Fassett makes clear that the legal bills for Greg Craig will far exceed $100,000.

7. Fassett stresses to an extreme that Bill Clinton didn't have a hand in the arrangement of Greg Craig, and that Fidel Castro is not contributing to the secret fund (why is he so quick to jump to this defense? I haven't seen anything in the media accusing Fassett or his fund of these things). Of course, if this fund was administered by a private secular organization, the donors of the fund could probably be forced out in the open much more easily than with the fund held by a church.

8. I find it interesting that Fassett says that Juan Miguel can choose to stay in the U.S. or return to Cuba. Apparently to Fassett this is a choice that Juan Miguel would be free to make, at will. This is ridiculous! Everyone knows that Cuba doesn't allow people to just decide if they want to leave (isn't this obvious? If a Cuban could buy a ticket on a commercial boat, I think that would be preferable to sailing via inner tube). If Fassett thought that Juan Miguel would be better off in the U.S., Fassett would be using his professed influence with Fidel in an effort to convince Fidel to release Juan Miguel's parents (who are being held by Fidel as collateral in ensure Juan Miguel's return). Since Fassett is making no effort at all to help them defect to the U.S., isn't it then prima facie that Fassett thinks that life in Cuba is just fine? And if life in Cuba is just fine, why does Fassett & Co. have to plead with Fidel simply to allow the people to attend church?

9. If Fassett is so pro-democracy (as he stated--I think), then why isn't he talking about how he is trying to influence Fidel toward democracy while he has his ear talking about Christianity? BECAUSE HE'S NOT! The UMNS article says "At the same time, [Fassett] said, he has great respect for the people who fled Cuba and gave up so much there and for the pain and suffering they have experienced." What is Fassett saying? Those who fled Cuba "gave up so much there." What's this mean? They gave up something when they left Cuba? If he means family, OK. If he means that they gave up the joy of living in Cuba, then I think Fassett should move to Cuba permanently so he can experience the joy himself, full time. Then he can report back to us in the United States, about just what it's like living in Cuba.

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So, what's the latest information that the secular media has available to inform UMC members?

Read this article by national columnist Charley Reese (home paper the Orlando Sentinel) http://orlandosentinel.com/automagic/columnists/2000-04-23/OPEDreese23042300.html

The article is titled "Is little Elian just a pawn in an international business scheme?" I'll summarize the column for you, but be sure to read it completely:

Dwayne Andreas, the chairman of the large Illinois-based company ADM, met with Fidel Castro to invest in a refinery in Cuba. However, due to the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba, he had to deal through Spain.

You may recall that months ago when the NCC flew Elián's grandmothers from Cuba to the U.S., that they met at the home of the president of Barry University. Dwayne Andreas is a large contributor to Barry University, and his wife is a graduate and is past chairman of the board of trustees.

Last October, Andrew Young, an ADM board member and member of the public-policy committee, was installed as president of the National Council of Churches. Gregory Craig, is part of a law firm that also represents ADM.

Charley Reese postulates that Castro is like any other communist dictator. If you want to cut deals with him, you have to kiss his backside. Castro obviously wants Elian back for political gain, so if you're ADM, what do you do? Well, you've been witnessing it in the in the secular news!

"Castro, by the way, has already said Elian will be sent to a boarding school in Havana, where Cuban psychologists will straighten out his mind. Castro's daughter, who lives in Spain, had already warned that would be Elian's fate if he's handed over to the dictator.

"The Cuban exile community has always known that the question is not one of familial custody but one of freedom or a kid being sacrificed to a ruthless communist dictator."

SO MUCH FOR RE-UNITED FATHER AND SON!

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