Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Bush’s Denomination Urges End to Iraq War

As reported in Ekklesia, the bishops of the United Methodist Church, Pres. Bush’s denomination, have been part of the Declare Peace Campaign and urge U.S. troops out of Iraq. The article is slightly misleading since it makes it seem like this is a new stand. The UMC leadership was against the invasion from the beginning and was part of the many church groups (every major U.S. denomination except the Southern Baptist Convention!) who wrote Bush in advance against the war. (I drafted the open letter from the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America on 02 August 2002. The BPFNA has taken several further actions since.)

Although Bush brags about his Christianity and having been saved (including from alcaholism and drug abuse) at a Methodist revival, he has consistently ignored the social teachings of his denomination. He does not reflect the beliefs of most United Methodists. (I have Methodist family members who take Bush’s misrepresentation of the UMC personally, just as Baptists were rather thoroughly embarrassed by Bill Clinton’s lax sexual morals.)

Still, this new prominence of faith-based opposition to Bush’s policies in Iraq and elsewhere might lead, I hope, to an end to the fusion of nationalism and Christianity in the pews.

Update: Here is a timeline of all the UMC actions against the Iraq war. Hat tip and thanks to Marty on the Homefront.


September 25, 2006 - Posted by | Iraq, peace


  1. Amen. Amen. Amen.

    Comment by kyle | September 25, 2006

  2. Michael,

    G.W.’s lies and thievery certainly does NOT reflect the beliefs of any United Methodists that I know. Even the most conservative UM’s with whom I speak are wary of the theocracy currently intended in DC.

    To your point of hoping for an end of the fusion of nationalism and Christianity: AMEN! And, may this new “prominence of faith-based opposition to Bush’s policies” lead also to a new sensitivity to our temptation to use God’s Holy Name for our own carnal purposes.

    God is not mocked. Looks like we (as a nation) need to learn this all over again.

    Thanks, Michael!

    Comment by Tom | September 25, 2006

  3. Yes! I’ve been talking about this on my blog for months. Bush is totally ignoring our Book of Discipline. I am going to post on my blog tonight all of the articles written by the UMC regarding the war and subsequent occupation of Iraq. No, this is not a new stand by the United Methodist Church. As a United Methodist, I take his misrepesentation personally as well.

    Comment by Marty | September 26, 2006

  4. I look forward to that post, tonight, Marty, and will link to it.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | September 26, 2006

  5. I just put up a link to all the articles. There were so many of them it took up too much space.

    Comment by Marty | September 26, 2006

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