Petition 81251

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Vulnerable Human Life (81251-C2-R9999)

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Defending the Sacred Worth of All Vulnerable Human Life
WHEREAS, all people are created in the very image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and are precious in His sight; and
WHEREAS, Christians are especially obligated to value, protect, and be in ministry to the most vulnerable people (Matthew 25:34-40); and
WHEREAS, the continued life of every person is a precious gift from God; and
WHEREAS, throughout the world, many people face serious mistreatment as a result of characteristics that make them particularly vulnerable; and
WHEREAS, the poor face a dehumanizing daily struggle to continue basic material provision for themselves and their families, and this is often exacerbated by unjust treatment from people in power; and
WHEREAS, young people too often suffer from a lack of adequate role models, spiritual guidance, education, and parental support; and
WHEREAS, the elderly are often not treated with respect and ignored or even cruelly isolated, many times exploited; and
WHEREAS, in addition to the problems of their specific conditions, persons with disabilities or mental illness must face the challenges of misunderstanding, dehumanization, lack of needed services and support, and being treated as worthless and burdensome; and
WHEREAS, the terminally ill face particularly serious needs for personal, emotional, and spiritual support but are often avoided out of discomfort, treated as if their precious remaining days were already concluded, and in some places even subject to pressure to assent to euthanasia or physician assisted suicide; and
WHEREAS, over 40 million precious unborn children worldwide are destroyed every year by abortion, and the vast majority of these are performed for reasons unrelated to the mother’s physical health; and
WHEREAS, countless individuals throughout the world suffer discrimination or violence because of their religion, race, ethnicity, or culture; and
WHEREAS, women throughout the world continue to suffer from attitudes and practices that deny their rightful moral and legal equality with men; and
Therefore, be it therefore resolved, that we unambiguously declare that NO human being is worthless or expendable, and that the lives of all persons have sacred purpose and merit protection; and
Be it further resolved, that we call on every United Methodist congregation to prioritize ministry to and defense of vulnerable and marginalized populations such as those listed above.
  
 Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on Induced Abortion Worldwide,” October 2007; available from <http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_IAW.html> ; accessed 24 October 2007.  
  Akinrinola Bankole, Susheela Singh and Taylor Haas, “Reasons Why Women Have Induced Abortions: Evidence from 27 Countries,” International Family Planning Perspectives 24, no. 3 [September 1998]; available from: <http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2411798.html>; accessed 24 October 2007. 

Rationale

It is important to have a comprehensive statement that affirms the priority that Christian ministries must have for “the least of these” and acknowledges some of the main problems faced by several specific vulnerable populations.