Petition 81385

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Direct Involvement in Political Positions (81385-C1-R9999)

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WHEREAS We reaffirm that it is our duty as individual Christians to take positions on social issues for the benefit of all mankind where we bear witness to injustices to our fellow man. In the greatest of Wesleyan traditions and as spiritually bound Christians we must protect our neighbors.  
  
WHEREAS We firmly believe that the United Methodist Church, as an organization, should not take stances on behalf of political parties, individuals or organizations. Doing so does injustice to the broad diversity of opinion and consciences of our members. We believe that it is simply not right for the Church to represent that it speaks for all of its members, or even a majority of its members, on issues of a political nature.  It is improper for any of us to use our Church to further an individual political agenda.
  
WHEREAS We steadfastly believe, as other major religious bodies have discovered that it is a slippery and dangerous slope for religious organizations to become directly involved in politics. To do this harms our ability to fight for social injustices, our unity as Christ’s
  disciples, our membership, our stewardship and possibly our tax exempt status.
  
THEREFORE the 2008 General Conference of the United Methodist Church commits to continue its strong commitment in addressing social issues and to refrain from further direct involvement in public declarations, either positive or negative, involving specific political parties, individuals or organizations.

Rationale

We must build up the body of Christ.  
We must be the healing presence in society.  
We cannot be a further divisive force.
John Wesley gave us the tradition to follow as United Methodists.
Jesus Christ gave us perfection for being a Christian.
Let’s be His example in the world.