“Time won’t leave me as I am, but time won’t take the boy out of this man”--”City of Blinding Lights”, U2

Monday, August 15, 2005

Political Activism in UM Churches

This is the sort of political activism I hate to see in UM churches:
Earlier in April, at a speech before the United Methodist church in Venice, Calif., Sheehan likened Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to "Hitler and Stalin" and was particularly lurid in describing her hatred of Rumsfeld's then-deputy:
As soft-spoken and sincere-sounding as Paul Wolfowitz is, is there yet any sane adult in this country whose skin does not crawl when this murderous liar opens his mouth and speaks?
According to this, other people appearing were Tim Goodrich, co-founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Rev. Thomas Ziergert, Pastor of Venice United Methodist Church, with special music by Michelle Shocked. (I won't link to Shocked's website, it being NSFW, but Shocked appears to be stridently anti-Bush). I'm not familar with the other people so I don't know if they represented "counter" viewpoints to Sheehan, and et al. The above Sheehan comments exerpted above (and follow the link please for the full context of her speech) seem to me to be particularly dangerous from a church committed to doing kingdom work.

I have emailed the Rev. Ziegert for more information about the event and asked for his thoughts about political activity and the church. I'll post his response when it is received. I want to make clear, it is not my intention to criticize any one for the content of their remarks. Rather, my point is that I think such an event might be problematic for ministry.

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