Monday, June 14, 2004

Yet another double standard

Time magazine takes note of yet another double standard for the presidential candidates:

For all the attention that has been given Kerry's problems with the clergy of his church, "there have not been an equal number of stories about the way Bush has ignored his own faith group, the United Methodist Church, by declining to accept a delegation of bishops that wanted to talk to him about the war," says Philip Amerson, president of the Claremont School of Theology, a United Methodist seminary in Claremont, Calif.

Having been brought up in the United Methodist Church, I hate to see that excellent organization tarred by association with George W. Bush. The UMC has a long history of social activism, dating back to the church's very beginnings -- when John Wesley ministered to working-class people who were essentially ignored by the Anglican church. In the US, Methodists took a leading role in racial healing by merging their black and white denominations in 1968.

I find it hard to believe that Bush acquired his fundamentalist beliefs in the UMC. He has not attended church on a regular basis in Washington, ostensibly because he doesn't want to "disrupt" worship with security measures (although oddly enough, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter managed to worship regularly in Washington without causing too much hassle for others in attendance). I suspect Bush may be more concerned about the pointed messages he might hear from a DC pulpit.


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