The Day I Was Most Ashamed to be a United Methodist



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We Need to Temper Our Shock

LIke Rev. Ray, I can write an essay on things that make me proud that I am a United Methodist. I could bore you for hours with things that embarrass me about being a United Methodist.

However, I am egregiously embarrassed by one of our pastors making one single issue the litmus test on whether one should be proud or embarrassed to be a United Methodist. It makes me want to ask, "Rev. Ray, don't you have a life?"

I am probably the most reluctant pro-choice clergy in the UMC: with our denomination, I know that sometimes abortion is the least lousy of a series of lousy choices, and that those choices need to be made by the woman, her partner, her doctor, and her pastor. At the same time, I also am appalled that almost 30 of the conceptions in this country are aborted. (Check the statistics in any Almanac for the accuracy of that statement!) There are a lot of easier and less traumatic (for all) ways to prevent an unwanted conception from occurring. We need to be preaching that if one wants to be sexually active, one needs to be responsible about it before getting into bed.

To condemn abortion as the single, most important, and even only issue is to ignore preaching the wholeness in life to which Christ taught us to pursue and to live.

I, too, lament the demise of the Cokesbury local stores. At the same time, I know that brick-and-mortar bookstores are closing right and left, and that these days, every online bookstore uses computerized catalogs from distributors like Ingram and others. We get what we pay for. If we want only to get "religious" books that pass muster with our sensibilities, we have to pay the cost of having brick-and-mortar stores. If we aren't willing to pay the financial cost of that luxury, we have to allow for the fact that cataloging is at best an art rather than a science, and not blame Cokesbury for being as much victimized by distributors as Rev. Ray feels.

Tom Griffith more than 4 years ago

One-sided message about abortion

I appreciate his statement, even if I'm not ready to defund the UMW. Whenever GBCS and the Women's Divison speak about the importance, dignity and rights of children, I have to wonder why they don't concern themselves with children before birth. It's just as incomplete as those on the "pro-life" side who seem to stop concerning themselves with children after birth. Justice pays attention to those who are weak and vulnerable. Children before birth are definitely weak and vulnerable, and adults exercise nearly unlimited power over them. Is this not a justice issue? Why does the child exercise no "choice" and the adult has it all? That's been the law for 40 years, but that does not make it just. Once our Social Principles saw abortion as "the tragic conflict of life with life". The current statement appears to see no tragedy or conflict at all.

Jeanne Devine more than 4 years ago


I am shocked that this article was given print space. For a licensed local pastor to advocate UMC churches dismantle their chapters and support of the United Methodist Women shows an abject lack of understanding for the depth and breadth of the organization's work and value. Instead of him offering dialogue, avenues of reconciliation or grace, he proposes his own death knell on a life-saving organization. Simply because a person is able to string together sentences in a coherent manner, is that reason to give him this public forum? I think the article and its incendiary sentiment more properly belongs under the "Good News" umbrella.

Pamela Nelson-Munson more than 4 years ago

Notable Quotes

“The period of Lent is given us to focus on what can be changed by listening carefully to the word of God. The word of God brings the clarity about injustices, but also how we are given a new opportunity to change injustices to justice. God has given that we in the death of Jesus Christ have been liberated from our trespasses as he was raised for our justification.”

– The Rev. Olav Fyske Tveit, top executive of the World Council of Churches, in a March 20 sermon marking World Water Day.

The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, top executive of Discipleship Ministries, lays out his agency’s plans to help United Methodists reach people for Jesus. He addressed his agency’s board in Nashville, Tenn.“We have tried to reverse this decline by trying to offering technical fixes, tinkering with our worship services, collecting huge amounts of data, tinkering with metrics and then when the metrics didn’t fit the picture we wanted, we readjusted the metrics.  [United Methodists] can’t program our way back to vitality; there is no quick fix."

– The Rev. Junius B. Dotson, top executive of Discipleship Ministries, unveiling his goals for the agency to create 1 million new Christian disciples over the next four years, reported by Heather Hahn of United Methodist News Service.

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