Wednesday, May 28, 2008

W. PA United Methodists on Death Penalty and Hand Guns!

"...We believe all human life is sacred and created by God...The sixth commandment, 'Thou Shall not kill,' not only forbids killing, it also implies that we are obligated to prevent harm and to preserve life and the well-being of human life..." --- statements in proposed resolutions for consideration at the W. PA Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, June 2008

Among the many pieces of proposed legislation to come before the members of the W. PA Annual Conference session during the second week of June, 2008, are those dealing with the death penalty in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the purchase of hand guns.

One item addresses the subject of establishing a moratorium on the death penalty. One argument put forth for this is quoted above, and is a quotation from the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church. Officially the denomination goes on record as saying that "we believe all human life is sacred and created by God." The resolution proceeds to set forth the logic of the need to preserve life.

There's a major problem here -- we strongly protest the execution of criminals convicted of murdering one or more other human beings, but we will not "officially" protest the intentional pre-meditated mutilation and murders of thousands of unborn children in the state of Pennsylvania each year!

And then there is the resolution which is titled, "In Support of 'One-Handgun-a-Month' Legislation in Pennsylvania." This one gets a bit wild by mentioning that in light of the sixth commandment we are "obligated to prevent harm and to preserve life and the well-being of human life!"

Ah, yes -- same issue, only in connection with those horrible things called "hand-guns" -- it's like a lot of people are going to walk in the store and buy 2 or 3 of those things every week! If we want to propose legislation on restricting or limiting what are regarded as "tools of death," how about eliminating those "tools" used by those guys who wear white coats and mistakenly have the initials "M.D." behind their names -- you know, those tools used to tear apart an unborn child before it is born? Quite a few thousand in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania end up murdered each year before they are born with no charges of criminal activity ever being filed!

But worse, we draw that line at the entrance to the human womb -- we'll legislate in the name of protecting human life, but what's inside the human womb -- you know, that little one God is forming for a high and holy purpose (Jeremiah 1:4,5) -- that one doesn't count. Maybe that's because too many of us have bought into the propaganda line that all that is inside the womb is a mass of tissue and blood, to be disposed of at the whim of the "mother" (term used loosely) and in the name of "constitutional rights!"

Do you sense that something is terribly amiss here? Do you wonder at the blatant inconsistencies of episcopal leadership which does not hesitate to address certain social ills and campaigns vigorously for stamping out malaria in Africa which kills a million children a year (according to figures quoted by those involved in the Nothing But Nets campaign) but says absolutely nothing about the 1 million unborn victims of intentional murder in the United States each year?

What will happen? The W. PA Annual Conference will likely pass those resolutions and many others besides, and then return home with a "feel good" feeling that we have done some great things for the Kingdom of God. But in the meantime the slaughter of the innocents continues and we haven't even uttered a whisper of protest against this abomination!

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!" --- Matthew 23:23, 24

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