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View Diary: Woman Being Denied Citizenship Because Her Morality Doesn’t Come From Religion (180 comments)

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  •  As far as the UMC goes, (7+ / 0-)

    there is no DOCTRINAL position on bearing arms or mandatory service. Our Social Principles state, in para. 68 G)

    We reject national policies of enforced military service as incompatible with the gospel. We acknowledge the agonizing tension created by the demand for military service by national governments. We urge all young adults to seek the counsel of the Church as they reach a conscientious decision concerning the nature of their responsibility as citizens. Pastors are called upon to be available for counseling for all young adults who face conscription, including those who conscientiously refuse to cooperate with a system of conscription.

    We support and extend the ministry of the Church to those persons who conscientiously oppose ll war, or any particular war, and who therefore refuse to serve in the armed forces or to cooperate with systems of military conscription.We also support and extend the Church's ministry to those persons who conscientiously choose to serve in the armed forces or to accept alternative service.

    We're not DOCTRINAL pacifists, because our doctrine says nothing about pacifism or war. We are "principled" pacifists, I suppose, which is not doctrinally binding. However, I could write you a note based upon our Social Principles, as a UMC pastor, and you'd be covered.

    I have taken a full year of Law and Government Class and have determined that government and politics are my left ass cheek.-my 18 year old daughter

    by left rev on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 12:07:19 PM PDT

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    •  Doctrinal pacifics vs. individual principles (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      left rev, kyril, Cassandra Waites

      The article gave me the impression that there has to be a clear religious prohibition -- doctrinal pacifists -- rather than simply asserting a moral choice that the church supports. Maybe it sounded more demanding than they really are in practice -- not that this helps atheists.

      As with so many things, the Book of Discipline doesn't demand adherence to a specific rule regarding bearing arms. Even gambling, which the BoD quite explicitly condemns, doesn't seem to be a matter of demanding adherence. We're just not very rule-based -- one of the things I like about my church.

      •  I would want to argue (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, twigg

        good naturedly that the Social principles are religious in nature, constitute a prohibition religious in nature, but subject to individual understanding. So UMCs would be a case by case basis, rather than a sweeping generalization. I still think it would work :)

        I have taken a full year of Law and Government Class and have determined that government and politics are my left ass cheek.-my 18 year old daughter

        by left rev on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 01:30:02 PM PDT

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        •  I would, equally good naturedly, argue (6+ / 0-)

          that "social principles" are "moral" in nature, rather than "religious".

          However, I would also support the assertion that many religious people are also very moral.

          The point being that people can be moral, and being religious is a completely separate matter.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          Who is twigg?

          by twigg on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 01:44:22 PM PDT

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          •  Oh I agree as to (4+ / 0-)

            moral and religious not being the same thing. So would Jesus, actually.

            But the Social Principles are

            a prayerful and thoughtful effort on the part of the General Conference to speak to human issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation as historically demonstrated in United Methodist traditions. They are intended to be instructive and persuasive in the best of the prophetic spirit. The Social Principles are a call to all members of the United Methodist Church to a prayerful, studied, dialogue of faith and practice.
            I think the role that they play in my denomination would be adequate for an individual Methodist to claim an exemption from military service, or even alternative service in support of the military effort. The mechanism exists, even though we are not, technically, doctrinal pacifists.

            I have taken a full year of Law and Government Class and have determined that government and politics are my left ass cheek.-my 18 year old daughter

            by left rev on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 01:50:39 PM PDT

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            •  I think ... (4+ / 0-)

              That if the United Methodists were the benchmark by which religious groups acted in this country, then we wouldn't need these conversations.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              Who is twigg?

              by twigg on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 01:54:46 PM PDT

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              •  You give us far (4+ / 0-)

                too much credit, my friend. We've got some deep issues yet to work through.

                But I'm working on it!

                I have taken a full year of Law and Government Class and have determined that government and politics are my left ass cheek.-my 18 year old daughter

                by left rev on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 01:56:36 PM PDT

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                •  Hear, hear! (0+ / 0-)

                  I'd recommend all of the above comments if the time limit to do so hadn't run out. I admit, I remain skeptical that our UMC doctrine of personal interpretation would move the Immigration Service -- did it move the Selective Service during the Viet Nam war? Fortunately, I turned 18 a little too late to have to test such a thing. Not that I'm certain I would have qualified anyway.

                  For those still following who aren't Methodists, making personal choices of what to believe was taught by our founder. To summarize, it's a Methodist doctrine that a vital and living faith depends on four pillars: tradition, Scripture, inspiration & reason. So there are two external sources for our faith, but the other two are essentially internal -- and we specifically aren't supposed to turn off our brains on matters of faith!

                  We hardly do this perfectly. My own church, for example, has people who quit a committee that simply wanted to study what the Bible says about homosexuality, to form our own opinions on whether it should be grounds for rejecting people. If we can't even talk about it -- if we can't even study the Bible on the subject -- it's hard to change. Oh, well, we're trying.

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