The Christian Methodist Newsletter

Volume 16, Number 5 August-September 2006

September 11, 2001 Remembered

On September 11, 2006 our country, the United States, was attacked in a manner unprecedented in the history of our country. Even the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941 that ushered us into World War II was not as serious. As regrettable as that attack by Japan, it was made against military personnel and facilities; the September 11th attack was made against civilian men, women, and children who had nothing to do with military operations (other than those in the Pentagon). Here are just two of the day’s events:

- - On that fateful morning, Lisa Jefferson was the Verizon supervisor on duty who spoke with United Airlines (UA) Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer. The Boeing 757-222 from which Beamer called that day was one of four planes hijacked as part of the September 11, 2001 attacks -- the only one of the four aircraft that failed to reach its intended target. Instead, Flight 93 crashed in an empty field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, about 150 miles from Washington, DC, after passengers and flight crew members intervened in a heroic but fatal effort to subdue the terrorists. Mrs. Jefferson says she prayed with Beamer and listened as the tragedy in the air unfolded. "The plane took another dive," Jefferson notes, "and you could hear the commotion in the background. I heard men crying and screaming, 'Oh, my God. Jesus help us.' The commotion is something I will never ever forget." Then, she recounts, she heard Beamer and others discussing a plan to take back the plane from the terrorists. "The last thing I heard from him was, 'Are you ready,'" the mobile company worker remembers. He was speaking to someone else, and he said, 'Okay.' He said, 'Let's roll.'"1

- - Melissa Doi, age 32, was trapped on the 83rd floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York. She managed to reach a 911 operator and give her the name and phone number of her mother in the hopes that the operator might pass on a last message. As the tower continued to burn she asked the operator, "Can I stay on the line with you, please? I feel like I’m dying."

Later in the conversation, Melissa said in a frantic voice, "The floor is completely engulfed. We’re on the floor and we can’t breathe, and its very, very, very hot." Then - "I’m going to die, I know it. Please, God, no. It’s so hot, I’m burning up," she said, sobbing. After that Doi said little.2

What type of ideological thinking would intentionally cause suffering like this? Men, women, and children killed. This truly is evil.

As a retired military man and more importantly a Christian I am saddened by the death of anyone, especially a service man or woman, but that is one of the understandings of our profession – we may be called upon to give our lives in defense of our country. It was tragic for lives to have been lost as in the surprise attack on military personnel at Pearl Harbor by a country that had not declared war on us. But for lives to have been lost as in the treacherous attack on civilian personnel in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the airlines that were hijacked was an egregious attack against civilized humanity.

We must remember that what happened on September 11 was an unprovoked attack from members of a radical theological mindset who have sworn to kill anyone who does not believe as they do. This attack against our country and the freedoms we enjoy is unprecedented in our history. Indications are that UA Flight 93 that crashed may have been intended for our Congressional Capitol Building. Another planned hijacking may have targeted the White House.

It has been established since 1981 that there is an international terrorist network; the September 11th attack is only one of the later manifestations of it. President George Bush responded to the September 11th attack by a vigorous pursuit of the perpetrators and their allies, as well he should have done. Because of his prompt, aggressive action we have not had a similar – or worse – assault here.

Why, then have leaders and employees of our United Methodist Church incessantly attacked his efforts in bringing these terrorists to justice and protecting our freedom? Admittedly, denominational leaders have an over-fifty year history of pacifism and anti-war advocacy, but history has shown that pacifism increases the likelihood of hostile action in the face of aggression.* Their actions supporting a far-left political agenda undermine the stability of our country, are divisive, and put in greater jeopardy the lives of the military men and women who are in Iraq and Afghanistan. What is distressing to many is that loyal, patriotic United Methodists put their money into the offering plate believing that it goes to "missions" proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, yet their money finds its way into the apportionments and is used to support this type of advocacy. There are brave military men and women in my own church whose dollars support the activism that puts their very own live in greater jeopardy in their fight against terrorism.

We continue to ask that our denominational officials be more responsible in their public actions and advocacy.

- Allen O. Morris

1. By Allie Martin, AgapePress, September 11, 2006.

2. Article "1,631 calls to dispatchers on 9/11 released" by Martha T. Moore and Rachel Breitman, USA Today, August 17, 2006, p. 3A.

* (See the complete books Biases and Blind Spots, written by Duke Divinity professor the late Dr. Robert Wilson at; and The Betrayal of the Church by UM evangelist the late Dr. Ed Robb at

Following are just some of the actions by United Methodist personnel relating to the war effort.

* The United Methodist Church's Board of Church and Society (GBCS) called for peace less than 24 hours after President Bush declared the "early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq" were under way.

- The United Methodist News Service (UMNS); Washington, DC; 10-21-71BI{164} March 21, 2003.

* The group of United Methodist bishops met recently in the nation's capital to protest possible military action to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power. Bishop Sharon A. Brown Christopher, the president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, has even gone so far as to say war against Iraq would be "going against the very grain of our understanding of the gospel" and that a pre-emptive strike "does not reflect restraint." - Oct. 22, 2002; from Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD).

* A report says CNN, Fox, and NBC are refusing to run a series of anti-war ads sponsored by the National Council of Churches (NCC). A liberal United Methodist bishop is featured in the new anti-war ad airing this weekend. In the 30-second spot, Bishop Melvin Talbert claims the United States has no right to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Talbert appears in the commercial with Hollywood liberal Jeneane Garafalo, and claims U.S. military action against Iraq "violates God's law and the teachings of Jesus Christ." - By Jim Brown and Fred Jackson, AgapePress; January 31, 2003.

* Even as a U.S.-led military action against Iraq appear[ed] imminent to most Americans, the Rev. Bob Edgar holds steadfast to his belief that war can be averted. Edgar says he is troubled by "George Bush's arrogance." The president, he says, seems to believe that "God is not only on his side, but God is not on anyone else's side. I am frustrated with Bush's rhetoric, when it's so clear that he is blinded by the complexity (of the issues) and captured by the simplicity of his own arguments." [Note: It is interesting that Edgar imputes characteristics onto President Bush that we have often perceived among the leadership of the National Council of Churches. It is important to realize that the President and his military advisors have access to more information of a classified nature ("Secret" "Top Secret" etc.) that is not available to the general public and can provide a more detailed, accurate picture of the threat; they are in a much better position to assess the situation and the need for action. - Allen Morris] - Ann Whiting; Nashville, Tenn.; 10-71BP{142}; March 17, 2003.

* United Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert is a signer of "A Letter From Concerned Americans" to British Prime Minister Tony Blair that appeared March 18 in British newspapers. The letter, placed as a full-page advertisement in The London Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Independent, asks Blair to find "a third way" to resolve the situation in Iraq, rather than war or inaction. [This publicly taking a position in overseas publications against our own government is very divisive to our country and puts our troops fighting in Iraq in greater danger. - Allen Morris]

- UMNS; New York; 10-21-71B{144}; March 18, 2003.

* On March 26, 2003, UM Bishop C. Joseph Sprague, and both Jim Winkler and Linda Bales of the UM GBCS were arrested near the White House during a demonstration against the war with Iraq.

- UMNS; Nashville, Tenn.; 10-21-71BP(178} March 27, 2003.

* On March 27th Bishop Sprague and the Rev. Jesse Jackson met with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to discuss the war in Iraq. - UMNS; New York; 10-21-71BPI(183} March 28, 2003.

* In October 2005, the GBCS passed a resolution calling on the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq. "As people of faith, we raise our voice in protest against the tragedy of the unjust war in Iraq," the resolution stated. "We urge the United States government to develop and implement a plan for the withdrawal of its troops." Note: This is a move that would guarantee military defeat in that country and precipitate a blood-bath by the terrorists against the population. - Allen Morris] - "96 bishops decry 'unjust and immoral' situation in Iraq"; UMNS; November 11, 2005; Allen Morris.

* At its November 2005 meeting the Council of Bishops approved a resolution opposing the U.S. military effort in Iraq. According to the IRD, a separate unofficial statement, signed by over the half of the active U.S. bishops, more harshly denounced the "unjust and immoral invasion and occupation," while charging that Americans are being "sent to Iraq to kill and be killed." In the unofficial statement, signed by 96 active and retired bishops, Iraqis were described as "needlessly" dying. The bishops also called on President Bush to establish a timetable of withdrawal from Iraq [again, as stated above, this would guarantee military failure and a bloodbath]

* More recently Jim Winkler said that President George Bush should be impeached to advance the kingdom of God. "Impeach President Bush!" urged Jim Winkler, head of the Capitol Hill-based United Methodist GBCS. Winkler was speaking earlier this spring here in Washington, D.C., to an "Ecumenical Advocacy Days" rally for liberal religious activists, Winkler faulted Bush for an "illegal war of aggression" and condemned "the war on terror" as a "a war of terror". The Methodist lobbyist also called U.S. intelligence agencies "the secret police," rejecting National Security Agency monitoring of phone calls and records as "unconstitutional"; and advocated an 80 percent cut in U.S. military spending. Winkler called Bush's removal a religious imperative: "When I speak it is my desire to bring about the transformation of people and systems in order to advance the Kingdom of God even when it is painful." [IRD's Mark Tooley commented, "Most United Methodists do not look to a liberal church lobby office for political guidance. Instead, they expect their church to provide spiritual and moral guidance. Unfortunately, United Methodism has lost 3 million members in 40 years thanks in part to the misplaced priorities of agencies like Winkler's, which confuse partisan politics with the Gospel."]

- News broadcast on WCLN radio station, Fayetteville, NC; May 24, 2006. John Lomperis; The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), 1023 15th Street NW, Suite 601, Washington D.C. 20005. Phone: (202) 682-4131; Fax: -4136. May

26, 2006.

(IRD's report can be found at c=fvKVLfMVIsG&b=391221&ct=2343983)

* Church members show support for soldier refusing deployment. United Methodists supporting Army Lt. Ehren Watada, 28, who has refused deployment to Iraq. He faces charges of missing troop movement, conduct unbecoming an officer and contempt towards officials. A native of Hawaii, Watada is currently at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Wash. Three United Methodist bishops have written letters in support of Watada: 1. Bishop Robert Hoshibata, [who said] "As a bishop of the United Methodist Church, I affirm our church’s stance on peace and war and applaud your willingness to balance your call to duty with your innermost thoughts and core beliefs." [Invoking our denominational name to give credence to his statement against the established law of the country.] 2. Bishop Roy I. Sano [who wrote] as executive secretary of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, addressed his letter to Watada’s mother, Carolyn Ho. "I was inspired by the brave step your son took in refusing to be deployed to Iraq….In addition, I want you, and above all your son, to know that 109 United Methodist bishops signed a statement of conscience concerning the war in Iraq." 3. Bishop Mary Ann Swenson whose statement said in part: "As elected and consecrated bishops of the church, we repent of our complicity in what we believe to be the unjust and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq. In the face of the United States administration’s rush toward military action based on misleading information, too many of us were silent."

- By Kathy L. Gilbert, UMNS, Aug. 14, 2006.

* Clergywomen sign peace declaration, call for end to Iraq war. United Methodist clergywomen attending the 2006 International Clergywomen's Consultation in Chicago have signed on to a declaration of peace that encourages the United States to bring its troops home from Iraq by Sept. 21. The Declaration of Peace - endorsed by numerous civic, nonviolent, faith and interfaith peace groups, including Methodist Federation for Social Action - is a call for nonviolent action to end the U.S. war in Iraq. According to [a] flier announcing the declaration and encouraging action, nearly 70 percent of people in the United States oppose the war in Iraq and want a concrete plan that include withdrawal of U.S. troops, the closure of U.S. bases in Iraq, support for a peace process in the post-occupation transition, and reconstruction and reparations in Iraq. In the declaration's goals, the "comprehensive and concrete plan" must be completed no later than March 19, 2007. Some signers of the declaration will participate in a "peaceful action" at the Congressional offices in Washington Sept. 21-28 "if a comprehensive, concrete, and rapid plan for an end to the U.S. war in Iraq is not established and begun by Sept. 21." The peaceful engagements will include rallies, marches, vigils and demonstrations.

[Note: These are the same types of statements and actions that led to our country’s withdrawal from the Vietnam conflict and the ensuing bloodbath in that country, Cambodia, and Laos. – Allen Morris]

- By Linda Green, UMNS, Aug. 14, 2006.


According to The Declaration of Peace’s website found at among the points, to be included in Congressional plans for peace are: 1. Speedy withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Iraq; 2. No permanent US military bases and installations; 3. Support for an Iraqi-led peace process, including a peace conference to shape a post-occupation transition and an international peacekeeping presence if mandated by this peace process,… and 4. "No ‘preventive/preemptive’ war against Iran or any other nation."

The endorsers of the Declaration for Peace (among others) are: American Friends Service Committee, American Humanist Association, Athens Atheists (Ohio), Birmingham Islamic Society (Alabama), Breasts Not Bombs, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Gray Panthers California, Happy Hippie House, Hip Hop Caucus, Leftward!, Loom of Love, Magnetic Peace, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Metaphoria, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network, National Fraternity Secular Franciscan Order, Nature Coast Unitarian Universalists Community Concerns Committee (Florida), Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations - 2006 General Assembly, War Resisters League, WildGoose Across America, Witness for Peace, and Young Communist League of the United States of America . [Note: Such an illustrious group!]

Commentary on these actions and pronouncements:

"How woefully absurd," commented the IRD’s United Methodist spokesman Mark Tooley, "that church prelates condemn the United States for attempting to build democracy in Iraq, but refuse to condemn the Sudanese regime’s deliberate destruction of hundreds of thousands of lives in pursuit of an Islamic theocracy." [Also in their pronouncements] The bishops did not identify who was killing the most Iraqis (i.e., the insurgents), nor did they describe how this killing would stop if the United States were to withdraw. Neither of the statements from the bishops mentioned the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by Saddam’s regime or the millions who were oppressed by it. Nor did either mention the national elections held in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Nor did either acknowledge that the United States is spending tens of billions of dollars on Iraqi schools, hospitals, electrical grids, water supply, and other infrastructure.

"The bishops…fell back on a superficial anti-Americanism, which assumes that all global evils, everywhere, are somehow traceable to the United States. Even more sadly, the bishops express no interest in human rights, except as a point on which to criticize the United States for its treatment of prisoners," observed Tooley

- The Institute on Religion and Democracy news release, John Lomperis, Thursday, November 17, 2005

In all of the pronouncements proffered by bishops and other UM officials they have failed to recognize the significance of a successful free democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan with freedom of worship – the establishment of a veritable beachhead for Christianity in that area of the world.

Also, the words above of Mark Tooley bear repeating, "Most United Methodists do not look to a liberal church lobby office for political guidance. Instead, they expect their church to provide spiritual and moral guidance. Unfortunately, United Methodism has lost 3 million members in 40 years thanks in part to the misplaced priorities of agencies like Winkler's, which confuse partisan politics with the Gospel."

It would seem the denominational leaders and other employees would "get their own house in order" first before trying to help President Bush run the country. – Allen O. Morris

Worth Remembering

Perhaps more than any other leader in the twentieth century, Winston Churchill rallied a nation to believe in what it could do. His speeches during World War II expressed both a resolution and at the same time a feeling of "rightness" and a peace of mind. Here are some of the words to one of his most famous speeches:

"You ask what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and all the strength that God can give us…You ask, "What is our aim?" I can answer in one word: Victory…at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France; we shall fight on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air; we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds; we shall fight in the fields and in the streets; we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."+

Stirring words in the fight against evil – and evil does exist!

+God’s Little Devotional Book, p. 93.

* * *

Sermon in a sentence: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son – that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. -John 3:16

Kids’ Stuff

A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit."

"And why not, Darling?"

"You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning."

+ + +

Thought for the Month

"With hurricanes, tornadoes, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks. Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?" - Jay Leno

+ + +

The Good Stuff

On the ABC evening news, it was reported...that, because of the dangers from Hurricane Isabelle approaching Washington DC, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment.

They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!"

Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson.

The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

+ + +

With thanks for their support

I assume you have all seen the reports about how Sears is treating its reservist employees who are called up? By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up... Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution.

So I, decided to check it out before I sent it forward. I sent the following email to the Sears Customer Service Department:

I received this email and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your store. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item even if it was cheaper at the other store.

Here is their answer to my email…. Dear Customer:

Thank you for contacting Sears.

The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback. Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.

Bill Thorn

Sears Customer Care

I suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

- This was from Barbara Pharis

Published by: Concerned Methodists, P.O. Box 2864, Fayetteville, NC 28302. Tel.: 910/488-4379 FAX: 910/488-5090

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