Methodists urge Bush to repent
A group of leaders from George W. Bush's own denomination have placed an advert in a magazine asking the President to "repent" of what they consider policies "incompatible" with Christian teaching.
The advert appeared in The Christian Century magazine.
The group of 120 signatories to the document, entitled "A Prophetic Epistle from United Methodists Calling Our Brother George W. Bush to Repent," includes seven United Methodist Church bishops.
"It is our judgment that some policies advanced by your administration give evidence of the spiritual forces of wickedness that exist in our society today," the advert reads.
The signers also include two UMC leaders who were arrested during an anti-war protest in Washington, D.C., this year. They claim Bush is "threatening the very earth and all its inhabitants with open discussion of the usage of nuclear weapons."
The Methodist leaders don't think much of Bush's domestic policies, either, saying they are "incongruent with Jesus' teaching" because they lack the kind of compassion Jesus taught.
Mark Tooley, director of the United Methodist committee of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, told the paper it is the 120 who signed the document who are veering from the church's teachings ñ not Bush.
"Bush is supposedly a bad Christian and a bad Methodist because, like most Methodists, he does not agree with these church officials in their equation of compassion with a large federal welfare state and in their opposition to a strong military defense for America," Tooley said.
According to the report, the White House says the president respects the views of those placing the ad but does not agree with them.