A commentary on 'A Call to Repentance,' Lakeland Ledger article



e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service
      
 

12-14-2005

Some have written that Bishop Whitaker's article made them proud to be a United Methodist, but I am not feeling that way. Commentaries like this make me feel ashamed, once again, to be called United Methodist because of the positions taken by a group of United Methodist bishops, now including my own. Bishop Whitaker says we shouldn't be surprised when his group criticizes the war because war is not the business of a church. I don't see the logic in that statement. He goes on to say later that war may be necessary at times, but he doesn't believe the standards for a just war were met. But his telling of the situation does not fit with my recollection of what happened. He is dismayed that we did not wait for the U.N. inspectors to finish their work. They never would have finished their work, because Saddam Hussein continually interfered with them. That was his game, and Whitaker would have fallen for it. He says that the inspectors began to discover that there was no evidence for the existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). That is not true. We have not found any WMD, but the consensus in the intelligence community at the time of the invasion was that he did have such weapons. We know for a fact that he has had them, because he has used them on his own people. Whitaker complains that the United States had no legitimate authority, but then states we would have such authority if the United Nations refused to fulfill its responsibility. That is exactly what happened. How many U.N. resolutions did Hussein have to ignore before they would take action, Especially with the French, Germans and Russians profiting off the corrupt Oil for Food program? As Whitaker says, the question is what to do now. He says pull out our troops. Even the Iraqis don't want that. This is not a civil war; it is foreign terrorists trying to prevent the Iraqis from forming a democratic, free Iraq. Al Qaeda are scared to death what will happen if people get a taste of freedom. If we cut and run, does Whitaker really think that peace will reign? It will be anarchy. Is this what we want for the Iraqi people? Have we no compassion for them? With most Floridians having voted to support President George W. Bush last year, it is not unreasonable to suppose that a large percentage, maybe a majority of Florida United Methodists, feel the same way. Commentaries like this do nothing to stop the continuing decline in people who wish to bear that label.

Jeff Godwin
First United Methodist Church, Melbourne




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