Commission seeks action on sports symbols, profiling
(UMNS) - The United Methodist agency for monitoring racial concerns
within the denomination and society will be sending at least six pieces
of legislation to the church's highest legislative assembly next year.
churchwide Commission on Religion and Race is again raising its concern
about the use of Native American names and symbols for sports teams.
When the 2000 General Conference met in Cleveland, the commission and
the church's Native American caucus voiced strong opposition to the
Cleveland Indians' name and Chief Wahoo symbol. In 1996, the General
Conference termed such names and symbols "demeaning."
In a recent
semi-annual meeting, the commission finalized a resolution that it will
send to the 2004 General Conference, asking the assembly to call upon
the denomination's general agencies, annual (regional) conferences and
other church bodies to hold meetings and events in cities that do not
sponsor sport teams with Native American names and symbols.
If approved by the 2004 General Conference as written, the church would also be committed to publicizing this policy.
another General Conference resolution, the commission asks that the
church's Council of Bishops send official communications to President
George Bush, Congress and Attorney General John Ashcroft calling for the
elimination of racial profiling. The resolution proposes educating
United Methodists about the problem through annual conferences and local
churches, and encourages them to work with law enforcement officials to
In addition, the commission has outlined a
program for affirming the United Methodist Church's position on the
rights of refugees, immigrants and undocumented people. It seeks to
remind government officials of the church's position on this issue, to
promote and distribute statements of these positions, to encourage the
use of "To Love the Sojourner: A United Methodist Response to the United
States Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986," and to call on
local churches to seek ways to welcome and assist such people and to
denounce their persecution.
A resolution titled "Economic Justice
- The Imperative for the Church: the Minority Group Self-Determination
Fund" seeks to increase the amount of this fund to $3 million a year for
the 2005-2008 quadrennium. Established in 1970, the fund currently is
budgeted at $862,500 a year. The fund supports church programs to help
ethnic minority families and communities. The Commission on Religion and
Race administers the fund, processing grant applications twice a year.
another resolution, the commission expresses support for continuing the
national plans for ministry with ethnic minority constituencies.
commission is forwarding a resolution that asks the United Methodist
Church to expand its racial identification language with regard to local
congregation reports. Specifically, the resolution would include
designations for biracial/multiracial people in such documents as annual
conference or charge conference reports. Currently, churches that
choose to report their congregations' composition have a more limited
number of categories to work with: African American and black, Asian,
Native American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander and white.
commission has also endorsed a resolution created by MARCHA (Methodists
Associated to Represent the Cause of Hispanic Americans) on behalf of
children struggling to survive in the midst of violence and poverty in
Latin America and the Caribbean.
Two resolutions already on the
books should be revised, according to the commission. The group is
suggesting minor editorial changes and updating to Resolution 68,
"Inclusiveness in All Dimensions of the Church." It is also proposing
strengthening the language in Resolution 69, "Prejudice Against Muslims
and Arabs in the U.S.A.," in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.
Back : News Archives 2003 Main
“We believe in God and in each other.”The people of The United Methodist Church
Still Have Questions?
If you have any questions Ask
Purchase a $20 buzzkill t-shirt and help save a life
Buy a t-shirt