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Methodist Federation Joins Homosexual And Abortion Groups In Anti-Ashcroft Hate Rhetoric

A Press Release from the Methodist Federation for Social Action
January 12, 2001
For more information contact:
Methodist Federation for Social Action 202-546-8806


Citing great concern over the record of John Ashcroft on matters related to civil rights, the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) has gone on record opposing the nomination of Ashcroft as U.S. Attorney General.

"It is not our normal practice to actively support or oppose such nominations," according to MFSA Executive Director, the Rev. Kathryn J. Johnson. "In recent weeks, however, our members across the country have been contacting our national office here in Washington, DC, urging that we as an organization speak out in opposition to the nomination."

Among the concerns expressed by members are the very extreme views of former Senator Ashcroft and the fear that, based on his record in Missouri, he will not aggressively enforce the laws in areas where he disagrees with U.S. policy.

An independent organization of United Methodists with forty chapters throughout the country, MFSA is firmly committed to a number of things that former Senator Ashcroft has actively opposed over the years. These include: affirmative action, a woman's right to reproductive choice, federal hate crimes legislation, a moratorium on the death penalty and gun control.

Particularly disturbing says Rev. Johnson are comments made by the former senator in the Southern Partisan, a publication that, among other things, has endorsed former KKK leader David Duke as " a Populist spokesperson for a recapturing of the American ideal." In a 1998 interview Ashcroft praised the Southern Partisan saying: "Your magazine also helps set the record straight. You've got a heritage of doing that, of defending Southern patriots like [Robert E.] Lee, [Stonewall] Jackson and [Jefferson] Davis. Traditionalists must do more. I've got to do more."

Keenly aware of the ways in which poor and minority persons in the U.S. were disenfranchised in the recent election through grave failures in our electoral process, Rev. Johnson believes " it is essential that the top law enforcement officer of our country be someone we can trust to aggressively protect the hard-won civil rights of U.S. citizens. John Ashcroft is clearly not that person."

MFSA is urging United Methodists and other persons of faith to contact their senators to oppose the nomination of John Ashcroft.

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