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UM Pastor Asks, "Bishop Wilson on stopping executions–how far does that go?"

From: Clayton Harriger circrider@aol.com
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2000 3:43 PM
Subject: Bishop Wilson on stopping executions -- how far does that go?

March 10, 2000

Bishop Joe A. Wilson
Fort Worth Area
The United Methodist Church

Dear Bishop Wilson:

Recently you received extensive coverage regarding your plea to Gov. G. W. Bush to stop executions in Texas. Out W. Pa. Conference edition of the UM Reporter not only provided a lengthy article but large pictures of you, Gov. Bush, and Gov. Ryan of Illinois as well. Your statements in presenting your case are most interesting and call for some clarification on your part as to where you draw the line concerning human life which you declare "…only God has created."

Clarification please on the following:

  1. You say, "Human life, which only God has created and has the right to end, is the primary issue. I believe that the use of the death penalty by the state will increase the acceptance of revenge in our society and will give official sanction to a climate of violence."

    Question: Do you believe God has created the life that is being formed in the womb and that aborting that life is an act of violence which also gives "official sanction to a climate of violence?"

  2. It was noted that you maintain "…that any way one looks at it, the death-penalty system is wrong."

    Question: Would you also maintain that any way one looks at it the abortion-on-demand system now in place which destroys over 1 million unborn children "in the making" per year in the USA is wrong?

  3. You say, "I believe life is sacred, created as a gift of God, and I cannot justify my right to take a life God has given - and destroy that which God has made."

    Question: Are you willing to say the same applies to abortion-on-demand? That is, that one cannot justify one's right to take a life that God has given - and destroy that which God has made, or is in the process of making in the womb? Jeremiah 1:4,5 and Psalm 139 address this issue rather pointedly do they not?

  4. You say, "It is wrong for me to destroy the future in which rehabilitation and conversion might occur."

    Question: Is it wrong for anyone to destroy the future of an unborn child and to do it in such a violent manner - the methods may vary a bit, but the results are always the same - mangled remains of an individual for whom God had a purpose on earth. But of course that special purpose in God's plan will never come to pass! Why do we never hear any protesting about this from the bishops of the United Methodist Church? They have never ceased to talk about their "Initiative for Children" but how is it that the line has been clearly drawn at the entrance to the womb?

If you are willing, you can see the tragic reality of violence rarely protested by taking a couple of trips. I invite you to take a slow, concentrated look at http://www.crrange.com/page50.html and http://www.crrange.com/page49.html   These are titled "United States Holocaust Gallery" and "Fighting for Your Life!" respectively.

Your very thoughtful and prayerful consideration of the above will indeed be much appreciated. I shall look forward to equal coverage in the UM Reporter and United Methodist News Service of your protest of thousands of "executions" each week taking place in the womb throughout the USA! And since both the UMR and the UMNS claim to be balanced in their reporting of issues, I am sure we will see that report in print soon, will we not?

Still contending (John 15:16; Jeremiah 15:17; Jude 3,4)
Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in Full Connection, W. Pennsylvania Annual Conference, UMC
Web Site: Circuit Rider's Range at: http://www.crrange.com/index.html

cc: Other UMC bishops, UM Reporter, UMNS, Good News Magazine, and selected individuals who are concerned.

Note: Message to Bishop Wilson being sent by email, FAX, and snail mail.

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