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UM Women's Mag Condemns Faithful Christians As Terrorists, Condemns Bush For Support Of Christian Marriage

Methodist Women’s Magazine Condemns Religious Conservatives

by UMAction Briefing - August 2003

The official Response magazine of the United Methodist Church women’s organization devoted its April 2003 issue to attacking religious conservatives.

United Methodist Women (UMW) at one time had over 1 million members and has boasted of being America’s largest women’s organization. It has declined to about 800,000 members but still is huge and wealthy. Its national office in New York City has an annual budget of over $30 million.

The beliefs of local United Methodist Women often differ from the agenda of the New York-based Women’s Division. UMW officials have long labeled conservatives, within their own church and within society, as enemies of women.

The April issue of Response magazine was headlined “Religion’s Role in the Backlash Against Women.” As evidence, it cited evangelical men’s groups like Promise Keepers, the pro-life movement, the Southern Baptist Convention’s resistance to female clergy, and opposition within the UMC to the UMW’s political agenda. All were condemned by Response together with radical Islam’s restrictions on women, as part of alleged “Religious Right” activity against women’s rights.

UMW official J. Ann Craig criticized Christian “fundamentalism” and said it is defined by belief in the inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth, the divinity of Jesus Christ, Jesus’ substitutionary death for our sins, and Jesus’ physical resurrection and ultimate return to rule the earth.

An article by Azza Karam of the World Conference on Religion and Peace alleged commonalities between Afghanistan’s former Taliban rulers and conservative Christian churches.

Pro-homosexuality activist Susan Fried linked “growing conservative religious movements” with “domestic violence.” She claimed the U.S. government’s exportation of “abstinence-only sex education” hinders women’s ability to “negotiate safer sex.” The incidents of religiously-sanctioned violence that she listed were all Islamic or Hindu. The only U.S. examples of domestic abuse she mentioned were “druging and date rape;” she did not explain how conservative Christians are responsible for these abuses.

Jean Hardisty wrote an article condemning the Bush Administration for promoting heterosexual marriage.

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