Additional Information on the United Methodist Church (UMC)

* UMC’s four major areas of focus include the following:

* UMC supports social policies that serve to: minimize the creation of industrial byproducts and waste; facilitate the safe processing and disposal of toxic and nuclear waste; encourage reduction of municipal waste; provide for “appropriate recycling and disposal of municipal waste”; assist the cleanup of polluted air, water, and soil; oppose the “privatization of water resources” (such as “the bottling of water to be sold as a commodity for profit”); and preserve old-growth forests.

* UMC encourages persons to “limit [their] CO2 emissions” and support “the development of renewable energies,” on the premise that the continued use of fossil fuels “accelerates global warming.”

* UMC rejects “any nation’s efforts to weaponize space.”

* UMC calls for the clear labeling of all processed, genetically created, or genetically altered foods, and for policies that promote “a gradual transition to sustainable and organic agriculture.”

* UMC supports policies that “increase access to quality food, particularly for those with the fewest resources.”

* UMC encourages all individuals “to be sensitive to others” by refraining from using language of a “derogatory nature” with regard to race, nationality, ethnic background, gender, sexuality, and physical differences.

* UMC emphasizes that families today come in multiple forms, not just the traditional “two-generational unit of parents and children.”

* UMC supports laws that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

* UMC considers the practice of homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching, but implores people “not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay” people.

* UMC states that consumers should avoid purchasing products manufactured in conditions “where workers are being exploited because of their age, gender, or economic status.” It encourages people to buy “Fair Trade Certified” whenever possible.

* UMC strongly rejects “domestic surveillance and intimidation of political opponents by governments in power”; “the use of detention and imprisonment for the harassment and elimination of political opponents or other dissidents”; and “the mistreatment or torture, and other cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment or punishment of persons by governments.”

* While UMC is “reluctant to approve abortion” because of its “belief in the sanctity of unborn human life,” the Church nonetheless maintains that abortion can be justified in some “tragic” circumstances which could be harmful to “the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child.” Thus the Church supports abortion as a legal option in such cases.

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