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faith & spirituality | imperialism & war

Speaking Against State-Sponsored Violence

Rev. Jeanne Knepper, pastor of North Portland's University Park United Methodist Church, used Sunday's general lectionary text -- Luke 3:15-17 and 21-22 -- to highlight the connections between acts of resistance in biblical and contemporary times.

To do this, Rev. Knepper had to modify the liturgy slightly -- to include three verses that the church instructs pastors to clip out. Rev. Knepper explained that the verses traditionally omitted contain the critical detail that John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus, had been imprisoned because of the critiques that he had made of King Herod. The Baptist was eventually executed for his repeated audacity.

Rev. Knepper connected this with the admonitions that people around the world have raised in response to George Bush's announcement last Thursday that he would increase force in Iraq. We must not render these acts invisible; we must tell of them to each other again and again, in order to remember them and make them matter.

Rev. Knepper then lifted up four other individuals who have made the difficult decision to voice dissent at critical times -- to "speak when the spirit says speak." She emphasized that these decisions exact real costs on the lives and ministries of those individuals. The four people she honored included two Portland ministers -- John and Pat Schweibert of the Metanoia Peace Community -- who are currently pressing on the United Methodist bureaucracy to live up to its opposition to the war on Iraq by supporting their ongoing war tax resistance.

Read Metanoia's Press Release | Read Rev. Knepper's Full Sermon | Past Coverage of UP-UMC: 1, 2 | Beliefnet: Denominational Stances on the Iraq War | Every Church a Peace Church Network

more UMC info 17.Jan.2007 09:09


here is a working link for the UMC positions on the war.