Methodist melee | Arkansas Blog

Methodist melee



We've posted before about the split on the SMU faculty over the possibility that the Dallas campus will host the George W. Bush presidential library.

Count retired Arkansas Methodist Bishop Kenneth Hicks on the opposing side, according to this article:

"I happen to feel that the Bush administration has transgressed human rights, the way you go to war, the issue of torture and retaining political prisoners," Hicks said in a telephone interview. "I just felt that this was something the United Methodist Church should not necessarily be related to."

He acknowledged that the library itself would "not be compromised or slated intentionally" because it would be under the auspices of the government's Archives and Records Department. But he was particularly concerned about the "the policy school, or whatever that turns out to be."

"I think that President Bush has been influenced in his theology and his religion by right-wing religious interests more than he has by the traditional United Methodist social policy," he said. "It's sad to say, but I just don't trust what that kind of an institution would be about."

The article goes on to note that, despite strong opposition among SMU faculty, majority support seems to be coalescing behind the plan.

"I've resigned myself to say that if it comes to SMU, if the whole shebang comes to SMU, it'll probably be all right," Hicks said, though he noted that he doesn't regret signing the online petition against the plan.

"I just felt that I had to register my disapproval of what would be coming to the university," he said.

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