Following the violence at the U.S. Capitol on. Jan. 6, the Minnesota Conference Church and Society Ministry Team issued the following statement, encouraging United Methodists to remember and live by our Social Principles and use the resources available to them to work for peace and justice:
In the time after a violent insurrection at the Capitol from which five deaths have resulted thus far and which featured often violent and strident images of white supremacists exercising privilege, the Minnesota Annual Conference Church and Society Ministry Team urges United Methodists to remember the values in our Social Principles and to use the resources available to churches that seek both peace and justice:
On our political life:
"We also strongly reject... intimidation of political opponents by governments in power and all other misuses of elective or appointive offices."
On civil disobedience:
"Respect for law should be shown by refraining from violence and by being willing to accept the costs of disobedience. We do not encourage or condone any form of violent protest as a legitimate exercise of free speech or civil disobedience."
On white supremacy and racism:
"Racism is the combination of the power to dominate by one race over other races and a value system that assumes that the dominant race is innately superior to the others. Racism includes both personal and institutional racism. Personal racism is manifested through the individual expressions, attitudes, and/or behaviors that accept the assumptions of a racist value system and that maintain the benefits of this system. Institutional racism is the established social pattern that supports implicitly or explicitly the racist value system. Racism, manifested as sin, plagues and hinders our relationship with Christ, inasmuch as it is antithetical to the gospel itself. In many cultures white persons are granted unearned privileges and benefits that are denied to persons of color. We oppose the creation of a racial hierarchy in any culture."
We encourage pastors to remind their congregations of these principles in sermons, to study the Social Principles through a youth-oriented Lectionary Curriculum or the General Commission on Race and Religion's Vital Conversations on Race series, and to advocate for justice using the Toolkit for Faithful Engagement. We also advise congregations to employ local resources, such as the Minnesota Council of Churches' Respectful Conversations to increase empathy and better manage conflict in communities and ISAIAH Minnesota's organizing training to more effectively advocate for justice in our state.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church