The impetus for the petition drive, explains Rev. Weaver, is the Bush Administration’s policies surrounding torture of suspected terrorists. “Torture plays a central role in our faith,” Rev. Weaver says, referring to the crucifixion of Jesus. “Torture is not a Methodist value, and I don’t want our university to lend its good name to a president who has authorized torture.”
As of Thursday, the petition has almost 10,000 signatures from almost all 50 states, including 14 bishops of the
Rev. Weaver describes the campaign as “a living epistle to the Church in the name of justice. President Bush’s pastor, Rev. Mark Craig, promised us that [Bush] ‘would be Moses,’ but this man has been Pharaoh.”
The petition drive will likely meet opposition from the SMU Board of Trustees, of which First Lady Laura Bush is a member. Says Rev. Weaver, “The Board is stacked with people who have a right wing political agenda at heart, not the best interest of SMU or the United Methodist Church at heart.”
Also on the show: Journalists Joe Conason and
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.