I find Marvin Speed's criticism of Bishop (Hope Morgan Ward) for lobbying the Mississippi Legislature for "educational spending, Medicaid funding, etc." difficult to understand. He says "by all means let us do all we can to alleviate human suffering." The bishop is using this "means" to enlist the power of the government to join the feeble effort of the church (feeble in face of the overwhelming need) to help "feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit the imprisoned, not "in our stead" but with us.
I once was a member of a "spiritual" church that has seen considerable growth over the years while Methodism lost ground. It preached there will be no Jews in heaven, black people are inferior to whites, etc. They believed that Christians (not all Christians, just their brand) have a monopoly on God. They believed, preached and taught that every word in the Bible is the word of God handed down from heaven in the form of the King James Version.
At the time, the leadership of Methodism dared to "swim against the current" and preach racial justice. This was so far removed from what I had been fed in our "spiritual" church that our entire family joined this "heretical" bunch called "Methodists" and for the next 40 years I endeavored to be a good disciple of John Wesley."
I sincerely believe that if the church would aggressively move against the spirit of militarism as it did against the twin spirit of racism it would attract the disillusioned multitudes and help unite this fractured world of racism and religious bigotry.