Letters to the Editor: Bishop correct on Bush library



If Bishop Hope Morgan Ward had wanted to “blatantly play politics for personal gain,” as she’s accused of doing in a recent letter to the Mississippi United Methodist Advocate, she should have cloaked herself in the mantle of the “W” disciples, possibly still a majority of her constituents. She then could have won favor among them by supporting a George W. Bush presidential library at Southern Methodist University. 

Instead, by opposing an SMU Bush library, she appears to have chosen the narrow way and courageously sought to “inspire the flock” by publicly owning her conviction. That’s leadership. It’s tragic that so many in this part of the country still have so much of themselves invested in this presidency that they often seem more likely to denounce Jesus than to lay down their political views before him. 

SMU should demonstrate Christ-like courage and refuse to be home to the George W. Bush presidential library. It is demoralizing that a United Methodist institution would consider lifting up in perpetuity this president, who so many recognize has done such mortal harm. Duke University wisely refused the Richard Nixon library a home on its campus, while Emory University has honored The United Methodist Church through its relationship with former President Jimmy Carter.  

I believe the judgment of history will be the ceaseless illumination of Bush’s arrogance, ignorance and moral and intellectual sloth, which have recklessly and needlessly cost hundreds of thousands of God’s children their lives — while accelerating the spinning of our world in a disastrous direction. (No, I haven’t forgotten 9/11, but, in the aftermath of that horrific day, I strongly believe this administration has refused to lead in a direction worthy of our high calling as a nation and the even higher calling of Christ). 

How painfully ironic it is that some at SMU purport to honor their institution through supporting the locating of the Bush library and “think tank” on their campus, thereby endorsing what I believe history will prove to be the manifestly failed presidency of George W. Bush. If their plan comes to fruition, a UMC-affiliated institution will be home to a library which will bring shame upon our church and which the SMU student newspaper, Daily Campus, prophetically observed will be “a permanent spin-control office for the Bush presidency.”

Mark McLain


During World War II, I trusted God to protect me from harm because I had read in his word that “It (harm) will not come near you,” and I took this statement from Psalms as God’s promise to me. But “it” did come near me; so close that it took a nick out of my ear, plowed through my shoulder and back and took a nick out of my spine, sending me to the hospital for three months. During that time I spent a lot of time questioning God. 

(President) Bush says that the same God that I had trusted to protect me during wartime told him to launch this war on Iraq. Surely he must be asking God a lot of questions about now. 

It was reported that, after a roadside bomb killed one of their own, a company of soldiers, thinking they were under attack from nearby houses, killed a number of civilians. A girl that survived in one family said that, when she heard the commotion, her grandfather grabbed his Koran and went to the basement to pray, trusting the god of his holy book to protect him, but the same God that I had trusted and the same God that Bush says he trusts didn’t protect this grandfather or his family. 

 Maybe we should pay attention to those who are challenging us to take a closer look at religion!

C.E. Swain