By Jack Jenkins
United Methodist Church officials in Alabama have dismissed a complaint signed by more than 600 church members in July that chided Attorney General Jeff Sessions for implementing the family separation policy along the border and attempting to justify it with Scripture.
But the logic of the decision, which cited a distinction between personal behavior and the actions of public officials, is not sitting well with some Methodist leaders.
The formal dismissal of the complaint by the Rev. Debora Bishop, district superintendent of the Alabama-West Florida UMC Conference, where Sessions’ home church resides, came in a letter on July 30. It amounts to a final decision on the charges of child abuse, immorality, racial discrimination and “dissemination of doctrines contrary to the standards of doctrine of the United Methodist Church.”
The resident bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, David W. Graves, concurred with the opinion.
But other prominent UMC leaders argued that profound theological questions about the nature of church discipline are raised in the letter.
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