Cal-Pac Conference
Peace with Justice
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About the Issues

Opposition to Torture (1)                           



Our commitment to human rights is grounded in the conviction that each and every human life is sacred. This theme wends its way throughout our Scriptures; in the creation stories as well as in Jesus’ teaching and ministry.  Among the most significant of human rights is the right to security of person, which includes the right not to be tortured.  

Yet around the world today, there are countless number of persons suffering shocking and morally intolerable treatment at the hands of those acting — all too often — on behalf of their governments.  Such torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear. It degrades everyone involved — policy-makers, perpetrators and victims.

The United  Methodist  Church
1.    opposes the use of torture and all forms of cruel, inhuman, or degrading interrogation by all agencies, employees, or agents of all governments anywhere in the world;
 
2.    supports the application of the Geneva Conventions to all enemy soldiers and the humane treatment with due process for all combatants held by both government and non-government forces anywhere in the world; 
3.    supports principles as contained in documents such as the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States that call for judicial review and legislative oversight over executive branch operations relating to counter terrorism and domestic surveillance programs, both classified and publicly acknowledged and similar documents in other countries; and
4.    endorses legislative and judicial remedies for the use of torture and illegal detention by agencies of all government, such as the appointment of special counsels, open hearings, appropriate investigation, and legislation outlawing the use of “extraordinary rendition” and extraterritorial prison facilities. 
      
As in the case of conscientious objectors, The United Methodist Church expresses support for the principled refusal on grounds of conscience by military, intelligence, and other personnel who are asked to participate in coercive and/or covert detention of prisoners. 
  
The United Methodist Church’s Board of Church and Society and all other church boards and agencies are authorized to express support for the protection of the right of privacy for all citizens against unwarranted intrusion by their government or private entities. 
  
The United Methodist Church encourages all United Methodists: 

1.    to be attentive to issues of human rights related to policy and practice of their own governments;  
2.    to continue to advocate for human rights in the many places around the world where those rights are in jeopardy; 
3.    to seek ways to assist victims of human rights abuse and to prevent further abuse of others; and to pray for all victims of such abuse and for those who persecute them.

FOOTNOTE
(1) California-Pacific resolution adopted by the United Methodist General Conference 2008.  (See Book of Resolutions 2008 page 899)
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