Rejection of Unilateral First-Strike Actions and Strategies

WHEREAS, the United Methodist Council of Bishops has stated its opposition to the first-strike use of nuclear weapons (Resolution 334);

WHEREAS, our denomination is on record for opposing war as a usual instrument of foreign policy and insists that the first moral duty of all nations is to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises among them (Discipline 165C); and that it may only be waged "when peaceful alternatives have failed" (Discipline 164G).

WHEREAS, our denomination is on record that "We urge the establishment of the rule of law in international affairs," and whereas, policies of unilateral first strike military actions without United Nations approval violate established international law;

WHEREAS, by attacking Iraq without the approval and participation of the United Nations, the United States has squandered its positive reputation as a responsible member of the global community in the effort to make the world safe for democracy, instigating instead, a wide-spread mood of resentment and an attitude of mistrust toward Americans;

Therefore, The United Methodist Church strongly protests all unilateral first-strike actions and strategies on the part of any government or military force and calls on the President and Congress of the United States to cease and desist from such actions without ratification by, and collaboration with, the United Nations.

ADOPTED 2004

See Social Principles, 165.

From The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church 2004. Copyright 2004 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.



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