The United Methodist Church (UMC) has banned Discovery Institute, an organization that promotes Intelligent Design, from sponsoring an information table at the Church’s upcoming General Conference.
Evolutionnews.org notes that the UMC’s slogan is “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors,” but that the recent decision to ban Discovery Institute contradicts it.
Discovery Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan educational and research organization. The Institute has a Center for Science & Culture which supports the work of scientists and scholars who research the evidence of the Universe being designed purposefully rather than by an unplanned accident.
Dr. John West, Vice President of Discovery Institute, voiced his condemnation of the UMC’s decision:
"Preventing United Methodist leaders from even hearing about intelligent design isn't open-minded. It's intolerant and exclusionary," said West. "Maybe United Methodist officials should change their slogan to 'Closed Hearts, Closed Minds, Closed Doors.' As a private organization, the UMC has the right to exclude us as an exhibitor. But UMC officials' embrace of censorship undermines their own professed commitment to open doors and open minds."
"As a United Methodist, I'm disheartened and appalled," added Michael Flannery, a university professor who is also a Discovery Institute Fellow. "Methodist officials who are trying to stop discussion before it starts certainly don't speak for me or for many other United Methodists in the pews."
Discovery Institute is asking those who disagree with the UMC’s decision to contact Judi Kenaston, the chair of the UMC’s Commission on the General Conference, to urge the Church to live up to its slogan of inclusion.
Publication date: January 19, 2016