Methodist Official Questions Display of U.S. Flag in Churches

WASHINGTON (RNS) Displaying a U.S. flag during United Methodistworship services is “inappropriate and unwise” because the flag maybecome an object of worship and could imply an endorsement of thegovernment’s policies, according to a member of the denomination’spublic policy arm.

“In a worship setting nothing should come before the center of ourfaith in whose presence we have gathered to worship, the Triune God,”said the Rev. Clayton Childers, director of annual conference relationsfor the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society.

Writing in the May 10 edition of the board’s newsletter, Faith inAction, Childers also argues that “the presence of a national flag inworship can imply endorsement of national policies which often runcounter to the teachings of Jesus Christ and our Christian faith.”

 President Bush is a member of the United Methodist Church, as are 61members of Congress, including 2008 Democratic presidential frontrunnerSen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.

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