Take Action: No Bush Library at SMU

From: DallasRally.com
Date: 15/02/2008


(please repost!)

If you haven't signed the petition to help keep the Bush Library out of SMU...please go here:

www.protectSMU.org

February 11, 2008 - I am the organizer of the petition that you signed at www.protectSMU.org. I am also a United Methodist minister and research psychologist living in New York City who graduated from Perkins School of Theology at SMU.

Our petition continues to grow. There are now over 11,300 signers representing every state and several nations, including twenty-nine United Methodist bishops, hundreds of graduates of SMU and thousands of clergy, church members, and people of conscience. Many thanks for your support!
There is every indication that the George W. Bush Foundation is moving full steam ahead to establish a partisan think tank at SMU. We believe the signing of a 99 year lease is not far away.

Below is a letter five South Central Jurisdiction delegates sent to the George W. Bush Foundation on January 31, 2008. We have received no response as of today.

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Mr. Don Evans
GWB Foundation
Fasken Center
Tower One
500 West Texas, Suite 960
Midland, Texas 79701


We have been informed that the College of Bishops of the South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church has rendered a “legal interpretation” of the action of the Mission Council.

This interpretation affirms that the Mission Council, a body of the South Central Jurisdiction, has the right to approve the lease of the property owned by the South Central Jurisdiction for the building of the George W. Bush library and think tank institute at SMU.

This letter is written to assert our belief that the College of Bishops does not have the authority to make such an interpretation according to the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church.

Division Four, Paragraph 56, Article II, 4. (Page 38) of the Constitution of the United Methodist Church states: “The Judicial Council shall have authority to hear and determine the legality of any action taken therein by any jurisdictional conference board or body”

Since the interpretation of the Mission Council action (a body of the jurisdictional conference), may be appealed by one third of the members of the Jurisdictional Conference (note Par. 56, Article II, 4.), this letter is also to inform you of our intention, as delegates of the South Central Jurisdictional Conference, to offer a motion to the Jurisdictional Conference, meeting in July, 2008, that an appeal for an interpretation be made to the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church.

We believe that any signed lease between SMU and the George W. Bush Library Foundation substantiated by a violation of the legal processes of The United Methodist Church, (as defined in its Discipline), prior to this Judicial appeal and interpretation, is an ill-advised action that breaches the laws, rules, regulations and tradition of our church.

Signed,
SCJ DELEGATES

cc: President of SMU, R. Gerald Turner
Chair of the Trustees at SMU, Carl Sewell

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THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER AND HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

We need your help to build a legal and educational campaign fund. Given the most recent actions by the George W. Bush Foundation, we need to secure funding for lawyers to help us, as well as to educate the church about this issue. Contributions can be sent to Rev. Robert Weathers, 2420 Willington Avenue, Fort Worth, Texas 76110. Rev. Weathers is a highly regarded member of the Central Texas Annual Conference and a former District Superintendent. Please make checks out to “Protect SMU Fund.”
Below is a list of all the duly elected members of the South Central Jurisdictional Conference, representing the 1.83 million United Methodists in the region. These representatives will meet in Dallas from July 15-19. They can say NO to Bush and refuse to allow him to use the land at SMU, if they are allowed to vote. About 40 percent of the delegates are likely to vote against the partisan Bush institute as of today. We need to inform and recruit 10 percent plus 1 of the remaining delegates to block the project.
Link: http://scj.umportal.org/myFolder/contentManagerImages/52/SCJ_Delegates_2008.pdf

Call your Annual Conference office and ask for the addresses and/or phone numbers of the delegates from your Conference to the Jurisdictional Conference. This will include both General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference delegates. If these United Methodist Christians truly understand what Bush is requiring, they will vote against the project. Write these delegates (or call them) and ask that they not ratify the report for the Jurisdictional Mission Council which includes the Mission Council's approval of SMU leasing part of its property (owned by the South Central Jurisdiction) for the building of the George W. Bush library and partisan institute. The 2004 South Central Jurisdictional Journal says: "The Council shall be subject to the following and specific limitations of authority: All actions taken by The Council shall be valid and in full effect within the South Central Jurisdiction until the next regular session of The(Jurisdictional) Conference.....The chairperson of The Council shall submit to each regular quadrennial meeting of the Conference a written report of all actions taken by The Council during the quadrennium" (p. 101).

Read the articles below to give you more information regarding the history and inside workings which led to this unfortunate decision. Also forward these articles to your Jurisdictional Conference delegates.
Updated links to information on the SMU Bush project:
http://media.www.smudailycampus.com/media/storage/paper949/news/2008/01/31/News/Bush-Library.Opponents.Up.Ante.With.New.Letter-3179148.shtml
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation/AP/story/400936.html
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/1/31/122535/135/502/446980
http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nl/content3.asp?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=2072519&ct=5006365
http://www.usnews.com/blogs/faith-matters/2008/2/4/tempest-in-a-texas-teapot.html
http://cbs11tv.com/education/SMU.bush.library.2.645905.html
http://www.umportal.org/article.asp?id=3112
http://media.www.smudailycampus.com/media/storage/paper949/news/2008/01/17/Opinion/The-fantastic.Failure.Institute.Will.Undermine.Smu-3155803.shtml
http://www.mediatransparency.org/story.php?storyID=196
http://www.mediatransparency.org/story.php?storyID=171
Continue to encourage your friends and colleagues to sign the petition. Each person is important. We need to tell officials of SMU and the UMC at every level that we find this association with George W. Bush unacceptable.
With best regards,
Rev. Andrew J. Weaver, Ph.D.
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South Central Jurisdiction Bishops

DALLAS EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop Alfred L. Norris
P.O. Box 866128
Plano, TX 75086-6128
Nationwide Toll Free Number: (800) 969-8201
Phone: (214) 522-6741
Fax: (214) 528-4435
Email: bishop@ntcumc.org
NORTH TEXAS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

FORT WORTH EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop Ben R. Chamness
464 Bailey Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76107-2153
Nationwide Toll Free Number: (800) 460-8622
Phone: (817) 877-5222
Fax: (817) 332-4609
Email: bishop@ctcumc.org
CENTRAL TEXAS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

HOUSTON EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop Janice Riggle Huie
5215 South Main Street
Houston, TX 77002-9792
Phone: (713) 521-9383
Fax: (713) 529-7736
Email: Bishop.Huie@txcumc.org
TEXAS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

KANSAS EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop Scott J. Jones
9440 East Boston, Suite 160
Wichita, KS 67207-3603
Nationwide Toll Free Number: (800) 745-2350
Phone: (316) 686-0600
Fax: (316) 684-0044
Email: kansasbishop@kswestumc.org
KANSAS EAST ANNUAL CONFERENCE
KANSAS WEST ANNUAL CONFERENCE

LOUISIANA EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop William W. Hutchinson
527 North Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5700
Nationwide Toll Free Phone: (888) 239-5286
Phone: (225) 346-1646 ext 212
Fax: (225) 387-3662
Email: lcumc@bellsouth.net
LOUISIANA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

MISSOURI EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop Robert C. Schnase
3601 Amron Court
Columbia, MO 65202
Nationwide Toll Free Phone: (877) 736-1806
Phone: (573) 441-1770
Fax: (573) 441-0765
Email: DCurry@moumethodist.org
MISSOURI ANNUAL CONFERENCE

NEBRASKA EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop Ann Brookshire Sherer
2641 North 49th Street
Lincoln, NE 68504-2899
Nationwide Toll Free Phone: (800) 435-6107
Phone: (402) 466-4955
Fax: (402) 466-6793
Email: bishopsherer@umcneb.org
NEBRASKA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

NORTHWEST TEXAS-NEW MEXICO EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop D. Max Whitfield
11816 Lomas Boulevard, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112-5614
Nationwide Toll Free Phone: (800) 678-8786
Phone: (505) 255-9361
Fax: (505) 255-8738
Email: mbelu@nmconfum.com
NEW MEXICO ANNUAL CONFERENCE
NORTHWEST TEXAS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

OKLAHOMA EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop Robert E. Hayes, Jr.
P.O. Box 60467
Oklahoma City, OK 73146-0467
Nationwide Toll Free Phone: (800) 231-4160
Phone: (405) 530-2025
Fax: (405) 350-2040
Email: cberry@okumc.org
OKLAHOMA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
OKLAHOMA INDIAN MISSIONARY ANNUAL CONFERENCE

SAN ANTONIO EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop Joel N. Martinez
P.O. Box 781688
San Antonio, TX 78278-1688
Nationwide Toll Free Phone: (888) 349 -4191
Phone: (210) 408-4500
Fax: (210) 408-4501
Email: bishop@umcswtx.org
RIO GRANDE ANNUAL CONFERENCE
SOUTHWEST TEXAS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

ARKANSAS EPISCOPAL AREA
Bishop Charles N. Crutchfield
2 Trudie Kibbe Reed Drive
Little Rock, AR 72202-3770
Nationwide Toll Free Phone: (877) 646-1816
Phone: (501) 324-8001
Fax: (501) 324-8021
Email: bishopcnc@arumc.org
ARKANSAS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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