GENERAL CONVENTION 2003
PEACE AND JUSTICE ISSUES
THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS WERE APPROVED BY THE CONVENTION:
All Episcopalians, in discussions about war, to consider and utilize Just War theory and pacifism as they apply to situation of United States. Note "Just Peace" readings available from Office of Bishop Suffragan for Chaplaincies. Theology Committee of House of Bishops to prepare a study on new warfare situations. Ask for reconsideration of foreign policy to date.
All elected and appointed officers of Episcopal Church to have anti-racism training
Encourage ministry with prison inmates, those newly released, and their families
Established Committee on Criminal Justice, charged with establishing a network of those working toward criminal justice reform, various other duties
Encourage legislation to provide alternatives to sentencing for juveniles
Encourage Congress to raise federal minimum wage to at least $8.70 per hour
Oppose Congressional or state legislative efforts that discriminate against single-parent households; direct Office of Governmental Relations to advocate on behalf of all needy families.
Develop specific plans at national, provincial, and diocesan levels to foster a culture of nonviolence
Support Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride through education, participation, hospitality, and financial support
Study employment practices in dioceses and parishes, in reference to equity and justice for employees working in circumstances of both affluence and poverty
Deputies concurred with bishops in supporting the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican leaders who have "jointly affirmed with Islamic leaders in various countries our shared desire to honor those teachings in our respective traditions which work to avoid coercion and respect individual liberty" (D020). The resolution also urges that future dialogues pay particular attention to vigorously opposing "any nation's or other governmental body's imposition of or continuation of a legal system which violates fundamental human rights."
Continuing the full funding of the Episcopal Church's Washington office by rejecting a resolution that would have reduced the funding to under $200,000 a year (D030). The resolution would have redirected the funds saved to support regional ministries in the nine provinces. The Rev. Gary Waddingham of Montana supported the resolution, noting that the provinces do an "enormous amount" of work in various ministries that could be supported by the funding. Marge Kilkelly of Maine urged the rejection, however, pointing out the wide range of national and international issues addressed by General Convention resolutions. "We will not have voice if we don't have an office in Washington," she said. Karen Paterson of Southwest Florida agreed, saying she had found the Washington office invaluable in her work as an advocate for the elderly. The final vote in Deputies was 589 to 177.
Deplore the immoral use of racial profiling unjustly to identify certain behaviors, and call for the Episcopal Church to re-commit itself to being vigilant in speaking out against all negative profiling but especially racial profiling wherever it happens;
our commitment to treat all people of color with honor and dignity, modeling
the behavior that we commit to in our Baptismal Covenant: to strive for
justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human
diocese be urged to commit funds specifically to help those who take action
against racial profiling in their community;
the Anti-Racism Committee's diversity training be adjusted to include teaching
about racial profiling, how to identify it, and various methods to end it.
Racial profiling, or the discriminatory practice of detaining, investigating and/or interrogating individuals as suspects of criminal behavior because of the color of their skin or race, is based on an inherent bias against a specific group of people. The vast majority of all discriminatory racial profiling focuses on African-American people. In the recent past, however, other persons have increasingly come under suspicion: Muslims, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. In each instance, the practice of racial profiling is reprehensible and should be eliminated.
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